August 31, 2006
Early in the recent Lebanon war, the blogosphere revealed the fabrication of images by Reuters, whose reputation is now in shreds among those dwindling numbers in the western mainstream media who still acknowledge there is such a thing as the truth. Since then, the nature and scale of the various frauds perpetrated by the media during that war put those doctored Reuters pictures into the shade. The western media are no longer merely producing questionable professional practices in reporting a war. They are now active participants in it — and on the wrong side of history.
In short, much of the most incendiary media coverage of this war seems to have been either staged or fabricated. The big question is why the western media would perpetrate such institutionalised mendacity. Many ancillary reasons come to mind. There is the reliance upon corrupted news and picture agencies which employ Arab propagandists as stringers and cameramen. There is the herd mentality of the media which decides collectively what the story is. There is the journalists’ fear for their personal safety if they report the truth about terrorist outfits. There is the difficulty of discovering the truth from undemocratic regimes and terrorist organisations. There is the language barrier; there is professional laziness; there is the na?ve inability to acknowledge the depths of human evil and depravity; there is the moral inversion of the left which believes that western truth-tellers automatically tell lies, while third world liars automatically tell the truth.
But the big answer is that the western media transmit the lies of Hezbollah because they want to believe them. And that’s because the Big Lie these media tell — and have themselves been told — about Israel and its place in history and in the world today has achieved the status of unchallengeable truth. The plain fact is that western journalists were sent to cover the war being waged against Israel from Lebanon as a war being waged by Israel against Lebanon. And that’s because that’s how editors think of the Middle East: that the whole ghastly mess is driven by Israel’s actions, and that therefore it is only Israel’s aggression which is the story to be covered. Thus history is inverted, half a century of Jewish victimisation is erased from public consciousness, victims are turned into aggressors and genocidal mass murderers turned into victims, and ignorance and prejudice stalk England’s once staunch and stalwart land.
That’s why the fact that hundreds of thousands of refugees from the north of Israel fled to the shelter of strangers in the south; that within one third of Israel, those too poor or old or handicapped or disadvantaged to seek refuge elsewhere were forced to live in shelters for a month in great hardship; that the entire economy of northern Israel was effectively shut down for a month; that thousands of rockets were fired at northern Israel, hundreds every day, many times more than were daily fired at Britain during the Blitz — that’s why none of this was reported in Britain (where as a result such facts, when now related, are received with open-mouthed astonishment) because journalists were told to ignore it all since that wasn’t the story their editors wanted. Israel’s victimisation simply was not, could not, be the story. The only story was Israel’s aggression. But that story is a Big Lie. So a host of lies were transmitted to support it.
Certain conclusions are now inescapable. First, hatred of Israel and the irrationality associated with that hatred have now reached unprecedented proportions within Britain and the west. Second, with a few honourable exceptions the mainstream media are no longer to be believed in anything they transmit, either in words or pictures, about the Middle East. It is only the blogosphere which is now performing the most elementary disciplines of journalism: to aspire to objectivity, to separate facts from prejudices, to apply basic checks to claims being made by partisans to a conflict, and to be particularly wary of those with a proven track record of lying. Third, the mainstream media must now be regarded as active accessories to the war being waged against the free world and therefore as a fifth column in that world – an enemy within. Fourth, the impact of the lies and distortions transmitted by the mainstream media in inflaming the already pathological hatred of the west within the Arab and Muslim world is incalculable. Fifth, the mainstream media’s vilification, demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel, based on outright fabrications and malevolent distortions, is imperilling the very existence of the country that is the front line of defence of the free world. Sixth, that vilification is also imperilling the safety and well-being of Jewish communities around the world, subject now to the double victimisation of attack by Islamists and attack by non-Muslims for belonging to a Jewish people that refuses to submit passively to a second attempt at genocidal slaughter and instead fights to defend itself.
To date, as far as I can determine, not one mainstream editor or proprietor has acknowledged this corruption of the western media. The scale of this corruption now threatens to have a lethal impact on the course of human history. Hatred now drives not just the jihadists but their western dupes, too. Truth and freedom are indivisible. The deconstruction of the former inevitably presages the destruction of the latter. This is the way a civilisation dies.
The Palestinian prime minister, Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh, is shocked. He claims that without his government’s knowledge, the until-now unknown terrorist group Holy Jihad Brigades kidnapped two Western journalists (who have since been released) in Gaza.
Have Haniyeh and Hamas forgotten their own terrorist habits? When they were out of power, Hamas “militants” kidnapped and bombed without permission from the Palestinian Authority. That irony of wanting it both ways recalls the ancient historian Thucydides’ warning not “to annul those common laws of humanity to which all trust for their own hope of deliverance should they ever be overtaken by calamity; forgetting that in their own hour of need they will look for them in vain.”
The same freelance terrorism goes on in Lebanon despite the grumbles of the country’s “government.” Who, if anyone, is responsible for disarming Hezbollah terrorists? And what faction in Lebanon can officially make peace — or even war — with the Israelis?
At the other end of the spectrum, a similar problem of illegitimacy arises when a few thugs, not various tribes, run things. Strongmen in Syria, the Gulf, North Africa and Egypt may enforce order, but they are as illegitimate as the chaotic non-state militias and terrorists that sometimes succeed them. When a country is in a state of perpetual martial law, no one really knows the sentiments of the silenced population.
So, should the United States be tough or friendly with law-and-order types like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, the Gulf sheiks or Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi? Lecturing them risks the short-term anger of their state-run media, which slander America. But such pressure also offers the hope that someday the people in these leaders’ countries will appreciate the principled American support for reformers.
When Middle-Eastern dictatorships like Iran or Syria hate us, their savvy people seem to like us. But when we prop up Egyptian or Gulf autocracies, their citizens scapegoat the United States.
Messy democracy is probably coming one way or another to the region. Sticking to the bitter end with authoritarians will only eventually usher in a more extreme reaction. But by supporting the rule of constitutional law, we have the best chance of seeing moderates like Hamad Karzai in Afghanistan or Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq come to power.
Why should the United States commit resources to help reform a dysfunctional Middle East? Many reasons — both practical and humanitarian — come to mind.
First, Islamic terrorism, as we learned well enough five years ago, has a global reach. Even just a few operatives are able to destroy the foundations of Western air travel, finance and civic trust. These terrorists are encouraged by their patron autocrats, who manage to shift the blame for their failures onto the West.
Second, the tyrannies of the Middle East export much of the world’s oil. The amount of petroleum they are willing to pump and sell can determine the pulse of the world economy. And much of the funding for terrorism worldwide has come out of the billions in annual petro-profits, which through private and public channels are paid covertly to terrorists both in admiration and as blackmail.
Third, both militias and dictatorships — whether led by the Taliban, Iranian mullahs, Saddam Hussein or the late Hafez al-Assad — have butchered thousands of innocents.
And fourth, tiny Israel is a successful, humane, democratic Western state that would be overwhelmed if the U.S. left the region.
The Middle East’s long-term health is, thus, critical to the security of the West. True, it is easy now to call the supporters of democracy in the Middle East naive — given the savagery in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan; the elected terrorists on the West Bank; and the deeply entrenched tribalism, fundamentalism and gender apartheid that thwarts liberal change so violently.
But a word of caution: We long tried almost everything else. Accepting dictators on their own terms did not bring stability, but constant war, oil embargoes and terrorism from the 1960s onward. Replying to two decades of terrorist attacks, from the Iranian hostage taking in 1979 to the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, with indictments and a few cruise missiles only emboldened the jihadists. And staging coups or propping up authoritarians in Iran or the Gulf simply radicalized the Middle East.
In truth, fostering democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq was not our first, but last choice. It was not a good option, only a bad one when the other alternatives had proven far worse. What the U.S. is trying to do in the Middle East is costly, easily made fun of and unappreciated. But constitutional government is one course that might someday free Middle Easterners from kidnappings, suicide bombers and dictators in sunglasses.
That’s in our interest and theirs alike.
Obersalzberg wants to change its image…..
By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Aug 23, 2006
|OBSESSION is one of the most informative websites regarding the deceitful ploys of Islam.
On the Obsession site, there is provided a timeline of Islamic killings and woundings recorded since 1968. Below is an abbreviation of that timeline.
Read it and be informed:
In July 1968, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked Israeli El Al Airplanes.
In 1970, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) killers attacked bus in West Bank, killing Barbara Ertle of Michigan and wounding two others from the US.
In March 1970, PFLP lodged rockets at US Embassy, Beirut, as well as the American Insurance Company, Bank of America and John F. Kennedy library.
In September 1970, PFLP murderers took hold of four airliners, three of which were blown up.
In March 1972, PFLP engaged the Japanese Red Army to machine-gun and grenade attack Israel’s main airport. Twenty-six were slain, 78 wounded, many from the US.
In September 1972, Arab killers attacked Olympic Village, Munich, Germany, kidnapping nine Israelis and slaying two others. A grenade slaughtered athletes while others were trying to rescue them. A German policeman is slain. Jews killed totaled eleven.
In 1973, Back September Muslim killers slew US ambassador, Cleo A. Noel, and charge d’affaires and a Belgian diplomat.
In June 1976, Arab killers hijacked an………..
Beirut – Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora on Wednesday said he refused to have any direct contact with Israel, and that Lebanon would be the last Arab country to ever sign a peace deal with Israel.
“Let it be clear, we are not seeking any agreement until there is just and comprehensive peace based on the Arab initiative,” he said.
He was referring to a plan that came out of a 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut.
It calls for Israel to return all territories it conquered in the 1967 Mideast war, the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem – all in exchange for peace and full normalisation of Arab relations with Israel.
Israel has long sought a peace deal with Lebanon, but Beirut has hesitated as long as Israel’s conflicts with the Palestinians and Syria remained unresolved.
Saniora said Lebanon wants to go back to the 1949 armistice agreement that formally ended the Arab-Israeli war over Israel’s creation.
Israel hopes for peace
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said earlier on Wednesday that the Israel-Hezbollah ceasefire could be “a cornerstone to build a new reality between Israel and Lebanon.”
Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also said they hoped the ceasefire deal could evolve into a full-fledged peace agreement between Israel and Lebanon.
Implementation of the ceasefire “gives us a foundation to move forward and settle the differences between Israel and Lebanon once and for all, to establish a durable peace,” Annan said.
Compensation for destroyed homes
Also on Wednesday, Saniora said that his government would pay $33 000 per house to compensate residents whose homes were destroyed by Israeli attacks.
The government had been criticised for being slow to respond with financial support for people who lost homes in the fighting.
Saniora said 130 000 housing units had been destroyed or damaged in more than a month of Israeli air strikes and ground fighting with Hezbollah fighters, mostly in south Lebanon. He did not give a breakdown of the completely destroyed houses.
Saniora said he would ask delegates to an international donors’ conference in Sweden on Thursday to take responsibility for rebuilding specific villages hit by Israeli attacks. Organisers of the conference are aiming to raise $500m in aid for Lebanon, Sweden’s aid minister said.
|By Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondent|
Holocaust survivors on Wednesday invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to tour the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and called on the leader in Tehran to invite survivors to a planned conference on the subject of the Holocaust in Iran.
Noach Flug, head of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel (COHSI) offered to host the Iranian leader as a guest of the organization in Auschwitz.
Tehran is set hold a conference on “the reasons for anti-Semitism in Europe, the Holocaust and Zionism” in December. Flug said that the presence of survivors at the event could facilitate a more serious debate on the issue.
Flug, a survivor of Auschwitz, heads an international organization that includes Jewish and non-Jewish survivors of the Holocaust from Poland, Hungary, France, the U.K. and U.S.
The survivor leader told Ahmadinejad that ever since the Iranian leader took office, the group had been closely monitoring his statements and found him to be a “serial Holocaust denier.”
Flug also mentioned Ahmadinejad’s letter to German leader Angela Merkel, which claimed that the Holocaust had been fabricated by the allied forces to allow Germany to save face after the war.
“This is not the first time you have questioned the murder of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis,” Flug added, “I have reached the conclusion that you lack knowledge on the matter.”
Flug says he is confident that the Iranian leader’s hatred toward Jews will decrease and his will for peace will grow stronger after hearing what the survivors have to say.
FOR years the United Nations attempted to cover up perverted and outrageous behaviour by uniformed and civilian personnel who have served in East Timor since 1999.
But as a new wave of more than 2000 UN-employed police and staff prepare to travel to the capital Dili, Sukehiro Hasegawa, the top UN official in East Timor, has acknowledged for the first time that the UN system failed to bring anyone to justice for crimes that included sex abuse of children and bestiality.
Dr Hasegawa declared that the UN’s Integrated Mission in East Timor (UNMIT), which became operational on Monday, would enforce a “zero tolerance” policy towards sexual exploitation and abuse committed by UN personnel.
He said several UN staff would be employed solely to enforce the policy, which will include briefings for all staff.
Dr Hasegawa, a special representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said the UN “places a great deal of importance” on efforts to prevent the abuse of East Timorese by any of 1608 international police, including 130 Australians, 34 military liaison officers and about 500 civilian staff who will make up the mission.
Among deeply religious East Timorese, the behaviour of a small number of the 18,000 UN personnel from 113 countries who have served in East Timor was spoken about only in whispers. But the UN establishment in New York was shocked when it received an internal report last month exposing a culture that covered up behaviour that enraged many UN staff, several of whom resigned in disgust.
The report revealed that peacekeepers left behind at least 20 babies they had fathered to Timorese women who are now stigmatised and in some cases ostracised by their communities.
It revealed that one UN peacekeeper from an unnamed country sexually abused two boys and two girls in the enclave of Oecussi, and in 2001, two Jordanian soldiers were evacuated home with injured penises after attempting sexual intercourse with goats.
A resolution passed last Friday by the UN Security Council urged countries sending personnel to East Timor to conduct pre-deployment awareness training about sexual exploitation and abuse of the local population. It also urged countries to “take disciplinary action and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel”.
The 15-member Security Council established UNMIT for an initial six months “with the intention to renew for further periods” after violence erupted in Dili in April and May.