Sunday, 16 December 2007

CHALK ONE UP FOR MAUREEN DOWD

Ken Berwitz

I am no fan of Maureen Dowd and have used this blog to criticize her numbers of times.  But today's she has given us one of the funniest and most insightful columns of the year. 

Given my criticisms of Ms. Dowd when I felt they were warranted, it would be remiss of me not to compliment her when she does stellar work. So today I do, because she did. 

Here is the column - and it will be an accomplishment if you don't laugh out loud at least once or twice.

Reefer Madness in Iowa

With the Iowa campaign in wild flux and in the case of Hillary, acid reflux The Des Moines Register decides to hold a tie-breaking debate with the two Democratic front-runners.

Carolyn Washburn, the phlegmatic editor of the paper, once more moderates.

WASHBURN: Senator Clinton, Id like you to start us off by explaining why your campaign has been getting down and dirty with someone so clean and articulate?

CLINTON: I apologized to Senator Obama. I absolutely did not authorize or condone the remarks made by one of my co-chairs in New Hampshire about my distinguished colleagues youthful indiscretions. If primary voters dont care that he did a little blow, then my goodness, why should I? Even if he had packed a straw full of the white rabbit and had a snow bunny blow it in his ear, who would care, for Petes sake? I only wish I knew all that colorful chasing-the-dragon lingo. Senator Obama certainly has a lot of street cred, even if it isnt Main Street. We owe it to the good people of Iowa to stick to critical issues like the economy, and how to get a fiscally responsible budget like we had in the 90s, the 90s, the 90s

WASHBURN: Snap out of it.

CLINTON: Sorry. Anyway, even if Senator Obama were still riding the snow train, I would not allow any revelations about it to sully this campaign. Im not sure who that young man in a hoodie was that Barack was talking to outside tonight, before the debate. Id seen the young man earlier, standing around in the shadows outside. But thats neither here nor there. Even if I had been able to see whether any money was exchanged, or who was selling to whom, I would not allow anyone in my campaign, even that scamp Mark Penn, to use the word cocaine, cocaine, cocaine

WASHBURN: Senator!

CLINTON: Continuing in this vein, I just want to conclude by saying, both in terms of experience and illegal substances, I am vetted. I am tested.

WASHBURN: Senator Obama, what would your priorities be as president?

OBAMA: I will pass a health care bill because I am not a polarizing person whose negatives are completely off the charts, and Im certainly not threatening to drag down the whole party at a time when we should be killing the Republicans.

WASHBURN: Are you referring to Senator Clinton?

OBAMA: Most certainly not. I want to bring a new kind of politics to Washington that can reverse the polarizing atmosphere of the 90s, the 90s, the 90s.

CLINTON: Dont bogart the time, Barack. Id like a hit. Carolyn, shouldnt there be some timing device to let my young friend know when hes going over, something that would go BONG!

OBAMA: I know what youre doing, Hillary. I wasnt born yesterday. She wants Americans to think Im so young and green that I can only run for White House intern. It would be a stain on me to sink as low as her.

CLINTON: I dont appreciate that crack. If youre going to needle me, Senator

OBAMA: In turn, I would like to reply that what this country really needs is change

CLINTON: Change is mine now, Senator Belushi. Bill and I stole it weeks ago. Some people believe you get change by hoping for it. Some believe you get change by snorting it. I believe you get it by working hard.

WASHBURN: Can you both please describe the key features of what you consider to be the best education system in the world?

CLINTON: Well, I know that some of my supporters have been spreading gossip that Senator Obama loves the madrassa system for pre-K through terrorist training camp. But there is not a gram of truth in those accusations. We shouldnt inject intolerance into this race.

WASHBURN: I would like to talk about the Peru free trade deal that was signed on Friday. You both missed the vote.

CLINTON: Oh, Barack should take that one. His views on Peruvian are positively flaky.

OBAMA: Youre the flaky one, Hillary, backing up the president when he wanted to rush into Iraq and wage this trillion-dollar war.

CLINTON: Its no wonder you didnt want to go into Iraq, Barack. There are no free bases there.

WASHBURN: All right, you two. Were out of time. Have a Merry Christmas and

CLINTON: And I am sure that Senator Obama is dreaming of his usual White Christmas. Hitch up the reindeer!

WASHBURN: As I was saying, a Happy New Year.

CLINTON: He gets no kick from Champagne ....

I pride myself on being a really bad punster (the way it works is that the worse a pun, is the better it is.  Don't ask me to explain this.).  But Ms. Dowd has gotten off a couple in this column that I would have been ashamed (thus proud) to call my own. 

The "free bases" one was my personal favorite.  Which is yours?


SAUDI POCKETS

Ken Berwitz

Who is in Saudi pockets?

The left has spent years telling us that PresIdent Bush is, although I can't say I've seen much evidence of it.  Presidents take positions on countless issues and the fact that some of them are also supported by the Saudi government (while others - certainly regarding Israel - are not) hardly convinces that there is any "ownership" - certainly not in the sense that the LAMB left owns the Democratic party.

Maybe I'm just naive here. But when Eli Pariser of moveon.org says that his organization bought the Democratic party and owns it (yes, he really said that), I have reason to suspect that party is in moveon'org's pocket.  I have heard no such proclamation from the Saudis about President Bush.

But the Saudis do have pockets.  And they are filled with money.  Who do they give this money to?  They give it to presidents on both sides of the political aisle.  And if there ever were a former (and possibly future) president willing to accept money it is Bill and Hillary Clinton. 

Today's article in the Washington Post gives us the details.  (Parenthetically, yesterday's Drudge Report told us the New York Times would have this article.  Evidently it had the right idea but the wrong newspaper,since I can't find anything like this on the nytimes.com home page).  As usual, the bold print is mine:.

Clinton Library Got Funds From Abroad
Saudis Said to Have Given $10 Million

By John Solomon and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, December 15, 2007; A03

Bill Clinton's presidential library raised more than 10 percent of the cost of its $165 million facility from foreign sources, with the most generous overseas donation coming from Saudi Arabia, according to interviews yesterday.

The royal family of Saudi Arabia gave the Clinton facility in Little Rock about $10 million, roughly the same amount it gave toward the presidential library of George H.W. Bush, according to people directly familiar with the contributions.

The presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has for months faced questions about the source of the money for her husband's presidential library. During a September debate, moderator Tim Russert asked the senator whether her husband would release a donor list. Clinton said she was sure her husband would "be happy to consider that," though the former president later declined to provide a list of donors.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has made an issue of the large yet unidentified contributors to presidential libraries, saying that he wants to avoid even the appearance of impropriety in such donations. Obama has introduced legislation that would require disclosure of all contributions to presidential libraries, including Clinton's, and Congress has actively debated such a proposal. Unlike campaign donations, money given to presidential libraries is often done with limited or no disclosure.

The Clinton library has steadfastly declined to reveal its donors, saying they were promised confidentiality. The William J. Clinton Foundation, which funds the library, is considered a charity whose contributors can remain anonymous.

In response to questions from The Washington Post, the foundation reiterated that it would not discuss specific sizes or sources of donations to honor the commitment it made to donors. But it acknowledged that some of the money Clinton received from the library came from foreign sources.

"As president, he was beloved around the world, so it should come as no surprise that there has been an outpouring of financial support from around the world to sustain his post-presidential work," a foundation statement said.

Bill Clinton has solicited donations for the library personally, aides said, but he also delegated much of the fundraising to others, especially Terence R. McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The foundation statement stressed that he has turned over the facility to taxpayers, as other former presidents have.

A handful of major donors' names to the Clinton library were disclosed in 2004 when a New York Sun reporter accessed a public computer terminal at the library that provided a list of donors. Soon after the article appeared, the list of donors was removed.

The amount of the contribution from Saudi Arabia and several other countries, as well as the percentage of the total given by foreigners, had not been revealed.

The Post confirmed numerous seven-figure donors to the library through interviews and tax records of foundations. Several foreign governments gave at least $1 million, including the Middle Eastern nations of Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the governments of Taiwan and Brunei.

In addition, a handful of Middle Eastern business executives and officials also gave at least $1 million each, according to the interviews. They include Saudi businessmen Abdullah al-Dabbagh, Nasser al-Rashid and Walid Juffali, as well as Issam Fares, a U.S. citizen who previously served as deputy prime minister of Lebanon.

Spokesmen for Kuwait and Taiwan confirmed that each government has given the library $1 million. Both governments also donated to other presidential libraries. Kuwait contributed at least $1 million to the library of former president George H.W. Bush, and Taiwan gave $2 million to the Ronald Reagan library.

Calls to the other governments were not returned, and the Middle Eastern individuals could not be located for comment.

Jack Kuei, a press officer for Taiwan in Washington, said his government's donation "is a way to promote a mutual understanding and it's a kind of public diplomacy." Kuwaiti counselor Jasem Albudaiwi called his nation's contribution "a friendly donation from the people and the government of Kuwait to the cause of the library." .

Fascinating, isn't it, how President Bush and his father (his father somewhat more deservedly so) have been tarred with the Saudi association all these years.  But Bill Clinton, who got money galore from the Saudis and assorted other Arab governments, has barely been cited -- at least not until now. 

Since the Clinton Library started raking in the dough, it has refused to disclose who the big donors are. It is hard not to conclude that this is because they are embarrassed by who is on the list. And worried that the list would damage an eventual presidential run for Hillary Clinton.  It is also hard not to conclude that these disclosures will hurt the Clinton candidacy.

Is this another example of media finally distancing itself from Bill and HIll?  Does it mean that they don't think Hillary Clinton can win the presidency so they are now moving toward a more promising Democrat - like Barack Obama, for instance? 

The next few weeks will give us the answer. 


FOLLOW-UP ON THE MURDER OF AQSA PARVEZ

Ken Berwitz

On Tuesday (December 11) I posted an article about a "man" in Mississaugua, Canada who strangled his daughter to death for the "crime" of not wanting to wear a hijab (traditional muslim face covering) in public.  I used this horror as an installment of my "A Taste Of the Future" series.

You may be wondering how media have treated this story.  Michelle Malkin will tell you below.  I recommend you read it, providing you have completely digested all food intake.

Here it is:.

Whitewashing the murder of Aqsa Parvezand remembering the murder of Tina Isa

By Michelle Malkin    December 12, 2007 10:26 PM

2aqsa.jpg
Aqsa Parvezs Facebook photo

What is it with our craven mainstream media? They simply cannot give you the news straight when it comes to bloody sharia and bloody jihad. A Muslim girl was murdered over her refusal to wear a hijab, for crying out loud, and this is how its headlined:

Canadian Teen Dies; Father Charged

Meantime, the Canadian press is pulling out its Broad Strata card again.

Five Feet of Fury and Halls of Macadamia spotlight the press quoting spin doctor Mohamed Elmasry, President of the Canadian Islamic Congress, claiming it was a teenager issue.

I dont want the public to think that this is really an Islamic issue or an immigrant issue, said Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress. It is a teenager issue.

Blood pressure rising yet?

Keep reading.

Jihad Watch catches the National Post in the act with this quote:

The strangulation death of Ms. Parvez was the result of domestic violence, a problem that cuts across Canadian society and is blind to colour or creed.

The only ones blinded here are the dhimmi journalists wielding the whitewash brush over Aqsa Parvezs dead body.

***

Several readers remind me of the horrific murder of Tina Isa by her Muslim jihadi father (aided by her Brazilian mother) in St. Louis in 1989. Zein Isa had been plotting to bomb the Israeli embassy at the time he murdered his daughter for taking a job and dating a black student. Journalist Ellen Harris wrote a book about Tina, which Daniel Pipes reviewed:

In November 1989 in St. Louis, the FBI inadvertently tape recorded the entire episode of a teenage girls being killed by her Palestinian father and Brazilian mother (the Feds were looking for evidence of terrorism, which they also found). In a ghastly eight-minute sequence, Zein Isa stabbed his daughter Palestina thirteen times with a butchers knife as his wife held the girl down and responded to Palestinas pleas for help with a brutal Shut up! The killing ends with Zein screaming Die! Die quickly! Die quickly! . . . Quiet, little one! Die, my daughter, die! By this time, she is dead.

Harris, a St. Louis television reporter, has done admirable spade work going through the court transcripts and interviewing everyone connected to the case in an attempt to piece together the interlocking stories of family murder and active support of Abu Nidals terrorist organization. In addition, she successfully conjures up the small and exceedingly unpleasant world of Zein Isa and his family of rabid anti-Americans living right in the American heartland. The murder culminates their lives of frustration, greed, and vulgarity. Unfortunately, Harris spent more effort digging up information than she did writing the book; so the more-than-casual reader must read and reread its pages to piece together the sequence of events and the scope of the Isa familys involvement with Abu Nidal. Doing so repays the effort, however, for Harris has compiled a treasure trove of materials on two usually elusive subjects.

A 1991 New York Times article gives you details of the tapes and the trial:

The jury deliberated more than four hours Saturday before asking for the death penalty against Zein Isa and his wife, Maria. On Friday, the jurors had convicted them in the death of their daughter Tina, the father for stabbing her and the mother for holding her down.

The girls screams and moans as she begged her parents not to kill her were captured by devices secretly planted in the apartment by Federal agents who were looking into possible illegal activities by Mr. Isa on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Cultures and Generations Clash

Instead of international intrigue, the tapes captured a sometimes chilling, sometimes heartbreaking family drama involving clashes of cultures Mr. Isa was born in Palestine and his wife in Brazil and the parents attempts to control their daughter who, it seems, wanted to be an American teen-ager.

The surveillance unit was not staffed on Nov. 6, 1989, the night Tina Isa was killed. Soon after the killing, the F.B.I. turned over a number of tapes to the prosecutor, Dee Joyce-Hayes. They included a number of phone conversations with Zein Isa and several other daughters in which he seems to discuss various methods of getting rid of Tina, including accusing her of attacking him with a knife. Since the F.B.I. has refused to discuss the tapes, only some of which were used at the trial, it is not clear whether the authorities could have intervened to prevent the killing. Translated for Jury

The seven-minute tape of the killing, on which the father is heard shouting in Arabic Die quickly! in answer to his daughters cries, chilled the jury of seven women and five men and shocked court officials who thought they had seen and heard everything.

Its worse than any movie, any film, anything I thought that I would ever hear in my life, said Bob Craddick, an assistant prosecutor for seven years, who has heard the tape seven or eight times.

Stomach-turning:

On the night of her death, Tinas parents express anger on the tape that she was at work, then seem not to believe that she was at work at all. Then Tinas father says: Here, listen, my dear daughter, do you know that this is the last day. Tonight, youre going to die?

Tina responds: Huh?

Zein Isa replies: Do you know that you are going to die tonight?

The girls mother asks her questions about items in her schoolbag. In the midst of her conversation with her mother, Tina begins to shriek in fear.

Keep still, Tina! says her father.

Mother, please help me!

Huh? What do you mean? the mother says.

Help! Help!

What help? the mother responds.

Tina screams, and Maria says: Are you going to listen? Are you going to listen?

Screaming louder, Tina gasps: Yes! Yes! Yes, I am! then coughs and adds, No. Please!

The mother says, Shut up!

Tina continues to cry, but her voice is unintelligible.

Die! Die quickly! Die quickly! the father says.

The girl moans, seems to quiet, then screams one last time.

Quiet, little one! Die my daughter, die! the father says.

Tina was stabbed six times in the chest with a boning knife, which pierced her heart, one lung, and liver, investigators said.

More here:

An honor killing is usually a private family matter. One family member, usually the father or oldest son, kills the family member who has disgraced or dishonored the family, usually a female who has either had premarital sex or been unfaithful in her marriage. Honor killings take place mostly in third world countries, although in November of 1989, Saint Louis gained National attention in what became one of the most publicized honor killings in the world.

The FBI unintentionally taped the brutal murder of 16-year-old Tina Isa, while doing electronic surveillance of the Isaa home. Zein Isa, Tinas father was a suspected Palestinian Terrorist and had been under FBI surveillance for some time. The first clue to Tina Isas death came one morning as FBI agents listened to the surveillance tapes from the night before. Imagine the difficulty the agents must have experienced listening to Tinas terrifying screams, as her Palestinian father kills her and her Brazilian mother Maria helps him.

The agents quickly realize with horror, they are already hours to late and that Tina is already dead. The agents hear Tina screaming, begging her mother please help me and her mother says only shut up. Tinas father stabs her with a butcher knife 13 times in the chest, while Tinas mother Maria holds her daughter down. The murder of their daughter Tina Isa takes eight minutes. The tape ends with Zein Isa telling his daughter die, die quickly, quiet, little one, die, my daughter, die. Then there is silence on the tape and it is obvious Tina has died.

After hearing the murder of Tina Isa on the surveillance tape, agents must make a difficult decision. Do they blow FBI cover, turn over the audiotapes, allowing the prosecutor to prosecute the Isaa for murdering their daughter. Do they continue their surveillance and hope that Zein and Maria Isa lead the agents to terrorists. In the end, the agents turn over their evidence to the prosecuting attorneys office and prosecute the Isas for the murder of their daughter.

Tina is an honor killing. A daughter killed by her father for causing dishonor for her family in her fathers eyes. Earlier in the day, Tina had applied for a part-time job at a local Saint Louis Wendys Restaurant against her parents wishes, and with out their permission. Recently she had begun seeing a black boy from school. Both of these behaviors disrespect the family, enough that her father felt justified in killing her. The number of honor killings worldwide is difficult to detect. Honor killings are a taboo subject. Killing your child because they are disrespectful is not open for discussion in any country.

During their trial, the Zein Isa tried to get the surveillance tapes thrown out as evidence because they captured events that had no relevance to the FBIs investigation. The court allowed the tapes as evidence, which allowed the jury to hear Tinas voice from beyond the grave, and the stark cold method in which her father and mother murdered her in cold blood in her own home. Zein and Maria Isa both found guilty of Murder and sentenced to death.

Zein Isa died from illness while waiting on death row in 1997. Maria Isas sentence was commuted to life imprisonment without parole.

May they both rot in hell. And may Aqsa Parvezs father rot there with them..

Are you as sickened as I am?  Could any decent person not be?  Why are so many media venues so determined to act on behalf of the people who do this? 

That's a question we damn well better start demanding answers to.


STIFF UPPER LIP SERVICE

Ken Berwitz

Gordon Brown is the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and, accordingly, he leads UK policy on Iraq.

Even as the USA troop surge is not only working but paying us significant dividends in Baghdad and surrounding areas, Mr. Brown appears to have decided to run in an opposite direction.

The expression "declare victory and leave the field" is very amusing as a punch line.  But not amusing at all as a foreign policy.  This seems to have eluded the new PM, as he retreats from Basra while leaving decent Iraqi people with murderous radical islamic lunatics running loose and killing them at will.

Here, courtesy of today's Times of London, are the specifics:.

Tossed from a car and shot in cold blood

IT WAS just after 11pm and the shopkeeper was closing up for the night when a van screeched to a halt outside. The back doors flew open. Someone inside threw a woman onto the street, he said. She was lying on the road but she was still alive. A man lent out and shot a machine-gun into her body.

As the van raced away, the shopkeeper ran over to her. She was aged 25 to 30 with long dark hair and was lying face up. There was so much blood, he said. The police just took a photograph and put her in the back of a van.

There have been 48 women killed in six months for un-Islamic behaviour. The murders in the teeming southern port of Basra have highlighted the weakness of the security forces and the strength of Islamic militias as Britain prepares to hand over control to Iraqi officials today.

In another case, two teenagers saw a woman beaten to death by five or six men from the Mahdi Army, Basras most powerful militia. One picked up a rock and crushed her skull. The teenagers were told that their home and family would be destroyed if they betrayed the killers.

However, Major-General Jalil Khalaf, the police chief, said the citys 28 militias were better armed than his men. They control the ports which earns them huge sums of money he said.

As well as skimming profits from oil exports, they were importing weapons from Iran.

You could smuggle a tank across that border if you wanted to, he added.

During four days of reporting independently in Basra the first western journalist to do so for a British newspaper in almost two years I met a Baghdad official who had come to investigate the port. He was abducted, tortured and freed only after a gift was promised to the kidnappers.

The objective of the UK forces in southern Iraq was to establish the security needed for political development and economic reconstruction. Major-General Graham Binns, the commander of British forces in Basra province, acknowledged that we were unable to meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people.  .

Major-General Binns has it right.  The job is left undone, and what was done was not done very well. 

George Bush's father declared victory in 1991.  Militarily, he was right.  But then he "left the field" and essentially screwed the people of Iraq, very much including those in Basra.  Based on his actions and words, Gordon Brown appears to view the former President Bush as some kind of visionary for doing so. 

Fortunately, the current President Bush has a different idea.  Look at the results and think about who is making more sense.


GREAT NEWS FROM IRAQ: WILL IT BE REPORTED?

Ken Berwitz

It seems to me that this excerpted story, which just went up on the Associated Press wire about an hour ago, contains great news.

First let me show it to you.  Then let's think about what it means and where it should be on the newscasts tonight and the newspapers and network news tomorrow.  As usual, the bold print is mine:

General: Iraq at its quietest since '04

By PATRICK QUINN, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD - Violence in Iraq is at its lowest levels since the first year of the American invasion, finally opening a window for reconciliation among rival sects, the second-ranking U.S. general said Sunday as Iraqi forces formally took control of security across half the country.

Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, the man responsible for the ground campaign in Iraq, said that the first six months of 2007 were probably the most violent period since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The past six months, however, had seen some of the lowest levels of violence since the conflict began, Odierno said, attributing the change to an increase in both American troops and better-trained Iraqi forces.

"I feel we are back in '03 and early '04. Frankly I was here then, and the environment is about the same in terms of security in my opinion," he said. "What is different from then is that the Iraqi security forces are significantly more mature."

Violence killed at least 27 Iraqis on Sunday 16 of them members of a U.S.-backed neighborhood patrol killed in clashes with al-Qaida in a volatile province neighboring Baghdad. Thirty-five al-Qaida fighters also died in that fighting, Iraqi officials said.

Odierno said Anbar province, once plagued by violence, only recorded 12 attacks in the past week, down from an average of 26 per week over the past three months.

"The violence last week was the lowest ever," he said of Anbar.

"So that kind of defines 2007 very simply. A long hard fight and a lot of sacrifice by a lot of soldiers, Marines and airmen to get there," Odierno said.

A planned reduction of troops to about 130,000 at the end of next year from a high of around 165,000 at the height of the "surge" should not derail that effort, but Iraq's government must take advantage of the improved security, Odierno said. There are 154,000 U.S. troops in Iraq now.

"We have a window, I don't know how long that window is, but there is a window because of the security to move forward," Odierno told a small group of journalists at his headquarters in Baghdad. "We need to get policies in place by the central government to do this."

Gen. David Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, said in a joint statement with U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Patricia A. Butenis, that Iraqi forces "have demonstrated their readiness to assume responsibility for the provincial security. Today this responsibility is theirs."

British troops will not immediately leave southern Iraq but will instead remain at their base just outside the city. This is know by the military as "operational overwatch," in which Iraqi security forces and civilian police take responsibility under a provincial governor, or other official, and coalition forces are held in reserve in bases that are spread out intervening when necessary or when asked.

The next phase would involve a hand over at a national level which could then set stage for a large-scale withdrawal of all foreign troops a few years later. .

Isn't this exactly what the troop surge was supposed to do?  Lower the terrorist activity, give the Iraqi forces a chance to take care of their own country and provide a window of opportunity for the Iraqi government to try to display some competence for a change and create a workable peace between the country's factions.

Here are a few things it isn't: 

-It isn't a lost war, despite the best efforts of Democratic leadership to try to convince us otherwise;

-It isn't a civil war, despite the best efforts of Democratic leadership to try to convince us otherwise;

-The troop surge is successful, despite the best efforts of Democratic leadership to convince us otherwise;

-Though the road will be very difficult, there is a realistic chance that Iraq could evolve into a self-sustaining democracy, despite the best efforts of Democratic leadership to convince us otherwise.

Noticing a trend?  Me too.

This is the conundrum of Democratic leftwing hardball on Iraq:  the better the news is in that country, the worse news it is, politically, for Democrats.  Therefore great news like this is a disaster for Democrats' political prospects.

This brings us again to the issue of media coverage. 

Watch the network news tonight.  Check your newspaper and the network news tomorrow - along with the Today show or Good Morning America in the morning, if you can (I'm assuming you don't watch the CBS morning show, who does?).  See how much coverage this gets. 

Who knows, maybe they'll do something radical and even report it.


THE DEATH OF MUHAMED AL DURA

Ken Berwitz

You probably remember the story:  A young palestinian Arab boy and his father pinned against a wall during a gunfight between palestinian Arabs and Israelis.  The father desperately tries to shield his son from the Israeli bullets.  But he cannot.  The child is shot to death by the Israelis.

What you probably do not know is the event I just described is a complete fraud.  And that this has been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt in a court of law.

I've been wanting to post a commentary about the Muhamed Al Dura fraud for some time.  But I have avoided doing so, because the only way to present it appropriately is to present it completely, and that would take far too much space in this kind of a blog.

Now, however, Scott Johnson, writing for the invaluable website www.powerlineblog.com has put together a series of links which accomplishes what I could not figure out a practical way of doing.  With great appreciation to Mr. Johnson and Powerline, here it is:

The story of the Israel Defense Forces' purported killing of Muhamed al Dura is a modern blood libel. Richard Landes introduces the affair as follows:

People who followed Middle East news in 2000 cannot forget the image of Muhamed al Durah, gunned down in a hail of Israeli bullets at the very beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada. The impact of this dramatic footage on global culture is close to incalculable. Its prominence goes far beyond any other image from this terrible conflict and its impact goes far beyond any of its other images, one of the most powerful images of the past 50 years, one of the shaping images of this young 21st century.

It appears that just about every relevant element of the story originally reported by France 2 is false. Examination of the available evidence shows that al Dura's death was deliberately staged for film. CAMERA has prepared an excellent backgrounder on the al Dura affair.

Nidra Poller's 2005 article "Myth, fact, and the al-Dura affair" provides an invaluable narrative account. Now Poller reports that al Dura's father -- allegedly wounded by the IDF in the events that led to his son's death -- was in fact injured by axe-wielding Palestinian forces in 1992, according to an Israeli surgeon who performed reconstructive surgery on the wounds two years later. Poller comments:

Jamal [al Dura] used the arm restored by Israeli surgeons to act out the blood libel that provoked the murderous rage that killed countless Israeli civilians, including courageous doctors who had treated Palestinians with the same generosity he experienced.

Poller's story is suggestive of the upside down version of reality peddled by Arab propagandists and their handmaidens in the Western media. .

The trial took place in France and was big news there.  But most of the rest of the world - very much including the USA - has done its level best to ignore the inconvenience and embarrassment of having to go back 8 years and acknowledge getting it wrong.

That's too bad.  Because ignoring this reality means leaving Israel culpable for something its military clearly did not do.  It is also insures that islamic jihadists continue to exploit a martyr they invented out of thin air and have already used for 8 years.

Not, of course, that putting the truth in our newspapers and broadcast media would change how Muhamed Al Dura's phony martyrdom is passed off as real.  The people doing it will most assuredly continue to do so, because truth and integrity mean nothing to them.  But at least some people in the free world would be given a chance to know the actual facts.

I don't think this is asking too much.  Do you?


"THE TERRORIST PLOT NO ONE TALKED ABOUT"

Ken Berwitz

All credit to Mr. Ed Morrissey of  www.captainsquartersblog.com and Mr. Scott Johnson of www.powerlineblog.com for their heads-up on this plot and their (typically) excellent analyses. 

I am posting Ed's writeup, but I strongly urge you to use the link he provides so you can read Scott's piece as well. 

Then I urge you to wonder why the LA Times (where it was happening, so they more or less had to cover it) is one of the only major media venues reporting about it:

The Terrorist Plot No One Talked About

A terrorist conspiracy to attack military sites and synagogues developed among prison Muslims for years, and yet hardly any mention of the conspiracy made the news. The Los Angeles Times picks up the story no one else seems interested in reporting, noting that two of the accused have pled guilty to the conspiracy:

Two members of a prison-based Islamic terrorist cell that authorities say was poised to attack military sites, synagogues and other targets across Southern California pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to conspiring to wage war against the United States.

The plot, which police stumbled upon during a routine investigation into a gas station holdup, represented one of the most realistic terrorism threats on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, experts said. The case also raised concerns about whether the country's prisons could serve as recruiting centers for Islamic extremists.

As the defendants entered their pleas, prosecutors made public several documents detailing the group's operations. One handwritten paper, titled "Modes of Attack," includes a list of National Guard facilities, Army recruiting centers and something referred to as the "camp site of Zion."

Another two-page document, labeled "Blueprint 2005," sets out eight tasks to be accomplished in furtherance of the plot. "We will need bombs that can be activated from a distance," one entry reads. "Acquire two weapons (pistols) with silencers," reads another.

Kevin Lamar James and Levar Haney Washington, members of the homegrown radical Islamic organization dubbed JIS, entered guilty pleas in front of U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney in federal court in Santa Ana.

The investigation started as a routine probe into a gas-station robbery. Police in Torrance discovered the group's manifesto, a list of targets, and a post-attack warning for people to avoid contact with Jews and non-Jewish supporters of "the Zionist state". Torrance called in the feds, who believe that the group had almost completed its preparations for a major attack in Los Angeles.

It is no secret that Muslims have recruited many converts in the prison system. This effort goes back decades, and Malcolm X may be the most famous of these converts. Traditionally, they have tried to create a political awareness and activism in these converts, and even with Malcolm X, some thought that edged towards terrorism. It certainly looked that way when Malcom X got murdered, apparently by the Nation of Islam, for dissenting and splintering from their leadership. It doesn't take much imagination to see how that process can be used to inspire already resentful inmates into attacking their own country, at least inspired by al-Qaeda.

Unfortunately, the national news media has decided that this story doesn't have the same newsworthiness of the Miami group's plot to blow up the Sears Tower. The pundit class has used that as an example of the inconsequential nature of the threat of home-grown jihadiism. They have neglected to give much reporting to the excellent and fortuitous work by federal, state, and local officials in this case, exposing a potential root of home-grown terror. Like my friends at Power Line, I'm hardly sanguine that this particular threat has been terminated. .

Why is this not front page material in other newspapers or lead-story material on the network news shows?

Is it just me or do you get a sense that the answer is something like "Hey, the plot is just against military sites and Jews.  So what's the problem"?


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