Sunday, February 3, 2013

Israel and the Middle East

* A senior member of the Egyptian/Muslim Brotherhood recently said that the Holocaust was a myth. The 6 million Jews were actually moved to the US and "the myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented." These comments come after it was revealed that Egypt's President Morsi had referred to Jews as descendants of apes and pigs. And also: "Never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists and Jews." But obviously not a sufficient basis for Obama deciding against sending 20 additional F-16 fighter jets and 200 Abrams tanks to Egypt.

* Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to get Israel's permission for Palestinians in Syria to be able to escape the civil war there and enter the West Bank. Israel agreed on condition that each refugee from Syria acknowledge in writing that they have no "right of return" to Israel. Said Abbas: "So we rejected that and said it's better they die in Syria than give up their right to return." This make sense to anybody? As we tend to see from the Left here, Abbas puts his ideology over outcome. How can one justify that the Palestinians in Syria would be better off dead than starting anew in the West Bank. I can assure all of you that not a single survivor of the Holocaust said they would be better off dead in Germany than starting anew in the US or Israel.

* "I am saddened that the Jews who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new state of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis, in the West Bank and Gaza." So said Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (in Britain) David Ward. So, the Jews suffered "persecution" while the Palestinians are suffering "atrocities." An obvious anti-Semite from an increasingly anti-Semitic country.

* Israel has been warning about the dangers of Syrian weaponry getting into the hands of Hezbollah, given the increasing instability and civil war in Syria. Only days ago, the Israeli air force was able to take out a Syrian convoy that appeared to be headed towards the Lebanese border. Lebanon is home to the terrorist organization Hezbollah. It was believed that the convoy was carrying, among other things perhaps, SA-17 surface to air missiles. These missiles are Russian made and have the capability of reaching an altitude of 80,000 feet. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he had "grave concern" over Israel's actions. He called on all countries to "strictly abide by international law, in particular in respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries in the region." Thankfully, Israel ignores such ridiculous advice whenever necessary for their survival. Maybe the Secretary-General should spend more of his time having "grave concern" about Iranian nukes, an Islamic Muslim Brotherhood running Egypt, and 50-60,000 dead in the Syrian civil war. Just a thought.

* The New York Times, in a 1/31/13 editorial, was concerned about Israel further isolating itself from the world by refusing to participate in the United Nations Human Rights Council review of its human rights practices. What could be wrong there? Some of the members of the Council include Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The Times even concedes, with great understatement, that the Council is "clearly not without faults." And what might those faults be? Again, with great understatement, the Times concedes "More than half of the resolutions passed by the council since it started work in 2006 have focused on Israel and its treatment of Palestinians, and Israel is the only country that is a standing item on the agenda for the council's biannual meetings." More than half! So were hundreds of thousands killed in Darfur and even more in the Congo? Did I miss the story about genocide in Israel? Are the editorial writers of the Times insane? Well, they did give one clue about their faith in the Human Rights Council - Obama had the US join after George W. Bush kept the US out. And if Obama thinks it's a good idea, then...(see post on Media Bias IV).

* The same Times editorial expressed concern over Israel also isolating itself over "its hard-line policies on West Bank settlements, the Gaza embargo and other issues." What "other issues?" Probably anything that Israel does. Here's another point of view. After looking around at all that is happening in the Middle East, Reuel Marc Gerecht wrote in the 1/30/13 Wall Street Journal: "The rising Islamic wave that has accompanied the Arab Spring should end the illusion that the Jewish state can be integrated into the Middle East through territorial concessions to nondemocratic regimes." But that would be letting the actual facts determine the best and most realistic approach. But, as part of the Left, the Times editorial writers do just the opposite - they let their beliefs dictate their reality. And their belief is not unlike that of MP David Ward.

* Who sides with the US at the UN? Israel does - over 90% of the time. You can pretty much count on the Arab/Muslim countries voting against the US. Who has been on the front line for the US time and again? Israel - during the Cold War, during Desert Storm, and against Iran and Islamic terror. And Israeli intelligence? Per General George Keagan, the former head of US Air Force Intelligence: "Israel is worth five CIAs." Not only did Israel provide intelligence during Desert Storm, but Israelis were able to get into the Iraqi desert and pick up downed US pilots.

* Yet, President Obama selects Chuck Hagel to be the Secretary of Defense. Yes, Hagel is a decorated Vietnam vet. And for that he deserves our respect and thanks. But is that enough to be Defense Secretary? Said Hagel: "The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people." What is often referred to as the "pro-Israel lobby" is supported by many non-Jews. And why not? Israel, along with England, are our two closest allies. And just why did Hagel see fit to single out one lobby among the many thousands in Washington, DC? Does he think it is a bad idea to support Israel? Hagel, as a US Senator, voted against declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. He has voted against sanctions on Iran. He supports talking with the terrorist group Hamas, which will not recognize Israel's right to exist even. He refused to sign off on a letter to the EU designating Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Four Senators refused to sign a letter to the President urging solidarity with Israel and condemning Palestinian violence. Hagel was one of those Senators. Even the liberal Washington Post opined that Hagel "is not the right choice for defense secretary." So, I ask my liberal friends and readers - what does it say about Obama that he would nominate such a man to be the head of our defense department, and be one of the most powerful people in the Administration?

Media Bias, Part IV

* I have to admit, I am tired of, and annoyed at, liberal complaints about Fox News. Those who single out Fox are not only wrong, but also reflect how they simply parrot whatever emanates from the Obama Administration. So here are three questions to ask liberals when they criticize Fox: 1. Why do you believe that no one in the media should challenge the Obama Administration on any of their policies or actions? 2. If you claim other media outlets do, name them and give examples. 3. Are you aware of any recent examples of obvious bias by the mainstream media?

* As noted, liberals simply mimic what comes from the Obama Administration. In 2009, David Axelrod said Fox is "not really a news station." Anita Dunn said Fox was a "wing of the Republican Party," and "let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is." And this recent comment by Obama reflects what he thinks of any opposition to him: "If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News...for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it." As a demonstration of this Administration's intolerance of opposition, they recently kept Fox off of conference calls regarding Benghazi. Yet, Fox was the ONLY media outlet consistently covering the story; and ultimately showed that the party line about the attack being caused by an anti-Muslim film was a lie. So be honest - if you agree with the ban on Fox from the White House, then admit that you no longer agree that the media should pursue truth, or act as a check on government power.

* CBS. One of the "real" news networks. On a recent airing of "60 Minutes" Steve Kroft interviewed Obama and Hillary Clinton. He acknowledged that the segment was Obama's idea. He later told Piers Morgan on CNN that: "I think he (Obama) knows that we're not going to play gotcha with him, that we're not going to go out of our way to make him look bad or stupid." Not like they did with Bush, McCain and Romney. No, those guys are Republicans. Romney and his sons were criticized for their lack of military service. Obama? Not asked. Romney was asked if he had premarital sex with his wife. Not appropriate to ask Obama. Dan Rather pushed phony records about Bush's National Guard service. Oh, that's right, can't ask Obama about that topic. In Clinton's testimony before Congress about Benghazi, she was criticized for the Administration blaming the attack on a video rather than Muslim terrorism and yelled: "What difference does it make?" Kroft, apparently, was unable to think of what difference it might make either, so never challenged that comment.

* CBS. Again. John Dickerson is the political director at CBS News. This is a person one might expect would approach the political arena with some neutrality. After all, CBS is a "real" news station. Dickerson wrote for the liberal "Slate" that "The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat." And: "Obama's only remaining option is to pulverize...Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents." Needless to say, Mr. Dickerson was criticized by conservatives for those comments. But Mr. Dickerson was unable to see the bias, the advocacy for Obama. Said he: "For me, this was a math problem with an unmistakable conclusion. Some people thought I was giving the president my personal advice. No. My goal was to make a compelling argument based on the facts...this is the only plausible path..." So Dickerson thinks Obama should "delegitimize," "pulverize," and "destroy" the GOP. Loyal opposition? Not when they are Republicans. And Dickerson saw it as a math problem with an "unmistakable" conclusion. That one word - unmistakable - tells you all you need to know about why the mainstream media will not challenge Obama. After all, everything Obama stands for is "unmistakably" correct. So what's to question?

* ABC. Another "real" news organization. Recently, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez was on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos." The FBI had announced that Menendez was under investigation for visiting Dominican prostitutes. As if that was not bad enough, the prostitutes were said to be minors. So what hard-hitting questions did Stephanopoulos ask the Senator about the allegations? Anybody? NOTHING! As the IBD put it: "Would Communist Russia's TASS news agency or Pravda newspaper have been any more subservient to the party in power, the chief executive who leads it, or the ideology at their foundation than America's major media outlets are being to Barack Obama, the Democratic Party and their socialist-style liberalism?"

* Rolling Stone. Okay, not one of the typical mainstream media outlets. But the editor, Michael Hastings, at least had the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that, when in Obama's presence, the media starts "behaving in ways, you know, that are juvenile and amateurish and they swoon." THEY SWOON! Criticizing himself, Hastings said: "Did I ask about drones, did I ask about civil liberties? No, I did not." Too busy swooning, apparently.

* MSNBC. As an arm of NBC, clearly one of the mainstream media outlets. Martin Bashir was presenting some film clips of the testimony before Congress on gun control. When I subsequently saw a clip on O'Reilly that had first been aired by Bashir I was heartbroken. Here was a father who lost a child in the Newtown murders, and was testifying in favor of gun control. It appeared that pro-gun rights people were either heckling him or talking over him. It seemed outrageous to me. Then O'Reilly told his audience he was going to show the full unedited film clip. There was total silence as and after the father spoke. Total respect, as was appropriate given the circumstances. It was only after the father turned to the audience and suggested that no one could disagree with what he said that there were comments. This is not the first time such editing has given the wrong impression of events. Sadly, the mainstream media continues to have no problems with it. It is reminiscent of the Trayvon Martin incident, when the 911 call was edited to make it sound like George Zimmerman might be racist because he mentioned that Martin was black; when, in fact, race never came up until the 911 operator specifically asked Zimmerman what Martin's race was.

* Townhall magazine (February, 2013 issue) cites a study showing that 91% of journalists voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, when he received only 43% of the popular vote. To put it another way, UCLA professor Tim Groseclose (author of "Left Turn") suggested people imagine the most liberal city they could, such as San Francisco or Cambridge, Massachusetts - and then realize those cities are more conservative than the journalists in the mainstream media.

* This complete and total one-sided bias of the mainstream media makes it imperative for all concerned citizens, who care about this country and the world in which we live, to make sure they read and listen to a variety of viewpoints. I would even go so far as to say shame on you if you do not watch Fox News, at least occasionally. If your only news source is the mainstream media, it means you are willing to be spoon-fed the facts on which you base your beliefs.

* (NOTE: For those readers who may new to the blog, there was a three part series on "Media Bias" posted 12/17/11, 1/7/12 and 1/21/12.)