Saida, lies and videotape

Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV has cast doubt on the infamous “Ya Zainab” video now being circulated widely to allegeldy prove Hezbollah troops were involved in the Saida battle of last week.

But an intrepid Al Manar reporter has deconstructed the video, which purportedly shows Army members screaming “Ya Zainab” as they haul away a combatant. According to Future TV and other Hariri-associated news outlets, the footage proves that the party was involved in the fighting–“Ya Zainab” reportedly a Hezbollah battle cry associated with Shia religiosity.

But in a nod to the Discovery Channel series “MythBusters,” an Al Manar reporter has dramatically reenacted the scene (accompanied by triumphant music), arguing that the soldiers’ voices could not have been captured at that distance and that the audio may have been added.  

The reporter also takes issue with Future TV’s claim that non-uniformed Hezbollah fighters appear to fighting alongside the army in these shots:

By publishing an Army statement that says these men were in fact undercover Lebanese security agents.

Now Future TV has responded to the Al Manar package by broadcasting yet another grainy video of an alleged Hezbollah fighter engaged with the army on the scene.

“So you say the last video was fabricated. What about this video then,” asks Future TV show host Nadim Koteich, with trial attorney flare:

But what Koteich does not do is respond specifically to the Al Manar deconstruction, and the possible peddling of false claims or doctored video on his show a day earlier.

There’s something disconcerting about moving on to vague new claims while abandoning those of yesterday when they are disputed.

Perhaps Koteich’s most interesting line is where he asks for more transparency from the army on what really happened in Saida last week.

At this point it seems someone has to be lying–or is it everyone?