Monday, March 31, 2003

There’s a fishy odor at the Special Broadcasting Service

ABC Watch smells a fish in a “Defense Analyst” for Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “poor ethnic cousin … the Special Broadcasting Service.” His name is Adam Cobb.

UPDATE: The U.S. office of Stratwise, Mr. Cobb's firm, is 4201 Wilson Blvd., #110X, Arlington, VA 22206, which is also the address of Mail Boxes Etc. And the phone campany's never heard of them.
posted at 2:03 PM

A Spanish OmbudsHack
John Chappell alerts us to La Vanguardia’s ombudsman, Josep María Casasús, who is quoted as stating:

The photographs of the faces of the first American prisoners were innocuous. What is a very grave attack against the Fourth Geneva Convention, and against humanity, is that armies kill civilians and cause international havoc.

Apparently Senior Casasús hasn’t considered which army has in recent years wantonly killed civilians with poison gas and engaged in wars of conquest against neighboring states at the cost of millions of lives – both civilian and military.
posted at 11:38 AM

Another low for the Guardian
In today’s Guardian, John Sutherland touts a conspiracy worthy of Mikey Rivero. He alleges that those pictures of “peace activist” and “martyr,” Rachel Corrie, snarling and burning an American flag for the Palestinian kiddies, are of unknown provenance and asserts:

Paranoia suggested [they originated from the] Israeli secret service, which monitors such events. This picture also looked, to some expert eyes, doctored.

Charles Johnson reports that the photographs come from the Associated press and from Corrie’s own organization, “the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace.”

Concludes Johnson, “This is one of the most disgusting pieces of yellow journalism I have ever read, and it exposes the so-called ‘editors’ of the Guardian as the Jew-hating freaks they are.”

The Guardian’s ombudsman, Ian Mayes, declared last June that, “I do not think the Guardian is anti-semitic.” Perhaps Ian should take another look.

via Damian Penny

UPDATE: Bill Herbert reprts that "the intellectual origin for Sutherland's doctored-photo argument" is "the National Vanguard Network," which is a "repository for creamy Turner Diary goodness."
posted at 9:52 AM

CBC Radio and the Paris anti-war protests
Damian Penny observes that while other media are reporting that anti-war protests in Paris are violently anti-American and anti-Jew, CBC Radio’s Paris correspondent is reporting that they are:

not really anti-American … and they certainly don't have anything against the Jews. It's all very peaceful and idyllic and happy with the rainbows and the singing and the dancing and the joy and the bliss and the glaben!!!

UPDATE: CBC's Ombudsman is David Bazay in case any Canadian readers are interested.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Skepticism that cuts only one way

The Hartford Courant’s Ombudsman, Karen Hunter, explains:

There's nothing like a war to test the news media's principles. The truth has to be separated from propaganda... Calls for blind patriotism have to be answered with the right amount of skepticism.

So how does The Courant react when presented with al-Jazeera photographs purported to be of American POWs? Do they wait to confirm the information? Do they wait until the families have been notified? No.

I'm glad The Courant didn't hesitate in publishing photographs. Perhaps the photos were Iraqi propaganda. The public can judge for itself.

UPDATE: Compare Hunter's description of the attitude adopted by The Courant with the response of The Oregonian, as described by Ombudsman Dan Hortsch:

the Pentagon had asked the U.S. press not to use shots of the POWs or of the dead until their families had been notified.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Pentagon officials also said that taping the prisoners -- which included intimidating, mocking interviews -- violated the Geneva Conventions related to treatment of prisoners...

The conventions apply to governments, not to the news media. However, the media must consider whether their actions further the intent of the captors. In this case, use of footage of frightened, wounded prisoners being asked pointless questions seems to do that.

Editors at The Oregonian decided not to publish photos of the prisoners until families had been informed. They had no intention of showing the bodies.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

"We don't want peace. We want the war to come."

A pacifist gauges the will of the Iraqi people:

I spoke to dozens of people. What I was not prepared for was the sheer terror they felt at speaking out. Over and over again I would be told "We would be killed for speaking like this" and finding out that they would only speak in a private home or where they were absolutely sure through the introduction of another Iraqi that I was not being attended by a minder.

From a former member of the Army to a person working with the police to taxi drivers to store owners to mothers to government officials without exception when allowed to speak freely the message was the same - "Please bring on the war. We are ready. We have suffered long enough. We may lose our lives but some of us will survive and for our children's sake please, please end our misery."

via InstaPundit
posted at 12:21 PM

Mikey Rivero: Iraq democracy, U.S. & Britain are not
Marduk’s Babylonian Musings alerts us to some insightful commentary from a website endorsed by the Toronto Sun’s media columnist, Antonia Zerbisias as, “carefully considered, well crafted and very compelling:”

Dictatorships, afraid of their own people, always ban guns. Hitler banned personal guns, for example. Britain has banned guns. The US has strict gun limits, especially on military style weapons. Yes, those nations all have elections, but since those elections are usually rigged, this does not qualify them to be democracies. The ultimate litmus test of whether a society is a dictatorship or free lies in the access to weapons by the general populace. The people of Iraq have the right to purchase weapons that you or I as US citizens are not allowed to have. Therefore, our government is much more afraid of We The People than Saddam is afraid of the Iraqi people. (

Is that why Mr. What Really Happened, Mikey Rivero, prefers to publish this rubish from Hawaii instead of Baghdad?

UPDATE: Mikey elaborates:

I am not saying Saddam is a great guy, but there is a serious disconnect between the claims of his being a tyrant and the Iraqi gun laws. Maybe he is a tyrant, just less of one than the ones we live under.

“Vietnam”-think at The New York Times

The Baseball Crank alerts us that “a search of the New York Times for the term ‘Vietnam’ produces 99 results in the last week.”

Out of curiosity, I performed similar searches on the terms “Republican Guard”and “Fedayeen,” which produced only 98 and 64 results, respectively.

UPDATE: Times Watch has more on the The NYT's coverage of the war.
posted at 9:01 AM

Future brilliant minds of the Fourth Estate
Journalist, and Hunter College Assistant Professor, Karen Hunter reports:

I gave a pop quiz this week in the college journalism class I teach. As a bonus question, I asked: Who is Tommy Franks? Not one student out of 30 could identify the U.S. Army general in command of the war in Iraq.

Ombudsman: “NPR ... hostile to the conduct of the war”

Responding to “those who ask when will NPR resume 'normal,' (aka pre-Iraq) programming,” National Public Radio Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin responds “possibly not for a while -- if ever. In fact, it is likely that programming really ended on Sept. 11, 2001.”

He observes that:

Looking back at Sept. 11, 2001, it seemed easier then: It was a moment of national and journalistic consensus about the event. If my e-mail is any indication, the war in Iraq has brought many of the long-held contradictions and tensions among the press, the political elites and the people into sharp relief.

And makes this startling admission:

This war will be a challenge for all media -- including NPR. There will be efforts to make the journalism tamer under the guise of a patriotic appeal. Others will push NPR to be more openly hostile to the conduct of the war.

Your tax dollars at work.
posted at 7:42 AM

A new restriction on freedom of the press in Canada
Toronto Star ombudsman Don Sellar reports that under a new law in Canada, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA):

there is one overriding principle: A young offender cannot be identified until a sentence has been imposed, and even then, only in limited circumstances.

The statute also prohibits the naming of a minor victim, unless both parents consent, and prohibits the identification of non-adult witnesses.

Nor are the restrictions consistent, as the law shields “the names of young victims or witnesses only when the crime was committed by a young offender, yet [allows] identification when an adult is to blame.”

Queries Sellar:

Would the law be respected if, say, a mayor's daughter had been murdered, yet media outlets were legally barred from identifying the victim or family?

Friday, March 28, 2003

Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation update III

In a post entitled “Murder By Telecast,” The Command Post reports that:

The BBC World Service has just signed [Iraqi blogger] Salam Pax's death warrant, live, on air, with a worldwide audience of millions.

Various bits of information about him have been on the web at various times in various places. So much that those of us that care about him were getting increasingly worried. But nobody had built up quite such a comprehensive dossier before, with all the pieces in one place. The BBC World Service then aired it, with the rather snide comment that he hadn't posted recently, and maybe the US Air Force had got him.

Glenn Reynolds observes that “putting up information that [Salam Pax] hasn't seen fit to make public seems to me to be crossing a line,” and promises, “If he turns out to have been killed by Saddam's goons, I'm going to very publicly blame the BBC.”
posted at 12:25 PM

Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation update II
The Guardian reports that “speaking last night at a meeting of Media Workers Against the War, Mark Damazer, the deputy director of BBC News, responds to criticism from the anti-war movement that the BBC is ’shackled’ by the government and military.” For example:

Mr Damazer admitted one of the areas where the BBC had made mistakes was in its use of language, but that it was seeking to put this right.

"If we have used the word 'liberate' in our own journalism, as in 'such and such a place had been liberated by allied forces', that's a mistake," he said.

Hmm. In the interests of truth in labeling, perhaps Media Workers Against the War should be renamed, “Media Workers who oppose their own country in favor of a bloodthirsty, mass-murdering tyrant in time of war.”

Andrew Sullivan observes that:

One thing you have to understand about some of these left-liberal top media honchoes - Howell Raines, Patrick Tyler et al - is that their actual social circle is pressuring them to go even further to the left. Their concern is seeming to be too conservative!

Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation update

Frank Sensenbrenner reports that:

Every time I've watched the BBC since the crisis, let alone the war, started, the BBC anchor has always asked her correspondent whether the American public is behind the war, and always receives a very nebulous response, bordering on grudging acceptance. I'm apparently missing the bulk of US public opinion over here in the UK, or BBC North America excises that bit. Perhaps they view the number of protestors in front of the White House as indicative of American public opinion. Come to think of it, I've never seen a BBC reporter sending a story in from outside Washington or New York…

posted at 11:40 AM

The “worst medical disaster” du jour
Micahel Fumento writes of the “worst medical disaster” du jour, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), that “there may be no fatal illness that will cause fewer deaths this year than SARS.”

He observes that “malaria kills up to 2.7 million people yearly … tuberculosis, kills perhaps three million more,” albeit few Americans, and that non-SARS “forms of pneumonia kill about 40,000 Americans yearly.”

Why all the attention to SARS? There’s “fame, fortune, and big budgets in sounding the ‘emerging infection’ alarm.”

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Life in this here AmeriKKKa

Proof that writers for The Guardian really do reside in an alternative universe:

Democracy is under threat in the United States; anyone who objects to the conflict in Iraq is not allowed to say so...

The harassment, arrest, detention and frustration of those who are against the war is becoming routine.

Oh, the repression!

via Tim Blair

UPDATE: Or perhaps The Guardian is referring to "The harassment, arrest, detention and frustration of those who are against the war" and lie down in the middle of a busy street.

UPDATE: This is the second time today I've received a monologue from an anti-war co-worker. Both speakers expressed the view that the war is hypocritical because President Bush was "unelected." For a repressed group, they sure feel free to unload their unsolicited political views.
posted at 1:56 PM

Forget the war, somebody shot an elephant!
Our nation is at war. American military men and women have been killed, wounded and captured, reports of civilian casualties are mounting and there are anti-war activists blocking streets. Complaints about biased and misleading press coverage are commonplace.

So today, Chicago Tribune Public Editor Don Wycliff uses his Op-ed page column to tackle a compelling reader complaint:

There's an article in today's Outdoor section about shooting an elephant. This is the most disturbing article I've ever read in the Tribune. ... Please don't print this stuff in the future.

If you’re wondering how Don comes out on this pressing issue, he’s against killing “a magnificent creature like an elephant solely for the pleasure of it,” but declares that he has “nothing in principle against hunting--for food, for self-protection.”

Presumably then it’s okay to kill an elephant so long as you intend to eat it, and then to tell your story to the Tribune. I’m thinking a nice cabernet would go best with elephant.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

The war started with 9/11

Nick Land writes in the Shanghai Star that:

Having suffered an assault more murderous - and certainly more despicable - than the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour, [the U.S.] no longer has the luxury of beginning this new world war, but only the implacable resolve to prosecute it to the end... War is no longer a "last resort" once it has been flagrantly initiated by hostile action.

Those who maintain that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has no connection to the international war on terrorism are in most cases the same people who deny that the anti-terrorist struggle is in fact a "war" at all. This is yet another symptom of the international dismissal of 9/11...

Few seriously doubt that Iraq is a determined enemy of the US and a deceitful terrorist state, one manifestly obsessed with procuring weapons of mass destruction. Its alignment in the already ongoing world conflict is therefore beyond serious dispute...

Much of the world has deliberately blinded itself to the depravity and menace of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Hopefully this cocoon of self-deception will be among the early casualties of the campaign.

via Tim Blair
posted at 11:00 PM

Ledeen: France and Germany in “a deliberate act of sabotage against America in time of war.”
Michael Ledeen reports in The New York Sun that the reason the U.S. and Britain were forced to abandon Turkey as a staging area for a second front against Saddam’s regime “was not an Islamic protest against the American-led coalition, but an act of anti-American intimidation by France and Germany.”

He reports that “Primary blame for the defeat of the measure lies with the opposition — the secular, Kemalist parties that have governed the country since Ataturk,” who were informed by France and Germany “that if they voted to help the Coalition war effort, Turkey would be locked out of Europe for a generation. As one Turkish leader put it, ’there were no promises, only threats.’"

This is only one of a serious of actions by France and Germany that can be seen “only as a deliberate act of sabotage against America in time of war.”

Others include ”exertions of French diplomats to 'convince' African countries to vote against us in the U.N.” and “first joining with us to give Iraq a ‘really, really, last chance’ and then preventing us from acting as if the language of Resolution 1441 meant what it said.”

Ledeen observes that “To take such action, Mr. Chirac must have conceived of a French future not only independent of the United States, but in open opposition to us.”

via The Corner
posted at 10:23 PM

Politically correct rules of engagement
"We don't want to hurt people if we can avoid it but now it has got to be that if you have got a weapon you have become an Iraqi soldier and we can kill you. This rules of engagement crap is making me lose men." – Capt. Waldron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team

“When Rome is strong, the provinces are orderly.” – a Shiite Muslim in Beirut after 9/11

Writing in today’s Times, Michael Gove gets to the core of what’s wrong with how the war is being prosecuted:

As Jacky Fisher, the architect of Britain’s naval superiority at the turn of the past century, put it, “the essence of war is violence, moderation in war is imbecility.” No matter how brittle President Saddam Hussein’s regime may appear, it will not be coaxed into collapse by noises off. It must be smashed. I had hoped that Tony Blair, who has been so admirably resolute in making the case for war, would appreciate that. But I fear that progress towards crushing Saddam’s tyranny has been hindered by the politically correct manner in which he and President Bush have prosecuted this war so far…

As far as the Iraqi population is concerned, any alms we dispense now could become tickets to a torture chamber in future, unless they can be certain the Baathists have gone for good. Once the regime has been smashed we can, and must, turn all our energies to reconstruction of the country. But until then, effort, however well-meaning, diverted from victory is perfume wasted on the desert air.

Reports are that Saddam’s thugs are using hospitals and mosques as staging areas and forcing people to fight at the threat of reprisals to their families. Capt. Waldron reports that most of the Iraqi combatants he’s captured are in civilian clothes. In Basra, Saddam has turned his cannons on his own people.

Rules of engagement are necessary, but we won’t win the hearts and minds of those who hate the United States by imposing absurdly limiting rules on our military. Simply put, they will result in more, not fewer, unnecessary casualties by prolonging the war. The proper and humane thing to do is to win this war as quickly and decisively as possible, and then help the Iraqis build a prosperous, democratic and peaceful future. Neither the war, nor the peace, will be won through half measures.

Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation update II

The Sun is reporting that:

THE BBC was last night sensationally condemned for “one-sided” war coverage — by its own front line defence correspondent.

Paul Adams attacks the Beeb for misreporting the Allied advance in a blistering memo leaked to The Sun.

And he warned the BBC’s credibility is at risk for suggesting British troops are paying a “high price for small victories”.

On Monday, he wrote from US Central Command in Qatar: “I was gobsmacked to hear, in a set of headlines today, that the coalition was suffering ‘significant casualties’.

“This is simply NOT TRUE. Nor is it true to say — as the same intro stated — that coalition forces are fighting ‘guerrillas’.

“It may be guerrilla warfare, but they are not guerrillas.”

via Rand Simberg
posted at 9:44 AM

Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation update
The Guardian reported on February 23, 2003, that “Senior BBC news presenters such as Huw Edwards and Fiona Bruce and journalists including Andrew Marr have been ordered by bosses to stay away from Saturday's anti-war march in London.” They are, however, “allowing more junior staff to attend the march but only in a "'private capacity with no suggestion that he or she speaks for the BBC.'"

Meanwhile, “The BBC director general, Greg Dyke, has also reminded staff they should remember their duty to be ‘independent, impartial and honest’ in the coming weeks as a possible war with Iraq looms.”

If you have to order reporters not to participate in political demonstrations, your chances of getting "independent, impartial and honest" news from them are virtually nil.

via The Edge of England’s Sword. (In contrast, Iain reports that the BBC Reporters' Log is "quality.")

Monday, March 24, 2003

And we thought France was bad

Reuters is reporting that not only has Russia been providing Baghdad with forbidden military items, despite American protests, but that the U.S.“discovered Russian technicians in Baghdad aiding the Iraqis with the [Russian supplied] GPS jamming system after the start of the U.S.-led war.” Allied planes, bombs and other equipment rely heavily on GPS information.


UPDATE: Here's the version from The New York Times:

The US on Sunday made public its protest to Moscow over the sales by Russian companies of anti-tank missiles and jamming equipment to the Iraqi military.

The State Department on Sunday voiced its anger at the Kremlin after a series of private requests as recently as last week by senior US government officials to Russia to halt the sales went ignored...

posted at 3:51 PM

Paleos in the news
The Eleven Day Empire reports on columnist Robert Novak:

who writes this morning to defend himself against charges of being "unpatriotic", leveled against him and other "paleoconservatives" by, among others, former Bush speechwriter (and current National Review writer) David Frum.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz reports that “The conservative movement is in shock and awe over a truly nasty brawl about Iraq.” He quotes Novak, who says:

It really poisons the political discourse to say that if you feel this hasn't been a wise decision on the part of the United States, you're criticizing your country and hoping for defeat.

Kurz then quotes prominent paleo Pat Buchanan, whose presumably non-poisonous political discourse includes such pearls as:

We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials seek to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interests. We charge them with colluding with Israel to ignite those wars.

posted at 11:30 AM

"The information we give you here is factual"
Tim Blair is reporting that when asked to respond to a piece in The New York Times, Australian Air Marshall Angus Houston replied:

I can't comment on articles that appear in American newspapers. The information we give you here is factual.

No word as to what the question was.
posted at 10:43 AM

An example of the problem with self-selected samples
While The Guardian’s sister publication, The Independent, observes that “Public opinion has swung sharply in support of the war in Iraq following the start of hostilities, Reader's editor Ian Mayes reports that The Guardian’s mail is running strongly against war:

…an analysis of 100 of Wednesday's war letters showed 87 against the war and 13 in support. By noon on Thursday the pro-war correspondence had dropped further.

All of which shows that opinions expressed by people writing letters to The Guardian don’t accurately reflect public opinion as a whole.

Both The Guardian and The Independent have taken strongly anti-war editorial stances.
posted at 10:19 AM

“only the female POW wasn't wearing boots”
Lex Communis on treatment of the female American POW by her captors:

…you can't imagine the cold chill I'm feeling right now. I hadn't attributed anything significant to that bit of information, which has been thrown out with offhand casualness and has not been the source of any exegesis from any news source I've read or heard.

Until now.

Now I get it.

And the Iraqis made sure to film her naked feet, to show that her boots had been removed.

I don’t expect that we’ll hear any outrage from the International Red Cross, though … or the French … or the Germans … or the Russians….

Sunday, March 23, 2003

A dozen sites with frequently updating war news

# The Command Post

# The Corner

# Drudge Report

# MSNBC Latest

# CNN Latest Briefing

# Fox News

# ABC News

# CBS News


# AP Breaking

# BBC Iraq Latest

# The New York Times

UPDATE: The Command Post link now reflects their move to a new new server and new domain name
UPDATE: Make that a baker's dozen. Lex Communis alerts us to The Agonist.
posted at 12:14 PM

“the permanently curled lip”
Glenn Reynolds observes that the BBC’s sneering anti-American coverage hasn’t gone unnoticed in the Blogosphere.
posted at 10:12 AM

The ordeal of Elizabeth Smart
Back on March 13, in a post entitled “I just don’t get it,” Post Watch reflected widespread opinion when he asked of the Elizabeth Smart abduction, “How many of my readers were once 14? Everyone of you, I suppose. How many would consent to being a quietly compliant abductee from your own family at that age?”

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Reader Advocate, Connie Coyne, provides some perspective:

[Elizabeth Smart] now 15, was kidnapped at knife point from her bedroom last June 5, and, according to charging documents, was sexually assaulted the first night of her capture. Police have verified she was held in a hole in the ground covered with boards...

She compares the kidnapping to that of Patty Hearst, who was locked in a closet and repeatedly raped before becoming a participant in the Symbionese Liberation Army.

It's easy to be a legend in your own mind when no one is shooting at you -- or locking you in a closet or abusing you.

And, many members of the newspaper-reading public and some in the news media seem quite clear on how they would behave if they were 14 years old, had been kidnapped at knife point out of their own bedrooms, abused and then buried in a hole as Elizabeth Smart apparently was last June.

Within hours of her recovery, some TV reporters -- and members of the general public -- started asking, "If she had these opportunities to escape, why didn't she?" One reporter asked officials if they intended to give Smart a lie-detector test.

Pretty damn presumptuous, I say.

At least Smart doesn’t have public vilification, prosecution and imprisonment to look forward to, the way Miss. Hearst did.
posted at 9:35 AM

Reader Advocate Debbie Kornmiller reports the Arizona Daily Star axed a Dave Barry column because, according to Managing Editor Bobbie Jo Buel, “the paper needs to take a different tone once the war starts.”

Saturday, March 22, 2003

The myth of unfettered press access

“...a step forward ... from the restrictive policies and tactics the Pentagon has employed in every conflict since Vietnam.” – Ombudsman Michael Getler, The Washington Post

“...for more than a decade and a half after Vietnam, the Pentagon specialized in attempting to manage the American press corps.” -- Ombudsman Connie Coyne, The Salt Lake Tribune

Mike King, ombudsman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports that he was contacted by “Wallace B. Eberhard, professor emeritus at the Henry Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia and a retired Army Reserve colonel,” who wrote, of the 1991 Gulf War and the 2001 intervention in Afghanistan, that:

"The mythology . . . is that the press was cooped up and restrained unnecessarily -- with emphasis on the last word. What the press can never rationally discuss is the impact of a thousand journalists running about unwatched in a staging area for a major offensive. The media has tried to build a case for unrestrained access in a combat zone as an historic or legal right. They can't do it. A reporter -- like it or not -- is a guest of the military in a war zone."

It's important to remember, he says, "Soldiers fight to win, heavily dependent on secrecy, sworn to defend the Constitution and follow orders. Journalists hunt for news, obligated to their bosses, their view of what the public needs and wants, and a vague code of ethics.

posted at 8:57 AM

RiShawn Biddle responds to David Frum
RiShawn Biddle takes aim at David Frum (also Mrs. Frum and Jonah Goldberg), who wrote a devastating piece on Unpatriotic Conservatives. Where RiShawn really looses me, though, is his defense of Jason Raimondo. I’ve been following Raimondo off and on for years, and I think that Ronald Radosh had him pegged last October when he wrote in The Boston Globe:

…it seems that Raimondo is now attempting to forge his own Red-Brown alliance, as Europeans refer to the coming together in post Soviet Russia of right-wing nationalists and unreconstructed Communists. In August 2001, he even published an article in Pravda (yes, that Pravda) in which he dismissed the idea that ''America is a civilized country,'' and, referring to World War II, maintained that ''the wrong side won the war in the Pacific.'' As for Israel, last week Raimondo continued to proclaim the myth that ''Israel had foreknowledge of 9/11,'' a claim that puts his Web site in league with the most extreme anti-Semitic canards coming from the Arab world…

Here’s Raimondo’s response in which he accuses Radosh of “red baiting” him, but never really denies the fundamental accusations.
posted at 8:11 AM

Pro and anti-military intervention
An interesting juxtaposition.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Insuring the UN’s continued irrelevancy

The AP is reporting that:

Jacques Chirac says France will not authorize a U.N. resolution allowing the United States and Britain to administer postwar Iraq.

via The Corner
posted at 2:08 PM

Rachel Corrie, peace activist?
Zachary Cohen has an account of the known facts and conflicting stories about WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO RACHEL CORRIE, the “peace activist” known for teaching Palestinian kiddies how to burn American flags and for getting run over by a bulldozer that was “part of an operation to eliminate tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists to illegally smuggle weapons from Egypt into Gaza.”

And here’s the young “peace activist’s” paean to “young fighters”, whom she also refers to as “martyrs:”

I would also like to ask you, and those to whom you pass this on, to think about the relative positions of the fighters and occupiers in this monumentally unequal struggle. While the huge force of Israelis have every technical aid invented by the US war machine, the few young fighters have NOTHING BUT THEIR WEAPON (and this not the most modern) - no helmet, bullet proof vest, radio contact or other protection. No back-up, no plane, helicopter, tank, APC, searchlight, dogs, flares, ambulance or refuge - put all the Israeli/American propaganda aside for a few minutes and try to imagine, please, the courage it requires to do what these youngfighters do, knowing that the odds are against escape and that, every time they do succeed in evading death, the odds against a further survival are shortened. Even if the operation is a success the price is always high.

Hate mail may be sent to The OmbudsGod

via Little Green Footballs and Daimnation.
posted at 1:22 PM

Television broadcasts of grateful Iraqis, celebrating their liberation from Saddam, are going to make for an interesting juxtaposition with broadcasts of nasty, anti-American European demonstrations.
posted at 11:56 AM

NPR listeners: More bias, please
Last week, NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin admitted to an “apparent imbalance on NPR between pro- and anti-war commentators,” in which “NPR appeared to be allowing more voices to reflect anti-war sentiment,” and that “When the opinions expressed were pro-Administration, it was often grudging support and not entirely without moral reservations.”

This week he reports that “a lot of” listeners are complaining that NPR is ignoring “stories that may put the Bush Administration in a bad light.”

This reminds me of The Louisville Courier-Journal’s anti-war ombudsman, Pam Platt, who “made an immediate mental connection between” a Presidential press conference and censoring of the Rolling Stones by “Big Brother, Beijing Office.”

George Condon of Copley News Service observed of criticism of the press conference, “the liberals and the Democrats [are unhappy] because the press doesn't stop the war with their questions.”

In other words, the anti-war crowd isn’t complaining because the press is biased, but because it isn’t biased enough.
posted at 11:21 AM

Interesting editing at the BBC
In Britain, the National Union of Teachers released a statement urging “schools to be ready to deal with any increase in racism particularly Islamophobia and anti-semitism as a result of the possible war,” and cautioning that “Refugee, Muslim and Jewish pupils and staff are at particular risk of being targeted for abuse…”

According to Biased BBC, The BBC’s Newsround dutifully reported the warning, omitting any mention of Jews or anti-semitism. It was only after a complaint from reader Sally Foster, who asked “why aren't Jewish students and teachers considered worth mentioning? Why did you leave them out of the Newsround report?” that the BBC included a new paragraph mentioning Jews and anti-Semitism.

As Ms. Foster observes, the selective editing “cannot be for reasons of space for goodness' sake - we are talking about 2 words!”
posted at 9:44 AM

More of the “Bush is Hitler, Americans are Nazis” moral equivalence
Tim Blair alerts us to this statement from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s The World Today:

JOHN HIGHFIELD: Well the Nazis used to call it "blitzkrieg" when they did it prior to the Second World War, a softening up process. The Americans are calling it "shock and awe".

As Tim observes, “Highfield isn't a guest. He's the fucking host.” (Nice use of Army Creole, Tim!)

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Another partisan OmbudsHack

Referring to such paragons of virtue as impeached Federal judge, now U.S. Congressman, Alcee Hastings, Palm Beach Post ombudsman C.B. Hanif informs us that “blacks often serve as a moral voice for the nation.” He reports that the “moral voice” overwhelming opposes military intervention in Iraq and “seems” to agree with “Harry Belafonte … when he said Mr. Powell no more represents African-Americans than the national security adviser who has an oil tanker named after her.” In other words, African-Americans are a monolithic group and are only “represented” by blacks with the correct, left-wing politics.

Hanif goes on to inform us that this monolithic, racially defined “moral voice” has a “strong affinity with American Jews” and “that large numbers of Jewish people are opposed to invading Iraq.” Jews will undoubtedly be relieved to learn of this new “affinity.” Less than a year ago columnist Larry Elder was reporting that “blacks [are] three to four times more likely than non-blacks to be anti-Semitic” – and was calling on “black leaders” to “reconsider” their anti-Semitism.
posted at 12:10 PM

Paleo-cons or neo-confederates?
In a follow-up to yesterday’s piece on paleo-conservatives, David Frum mentions something that I’ve noticed too – people who describe themselves as paleo-conservatives generally hate Abraham Lincoln:

One subject I did not tackle in my piece was the obsessive hatred that so many of the paleos feel for Abraham Lincoln. I discovered late, though, that Lincoln was not unique: The site hates Winston Churchill nearly as passionately. As I read their fulminations, I realized how much the Rockwellites reminded me of the Nazi playwright in the movie, “The Producers”: “Hitler vas a better painter than Shursheel, Hitler vas a better dancer than Shursheel ...”

Years ago when I worked for a small conservative think-tank, one of my co-workers used to comment that his favorite President was Jefferson Davis. He even had a small Confederate national flag (not the battle flag) in his office, which I regarded at the time as more eccentric than offensive. The problem was that I kept running into other conservatives like him, and they all seemed to subscribe to Chronicles.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

They’re collaborators not “human shields,” and terrorists not "militants"

NPR isn’t alone when it refuses to label Hamas as terrorists when they attempt to blow up school busses full of children, and instead refers to them as “Islamic militants,” thereby confusing terrorism with militancy.

Likewise, NPR isn’t alone in applying the term “human shield” to “protestors” who voluntarily travel to Iraq to protect military targets, thereby confusing them with the hundreds of hostages Saddam seized to serve as human shields during the first Gulf War.

It’s time to straighten this out. Groups like Hamas are terrorists, not mere militants, and “protestors” who voluntarily impede military intervention in Iraq are collaborators, not human shields.

UPDATE: It should be noted that most individuals who went to Iraq to act as "human shields" left when it became clear that the Iraqi government would place them at military installations, communications centers, electrical plants and water-pumping stations. Those that remain are being housed and fed at the expense of the Iraqi government. They serve at Saddam's pleasure.
posted at 2:30 PM

American crimes against humanity and other suppressed stories struggle to break free!
Media Minded looks at a Boston Globe piece about “Those brave alternative-media patriots, whose dissenting opinions have been so ruthlessly suppressed during the run-up to a possible Gulf War II.” But there is still hope for the ruthlessly suppressed messages to get out! For example, the Globe tells us that “The Free Speech TV satellite network [will] focus on what a spokeswoman, Linda Mamoun, calls ''the crimes against humanity the United States will perpetuate, and the opposition to it.''

As MM observes, “those on the left who complain about having their voices silenced are actually complaining that their hysterical messages have virtually no traction with the American public.”

The neo-cons strike back!

For years now we’ve listened as a small band of so called paleo-conservatives argued that they are the true standard bearers of American conservatism and lash out at the majority of conservatives who don’t identify with their movement. As National Review’s David Frum points out, many paleos have not only become anti-war:

But the antiwar conservatives have gone far, far beyond the advocacy of alternative strategies. They have made common cause with the left-wing and Islamist antiwar movements in this country and in Europe. They deny and excuse terror. They espouse a potentially self-fulfilling defeatism. They publicize wild conspiracy theories. And some of them explicitly yearn for the victory of their nation's enemies.

This is the best take-down yet of the paleos that I’ve seen.

via InstaPundit

UPDATE: Peter Sean Bradley has some thoughts on the anti-American tone of the paleo-cons. Money quote:

being an anti-American conservative is a lot like being an American-bashing Country-Western singer. That dog won't hunt. You lose your voice in the discussion in a heartbeat.

posted at 11:32 AM

More on the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation
David Aaronovitch reports in yesterday’s Guardian that in a nation closely divided between pro-war and anti-war sympathies:

the impression has been given, on the BBC in particular, that public and expert opinion is strongly and almost exclusively opposed to military action. This expectation has entered the cultural stratum that the majority of broadcasters exist in, and so dominates that it has become that most dangerous of wisdoms - not so much orthodox, as axiomatic.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

What exactly does The Boston Globe propose Bush should have done?

"Our position is no matter what the circumstances, France will vote 'no.' Because ... there is no cause for war to achieve the objective that we fixed-- the disarmament of Iraq" – French President Jacques Chirac (Chicago Sun-Times, 3/10/03)

“Bush should have done more to win over … France…” – The Boston Globe (3/18/03)
posted at 2:05 PM

Just the same old anti-American communist front groups
Interesting piece in National Review Online by Ion Mihai Pacepa on the Soviet roots of the World Peace Council, which “’participated in or co-organized’ the current worldwide anti-American demonstrations.”

The WPC was created by Moscow in the 1950s and had only one task: to portray the United States as being run by a "war-mongering government."

In the U.S., the primary organizer has been International F.O.R.W.A.R.D., a front group for the Stalinist Workers World Party. Likewise, another organizer, Not In Our Name (NION), has been identified as a front for the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). (also here)

Note: The OmbudsGod recently associated NION with the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which connection MIM denies.
posted at 12:11 PM

Polish jokes are out, French jokes are in
Bill Dennis has a collection of French jokes.

Okay, he seems to be suffering from the dread Blogger archive bug, so just go here and scroll down.
posted at 11:06 AM

Daily Mirror: Gen Tommy Franks is a bumpkin and university dropout
Here is how Britain’s anti-war Daily Mirror headlines a snotty profile of U.S. General Tommy Franks, who will lead allied forces in Iraq:

COUNTDOWN TO WAR: MILITARY MACHINE IS SET FOR CONFLICT: A bumpkin known as Pooh who'll mastermind the war
Mar 18 2003

For the record, after leaving school and serving as an enlisted man in Vietnam, Franks went on to graduate from the University of Texas at Arlington and has a Masters in Public Administration from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

He served in Vietnam (where he received three purple hearts), Korea, Germany and the Gulf War. Buried in the article is Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's assessment of the the commander. "Tommy's intelligent and quick and he knows his stuff."

Bumpkin indeed.

UPDATE: It now appears that they've dropped the "bumpkin" part.
UPDATE: But it's still here.
UPDATE: It's gone from there, too.

So this is what France’s obstructionism is all about

In a Reuters piece headlined “France Says World Against Bush Ultimatum on Iraq,” the office of French President Jacques Chirac is quoted as saying:

"Whatever the objective pursued, France recalls that only the Security Council has the authority to justify the use of force…”

Which means that puny little France believes it has a veto over American military policy, even when that policy is in self-defense or to remove a brutal mass-murderer like Saddam Hussein from power.

The UN has a terrible record of responding to crises. It stood by while hundreds of thousand were slaughtered in Rwanda. A Security Counsel resolution authoring intervention in Kosovo was withdrawn because Russia stated they would veto it. In fact, U.S. intervention in Panama, Grenada, Haiti, Kosovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan all occurred without UN approval.

And France habitually sends its military into Africa without UN approval – most recently to the Ivory Coast after civil war broke out – suggesting that to the French, it is only the U.S. that needs such explicit authorization.

If international law is to be interpreted as requiring the U.S. to obtain approval from Russia and France before using its military, then it is in the words of Charles Dickens, “a ass, a idiot.”
posted at 9:45 AM

Europe favors war by 21 countries to 5
Referring to a piece by Stratfor's George Friedman, Andrew Sullivan has a breakdown by country of where European governments stand on military intervention in Iraq. He observes:

something that should be borne in mind when you hear NPR, the BBC and others tell you that "Europe" opposes the war. By an overwhelming majority of 21 countries to five, Europe backs war, with five countries neutral. And of those 21, you have the second and fourth largest economies, Britain and Italy, the two biggest emerging powers, Spain and Poland, and the entire former Eastern bloc. It would be a huge majority in the future EU. So why isn't the story that Germany and France are now isolated on the continent?