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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

With A Deadly Accuracy

These posts have something in common. The Anchoress, with deadly accuracy, discusses the press in two posts. In the first she skewers the designation of a Giuliani donor as "anti-Clinton":
...for Rudy (or whoever ends up running against Hillary) this will be the additional requirement: all donors must be screened to make sure they haven’t said anything bad about Mrs. Clinton and if they have, they must be disavowed by Giuliani and his whole team. And probably, if he really wanted to prove that he is a good guy and all, Giuliani should return checks to anyone who checks out as a rabid “anti-Clintite!”
Hilarious, but true. It's an extreme double standard. In an earlier post, The Anchoress asked some very important questions about the media's approach to current affairs, and the never-ending myth of Vietnam:
If she continues to fight, America will continue to weaken AlQaeda. If that weakness can be sustained while Middle Eastern liberty is allowed to gain a foothold, it will eventually break AlQ and de-glamorize terrorism as a means of movement. If America folds, if she “stops” the war, because the NY Times and NBC don’t like it, what do you think will happen next?

Think hard. The answer is important.
The extreme bias in the press is all aimed at keeping us from thinking hard, though. I think the alternative of facing reality is so unpleasant to them that it drives them onward to ever-greater flights of fantasy. There is so little substance to much of there grand theme that it forces them to absurdities. You have to slap a lot of coats of paint onto the fabric of history to ignore the casualties after we left Vietnam. But they have coats of paint in abundance.

Nor is this a phenomenon confined to the US. Here's a fascinating tale from the UK, brought to you by Photon Courier:
Lieutenant Daniel Lenherr, a British Army officer, had just taken part in a parade marking Remembrance Day. After the parade, Lt Lenherr and his wife decided to visit London's Harrods, a well-known London department store. They were not allowed to enter: a security guard told Lenherr that other customers might be intimidated by his uniform.
The word to describe this is "cowardice"; in the UK's politically correct culture, piggybanks and the uniform of the armed forces have become too offensive to be tolerated.

This isn't confined to the press; SC&A notes a discovery by Gagdad Bob of a Kossite shrink who is horrified by the idea of declaring ourselves the enemies of anything. Quoting Gagdad Bob:
In his “about me” page, Soldz sets the tone, making reference to how the American public has “rallied around a mythic ‘war on terror’” which “is built on a simplistic duality of good versus evil.” In other words, the terrorists are not actually evil. Rather, it is just that we have projected all of our “undesirable characteristics” into the so-called “evil” other. Evidently, it is we who actually want to chop their heads off and murder their children just for the hell of it.
Again, the inversion. In an earlier post SC&A wrote:
To be considered a ‘professional journalist’ today, it is almost an imperative that a graduate of journalism school adopt a secular and particular kind of ideology. It isn’t as if you can’t have another point of view, of course, but if you do, you are suspect as a journalist, or are somehow less than ‘professional.’ In what is great irony, journalists who are identified as ‘different’ are immediately suspected of being less objective and less truthful. The message is clear: if a journalist doesn’t share certain secular or ideological viewpoints, it is assumed that journalist will knowingly deceive the public (in the UK, one editor said that Jewish reporters could not be trusted to report on the Israel-Palestine issue. Apparently, Arab Muslim graduates of the Arafat School Of Journalistic Integrity were models of veracity and decency).

Of course, the vast majority of MSM journalists do not see their own bias for what it really is- a bias. They consider themselves decent and they see themselves as examples of the best of the human condition. The also believe that anyone who disagrees with their worldview is imperfect- and imperfections are bad. Whatever biases they might have can be set aside because they are ‘fair minded’ and compassionate- ideals never to be found in anyone with differing beliefs.
Competent people do not experience this sense of righteousness by middle age. It's that simple. If you meet a parent who thinks that he or she is a great parent, you can be pretty sure they're a crappy parent. And if you are the patient of a doctor who thinks he's never mistaken in a diagnosis, you probably need to find another doctor. The most competent people you meet in any profession are those who are constantly checking themselves, because they've accomplished enough to have experienced their own errors. They're the ones always looking for resources and ways to check themselves, because they take their responsibilities seriously.

What journalists will not write about is Hezbollah's and Syria's tactics in Lebanon - attempting seize control of a democratically elected government in which they are a minority, assassinating journalists who dare to criticize and assassinating ministers of the government who dare to oppose them in their attempt to take power the people did not give them. Where are the blazing editorials in favor of freedom of journalism in the ME? Where? The chattering class can chatter all it wants, but it cannot chatter about reality and sustain its illusion, and those who are actually from the region are quite aware of the stakes.

just posted, quoting a Syrian living in the United States who discussed the Gemayel assassination, and who also addresses the role of propaganda in generating a political defeat in the ME for the anti-tyrant forces. As Shrinkwrapped observes, dreams of peace can remain only dreams until we confront the real enemies of peace:
The Realists have always supported stability as the best approach to this volatile part of the world. There is a superficial plausibility to the argument that ff we "talk" to Iran and Syria, we will, in fact, gain stability. If the violence in Iraq decreases (which would be proof of Iran and Syria complicity in fomenting violence), we would then be able to withdraw our troops. As an important corollary, the American public will no longer be bombarded by images of blood and carnage; the violence in Iraq will recede from view and what violence persists will be off stage where no one will notice.

[This is one way in which Vietnam is instructive. Once we left, and then pulled the financial plug on the South, the million Vietnamese and two million Cambodians who eventually were murdered by the victorious Communists returned to becoming unknown statistics. Once they no longer served the purposes of the anti-War media, they no longer existed, out of sight and out of mind.]

The stability will be temporary and illusory, of course. Iran will continue recruiting suicide bombers, will push forward on obtaining a nuclear capability, and the Syrians, as the opportunities present themselves, will continue to destabilize Lebanon. The two terrorist proxies in the HISH Alliance, Hamas and Hezbollah have been feverishly arming and re-arming in preparation for their next round of fighting.
Of course. The problem with this ideology is that it has failed miserably in creating successful cultures and countries. Where it gains sway, misery gains sway, guaranteeing an endless cycle of woe and blame deflected upon the rest of the world. Palestine is a current example; the Gaza withdrawal has generated only violence and further destruction. The culture of the Islamicists does not contain any strategies for capitalizing on peace. They cannot survive without war and endless grievance; peace generates internal conflicts of the most barbaric quality.

It's not that Palestinians shouldn't have a state; it's that they are incapable of having one. The only thing they seem to be able to do is loot and blackmail.

Iran does seem incapable of creating a successful society, in exactly the same way that Hitler and Mussolini's states were toppling into financial insolvency before WWII. The democracies had no aggressive intentions toward fascist Italy and Germany; it was Germany and Italy that employed aggression to mitigate their own failures. Iran is suffering incredible internal instability, and its aggression is real, because otherwise its revolution is dead.

Syria is not threatened by Lebanon physically or militarily. Syria's aggression towards Lebanon is generated by its own failures.

North Korea is not going to be attacked by any other nation, but it must sustain its paranoia in order to prevent its citizens from redeeming their desperate condition.

How is it possible that the scions of Columbia University, Yale and Harvard find themselves unable to strongly condemn the people who believe in gaining power by murder and terror and sustaining their power with an endless cycle of aggressive war? How is it possible that these "journalists" find it necessary to criticize those who tell the truth? The only accurate word is cowardice.

We have entered an era of a deadly combat between successful and unsuccessful cultures; the unsuccesssful cultures are competing with violence, because they have no alternative. Granted, they are desperate, but it is a desperation which the successful cultures cannot redeem because the successful cultures did not create the desperation. The choice and the initiative will remain with the unsuccessful cultures until the successful ones rise up in defense of peace.

Cowardice is part of it, but I think there's another factor. There seem to be quite a few people in our society who are actually attracted by the nihilistic violence of the enemy.

Thought experiment: suppose the Palestinian leadership had been composed of people who were interested in developing farms, schools, and factories, as well as negotiating to gain independence. Do you think the Palestinian cause would still be as popular as it is now among academics, entertainers, etc? I don't.
David, I cannot say that you are wrong, but if you are right it's a terrifying symptom of cultural decline.
There are hundreds of groups around the world that are oppressed in some way or other, or think they are--why is this particular one so dear to the hearts of so many people? Part of the answer is plain old anti-Semitism, but I don't think that's the whole story.

Several years ago, I saw a photo of a bunch of girls in Spain at an "antiwar" demonstration. They were almost naked, except for mock suicide belts they were wearing, in evident solidarity with the Palestinian murders. The signs they were carrying said "No War."

I was reminded of Leonard Cohen's lines:

I know that you have suffered, lad, but suffer this awhile:
Whatever makes a soldier sad will make a killer smile.
Thank you for the link, Mama. I have to simply comment that your commenters are always impressive. David's comments here are very eye-opening. Brilliant, even.
Good Lord...can you tell I'm tired? Did I write the word "comment" enough?

Pathetic, I am.
Thank you, Anchoress.
"Whatever makes a soldier sad will make a killer smile." Ow. That hurt.

It's a one-line summation of a number of news stories, too. Al-Qaeda is having fits over the Jordan conference, for example:
Al-Qaida in Iraq on Thursday denounced Iraqi Sunni politicians who met recently with Jordan's King Abdullah II, calling them and the monarch "traitors."
...al-Qaida in Iraq -- the country's most feared Sunni Muslim militant group -- lashed out at a string of Iraqi Sunni Arab politicians who held talks with Abdullah ahead of the summit.

"The traitors of Jordan's meetings, whether they know it or not, have entered today in a pact with Satan to fight the men of God," al-Qaida in Iraq said in its statement.

Naturally, the penalty for treason is death, and Al-Qaeda is calling for the Jordanian people to rise up against their king. The enemies of peace are literally that. They are setting out to kill the peacemakers.
I didn't even notice, Anchoress. The painful truth makes us all stammer a bit. David is a huge contrast to the witless, stereotyped analysis that dominates so much of the media.
How is it possible that the scions of Columbia University, Yale and Harvard find themselves unable to strongly condemn the people who believe in gaining power by murder and terror and sustaining their power with an endless cycle of aggressive war?

1) The "Red Fanboys" who worshipped Stalin in the Thirties (and coincidentally NEVER had to live under his regime). Superior Intellects (TM), you understand.

2) The "British Jacobins" -- usually minor sons of Brit aristos -- who cheered on the French Revolution from safely across the Channel.

The Headless Unicorn Guy
(Posting haphazardly these days; recovering from abominal surgery.)
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