Jamal brought in for questioning by Hamas “police” in Gaza

The Jerusalem Post ran an article from AP about Jamal al Durah’s run-in with Hamas “security forces.” It raises as many questions about who’s at the switches in the Jerusalem Post staff as what Hamas is upt to.

Father of Mohammed al-Dura arrested in Gaza

Hamas security briefly detained on Saturday the father of a Palestinian boy who became a national symbol when he was killed during intense fighting in Gaza seven years ago.

take 1
Muhammad al-Dura and his father Jamal during a furious exchange of fire between IDF troops and Palestinian operatives.

Jamal al-Dura, 44, said he was held for four hours in a central Gaza police station and interrogated for allegedly shooting in the air during a family wedding. Al-Dura, a supporter of the moderate Fatah movement, denied the accusations and said he can’t carry guns because of his medical condition.

No way of knowing whether this is an insight into how much Hamas is trying to get control of “private violence” (and hence a monopoly on “public violence”) in Gaza, or whether that was an excuse to bring Jamal in and question/warn him about what he says about his son, given the increased attention the trial is bringing to him. The possibility that this is linked to the trial seems remote — it may be pure coincidence that this happened now — but bears watching.

On Sept. 30, 2000, al-Dura and his son, Mohammed, 12, were caught in a furious exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants. A French TV crew captured the two cowering, terrified, behind a wall, and the boy falling after he was fatally shot. The father was badly injured. The scene was broadcast around the world and became a symbol of the second Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.

Now I presume this is AP talking, but did no one at the JP think it might not be a good idea to recycle this stuff — essentially identical to what was said at the time, with no update from the last seven years?

Let’s take this paragraph sentence at a time; few passages of two sentences of length contain so many misrepresentations of our current state of knowledge.

On Sept. 30, 2000, al-Dura and his son, Mohammed, 12, were caught in a furious exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.

It was not furious. This echoes Talal’s testimony “forty minutes shooting at the boy… bullets rained down… no one could move.” On the contrary, the “three minutes” Enderlin gave out (during which the boy and the father are already behind the barrel), have gunfire, but nothing remotely resembling “furious” gunfire.

A French TV crew captured the two cowering, terrified, behind a wall, and the boy falling after he was fatally shot.

It was a Palestinian crew working as stringers for a French TV station (and using their equipment). This detail alone speaks volumes on AP’s inability to understand the difference between Palestinian stringers working for France2 and a “French crew.” (Although, given my exposure to French journalists, I suspect that a French crew might not have behaved that differently.)

At least the AP (who had a reporter at the trial — Keffieh man) could have mentioned that “fatally wounded” is an allegation now under examination.

Indeed — and this is too much to expect AP to acknowledge at this point, but worth pointing out to people who care about evidence — the boy probably did not fall, he more likely lay down. Had he fallen from being hit by a high-speed bullet in the stomach, he would have fallen backwards, not — iconically — forward at his father’s feet.

The father was badly injured.

We have no sign of blood on his shirt after his son has allegedly died (i.e., after 40 minutes of shooting), no bullets recovered, and now, possibly, an Israeli hospital record of treating Jamal’s wounds from an inter-Palestinian fight years before the iconic moment, and that those wounds and scars correlate directly with the ones claimed in 2000 and repeated here.

The scene was broadcast around the world and became a symbol of the second Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.

This is the only remotely accurate statement, rendered all the more misleading by coming after a discredited narrative that makes the symbol seem appropriate, and its incompleteness. It also became a symbol of global Jihad and a call to genocide against the Jews in the Muslim world, and a “get out of Holocaust guilt free” card in Europe.

At the police station, Hamas asked al-Dura to sign a piece of paper to pledge he will abide by the law, al-Dura said. He refused.

“I am a law abiding citizen,” al-Dura said. “I am a respected man around the world and here. This is an affront to me and to them,” al-Dura said in reference to Hamas.

This doesn’t make sense. “Them” presumably refers to people who, with him, are affronted by Hamas, not “including” Hamas. And, at least from the videos of Jamal’s testimony that I’ve seen, he doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy to tell Hamas to take a hike. But whether he said it to the Hamas fellows at the station, or to the journalist, note his formulation: “I am a respected man around the world and here.” Oh woe is you if the story gets out.

Hamas security said al-Dura was called in for questioning on a firing incident and was let go.

Hamas is in control of Gaza after it wrested control of Gaza from Fatah-allied forces during fighting in June.

Grades:

AP: D (generous. after all expectations are so low).

JP: F (what’s going on there? your coverage of the trial has been astonishingly poor; and now this? anybody awake?)

31 Responses to Jamal brought in for questioning by Hamas “police” in Gaza

  1. fp says:

    Several times in various threads I argued that the media — the whole media — has gone into regurgitation mode out of laziness and inability to assess, synthesize, analyze, etc.

    JP is supposed a better org in israel. but after such output why would we be surprised by haaretz?

    Both the media and its average audience deserve each other.

    fp
    http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

  2. [...] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerpt The Jerusalem Post ran an article from AP about Jamal al Durah’s run-in with Hamas “security forces.” It raises as many questions about who’s at the switches in the Jerusalem Post staff as what Hamas is upt to. Father of Mohammed al-Dura arrested in Gaza Hamas security briefly detained on Saturday the father of a Palestinian boy who became a national symbol when he was killed during intense fighting in Gaza seven years ago. [IMG take 1] Muhammad al-Dura and his father Jamal during a furious [...]

  3. Anat says:

    fp, I’m entirely with you on this. These journalists are simply lazy. Add irresistence to fashionable causes, narcissist morality and a delusion of superiority, and you get Enderlin in a nut shell.

    However, to me this latest story reveals something else: there is a good chance that, far from being an innocent civilian, Jamal is in fact a Fatah activist. At least Hamas seem to think so. Was he already an activist back in 2000?

  4. Michael B says:

    i know it’s arch to say so, i know, but there is something that is almost soulless in these literally mindless repetitions, a type of “Stepford Wives” and automaton-like quality that would be immediately foresaken if the subject were contrary to any perceived PC dictum. Instead, rather than running counter to any PC dictum, it runs with such a dictum or expectation. Hence, laziness, perhaps, but fear, more likely, one may well suspect, fear of reactions, fear of running counter to expectations, I’m not sure and it can only be speculative, but good lord, what seething banality these news types are afflicted with, are content with.

  5. fp says:

    anat,

    there are few pals who are not affiliated to fatah, hamas, or other militant/religious/terror organizations. so the chance of jamal being an “unaffiliated innocent” was practically nil.

    mike b,

    yup. it is the “safe path”, go with the flow. the nice thing about it is that it also involves no effort. it’s like they used to say “nobody gets fired for buying IBM”.

    it used to be the case that journalists were the inquisitive, skeptical types, they would hold the govt and other media to the fire. now it’s the opposite.

    some of it has to do with celebrity access journalism. some has to do with the increased for-profit corporate focus of the media, and some with simply the uneducated, unable to reason people the west produces, and of which journalists are part.

  6. Scorpio says:

    Why do so many, in spite of repeated evidence to the contrary, refuse to see the anti-Israel bias, if not blatant anti-Semitism, in all the reporting from the area? Yes, the “reporters” are lazy and ignorant. Yes, they rely on Palestinian stringers to come up with all the juicy items for them, to please the editor back home, but what do we expect from Pally cameramen and “advisors” who readily admit to participating in their “liberation struggle?” Fairness?
    Then we come to the grim reality. Israel is in the midst of an existential fight for its very survival, and Western journalists, filled with their own self-loathing and a hatred for Israel (and Jews, even if some of these “reporters” are Jews themselves)are quite willing to participate in a campaign to destroy the Zionist enterprise.
    In pursuit of Western friendship, Israel, battered, confused, isolated and hounded in international media, refuses to see the evil that hides just behind the cameras of “friendly” news agencies.
    Awake, O Israel, and hold your ground.

  7. Joanne says:

    I think that, once many people have a certain version of history frozen in their heads, they find it hard to assimilate new information that goes against that version.

    I was talking to a friend last night who was saying how Syria and Israel have destroyed Lebanon, because Lebanon to weak to resist, and so it suited everybody’s else’s purposes to have Lebanon be the theater of war in the 1980s.

    It didn’t matter to her that no one chose for the Palestinians to go there after 1970, or that the PLO was kicked out of Jordan only after it had tried to assassinate King Hussein. No one chose to have the PLO set up a state within a state in Lebanon, or to commit massacres of their own there. However, my friend created a unique timeline of her own that was airtight and left a lot out. The Palestinians were kicked out of Jordan. Period. How terrible for them. And so on.

    I also think that the 1982 invasion was a disaster, by the way, so I agreed with my friend there. And she did readily concede that Sharon actually went against Israeli government orders by going so far. So she didn’t demonize Israel totally. In her view, Sharon was fooled by the Lebanon Christians into invading as far as Beirut.

    But I do feel that the Israelis had a right to attack to some extent. And when I reminded her that the Palestinians had been attacking Israel from across the Lebanese border, she at first looked at me blankly, and then answered, “yes, but they had to.”

    I still don’t understand how Israel, along with other local powers “chose” Lebanon as a theater of war. Israel didn’t want any of its borders in danger.

    This is just one example of the kind of frustrating conversations that I’m sure many people have had. In cases like this, I pursue things only so far, and then I let go, politely agreeing to disagree. With many friends and acquaintances, I just avoid these conversations altogether.

    It seems to me that many people’s minds are in a state of flux when they’re young, but once those minds are made up they’re set forever, like baked clay or cooled molten steel. They can’t seem to bend without a fear of breaking.

  8. Eliyahu says:

    Joanne, you remind me of something I saw and heard on TVE [spanish int'l tv] about five or six years ago. They were having one of their tremendously boring talk shows. A professor was talking. The moderator or mc mentioned the suicide mass murder bombings by Arabs in Israel [by Hamas or Fatah or Islamic jihad]. Well, he said, they just have to do it. They have no choice if they are to win their freedom, etc. Of course, he said this a few years before the 3-11 mass murder bombing in Madrid. Would he still say it today?

  9. Michael N says:

    Eliyahu, yes he would. Of course he would. This is Europe. Our lives are precious, and thus we condemn those who commit mass murder against us in the name of religion or some political goal. These laws have never applied to Israeli Jews. The Israeli Jew stands outside the umbrella of moral normalcy with which we protect our lives.

    Surely you noticed that? Spaniards are human beings and we try to preserve them. Israelis are symbols; of colonial oppression and European guilt, of hatred for forefathers, of America, and of the intolerance we are terrified we might feel ourselves if we stop projecting onto the Jewish nation.

  10. Michael B says:

    “yup. it is the “safe path”, go with the flow. the nice thing about it is that it also involves no effort. it’s like they used to say “nobody gets fired for buying IBM”.”

    yup, that’s a substantial and basic part of it.

    it used to be the case that journalists were the inquisitive, skeptical types, they would hold the govt and other media to the fire. now it’s the opposite.” fp

    That’s reflective of a faith I don’t have and never had. We live in a kinder and gentler world than that created by Willi Munzenberg and Lenin, but there are still puppetteers and their corresponding useful “innocents,” in the Munzenberg cast, aplenty. For example, if the reference is to the Sheehan and Halberstam era, I’d scoff at such a notion, and it would be an informed scoff, not a cynically unthinking dismissiveness.

    “some of it has to do with celebrity access journalism. some has to do with the increased for-profit corporate focus of the media, and some with simply the uneducated, unable to reason people the west produces, and of which journalists are part.”

    I buy into that more fully and more wholeheartedly, though not so much the celebrity access part of that formulation, which access is more coincidental and benign than anything very serious in and of itself. The media as a center of raw power absent formal checks and balances, having its monied types and power mongers, its aggregates of cliques and claques and all that and more represents the current media culture, but much of that is more innocuous and benign than a symptom of something more serious. By contrast, L’affaire Al-Durah is both primary symptom and the disease itself; it both reflects the broader set of problems and represents primary mendacities and malevolent impulses as well.

  11. Richard Landes says:

    i remember coming to work during the terrible month of march 2002 when there were 40 suicide terror-attacks in Israel (more than 1/day), and a colleague said to me, “you look terrible.”
    “yes,” i replied, “these suicide bombings…”
    “yes,” he agreed, “terrible.”
    “and what kills me,” i added, “is, where’s the outrage?! why doesn’t anyone denounce this madness.
    to which he responded without missing a beat: “what choice do they have?”
    “camp david wasn’t a choice?”
    “that’s true,” he responded, dropping the conversation.

    what does one do” the moral idiocy (and this guy’s verrry smart), the laziness involved in the flip answers, the dropped conversations, the unwillingness to explore just what the implications are to the kind of thinking people accept so easily… it’s staggering.

  12. fp says:

    Scorpio>Why do so many, in spite of repeated evidence to the contrary, refuse to see the anti-Israel bias, if not blatant anti-Semitism, in all the reporting from the area?

    We covered on this site many of the factors involved, including this thread. It’s actually worse than what you describe: they seem to be aware of only Israeli-bias, but not arab bias. Ignorance, asymmetric reaction from the 2 sides, and the illusion that if israel went away, the islamist would stop attacking the west explain much of it.

    joanne>I think that, once many people have a certain version of history frozen in their heads, they find it hard to assimilate new information that goes against that version.

    well, yes, but the real problem is that don’t get history in their education anymore, nor do they develop their critical abilities. so loud propaganda and terror work on gullibility to freeze a false version of history in their heads.

    as to lebanon, nobody should have gotten into the war without the willingness to crush hezbollah, whatever the price. the combination olmert/peretz/halutz was disastruous and israeli army had, despite policing terrorists, focused on the american style airpower and technology emphasis, which don’t do much for fighting guerilla type wars. it was israel’s iraq, except they got out.

    eliyahu>Would he still say it today?

    you must be joking.

    mike b>The media as a center of raw power absent formal checks and balances, having its monied types and power mongers, its aggregates of cliques and claques and all that and more represents the current media culture,

    you betcha. it’s one more aspect of what unchecked corporate power can do.

    RL>what does one do” the moral idiocy (and this guy’s verrry smart), the laziness involved in the flip answers, the dropped conversations, the unwillingness to explore just what the implications are to the kind of thinking people accept so easily… it’s staggering.

    well, I dk how you define smart, but I see ignorance and unwillingness to question/reason (too much trouble?) which are not qualities of the smart. if he’s smart, it’s also a very limited scope of smartness. remember: we judge reputation by what people actually do, not what they do by reputation.

  13. Anat says:

    Joanne, you put it so well that I ask permission to reuse. In particular: “once many people have a certain version of history frozen in their heads, they find it hard to assimilate new information that goes against that version.”

  14. Eliyahu says:

    Joanne & Anat, of course, this is a very important point. We are not living in enlightened times but benighted times in which indoctrination [or brainwashing too, if it is a real phenomenon] is just as commonplace as in the Middle Ages or in the more “modern” Nazi Gemany, Communist USSR and fascist Italy.

    Today, in fact, indoctrination may be more subtle but just as effective if not more so. It is obviously a science, no longer an art. fp is right that history is not taught or taught badly nowadays and I’m sure that many history teachers are ignorant too. Yet, in France they have the problem that the history curriculum is rejected by many or most Muslim pupils. For instance, they reject learning about the Holocaust which –when brought up in class– has become the occasion for vile remarks about Jews, etc. They also reject learning about the French past and the glories and achievements of that past. And much more. So it’s not merely what the curriculum contains or mandates or what the teachers try to teach, as fp seems to think. In France, Muslim pupils are instructed by their imams to reject what doesn’t fit their world view. And of course, the “politically correct” school [of fish] would never want to insult the poor suffering Muslim dears by any suggestion or hint that Muslims may have oppressed non-Muslims in the past, or taken part in the Holocaust [non-existent, in their view], or the slave trade, etc. On the other hand, what fp says probably fits the USA better where the curriculum in general, especially in history, seems to have been drastically dumbed down.

    Today’s techniques are very subtle compared to what a friend described as Commie techniques of 68 years ago. He lived in the Polish Ukraine in 1939, when the Soviets took it over as the Germans marched into most of Poland. The Commies assembled Jewish children in the synagogue and told them to pray to God for candy. “God, God, send us candy.” No candy came. Then, they told the kids to pray: “Stalin, Stalin, send us candy.” When they did so, candy was thrown down from the women’s gallery above. Now, this seems rather crude. Today’s techniques are extremely subtle, flexible, and effective. And many many “intellectuals” fall into the trap. After all, chomsky isn’t dumb. Crooked yes. And he represents, I think, a strange mixture of motives and beliefs. Chomsky’s case be as it may, the soul-trawlers can very effectively win over “intellectuals.” It’s not due to ignorance alone, as fp would have it.

    To be sure, there’s a lot of fake history around. And chomsky himself is a superb propagandist. Consider his technique of juxtaposing some very astute insights with utter lies. The true insights impart verisimilitude to the lies due to proximity; for instance, one true sentence followed by a false one. Another aspect of the indoctrination –especially the anti-Israel indoctrination– is that it works over a long period of time in stages. Thus, it changes its explicit messages over time, although contradictory messages can be part of the same indoctrination process. The contradictions usually come in successive stages, although they can come at the same time. In this vein, I would warn against taking either Alexander Cockburn or Christopher Hitchens too seriously. Although they may contradict each other sometimes, they probably slop at the same hog trough.

    So we are left with Joanne & Anat’s problem, and how to deal with it. Real knowledge of history is essential but not sufficient, as Joanne & Anat acknowledge. edward said left a powerful, if mendacious, legacy in his apologetics for Islam and Arab nationalism. He did much to create a mystique of the poor Arab, the poor Muslim and the poor “palestinian.” But that’s only one of many falsified fields today. -30-

  15. fp says:

    eliyahu,

    if you read my article that I linked to in other threads on the freedome from the tyranny of knowledge and reason, one of my arguments there is that to be successful indoctrination must be subtle and unobtrusive. Here’s a quote:

    “Otherwise put, under Soviet “communism”, everybody must believe without questioning in the party, which almost nobody did; under US “capitalism”, everybody must believe without questioning in “the market”, which almost everybody does (I use quotes, because neither system is the true thing, as they pretend).”

    but the more ignorant and less able to think and reason the target, the less sophisticated must the propaganda be to be effective. if you couple it with, say, with terror and instill fear too, even better.

  16. [...] Poller) Nidra Puller’s Courtroom account Richard Landes, Mohamed Al Durah’s Father, Jamal Al Durah was arrested this week in Gaza Al Jezeera’s coverage of the trial Daled Amos’s Four Interviews with courtroom [...]

  17. Joanne says:

    Anat, thanks. That’s very sweet of you.

    Eliyahu, I think that today’s indoctrination is so subtle because people don’t realize they’re being indoctrinated. I remember reading time and again about how, in the Warsaw Pact countries, many people of didn’t trust Pravda or similar newspapers. They knew that these organs were government controlled, that they were propaganda, and so these people tried to read between the lines.

    In the West today, many people are very skeptical about Western governments, especially the British and American. But they trust much of the Western media, including Le Monde, the BBC, the London Times, El Pais, the Guardian, and of course the New York Times and CNN. Everyone makes fun of Fox (for good reason), but people will speak in awe of the BBC.

    The problem is that we only know how to recognize censorship and bias in non-democratic states, where ideological conformity is clearly imposed from above. But we don’t know how to recognize when ideological conformity is being enforced in democratic societies: not from above, but from the middle. By “from the middle” I mean from institutions like universities and the media, or civil groups. Because these institutions are deeply rooted in democratic societies, they’re seen as being basically sound.

    But our democratic societies may be experiencing a kind of soft, partial authoritarianism. This might be an overstatement, I don’t know. But one could say that this is a soft authoritarianism that doesn’t make the laws (lthough it might influence them) and doesn’t have the power to arrest and imprison people, but does have the power to hire people or fire them in the most prestigious niches of the media, academia, the arts, and even government. [Regarding government, how far would you get in a career in the British Foreign Office with pronounced pro-Israel views?] It also has the power to socially ostracize, professionally isolate, and to ridicule publicly. For some people, that’s enough to keep them in line. What am I saying? For many people, that’s enough to keep them in line.

    It’s not conformity enforced by governments, secret police and armies that’s the issue here, it’s a conformity enforced by a generation possessing markedly consistent political values. This generation now controls or at least dominates institutions that we take for granted, and it makes those institutions reflect its own views, which were shaped during this generation’s formative time, the 1960s and 1970s. But don’t think that all this will end with this generation’s retirement. After all, it’s been overseeing the education and recruitment of a couple of generations after it.

    This generation (call them baby boomers, or whatever) still see themselves as rebels, but they actually have plenty of influence over what the rest of the public reads and hears. Not just the radicals, but even moderates who nevertheless accept much of the Chomskyite worldview, albeit in a watered-down form. What’s the result? Even the large chunks of the public that are not overly political will accept deeply anti-Israeli and anti-American views, for want of anything else being presented to them. Pro-Israeli and pro-American spokesmen are easily discredited, sometimes for good reason, sometimes not. So they have not been an effective antidote.

    Regarding Spain, and how the Spanish would feel now: I don’t think they’d feel any differently about Israel. They would just say that it was the fault of the Aznar government for joining Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

    RL, The problem with your intelligent friend is that the Palestinians use the language of liberation and civil rights, which they know will resonate throughout the world. But they’re not fighting for liberation or for civil rights, they’re fighting for conquest. So, how do you prove it to the skeptical? Well, you did a good job in pointing out Camp David, but a truly well-versed anti-Zionist or leftist would say, “Aha! but Noam Chomsky says that the Palestinians were just offered ‘bantustans’.” It never ends. Now that the Palestinian narrative of helpless oppressed just looking for their rights is well embedded in the world’s consciousness, it will be very difficult to dislodge it. First of all, there is some truth to it. Secondly, this view has been accepted whole by the left-wing and progressive mindset. I hope all isn’t lost.

    Eliyahu, that anecdote about children praying to God and then to Stalin…did you get that from the film Europa Europa? That’s where I saw it, only it wasn’t Jewish children, it was Polish Catholic and Russian Christian children. The film was more or less based on fact. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t use it on Jewish children, too.

  18. Joanne says:

    Eliyahu,

    I just reread, more carefully, your comment on Chomsky & Co. Good stuff. That second-to-last paragraph, where you talk about how Chomsky combines good insights with lies, was especially astute.

  19. fp says:

    I NEVER said it’s due to ignorance ALONE, but some form of ignorance is part of it.

    Neither do I deem Chomsky dumb. One of the most astounding things about Chomsky is how good he is in his analysis and critique of the american social system, and how completely clueless he is about foreign policy and other cultures, particularly the middle east and islamism.

    The left has always been limited to the economic left-rigt continuum. Take leftists out of that and they must bastardize everything to fit that continuum. That’s a form of ignorance: to the hammer everything looks like nails.

  20. Eliyahu says:

    fp, I think that I read your piece about contrasting attitudes toward belief in Commie and Western Demo societies. But, if you want me to read it again. Please post a link.

    Now you say about chomsky that he is good about analyzing the US social system but clueless about what goes on abroad. fp, don’t you think that there’s something fishy about what appears to be a split personality on chomsky’s part?? How could he be so dumb about foreign affairs, especially since he’s a linguist and must know ten or fifteen languages or more?? He’s not dumb. He’s a crook and consciously lies, distorts, twists, omits what is relevant but doesn’t fit the line.

    As for the left, it has transmogrified into a clearly Nazi-fascist movement. It does not believe in universal human rights nor in the innocent civilian. The innocent civilian is a dead concept. And the “left” and “human rights” movements helped to kill him. The Left has become Islamicized in that it agrees that if, for example, the US govt is mean to poor Muslims in Iraq or Gaza or wherever, even if the US is supposedly acting only indirectly to harm Muslims by giving “full support” to Israel –which is not true– then Muslims are justified in killing 3,000 people [they are not "innocent civilians"] in the Twin Towers, most of them working class people. Now, that kind of collective guilt is Muslim thinking. Consider how Muslims all over the world thought that they had the right not only to retaliate against Denmark for the Muhammad cartoons but to kill any Christian as just retribution. Likewise when the pope made his Regensburg speech about violent Islam. A few Christians were killed, most of whom were not Roman Catholics and were in no way responsible for the pope’s words, whether they were true of not. Today almost all of the Left buys into that kind of stupidity, accepting guilt when it is not appropriate, forgetting its earlier love for the working class, etc.

    Joanne, thanks for your kind remarks. I heard the story about children and candy from a friend who was a native of the Polish Ukraine, where many Jews used to live. He told it to me as a matter of personal knowledge about his town. Of course, there’s no reason why the Communists wouldn’t have used the same trick with children of other religions.

  21. fp says:

    eliyahu,

    http://www.dbdebunk.com/page/page/1282191.htm

    The problem with chomsky is the typical rigidity of the leftist: he sees everything through a filter which limits him. intelligence does not necessarily protect from that. there are tons of smart people blinded by ideology and dogma.

    the american system lends itself to leftist analysis and there are many truths in it. but the filter is completely blind to anything that does not fit. so the leftist framework must be imposed on things like islam and jihad: it’s a result of capitalist/colonialist oppression by the US and israel. chomsky may be a linguist, but what does he know about islam and jihad? absolutely nothing. why? because that does not fit the dogma. I’ve read a lot of chomsky and he really believes in what he says.

    I often stated here that the left-right is not a continuum, but a circle: the extremes meet. there was not much difference between soviet communism and nazism, stalin and hitler.

    the left has lost to some questionable forms of capitalism (e.g. the US corporate welfare state) and the left is a sore loser. They bastardized the dogma to make the poor arabs the new oppressed masses and allied themselves with the islamists to bring down the winner via jihad.

  22. Eliyahu says:

    Here we disagree, fp. I think that chomsky is a conscious crook and liar. You think that he’s blinded by ideology, by sincere fanaticism, etc.

    Look, I’ve seen him give two separate descriptions of his early ideological/political activity. He gave one version to Ved Mehta in a long piece profiling him in the New Yorker, and another version in a short interview for the socialist-Zionist [pro-Mapam] monthly or bimonthly Israel Horizons. Both interviews were published in the late 60s, as I recall. In other words, he was lying about something that he should know very well, his own personal background. Was it ideology that made him give contradictory answers to two separate interviewers??

    Maybe NC is a pathological liar who is capable of giving people the impression that he’s sincere. But you don’t have a sincerometer to determine whether or not he “really” believes what he writes. That’s an opinion that may be naive on your part.

  23. Michael B says:

    “The media as a center of raw power absent formal checks and balances, having its monied types and power mongers, its aggregates of cliques and claques and all that and more represents the current media culture”

    “you betcha. it’s one more aspect of what unchecked corporate power can do.”

    Well, it’s a good deal more complicated than corporate power, which is a necessary but profoundly inadequate aspect of the overall explanation.

  24. fp says:

    corporate power IS complicated. and it’s a significant explanation for much more in the decline of america that it’s given credit for.

    In the case of the media, there is another thread here where somebody explains the importance of corporate power in media behavior. I won’t repeat it here.

    if there is one factor which is primary in the decline of america is the corporation. it makes a makery of capitalism.

  25. fp says:

    eliyahu,

    Well, I would have to read those two pieces to make a judgment. Since I have not seen them or anything equivalent and since all that I read by and about NC is consistent I will stick to my position until I see any evidence to change it.

  26. fp says:

    BTW, going back to Chomsky and ignorance. You brought up his claim that “Palestinians were given “bantustans” or some such.

    He has a filter which tells him “palestinians oppressed, west/US/Israel oppressors”. Through this filter whatever palestinians complain about is true, and what the other side says is false. He does not check on factual veracity, he “knows”.

    He does a much better job with evidence when he talks about the american socioeconomic and political system. He is still limited by the dogma, but he has much better grasp of the facts, because he understands the culture. His understanding of islam is zilch.

  27. Michael B says:

    Obviously corporate power with all its tentacles and reaches and interests is complicated, but the legal structures which enable and serve to found corporations are still invoked in an advanced democracy – imperfectly to be sure – by the three branches of govt., legislative, executive and judiciary. Likewise corp. – despite their misuse, certainly including gross misuse – function as a legal and civil means of minimizing risks, leveraging capital, etc. All that is a pedantic review of the fundamentals and no more, but it’s basic and it’s a critical reflection of the legal and civil fundamental aspects of private property and capital, leveraging it, risk allocation, etc.

    Capital simply exists and it will either be 1) primarily privately owned, 2) largely owned and/or controlled by the state and/or 3) will be put to poor use, will fail to be prudently invested and leveraged, etc. I.e. within civil society capital, in the broadest sense of the term, will either be privately or publically owned, allocated and managed – there is no “third way” beyond misuse and dereliction. The history of (largely) state owned capital management is not particularly promising; the history of privately owned capital together with corporate representation does hold promise, even while it depends upon the general ethos of the public that variously (e.g., directly or via corporate title) owns and manages that capital.

    Hence that general ethos, derived from moral/ethical outlooks which in turn are derived from ideological, religious (including areligious, antireligious), practical and related concerns is what is ultimately pivotal, is what is ultimately more foundational still than the corporate structures themselves. Again, all this is pedantic but it is also constitutional (both informally and formally understood), is foundational and thus is pivotal at archimedean levels, both theoretically and practically understood.

    “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Thomas Jefferson

    “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort… [T]hat alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.” James Madison

    Or to paraphrase Churchill, “It has been said that private property and corporations are the worst form of capital management except all the others that have been tried.”

  28. Eliyahu says:

    Here we disagree, fp. I think that chomsky is a conscious crook and liar. You think that he’s blinded by ideology, by sincere fanaticism, etc.

    Look, I’ve seen him give two separate descriptions of his early ideological/political activity. He gave one version to Ved Mehta in a long piece profiling him in the New Yorker, and another version in a short interview for the socialist-Zionist [pro-Mapam] monthly or bimonthly Israel Horizons. Both interviews were published in the late 60s, as I recall. In other words, he was lying about something that he should know very well, his own personal background. Was it ideology that made him give contradictory answers to two separate interviewers??

    Maybe NC is a pathological liar who is capable of giving people the impression that he’s sincere. But you don’t have a sincerometer to determine whether or not he “really” believes what he writes. That’s an opinion that may be naive on your part.

  29. fp says:

    mike b,

    thanks for the lecture. i am not aware that I was arguing for state capitalism.

    capitalism does not envision corporations, on the contrary: it envisions a multitude of individuals and very small businesses, none of which can alone affect any segment of the economy, hence free competition.

    the behemoth corporation is a huge distortion of that concept and it defeats it, be it in oligopoly or monopoly form. add to it the tight control corporations have of the political system and the distortion is humongous.

    if you look at all the major modern market failures that required humongous bailouts, they are all rooted in corporate behavior corrupting the market and manipulating the political process.

  30. Michael B says:

    Yes, i admitted to the pedantic quality, but as well, it wasn’t clear what you are arguing for in a more positive sense. I didn’t assume you were arguing for state capitalism or central control, but I didn’t assume otherwise either and again, it’s not clear what you are arguing for in a more positive sense. I was merely laying some groundwork. Imo corporations, in large part to help minimize risk and encourage productive investment of capital, is both a natural and inevitable outgrowth of more nascent forms of capitalism.

  31. Earlier evidence of the al-Durah hoax

    Years before the boy who was used as a tool in anti-Israel propaganda was paraded in front of cameras by propagandists, his father committed a similar act. Nidra Poller has the details (via Little Green Footballs):

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