18 March 2006

Not quite grasping the point

[source, source]

WASHINGTON, March 16 /U.S. Newswire/ - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called for an independent investigation of allegations that America played a role in an Israeli attack on a Palestinian prison that came 10 minutes after U.S. and British monitors withdrew from the facility. […]

I sure hope there was coordination! I mean, what was the purpose of the monitors except to, you know, monitor?

“The fact that the assault came just minutes after the withdrawal of American monitors creates the impression that there was coordination with the Israeli military,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR). He said that impression, if left unaddressed by an independent investigation, can only serve to reinforce the perception in the region that our nation’s foreign policy serves Israeli, not American, interests.

I fail to see any difference in this instance between Israeli and American interests. It is interesting to note that Awad cannot even concieve of a situation in which those two interests are the same.


The report also states: “…the United States has become the de facto enabler of Israeli expansion in the occupied territories, making it complicit in the crimes perpetrated against the Palestinians. This situation undercuts Washington’s efforts to promote democracy abroad and makes it look hypocritical when it presses other states to respect human rights.”

If the Israelis were fighting against a regime that promoted democracy and human rights, there might be a point here. But aiding the fight against facism, in its modern guise of Caliphascism, is something to be proud of. If the rest of the world prefers fascism, too bad for them.

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"Too good to be true"? Is that possible?

[source, source]

The [New York] Times did not adequately research Mr. Qaissi’s insistence that he was the man in the photograph. Mr. Qaissi’s account had already been broadcast and printed by other outlets, including PBS and Vanity Fair, without challenge. Lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib vouched for him. Human rights workers seemed to support his account. The Pentagon, asked for verification, declined to confirm or deny it.

Despite the previous reports, The Times should have been more persistent in seeking comment from the military. A more thorough examination of previous articles in The Times and other newspapers would have shown that in 2004 military investigators named another man as the one on the box, raising suspicions about Mr. Qaissi’s claim.

The Times also overstated the conviction with which representatives of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International expressed their view of whether Mr. Qaissi was the man in the photograph. While they said he could well be that man, they did not say they believed he was.

As usual, the bias of the NY Times manifests not as deliberate misrepresentation, but as a willingness to believe the shoddiest stories as long as they confirm that bias.

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