Guerrillas like to hide behind civilians. Muslim guerrillas take it a step further: "Civilians" are a weapon to them -- as much a part of the fight as the AK-47 or RPG they carry.
Those who have visited any Hezbollah installation in Lebanon over the years always remark on the fact that there are families, women and children, in and around the place. "Secret" bases are usually hidden in plain site. Houses or apartment buildings become weapons storage or even operations centers. An innocent shed or garage may contain a Toyota or a missile launcher.
Seldom, if ever, has a guerrilla movement been able to so openly and exquisitely weave itself into the fabric of a society as Hezbollah has done in Lebanon.
If the civilians in and around what are in effect operational bases happen to be of Hezbollah's own brand of Islam they automatically become a part of the "sacrificial," suicidal equation. Often without choice or foreknowledge, they die an "honorable" death in the battle against infidels or apostates.
If the civilians happen to be of some other persuasion, Islamic or otherwise, their deaths are not even worth a shrug. However, these mangled bodies and wailing women with arms outstretched do provide an immense propaganda payoff, especially in the Western "crusader" media -- which still places a quaint value on human life.
The gullible "crusader media" leftist dupes from BBC and CNN just lap up the horrific video and sound bites offered them by destroyed civilian homes and lives in Lebanon. Then they take a perfunctory glance at Israel, just to provide "balance." Of course, two minutes of Israel hardly balances 13 minutes of Lebanon. And the breathless reporters in Beirut berate the destruction of the Shi'ite neighborhoods there without providing the perspective that these banlieues are where the Hezbollah get their banking, weapons storage and other logistical/financial support that sustains their murderous terrorist adventures into Israel.
But it's pretty clear with the neutrality of the NYT and Kos, and the open hostility of the European media and wire services to Israel's retaliatory strategy and tactics, [not to mention American politicos like Kerry and Dean] that Hezbollah's propaganda is successful in many countries that should know better in Europe and outside the Middle East.
Granting moral equivalence to a non-governmental terrorist organization promises to be a mistake these short-sighted leftists will rue in the future, when the Muslims invited into their European homelands begin to terrorize first Jewish, then Christian opponents of the Islamic drive to dominate the world.
These short-sighted newsies scoff at that possibility, but a lot of CA-RAY-ZEE religious fanatics, supporting either or both Hamas and Hezbollah, see destroying Israel as just the edge of the wedge to overcoming western civilization.
Samuel Huntington foresaw a clash of civilizations---let's not write him off as just a scaremonger.