Friday, August 25, 2006

Media control

Israel's 'Moral High Ground'
It keeps getting lower…
by Justin Raimondo

The other day on CNN's Reliable Sources, Washington Post reporter Tom Ricks revealed the true face of the utter ruthlessness that underlies Israel's actions on the ground in the Middle East:

Howard Kurtz: "And joining us now here [in] Washington [is] Anne Compton who covers the White House for ABC News, and Thomas Ricks, Pentagon reporter for the Washington Post and author of the new book Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. Tom Ricks, you've covered a number of military conflicts, including Iraq, as I just mentioned. Is civilian casualties increasingly going to be a major media issue? In conflicts where you don't have two standing armies shooting at each other?"

Thomas Ricks, reporter, Washington Post: "I think it will be. But I think civilian casualties are also part of the battlefield play for both sides here. One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon."

Kurtz: "Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of its fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?"

Ricks: "Yes, that's what military analysts have told me."

Kurtz: "That's an extraordinary testament to the notion that having people on your own side killed actually works to your benefit in that nobody wants to see your own citizens killed but it works to your benefit in terms of the battle of perceptions here."

Ricks: "Exactly. It helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well."

Just when you thought Israel's high moral ground couldn't get any lower, they go and do something like this. Maintaining the moral high ground is always a dicey matter for a brazen aggressor, but making sure some of your own civilians die as you wantonly slaughter your neighbors is unique in the annals of war propaganda. Not even the Nazis pulled crap like that.

I don't like to make such comparisons, but in view of Ricks' reportage it is clearly not hyperbole. And so what has been the response of the Israelis and their American amen corner? On a later program, Howard Kurtz had this to say:

"One other note. On Reliable Sources two weeks ago, Washington Post Pentagon reporter Tom Ricks said he'd been told by U.S. military analysts that Israel was leaving some Hezbollah rocket launchers intact because the killing of Israeli civilians provided an image of moral equivalency in the war. Post editor Len Downie, responding to a letter from former New York mayor Ed Koch, says he told Ricks he should not have made those statements.

"Ricks told the New York Sun that he accurately reported the comments from analysts but that, quote, 'I wish I hadn't said them, and I intend from now on to keep my mouth shut about it.'"

Translation: What I said is true, and I promise never to say it again.

Here is a textbook example of what scholars John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt call "the Lobby" in action, and some pretty quick action at that. No sooner had Ricks' comments hit the airwaves than the Lobby went into overdrive, screeching the old familiar refrain, the standard response to any suggestion of Israeli government perfidy: "Blood libel!"

That was their "rebuttal" to professors Mearsheimer and Walt when they wrote that the Lobby has effectively seized control of American foreign policy. They've always come back with the "blood libel" canard when confronted with footage of IDF soldiers shooting at Palestinian teenagers armed with slingshots. That was their reply when Fox News' Carl Cameron reported that the Israelis may have had foreknowledge of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and not told us. It's their stock answer when backed against a wall, and I doubt that anyone takes it seriously anymore.

Besides which, the average human being, reading former New York mayor Ed Koch's blovation addressed to Ricks' editor, hasn't the foggiest idea what a "blood libel" is, historically. Even given this arcane knowledge, how is accusing Israelis of sacrificing their own children the equivalent of the old "blood libel" – which averred that Jews used the blood of Christian children in a religious ceremony involving the making of matzohs? (See, I told you it was obscure, not to mention weird). The difference is that the "blood libel" was popularized by crazed anti-Semites in Czarist Russia, while Ricks was citing "a senior Israeli official." That official, and not Ricks, is the proper object of Mayor Big Mouth's ire. But let's be clear: Ricks' only sin is letting the cat out of the bag.

Koch's letter is revealing in more ways than he intends. In his usual, overwrought style, he tells us that when he first heard Ricks' statements about the IDF deliberately risking Israeli casualties for the sake of public relations,

"I was shocked. … Still, I thought to myself, anything is possible in a war. There are crazy people on both sides of every war, but, Dear God, I hope this never happened."

In other words: he was shocked precisely because he found Ricks' reporting all too believable. As do I.

The reason I believe it is due to the unique position of Israel as a settler state, i.e., a foreign graft affixed to a Middle Eastern tree. While not denying the historical attachment of the Jewish people to Palestine, what I mean to say is that the impetus for the creation of the Jewish state came primarily from abroad: Zionism was a movement founded in the ghettos of Eastern Europe, not a national liberation movement spawned in the Holy Land itself. As such, it has always depended on foreign support, and not only from the Diaspora: military aid from the United States is central to its survival strategy. That's why media coverage, and "the narrative," is so important to the Israelis – important enough to sacrifice a few of their own on the altar of "public relations."

Leave it to the Huffington Post to chime in with the New York Sun, actually celebrating the silencing of a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter. And Hollywood is not far behind, with a recent full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times, paid for by Israeli gazillionaire Haim Saban, that attacks the Lebanese for daring to defend themselves and makes no mention of the 1,300-plus Lebanese victims of Israeli aggression. Tears for Darfur, but none for Beirut: that's the "liberal" wing of the Amen Corner for you.

In his interview with Kurtz, Ricks had this to say:

Kurtz: "Tom Ricks, the New York Times reported the other day, quote, 'Israel is now fighting to win the battle of perceptions,' which to me says the battle of headlines. And, in fact, an Israeli cabinet minister was quoted, not by name, as saying, 'That the narrative at the end, is part of the problem.' I'm starting to hear echoes of Iraq."

Ricks: "Echoes of Iraq, yes. But also the Israelis are very sophisticated in their handling of the media. They consider it part of the battlefield, officially. The word 'narrative' always comes up with conversations with Israeli national security officials. They consider shaping the narrative, the battle for the narrative, to be key as part of any war fighting. So they see the media as part of the battlefield. And, in fact, there's some belief from our reporters that they have occasionally targeted the media."

Sure they've targeted the media, and not only on the battlefield – you'll notice that Koch and CAMERA didn't dispute this rather more sensational accusation – but in this country as well. That's what organizations like CAMERA are all about. The minute you say anything about Israel that (a) is true and (b) discredits the Jewish state, a tremendous ruckus is raised, and no slimeball is spared in the slinging. After all, if they'll sacrifice their own citizens for the sake of "the narrative," then what won't they do to foreign reporters who have the gall to expose their methods?

The "narrative" Israel is trying to sell the American public is that the Jewish state is once again being targeted by "terrorists" – yet the pictures coming out of Lebanon show us who the real terrorists are, no matter how hard CAMERA and its allies, including AIPAC, work to "spin" the story in a more favorable direction. Their only alternative is to go into denial mode and claim that the photos are "staged" – a macabre tactic that mocks both the living and the dead. In the case of Ricks' reporting, they can only harass his editor until he issues a one-sentence "rebuke" – in an exercise of power that the Lobby always denies having. Because, you understand, to even write about how they engineered this "rebuke" is, in itself, a "blood libel."

55 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

Thanks for this post. This demonstrates how our own media ("The Fourth Estate" is being manipulated by our own government, who will only tolerate pro-Israeli news. It has amazed me as to what has gone unreported in this country, such as the continuation of the blockade.

To anyone who has not seen the movie, "V for Vendetta," rent it and watch it. That is the course that ultimately the US, Britain, and Israel are on, unless our citizens speak up.

4:38 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Well - yes, RS. But what else is new? ALL sides in nearly ALL conflicts work to shape the media. Hell, I've tried for two days now to get the St Pete Times to even mention the Amnesty International report. Or the cluster bombs use.

However, when I watch the "Pallywood" piece from 60 minutes, I'm convinced (by the Palestinians own camera work) that Israel is not alone in sophisticated manipulation (not just "use") of the media.

The real problem is that Lebanon has no place in this fight other than as a battlefield shaped by Iran. And nobody's media is picking up on that fact. No one - including Lebanon is going beyond the obvious horror to wonder WHY Iran would supply and support HZ. I think that is an important question for the Lebanese parliament to put to the world - enough has been said right now about the horrors visited on the country and its people. It now is turning into a feast of horribles to convince the world Israel is simply "evil." To what end, though?

Why is Iran participating by proxy? Iran is afraid the US might be serious about attacking it. But Iran has no long range bombers or missiles or a Navy so it cannot retaliate against the US. Iran also knows the US (rightly or wrongly) is very concerned about Israel's safety and continued existence.

Along comes HZ - in response to Israel "aggression" to be sure - but along it comes as a convenient proxy. It is an answer to Iran's dilemma of anticipating an attack by the US but having no way to respond. Iran arms HZ so the US can see that, although it has no real concern about Iran's response directly, Israel may be hurt badly. And that may make the US back off.

The shame of that scenario is that it is Lebanon who innocently bears the resulting hurt. But it also bears unanticipated fruit for Iran: a worldwide feast on pictures and stories of enormous destuction and injury upon which many future stories can be built to fuel even greater hate for Israel.

Lebanon also gets caught in the middle of the headline war - which way REALLY are you going? On the one hand, you want rid of HZ. On another, you and HZ share a deep hatred for Israel. On the third, HZ becomes a hero for "defending" the country. Nasrallah sits in the glow of successfully "defeating" the Israeli invader and Lebanon wonders, "well ... maybe ....?"

It was stupidity of the highest order for Israel to do what it did. But it was baited and responded as expected to all the fear and hate that is constantly spread by the media - as engineered in large part by all the haters who want to see the end of Israel.

No one can fault Lebanon for feeling and reacting as it has and as it continues. Lebanon is the innocent girl who got hurt in the drive-by shooting between gangs. But Lebanon ought now to be asking out loud, why? Not simply condemning Israel on the basis it is evil or manipulative - but why did this whole thing suddenly happen?

All the media manipulation by both sides does is reinforce the hate by both sides and confuse the rest of us.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Well Rick, after your comment yesterday about the Sox it came to me. Seeing how you know nothing about the Sox but probably became a fan after the 2004 world series that you becaema supporter of leb only after the war started. Your just waiting for another conflict to happen so that you can jump on that. I bet you cheered for the Chi Sox too. your a band wagon actioist like all of the other posers here too.

If one wack job casued anyone of the people here to not be able to get their so latte they would cry for blood.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Howard do you have a job? Good God your all over the place. I feel for your family, you are probably on food stamps and fed assistance.

5:36 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

HCB said...
Sam - let's call a truce in the filthfest for a moment and try understanding. You seem to want to make a point but you do it in ways that are inexplicable. You seem to favor Israel and the United States but you say things and say them in a way that makes everyone - regardless of their views - look at you as nuts, make fun of you and then ignore you.

Why do you do that? Now you post a long piece of nonsense you got in one of those "don't break the chain - send this to at least five of your friends in the next ten minutes" emails that most of us delete as spam. You post, apparently without reading, an Israeli Ministry of Tourism article and say it demonstrates why Israel is right and everyone else is wrong. You talk filth constantly and usually don't even attempt to make sense - you seem to simply spew words without regard to either their meaning or effect.

Why? Why not join in a meaningful way? Why not open your mind to learning something you may not know? Why not try to make friends rather than enemies? Why do you insist on talking as you do knowing it makes you look foolish and hateful?

All you really accomplish is to show the effect of unthinking, unreasonable hate on any attempt to communicate. Which, of course, is the main reason the middle east stays in turmoil.

5:41 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Oh - and about the job question. Sure I do. But I do it on my computer. Trade in futures contracts. Oil futures right now are guaranteeing an immediate, completely safe 14%. Why? Because everyone hates everyone and talks a lot about the hate and war and gloom and doom. So, the price of oil just keeps going up.

Compound interest effect, Sam. It's one of the things you can learn if you listen instead of talk all the time.

5:46 PM  
Blogger James Quigley said...

Oil is definitely the market to be in right now. Drug companies don't hurt much either.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Yes, I did jump on the "Red Sox bandwagon." In 1975.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

Love Red Sox fans....was in a train car once in Boston--nearly busted my ear drums with the yelling of "Yankees Suck!". I think we should create two baseball teams---one Lebanese one Israeli and see how fairly they play on the field.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Peach said...

HCB I couldn’t agree with you more with what you said about "Lebanon being caught in the middle of the headline war". It’s a dilemma with what looks like no end.
As for SAMMY POOP...IM sure you missed me u little poop. But rest assure i am back and ready to laugh at your nonsense. Haha
Its sad how one American can make all the others look like dirt. You are that one Sammy poop. It’s sad i tell you, But i think by now we have all learned to just look at you as an amusement in this group.
Okay. So now i am going to wait patiently for your smart ass reply...waiting...waiting...waiting...

7:57 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

LOL... you rock, Peach!

As for the idea of the baseball game, why not? Even a couple of bench clearing brawls would be better than what is going on! :-)

8:07 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I sat there and typed some neat responces and this web site crashed. Afterward I realized that there is little reason to respond to each attack form you guys. I will contiue my posting as I see fit and you guys can cry all you want.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Ya but the Lebs woulf be sponcered by Iran and use Rockets instead of fireworks and wahck players just like they did in Munic. WEll the Arabs/Muslims did but they hid in Leb. Where do the terrorist go to leb. Where a terrorist army defends you [sad] and other countries use you like little puppets. Look another Leb died, oh well no loss to the world says Pres Tom in Iran. They all laugh as do I.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Peach sex can cure your need to inslut. No one was even talking to you and you start with the insults. Go get some or have your girl friend strap one on and give it too you. then maybe you'll loose some frustration.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Ps Peach, I guess your just as good as Howard at using other peoples stuff. You're so very origonal. You go girl.

8:46 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Rick - do you remember Ted Williams? I mean "remember" - not "heard of."

That's what I thought - all you Teddie come lately bandwagon on jumpers .....

;-0

8:48 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Good God don't dissgarce his name in here. He would shit up a storm being mentioned bye some turn coats. He faught in two wars, crash landed and kept fighting.

Howard he would have told you where to go and we both know that. He ahted cowards like you.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Nice you trade and make money on the war and it's people. I guess you'll do waht ever to keep your family fed even give up and support terror. If you really cared you wouldn't trade anything to do with oil. But your are wishy washy man at best. i though you might have cared [for the wrong side] but cared. Nope, your a typical bleeding heart two faced moron. Make a living off death and then hate the same people who are feeding your family.

So sad, I bet John Henry Williams and you would have gotten along well. Best Buddies, taking advantage of the people around you to make a buck then act so high and mighty.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Come on Peach Pit don't let me down. Inslut me some more. I love it you dirty bitch.

9:01 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Are you watching Mr Wrath? He's not simply a cute puppy peeing on himself. He's a backed up toilet in an abandoned slum.

Tell me again, Mr Wrath, why he's here.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Peach said...

That’s what i was waiting for Sammy Poop. Wow...its so cool how you manage to always lean towards sex when you want to insult me. Can’t think of anything intellectual to say to me? Or is it because I’m a girl "SEX" just comes to your mind. Just so you know Poopy poop I didn’t start with the insults...look back honey.
And what’s with the "you go girl"? A little on the fruity side are we? It’s okay. Now i understand why you’re always trying to insult the female in here...don’t sorry. I’m not competing with you poopy.
Go on..Im enjoying your amusing posts...
Once again...waiting...waiting...waiting..

9:05 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Point Proven..... thanks Howard.

I wanted to see if your convictions were true.

HCB said...
Sam - let's call a truce in the filthfest for a moment and try understanding. You seem to want to make a point but you do it in ways that are inexplicable. You seem to favor Israel and the United States but you say things and say them in a way that makes everyone - regardless of their views - look at you as nuts, make fun of you and then ignore you.

See you give up so easliy. your heart is taninted and filled with anger. you'll never be a help to a solution just someone who keeps the anger going and adding to it. Do you need your little friends to make you feel better? Do you need a tissue loser.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Nice Peach, your a hack! Keep it up babe.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Peach what country are you in? Are you scared so say it out loud or will you lie?

9:17 PM  
Blogger Peach said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Peach said...

So now im a "hack". Your a clever little poopy arent you?
Did you find a little sunshine coming into your hole of dirt? It’s funny how you and the idf are so much alike. You start the brawl then you turn it on the opposite side for the blame. Good strategy Sammy poop, but not good enough.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Peach said...

Silly Poop...I told you before. I am in the wonderful U.S.A. Born and raised and so were my grandparents.

9:33 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Peach - it turns out it's not his fault. I had to assume a couple of things, of course, but not nearly as many as he does. This site will show you he is unable to form a coherent thought, he has no idea of the difference between right and wrong and is likely to commit suicide if provoked enough. So - ignore him.

http://www.4degreez.com/misc/personality_disorder_test.mv

10:50 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

As to media coverage, go to www.NPR.org and listen to the several pieces on Lebanon on Friday's (8/25) "All Things Considered."

http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=2

The first is "A Christian Village in Lebanon" in which a homeowner talks about the Israeli soldier. The first to come in were professional and compassionate, the husband said. In fact, he said, the soldier "looked at us and cried." Then the next group of soldiers came through. They, he said, were "not soldiers - they were barbarians" who rustled through their belongings, breaking things and making a mess.

Then, Ted Koppel talks about the effect of the US talking about rebuilding while Hezbollah is doing it. And, how that fact has not escaped the notice of the people of south Lebanon or the government.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

hcb, i grew up watching "Yaz", not Ted. Yaz, Pudge, Bernie, etc... some great players back in those days.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Good post RS, I think this is spot on. Israel needs the HZ rockets to keep coming through. As long as they can blah on endlessly about terrrorism, the colonies in the occupied territories are safe, no one raises the question of the 1948 refugees driven out by Israeli terrorism. I think the Lobby also rejoiced mightily in the fact that a number of HZ missiles killed Israeli Arabs, and I have heard reports that Israeli Arabs had fewer bomb shelters and fewer warnings of the HZ missile attacks.


hcb you are way off the mark. It is Israel that baits HZ, not the other way round. A few more things:

not all critics of Israel are "haters" and anti-jewish. I have many jewish friends and relations, nearly all my major intellectual and cultural heroes are jewish, I just happen to think that the setting up of the state of Israel with its aggressive colonialist policies has been the worst disaster for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

as for Iran using HZ in Lebanon to warn off the US from attacking, I think this is also farfetched. There is no way the US could invade Iran, a much more populous, united and well armed country than Iraq where the US have become hopelessly bogged down. I don't think they WANT to: I think they have far closer connections with the wretched mullahs (who the Iranian people would mostly love to be rid of) than we are led to believe. Look at the way they blamed the Libyans for Lockerbie when all the evidence pointed to IRan. Certainly the Brits and the Europeans have got along pretty well with the Islamic regime in Iran.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

PS Before anyone accuses me of being an HZ supporter, I'm not. There is MUTUAL baiting and mutual interdependency. HZ is the small local bully you tolerate because they stand up to the bully in the village next door. Both bullies need each other, but the people in the middle need neither.

1:00 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

I agree, Frank, to a point. The ground command generals would scream loudly if it looked like ground troops would be needed. In fact, that's what Seymour Hersh said happened in his article. The supposition there was that our Air Force and the Israeli Air Force got together and tried to convince the president and prime minister Iran would fall to shock and awe - the way it was supposed to happen in Iraq. The supposition continues that Lebanon was a kind of proving ground - see how it goes there before bombing Iran. Of course, that's all supposition but it makes sense - why else would Israel have destroyed so much that clearly had nothing to do with Hezbollah?

As to baiting - I think it's pretty accepted HZ would "bait" (maybe a bad choice of words) Israel into a small attack and then an exchange of prisoners. Obviously this attack surprised them as much, I think, as it surprised nearly everyone else. At first, I analogized the attack to the German attack on Poland, Sept 1, 1939. They invented a very similar reason - a supposed attack by some Polish marauders on a German radio station. But, Israel didn't have to do that - they had plenty of reason to go in and clean out the swamp. I don't think it's too far fetched to think Lebanon either would have helped or stood aside had they been asked. And, yes, I'm aware Hezbollah is in the Parliament. Had Israel made that overture or tried any of the other ways available - even freezing funds as we're doing with North Korea now - and those ways had failed, then a pre-emptive strike could have been explained more easily. But not to the extent of this one.

And, lastly, I apologize if I made it sound that all critics of Israel are "haters." I'm a critic but not a hater. I simply think the people at the top didn't think the matter through and made some pretty stupid mistakes. But that doesn't mean I hate Israel or Israelis.

1:06 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

OK - Rick. Quick, without looking it up - spell it.

1:07 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

And Frank - one last thing on the "baiting." If we give Nasrallah and (can't spell it) in Iran credit for intelligence and patience, look what has happened. The world thinks Israel went way to far and the condemnations are severe. The United States announced to day it is going to investigate the use of cluster bombs in populated "civilian" areas. Domestically, Israel is calling for investigations. Israel can't afford to stay in Lebanon - politically or economically - so an "international force" is going there. To do what? Shoot Lebanese if they catch them with rockets?

Here's an analysis by Ted Koppel (see www.npr.org All things considered today) under the headline, "Is the UN complicit with Hezbollah?"

But what has really happened? Security in southern Lebanon has been entrusted to a U.N. security force that has yet to materialize in any numbers, and to the Lebanese army. If the idea is to keep Hezbollah from re-arming and resuming control over southern Lebanon, the U.N. forces need a clear mandate for robust intervention, which they don't have and probably don't want. The Lebanese army has never had either the stomach or the capacity to intervene in the south.

The Israelis, who may have lost some of their appetite for engaging Hezbollah, nevertheless do have the capacity. Should they intervene, however, in order to prevent a renewed flow of weapons from Syria, they can count on United Nations condemnation. All in all, it's been a costly but productive summer for Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors and the upcoming winter looks even better.


This is why Hezbollah can say "we win." Because Israel said "we win" means getting rid of Hezbollah and the rockets. They didn't.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Doc said...

"The Lebanese army has never had either the stomach or the capacity to intervene in the south. "

I believe the close ties of HZ to Syria + Syrian presence in Leb over the last 30 years or so has really prevented the Leb army/military from developing and maturing, so to speak. If they were able to develop the technology and means to serve as effective security and national defense(esp against Israel), then I think HZ would be less vocal and quick to jump on the title of national "defenders". The problem with integrating HZ into the national military is another thing. One cannot expect the army to embrace the tactics of HZ. I know the situation is a bit more complex than this, but this conflict was a war of perception, more than anything. With a weak national military, one cannot expect HZ to disarm, regardless of whether there were 100 or 100million UN guards.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

I think we agree after all. All the bulllies have profited, the Lebanese people have paid the price. From the Israeli point of view, the costs and gains are more finely balanced. There has been a substantial military and economic cost, a PR cost, and a cost in terms of the reputations of some of the top politicians. However there may have been some gains. Some of the nutty extremist responses (?London bombings) have helped them portray campaign against HZ as part of "war on terror"; it has destracted attention from Gaza and military activites there, it will harden resolve within the country to hang on to occupied territories and I am sure it will elicit more financial and political support from its backers as a result of its failure to defang HZ.

1:56 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Yastrzemski... and I can still mimic just about every batting stance he had, and there were a lot of them!

3:33 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

Gee, Rick - how does it feel being older than about half the trees in your neighborhood? :-)

Here's an interesting exercise in media appreciation. Use Google news and search on "Cluster Bombs Investigation"

It's big news even in India. But - look at the difference in the way Forbes reports - beginning with how southern Lebanon is "littered" with unexploded bomblets in houses and other places. And then the report in the Jerusalem (Israel) Post.

No - I'm not bashing Israel. Just interesting.

http://www.forbes.com/business/services/feeds/ap/2006/08/25/ap2973034.html

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525943563&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

4:06 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Actually hcb, we live in a new housing development. Unfortunately, I'm older than all of the trees!

Hey, I want to be fair. I was pleased that today the Bush Administration insisted on a UN peace-keeping force in the Sudan, to stop the genocide going on. It's nice to know they are aware that Africa is a populated continent, and it's about time that action is taken in this conflict as well.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Anyone got any comments on the latest article by Jonathan Cook?

He has an interesting slant on the violation of the ceasefire last weekend.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5604.shtml

10:09 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

Hcb & Rick

We always believe and think that we are on the right side without analyzing and evaluating the contents of the media reports and also the back ground of the journalist. We came from different back ground, up bringing, religious belief; culture and surrounding that divide us with different understanding and point of views. Therefore, it is natural for one to listen to one side of story that he/she is comfortable with. It is no surprise that anti Arab Muslims develop in US, Europe and Israel as a result.

Human brain has two sides and they perform different but overlapping types of thinking processes.

The left side of the brain controls the right side of your body and also your analytical, linear, verbal and rational thinking skills. Left brain processes are more rewarded in social systems.

The right side of our brain controls our left side of our body and also our imagination; creativity, artistic and non-verbal skills. Right brain processes are less rewarded in social system.

It is good for one to identify one self by assessing “whole brain self-assessment”. We could hardly find human with 0 results after the assessment. 0 means neutral, which can swing one either to the left or to the right depending on the situation that warrant him or her to make a judgement.

One with minus 4 or lower is left brain dominance, whilst positive 4 or higher is right brain dominance. Apparently, we will be able to identify, why sometimes, the blogger can be extremely negative toward a particular culture or religion.

Hcb, I am currently a part time trader in US stock market. I am aware that emotion, greed and fear could drive the market either in the negative or positive direction. The utmost important is that we must arm our self with the right knowledge, right tools, machine and right strategy that fit our personality before we could attempt a trade.

12:56 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Frank - when I started reading I thought it was going to be some kind of electronic forcefield around houses. Then he started sounding a little shrill. I caught up with him midway through the article and, by the end, I agreed. And then, I wondered, "wher is Lilu and Carmel when we need them?"

But, again - what else is new? I don't know that the people of Israel want to be aggressive or are bent on grabbing land. As I don't think the people of America want to be running around the world spreading "democracy." But look what is happening here - lipstick can't be carried on an airplane because it might be a bomb. We're told to arrive two hours early so we can wait in line for the security check before getting on the airplane. We're told if we don't keep on spending a billion and a half a week in Iraq, the sky will fall.

It's the "leaders", Frank - Nasrallah tells his people the evil Israelis want their first born. Israel has an "ultimate mission" so visitors can see the trial of a Hamas "suspect" and watch an actual raid before returning to their five star hotel for an authentic mideast dinner (how DOES one properly prepare a camel brisket?) Americans are to the point America was in 1941 with putting all Japanese in America in concentration camps. We have people - as you've seen here - say "all moslems are armed terrorists." And so forth ....

The "leaders" monger fear which becomes hate. They do so not so much because they REALLY fear or hate but because they think there is a threat and they don't want it to happen while they are in charge. George Bush can't sleep at night because he is so convinced there will be another 9/11 if he is not awake and at the helm. He passes that fear down and his staff, while they might think another attack is remote, worries that THEY might be wrong so the fear spreads.

Israel does the same thing. And both Bush and Olmert say, "A terrorist has to get it right only once. We have to be right 100% of the time." And that's true, of course. But that truth coupled with fear diverts 100% of everyone's attention away from any other thoughts of any other way to deal with the threat. That's my upset.

That's what makes America and Israel stupid. We both react like someone who has been sucker punched in a dark room. We flail and swing and throw punches at noises and ghosts. We don't take a breath and look for the light switch. We are not willing, even, to consider that MOST - not simply a lot - MOST people in all countries are good and compassionate and want nothing other than to live peacefully while their kids grow and they don't have to worry about being killed in the middle of the night. MOST people are not cannibals or headhunters searching for their next victims but to hear their "leaders" talk, you'd think I'm nuts for saying that.

The root of all the evil is that bigotry. The bigotry fosters hate which provides the reason for distrust and fear. And then we get the "perfect storm" - all those emotions merge and there's neither room nor time for reason. We simply go from threat to threat. The ultimate madness is the idea of reaching out to kill simply because one is afraid if he doesn't then he'll be killed. In military parlance it' the "pre-emptive strike" and it is widely used during war. In George Bush's parlance it is "we will fight the terrorist wherever we find him because we have to kill him before he kills us." Then he shapes the news by manipulating the media. And he counts on a fat, relatively happy American public to listen to sound bites and buy their little magnetic stickers for their hugely obnoxious, gas guzzling SUVs that say, on the left side, "I Support the Troops" and on the right, "America - Love it or Leave it."

Unless peace loving, compassionate people get over their fear and do something about their leaders, might will ALWAYS make right, While people on both sides continue to bury their children.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Nice post, hcb.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:10 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Susu - here is what we've been talking about. When the people lose confidence in their leaders:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14489707/

It will happen in other free countries. Now we have to work on getting rid of the really bad actors in the not-free countries.

6:47 PM  
Blogger mejnuni said...

what makes me crazy is when people appear SHOCKED that a government would "stage"
media coverage.Its been going on for years. USA is the best at it and their main audience is their own people. The Israelis invented the process.

Of course they would leave Hizbullah armed,
it gives them every excuse to carry on under the guise of self defense in the next phase. Mind you, Iran is doing some pretty theatrical "staging " itself.PAY ATTENTION,

MY BELIEF IS people are good.....which makes it easier for our leaders to manipulate us. Its cleverly done....

the more recent manipulations can be read about on a web sight

Americanscholarssymposium.org

where scientific explanation will explain how 2 planes could not possibly bring dowwn
3 towers.check it out. this is not a group of long haired hippies on LSD and
its not a theory, its fact.

after you see these facts, hopefully,
it will it will encourage more investigative journalism from all countries and encourage more sites like BEIRUT LIVE and make peoples of
the world be more skeptical of governments and leaders "staging" the facts.IT MOST DEFINITELT HAPPENS.

ITS scarey. Hard to believe? Hey its hard to believe that suicide bombers really think they'll get 72 virgins in the next life. If you can't keep 1 woman in this life theres agood chance you're the problem. BUT hey, this is a very real form of manipulation.

Its happening.

The only reason I read the BEIRUT LIVE
blog is because I trust the writers.
can't tell you how I know that ....
but I Do. Keep up the good work it is
helping alot of people SEE. stay honest and humble and know that all walks of life in all countries have access, which is a good thing. Thanks again.

1:12 AM  
Blogger mejnuni said...

P.S.

The reason people don't speak up against
Israel so freely in America is trouble will happen for them.
they lose their job, their kid doesn't get accepted to the school of choice.
Their character gets smeared on false charges that later get dropped( but the mudd never wipes off)Its risky.
Scholars lose their tenure ,9TENURE IS LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPOSED TO BE IRREVOCABLE)
their sabatical gets revoked, funding gets dropped for their wives favorit charity....Mel Gibson was in a drunken stupor and made obnoxious comments towards Jews and he lost his ABC contract for a mini series WITHIN MINUTES. NO EXAGERATION. HE was chastized on the news ewveryday allday dduring the last 3 weeks that LEBANON
was being bombed.THAT WAS A DIRECT MESSAGE FROM ISRAEL TO THE MOVIE ACTORS AND INDUSTRY TO HOLD YOUR "FREE SPEECH"

speech is expensive in this country if you talk about the wrong things.

Yesterday a white school bus driver made the black kids sit at the back of the bus, the bus driver still has his job. He'll lose it but it will take approx 3 weeks to 2 months. If he told
jewish kids to sit at the back of the bus he would have been fired within hours.

1:43 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

Truth "Terror Plot"

The real "terrorists"
Bush & Blair

http://respectuk.blogspot.com/

5:00 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

Bush bin Laden and his Poodle, Tony Blair, are prepping for the next 9/11-style attack so that the Republicans can steal (more) elections in 2006 and 2008.

Dictator Bush was never elected in the United States, and we view him as the most dangerous terrorist on earth. His regime must be stopped.

http://www.legitgov.org/

5:11 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

Big church publisher buys 9-11 Bush plot
Presbyterian press to release book by conspiracist who blames attack on White House, not bin Laden

It wasn't Osama bin Laden who orchestrated the 9-11 attacks, it was George W. Bush, according to a book to be published this month by the Presbyterian Church USA.

Called "Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action," it is the third book on the conspiracy theory authored by David Ray Griffin, a professor emeritus of theology at Claremont School of Theology.

According to Christianity Today, Griffin argues in his new book that the Bush administration planned the events of Sept. 11, 2001, so they could provide justification for going to war with Afghanistan and Iraq.

"I became more convinced that if the truth about 9-11 was going to be exposed, the churches were probably going to have to be involved," Griffin told the magazine. "If we become convinced that the so-called war on terror is simply a pretext for enlarging the American empire, we have every reason as Christians to try and expose the truth behind 9/11."

More http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51463

http://www.petitiononline.com/11601TFS/petition.html

5:42 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

George Galloway


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg6qWVGqEJ4

10:04 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

Jewish march against Zionism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTd08SPfckg&mode=related&search=

10:37 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

Zionism versus Judaism Part 1 of 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-JrU54W6qU&mode=related&search=

11:01 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

JERUSALEM - The Israeli government said Saturday it is asking friendly Muslim countries to contribute troops to the U.N. force that is to help police the cease-fire in southern Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah.

The U.N. wants Muslim troops included to lend credibility in the region to what so far is a mostly European force, and the predominantly Islamic nations of Indonesia, Bangladesh and Malaysia have offered to participate.

But none of those recognize Israel, which says it would be reluctant to share intelligence with a force that included Muslim nations it doesn’t have relations with. While Israel does not have any veto, its opposition to a country could influence which troops are included.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Israel had spoken to the governments of several Muslim nations with which it has diplomatic relations, but primarily to Turkey. Turkey, which would be acceptable to all parties, has not decided whether to join the mission.

“If Turkey decides to send a contingent, we would welcome that,” Regev said.

He did not specify the other nations contacted by Israel, but Jordan and Egypt are among the Muslim countries that Israel has relations with.

Hezbollah pledges to keep arms
The difficulties facing the nascent force were already apparent, with a top Hezbollah official saying in a defiant interview published Saturday that the Shiite Muslim guerrilla group would keep its weapons despite international pressure to disarm.

Sheik Naim Kassem, the group’s deputy leader, also told the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar that Hezbollah’s “resistance” to Israel would continue. “Justifications for ending it do not exist,” he said.

Kassem’s remarks underscored the fragility of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire.

3:51 PM  

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