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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Sep 22nd
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Analysis arrow The Long, Deceptive Arm of TERROR, INC.
The Long, Deceptive Arm of TERROR, INC. PDF Print E-mail
Written by W. Thomas Smith Jr.   
Wednesday, 18 June 2008

W. Thomas Smith Jr.
W. Thomas Smith Jr.

On Monday, New York-based World TV, which bills itself as “the leading source of international programming in North America,” announced “the launch of Lebanon’s OTV on its direct-to-home platform in the United States as an encrypted service.”

You’ll recall – from my previous pieces – OTV (Orange TV) is a publicly traded satellite television company that was founded last year by retired Lebanese Army Gen. Michel Aoun (who is a professed ally of the terrorist-group Hezbollah) and his Free Patriotic Movement. Both Aoun and the FPM continue to have a heavy hand in OTV’s news broadcasts. But for the obvious sake of “cleaning its face,” OTV claims that because it is publicly traded, it is now only “affiliated” with Aoun and the FPM, and even that affiliation is – as Aoun’s supporters say – “unofficial.”

But there is much more to this than Hezbollah or Aoun and his cronies would have us believe.

In January, I reported a story in which ABC News had run a segment, Deadly Attack in Lebanon, regarding the assassination of Capt. Wissam Eid, an intelligence officer with Lebanon’s Interior Security Forces (national police).

ABC was correct in its decision to run the segment. It was an important story. But my beef – and that of the leadership of Lebanon’s pro-democracy Cedars Revolution – was with the footage a major American television network had used without any disclaimer.

The footage, which may be viewed here, originated with OTV.

As I said then, “this may seem somewhat innocuous,” except for the fact that Aoun and his FPM are closely allied to Hezbollah, a “foreign terrorist organization” so-designated by the U.S. State Department.

Hezbollah is perhaps the most-dangerous Talibanesque terrorist-army on the planet. The organization is trained, armed and equipped, operationally supported, and heavily funded by Iran (at least $ one-billion, annually); and operationally supported by Syria. In fact, Hezbollah is so dangerous – and gaining in its global strength and influence – that Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff recently warned, the organization “makes Al Qaeda look like a minor league team.”

Hezbollah also has a growing and incredibly influential telecommunications and media arm, which operates both openly and in the shadows. The organization’s media arm is overt in that it owns and operates newspapers, websites (including a stable-full of bloggers and blogging-sympathizers and apologists), and radio and television stations. And it is covert in its effective ability to penetrate Western media and generally threaten, win-over, or pay-off – with Iranian petrodollars — seemingly objective journalists and news desks. Hezbollah also is able to further its deception and propaganda through its allied news organizations, which most news-consumers in the West are completely unaware of.
Last October, Counterterrorism Blog reported:

“The joint venture between Hezbollah and the ‘Free Patriotic Movement’ of former General Michel Aoun is growing stronger by the day. Since Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization by the U.S. Government, and its Al Manar television network are banned from transmitting to the U.S., they are now relying on the media outlet of former General Michel Aoun, Orange TV, to spread Iranian-inspired Jihadist propaganda and ideology.” 

Of course, Hezbollah’s and Aoun’s supporters will argue that because OTV is publicly traded, it is off-the-hook. Yet OTV continues to serve as a mouthpiece for Aoun, and has aired lengthy conversations with Aoun and Hezbollah’s secretary general Hassan Nasrallah.

Supporters of OTV also argue that Al Jazeera, with its often pro-Jihadist slant is slowly being accepted into the mainstream (which also amazes me), as should OTV.

But the public does have some understanding of the reality that much – if not all — of what Al Jazeera airs and publishes must be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. The public knows Al Jazeera really cannot be taken as a source of objective news: and the experts consider it to be more of an open-source of intelligence.

Americans see the Al Jazeera tapes of Osama bin Laden broadcast on all of the mainstream television networks. But that’s because Al Jazeera is the broadcasting company the terrorists use. That’s the originator of the tapes as far as the general public is concerned.

As I wrote in January for Family Security Matters, “Al Jazeera’s agenda has been widely publicized – the name itself is a walking disclaimer of sorts – so we all take what that company broadcasts with a proverbial grain of salt. It is, after all, Al Jazeera, and we understand exactly for what purposes their footage is broadcast.”
I also reported that few Americans have ever heard of “Orange TV or al Manar, for that matter: the latter being Hezbollah’s television station. Al Manar was at one time being broadcast via satellite over much of Europe, Africa, and the Far East until the U.S. government and others shut down much of that company’s overseas broadcasting operations. And when it was discovered that some American companies were continuing to advertise on al Manar in Lebanon, they too were pressed to pull out … and did.”
Nevertheless, World TV has announced the launch of OTV in America.

A quick call to World TV’s press office revealed what I already suspected, the very charming press officer on the other end of the line was completely unaware of the connection. “We have nothing to do with Hezbollah,” she said. And I certainly believe she was telling me the truth as she understood it to be. I don’t blame her, nor can I lay all of this at the feet of her company. The blame can only be found in the depth of Hezbollah’s media deception.

Therein lies the problem. Almost no one understands how deep that deception runs, except perhaps Nasrallah, Aoun, the Iranians, the Syrians, and the good guys on our side who are feverishly working to connect the dots in this asymmetrically complex war on terror.

— W. Thomas Smith Jr.


NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not represent the opinions of World Defense Review and its affiliates. WDR accepts no responsibility whatsoever for the accuracy or inaccuracy of the content of this or any other story published on this website. Copyright and all rights for this story (and all other stories by the author) are held by the author.

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