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MISSILE STORY II

Today’s editorial in the Australian:

In his report in the Media section today, Chulov stands by the original account.

No, he doesn’t. With thanks to readers, here follows a comparison of Martin Chulov’s two pieces on the Red Cross ambulance attack.

First Piece:

Two ambulances travelling in convoy were fired on by an Israeli Apache helicopter as they sped to the besieged port city of Tyre.

Second Piece:

The damage done was consistent with ruined cars and vans that I saw elsewhere in Lebanon and earlier in Gaza, which had been hit by a missile fired from a drone.

Question: How does Chulov know those ruined cars and vans had been hit by missiles fired from drones? And if he is so certain of the effects of such an attack, why did he write that the ambulances had been attacked by an Apache helicopter, even after inspecting them?

First Piece:

One of the Israeli rockets pierced the centre of the large red cross marked on the roof of one of the ambulances, as if it was used as a target.

Second Piece:

A large explosion thundered into Shalin’s ambulance.

The precise original claim becomes much fuzzier. A crucial matter, this. If the Israeli rocket – fired from a drone, or helicopter, or wherever—didn’t pierce the ambulance, it calls into question allegations of deliberate targeting. By the way, how does a “large explosion” thunder into anything?

First Piece:

The convoy was struck by two rockets fired from an Apache helicopter, just before midnight, severely injuring all six people on board.

Second Piece:

The Israeli-made drones have many types of missiles, but the most regularly used has a small warhead designed for use in urban areas. It aims not to kill anyone outside a small zone and rarely leaves a calling card outside its target.

An ambulance is considerably smaller than the small urban zones this weapon was presumably designed for. Yet this warhead was barely able to take someone’s leg off – in a direct hit. People standing nearby (if they were standing, and not driving; see next item) suffered no injuries at all.

First Piece:

Mr Shalin was spared more serious injuries by the armoured vest he was wearing and the driver’s canopy that protected him from a direct hit … he remembers nothing after the flash and bang of the missile then the crunch of the crash as his ambulance veered off road.

Second Piece:

Shalin was lifting the rear ramp of the ambulance when the missile hit. His colleague was stepping into the side door. The concussion wave from the missile easily dispersed through the open spaces. Shalin was protected as he fell under the ramp.

Shalin has moved from driving the ambulance to lifting a ramp – which may or may not exist. It’s sweet that the concussive blast from this mini-missile carefully drapes a protective metal covering over potential victims. In light of all these changes – remember, Chulov interviewed the same source for both pieces – this line from the driver is compelling:

“Everything I said happened that night did happen,” he said.

Posted by Tim B. on 08/31/2006 at 01:58 AM
  1. Chulov may be the toast of his circles, but as far as cred is concerned here, he is just toast.

    Posted by blogstrop on 2006 08 31 at 02:16 AM • permalink

  2. “Everything I said happened that night did happen”

    Fake.. but true !

    Posted by Jono on 2006 08 31 at 02:20 AM • permalink

  3. What is the point of a weapon that does so little damage?

    Posted by chrisgo on 2006 08 31 at 02:23 AM • permalink

  4. I’m so sick of those Joooooos with their vent-removing leg-severing drones!

    I know if I were going to bomb the bejesus out of Lebanon, I’d be using weapons that caused this much damage instead of, you know, bombs that killed the enemy and destroyed their buildings.

    Posted by Ian Deans on 2006 08 31 at 02:32 AM • permalink

  5. In the MSNBC piece (linked to on zombietime), the driver says he was blown back 15 to 25 feet.  In other stories, he wakes up inside the ambulance.

    Posted by attilathepun on 2006 08 31 at 02:50 AM • permalink

  6. Can somebody please assure me that I am just being paranoid, but…

    Watch the ITV footage on the zombietime website, 10 seconds in, the injured ambulance drivers are being helped into hospital by their colleagues. Look at the guy on the right.

    Please tell me that isn’t Green Helmet Guy. Seriously.

    Posted by attilathepun on 2006 08 31 at 02:51 AM • permalink

  7. Nothing says prevaricator like a nice hot serving of Google cache.  Yum!

    Seconds Anyone?

    I propose ‘chulov’ be used forthwith to describe all instances of manipulation of previously stated fact in order to present a different - more current - version of the truth.

    Example: I swear Marcus Enfield has done a ‘chulov’ over that ticket.

    Posted by Jay Santos on 2006 08 31 at 02:52 AM • permalink

  8. Another point - A relative humidity (RH) of 70% as tossed out by Chulov does not necessarily imply that conditions are humid. The correct measure is Absolute Humidity which is the amount of water in a cubic metre of air and is a function of RH and air temperature (T). Relationship is -

    AH = (RH/100)10^^(0.685 + 0.03046T - 0.0001295T^^2)

    In Beirut today the temperature is 28C and the RH 58% giving an AH = 15.8 gm/m3. A bit more than Sydney in summer and less than Brisbane and much, much less than Darwin. In March, Darwin has average T = 31.9 and average RH = 83% giving an AH = 27.8 gm/m3. As the temperature in Beirut falls in the evening the relative humidity will increase (probably over 70%) but the Absolute Humidity will remain very nearly the same. Beirut has a temperate climate and not a tropical one and for Chulov to imply that a relative humidity of 70% means there is a lot of moisture in the air, ergo rust, is manifestly incorrect.

    Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 08 31 at 02:52 AM • permalink

  9. I would not be surprised if some middle east correspondents were having to deal with threats.  Many of their stories are skewed in favour of the terrorists.

    Posted by Howzat on 2006 08 31 at 02:56 AM • permalink

  10. Further to #8, I checked the met records for Beirut from 24th July until 31st July. There was no rain recorded

    Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 08 31 at 02:56 AM • permalink

  11. #8,#10,
    In the tourist blurb, summer conditions in Beirut are described as hot and humid because it is on the coast.

    Posted by chrisgo on 2006 08 31 at 03:06 AM • permalink

  12. Bravo ! Tim. The picture of the Foreign Minister buying into an Internet conspiracy had us all laughing into our soup! Your credibility is now really on the line.

    The fact that the MSM and people in general, with no interest in the subject, think that the IDF do target ambulances, non-military targets, women and children, ect ect.. is what is driving this. You guys are losing.

    We all know that the sword of the IDF has gone rusty, sloshing about in the watery guts of the occupied territories. Faced with an opponent other than an illiterate slum dweller with an AK and some fireworks the IDF got a bloody nose. Your response is predictable. Blame the Media, the Politicians , the Generals, the Iranians ect..ect…

    If you really want to help the Zionists, think!. A good place to start would be here.

    Playing with War

    Stop fighting yesterday’s propaganda defeats .

    Oh, and here is the mystery “missile”, “munition”

    Viper

    Posted by Marky Mk III on 2006 08 31 at 03:11 AM • permalink

  13. #12 nice try….

    if you look at the specifics of that weapon you will find that when dropped it still has the kinetic energy of a truck, with-out any explosives!

    Also this weapon is still in the development stage, and is under going trials in iraq. so what you are claiming is that this un-tried and un-tested weapon, was aquired and used by isreal in an attempt to deliver a precison strike against an ambulance of no military value…... correct me if i’m wrong but ur an idiot!!

    Posted by Mospact on 2006 08 31 at 03:20 AM • permalink

  14. So very many alternatives to choose from…  I think it’s called parallel universes

    The “first ambulance”, no 782, was speeding in a convoy AND stationary.

    The “six people” “on board” the “convoy” (how do you get on board a convoy?) were all severely injured except Shalin the driver of amb 782 AND only two were severely injured.

    The patients being transported had been slightly injured the previous day, AND all of their injuries were caused by the rocket/missile attack.  (Odd that the LRC assigned a presumably precious ambulance to collect people whose injuries were slight and had occurred the previous day.)

    Shalin was protected by the driver’s canopy AND by the vehicle’s rear ramp.

    The ambulance did not have a rear ramp AND the rear ramp was there but invisible in photographs.

    The ambulance / convoy was struck by a rocket/s AND missile/s fired by an Apache helicopter that was also a drone.

    The missile pierced the centre of the red cross on Amb. 782 (what happened to the other ambulance?) AND “an explosion thundered” into the ambulance.

    Shalin “remembers nothing” after the flash-bang-crunch of the crash (the crash? certainly lends weight to the theory of jcc7033 no. 35 on previous thread) AND he remembers that “then there was a battle for the next hour” and “we hid in a building convinced we were going to die”

    “the IDF has not commented about its targeting of ambulances”—so, IDF—guilty till proven innocent.

    Posted by arrowhead ripper on 2006 08 31 at 03:23 AM • permalink

  15. It’s a great day to be on the net. So many bitch slaps handed out, I’m dizzy!

    Chulov’s been Fisked, Rathered and Laned. And Steyn’s just given Bolt a solid backhander!

    Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2006 08 31 at 03:25 AM • permalink

  16. Oh, god, the Marky-Marky troll.

    I swear, any post that even looks like it might exonerate Israel of an accusation brings out the trolls like flies to a piece of shit.

    Posted by Quentin George on 2006 08 31 at 03:33 AM • permalink

  17. Marky Mk III

    Re #12

    I looked at the Playing with War page, and it only took me to the second bullet point to find some very tenuous reasoning:

    conscription has become impossible

    Example to refute this: Israel.  The same country that is used in the first bullet point as an example.

    Should I bother reading the rest?

    Posted by manbag's bagman on 2006 08 31 at 03:36 AM • permalink

  18. #11 - Maybe the tourist blurb was written by a Scot. Beirut is certainly less humid than Brisbane in summer. AH in Brisbane for Jan and Feb is 20 gm/m3. Sydney is 14.6.

    I tried to get Beirut’s during the week concerned but they varied from 9.7 to 17.9 so I imagine the data has been incorrectly entered. Nevertheless, if something won’t rust in a week without rain in Brisbane, it certainly won’t in Beirut or Sydney.

    Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 08 31 at 03:37 AM • permalink

  19. #18 We can’t even get accurate figures for weather that’s happened and yet eco-mentalists are trying to tell us the future weather!

    Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2006 08 31 at 03:40 AM • permalink

  20. My wife doesn’t accept the “everything I said happened that night did happen” defence, and neither should Australia’s so-called premier newspaper? If it’s wrong, I doubt it will ever recover.

    Posted by Hanyu on 2006 08 31 at 03:51 AM • permalink

  21. It’s funny. I would have thought the lefties could use this as a rare chance to really lay the boot into Murdoch and News Ltd (owners of The Australian).

    It seems however, they may be too distracted laying the boot into Jews.

    Posted by Dan Lewis on 2006 08 31 at 04:08 AM • permalink

  22. Perhaps we must appeal to the Enhanced Copenhagen Interpretation of macroscale quantum Lebanese ambulances. They continue to exist in a superposition of alternative states even when they have been observed. 

    This business with Mr. Chulov doesn’t actually surprise me at all. He has for a long time now been one of those correspondents whose work I automatically skip over when I see their byline, because experience has taught me that they can’t be trusted in their selection or interpretation of reported events.

    Posted by SteveGW on 2006 08 31 at 04:17 AM • permalink

  23. “Everything I said happened that night did happen,” he said.

    Now remind me - what did I say last time?

    Posted by Mr Hackenbacker on 2006 08 31 at 04:17 AM • permalink

  24. If you look at the hole in the roof of that ambulance it is quite obvious that those evil Zionists have developed the ultimate WMD - air to surface angle grinders. No muslim emergency services vehicle will be safe! Not even SPECTRE could come up with something so diabolical. God help us all.

    Posted by EliotNess on 2006 08 31 at 04:46 AM • permalink

  25. It seems poor old Chulov, whether wittingly or unwittingly, has had the misfortune to base the majority of his story on the ramblings of an incoherent fool/hizbollocks sympathiser who can’t get even the basic “facts” right from one retelling to the next….

    I’d feel sorry for him, if it didn’t show what a amateurish @rsehole he was who contines to try to cover his butt rather than ‘fess up to the truth, which really makes you then wonder how “innocent” he really is???

    Posted by casanova on 2006 08 31 at 04:53 AM • permalink

  26. Is Marky Mk III “related” to Miranda Divide?  Very similar logic processes (ie nil).

    Both are cheerleaders for the guys that cut off people’s heads on video and think mass murder by Islamo-facists is a good day’s work.  You seem to be very happy that they’re “winning” Marky - something you’re not telling us?

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 08 31 at 04:56 AM • permalink

  27. I also want to shake the hand of the Israeli pilot who could surgically insert a missile into a car leaving an almost perfect rectangular hole on the roof and the windscreen intact.

    I always wanted a sun roof.

    Posted by saint on 2006 08 31 at 05:00 AM • permalink

  28. So, the latest Israeli secret weapon is a missile that is rectangular, rather then round like most, can be fired from either an Apache or a drone (if you smoke enough hashish they could be one in the same), specifically targets ambulances, can penetrate the roof of a moving vehicle with pin-point precision, cuts its way into the roof like an angle grinder, and then does not blow the vehicle and occupants to kingdom come. I’d be asking for my money back from the arms manufacturer.

    Posted by EliotNess on 2006 08 31 at 05:22 AM • permalink

  29. I think the Australian was quietly hanging Mr Chlov out to dry. They accepted his original story, seeming to back up what should be a reputable organisation. The sheer weight or “newsies” reporting the story would seem to back him up.
    They have then given him the chance to investigate futher and reported his findings. They have been a little too dismissive of Zombies blog, but Im sure it has a few bowels twitching in media offices around the Western world.
    They have left themselves a fair bit of wriggle room and can sack the reporter without much reputation damage. They have actually sent him back to double check.
    Others such as someones ABC (not mine) are content to keep playing the “offical” sources and try to hide behind that. Im sorry but if a blogger with access to high res images can do a better job than Australias leading news station I want my 8+1/2 cents a day back.

    Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 08 31 at 05:25 AM • permalink

  30. I knew The Australian and Chulov were rooted when I noticed they were using some of the same arguments as Mr Lefty did the other day.

    Posted by Zuzzy on 2006 08 31 at 05:31 AM • permalink

  31. Look again at that hi-res ambulance photo that someone linked to earlier.

    One thing that struck me as suspicious was that there is rust on some patches of bare metal, but not on other patches.

    Posted by Blithering Bunny on 2006 08 31 at 05:51 AM • permalink

  32. The suspicious thing is that you can still tell it’s an ambulance.

    Posted by EliotNess on 2006 08 31 at 06:04 AM • permalink

  33. Here’s another weird thing.  Shaalan/Shalin/Chalan is said to be 28 and looks about that age. He told Chulov he has been a volunteer RC ambulanceman for 13 years, i.e. since he was 15.

    ?

    Posted by arrowhead ripper on 2006 08 31 at 06:09 AM • permalink

  34. Ha Ha, fuckin’ Marky the fuckin’ Skip, mate… youse are all so sucked in. I was wiff me cousins on holiday in Lebanon when the war started. Me an Ahmed carjacked that ambulance and drove it through the front doors of the mall, mate.

    But there wasn’t no fuckin’ ATM in there anywhere, mate.

    When the cops came they never said nuffin’, mate. An’ all the girls over there are fuckn’ frigid. I’m glad the Australian government finally fuckin’ came and brought us back here.

    No boolshit mate, there’s nuffin’ to fuckin’ do in Lebanon, mate.

    </Rooters>

    Posted by splice on 2006 08 31 at 06:19 AM • permalink

  35. Could Chulov be so clueless not to notice that the story had changed so completely, and precisely in a way to explain the doubts raised by the blogs (which i imagine Chulov outlined when re-interviewing the witnesses). I’d have been more impressed if the witnesses had said ’ we can’t explain it - it was a miracle”

    And before writing the editorial didn’t the Australian editors think for half a second - hmmm story has changed quite a bit. If they did notice and didn’t seek clarification from Chulov they’re frighteningly blase with the truth. Or did they notice and assume that Chulov’s emotive language would cower the dissenters into silence and raise sufficient doubt.

    Posted by Francis H on 2006 08 31 at 06:29 AM • permalink

  36. Marky Mark has been banned. This is the fourth time for him. Reminder to banned trolls who still read this: you are not allowed to sign up under a different email. You may be unbanned if you grovel to the owner of this blog, and he is sufficiently impressed by your apologies and promises to be good to ask me to unban you.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 08 31 at 06:45 AM • permalink

  37. Yes EliotNess, it’s such an amazing weapon that when it fires on cars, it does so twice on different days, in the Bekaa Valley, probably at a point where Lebanese soldiers haven’t ventured since the ceasefire. 

    What amuses me is the discrepancy in the media stories by different media outlets all apparantly from the same source.

    The breathless ITV video at Zombietime has two ambulances, two injured ambos and their fellow colleagues who rescued them, God knows what happened to the patients being transferred -oh yes the injured man and his brain damaged boy (without any markings on the face or arms) who received the additional injuries - although while an ambulance is shown arriving only the ambo drivers are shown bleeding and in shock (too bad about the man with his leg blown off and his brain damaged son, they are not really news), an amateur video apparently taken by the ambulance service of the effects of the strike, video of interior (with no external context so which ambulance is unknown) that does not look like the photos on other media sites of the one with the hole through the top -are we to assume that is ambulance C140 with rego plate 777 not C782 he one with the hole right smack in the middle, photographed in a very strange position both facing the same direction for a patient transfer.

    So many people to track down and compare notes with so many anomalies to track down. And Chulov gives us Qassim again.

    Captain Jacob Dallal did mightily well on the ITV video to keep his composure even when he was cut off when trying to say something like “...what is the context…why are we firing…” only to be interrupted by the ITV tool in Beirut with the statement “With the greatest respect, we are talking the Israeli Army…” the same tool that hyperventilated “This can’t go on, this indiscriminate slaughter of Lebanese civilians”

    Posted by saint on 2006 08 31 at 06:45 AM • permalink

  38. The editorial in The Australian also has a patronising dig at blogs. That made me wonder why they’ve now given Greg Sheridan a pretend blog.
    Thoroughly Chulovian I thought.

    Anyway, the wider context for today’s embarrassing leader is the newspaper’s campaign to discredit Alexander Downer - whose resignation an unnamed editorialist for The Australian has called for over the AWB affair. The national daily hoped to create momentum for the biggest resignation in the Howard government’s history but has woefully failed in this endeavour. Part of the reason they failed is that their coverage of the Cole inquiry has been hysterical and dishonest. Their resentment boiled over today with this hilarious attempt to argue that the people who told Chulov a pack of lies must now be believed because he checked with the liars a second time.

    This calls to mind that tragi-comic day in 1955 when Dr Evatt assured the Parliament that Foreign Minister Molotov had confirmed to him in writing that the Russians weren’t spying on Australia.

    The “quality broadsheet” then deliberately left out the real story: that Chulov’s two accounts differed - thus solidifying claims of manipulation and concoction. That’s to say nothing of the newspaper having modestly scooped the defence industry roundsmen by introducing the world to a hitherto unknown smart bomb - one that creates precision sun-roofs after being deployed from anything from a helicopter to a slingshot.

    Posted by C.L. on 2006 08 31 at 06:50 AM • permalink

  39. Daddy Dave on prior thread: 

    The Australian’s defense is that


    This newspaper was aware of the website claims but, rather than accept them at face value, dispatched reporter Martin Chulov to review the evidence and reinterview those involved

    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Martin Chulov one of the original reporters of the story?  Am I to understand that an editor of a major newspaper sent out a person to verify the accuracy of a claim that the same person published?

    Ok, now this changes things.  The whole treatment by the Australian has been bungled and the veracity of the claims have been tainted.  They might be very well correct, but they’ve been tainted. 

    Even if nothing else comes from this, the editor should be sacked for that bungle alone.

    Posted by wronwright on 2006 08 31 at 07:01 AM • permalink

  40. Their resentment boiled over today with this hilarious attempt to argue that the people who told Chulov a pack of lies must now be believed because he checked with the liars a second time.

    Exactly, C.L. Is there anyone who doesn’t find this utterly bizarre?

    Posted by benson swears a lot on 2006 08 31 at 07:01 AM • permalink

  41. One thing the Viper picture linked to demonstrates, is that no rocket with significant wings or fins went through that hole in the roof. I think we can safely conclude it was no Viper or close cousin.

    Posted by observa on 2006 08 31 at 07:10 AM • permalink

  42. It was the C.I. bloody A. I’ve remembered a precedent. The JFK assassination and the
    ‘magic bullet’. (As you can see I have irrefutable proof from this beyond doubt source…) Anyway, the bullet just got refined to a missile rocket bomb, well, something bigger than a bullet.

    Posted by kae on 2006 08 31 at 07:14 AM • permalink

  43. A large explosion thundered into Shalin’s ambulance.

    I think the answer is it wasn’t Shalin’s ambulance, it was a Shaolin ambulance.

    Posted by wronwright on 2006 08 31 at 07:14 AM • permalink

  44. The Australian has now joined the ranks of The Age and SMH with it’s defence of this hoax.
    I wrote to the editor of The Age, and he said they are standing by the story because they go it from the LA Times, whose reporter was standing by the story.  The LA Times for gods sake!

    Tim, as respected journalist, please ask The Australian to give equal time to the opposing view and print the whole zombietime analysis, with photos, and let Australians decide who is right and who is wrong.

    They won’t listen to us proles, but maybe you can get them to do something.

    Martin Chulov’s patronising crap is the same as what Reuters came back with first on the doctored photos, and AP tried to put down EUreferendums Qana propaganda analysis with the same ‘we are smart, you are dumb’ approach.

    The Australian has just gone done enormously in my estimation.

    Posted by Moriarty on 2006 08 31 at 07:14 AM • permalink

  45. With the inconsistencies between Mr Chulov’s original story and his defence I cannot help but think he is not much of an investigative journalist. His defence consists of “he investigated the next day and asked what happened”. I’m sure glad the men who investigated Watergate didn’t have his investigative skills or lack of them.

    He has not answered one question raised by the Zombietime website. In fact the numerous versions of this story throughout the media, each one different from the next, I cannot help but think that the standard of journalism has been completely sloppy in regards to this story. Hearsay accepted without facts checked. You wander why the general public is sceptical about the main stream media. I will not be passing judgment until some hard questions are answered.

    Posted by JackyM on 2006 08 31 at 07:14 AM • permalink

  46. Neglected to mention my previous comment is a copy a letter I sent to the Australian.

    Will Mr Chulove walk the blank. Won’t hold my breath.

    Posted by JackyM on 2006 08 31 at 07:20 AM • permalink

  47. 1. Chulov wasn’t a witness to the incident so he can’t definitively ascribe a source.
    2. Two ambulances? Why are there no photos of the second?
    2. Bare steel will form a visible film of rust within an hour or two under almost any conditions. Ask a panelbeater.
    3. Shrapnel and scorch marks on the outside of the ambulance’s roof indicate that something exploded close to the roof (possibly on top of the vent).
    4. Ahmed Mohammed Fawaz was reportedly at the open side door and had his leg serously injured. He also reportedly suffered serious burns. Yet the upholstery inside the door shows no damage and the side door, although torn off, does not appear otherwise damaged or distorted.
    5. Explosions don’t suck so how did the windscreen end up falling inside the van?

    My guess? Mo Fawaz, off duty or perhaps AWOL, is hanging out with his Hezbo mates and gets cauught by an incoming. Oh f*ck, there goes my job and pension. Then either he or his Hezbo mates call the other driver to bring in the ambulance. A grenade or small IED is then detonated on top of the roof vent. Voila! Two heroes and a war crime.

    Posted by Hobbes on 2006 08 31 at 07:29 AM • permalink

  48. #32 LOL

    The suspicious thing is that you can still tell it’s an ambulance.


    Guess you ain’t called EliotNess for nuthin’.

    Posted by kae on 2006 08 31 at 07:31 AM • permalink

  49. O/T

    I’m recording “The Falling Man”. It’s on in the room, I can just see the TV.

    Film of the second plane with the sound of bystanders has just been shown. I have goosebumps. It’s still horrific - 5 years later it’s like yesterday, it’s real.

    Those poor people with no chance of survival.

    Posted by kae on 2006 08 31 at 07:37 AM • permalink

  50. Hope none of these questions are repeats, but has anyone noticed in the hi-res photo:

    1. the slit holes on the roof show signs of depression inwards into the van?  How could that be if the alleged missile entered cleanly through the top, and then supposedly exploded inside?

    2. the slit marks don’t all point towards one source of explosion?  And presumably there has been no evidence in the interior of shrapnel ricocheting.  So how could they all come from a single point simultaneously?

    3. the marks that didn’t penetrate the roof are on the outside of the roof, not the inside?  Does that mean that the missile would have had to have exploded outside of the vehicle?  But isn’t it claimed the missile created the hole, and would have gone inside the vehicle first before detonating?  And if outside the vehicle, then why isn’t the front light mount also pocked with marks?

    4. there is rust on some of the marks but not others?  Wouldn’t this imply the damage was not all from a single incident in time?

    Explanations welcome.

    Posted by angela on 2006 08 31 at 07:39 AM • permalink

  51. I’m sure glad the men who investigated Watergate didn’t have his investigative skills or lack of them.

    Actually, they did. Like all modern reporters, Woodward and Bernstein relied on an anonymous source; they wouldn’t have had anything unless they were fed the story.

    Posted by Rob Crawford on 2006 08 31 at 07:40 AM • permalink

  52. I have to agree with many of the commenters here. I used to read the Australian every day but it has declined in quality in recent years. In particular, I’ve been less than impressed by its hysterical and unsubstantiated campaign against Downer over AWB. (I’ll add that I’d be happy to see Downer pay if it can be proven that he had anything to do with AWB but the Australian has turned up nothing despite plenty of effort.)

    This affair is just another nail in the coffin for what was a quality newspaper.

    Posted by Art Vandelay on 2006 08 31 at 07:43 AM • permalink

  53. oh, and while I’m ranting, has anyone happened to read ABC journo Jonathan Harley’s book (Lost in Transmission)?

    It’s an interesting insight into how little some journalists know about the world around them. I was stunned at his lack of knowledge about the Taliban (in spite of the fact that he was chosen to be the ABC’s correspondant in that part of the world).

    One thing is quite relevant to the current debate: he didn’t have a clue about anything military.

    So should we be surprised when they get confused about drones, Apaches, missiles, bombs, explosions etc?

    Posted by Art Vandelay on 2006 08 31 at 07:59 AM • permalink

  54. I think everybody’s overlooking a distinct possibility. Perhaps the Muslim occupants of the ambulance(s) and the press van were overcome with a bout of trigger-joy, and just started firing their weapons in the air, forgetting for the moment that they were in close confinement.

    Posted by paco on 2006 08 31 at 08:06 AM • permalink

  55. How many ambulances are involved in this story?

    Where the number of ambulances were mentioned in the accounts cited in Zombie’s analysis, there were 2 ambulances involved. One ambulance from Tyre going to meet the second ambulance from Tibnin carrying injured patients.

    In this latest version from Chulov, there are 3 ambulances. 2 have been dispatched from Tyre to meet the another ambulance from Tibnin.

    As the injured had just been loaded there had to be 3 ambulances at the scene. Every other report had 1 ambulance coming from each location. The inconsistencies in this tale are multiplying rapidly.

    Posted by amortiser on 2006 08 31 at 09:19 AM • permalink

  56. Hobbes at #47 has my support.

    My opinion is that someone either threw or placed a small anti personnel hand grenade or similar sized IED on the roof of the vehicle, which blew off the air vent, caused the shrapnel holes surounding the point of explosion, and the partial burning of the exterior paint.

    The interior destruction of the vehicle does not even remotely match the effects of a missile or explosive shell penetrating the vehicle’s skin. The windscreen and windows would be be blown outwards, not inwards, there would be scorch and shrapnel marks far more visible on the softer internal components, etc etc etc.

    I won’t go on debunking this story,  there are people who are much more experienced and skilled in military matters than me who have put their analysis and conclusions on the record.

    I had a few years in the military, and have seen the effects of a few explosions. This was NOT an airborne missile as claimed by the Hezbollocks or their puppets. I believe it was staged for propaganda purposes, fed to Reuters and the international press, who swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

    Why did they swallow this BS? Because they wanted it to be true.

    Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2006 08 31 at 09:20 AM • permalink

  57. Excellent!  I’m impressed, people.  And not with the Australian and that so-called investigative reporter, Chulov (I sense a new word entering the vocabulary…..).

    As for the troll known as Marky…...I checked out that Viper Strike link.  I’m not a bona fide expert on this, but I have some comments to lay out.

    Here’s the text in full, with relevant parts highlighted, and suitable comments inserted:

    Viper Strike is a gliding munition capable of stand-off precision attack using GPS-aided navigation and a semi-active laser seeker. It is intended for operations that require a flexible angle of inclination (steep or shallow), particularly in mountainous terrain or built-up areas where strict rules of engagement are in force. Its small size and precision provide for low collateral damage in cluttered urban environments.

    OK, one can see how people would see this as a candidate for the “mystery” weapon that “hit” the ambulance.  The write up explicitly states that this is intended for low collateral damage.

    The weapon was developed as a derivative of the autonomous Brilliant Attack Munitions (BAT) Submunitions during a quick reaction, nine-week program at Northrop Grumman’s Land Combat Systems facility at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala.

    Not really important, but it does highlight that this weapon is a very recent development.  Rapid developments like this are due to an immediate need pushed through the procurement system.  This is just for context.

    The weapon is suitable for operations that require top-down attack, particularly in built-up areas where strict rules of engagement are in force. It requires a “man in the loop” to lase the target, either from the ground in sight of the target or from directly by the UAV, controlled from the ground station, a process which ensures the greatest possible accuracy and minimizes the chances of collateral damage.

    The target must be lased to be hit by this weapon…..it’s a long stretch to think that an IDF soldier was on the ground in line-of-sight to the ambulance.  Thus, if this weapon was used, it had to come from a drone.

    The Viper Strike’s warhead is smaller than the hellfire’s, which is used with the US Air Force armed Predator UAVs, containing only four pounds of Anti-Tank High Explosive (HEAT) charge, for reduced collateral damage in an urban built-up area. It also has a self-destruct mechanism, to eliminate post-strike hazards. The final version of Viper Strike could be equipped with fragmentation belt as well as an optional blast fragmentation and thermobaric warhead.

    Again, I point this out for context.  The weapon, as of September 2005, was still under development.  That’s a year ago.  For a detailed write up, that’s odd.  I couldn’t find any more recent publications. 

    Now, it is a special operations forces (SOF) weapon.  The final deployment may have been classified.  But I rather doubt it.  The broad details are out there, and there’s a reason why we see examples of high precision weapons in action on the INTERNET: it sends a message to the terrorists that we can find you and kill you.  That’s a solid psychological edge.

    So it’s a stretch to think that this weapon has been fully deployed.  It’s a feather in the cap for the industry and military if they have developed such a weapon, especially if they can actually kill terrorists while minimizing the risk to bystanders.  I think they would have, at the very least, issued a press release.

    By late 2004 the US Army deployed to Iraq some Viper Strike munitions with MQ-5 Hunter unit. There were no details about combat engagements of these weapons. In 2005 Northrop Grumman continued development of the weapon, and is preparing to test it with MQ-1 armed Predator and AC-130 gunships, which will use the weapon as a stand-off precision guided munition (SOPGM). Ac-130 integration with Viper Strike is currently developed under a Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for an advanced technology demonstration (ACTD). The first phase of the program is scheduled for completion by December 2006. The weapon is being updated with additional GPS guidance system and fragmentation belt, placed around the shaped charge warhead.

    Ta da.  The clincher—the development program isn’t over until this year.

    [continued]

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 08 31 at 10:12 AM • permalink

  58. The story went from a helicopter firing a missile to a drone fired missile after Zombie tore apart the account.  I suggest that someone did some reasearch, found the Viper Strike on the INTERNET, read the first 3 paragraphs…..and no further. 

    Since the weapon is under development, and had not been fully deployed in the US military, it’s a stretch to conclude that the Israelis are using the same system, regardless of how they got it. 

    Further, if the ambulance was hit by the Viper Strike, 4 pounds of explosives is going to do a lot more in an enclosed space than wound a couple people and tossed around some contents; the shrapnel from the missile alone would have peppered the vehicle.  Someone else mentioned that the wings would not have created the hole in the photos, and I agree. 

    So I think that someone read the Zombietime fisking, panicked, did some fast Googling to find the Viper, and presented it as the weapon du jour to support the original story.  While forgetting what the original story said, and completely ignoring the physical facts.  Which, oddly enough, describes much of the response from the left over the Israeli-Hezballah war.  Especially the cherry picking of facts.

    All in all, a very poor attempt to cover asses.  Pretty pathetic, in fact.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 08 31 at 10:12 AM • permalink

  59. What is truly depressing about this whole business is the complete lack of skepticism displayed by the media in the area.

    There seems to have been no attempt to check for facts, to look for independent witnesses, to look for the unexploded missile, etc.

    As Pedro (#56 - not so ignorant) points out, it seems that they believed the garbled and inconsistent accounts of the alleged incident because thay wanted it to be true.

    (I note that in none of the Zombietime media quotes does the work “alleged” appear).

    On my frequent vist to Oz, I always pick up the Australian every morning.  I will discontinue this practice until such time as they print a retraction, or at least acknowledge that the evidence for an Israeli attack on RC ambulances is a bit suspicious.

    Posted by jlc on 2006 08 31 at 10:13 AM • permalink

  60. Is that shrapnel on the roof, especially the large bit at bottom left? In the high resolution photo at high magnification it looks like a piece of twisted angle iron rather than shrapnel. And it’s got red paint on the top left of it and a small bit at bottom right. I suppose the missile manufacturers could have splashed a bit of paint on the casing, but how did they know to make it the same colour as the cross on a Lebanese ambulance?

    So did this bit of red-tinged shrapnel bounce around on the roof as they brought the ambulance back, managing to not slide down the incline and fall through the hole with flanges?

    Or was it placed on the roof after they’d stopped?

    Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 08 31 at 10:15 AM • permalink

  61. okay guys, I’ve heard lots of talk about rust, lack of rust, and so on. I’m sure it’s another compelling piece of evidence, but I don’t think the ‘rust’ angle is an attention grabber, unlike the shifting details of the story, the fact that the ambulance is intact (minus a small hole), the non-existent magic missile, and that all variations of the story are completely implausible on their face.

    Posted by daddy dave on 2006 08 31 at 10:29 AM • permalink

  62. that is, unless someone can give a clear, complete explanation of the role that rust, and the lack of rust, plays in undermining the hoax. Keep in mind that Chulov has already addressed the rust issue.
    If not, let’s focus our efforts on things that will really stick.

    Posted by daddy dave on 2006 08 31 at 10:37 AM • permalink

  63. #58 The_Real_JeffS

    All in all, a very poor attempt to cover asses.  Pretty pathetic, in fact.

    The depressing part is that soooo much of the media is apparently complicit in this type of deception.
    They don’t really need to cover their asses do they?

    Posted by Mike_W on 2006 08 31 at 10:52 AM • permalink

  64. They don’t really need to cover their asses do they?

    They need to present a facade of credibility, Mike_W.  And it’s the facade that’s cracking.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 08 31 at 11:16 AM • permalink

  65. It looks to me like some of the shrapnel hits are on top of the rust spots. Eg, the lower left region of the high res photo of the hole, or near the largish gash.

    It looks to me like the damage is ore consistent with some damage weeks or months ago, and then more recently someone dropped a small frag grenade on the roof. Vehicles hit by Hellfires are twisted wreckage.

    Posted by Ernst Blofeld on 2006 08 31 at 12:06 PM • permalink

  66. Everything I said happened that night did happen

    I had to recalibrate the Plausibility Meter (Paco Industries, six easy payments of $19.95) to nanoyeahrights to get a reading on this statement, and even then it barely made the needle twitch.

    Posted by Achillea on 2006 08 31 at 01:09 PM • permalink

  67. it barely made the needle twitch.

    It twitched? In that case, my advice is to stop bumping the table…

    Posted by benson swears a lot on 2006 08 31 at 02:31 PM • permalink

  68. The Israeli-made drones have many types of missiles, but the most regularly used has a small warhead designed for use in urban areas. It aims not to kill anyone outside a small zone and rarely leaves a calling card outside its target.

    OK, got it.  The Israelis are deliberately targeting civilians in crowded urban settings, and because they are such eeeeevil Joos! JOOS! JOOOOOOOOS! they have, um, designed a weapon that makes a smaller explosion to do it… wait a sec…

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 08 31 at 08:23 PM • permalink

  69. Currency Lad has already addressed the revenge strike of using AWB rumours to punish Downer over daring to question their veracity and accuracy.

    But the circling of the media wagons extended far beyond the Australian - the sudden descision to push the WMD hunt memo story - over which there have been no new developments since April 2004 - and which suddenly dominated news about Downer for the news cycle just subsequent to his pointing out how devastating zombie’s post is to media credibility - strikes me as very sinister.

    It might also be pointed out in realtion to the whole AWB story that it was itself a deeply corrupt narrative. The MSM in Australia gave only the most cursory coverage to the Oil for Food scandal (which they had missed entirely , and was largely uncovered and pushed as a result of both the invasion and the work of journalists well outside the MSM’s left leaning establishment). Of course as soon as their was an angle that could be used against class enemies the story was carried aggressively, but almost entirely stripped of the context - the AWB was operating in a sink of corruption that was made in the UN - and no-one has asked why it was that despite numerous intimations that the OIl for food was deeply corrupt the liberal media were so uninterested in it until they realsised that they could attack Howard and the AWB.

    Posted by genwolf on 2006 09 01 at 12:27 AM • permalink

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