05 June 2006

Stilling those inner voices with soothing bias

Michelle Malkin has an article about the Uk newspaper The Times using pictures of Iraqi civilians massacred by caliphascists to accuse US Marines of war crimes. The Times claims that it was a mistake, but one is left wondering why the mistakes always end up indicting America or Israel and never, say, the caliphascists.

The reality is, of course, the mistakes are made both ways but one way gets checked and the other doesn’t. Aniti-Americanism seems to still any possiblity of doubt in Old Media.

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Using trust to verify


[Senator] John Kerry, obviously running for President again, has recently been addressing the charges of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, something he steadfastly refused to do during the 2004 Presidential campaign. Indeed, after their charges made national attention, he never granted another interview with a reporter, on any subject, until the end of the campaign. The only exception: a friendly interview with The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart. Thomas Lipscomb has a lengthy look at the issue, and at the dereliction of duty by so much of the press in covering the story.

I hadn’t realized that Kerry had enaged in such a shut down during the campaign. Imagine President Bush getting away with stonewalling an issue like that — it would be front page multiple times a week. We’ll see how many reporters mention Kerry’s still unreleased records.

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It's not the Marines who throw those parties, you know


Twelve dead in East Timor, and the UN is in concealment mode:

The United Nations has ordered staff in East Timor not to co-operate with Australian Federal Police investigating the massacre of 12 unarmed Timorese officers by renegade soldiers, prompting allegations of a cover-up.

A letter from the UN’s deputy representative in Timor, Pakistani General Anis Bajwa, had been circulated to all staff, including employees evacuated to Australia, directing them not to assist AFP detectives investigating the worst atrocity since the violence of 1999.

Something has obviously changed since the UN’s era of everyone can see everything.

And we can see the massive, wall to wall coverage of this and the stonewalling, right? It wouldn’t just be some small stories buried in the back pages, right?

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If you can't handle reality, denial is your only option


I’ve spent much of the day watching coverage of the terrorist cell capture and I’ve been dumbstruck, not by the size of the alleged operation — though it was impressive in its apparent scope, but by the attitudes of Canadians interviewed by the media.

Not surprisingly you have some morons blaming Stephen Harper’s “alliance” with George W. Bush and the fact that there are Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. This ignores the fact that the previous government deployed forces in Afghanistan — one of the few things they did to earn my praise — and that the mayor of Toronto was informed of the plot in January, the same month that Harper assumed office. Now I’m no expert of planning terrorist attacks but that would have to mean that the plot began long before Harper moved to 24 Sussex Drive.

Nor are the attitudes of the Muslim community a shock. Yet another attempt to smear Islam said one man, though the media has bent over backwards not to identify any of the men as Muslims. These people couldn’t have done what they are accused of, said another, they came from good homes. So did the men who carried out the September 11 attacks. Virtually all of them were educated, middle class men. And let’s not forget the educated, middle class Brits who launched attacks in London not that long ago. Citizenship, education and good families don’t seem to be total safeguards against terrorist activity.

Here’s my message to the Muslim community: We aren’t blaming Islam or you, but we would like to know how 16 people, armed with three tons of fertilizer, planned to blow up multiple targets around the city you live and work in, and no one noticed. And when will you take notice of the fact there are members of your community who subscribe to violent ideologies and have no problem with killing me and you, as evidenced by their actions around the world. All I hear are denials…

But what truly surprises me is the shock that Torontonians are expressing that their city was a terrorist target. Did they miss the declaration by Osama bin Laden in 2002 that named Canada a target? Are they unaware that radical Islamists are at war not with the United States alone — who merely represents the ultimate symbol of their hatred — but with Western civilization itself?

I’m amazed that in 2006, nearly five years after September 11, that many Canadians continue to be adolescents when it comes to world affairs. It’s as if their education ended in Grade 8 when every Canadian of a certain age was told that we lived in a “fireproof house”, that because of our distance from the world’s troublespots and because — gosh darned it — everyone likes us! we were safe from the bad guys.

We aren’t a target because we have soldiers in Afghanistan, though admittedly it raises our profile, nor because we have a conservative in office. We’re a target because the way we live our lives — as niave about the world as we are — is a threat to the very existence of people who choose to be the slaves of an extremist political-religious sect dreaming of returning to a mythical 7th century past. We are a target because we exist. So long as we are an example of liberal democracy, we are a threat to their existence. Sooner or later, regardless of whether we fight on the war on terror, ally ourselves with the U.S., or elect conservatives, we’re bound to be attacked.

I suspect, however, that Canadians will learn little from this. Calls for our soldiers to come home will increase, opposition politicians will use the terror plot to try and divide us from the U.S. and the notion that we’re a threat to others will be ignored. We’ll just pretend this was an aberration and that, gosh darned it, people still love us. We can negotiate our way out of everything and if we can’t, we’ll just close our eyes and pretend that the biggest issues of the day aren’t a worldwide war against terrorism and expansion of democracy, but rather whether a Canadian team will win the Stanley Cup and how bad the mosquitoes will be this summer.

Until the next plot when the cycle begins again.

It’s just an extreme form of parochialism, where Canadians are simply too insular and unsophisticated to be able to believe that other people might be different from them.

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