I’ve been watching the news more or less nightly over the past three weeks, following the events in the Middle East. As I’ve watched the random carnage on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border, I’ve been asking myself a bunch of questions:
- What kind of missles is Hezbollah firing into Israel?
- How many missiles does Hezbollah have? How many have they fired?
- Does Israel have counter-measures to shoot these missiles down before they land?
- How are the Hezbollah missiles fired? From the back of a truck? A static launcher? Something else?
- Have Israeli ground troops actually entered Lebanon? If so, how many, where and to what end?
- What other weapons does Hezbollah have to defend itself? Do they have, for example, large stocks of small arms, mortars and the like?
- Will Israel eventually have to stop bombing and send in large numbers of tanks and troops?
The list goes on. I know I could probably google up a storm and find these answers, but I think they’re worth explaining in a nightly news broadcast.
I feel like I knew these answers during the first Gulf War. That’s when I learned a bunch of terms like Scud, Patriot, A-10 Warthog and so forth.
It’s 15 years later, though, and the news–as far as I can tell–isn’t interested in sharing this sort of information. Sometimes they seem desperate to make the correspondents the subject of the story. Sometimes they seem overly interested in the human interest angle, and tend to be hyper-focussed on the story of a single person or family. Sometimes I think they just don’t know what they’re talking about.
Why do you think I’m not hearing my answers to these questions?
One other question which continues to haunt me: for the love of all that’s holy, what’s the frickin’ correct pronounciation of Hezbollah? Is it Hiz-bollah or Hez-bollah?