Rep. Tom Lantos (news, bio, voting record), the senior Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, called the report "a disgrace and misleading" and "a crude and transparent attempt to exonerate Arafat rather than reveal the truth."
Lantos said he would ask Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) to file a supplement to the report, particularly on what Lantos called Arafat's involvement in the smuggling episode. Arafat "obviously is involved in terrorist activity," Lantos said.
While Qassem's candidacy might rally some of the growing discontent with Arafat, his chances of winning appeared slim. Arafat remains the symbol of the Palestinian people, and Qassem, a Western-educated sympathizer with Islamic militants, has no political power base.
This is what passes for an objective "news" story. The AP is trying to claim Arafat is popular and the terrorists are not, because they want to claim the Palestinians are reasonable and interested in peace. Then they can demonize Sharon and the Israelis as being anti-peace. But Hamas is actually very popular among the Palestinians, moreso than Arafat.
There's just one problem. The report never mentions suicide hijackings (at least, in any of the quotes that appear in the article used as evidence):
WASHINGTON (AP) - Two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, an analysis prepared for U.S. intelligence warned that Osama bin Laden's terrorists could hijack an airliner and fly it into government buildings like the Pentagon.
"Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaida's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House," the September 1999 report said.
If they were going to hijack that plane, how were they going to fill it with explosives like semtex? The report did not warn of suicide hijackings, only of suicide attacks. The AP should issue a correction.
[Update (5/17 8:08pm): actually, the study does mention suicide hijackings (specifically "Bojinka," but the quote in the article certainly does not refer to a suicide hijacking, as the author suggests] Posted
But what's this about a Jewish boycott of the whole country? That's lunacy. There's no need to pick fights like that, that would only legitimate French people boycotting Jews (what you can do to one actor, they can do back to you). Boycotts in this sense should only be retaliatory, or with a really good reason (if the government of France was funding HAMAS, for example). (via Instapundit) Posted
Not only did I escape Alive, but they were very Polite
Which wasn't much of a surprise. The real extremists don't want to talk, or even argue very much. The speaker was pretty angry, he said there would be upheaval in this country like in the Sixties, although he wasn't calling outright for an "American Intifada." But many of the other Muslims were very reasonable, and some of them were very polite. At one point, we were surrounded in a half-circle by angry people, who kept interrupting me while I talked with them. But that certainly doesn't rise to the level of what happened at SFSU, and I could have walked away at any time if I wasn't up to talking back.
There were absolutely no threats, and I shook hands with some at the end.
Of course, there are also the hard-headed types who think crazy things. They say things like "suicide bombers don't target civilians, only military." They said the Dolphinarium disco bombing and the Netanya "Passover Massacre" were attacks on military personnel (I asked them about Danielle Sheffi, but they just didn't have an answer). I should have remembered to bring up the ambulance bombing outside Efrat, when a suicide bomber attacked a Jewish paramedic who was taking an ambulance into Palestinian territory to treat a supposedly wounded Arab who called for help. This is silly talk.
One point I found interesting was that there was a lot of disdain for "Arab Nationalism," just as I saw at the speech last night. I suppose Arab Nationalism is antithetical to Islam, which holds there are no different races or ethnicities, that every person is equal. Arab Nationalism is also often secular, yet it hijacks the use of the word "Jihad." Of course, they have no respect for Yasser Arafat (nobody does, except Jimmy Carter and Hanan Ashrawi).
Most of the people I talked to just want a fair peace between Israel and the Palestinians. There is a lot of contention between what the Palestinians deserve, and how much they should get. For security reasons, Israel can't give them back all of the land they want, or allow in a stream of refugees claiming their "right of return." Both sides will need to make sacrifices, and both sides will need to reign in their extremists (of course, the Israelis already are talking seriously about peace, few in the Palestinian area are).
One of my signs was of an Israeli and Palestinian flag, side by side. I did feel queasy while I colored in the Palestinian flag. The other sign was quotations from Arab Muslims concerning the destruction of Israel, and at the bottom it said, "anti-Zionism has always been about eradication." I threw out my sign of Mohammed al-Dura, there was no point in bringing it, it would only have distracted from the message I wanted to convey. In any case, he was not mentioned. Posted
Explanation No. 3: Ironic twist on Explanation No. 2. Actually, in the short run, Arafat and Sharon are playing a non-zero-sum game—and, oddly, it's been more win-win than lose-lose. The last few months of conflict, which have brought such suffering to their people, did wonders for their approval ratings, as the "rally-round-the-flag" effect (itself rooted in emotions that figure in Explanation No. 1) kicked in on both sides. So short-run political incentives encourage both leaders to stick with a tough, uncompromising posture; and this policy in turn feeds the conflict, which intensifies the rally-round-the-flag effect, and so on. Indeed, it was after both leaders finally engaged in small-scale compromise—to resolve the standoffs in Ramallah and Bethlehem—that their groundswell of popular support started to recede; now both suddenly face dissent from more hawkish domestic elements. In the short run, at least, this is the Skinner box that Arafat and Sharon are in: You get a food pellet for making war and an electrical shock for making peace. (Arafat also faces dissent because of the Palestinian Authority's long-standing corruption and governmental ineptness.)
How many times do I have to say it? Arafat is not more popular today than he was two years ago. The intifada did have a positive effect on Arafat's ratings when it first started, but they've since fallen. His people hate him. How many times do I have to post these same links before the world will understand? At least the last sentence seems to pick up on that.
That was the title of a lecture I attended several hours ago, hosted by the Muslim Student Union here at the University of California, Irvine. I should note that I went alone, and the lecture was held at night, and I don't think there were more than a handful of non-Muslims there out of a crowd of one to two hundred. I’m writing this all from memory, so the quotes might not be perfect, and the order of events might be a little off.
The lecture began with a prayer session. Outside the lecture hall, the Muslim Student Union set up blankets on the ground on which to pray, and did so for fifteen to twenty minutes. Of course, there were two separate blankets, one for the males and one for the females. Inside the lecture hall, females were asked to sit on one side, while males sat in another section.
The speakers were Amir Abdel Malik Ali and Imam Mohammad al-Asi. Amir did not speak long, Imam al-Asi gave the bulk of the lecture. Al-Asi is a man so extreme, even the Saudis dislike him. He was named in Yosef Bodansky’s book “Target: America” as one of the two most dangerous men in America (that’s what he said, at least, he was boasting).
The first speaker was Amir Abdel Malik Ali, an African-American Muslim. He spoke of how he was attracted to Islam by Imam al-Asi’s “fire breathing” back in the early ’80s. He says most Muslim clerics are not so militant any more. (But he says it’s because of Saudi money, so I assume they’re still plenty extreme, but Asi must not be a Wahhabist. From a quick web search, al-Asi appears to support Khomeini, which might make him a Shiite.)
He stepped down, and al-Asi stepped up to speak. I should emphasize every time another speaker came up, he said a short prayer (the speakers were all male).
Imam Mohammed al-Asi said Israelis were not really “Semites,” because the Semitic area is the Middle East, and the Zionists came from Europe (he did not actually go so far as to say the Zionists were not real Jews). He said the Zionists were terrible racists, they say things like “Arabs are beasts on two legs,” and he said “the human beings” running the state of Israel must not have a conscience. Later in the speech, he will say the Zionists are not human, because they are so evil. That this might contradict the what he said earlier probably does not even occur to him. Of course, he was getting progressively angry, and logic was not his strong point.
He spoke of the “bloodfest” in Jenin. I laughed quietly when he said this, I couldn’t help myself. I think I was the only one in the room. He didn’t point to me, but he said something about not taking this seriously. Of course, Yasser Arafat’s own Wafa news service only claims 22 Palestinian civilians (who were not gunmen) died in Jenin. Twenty-three Israeli soldiers died there. How could it have been a “bloodfest” if more Israeli soldiers died than Palestinian civilians?
He spoke of the economic harm to Israel. He said tourism was down by over two billion dollars, because of the Intifada, and said hundreds of thousands of Jews had already fled Israel. I was tempted to tell him the more moderate Jews that leave, the more power the hardline settlers have in the democracy, and the more likely a Baruch Goldstein type is to get his hands on a nuclear weapon. But that would have taken too long to explain. In any case, Israel is suffering economically, but nowhere nearly as bad as the Palestinians. They will be the first to say “uncle.”
He spoke of media bias against the Palestinians, he said the media acted in the Zionists interests. He said most of the journalists in Israel are Jews, which gives them a conflict of interest. Apparently, he’s not aware that almost all of the journalists and cameramen in the occupied territories are Arab stringers (because Jewish journalists would be killed), and he might not have heard of writers for the Associated Press like Hamda Hendawi or Nadia Abou El-Magd.
He spoke of the Israelis not having a real democracy. He said twenty years ago, only Zionist political parties were allowed. Of course, this has been fixed for two decades, so there’s no point in complaining about it.
He spoke the Palestinians driving the Israelis out of the territories like the Lebanese drove the Israelis out of their country. But the Israelis were not forced out of Lebanon by the Lebanese, they chose to leave because the cost was too high (and this is proof of Israel’s democracy).
The deaths in Lebanon seemed to be for no purpose But suicide bombers coming from the territories threaten the heart of Israel. And whenever the Israelis withdraw, more terrorists attack it. When the Israelis withdrew from Tulkarem early in Operation Defensive Shield, the Palestinians immediately launched a suicide bombing attack.
The Israelis know why they are fighting in the territories with Operation Defensive Shield, even most of the ones who want peace with the Palestinians believe this fighting is necessary. They’re united in purpose, they’re not demoralized as they were in Lebanon. Lebanon was like Vietnam, we chose to leave—if we as a nation had wanted to stay, we could have.
If the Palestinians want to drive the Israelis out, they will have to stop using suicide bombers, or carrying out any other “operations” inside Israel. Then keeping Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories where they will die will be more costly than not keeping them there. Of course, if they do this, they won’t need to keep shooting Israeli soldiers, because the Israelis will withdraw on their own. The attacks inside Israel force Israel to act against the Palestinians, it is a matter of self-defense. If there were no attacks inside Israel, the “occupation” would end.
He said the Zionists were madmen who had nuclear weapons, and were not afraid to destroy their own country with the radiation. Of course, the Israelis developed neutron bombs for this purpose, those don’t leave much radiation behind. They are safe to use near the homeland, and are especially effective at killing enemy soldiers.
Imam Mohammed al-Asi said that Muslims were misrepresented, and that they didn’t really want to drive the Jews into the sea. He asked if there was any time a Muslim had said this. The room was silent. I raised my hand, but he didn’t call on me. I second later, I projected my voice (from about twenty rows back), “In 1948, the secretary general of the Arab League said the war against Israel would be a ‘war of extermination.’” (Azzam Pasha also said it would go down in history alongside the Mongol invasion and the Crusades.) Al-Asi said the Arab League was an Arab nationalist organization, and not an Islamic one.
I could have mentioned article 28 of the HAMAS covenant, which calls Jews and Judaism the enemy, but he started talking about something else. In any case, this was the highlight of the lecture for me. A lot of people turned their heads to see just who this brazen infidel was, in their midst. I hope at least the policemen were happy to hear me say that. (They were at the speech to make sure nothing got out of hand. I assume most of them would not think of playing babysitter to a bunch of terrorist-loving Muslims would be their idea of a fun time.)
(I used a yellow bar because I consider this to have been an in-person Fisking.)
Then came the question and answer session.
One student asked him about the Israeli peace activists, and about their rallies with tens of thousands of people. Al-Asi downplayed this, and said there were “thousands” of people at the rallies (the latest one attracted 70,000), and said there was really no hope the Israelis would change their wicked ways. He obviously does not want a two-state solution, he wants Israel destroyed.
Then came the second highlight of the lecture. One of the Muslims wanted to ask a question. He was older than the students (he looked to be about 40). He was wearing a green shirt, so we will call him “Mr. Green.” He tried to get al-Asi to answer his question out of turn. Al-Asi told him to wait, and answered person’s question (a white student who was probably not a Muslim).
As he was answering the student’s question, the Muslim got up to leave. He was walking up the aisle, and was standing just next to me when al-Asi finished with the old question, and asked Mr. Green what his question was.
Mr. Green asked a question something like this, “which comes first [some Arabic words], or [some Arabic words].” al-Asi did not answer immediately, so Mr. Green continued, and said something about the “Khalifa.” For people who don’t know, the Khalifa/Khilafa is the Caliphate, an Islamic dictatorship. If you’re an infidel like me, this is a very bad thing. Mr. Green said he wanted to take action to help liberate Palestine.
Mind you, he’s standing right next to me, and talking about violence against Zionists, and everyone in the room is pretty sure I’m a Zionist Jew. But there were three cops at the back of the auditorium, so I wasn’t too worried.
Mr. Green said something strange, which I can’t recall exactly, but I presumed it to mean he was not well known to the authorities. I think he was basically hinting that he wanted to join a terrorist group here. Of course, at the beginning of his lecture the speaker ridiculed the idea that Muslim terrorists could attack America, when he was making fun of Yossef Bodansky (this lecture took place just eight months after 9/11).
It’s not like they were going to recruit a terrorist there in front of the police. Much earlier another speaker had said something about “closed sessions,” by which I assumes he means Capitalist American Patriot Zionist Sharonist Atheist Jew Infidels aren’t allowed to attend. If they are planning acts of terror, or even just acts of defacing Hillel club posters, they’re smart enough not to speak about it in public.
One Muslim student asked what Muslims here could do. Al-Asi told him to get military training—nothing illegal—but to learn target practice. If I believed in gun control, this would have made me more fervent than ever in my belief that guns are evil. But I don’t. Now I want one, more than ever. I have no doubt it would be a good investment.
One Muslim student asked about the liberation of Jerusalem, and if someone as pathetic as Yasser Arafat would be the one to do it. Al-Asi made fun of Arafat, and everybody in the room laughed, even me. He said Arafat was a "survivalist," who was selfishly protecting himself and not really committed to anything. It was one of the few times in the evening that we agreed.
One brave Muslim asked about the “suicide bombings,” and if they were acceptable to Islam. Imam al-Asi said just the term “suicide bombing” was biased against them. He said all of the bombings were against military targets. He said a pizzeria might not sound like a military target, but sometimes bombers are attacked before they can carry out their mission, and suffer premature evisceration (he definitely did not use that term).
I would have spoken out here about the “Passover Massacre” in Netanya, where 29 people were murdered, most of them elderly, and asked if that was a military target (maybe the bomber was on his way to his hotel room, where he would spend the night before carrying out his mission the next day, when an eighty-year-old Zionist jumped at him with a Seder Plate…):
- Shula Abramovitch, 63, of Holon
- David Anichovitch, 70, of Netanya
- Sgt.-Maj. Avraham Beckerman, 25, of Ashdod
- Shimon Ben-Aroya, 42, of Netanya
- Alter Britvich, 88, of Netanya
- Frieda Britvich, 86, of Netanya
- Andre Fried, 47, of Netanya
- Idit Fried, 47, of Netanya
- Miriam Gutenzgan, 82, Ramat Gan
- Amiram Hamami, 44, of Netanya
- Perla Hermele, 79, of Sweden
- Dvora Karim, 73, of Netanya
- Michael Karim, 78, of Netanya
- Eliezer Korman, 74, of Ramat Hasharon
- Yehudit Korman, 70, of Ramat Hasharon
- Marianne Lehmann Zaoui, 77, of Netanya
- Lola Levkovitch, 70, of Jerusalem
- Sarah Levy-Hoffman, 89, of Tel-Aviv
- Furuk Na'imi, 62, of Netanya
- Eliahu Nakash, 85, of Tel-Aviv
- Chanah Rogan, 90, of Netanya
- Irit Rashel, 45, of Moshav Herev La'et
- Yulia Talmi, 87, of Tel-Aviv
- St.-Sgt. Sivan Vider, 20, of Bekaot
- Zee'v Vider, 50, of Moshav Bekaot
- Ernest Weiss, 80, of Petah Tikva
- Eva Weiss, 75, of Petah Tikva
- Anna Yakobovitch, 78, of Holon
- George Yakobovitch, 76, of Holon.
This didn’t lend itself as well to speaking out, there wasn’t the same silence as before. That was the end of the lecture. Everyone filed out peacefully (I think one guy was looking at me funny, but that’s his problem).
PIM Fortuyn, the charismatic right-wing Dutch politician murdered last week was a powerful advocate or
paedophilia, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.
His controversial views on race, immigration, liberalisation of drug laws and his open homosexuality were well-known. But his approval of paedophilia, while not a secret, was ignored by Dutch journalists covering his election campaign.
Fortuyn stood to gain up to 20% of the vote in Wednesday's election and his list is expected to gain thousands of extra votes.
Ireen Van Engelen, an anti-paedophile campaigner in Holland, said: "I have been writing to journalists around the country for months as Fortuyn's popularity grew. I was asking them to challenge him on his views about paedophilia. But none of them dared. I also wrote to ministers, but none of them were interested. It's a disgrace.
"It is strange that they could criticise him, quite rightly, for being racist, but were unwilling to raise this other matter. I can't say for sure that he was a paedophile himself, but he was certainly an advocate for adult-child sex."
Van Engelen cites a column Fortuyn wrote for the Dutch current affairs magazine, Elsevier, in 1999. It was so on-message for pro-paedophile campaigners that it was reproduced by Koinos, a magazine for homosexual paedophiles.
David Brooks was right, the media never reported on the real Pim Fortuyn, they just made a caricature of him. They were in such a hurry to paint him as a "right-wing fascist" they couldn't be bothered to report this. The media over there must be pro-pedophile, even our left-slanted media isn't that evil. I assume child molestation is just another issue the media over there wants to ignore (they don't want to report on immigrant crime, either).
I suppose his assassination was the best possible result: he's dead, and the right-leaning Christian Democrats are in power. They'll address the intelligent reforms Fortuyn wanted, but they won't push his idiotic left-libertarian positions.
It's an outrage this wasn't reported earlier. The idea that conservative media sources might have deliberately ignored this is even more outrageous.
[update (5/20 7:05pm): Martin Wisse disagrees with what I said here. But he's wrong, Fortuyn does not just defend "paedophilia as a sort of mental illness, as a condition which in itself was no reason for condemnation... It is clear to me that Fortuyn is not advocating paedophilia, let alone actual sex with children."
In his own words (this would be one of the "quotes from this article taken out iof context [that] do sound bad"):
The law philosopher and paedophile [Edward] Brongersma, for years senator of the Labour party, spent his life campaigning for understanding of the paedophile fellow man. He launched this effort fearlessly after serving a sentence for sexual harassment of a minor. The minor in question had not considered it harassment, but the justice department judged otherwise in the 1950s.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Brongersma slowly but surely gained ground. After the invention of the Pill came sexual liberation. Gay sex became accepted, and why then should paedo sex not be allowed – under the strict condition that the child is willing and that there is no coercion? This enlightened point of view has meanwhile been abandoned, and under the influence of the ologists, the child is defined as totally devoid of sexual desires, at least where adults are concerned.
Emphasis mine. There's no doubt what Fortuyn was really saying.
One of the Muslim clubs on campus is hosting a "Zionism Awareness Week" this week, putting Zionisms on the same level as breast cancer and sexual assault. Not very nice of them, but what can you expect from a group that last year put up a poster of a Jewish star drenched in blood?
But I intend to make them very aware of Zionism. My poster with pictures of Mohammed al-Dura with the explanation that he's being murdered by Arabs should get peoples attention. This should be a really easy protest to counter, because I assume they're calling for the complete destruction of Israel (if they're against "Zionism"), so all I have to do is come out and demand a two-state solution and everyone will know I'm the moderate.
If I don't post an update Wednesday night, you'll know what happened to me...
[update (4/15 1:08pm): there's been a change of plans, I'll protest them on Thursday, not today] Posted
FBI Director to Propose 'Super Squad' for Terror
Here's the article: "FBI Director to Propose 'Super Squad' for Terror"
In the entire NEW YORK TIMES archives on LEXISNEXIS, there are 109 items using the phrase "far right wing," but only 18 items that use "far left wing," she begins.
But most of the time these quotes appear, they are people speaking. Of course people like Jesse Jackson and Barbara Boxer are going to use hyperbolic language. Should the Times be damned just for quoting them?
I'll run a LEXIS-NEXIS search right now, and post the results when I have them.
UPDATE: SEVEN MINUTES LATER:
LEXIS-NEXIS Search Results: Ann Coulter is an Idiot
"Far right wing" appears in the NYT 115 times, and "far left wing" appears 19 times (I'm searching more archives than Coulter, because more articles have been written between now and then).
Note that this isn't just news articles, it's everything to have appeared in the publication from June of 1980 until today, including letters to the editor and opinion columns!
I've already made an ass of Coulter and it only took me seven minutes! The Fisking Continues!
UPDATE: TEN MINUTES LATER:
COULTER IS STILL AN IDIOT
I've checked the "far left wing," and twelve of them are not in quotes. What is interesting is that all of the mentions in quotes appear after September of 1996, and all of the mentions outside of quotes appear before then. Why did the NYT suddenly stop referring to certain groups as "far left wing?"
This is just too perfect: I might slam Coulter and find real evidence of NYT media bias. This is just too cool...
UPDATE: TWENTY MINUTES LATER:
SORRY, NO GOOD EVIDENCE OF NYT BIAS
Because while the NYT has not used "far left wing" outside of a quote since Sept. 1996, they haven't used "far right wing" outside of a quote in their National Desk since June 1997. The research continues!
UPDATE: FORTY MINUTES LATER:
NOT MUCH EXCITING TO REPORT
Here are the number of appearances of "far right wing," in each of the news desks. When the word was used by the news desk, it goes in the first category. When it is merely quoted by that news desk, it goes into the second category (it's not a sign of bias if the Times quotes hysterical people who use terms like "far right wing").
FOREIGN DESK QUOTE:
NATIONAL DESK QUOTE:
EDITORIAL DESK QUOTE:
METROPOLITAN DESK QUOTE:
MAGAZINE DESK QUOTE:
Business/Financial Desk Quote:
Week in Review Desk:
Week in Review Desk Quote:
Cultural Desk Quote:
Style Desk Quote:
Arts/Leisure Desk Quote:
Connecticut Weekly Desk:
Connecticut Weekly Desk Quote:
Sports Desk Quote:
I tried to give the NYT the benefit of the doubt, when I see something like this: "While Mr. Gergen declined to single out those supporters, he confirmed that they represent the far right wing of the Republican party," I include it in the "quote" section even though it's not a direct quote.
Two of the articles were not contained in the NYT, but were abstracts.
Here are sentences from unrelated articles:
"Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin had committed far to the right-wing side, so Sundstrom had lots of empty net to fill with a long, backhanded shot from the left side."
"The backpack containing the bomb was found not far from the right wing of the pavilion"
"Anderson hit a 3-pointer from the far right wing"
"Mr. Perot has often spoken of threats to himself or his family and has embraced conspiracy theorists from both the far left and the far right wings of politics." (this was not picked up in the "far left" search, so it was not included, a similar sentence also appeared in another article, it was not counted either)
"In one of the bluntest warnings thus far, the right-wing Salvador Women's Front"
"He wants a line-item veto to balance the budget and a cut in capital-gains taxes - eminently conservative ideas, yet far from right-wing."
One article about Ze'evi is mistakenly labeled on LEXIS as being in the Metro Desk, when it clearly belongs to the Foreign Desk.
Most of the mentions in the foreign desk between certain time periods were about Israel and then South Africa. More on that in a few moments...
In any case, the Times did throw around "far right wing" in its news desks fairly liberally in the past, but for the past few years they haven't done it at all. It was a problem, but it's already been fixed. It's not exactly scandalous, it's certainly nothing to write a book about. I hope the rest of her book will be better than this.
FINAL UPDATE: FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER:
A look at Israel and South Africa
South Africa gets 16 mentions in NYT articles containing "far right wing" from 1981 to 1989. There were only 6 other articles in the foreign desk during that time period that contained "far right wing," but were not about Israel or South Africa. Of course, the right wingers in South Africa were hard right, so it's not really a sin to call them that.
Between 1988 and 1991, there are 13 articles with the words "Israel" and "far right wing" in them in the foreign desk. Only one article appears in the foreign desk with the words "right wing" that isn't about South Africa or Israel during this time period.
There are a total of 16 articles in the foreign desk with the words "Israel" and "far right wing" in them. The far right wing in Israel is real, again it's not a sin to call them that.
It is inexcusable that the Times so often shied away from calling anyone far left-wing, if they're going to throw the rightist label around, they should not be afraid to tar people on the far left with an accurate label. But that's not the point, the Times cleaned up its act years ago with respect to this specific form of bias.
The problem with Coulter's analysis is that it's way, way, way too quick, it leaves the reader to infer what is not necessarily true. It's sloppy and ideological.
If you want to quote any of this, just include a link to my site. And if you post this on a left-wing site, make sure to include this disclaimer:
"I am a right-winger, and I do believe the Times is extremely biased against conservatives. But not in this specific way, at least not any more."
"Yassser Arafat has told Yitzhaq Frankenthal, chairman of the Forum of Bereaved Parents for Peace, that he accepts the Clinton plan on condition that Palestinian sovereignty on the Temple Mount is assured."
Can this be? Or is this just a hoax or a deliberately false statement?
If this is true, I'll have to take back what I said about Likud, that would have been a brilliant strategic move... Posted
Israel's attempts to pin Mr Arafat's name to payments for Palestinians who had committed anti-Israeli attacks rest on a few documents which bear – or appear to bear – Yasser Arafat's signature. One of these, dated 19 September last year, is a request for payments of $2,500 to Raed el-Karni, Ziad Daas and Amar Qadan. The Israeli version of this document fails to point out that both el-Karni and Qadan were assassinated by Israeli forces four months later. Daas, who is still alive, is believed to have planned the Hadera massacre in retaliation for the Israeli murder of el-Karni. But the Hadera killings took place on 17 January this year, four months after – not before – the request to Mr Arafat. In the event, each man received $600 each. Another document on headed "State of Palestine" paper, records payments of $800 to 15 men, including Bilal Abu Aamsheh, who was later accused by Israel of killing an Israeli on 31 May, 2001 and two border guards on 11 September the same year. Again, the payments were authorised not after the murders but almost two months before.
The last thing they prove is that Mr Arafat is behind the wave of suicide bombings that continued in Israel even yesterday.
Fisk crows triumphantly that the money paid to the terrorists was doled out before the attacks took place, and not after. But wasn't the money used to pay for the attacks? Arafat gave money to these people, for reasons Fisk—or anyone else—absolutely cannot explain, and then a few months later, those people carried out terrorist attacks. The connection is not very hard to see, but Fisk uses this as proof the Israelis are lying and distorting things.
And just a small point: why would Israel bother to mention they killed the two terrorists? How is it incriminating of Israel for them not to have mentioned that? And of course, Raed al-Karni was carrying out terrorist attacks long before he was given the money. Why was he given money at the same time as Daas, if not for terrorist purposes? Fisk is making very silly insinuations here.
I don't believe I've ever Fisked Fisk himself before, but this is surprisingly easy in the information age. Ken Layne is right:
It's 2001, and we can Fact Check your ass. And you, like many in the Hate America movement, are no longer able to dress your wretched "reporting" in fiction. We have computers. It is not difficult to Find You Out, dig?
Arafat was shunned by his people when he emerged from the Mukata, practically the only people who gave him a hero's welcome were clerics from assorted churches and mosques.
Now Jason Rubenstein has a list of new articles concerning Palestinian discontent with Arafat. His corruption makes people angry, but it's his willingness to lead Palestinians into war where they're impoverished and their civilian infrastructure is destroyed that makes him hated. When he made the cowardly compromises with Israel, he was despised. He's not a real "leader," the Palestinians see he's never led them to anything. Posted
Monday, May 13, 2002
Susan Estrich, Terrorist-lover
In an article for USA Today, Estrich defends pipe bomber Luke Helder:
But at a more basic level, the question of what crimes Helder committed depends on more than the facts in his confession to police. It also depends critically on what was going on in his head at the moment when he acted.
Even a dog knows the difference between being stepped on and tripped over, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once famously said. It doesn't particularly matter whether something in his background made Helder vulnerable to feeling as he did or gave rise to a sense of grievance on his part. That is the stuff of mostly discredited defenses based on sympathy. Intent refers only to the result he was trying to produce.
In case anyone has forgotten, in one of his notes, he writes, "The people I've dismissed from this reality are not at all dead." I can't interpret that in any way other than Helder thought a number of people would be killed by the time his note was read. There's no doubt he was trying to kill people, or at least he said he was trying to kill people. Maybe he was lying, in any case, Estrich thinks his actions speak louder than words:
Luke Helder was lucky. Six people were injured, but no one was killed.
More importantly, after acting in a totally incomprehensible way, Luke Helder and his family acted in a totally understandable one. His parents cooperated. The later bombs were not set to explode at all. He spoke to the FBI by cellphone, surrendered peacefully, confessed and told officers where the bombs were located, reducing any danger of injury.
No, his victims were lucky, he was unsuccessful.
Why weren't his later bombs set to explode immediately? Did he chose not to set them, or was it just because he ran out of detonators?
Why is she lauding him for his cowardly surrender? Does that prove he's such a nice kid, because he didn't want to die himself? He probably just didn't want anyone to be killed by one of his bombs, so he wouldn't have to face the death penalty or life in prison.
In the end, I suppose it's not really surprising someone who wants to do everything "for the children" would rally behind a "troubled youth" who's roaming the country trying to kill adults.
Here's a firsthand account of an incident at San Francisco State University (via Meryl Yourish):
As the counter demonstrators poured into the plaza, screaming at the Jews to "Get out or we will kill you" and "Hitler did not finish the job," I turned to the police and to every administrator I could find and asked them to remove the counter demonstrators from the Plaza, to maintain the separation of 100 feet that we had been promised.
The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone, and that if they did, "it would start a riot." I told them that it already was a riot. Finally, Fred Astren, the Northern California Hillel Director and I went up directly to speak with Dean Saffold, who was watching from her post a flight above us. She told us she would call in the SF police. But the police could do nothing more than surround the Jewish students and community members who were now trapped in a corner of the plaza, grouped under the flags of Israel, while an angry, out of control mob, literally chanting for our deaths, surrounded us. Dr. Astren and I went to stand with our students.
This was neither free speech nor discourse, but raw, physical assault.
San Francisco was first called "Baghdad by the Bay" by Herb Caen, and not as an insult (it was a tribute to the city's liberalism). But it's certainly living up to its moniker in the worst way. Posted
Welcome Amygadagf Readers
[update (5/14 2:05am): It was just a case of mistaken cut and paste, he never meant to link to my blog in the first place, the link there is now fixed. No hard feelings...]
Mickey Kaus has some very good news, English immersion is beating bilingual education hands-down. I think he is being a little too negative with his analysis of Rove, compassionate conservatism and something that benefits Hispanics is a natural combination for President Bush. Of course, Kaus knows what he's writing about, I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Bush failed to make something out of this.
I can't be accused of not knowing Rove has critics, seeing as how I mentioned at one point a criticism. So am I accused of being a critic of Rove, just because I expressed suspicion that Kaus might be right about him? I was expecting Rove to make something of that issue, and I don't think he has so far (I haven't really been paying attention, though). That's would be a mistake.
But maybe he's saving it as political ammo. For all I know, it's filed away in the "Hispanic vote" folder in his political war room, so we'll probably see it eventually. Unless Rove is incompetent, which just might be the case. (How could any competent Republican strategist miss an opportunity to bash teachers unions, left-wing education philosophy, and left-wing race activists, support the English language and assimilation, and suck up to Hispanics?)
I think Farber's angry because I disagreed with him about the Jerusalem Post... I 'm glad he had to go back a full week to find something inconsequential to quibble about. Maybe he's just obsessed with Karl Rove. At any rate, he gave me a link, so I'll give him one. Posted
A Tragic Mistake
Likud basically adopted a new slogan at its convention yesterday: "Occupation today, occupation tomorrow, occupation forever (or at least until we get around to ethnically cleansing all of you)"
The Likud Central Committee last night turned down Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's request to postpone any decision on a binding resolution against a Palestinian state, voting nearly 60 percent against and then, in an overwhelming show of hands, passing a resolution saying that "no Palestinian state will be established west of the Jordan River."
There's nothing for me to say that hasn't been said by Hill:
This undercuts Sharon (who, unless I missed something, is still Israel's prime minister) and fuels the Palestinian rejectionists who can turn around and say "See, we're fighting for our existence here, how can we make compromises with people like that?" It makes Israel look stupid and unreasonable, which it can't afford.
This was a tragic mistake, it will make Israel look terrible in eyes of the world. She will not be able to claim "self-defense" as a reason for crushing the intifada, and the Palestinians will be able to claim that terror is the only way for them to achieve a just peace. I hope Likud will be soundly defeated come the next elections. (did I just say I want Labor to win an election?) To continue quoting Hill:
Am I alone in thinking this? Hope this doesn't mean I have to turn in my secret warblogger decoder ring...
Barak has become far more militant over the past few months, while still supporting the peace process, so it's not so crazy for me to support him.
What is Netanyahu doing to Likud? Is he trying to make it the anti-peace party? Why is he playing into the hands of the enemies of Israel?
Of course, not all of Likud voted for this measure. The party is not doomed, it just has to rescind that stupid, hateful decision. And it probably needs to purge everyone who voted for it, or at least Netanyahu.
[amusing observation: if this were any country other than Israel, conspiracy theorists would try to explain Netanyahu's behavior by claiming the Mossad was manipulating him to undermine his country.] Posted
Fortuyn used the language of the extreme right, of an undisputably racist party like the Centrumpartij and its successors. He talked about the Netherlands being full, which they did as well, he wanted to scrap article 1 of the constitution, which forbids discrimination, which they did as well, he wanted no more immigration, which they wanted as well.
He may have had some good points about intolerant Muslims having to learn tolerance, but he took it too far and I for one think his fear and hatred of them became pathological.
You are also wrong when you say the media and other politicians "demonised" him; he did it himself. He was the one who first attacked *them* so they attacked right back *with his own words*. They debated him on his own views, hoisted him on his own petard.
[just a small correction, Fortuyn said he wanted to cut immigration by 25%, not eliminate it altogether, although that may have been a change from an earlier position of his.]
“Pim Fortuyn was made an outcast by politically correct Netherlands,” Professor Dr B. Smalhout, a columnist in de Telegraaf, the biggest selling Dutch daily, said.
“He was depicted as a fake professor, a second Hitler . . . a neo-Nazi, a narcissistic homosexual and a political outcast. Practically all the media took part, it was the fashionable thing to do, to have a go at Professor Pim.”
Bias in the New York Times' coverage of Rallies in the Middle East
As promised, I've analyzed the question of reporting on protest rallies and possible bias in the New York Times.
On April 15th, tens of thousands of Americans came to the capital to support Israel (NYT article). On April 20th, about half as many came out to denounce Israel (NYT article). The Times was actually fair in covering both of these rallies.
But the Times is not so evenhanded when it comes to rallies in Israel. The Times covers the recent May 11 rally in Tel Aviv to demand withdrawal from the territories in this article:...a rally organized by the Peace Now movement took place in Tel Aviv before further discussions on Sunday by Mr. Sharon's top security advisers. The police said 60,000 people had attended the rally.The photo accompanying the article was of the peace rally:
Photo: A Peace Now rally was held in Tel Aviv last night under the slogan, "Get out of the occupied territories." The police estimated the crowd at 60,000. (Agence France-Presse)
But the Times ignored completely a large rally of 100,000 in Israel on March 12. Nearly twice as large as the rally two days ago, it should have gotten some coverage. But it didn't. That alone is not so disturbing, but when you consider during the same time period (the week of March 9-15), the Times reported three much smaller Arab rallies against Israel:
March 9: "Cairo Conferees Demand International Action Against Israel "
"Bin Laden, bin Laden, hit Tel Aviv!" and "No to a peace settlement!" chanted some 2,000 protesters at Al Baqaa refugee camp outside Amman, in one of three rallies held around the Jordanian capital.
In neighboring Syria, more than 500 Palestinians protested in the Yarmouk refugee camp, near Damascus, urging the Palestinian Authority to arm all Palestinians to help them fight the Israelis.
This article was accompanied by a photograph of the 500-person rally (which was approximately .5% of the size of the pro-Israel rally in Tel Aviv).
March 13: "Arabs Say Israel Is Undermining Peace Moves"
About 2,000 student protesters gathered at Cairo University. About half of them broke away from the campus and marched toward the heavily guarded Israeli Embassy nearby, but they were turned back about 50 yards away by police officers with riot shields and batons.
So the Arab rallies get three mentions and one photo, while the Israeli rally got absolutely no coverage. But when a smaller number of Israeli peaceniks rally, they get a mention in the news and a picture. Posted
Any attack on a synagogue is outrageous. But there have also been many attacks on the symbols and followers of Islam. Mr. Le Pen appeals to those who are hostile to North African immigrants. To regard this bigot's success principally as a recrudescence of anti-Semitism is ill-informed.
Anyway, what should we conclude about Europe from this pustulation? When a couple of years back there was an outbreak of arson attacks against African American churches in the United States, should we have leaped to the conclusion that the Ku Klux Klan was heading for the White House?
Second: attacks on the "symbols" of Islam are equated in this article with attacks on synagogues. Real buildings, real houses of worship, are equated with ethereal symbols, supposedly under attack. This is disgusting and despicable and infuriating. If one were to say "the Crescent is the sign of the Moon God Allah," that would not be nice. But in no way could it possibly be held up as equivalent to the burning of a house of worship. I could repeat a thousand times the "Moon God" slander, and it wouldn't measure up to even a single prayer book being consumed by flames.
Third: Le Pen's rise in power is due to the rise of anti-Semitism in France. Not among his voters, but among the Muslims his voters have come to fear. Not necessarily hate, but fear—and even if there is an increase in hate towards Muslims, that hate is rooted in not-irrational fear.
Should we blame the French for fearing their Muslim neighbors? They harass Jews openly in the streets. They burn synagogues as acts of "protest." They are calling for the globalization of the intifada, to bring terrorism into the heart of France (and America, and the rest of Dar al-Harb). When the non-Muslim French see the vast majority of their Muslim neighbors either supporting fundamentalist extremes or staying silent, they begin to fear them. And from that fear, coupled with ignorance, flows the hate.
Standard Rant on Wahhabism (if you read Daniel Pipes regularly, you can skip this)
I would like to think I am not so ignorant. As much as I am afraid of the fundamentalists, I know there are not only are the majority of Muslims good people but that the majority of the Muslim faith is not dangerous and evil. Most forms of Islam are not so bad, no more extreme than fundamentalist Christianity—some, like Sufi mysticism, are very tolerant. The real danger to Islam comes from Wahhabism, the most widespread of the extreme and violent forms of Islam. Wahhabism is a form of Islam that condones and supports terrorism, it is a form of Islam that condones and supports slavery, rape, and genocide.
And there is a conspiracy, hatched in Riyadh, to export fundamentalist Wahhabism around the globe. The House of Saud is our number one enemy in this war on terror. They created the Taliban, not America. They schooled the nineteen hijackers. They partially financed the education of John Walker Lindh. They finance those same Madrassas in Pakistan where Lindh went to study, where the Muslims there learned to hate America. They finance many of the mosques and religious schools in countries around the globe, including India, Britain, and America. Including the mosque that recruited Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber."
It is not bigoted to be afraid of this narrow branch of Islam, any more than it would be bigoted to be against Fred Phelps' interpretation of the Bible. Posted
Justin Raimondo and Joe Sobran
I hate both of those guys. So it's nice to see Jason Soon from the Catallaxy Files give them a well-deserved kick in the shins (via Dodgeblog). The IHR link is no secret to me, but most people probably don't know Sobran actively participates in academic Holocaust denial (denying the scope of the Holocaust is a form of denial).
They're also obsessed with Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and Churchill. They really hate those guys—they must think good governments cannot exist, therefore good leaders can't exist, so they have to discredit them. That would also explain why they're willing to defend Slobo—even though he's evil, by their logic Clinton had to be evil, too. If all government is terrible and should be gotten rid of, then it would logically follow that no government is much better than any other. If every government is evil, there's no need to make moral distinctions between them. Posted
Speaker Amos Oz is a novelist who was apparently one of the "dove-turned-hawk-of-late" intellectuals. Oz wrote an op-ed for the New York Times blaming Arafat for the failure of Camp David and expressing willingness to fight for Israel's survival. But he's had another change of heart it seems.
Nobody would mistake Ehud Barak for a dove, but even he is in favor of unilateral separation. Here is an excerpt from his article in the New York Times:
There is an urgent need to shape a coherent Israeli strategy, which is now absent. Such a strategy should be based on three pillars: a tough campaign against terror, an open door for resumption of negotiations and physical disengagement from the Palestinians.
First, there must be a focused and determined campaign against terror from all sources: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Tanzim, the Security Services of the Palestinian Authority. Any terrorist, in any place, at any time, including those coming out of the Palestinian Authority infrastructure, will be stopped for as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to guide and execute terror.
Second, we should leave open the door for resumption of negotiations, at any moment, without any precondition beyond a complete halt to violence, based on the principles presented at Camp David. If Palestinian terror continues in spite of this opened door, the whole world will know that terror is Mr. Arafat's choice, and he will have to bear the consequences. If the Palestinian leadership is ready to resume negotiations based on Camp David, that will signal a major achievement in the world struggle against terror because an entity supporting terrorism will have been brought back to negotiations without gaining anything by this evil endeavor.
Third, Israel must embark on unilateral disengagement from the Palestinians and establish a system of security fences. Israel's very future depends on this. Only such a border could secure a solid Jewish majority inside Israel for generations to come, and in so doing secure Israel as a democracy and its identity as a Jewish state.
If, despite simplistic visions, the end of occupation will not result in peace, at least we will have one war to fight rather than two. Not a war for our full occupancy of the Holy Land, but a war for our right to live in a free and sovereign Jewish state in part of that land. A just war, a no-alternative war. A war we will win. Like any people who were ever forced to fight for their very homes and freedom and lives.
I don't see Oz as having another change of heart. In fact, many pro-Israel conservatives outside of Israel support the idea of unilateral separation. I haven't yet made up my mind on this issue, but it seems if Palestinians are to be given a state, that this would be the best way to do it. Negotiating with Arafat is an absolute waste of time.
No matter how much land they have, they will always demand more, and use that as an excuse to continue waging their unholy war. So why compromise with them on the borders they want? Why not fold up most of the settlements, but keep a few where they're strategically valuable (and under no circumstances surrender Hebron*), and withdraw from everywhere else? Give the Palestinians a bit less than Barak offered at Taba, but enough so that they would have a real state. Then it would be much easier to fight them, and while the Israel-haters could harp about how Israel "stole" a little of their land (of course Israel won it in battle), they would have to shut up about the "occupation." That word would be dead and buried, and would never come up again to justify any crimes against Israel.
* The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is the second-holiest site in all of Judaism. The Palestinians destroyed Joseph's Tomb and have attacked other holy sites. An international force might be able to guard it instead of Israeli soldiers, but frankly, I don't trust international forces to fulfill their duties. And they would probably run away and let Palestinians destroy the Tomb if they were ever attacked. The IDF would have to remain in a small enclave within Palestinian territory, I see no way around this. Posted
A small fire broke out in one of Milan's main metro stations late on Saturday when a gas cylinder was set alight and Italian police said they found a cloth sheet scrawled with the Islamic phrase "Allah is Great" nearby.
The fire was soon put out, a police spokesman said early on Sunday, and none of the hundreds of people who usually ride the underground home after a night out was hurt.
The tap of the gas cylinder was opened and set on fire at about 10:50 p.m. (2050 GMT) on Saturday in the busy Duomo station below Milan's huge gothic cathedral, where two of the city's three underground lines meet.
Incompetent, brazen, sacrilegious... I almost pity some of these terrorists, they're so wretched in every conceivable way. But in the end, the impulse to have them killed always wins out. Posted
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