A number of web logs in the United States and Britain have claimed that a man who appeared in much of the international press's coverage of the Qana bombing lifting children's bodies may have been a Hizbullah agent who staged photo-ops for the international media.
Under the headline "milking it?" the EU Referendum blog,
a British website dedicated to taking the UK out of the European Union, states: "Certainly, the photographs are distressing, and indeed they are meant to be."
The blog focuses in on a man dressed as a rescue worker who appears in many photographs in the international press: "Note the 'rescue worker' in the foreground, complete with olive green military-style helmet and fluorescent jacket, with what appears to be a flack jacket underneath."
It then shows a number of pictures, taken from different angles, by Reuters and the Associated Press, of the man holding the same child's body – but notes that there is a 4 hour time discrepancy between the time logs of the photographs.
The man in the green helmet holding a child's body (Photo: AP)
The website posts a series of photographs of the same man holding the child, each picture being separated by a significant time gap, before finally showing an AP photograph of the child's body in an ambulance taken at 7:21 in the morning – around nine hours before an AP photo was taken of the same child being held by the man in the green helmet.
A photograph is shown of "the same girl, this time apparently being placed in the ambulance. Also taken by AP… Intriguingly, though, the dateline given is 10.25 am, three hours after she has already been photographed in the ambulance."
While in previous photographs the man carrying the child's body is seen without a fluorescent jacket and helmet, the website then shows another AP photograph "of the same worker, showing obvious distress, carrying the same girl. But now he is wearing his fluorescent jacket and helmet and has acquired latex gloves."
An American weblog, Confederate Yankee,
whose logo is that "liberalism is a vegetative state," says that "in a picture that hits the wires just one hour (9:06 AM) after the building collapse, a Lebanese Red
cross member sits with bodies already displaying significant rigor mortis. About.com puts the timing of maximum stiffness at about 12-24 hours after death. These people were supposed to have died within one hour of these photos being taken."
"Whatever else, the event in Qana was a human tragedy," EU Referendum said. "But the photographs do not show it honestly. Rather, they have been staged for effect, exploiting the victims in an unwholesome manner. In so doing, they are no longer news photographs - they are propaganda," the blog concluded.
It also asks whether the workers' "presence at Qana on Sunday, and his central, unchallenged role, cannot have been a coincidence. Is he a senior ranking Hizbullah official?
If not, who is he?"
Many other blogs have taken up the task of analyzing the photographs and news headlines from Qana, southern Lebanon, and the Middle East, including: Little Green Footballs,
American columnist Michelle Malkin,
and The Riehl World View.
The Riehl blog compares photographs of bodies of men to those of women and children in Qana and notes: "They certainly seem to be going to a lot of trouble to cover up what looks like a number of adult males, most likely Hizbullah fighters,
while making sure that images of any children or women killed in Qana are fully exposed."