Bill Murchison

Here's why it's nice to be Hezbollah:

1. Any fighting you start, Israel gets blamed for the killings. Thirty-four children and 12 women killed in Qana (or as the Bible spells it, Cana) through an Israeli mistake -- and that's all the watching world sees. Not the unguided Katyusha rockets falling on Israel, with demonstrably lower prospects for killing and maiming -- though a score of Israelis indeed have been killed and hundreds wounded. Not the border raid that provoked Israeli retaliation. No, it's pictures that count, and the pictures this week are of torn and dazed Lebanese caught in the crossfire. Strange -- or telling -- to think you never see pictures of dead terrorists, their like having inserted themselves neatly into the Lebanese population, whence they rain death on Israel. That's one reason it's nice to be Hezbollah.

2. There's the Western media, via technology of Western origin, to tell your story. Whereas no one expects al-Jazeera to deal "objectively" with the story, the Western media take pride in their allegedly even-handed coverage of the war. On The New York Times' front page for Monday, July 31, is a four-column color photo of Lebanese rescuers moving a body out of a Qana apartment, with the cutline noting that "Dozens of people were killed." That's above the three-column head, "Night of Death and Terror for Lebanese Villagers," with a one-column subhead reading, "A Decade Later, It Is Again a Day When the Children Died."

You can't buy publicity like that. Which is another reason it's nice to be Hezbollah.

3. No one puts the screws to you to stop fighting. That contrasts with the international pressure on Israel to stop bombing and "killing refugees." Israel is a real place, with a real government, one both humane and democratic. Democracies listen to the people. Homicidal maniacs, the chief component of the Hezbollah organization, listen only to each other. You don't think it's nice to be Hezbollah? Guess again.

4. Your suppliers and abettors -- Syria and Iran -- both being undemocratic and conspicuously anti-humane, pay no attention to anyone who clamors for an end to the shipments of rockets and other armaments. Not much use trying, hmmm? But the United States -- that's different. Democratic and humane, like Israel, the United States subjects itself -- a condition of responsible nationhood -- to the cries of the world and of its people.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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