- New York Times concerned that concern about extremism causes extremism
- The unmentioned co-conspirator
- What does the title "king" mean to you?
Posted: 23 Aug 2010 02:48 PM PDT
"Some experts say" is Journalist-speak for "I believe the following":
Some counterterrorism experts say the anti-Muslim sentiment that has saturated the airwaves and blogs in the debate over plans for an Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan is playing into the hands of extremists by bolstering their claims that the United States is hostile to Islam.This sort of reasoning doesn't just miss the forest, it misses all but about 1.2 trees. All sorts of things "play into the hands" of extremists. According to this logic, the best route for leftists would be to downplay anti-Muslim rhetoric on the right. "Surge of Islamophobic bigotry? Never! What gave you that idea?" At all costs, don't write "To equate these moderate Muslims with that horrific act is pure bigotry, a bigotry that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Gov. Howard Dean sadly signed on to"--it might fuel extremism. I understand that in Al-Qaeda circles the anniversary of the publication of The Israel Lobby is now a holiday called "Eid Al-Mearsheimer" the blessed day when their recruiting goals became assured for decades.
You can't regulate the great American political conversation to avoid fueling the suspicions of extremists. Extremism is nothing if not resourceful in identifying paranoia-fodder, otherwise it would be a pretty anemic extremism. The West's job is not to be anemic in promoting its values and interests and fighting its enemies.
Crossposted on Judeopundit
Posted: 23 Aug 2010 04:27 AM PDT
Today Ethan Bronner of the New York Times reports on his trip into Gaza. You see in recent months embarrassing reports have come out that have suggested that perhaps poverty in Gaza was not nearly as bad as advertised by the likes of Lauren Booth.
But the broader point many of these advocates are making -- that the poverty of Gaza is often misconstrued, willfully or inadvertently -- is correct. The despair here is not that of Haiti or Somalia. It is a misery of dependence, immobility and hopelessness, not of grinding want. The flotilla movement is not about material aid; it is about Palestinian freedom and defiance of Israeli power.
Actually, that's not reporting that's advocating.
If the reports of poverty in Gaza were refuted by only the instance of this mall, maybe the Times and Bronner would have a point. But numerous pictures from Gaza have shown markets full of products for sale.
My Right Word observes the degree to which blogging forced this article.
But Israel Matzav notes that there's a false narrative that Bronner doesn't address.
If you go to Turkey or most of the Arab countries you will be told that Gazans are starving to death, an image that the Hamas leadership has promoted. Maybe if they told the truth - that no one is starving and that the Israeli blockade is aimed at stopping weapons and not food and at obtaining the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit - it might be possible to talk about ways to ease the blockade.
Daled Amos points out the missing element to the story:
Why does Bronner, who bewails the modesty of the Gaza Mall, make no mention of the malls in the West Bank? The answer is: the same reason that he makes no mention of the Kassam rockets still being fired at Israel from Gaza. The West Bank is not firing rockets at Israel, but Gaza is. The situation in Gaza is the result of the terrorist government of Hamas, not the defensive measures of Israel.
Brian of London (at Israelly Cool!) mocks the Times's newfound focus:
The New York Times has, finally, figured out how to respond to the scenes of abject and desperate non-poverty in Gaza as Dave has ably documented and discussed (a Taste of "Concentration Camp" Gaza series and Gaza mall posts, for example).
Elder of Ziyon is outlines the hypocrisy involved:
However, the fact is that both the media and the anti-Israel activists have used the "starvation" meme as a convenient fiction to focus the world on demonizing Israel. Their current re-framing to change it instead to "dependence, immobility and hopelessness" is nothing more than an attempt to not look like fools and not admit that they have been lying to the world for years.
Crossposted on Yourish.
Posted: 23 Aug 2010 04:19 AM PDT
Last week Amin al-Hindi died.
Amin al-Hindi, an associate of the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and a former Palestinian Authority intelligence chief who was widely suspected of having played an organizing role in the deadly attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, died Tuesday in Amman, Jordan. He was 70.
The Times, however, offers him a measure of deniability.
If Mr. Hindi was involved in the Munich attack -- he never publicly acknowledged any responsibility -- he may have been the last of the plotters to survive. Several were tracked down and killed by Israeli counterterrorist squads abroad. The self-declared mastermind of the attack, Mohammed Oudeh, better known by his guerrilla name, Abu Daoud, died in early July in Damascus at age 73.
But there's someone else whose involvement is covered up here. According to Abu Daoud:
Though he didn't know what the money was being spent for, longtime Fatah official Mahmoud Abbas, a.k.a. Abu Mazen, was responsible for the financing of the Munich attack. Abu Mazen could not be reached for comment regarding Abu Daoud's allegation. After Oslo in 1993, Abu Mazen went to the White House Rose Garden for a photo op with Arafat, President Bill Clinton and Israel's Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. "Do you think that ... would have been possible if the Israelis had known that Abu Mazen was the financier of our operation?" Abu Daoud writes. "I doubt it." Today the Bush Administration seeks a Palestinian negotiating partner "uncompromised by terror," yet last year Abu Mazen met in Washington with Secretary of State Colin Powell.
No doubt Abu Daoud had his reasons for fingering Abbas. But then again since he went to the trouble of exonerating him too ("he didn't know"), so I'm going to rank this charge as believable. The NY Times, of course, saw fit to shield President Abbas from any untoward attention.
So perhaps not all of the conspirators who were responsible for the Olympic terror attack are dead.
Posted: 23 Aug 2010 04:12 AM PDT
Last week the Washington Post reported:
Jordan's King Abdullah II, one of the United States' most Western-oriented allies in the Middle East, has faced an unusual amount of domestic criticism in recent months that has coincided with a trend toward more autocratic governance, observers say.
When Abdullah first became King there were articles announcing what a common touch he had. He would apparently dress up in non-royal clothes and go out among his countrymen to see how they lived.
Lavish vacations in the south of France and motorcycle trips through California have made the 48-year-old king appear out of touch with poor, average Jordanians, political observers said. But in a June speech marking the 11th anniversary of his ascendance to the throne, Abdullah addressed people's concerns.
Why are people surprised. Abdullah is "king." He inherited his position. His journeys among the common folk were good presss, but were done for show. To a large degree what we're seeing is the dissatisfaction of country towards a leader who is not accountable.
He's a "king."
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