:: The Fred Willard Fan Site ::

(UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

:: Monday, May 13, 2002 ::

John Malkovich rules! He, along with countless others, has recently hurt Robert Fisk's feelings with some rather harsh words.
Does this kind of filth have an effect on others? I fear it does. Only days after Malkovich announced that he wanted to shoot me, a website claimed that the actor's words were "a brazen attempt at queue-jumping". The site contained an animation of my own face being violently punched by a fist and a caption which said: "I understand why they're beating the shit out of me."

Of course, these kinds of threats have to be taken literally and seriously. They couldn't possibly be satirical, because none dare mock the Robert Fisk. BTW, would it kill this asshole to post the links to these websites?

Fisk even equates Mark Steyn's memorable response to his beating at the hands of Afghan refugees in Pakistan with the genuine death threats he receives. Far easier to lump cogent criticism in with the epithets than to actually try responding to them.

Curiously, The Bruise doesn't make any excuses for his verbal detractors - they're all guilty of spreading hate. I'll make a note of that.

Criticizing the one true Fisk: inexcusable.
Kicking his ass until he looks like Sly Stallone at the end of Rocky I: perfectly understandable behavior.

Got it.

UPDATE: As MAX POWER notes, another of the hatemongers Fisk exposes is slain WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl's father. Just when I think The Bruise couldn't possibly be more nauseating...
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:21 PM [+] ::
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Instapundit visited by Israeli spies! The professor fesses up to being visited by the Israeli “art student spies” of conspiracy theory fame, and actually bought some of their work. He also links to this Ha’aretz story that lays out all the facts of the case, without making the huge quantum leaps in logic that the aluminum foil hat crowd has.

This does not surprise me in the slightest. Not because I think Glenn Reynolds is a logical target for Zionist espionage operations, but because it proves what I have said about this canard all along: it’s a whole lotta nothing.

Much has been made of the 60-page DEA report that documented numerous “contacts” the Israeli nationals made with various government installations – overt, downright awkward contacts, that is. This information is certainly enough to raise suspicions – which it did, despite claims that our counterintelligence services don’t seem to care. And if the information in this draft document were all there is to the story, it would admittedly leave little room for coincidence.

But the stories written on this “spy case” have approached it from the angle of a blind man inspecting an elephant, discounting the possibility that the art students also approached countless other individuals and “installations” which had absolutely nothing to do with national security or law enforcement. Like Glenn Reynolds’ house, for example.

Similarly, the same stories made much ado about the fact that some of these students conducted their “operations” very close to where some of the 9/11 hijackers were staying. This is accurate, but incomplete. The Israeli students were also operating in countless other cities across the country were the hijackers weren’t staying. But inexplicably, the conspiracy buffs like Justin Raimondo and Creative Loafing (I’m still waiting for High Times to blow the lid off this scandal myself), and a few others who are simply sloppy reporters, see this as proof that not only were the Israelis shadowing the terrorists, but that they had actually obtained information from them and did not share it with the feds.

The DEA could help finally put this story to rest by releasing the rest of its investigation documents, to put the leaked draft in a proper context. If and when they do, we’ll probably be privy to many other benign visits like the one to the professor’s house. And the 60-page “smoking gun” will look more like a drop of water in an Olympic-sized pool.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:30 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, May 12, 2002 ::
Yet another dig at Chomsky. One hardly needs to belabor the point that critics of Israel resort to some shameless sophistry in their assertions of "moral equivalence." But no one has made a more unabashed case for equating dead Jewish kids in pizza parlors with masked Palestinian gunmen killed before they get a chance to enter a jewish settlement than Noam Chomsky.

I am certainly not the first to engage his latest schmutzin the Guardian, but this one merits a late hit.
When the current intifada broke out, Israel used US helicopters to attack civilian targets, killing and wounding dozens of Palestinians, hardly in self-defence. Clinton responded by arranging what the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz called "the largest purchase of military helicopters by the Israeli Air Force in a decade", along with spare parts for Apache attack helicopters. A few weeks later, Israel began to use US helicopters for assassinations. These extended last August to the first assassination of a political leader: Abu Ali Mustafa. That passed in silence, but the reaction was quite different when Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Ze'evi was killed in retaliation. Bush is now praised for arranging the release of Arafat from his dungeon in return for US-UK supervision of the accused assassins of Ze'evi. It is inconceivable that there should be any effort to punish those responsible for the Mustafa assassination.

I think I'm going to vomit now.

Such a blithe reference to a man like Mustafa as a "political leader" is every bit as outrageous as calling Josef Mengele a "geneticist."

But don't take my word for it. The PFLP's "political platform" is well-documented - which is probably why Chomsky makes absolutely no mention of the name of the organization Mustafa led. Nazimedia, which has prostituted itself as sort of a PR Newswire for any Islamo-fascist group (they actually served as a surrogate for Azzam publications when they had to go underground late last year), all in the name of anti-globalization (then, ironically, they feign indignation when the White hate groups also try to use their newswire as a platform).

PFLP's rhetoric is replete with sadistic jubilations at "Zionazi filths" being gunned down or blown to bits, as Nazimedia readers are well aware. PFLP flacks have also expressed pride in the grotesque murder of "collaborators" (be forewarned, this link is not for those with weak stomachs, especially "Majur's" intifada "snuff film" accompanied by a warning that this is not "a game where Jews get some part of Palestine").

Something to keep in mind when reading Chomsky. When he uses terms like "civilian targets," he includes the organizers of "martyrdom operations" and men who execute blindfolded collaborators in ditches.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:40 PM [+] ::
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Tens of thousands of CIA saboteurs take to the streets of Caracas. That's how the Independent headline reads, isn't it? Here's how Reuters wrote the story:
Venezuela Remembers April 11 Coup Victims
By Patrick Markey
CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of opponents of President Hugo Chavez marched through the streets of Caracas on Saturday in memory of the victims of last month's failed coup that briefly ousted the fiery Venezuelan leader from power.

Amid a boisterous sea of flags and banners, protesters, many wearing black armbands, demanded a new president and justice for those who died when gunmen opened fire during the April 11 anti-government rally that sparked the coup.

"Just like we did on April 11, we are still struggling today for a better Venezuela," said Jorge Mitsicosta, an engineer taking part in Saturday's demonstration.

Hmm. Doesn't look like the situation in Venezuela is conforming to the Cold War-era Leftist formula - which, I admit, was quite accurate at one time. But maybe, just maybe, there were some huge domestic sources of dissent that has led to Chavez' troubles.

I couldn't resist taking a gander at how this massive demonstration was playing on the aluminum helmet websites, and lo and behold, they did not disappoint. At Nazimedia, AFP's version was met with this reaction:
Ol lefty: These people are completely shameless

Chavez 4 Life: disperse those dumbasses [under the headline "hey an actual good time to use tear gas"]

anti-cointel: A closer look reviels just who is protesting. While Venezuela is a prodeminately brown, black nation, as is exemplified in the Chavez government, the vast majority of the protesters are White, upper middle class neo-bourgeoisie .. protesting the FACT that they've lost their grip on the nation's mandate. The 'protesters', provocateurs with American backing, are the benefactors of the business and media conglomorates.

As many have stated, these people are guilty of inciting crimes against the nation's vast majority, who are poor. Numbers show Chavez's policies have increased the number of schools in the rural districts, hospitals, doctors etc within the urban poor. Chavean policies are beautiful, and are working. These obstructionists should be tried for crimes against the nation. All "100,000" of them.

Chavez should take a chapter from Fidel .. Seize the media!

Keep in mind, these were the same folks who organized the February anti-WEF protests, and the April 20 Hatefest here in DC, and screamed bloody murder when their bikes were confiscated.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:01 PM [+] ::
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Oh, you've got to be fucking kidding me.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:51 AM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, May 11, 2002 ::
Sure beats the technicolor barcode! Laurence Simon submitted this entry to the Guardian's contest to pick the new European Union flag.

What it lacks in subtlety, it more than compensates in panache.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:16 PM [+] ::
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Fecal fixation. Also from Counterpunch, former CIA analyst Kathleen Kristison challenges the sanctimony of Israeli government, in "Israel, a Light unto Nations?".
But I can't get something I recently saw off my mind. Every so often in the midst of a deluge of information something leaps out at you as unique--utterly electrifying, utterly horrifying, almost mind-altering in a way. One's senses become dulled after months, years, of reading about and seeing images on television of innocents dead from Palestinian terrorist attacks, of other innocents dead from Israeli tank or sniper fire, of cities and refugee camps devastated, in recent weeks of the entire civilian infrastructure of Palestinian society destroyed. But one searing article leapt out the other day that has stuck in my craw, and I cannot let go of it.

This certainly sounds serious. What could it be? Another "massacre?" My god, have the stories of Palestinian children being ground into pastries proven true?

Not exactly.
In an article in the May 6 issue of...Ha'aretzentitled "Someone Even Managed to Defecate into the Photopier," Amira Hass -- an honest, courageous woman [arent't they all?] who has spent years living among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza -- described the scenes of destruction at the Palestinian Ministry of Culture left behind after Israeli military forces lifted their seige of the towns of Ramallah and its suburb al-Birah, where the ministry is located.

Entering the building after its month-long occupation by an Israeli military unit, ministry officials, foreign cultural attaches, and reporters found a scene of grotesque vandalism. Equipment from the local radio and television station had been hurled from windows in the multi-story building, electronic equipment was destroyed or had been stolen, furniture was broken and piled up on heaps of papers, books, computer disks, and broken glass. Children's paintings had been destroyed.

And then there was this, as described by Hass: "There are two toilets on every floor, but the soldiers urinated and defecated everywhere else in the building, in several rooms of which they had lived for a month. They did their business on the floors, in emptied flowerpots, even in drawers they had pulled out of desks. They defecated into plastic bags, and these were scattered in several places. Some of them had burst. Someone even managed to defecate into a photocopier. The soldiers urinated into empty mineral water bottles. These were scattered by the dozen in all the rooms of the building, in cardboard boxes, under desks, next to the furniture the soldiers had smashed, among the children's books that had been thrown down. Some of the bottles had opened and the yellow liquid had spilled and left its stain."
[...]
This is not a tale we are ever likely to see in the American press, so the vast majority of Americans who think with Menachim Begin that nobody can preach to Israel about ethics, that Israel's army is the only moral army in the world and always employs the doctrine of "purity of arms," will go on thinking that way.

This is the single, seminal event by which we should judge an entire nation? The mere fact that these soldiers were in the building for an entire month should be evidence enough that this latest atrocity was committed reluctantly, and the Ha'aretz story also points out that the toilets were overflowing - AAUGH! Why the fuck am I even addressing the specifics of this nonsense?

What can you say about a person who could obsess about this improper toilet training, given the backdrop of senseless murder against which it occured? What kind of pompous, bigoted pseudo-intellectual would be more emotionally scarred by smeared shit, than by a five-year-old girl shot at point-blank range? Or maybe the CNN footage of dozens of cell phones amid the rubble of the billiards hall at Rishon Letzion, still ringing incessantly hours after their owners were killed in the latest terrorist attack?

And how bereft of shame do you have to be to publish a story like this, given the recent accounts of the scene left at the Church of the Nativity? Quite the classy publication you got there, Alex. Good to see someone is finally tackling the issues that really matter.




:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:04 PM [+] ::
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More Israel/Palestine McCarthyism from the Left. George Sunderland - the pseudonym of an anonymous Congressional staffer - does Eric Alterman's list one better, by writing in Counterpunch that supporters of Israel are "quislings" and compares them to France's Vichy government.
For expressions of sheer grovelling subservience to a foreign power, the pronouncements of Laval and Petain pale in comparison to the rhetorical devotion with which certain Congressman have bathed the Israel of Ariel Sharon.

Apparently, the fact that Israel might just be a tinge more worthy of such accolades than Hitler's Germany is utterly meaningless to this fool. And it would be nice if once in a great while, someone could write soemthing critical of the Israeli government without mentioning the USS Liberty incident, which is some 35 years old now. "Sunderland" even points that Liberty suffered far more casualties than the USS Cole, as if that cheap observation had any bearing on whether the attack was intentional. He also makes the absurd claim that Liberty survivors were "bullied into silence," except to the History Channel and at least a half-dozen authors.

"Sunderland" also alleges that Israel bears responsibility for the 1983 terrorist attack on U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut - again, no evidence whatsoever, merely innuendo based on other unsubstantiated allegations about Israeli duplicity. And no anti-Semitic, -er, I mean "anti-Israel" diatribe would be complete without mention of the recent "art student" spy case, a conspiracy of silence which would require the participation of several federal agencies, as well as the monolithic "mainstream media" in its entirety. Again, the fact that professional journalists followed up on the story and concluded that there was simply nothing to it than the ranting of a single disgruntled DEA agent, is to be ignored.

This modern-day Lindbergh also takes potshots at Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ), for employing "rumored Mossad asset" Yosef Bodansky, and at John McCain, for having the gall to post a picture of himself posing in front of American andIsraeli flags on his website.

But the centerpiece of his addled analysis is his zenophobic attack on AIPAC, in which he wonders aloud why the political action committee is exempt from the Foreign Agents' Registration Act. You see, we have to discount the notion that there might be American citizens, who have no connections to the Israeli government, providing AIPAC with its daunting political power. The argument used to be that it was the disproportionate wealth of those money-grubbing American Jews which accounted for their stranglehold on American politics.

But Counterpunch is a magazine for the "sophisticated" Left, and such conspicuous racism won't do for the Trader Joe's audience. So you have to morph it into a LaRouche-ite conspiracy involving money-laundering by "foreign powers." Perusing the rest of Alex Cockburn's journal, I find it very difficult to distinguish it from the rhetoric of the Black Helicopter crowd.

I guess I need to go register myself to be in compliance with FARA. Anyone know which office you go to for that?




:: COINTELPRO Tool 4:02 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, May 10, 2002 ::
Piling on Chomsky The professor links to two critiques of Avram Noam Chomsky's bestselling book, 9/11: yesterday's Walter Shapiro column and this posting by the self-proclaimed anti-Chomsky, Pejman Yousefzadeh.

Both of these are first-class drubbings, and well-deserved at that. But neither addresses what in my mind is the most glaring fallacy used by Chomsky in his "blowback" theory regarding September 11: most of the belligerent imperialism Chomsky cites as proof that the U.S. is the "leading terrorist state" are, in addition to being incredibly dated, from Latin America and Southeast Asia. Why haven't our acts of "genocide" against these people produced a single suicide bomber or airplane hijacker?

Come to think of it, our acts of imperialism in the Middle East have been pretty austere. The secular regimes which the jihadists loathe so much were not, contrary to popular myth, installed via CIA-supported coups. The leading offender, Egypt, evolved from the left-leaning Nasser regime, which was certainly not a U.S. puppet. The only real example would be the ouster of Dr. Mohammed Mussadiq. But certainly al-Qaeda was not born out of his brand of nationalism, and Iran has been free from our yoke for over 20 years now.

And even were we to accept his view of Israeli oppression of Palestinians, this violence pales in comparison to the bloodletting committed by the Assad and Hussein regimes, neither of which have produced much of a "blowback."

Or even condemnation by the UN, for that matter.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 4:14 PM [+] ::
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The new factcheckers. Factchecking went out of style a long time ago - probably around the same time reporters abandoned the three-source confirmation rule before running with a story, no matter how ridiculous it sounded on its face. But not to worry, journalists. The bloggers have your back - whether you like it or not!

The latest media bullshit detection comes from Damian Penny, who busts Salon for blindly accepting the lies of pro-terrorist activists (and accessories to war crimes):
"An American activist who snuck past Israeli troops to deliver food says there's plenty of illness, very little food and absolutely no militants hiding inside." [emphasis added]


I'm shocked! You mean these terrorist sympathizers peace activists were lying to us? I'll never have faith in anyone again!

I guess Salon would have us believe that the Nativity monks made all those homemade bombs. Probably more profitable than wine.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:32 PM [+] ::
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It's bad enough that lately I have to consciously remind myself of the reasons why I am still liberal. Seeing an unapologetic Leftist like Christopher Hitchens outflanking one of my political heroes (Michael Kinsley) on the right isn't helping. I justify my own jingoism with the realization that the Conservative and Liberal labels (much less Left and Right) have been inappropriately attributed to pacifism and war.

Kinsley's latest takes us to task for pursuing a deontological stance on terrorism:
This does not mean, as some would have it, that suicide bombing is justified as a legitimate response of an oppressed people. There may be circumstances where that is true, but the circumstance of the Palestinians (who, among other considerations, have effectively won their fight for statehood in principle and are arguing about the details) is not even close. Nevertheless, an illegitimate tactic used in a legitimate cause, as part of a conflict with legitimate and illegitimate tactics and aspirations on both sides, is different from an illegitimate tactic used for purposes that are utterly crazed and malevolent.

Here's Hitchens' take on the same issue:
None of this recognition of our own responsibility can be wasted on rationalizations of the suicide bombers and the Palestinian organizations that sponsor them. The self-murder of preprogrammed individuals who have the massacre of civilians as their aim is not just disgusting in itself. It expresses very clearly the absolutism of the ideology that exalts it; a depraved religious mentality combined with a rigidly exclusive ethnonationalism. If it took only "despair" there would or could be millions of Palestinians doing it, and doing it furthermore (since the "risk" is hardly greater) at least against "military targets." But the immolation of an old people's Passover dinner, in the territories that are supposedly recognized as Israeli, requires more than a blank lack of discrimination. It requires planning.

Simply put, we need not marry these horrendous acts to the legitimate -- and yes, they are legitimate -- self-determination claims of the Palestinian people. As to whether the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires the flexible response that Kinsley deems necessary...
"Condemnations" of such deeds are worthless, and more than worthless, in fact contemptible, when they have to be exacted. Edward Said to his credit long ago expressed a secular wish for a Palestinian Mandela, instead of the Papa Doc figure who now leads a hideously misgoverned people. Well, Nelson Mandela was in jail when the practice of "necklacing" the supposed collaborators infected the townships of South Africa. But Desmond Tutu, short and vulnerable as he was, waded into a mob and forced a halt to a public burning. No doubt that crowd had felt despair and frustration also. But there was no question which side the leadership was on.

A simple thought experiment shows that if there were any sign of a two-state solution, suicide murders would increase and not decrease. In case you have forgotten, these obscene tactics were first employed when the Rabin-Peres government was in power and when there was much more negotiating "space" than there is now. Netanyahu quite probably owes his election to those events, and something tells me that his rival and successor, General Sharon, does not tear his hair with grief when he learns of the random slaughter of Jews.[emphasis mine]

To be clear, Hitchens is no fan of the rejectionist Israeli right, nor its apologists in the U.S. government. I still happen to share this view, but I am capable of separating Sharon's intransigence on issues such as settlements with the actions he took in the West Bank and is now prosecuting in Gaza - both of which are justified.

I was once solidly in the pro-Palestinian camp myself, and no, it wasn't September 11 that lurched me to the other side. Rather, it was the beginning of the so-called al-Aqsa intifada. For nearly a decade, we pressured successive Israeli governments to make concessions to the PLO in the name of peace. And though the process included its fair share of zigs and zags, the fact that the Israelis have conceded a great deal more than their counterparts have in indisputable. They offered Arafat 95 percent of what he claimed to be asking for, and to date, they have received only a renunciation of terrorism and the rejectionist language of the PLO charter - neither of which, as is now evident to all who care to look, have ever been backed up with actions.

After talks broke down, Sharon made his now-infamous visit to al-Aqsa - an act that was intended to offend and is certainly worthy of condemnation. But I had to scoff at the suggestion that the visit caused the recent violence. These arguments are as racist as they are ridiculous. The suggestion is that Palestinians have no choice but to react to Sharon's chest-thumping with acts of murder. And how many dead children in pizza parlors it would have taken to compensate for this affront is anyone's guess. But sadly, even rational people like Kinsley seem to be arriving at the conclusion that expecting the Israelis' partners at the negotiating table to abide by some level of civility is an impossible imposition.

As for the root issue, I have never been for deontological, absolutist political stances for their own sake. I'll opt for whatever stops terrorism, even if it is less than morally consistent. But no one - not even Mike - has given me any reason to believe that an inflexible posture (no deals, no negotiations, until you prove you can abide by a cease fire for more than two days) isn't precisely what this situation requires.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:56 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, May 09, 2002 ::
More on Thomas White. Most of the editorial gang-banging of the Secretary of the Army this week has focused - rightly - on the Crusader lobbying issue. But Al Kamen, as usual, is onto the real story:
Yet there was bad news last week: The Naples City Council in Florida denied White's request for a waiver so he could put a modest wall in front of the $4 million, 15,145-square-foot beachfront cabana he's building down there.

The city code, according to the Naples Daily News, allows walls to be a maximum three feet tall, with gates and gateposts at most six feet tall. White wanted a simple 6-foot-9-inch wall, a gate two inches higher and gateposts a mere 10 feet tall.

Council opponents noted most houses in Old Naples don't have gates and the waiver request bespoke a fortress mentality. Others said the wall would ensure privacy. The good news is the council split 3 to 3 on the waiver, with one member absent, so there's still a chance the wall will be allowed to go up.

Kamen, being far wiser than us mere mortals, can see how this may have affected White's thinking on the future of land-based artillery.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:46 PM [+] ::
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'Spiteful luxury.' There was no such thing as hypocrisy before today. It simply did not exist until the LA Times editorial staff singlehandedly invented it with this morning's lead editorial:
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon broke off his visit to Washington by essentially saying "forget it" to diplomacy after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 15 Israelis near Tel Aviv. No matter how reprehensible such bombings are--and they are terrorism--the Bush administration cannot allow itself Sharon's spiteful luxury. Only a sustained effort by other nations will force Israelis and Palestinians to the conference table.

Yeah, Ariel. There are other parties in this conflict who have a much larger stake than you do. And don't give us any crap about the very people you were elected to serve being routinely murdered. Our prestige as a world leader is on the line here. So try not to be so damn parochial for once.

"Spiteful luxury." Indeed.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:22 PM [+] ::
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A discussion of 'black propaganda,' by someone who ought to know it when he sees it. Surprisingly, Robert Fisk is not convinced by Israeli evidence of Arafat's coordination of terrorist acts:
These reports – and many others – show just how far Yasser Arafat had lost control of the militant organisations flourishing among the Palestinians on the West Bank. But Israel's reaction was to go public with accounts of their contents that were deliberately misleading and, in at least one case, untrue. They claimed that the report on Ilayan detailed his role in a failed suicide attack – when in fact it recorded his suspected collaboration with Israel – while presenting the second document as proof that Mr Arafat's own intelligence men were involved in the al-Aqsa suicide squads. All references to the drug dealer and the inducement to collaborators to seek forgiveness were excised.

The Arabic texts suggest that Israel is fighting against men who have long ago passed outside Mr Arafat's control, who are better funded than his Palestinian Authority and whose anti-Israeli attacks can only occasionally be foiled by Mr Arafat's still-loyal intelligence officers.

But remember, Yasir Arafat is the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people!


:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:29 AM [+] ::
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Can't belive I missed this the first time. I frnaly don't have a position on the Army's Crusader debate, and have never felt that hardware systems should have any ideology or party affiliation. I do like this quote from yesterday's post, however:
Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld dismissed the argument that soldiers would die in combat without the Crusader and said whoever produced the "talking points" was suffering from "an overactive thyroid."

I also think that this is an instructive case in the importance of strong, decisive civilian leadership of the military. Simply put, if DoD had made their position on the program from the start, rather than letting the Army brass continue to guess whether it would survive, we probably wouldn't have had the messy spectacle of military leaders contravening the "suits."
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:18 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 ::
Bethlehem terrorists finally leaving. Breaking on CNN, Palestinian gunmen are now leaving the Church of the Nativity. Yet again, Arafat's terrorists are going to get away with what are quite clearly war crimes.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:04 PM [+] ::
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Tools for media watchers. The DoD press office (OASD/PA) has recently made a standing policy of posting transcripts of all interviews with its principals on its website.

Not to worry. They respect the priveleges of exclusivity by delaying these public postings until after the stories run. I suppose this was precipitated by the sloppy reporting of a certain San Francisco daily, and the excoriations ASD Victoria Clarke was able to leverage by posting the transcript of an interview by the Chronicle of Deputy SECDEF Paul Wolfowitz.

I, for one, look forward to comparing these transcripts with the actual stories that run. I encourage everyone to do likewise.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:55 PM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, May 04, 2002 ::
Springfield, OH has a newspaper? Sorry, but that was my second reaction - first one being revulsion, after seeing this political cartoon. Charles Johnson brought this to my attention, but he forgot to post the appropriate means for readers to express their outrage...
The Springfield News-Sun welcomes letters from readers. Letters should be no more than 250 words and may be edited and condensed. Letters must be signed and include the writer's daytime phone number and address.

Letters may be mailed to 202 N. Limestone St., Springfield, 45503, or sent by e-mail to newssuneditor@coxohio.com. They may be faxed to 937-328-0328. For more information, telephone Keith Streitenberger at 937-328-0376.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:19 PM [+] ::
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This certainly looks promising. Got this email this morning:
To: cducamp@ifrance.com
Date: Sat, 04 May 2002 07:34:59 -0700
From: "Sandra Savimbi" | Block Address | Add to Address Book
Reply-to: nnengi_sam@lycos.com
Subject: Kindly Get Back To Me Please.
Organization: Lycos Mail (http://www.mail.lycos.com:80)

ATT:
This letter may come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have
not yet met. The message could be strange but reel if you pay some
attention to it. I could have notified you about it at least for the sake
of your integrity. Please accept my sincere apologies. In bringing this
message of goodwill to you, I have to say that I have no intentions of
causing you any pains.

I am Ms. Nnengi savimbi, daughter of the late rebel leader Jonas
savimbi of Angola who was killed on the 22nd of febuary 2002 . I managed to
get your contact details through "The World Business Journal", a
journal of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce in South Africa in the time I
was desperately looking for a trustworthy person to assist me in this
confidential business.

My late father, Jonas savimbi was able to deposit a large sum of money
in differnt banks in europe My father is presently death and the
movement of his family members (including me) is restricted. We are
forbidden to either travel abroad or out of our localities. Presently, the
US$8,500,000.00 EIGHT, MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS my father transfered
to Netherlands is safe and is in a security firm. Before you can get
access to it i have to give you the password I am therefore soliciting
your help to have this money transfered into your account. before my
government get wind of this fund .You know my father was a rebel leader in Angola before his death. My reason for doing this is because it will be difficult for the
Angolan government to trace my father's money to an individual's account,
especially when such an individual has no elationship ,I decided to keep
that money for my family use. At present the money is kept in a
Security Company in nertherland.

I am currently and temporarily living in Angola with my husband my
brother has a refugee status'in The Netherlands. Moreover the political
climate in Angola at the moment being so sensitive and unstable.With this
password and information I will send to you, and power of attorney to
the security firm, When you are ready i will give you the information
needed before you can get access to the fund you will then proceed to
Netherlands where the US$8,500,000.00 EIGHT, MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS
will be given to you as payment. Alternatively, you can have the fund
transferred into any account that suits you.
Yours sincerely,
Sandra Savimbi.

Man, I have just been falling ass-backwards into dumb luck lately. And I thought my subscription to the World Business Journal of Johannesburg had expired long ago. Anyhoo, posting may be intermittent today, as I'll be busy making money hand over fist!

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:16 AM [+] ::
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:: Friday, May 03, 2002 ::
"I'm not dead yet!" This Pythonesque video, obtained by BBC from the IDF (warning: they can't verify its authenticity!) shows Palestinians carrying one of their dead from the Jenin "massacre," dropping his corpse several times. No worries, as he's able to get up by his own power, replace his own funeral shroud, and keep the procession moving.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:24 AM [+] ::
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USA! USA! USA! USA!
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:16 AM [+] ::
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Deconstruct this! With enough pretentious guile and a thesaurus at his/her side, the true "intellectual" can deconstruct just about anything. A dense fog of verbosity can dilute even the simplest questions into something that appears to be a discussion of quantum physics.

It is quite fitting that I would come across this, courtesy of the english version of al-Ahram Weekly, on the same day that the blog world was treated to a Lileks screed that made me want to quit blogging altogether. In fact, you should read it again before you delve into this "answer," of sorts, to the question of whether suicide bombings against innocent civilians is morally justifiable (by Palestinian writer Faisal Darraj):
My second question concerns your reference to the ethical problem pertaining to Palestinian suicide bombings that target innocent civilians. To clarify the issues involved it is imperative we eliminate the pernicious notion of parity, this equating of two sides that are anything but equal which provides the stepping-stone to the lethal formal detachment manifested in calls to condemn reciprocal violence, to condemn the two hostile parties, to stop violence and terrorism, to urge the two sides to exercise self-restraint. If, as I argued above, "the objectivity of similarity" leads eventually to equating the victim with his executioner, an ethical judgment based on such foundations can sometimes lead to condemning the victim, while exonerating the executioner. It is precisely this attitude that leads many Palestinians to characterise as "universally degenerate" the dominant political discourse that transforms Palestinians into terrorists and Sharon into a warrior against terrorism.

The concerns expressed above may be condensed into a single, pertinent question: Who determines the truth? The truth, in the times in which we live, is the property of the strong. It is the monopoly of the power pulling the strings in the global decision-making process. And it is the protection of this monopoly, which necessitates eliminating the actual truth, that makes Israel impose a total media blockade on the Jenin camp, where thousands "disappear" and the dead are buried in sewers or elsewhere. It is a monopoly that meanwhile allows the "objective" media -- CNN for example -- to devote hours of exclusive coverage to the gory consequences of every Palestinian martyr operation. The media, believe its monopolists, belong to those who deserve it. Perhaps the most important ethical contribution you and other intellectuals have made has been to break this monopoly on truth to render it a universal human right, to be exercised by all members of the human race, including Palestinians driven to martyrdom by their tragic conditions.

Gosh, and to think I had viewed the issue in such a simplistic manner.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:03 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, May 02, 2002 ::
Un-headline-able. Ann Coulter, in what may be the first column she's written without any reference to Bill Clinton or Monical Lewinsky in years, tacitly endorses (well, maybe not so tacitly) Le Pen:
Liberals are hopping mad about this turn of events. Consequently, they are accusing their beloved French of "xenophobia." "Odious xenophobia," in the words of a New York Times editorial. The Times was in such blind rage that it simultaneously denounced Le Pen for capitalizing on opposition to immigrants, "mostly Arab," and for speaking in "anti-Semitic overtones." How, precisely, opposition to anti-Semitic violence committed by Arabs reflects anti-Semitism remains murky.

I think this is the first time I've seen the word xenophobic in quotation marks, when referring to Le Pen.
Very possibly, what the Times calls "xenophobia" is a logical reaction to a specific group of immigrants. It has to be said, no politician ever appealed to voters by railing against Belgian immigrants. If an abstract fear of foreigners were the issue, France would not have already admitted so many Arabs that Islam is now the second-largest religion in France.

I'm glad that's all cleared up now. And thank you, Annie, for reminding me that, despite my current penchant for jingoistic rage and mouth-frothing Zionism, I am still pretty much a liberal.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:24 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 ::
Civilian casualties and accountability. This week, David Corn adds his voice to the chorus of those decrying U.S. apathy for the civilian victims of our bombing campaign in Afghanistan.

He gets some credit for not churning the same old Heroldesque tripe, fixating on number-crunching and equating civilian deaths incident to an attack on armed terrorists with those deliberately targeted by murderers.

But he comes dangerously close. Corn starts with a false analogy between the Dutch government’s handling of the revelations that its peacekeepers in Srebrenica stood idly by while 7,500 innocents were slaughtered, and the Pentagon’s handling of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. The Dutch should be lauded for their accountability, while the U.S. constantly tries to "shift blame."

The first problem with this, of course, is that the Dutch only recently demonstrated its moral courage, seven years later. One has to wonder what they would have done if no one had ever found out about their actions, but Corn lauds their "refreshing" candor nonetheless, while condemning the Pentagon for refusing to acknowledge culpability while the bodies are still warm.

But here’s the most glaring fallacy in his logic: the Dutch were in Srebrenica as peacekeepers – i.e., to protect civilians, not to wage war. At their sole mission, they failed miserably. By contrast, the Pentagon killed – even by the most generous figures (discounting shameless idiocy, of course) – small fraction of the Srebrenica figure, in the process of overthrowing the most heinous despotism the world has seen since Pol Pot, and decimating a terrorist network.

The two cases are not comparable, either in scale or in nature.

His basic argument is that the U.S routinely denies, or simply ignores, "credible reports" of civilian deaths:
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has acknowledged, in an abstract manner, that in war civilians are occasionally hit by accident. But he and the Pentagon have repeatedly refused to admit particular mistakes like the attack on the convoy [traveling from Khost to Hamid Karzai’s inauguration].

What?!? In addition to the case Corn himself cites (in which the CIA paid $1000 to the families of friendly Afghan forces in Hazar Qadam), there are several other specific instances in which the Pentagon has admitted fault.

The Pentagon's actual policy, when viewed outside of Corn's 1960's Revisionist prism, looks like this: they will not engage in the numbers game, but they do investigate invidual cases and take what they - and I - would deem an appropriate response. Abstract, my ass.

It is also noteworthy that, in the case of the Hazar Qadam raid, the fact that the Pentagon paid the families of those killed doesn’t seem to be good enough for Corn, because the U.S. won’t admit that the incident was completely their own fault. There are also "credible reports" that the American forces were on the receiving end of this "friendly fire" incident.

The one particular incident for which the Pentagon continues to deny fault (and I would dispute Corn’s claim of "repeatedly refusing") is the bombing of the Paktia province convoy. But there were also reports that the convoy fired SAMs at the approaching strike aircraft before it was attacked. I happen to find that to be a "credible report."

As an interesting side note to the Khost raid, here is what Hamid Karzai – who is also convinced that the raid killed innocent "tribal elders" -- himself had to say about U.S accountability for such actions:
But Karzai said the Americans have acknowledged their mistakes, sometimes with financial compensation. "They have immediately come to explain, immediately apologized, immediately sent representatives of their people to [offer] apology and explain," he said. The sensitive issue of civilian casualties during four months of U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan has grown more pressing recently, as villagers and local leaders accuse U.S. military forces of killing the wrong people in attacks in their areas. Having risen to the Afghan leadership with strong U.S. support, Karzai now faces pressure from his countrymen not to ignore American errors.

Having said all of the above, I do not have a problem with Corn’s major point – that we should compensate the innocents killed in the Afghanistan war. Actually, any kind of financial compensation given directly to families – especially those mistakenly hit by our bombs – would make me happier than economic aid given to the Afghan government. And I don’t even care if someone tries to spin it as a "war reparation."

Contrary to Corn’s allegations, the U.S. has a strong tradition of rebuilding its vanquished enemies, and we are doing the same in Afghanistan. Whatever the level of aid we continue to give, the Afghan people will be better off in the coming years than they were before we acted on October 7. They are free of the periodic ethnic cleansing committed by the Taliban, not to mention the forced starvation, and other contributors to low life expectancy that can be directly attributed to their Khmer Rouge-style political Islam. Thousands of lives will have beeen saved.

And that should count for something.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:03 PM [+] ::
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This is just sickening.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:14 PM [+] ::
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Anti-Semitism vs. anti-Zionism. Richard Cohen's piece in this morning's Washington Post takes supporters of Israel to task for branding any criticism of Israel - or sympathy for the Palestinians - as anti-Semitism:
The only way out of the current mess is for each side to listen to what the other is saying. To protest living conditions on the West Bank is not anti-Semitism. To condemn the increasing encroachment of Jewish settlements is not anti-Semitism. To protest the cuffing that the Israelis sometimes give the international press is not anti-Semitism either.

Cohen also says that one can be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic. Agreed. But the whole premise of his argument is questionable, if not a complete strawman: just who has labeled that the criticism he describes as anti-Semitic? Some of us have even been critical of those same things, but we just haven't used them as a reason to excuse coldblooded murder.

But we have suggested a tinge of bigotry when addressing the more absurd claims made by "critics of Israel." When headlines scream "massacre" without a shred of evidence, and rush to judge the IDF as war criminals without so much as a mention of their side of the story, it may not be anti-Semitism, but it's still bigotry.

How about a Italian political cartoon depicting the IDF murdering the baby Jesus? May not be anti-Semitic, but it's still bigotry. Ditto for the headlines chastising Israel for "defying" the UN's fact finding mission, without mentioning it's valid concerns.

No, Richard, I don't think these critics of Israel are necessarily anti-Semitic. But they are full of shit.



:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:33 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, April 29, 2002 ::
Raping Okinawa. Today, David Carr at Samizdata noted a headline on the pro-jihad, pro-Milosevic Antiwar.com which read, "Latest US Menace to Okinawa: Falling Jet Parts." The website is notorious for plastering such sensational headlines on well-reasoned news stories from other sources (this one from Stars and Stripes), and this story was certainly a disappointment to anyone expecting to read about people being pelted to death by nuts, bolts, and landing gear falling from the sky.

One of Antiwar’s main feature writers, Justin Raimondo (who many of you may remember from this recent defense of Jean Marie Le pen) responded to Carr, on the Warblogger Watch weblog, no less. I guess he couldn’t find a public restroom with enough available wall-space for his diatribes, but the guy does write for Antiwar.com, so I shouldn’t expect any shame from him.

And honestly, I probably shouldn’t even give his childish, hate-filled rants the additional exposure that comes with rebutting it. But Raimondo’s letter to Warblog Watch is much more than the morally-obtuse sophistry he’s known for, and I cannot let such a bigoted smear of U.S. servicemembers go pass without the public flogging that it – and he – deserve. Here’s a sample of his response to Carr’s alleged trivializing of the story:
He doesn't identify the quote as coming from a representative of the US government [they all lie, you know]. But Carr is more than just merely a dishonest prick. He also ignores the rest of the article, which cites theKiyoshi Akamine, Okinawa City’s chief of base relations, as saying "This is a problem." Oh, but who are the Japs to say that? "Oh," the insufferable Carr writes, "the inhumanity! Oh the oppression!"

Nowhere does Carr claim that it isn’t a problem. Clearly, parts falling from aircraft mid-flight is a problem whether it’s over Okinawa, or Branson, MO. But Raimondo seems to believe that Yankee aviators revel in the opportunity to have their planes fall apart over helpless "japs."
Listen, Carr: American GIs have been raping Okinawan women, robbing people, pushing them around for YEARS -- and, you know what, the Japanese people don't like it. What a surprise! And they also think junk falling out of the sky and quite possibly landing on their heads is "a problem" -- no matter how much our government reassures them that it's not a problem.

Actually, the crime rate for American servicemembers in Okinawa is lower than that for the Japanese nationals who reside there. And I dare say that the consequences for those servicemembers who do commit crimes is far more severe than for the locals.
In addition to exposing his utter contempt for our guys in uniform, Raimondo appoints himself the defender of Japanese sovereignty:
The occupation of Okinawa is an affront to the Japanese, not the Americans (except insofar as American taxpayers have to pay for for it, including the cost involved in defending the lowlife rapists and other thugs stationed there).

What a gutless worm. I was stationed in Japan myself (Yokosuka), and spent a great deal of time in Okinawa. It’s true that there is a lot of resentment for the forces stationed there, but that resentment is due to the amount of real estate we use on that tiny island, not to the criminal behavior that Raimondo egregiously distorts.

But we’re there because the Japanese government allows us to be there - they even contribute a great deal to the cost of housing these "lowlife rapists and other thugs." And if they ever decide that we should no longer be there, we’ll leave, just as we left Subic Bay.

I’m going to keep this disgusting invective of Raimondo’s. And I hope everyone remembers it the next time this pitiful excuse of a pundit spouts off about how "disloyal" supporters of Israel are.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:49 PM [+] ::
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Just posted on Drudge. Several national cable networks have turned down those Saudi Embassy advertisements.
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This is news? Well, to the Washington Post, I guess it is. Always ahead of the power curve, the Post has now uncovered the "unlikely" alliance between neo-Nazis and Muslim extremists. Unlikely? Why, because the Muslims aren't white?

I could have written this headline back in November. The real news here is why it has taken the Left so long to realize that Muslim extremists aren't their allies. I've often wondered how the Lindh's would have reacted if their son had announced that he was joining the Church of the World Creator, or even the Latter Day Saints *gasp*.

But I guess the Left's penchant for "identity politics" and the romanticization of all things Third World (UBL as a modern day Che Guevara) blinded them to the overt fascism of the "resistance."
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:33 PM [+] ::
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Also from the Daily Wanker. The Guardian also has this story on the aborted Venezuelan coup. It quotes an ex-Navy intelligence analyst who claims that the U.S. Navy provided EW (jamming) and other support to the coup plotters.

I'm going to go out on a limb here: this story is complete horseshit. Apart from the sheer impropriety of anyone giving this kind of information to an outsider months in advance (he claims the military attache in Caracas told him in June), I'm a little tired of people "in the know" claiming they had prior knowledge of events, but not divulging information until long after. As a Navy vet myself, I can tell you that you can't always believe what we say - especially the civilian employees.

Despite an adamant denial by the U.S. embassy in Caracas, the Wanker went with the headline, "American navy 'helped Venezuelan coup,'" with nary an "alleged" nor "claimed" in sight. Same old Wanker.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:05 AM [+] ::
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Fox News come-uppance. I've become quite ambivalent on Fox News' coverage. I have to admit that I'm warming to their coverage of the Middle East - they were the first to break through the nonsense on Jenin, and are the only network to give significant coverage of the real reason Israel objects to the UN fact-finding mission.

But I have always detested their constant drumming of the "fair and balanced" mantra, when in fact, their bias is more overt than any of the other networks. And Bill O'Reilly is the worst thing to happen to TV punditry since Morton Downey, Jr. And you have to wonder about the judgement of a network that would hire Geraldo now(and stand behind him on one of the most embarrassing gaffe in recent memory.

Now this: theNew York Times has just exposed one of their so-called "military experts."
The Fox News Channel thought it had found an asset when it hired the gruff, barrel-chested former military man as a consultant to help in its coverage of the fighting in Afghanistan. He claimed to have won the Silver Star for bravery, served in Vietnam and was part of the secret, failed mission to rescue hostages in Iran in 1980.

For more than four months, Mr. Cafasso assisted and shared tips with reporters, producers and on-air consultants. Then on March 11, he abruptly left Fox amid complaints that he had overstepped his bounds and had become an annoyance. Soon afterward, Fox News, and many associates of Mr. Cafasso, learned that his office style may have been the least of his problems. The real story, many people say, was that he was not who he said he was.

He released a statement on Sunday in which he said he was the victim of a "gossip campaign" by "self-centered individuals with their own political agendas."

This is truly rich. Not only does it expose journalistic sloppiness (personnel records of American service members are incredibly easy to verify), but it also leaves the American viewing public with one less "expert" to listen to.

This one just happened to be part of the TWA 800 conspiracy theory crowd. This level of humiliation couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:29 AM [+] ::
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"Palestinians killed." Careful not to repeat their hysterical coverage on Jenin, the Daily Wanker has this headline on the IDF incursion into Hebron: "'Palestinians killed' in Hebron attack."

The Norwegian consulate can breathe a sigh of relief.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:16 AM [+] ::
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A little gratitude. Time to give some thanks to everyone who has linked to me and given my three-week-old blog some kind words. Not just the heavyweights like the professor, Charles Johnson, and Damian Penny, but also Jason Kenney, Ribstone Pippin, and Chris Seamans. A special thanks to Brian Carnell, for his compliments, and to Lex Gibson for this accolade:
Typical warmongering tripe and pro-Israeli propaganda with the occasional snide comment directed towards the Saudi's. Which is to say, I like it.

I can't pay for endorsements like that!
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:20 AM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, April 28, 2002 ::
Fun with Google.Charles Johnson has been getting some unwelcome traffic. He's been monitoring the keywords of the hits he gets from search engines like Google, and has found such oddities as "saudi girl ass photo."

Of course, I immediately went to my own hit counter to see if I have been the subject of any bizarre web searches. Alas, the only weirdo who linked to me was someone looking for "raimondo le pen."

UPDATE: someone looking for "mpeg funny taxes president" linked to me earlier. Funny, but still not of the same caliber that "saudi girl ass photo" denotes.r
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:25 PM [+] ::
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Tell me again why we need this UN fact-finding mission? Human Rights Watch is the latest NGO to come to the conclusion that there was no massacre at Jenin. Maybe someday the Independent will at least report that there are doubts that such an atrocity was committed there. But I'm not holding my breath.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:18 PM [+] ::
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The story has legs (pun intended)! The news about Saudi prince Abdullah's request for male-only air traffic controllers while flying over U.S. airspace will not go away. Picked up by Charles Johnson (of course), then Drudge, now CNN has gotten in on the act. Their coverage includes this, from Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO):
We have very, very fine air traffic controllers. Men and women -- they do their job, they do a fine job, and there's no sense in us trying to bend to their culture.

A public statement has now been leveraged from just about everyone (except the White House), and I have no doubt that the blog world is responsible for that.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:01 AM [+] ::
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:: Friday, April 26, 2002 ::
Hizbullah now uncontrollable . Jane's Defense Weekly has this report on Hizbullah's resurgence in Lebanon. Largely because of a redeployment of Syrian forces to maintain order at home, Hizbullah now has almost total control over southern Lebanon. It is unlikely that Lebanon or Syria would be able to reign them in, even if they wanted to. Their inroads are quite deep, and impossible to uproot without creating dozens of Jenins:
Hizbullah maintains its command and control facilities in crowded urban areas that cannot be targeted without significant collateral damage. It is for this reason that the preferred Israeli targets are the utility and telecommunication centres of Beirut. Anticipation of such strikes may have precipitated the Syrian redeployment from their usual urban positions in the city.

Hizbullah is also working with PFLP-GC to increase its front against Israel.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 4:16 PM [+] ::
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Sharon's popularity. Reuters reports that Ariel Sharon's poll numbers have risen 19 points from their nadir just before Defensive Shield began, to 64 percent. I'm sure the accusations of a "Wag the Dog" scenario from the black helicopter crowd are forthcoming.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:41 PM [+] ::
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Charles Johnson rules! He's made quite a niche for himself catching Arab leaders in lies. Now, the eminent bullshit detector has exposed the bald-faced whoppers told by provisional House of Sod government foreign policy advisor Adel Al-Jubeir's whopper told on Meet the Press this Sunday. Al-Jubeir, you may recall, denied to Tim Russert that the infamous Saudi telethon for "martyrs" was not to raise money for terrorists, but for Palestinians who have "died innocently." Linking to the National Review piece on enslaving Jewish women, he finds this smoking gun, from the Saudi Jerry Lewis himself:
Which is a better choice, to de on your bed, or to die perseverant, fighting, not retreating. Which is better to suffer long before death many days, or taste death quickly?

Nice catch.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:34 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, April 25, 2002 ::
This is ironic on SO many levels! The Saudi government -- er, the provisional government which currently controls much of the Arabian peninsula, I mean -- has apparently formed its own Office of Strategic Information, in an attempt to penetrate the constant barrage of anti-Muslim agitprop the American people are bombarded with on a daily basis by their so-called "free press," and convince them that their war is not against the American people -- it's just their misguided leaders. Their first foray is a couple of advertisements airing in several American media markets:
"Prejudice, fear and conflicting views can distort what we see and hear," says one 30-second spot. "Please keep your eyes, ears and especially your minds open."

Roger that. One slight problem, though, Cochise. The more I open my eyes and ears to your "ideas," the more my mind seems to clam up. This initiative was undertaken by their American embassy, ostensibly part of the same diplomatic service which dispatched a poet to teach Britain the virtues of "dying to honor God's word." As Charles Johnson reports, that same poet has fired a particularly nasty letter in response to the British Jews who refused to appreciate his artistic expression.

Level 2: I wonder when FAIR will issue an alarmist media advisory warning of the dangers of this media campaign to our democracy. I seem to remember a lot of concern by them that we might pollute the pristine waters of public discourse in the Muslim world with "inaccurate information." When forced to choose between our lies, and their own folklore about Jewish Purim celebration rites, one might tend to get confused.

Level 3: The provisional government loyal to the House of Saud probably had to pay for these ads, rather than call our network execs and say, "make it so." The indignities these Samaritans have to suffer on our behalf.

Level 4: Coming soon, a madrassah in your home town.

UPDATE: James Lileks has apparently been subjected to one of these lectures on peace and tolerance by our Wahhabist friends, and has weighed in.
If the House of Sod is taking ads in Midwestern talk radio stations they know they're in trouble. But it reminded me of how I used to view the House of Sod - cynical, corrupt, giving lip service to piety in public then going back to the palaces for cocktails and blondes.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:45 PM [+] ::
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Photos from the April 20 demonstrations. I'm sure you won't find pictures like this on CAIR's website, but much to their chagrin, there are less subtle people out there who aren't ashamed of them.
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To America-haters everywhere. You have to wonder about people who can seethe about a country that has a muppet testify before its legislature. The next time I see a jihadi, anti-globo, or French demonstration involving the usual flag and effigy-burning, vows to kill the infidels, and a lot of frothing at the mouth, I will remember this picture, and ask myself, "Why?"

Talk about having something up your...
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:33 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 ::
Overwhelming support for U.S. role in Philippines. According to a survey by Manila pollster Social Weather Stations, our presence and assistance in destroying abu Sayaff is supported by 76 percent of Filipinos, with only 17 percent opposed.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:27 AM [+] ::
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A new reason to hate Jews. You've heard all the nonsense about Muslim blood being used to make Purim pastries, and the one about the 4,000 Jews who called in sick on 9/11. Now, Warblogger Watch (not linking to the worm, sorry) has some new r ed meat for you - they are responsible for Le Pen's strong showing at the polls:
I wonder how many warbloggers are going to comment on the support Le Pen recieved[sic] from French Jews beacuse[sic] of his anti-immigration, anti-muslim platform?

He links to this story and this story.

The first story managed to find one Jew who supported Le Pen. I guess it hadn't occurred to this international man of mystery that the sheer oddity of this is what made it newsworthy. The second story doesn't mention any Jewish support for Le Pen. It m erely notes that he may be trying to get Jewish votes by playing on fears of Arab violence and trying to distance himself from his infamous remarks about the holocaust.

Only an idiot or a bigot would assume from this that there is any significant suppor t for Le Pen among Jews. Which one is this faux blogger? a
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:25 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, April 23, 2002 ::
Further bastardization of the term "peace activist." A mob of anti-Navy "protesters" viciously attacked a group of U.S. marines in Puerto Rico last night. Wielding bats and pipes, they put one Marine in the hospital with a serious head injury. This was the second attack on servicemembers there in two weeks.

"We are all Palestinians." That certainly stands to reason. The discourse over "human rights" in Vieques has reached the same level of hypocrisy as in the Middle East conflict. The assailants are the real victims here, we are told, and the Sailors and Marines who "humiliate" the viequenses by conducting exercises on their land are the oppressors.

In October of last year, Vieques mayor Damaso Serrano compared the Navy's training to the 9/11 attacks themselves:
"These bombings, which are no different from those in Afghanistan or the terrorist attacks against the "Twin Towers" [in New York] have killed beings of flesh and bone," said Serrano in a written message read by his daughter Lizamarie Serrano during a solidarity act called "A hug for Damaso."

In his message, the mayor questioned the difference between the bombs dropped against Afghanistan and "those that during 62 years have taken away the lives of so many Viequenses."

"We could also call this an act of terrorism against Vieques, because [the bombings] have been dutifully planned in dark rooms and perpetrated by the Navy and the incumbent governments with the intention of causing harm and panic to the population in the name of the so-called democracy," added Serrano, who has served 69 days of his four-month prison sentence.

Peculiarly, many of the anti-Navy "activists" don't actually want them to leave. They stand to lose too much money. Keep the bases there, just don't let them do anything.

UPDATE: It now appears that the Monday night incident was a drunken melee, and not politically motivated.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:17 PM [+] ::
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Check out what I'm using as my new desktop wallpaper.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:07 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, April 22, 2002 ::
Ted & Me. This post was going to be a serious discussion of civilian casualty figures during OEF. However, I began with Ted Rall's latest insult to our intelligence, which completely derailed it. His op-ed was not to be the focus, as it only mentioned such casualties in passing:
The moral high ground has eroded out from under the U.S. in the months following September 11th. First our bombing campaign killed 10,000 innocent Afghan civilians as we sought vengeance for the murder of 3,000 Americans.

Needless to say, I was curious about this quote.

So I actually emailed him, and asked for a source (hey, I was civil). He (at least I assume it was he, and not Danny Hellman) responded:
CNN and The New York Times. The figures are, if anything, conservative.
Leftie sources claim 15,000 to 20,000.

Ya don't say! I wasn't sure if I should try to contact Marc Herold, to let him know he was now officially irrelevant. But I emailed Rall again, after I had done a few quick searches on google, CNN's website, NYT's website, and Lexis-Nexis. I found no such reference, I wrote him. In fact, NYT had only mentioned Herold's figure (which were the highest estimates I had heard) in contrast to the much lower figures cited by the Project on Defense Alternatives, declining to arbitrate between the two.
The stats are out there; just keep hunting and you'll find them. When I complete my column for each week all the citation info gets deleted
from my hard drive (my computer is ancient and easily gets too full) and sent to the syndicate. I understand why people want to discuss previous columns, but it's all I can do to work on the next one without getting into the old stuff.

Hyuk!
Keep hunting I shall do. I only hope that if I ever find such an outrageous figure on either of those sources, that the authors are a bit more willing to stand behind their claim than Rall was.

I have a genuine distaste for this guy. I mean really, isn't the role of the satirist supposed to be to gouge holes into other sources of arrogance and pretension?


:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:01 PM [+] ::
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Get them. The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot has this story on the USS COLE bombing investigation (yes, it's still ongoing):
``I didn't want to be in that room,'' he recalled. Lopez was badly scarred, with second-degree burns over more than a third of her body. Seventeen sailors were dead, and Reuwer was determined not to do anything that might slow the recovery of someone who easily could have become No. 18.

Finally, five days after the bombing, he stopped for a visit. ``I wasn't about to interview her,'' Reuwer said. He smiled at Lopez and stood near the door, just wanting her to know that he was praying for her.

After a few minutes, the wounded sailor motioned him to her bedside. The effort was excruciating, but she had something to say.

Reuwer couldn't make it out. He leaned forward and she tried again, but the words were too weak, too muffled to understand.

Worried that Lopez was in pain, the agent summoned a nurse. Again the sailor struggled to speak; the nurse cocked an ear inches from Lopez's lips and then nodded.

She turned to relay the words: ``Get them.''



:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:26 PM [+] ::
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Case Closed. It's hard to believe that it's been only a week since the leftist British press "unearthed evidence" of a massacre at Jenin. Though the Independent seems to be hoping its readers will forget it's premature (and false) headlines from last Monday, the Guardian has printed what amounts to a retraction. They are now focusing on the possiblity of "other kinds of war crimes," such as keeping humanitarian assistance out of Jenin. For almost a week, the press held off on admitting that there may not have been a massacre at Jenin, because so many bodies had yet to be unearthed from the rubble. Now, we're left to wonder how many of these crushed bodies could have been saved, if only the IDF had let the Red Crescent in earlier (earlier than, say, immediately after the last gunmen surrendered). The world may never know.

Even rock-thrower Edward Said does not make the allegation in his latest piece, but does accuse Israel of a disproportionate response, as well as having desires of destroying "Palestinian civil life":
By what inhuman calculus did Israel's army, using dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers, along with hundreds of missile strikes from US-supplied Apache helicopter gunships, besiege Jenin's refugee camp for over a week, a one-square-kilometer patch of shacks housing 15,000 refugees and a few dozen men armed with automatic rifles and no missiles or tanks, and call it a response to terrorist violence and a threat to Israel's survival?

This criticism sounds like it was lifted from a Saturday Night Live sketch. You're only supposed to use measures that are commensurate with those used by your enemy? Israel has refrained from blowing up Palestinian Ramadan celebrations, and other expressions of "civil life," but I don't suppose they get credit for that. For a bird's eye view of just how inhuman that calculus was, check out Charles Johnson.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:40 AM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, April 21, 2002 ::
Darrell Hammond rules! I've never seen a comedian who does such a wide range of impersonations (he does Richard Dreyfus. Who the hell does Richard Dreyfus?), and his Geraldo Rivera (featured on this week's opener) was right on.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:32 AM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, April 20, 2002 ::
Do you smell something? Why it's Ted Rall's latest cartoon, of course. Apparently, he lacks the courage to give an encore of 9/11 widow-bashing, but still thinks it's acceptible to make fun of soldiers dying in friendly fire incidents and aircraft crashes.

Lacking any talent or command of pertinent issues, Rall continues to try to get by on shock value. But his insults are getting repetitive and tiresome. Are we so poor in political satire talent that this creep gets a billing on the New York Times' website?
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:04 PM [+] ::
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Seeds of hope. I haven't seen much from this weekend's anti-everything-that-exemplifies-Western-values protests in DC. More of the same stale sloganeering in lieu of oratory, designed to get some kind of Pavlovian imprint into our collective memory.

If there has been a low point, I'd say it was the parading of orthodox Jews on stage, whose statement pleaded for the world not to judge Judaism by Zionism. They also blamed Israel for the recent rise in anti-Semitism in the world, just as their intellectual cellmates have blamed the fathers of Zionism for the holocaust.

But I did find one thing heartening: on Newschannel 8's coverage of yesterday's bicycle protest and subsequent arrests, one dmeonstrator was interviewed about her ordeal at the hands of DC's finest.

In addition to not being forewarned that riding into oncoming traffic was illegal, this Unshorn Sister of the Apocalypse claimed the police had no right to confiscate their bikes.

"Those are our private property," she wailed.

Hypocrisy, or progress? We report, you decide.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:05 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, April 19, 2002 ::
Welcome back. The USS COLE is fully restored and is heading back to Norfolk for further tasking.
She came to us wounded but unbowed," said Philip Dur, president of Northrop Grumman's shipbuilding sector. "We couldn't be prouder that she has been restored to full operational readiness and will soon rejoin the fleet and take her place on the line."

On a personal note, a close friend of mine has just left the DC area and will soon report as the ship's new Weapons Officer. He couldn't be prouder or more enthusiastic.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 4:32 PM [+] ::
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Casting call. This Stephen Hayes column on the Weekly Standard website reprints this damning email from a CNN producer looking for leads:
Hi everyone! I hope someone out there can help me. I'm looking for a young black entrepreneur--under 40, tech savvy, who has started his own dot-com or company--to profile for CNN NewsNight. Since this will be part of a series about race in America, the ideal candidate is someone who struggled or encountered discrimination while looking for jobs or working in the tech sector (also could be someone who became frustrated by the predominantly white male culture) and subsequently decided to strike out on his/her own. Or something along those lines. Could be anywhere in the U.S. If anyone knows of such a person or knows someone who does, please get in touch. Many thanks!"

Hayes cites this as "a disturbing example of the way CNN views race in America," but it really uncovers a much larger, and more scandalous, phenomenon: the email looks more like something from central casting than "news gathering," regardless of the topic. No matter what the issue, the idea that someone who writes a storyline and then looks for "leads" to fill in the blanks would call him or herself a journalist is shameful. CNN should have just posted a 1-800 number a la Jenny Jones, and dropped the charade that this was to be a news story.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:44 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, April 18, 2002 ::
More Jenin coverage. CNN ran this Christianne Amanpour interview with Col. Miri Eisen of the IDF:
AMANPOUR: And joining me here now, in Jerusalem, is Colonel Miri Eisen, an intelligence official with the Israeli Defense Forces. Colonel, thank you for joining us. First of all, I want to ask you directly, what the international community and certainly the U.N. representative has been asking for, and that is Israeli help in shifting the rubble. Heavy bulldozers, heavy equipment to move the rubble after what has happened there, to find out exactly what is under the rubble.

MIRI EISEN, ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES: The rubble itself is one of the issues that the international world is talking about. We have been taking care of the rubble at the beginning, but mainly to try and find the booby traps. The structures themselves that were knocked down, were knocked down with an incredible amount of booby traps within them. When I say booby traps, I am talking about explosives within the structures, surrounding the structures. We found them inside refrigerators, along the road. That's the reason the structures were knocked down in the first place. And that's one of the problems of clearing them out.

AMANPOUR: Now that they have been knocked down, and presumably the booby traps have gone off under the force of those explosions and the destruction of all of that infrastructure, journalists are there, aid workers are there, people are there now. Will you bring in? Will you help in this humanitarian effort with the heavy equipment that they don't have on the other side?

EISEN: I think that is one of the questions that we'll be asked at the moment, but we will try and send in. We have tried until now, and not stopped. One of the problems we have at the moment is trying to go against a pack of lies at this stage along the way, of what we did or did not do. Because when we were stopping along the way, ambulances and checking them, not not allowing them into the camp during the fighting, but also during the fighting and after it. It was because we found within those ambulances terrorist's explosives, a very cynical use of ambulance ambulances.

At the moment we have not tried to stop or hinder any of the work going on. We sent in our home front units to help out in different structures. We ourselves have already found different people still wounded under the rubble after nine days. As you know, we ourselves are the ones in the world who have a lot of unhappy experience in the fallen structures.

AMANPOUR: What do you say to people who are asking questions? And not only that, the Israeli process is quite full of anecdotes, if you like, reports from Israeli soldiers themselves. I have heard one Israeli soldier say what we did in Jenin was Vietnam. I have heard them talk about the process of using these images, and explaining why they did it. Because they feared the rooms or the houses were booby trapped -- this and that. How do you answer those things that are coming from your own side? Is that something that the Israeli Defense Force sanctioned? The systematic use of human shields?

EISEN: The Israeli Defense Forces have the highest morals. And when we went into the camp itself, just the fact that we went in as an infantry shows our own moral values. What would have been easier than to go in without any of the officers or infantry soldiers killed there and bomb with an F-16. We didn't do so. We didn't use any civilians as human shields. I have heard some of the other side, also...

AMANPOUR: Your own soldiers are saying that.

EISEN: Our own soldiers who have not posed themselves with any names with any names whatsoever. I oppose that on both sides. People who have things to say...

AMANPOUR: Names have been posed, though.

EISEN: We go also and have been trying to find these people. You've probably also read about the fact that there have been different people who have been brought to trial for different things that they have done, because we stand behind our own moral standard. There was a harsh fight within the city of Jenin. That's definite.

AMANPOUR: That's clear and we know that many soldiers were killed, particularly in that booby trap incident. But, I guess, what I want to ask you is this: You say that you went in an infantry. Obviously that is true to an extent. But you also went in with armored bulldozers. You just talked about bulldozing these houses because of booby traps. There were also helicopter gunships which were firing in that area. That has been recorded and seen. The secretary of state to the United States warned Israel that -- about the excessive use of force in military operations. And the U.N. director, here, has said you had a just cause but the means, he felt, were unacceptable and excessive. And, in fact, I think he used the word morally repugnant?

Do you have any answer at all? Do you feel that maybe it was excessive even under the circumstances that you describe?

EISEN: Not only do I go -- I don't accept that because of the amount of casualties we had, which is because we tried to do it pinpointed and not with our heavy guns. We didn't use a cannon or artillery anywhere. We did not use an airplane anywhere.

The gunships themselves when you talk about the helicopters, the helicopter firing a missile is a very pinpointed exact missile. It does not make a structure fall down. It hits in a window. Yes, it will destroy the one building itself, not the building itself only the room that it hits into. That was only used in assistance. Mainly in that type of fighting was only in Jenin.

And if you look in the other cities we went in this operation into six cities within Judea and Samaria. You do not have the destruction like the center in the camp. There's one point I would like to make. In Jenin, itself, the reason that we went in there, the Passover massacre that you mentioned before. The fact that 29 people were killed and that the suicide bombers themselves were mainly coming out of Jenin.

In the last year and a half, 28 suicide bombers came out of the camp of Jenin. And it was the Palestinians themselves in their own general intelligence report, who called Jenin the capital of suicide bombers.

AMANPOUR: Do you think -- and this is the last question we have. We have no time left. Do you think that this will eradicate suicide bombing?

EISEN: No, I don't. And we've never said that. This operation goes in and where we are, it makes a huge difference. There's been a huge difference in the amount of terrorist attacks within Israel over the last two weeks during this operation. Any city that we're within, it makes a big difference. When we evacuate a city, yes they do come back.

The more that we find them, arrest them, find the explosives and find the people, for us, less suicide bombers in our cities.

AMANPOUR: On that note, thank you very much. When we come back after a short break we'll have much more LIVE FROM JERUSALEM.

London's Guardian also devoted space to Eisen's account, but lead with details of the damage to Jenin's real estate, rather than human lives.

The Independent, it's frontal lobe still intact, did not.

Finally, you could not call yourself fully updated without reading this story and this editorial, both from Ha'aretz.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:53 PM [+] ::
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More "biased" and gutless" coverage of the current Middle East by the U.S. Media. This excerpt of a Christianne Amanpour interview with UN Special Envoy Terje Larsen is further proof of "the cowardly, idle, spineless way in which American journalists are lobotomising their stories." She actually asks him for (gasp) evidence to support his claims of an Israeli atrocity in Jenin:

AMANPOUR: The Israelis deny all the charges of a massacre. They say that what happened here was a very fierce battle, and they admit there were major casualties, both on their side and on the Palestinian side. What do you think happened? Are you ready to make accusations, or are you basically now evaluating? What do you think is the reality of what happened?

LARSEN: I cannot judge at this point in time. I can only report on what I saw, and what I heard, and what I smelled. I cannot say that there wasn't a massacre, but I cannot say there was a massacre. But I think that the question of an international investigation is a highly relevant question on the basis of what I saw, and I think it isn't unnecessary to penetrate to find out exactly what is the situation there, and why did it happen.

AMANPOUR: So, what needs to happen now, what needs to happen? Aid agencies have said they can't begin to search under the rubble because there is not the equipment. What are you asking for now?

LARSEN: First and foremost, we are asking for two things. One is that international search and rescue teams are allowed to go in immediately, and there are reasons for criticizing severely the government of Israel for not themselves conducting a search and rescue operation, and what I could see for the few hours I was there today, the people with their bare hands digging out bodies -- this should have been done by the Israeli military occupiers for the time they were there.

Now, the government of Israel had to give access -- to give us access with the proper expertise, expertise and the proper instruments for doing such a search in an effective manner. Then, secondly, equally important is that we get in food, medicine, and water to the needy population, and also to build temporary shelters for the thousands of people, about half of them being under the age of 15, who now are suffering in there. And also -- this, of course, comes second -- there is a situation of anarchy and chaos not only in the refugee camp, but in the city and in the governor -- in the government. The Palestinian Authority's institutions are more or less destroyed. There's no security apparatus. There's no police functions. There is no apparatus to take care of law and order. The situation is very dangerous. And I would like to add that the situation is not only dangerous for the population, the situation is also, security-wise, dangerous for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Because it may be that the infrastructure of the terrorists have been destroyed or damaged here, but what is more important is that there is now built a mental infrastructure of hatred and aggression, which is very dangerous.

AMANPOUR: The Palestinians have charged the Israelis with war crimes. They point to not allowing ambulances throughout the battles, and even thereafter from evacuating wounded, even the dead. They point to the use of human shields, and, of course, the Israelis accuse Yasser Arafat of war crimes for sending suicide bombers into Israel. What, in terms of international law happened, do you think? How does one describe not allowing ambulances in, using human shields?

LARSEN: I will not at this stage go into a legal discussion, but what I can say is that it is evident, because international humanitarian organizations have not been given access, that there are very clear violations of basic humanitarian principles, but I would not like to go into the legal issues right now, but it's evident from what I saw today that the question is relevant.

AMANPOUR: You are going to have or gather together a meeting of some of the major donors to deal, presumably, with the devastation, the infrastructure devastation, that has taken place over the last several weeks in the Palestinian territories. What is the level of need there in the territories?

LARSEN: I cannot assess that here and now. There will, next Wednesday on the 24th in Oslo, be a major donor meeting where my office, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and others will give an assessment of what is needed here, and -- but it is very evident that a major donor effort is required, because what we have being reporting from Jenin today is also by and large the case in many other of the other Palestinian cities.





:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:21 PM [+] ::
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"You were right honey. We should have taken our vacation in the Sudan."
:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:25 PM [+] ::
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Tell me a joke. I'd particularly like to hear the one about how Israel is intentionally moving solely against "moderate" terrorist factions like al-Aqsa/Tanzim, so that the more extreme groups like Hamas are intentionally being left alone, so that Israel has an excuse not to negotiate with rejectionists. It's an oldie, but a goodie.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 4:11 PM [+] ::
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Has anyone asked the Army? Today, there is yet another editorial that admits that there is no proof that the Secretary of the Army is guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, but nonetheless demands his resignation:
Army Secretary Thomas White has repeatedly pledged that if questions stemming from his ties to Enron became too much of a distraction, he would resign. They now have, and he should.

A distraction? For whom? Besides editorial writers, I mean. The gravity of his alleged ethical lapses include the “underreporting” – not denial, mind you -- contact he had with his former employer, and the editorial muses that that contact may have constituted insider trading, as it was timed suspiciously with his divestiture of Enron stock holdings. At the time, he – and many other Bush appointees in the Defense department, were being accused of dragging their feet in unloading their interest in defense contractors. But the most outrageous part is this:
Mr. White's most damning liability may be his own résumé. His affiliation with the once-vaunted Enron, the credential that got him hired by the Bush administration, is looking more like a disqualifier a year later. If the president was looking for a canny administrator who could make things work, he was obviously looking at the wrong company.

I cannot remember the last time I read such an unabashed charge of guilt by association. Is it not possible that there were at least a few scrupulous people working for Enron? If the management of the company was as inherently flawed as the New York Times suggests, few of us would have noticed its demise. Obviously, someone had to have done something right along the way, and so far there isn’t even an allegation – much less evidence to support it, that White was part of the cabal that drove it into the ground.
But more importantly, the “distraction” argument should take into account whether the secretary can still command respect and confidence from the department he’s been entrusted to lead. But no one seems to care about that.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:03 AM [+] ::
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