Just a quick post about a sensitive subject - the amount and reliability of the information you are reading on the web.
No, I am not talking about faked photographs. I am talking about the endless streams of military analysis being published in article form. I am talking about the detailed plans and timetables that the IDF talking heads are giving out.
In a word (or in this case, a phrase) take everything you read with a grain of salt. What is more important really is what they are NOT telling you - what I call the white space - between the lines. And the bottom line is that you won't know what they are not telling you until it is safe for everyone to know. And you should have patience and the maturity to wait for this information.
Why am I writing this? Because I have seen the very understandable curiosity and concern by blog readers tempt people to write things that they really shouldn't. Those of us who know people fighting in Lebanon get bits and pieces of information. Sometimes this information is accurate - but sometimes the broken telephone syndrome does its job and the information is distorted or just plain wrong. And sometimes passing this information along does a lot of damage.
I'll give you an example. The first time there was fighting in Bent Jebail, a friend of mine told me that he heard from his brother (supposedly a higher up with access to information) that 12 soldiers had been killed. Later that night, when the accurate information was published, it turns out that 8 had died. I had people from America call me to ask if I knew anything (I think Reuters had published a high number of dead). I told them what I always say - that when the IDF has finished notifying all of the family members, they will publicize the accurate information. Until then I will not pass along rumors. It just causes unnecessary anxiety.
Talking, or writing, about rumors you have heard about the numbers of troops, the timing of operations, and where people are fighting not only causes anxiety, but it also gives information to the enemy. Don't think for a minute that both the IDF (waving hi ) and Hizballah (you get just one finger) are not reading the blogs (yes, even my stupid little one) and that information you write is not being passed along. "Loose lips sink ships" may be vintage World War II, but it still stands today.
I have already started making notes about stupid and dangerous things people and professional reporters have published on the websites and blogs. I intend to write about them - but NOT NOW.
NOW is the time to use what we have between our ears.