Referencing Dick Cheney's revelation in his new memoir that he urged President Bush to bomb a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, CNN's Kyra Phillips posed this obnoxious question to her panel: "Was Cheney even more of a hawk than we gave him credit for?"
The upcoming release of Cheney's memoir, "In My Time," should re-ignite the media's decade-long war on the former Vice President, as he himself has predicted that the book will have "heads exploding" in Washington. In the book he detailed a meeting in 2007 where he was the only one the room supporting the bombing of the Syrian nuclear reactor. President Bush declined to take that approach, and Israel bombed the site months later.
On Wednesday's Last Word on MSNBC, substitute host Chris Hayes of the left-wing Nation magazine used conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck's rally in Israel as an occasion to blame conservative Israelis like Prime Minister Netanyahu for the absence of a peace agreement with the Palestinians and asserted that it was "dangerous" for such Israelis to ally with America's Christian Zionist movement.
This morning, in a series leading up to the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Denver Post begins a series on Muslims in America, with an article profiling some prominent members of the Denver Muslim community. Yours truly makes a cameo appearance, in the profile discussing a well-publicized 2008 primary race for the State House.
Rima Barakat-Sinclair's offenses against civility and the truth extend far beyond what was noted in the article, and include denying on air that the Hamas Charter called for the destruction of Israel, and the claim in a Jordanian newspaper interview that American support for Israel is a result of Jews like Rupert Murdoch (sic) investing in the media.
In an otherwise typically dismal column about President Barack Obama which is one part pity party and another part an attempt at building him a he-man reputation (not kidding), New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd describes an upcoming movie featuring the exploits of Navy SEAL Team 6 in the operation which killed Osama Bin Laden on May 1.
Dowd celebrates the fact that the movie's currently anticipated opening is October 12, 2012, describing it as "perfectly timed" and "just as Obamaland was hoping." She expects that it will "give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher," and "counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual."
Here are the relevant paragraphs from Dowd's column, including reference to a New Yorker column about the operation which has become the subject of considerable controversy (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Alayon recently released a video in which he defends Israel’s presence in the West Bank, and argues not only that Israeli settlements within the territory are legal, but that the West Bank technically should not be labeled as "occupied’, but rather, "disputed," because the West Bank was not recognized previously as being legally part of a sovereign state.
Staff writer Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic (formerly The Atlantic Monthly) was so incensed by the pro-Israel video that he was driven to use profanity on his blog as he mocked the Israeli government as trying to send the message that the world should "f— off." He further charged that the "cheesy and disturbing video" was an attempt by the Israeli government to hold onto the West Bank, even though Ayalon’s video clearly speaks of negotiating the boundaries for a Palestinian state. Goldberg began his blog posting:
Look out MSNBC. The market for “vicious, inaccurate, and inexcusable” cable news just got more crowded in New York.
The New York Times reported August 1 that Al Jazeera English will begin appearing in New York for the first time, “subletting air space from a channel owner.” This marks a victory in AJE’s campaign to gain widespread access to the U.S. cable market. It’s also a victory for the network’s liberal media supporters, including several at the New York Times.
“Al Jazeera English was lauded by the United States government and even by a few competitors for its broadcasts from Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries earlier this year,” the Times noted. Yes, and it was called “balanced and thorough.” But as the Culture and Media Institute has reported, the praise was overblown and stemmed more from a decidedly non-journalistic admiration for the network’s activism than the quality of AJE’s reporting.
The article includes a quote from one member of the group who ridiculously compares herself to a resident of Germany living during the Nazi era, while a second activist invokes legendary civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Bronner is apparently so impressed with the quote about Rosa Parks that he uses larger text to preview the reference for readers near the end of the article.
And, according to the pro-Israel group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting in America), the article relays the inaccurate claim that Israelis, unlike Palestinians, enjoy the privilege of unrestricted travel at all points between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, when in reality Israelis do face restrictions on travel into the West Bank.
In the Digest section of the Saturday, July 16, Washington Post, in the article, "Israelis and Arabs March in Jerusalem for Palestinian Statehood," writer Joel Greenberg bolstered the pro-Palestinian statehood movement by playing up the presence of both Jews and Arabs in a rally that was held in Jerusalem on the previous day as a "rare Jewish-Arab demonstration in this contested city."
After several examples of portraying the pro-Palestinian demonstration positively, Greenberg ended the article by taking a shot at "nationalist Israelis" who held a rally last month by noting that "anti-Arab chants" were present.
In last Saturday's article, one Palestinian participant was quoted as declaring that "We will live in tranquility and peace," while an Israeli was paraphrased as claiming that "Palestinian statehood would free Israel from the burden of occupation." He was further quoted as asserting that "The struggle for Palestinian independence is also a struggle for freedom for Israelis."
He said it, he meant it, and there's no denying it.
On Monday, in a statement carried at the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the New York Times (Page A8 of Tuesday's print edition), and elsewhere, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told U.S. troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad: "The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked. And 3,000 Americans — 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings — got killed because of al-Qaeda. And we’ve been fighting as a result of that."
That sound you hear is a Democratic Party meme shattering into teeny tiny pieces. The attempts to put Humpty Dumpty together again, both by Panetta himself and the establishment press contingent following him, have been pathetic and ineffectual, which is what happens when one is up against succinctly stated truths.
On Friday’s NBC Nightly News, as correspondent Richard Engel informed viewers that many thousands of Egyptians are again protesting against the government in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, he noted that organizers of the original protests fear that the Muslim Brotherhood will have too much influence in the new government, and recounted the Islamist group’s increased power in Egypt since January.
He went on to highlight the "staunchly anti-Israel" views of the Brotherhood and showed a clip of one of the group’s leaders making an anti-Semitic statement accusing Jews of wanting to "live in war," claiming that it is their "history":
CNN foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria – who has recently had off-the-record conversations with President Obama on foreign issues – noted the president's "restraint" in his dealing with the "Arab Spring" and the conflict in Libya Wednesday. Zakaria previously gave a thumbs-up for Obama's Mideast speech in May and later defended the president's plan for removing American troops from Afghanistan.
The point-of-note is that this is the same analyst whom, according to the New York Times, President Obama "sounded out" while shaping his foreign policy. The two simply had "off-the-record" conversations on foreign issues, according to Zakaria, and the CNN host claimed he was not an advisor to the President.
After showing behind anchor Russ Mitchell an image of the sign "To Gaza with Love" from one of the flotilla boats planning to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, Saturday’s CBS Evening News showed a report highlighting the allegedly nonviolent intentions of American activists on board one of the ships - named "The Audacity of Hope" - without noting that, during last year’s anti-Israel flotilla trip, some activists attacked Israeli troops as they attempted to board. CBS correspondent Barry Peterson merely recounted that Israeli troops killed some of the activists without explaining why:
Last year, boats ran the blockade. Israeli commandos stormed one ship, killing nine. This time, politics was enough to have Greece ban any boats leaving in a new flotilla. Israel and Greece do more than half a billion dollars in trade, and Israel is planning a natural gas pipeline to Greece. The American activists knew getting to Gaza was a long shot, but still practiced to resist Israeli soldiers who might have boarded their ship.
A clip was shown of this year’s activists sitting on the floor in a circle as if practicing to nonviolently resist Israeli troops.
Appearing on Sunday's Meet the Press, NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel worried about the cost of combating terrorism and took the opportunity to bash the effort: "You talk about money the U.S. spent fighting this global war on terrorism. I think, which is a terrible misnomer, it's like a war on fear or something like that. And I think in many ways it has been a war of fear." [Audio available here]
In the June 5 Washington Post article, "Palestinian Protesters Attempt to Cross at Golan Heights, Israeli Troops Open Fire," co-writers Samuel Sockol and Joel Greenberg managed not to fill in viewers on significant background from the Six-Day War from 1967, namely that Egypt, Syria and Jordan provoked an attack from Israel by amassing troops next to the tiny Jewish state along the 1949 armistice lines, as if they were about to strike. Referring to the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, Sockol and Greenberg vaguely noted that Israel "captured those territories" during the 1967 war: "The protest near the Golan Heights and other demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip marked the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1967 Middle East war, in which Israel captured those territories."
Similar to Greenberg's May 15 piece in which he neglected to inform readers that several Arab countries had driven most Palestinian refugees from Israel by simultaneously attacking the Jewish state in 1948, the June 5 article also avoided such details as it referred to the "establishment of Israel in 1948 and the Palestinians' displacement in the war that followed": "Despite the reported casualty toll, the scope of Sunday’s protests was more modest than the coordinated marches May 15, when thousands of Palestinians converged on Israel’s borders from Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to mark the anniversary of the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the Palestinians’ displacement in the war that followed."
The upheaval in Yemen and the possibility that al-Qaida might take over, turning that country into a stronger terrorist base than it already is, should give pause to American and European policy in the Arab world.
At its recently concluded G-8 meeting of industrial economies in Deauville, France, Western governments pledged $40 billion to "newly democratic" nations in North Africa and the Middle East. One might as well throw money at Chicago and hope for electoral reform so the dead are no longer allowed to vote on Election Day.
NewsBusters previously reported that CNN's Fareed Zakaria had met with President Obama face-to-face to discuss foreign policy. Obama's other reported "source" of information on foreign policy, New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, mocked Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday on CNN, and added that he should have dutifully obeyed the demands Obama outlined in his recent Mideast speech.
According to a May 11 New York Times article, Friedman was one of two foreign policy journalists "sounded out" by President Obama for information on foreign affairs. The other, CNN's Fareed Zakaria, has previously criticized Israel's prime minister for not agreeing to the Israeli-Palestinian borders laid out by Obama in his Mideast speech.
Republican Congressman and retired Army veteran Allen West (R-Fla.) said he "cannot understand" America’s involvement in Libya and that U.S. military is being used as a "rent-a-force" in the region.
"For every decision there are consequences and we have to sometimes analyze what could be those consequences. Just the same with operations in Libya – I cannot understand it. I don’t know what the goal and objective are," West said in an address at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.
Just how in bed with Barack Obama is Fareed Zakaria?
On the Sunday CNN program bearing his name, the host began the show by saying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should have thanked the President for his Middle East peace proposal given earlier this month (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After proclaiming last week that he would be "surprised if anyone in Israel" objected to Obama's Middle East speech, CNN's Fareed Zakaria ripped Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his refusal to accept the President Obama's plan for Israeli-Palestinian borders. On CNN's In the Arena Thursday, Zakaria expounded upon his Washington Post op-ed criticizing Netanyahu, which NewsBusters reported on.
Zakaria has admitted to having face-to-face meetings recently with President Obama to discuss foreign affairs, and revealed that information before Obama's Middle East speech. Zakaria appeared on CNN before and after the speech last Thursday to give his commentary, talked about the speech on his Sunday show, and then wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post criticizing Netanyahu for his stubbornness.
Anchoring her eponymous MSNBC program today, Andrea Mitchell defended President Barack Obama's position on Libya against criticism from Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty.
"I'm not sure what Tim Pawlenty would like the president to do," snickered NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent, immediately after playing a clip of the former Minnesota governor saying exactly what he wished Obama had done differently in Libya.
In the opinion article, "Where Netanyahu Fails Himself and Israel," in the May 25 Washington Post, CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for rejecting President Obama’s peace proposal invoking Israel’s pre-1967 lines. Zakaria compared the Israeli prime minister to former Soviet Union Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, known as "Mr. Nyet" for his stubbornness in dealing with the U.S.
Zakaria also charged that Netanyahu "might sound like Churchill, he acts like a local ward boss, far more interested in holding onto his post than using it to secure Israel’s future," and that Israel "continues to rule millions of Palestinians in serf-like conditions - entitled to neither a vote nor a country." Zakaria seemed to forget that, while Palestinians outside the boundaries of Israel who are not Israeli citizens do not get to vote in Israeli parliamentary elections, they did get to cast ballots for their own parliament in February 2006, with the terrorist group Hamas winning a narrow victory.
The president's speech last week, which was described by the White House in advance as a speech intended to reach out to the Muslim world, will probably go down as one of the least well-understood major presidential speeches in modern memory. Confusion concerning the president's words and intent cut across the lines of Jews, Christians and Muslims, Democrats and Republicans, neocons and paleocons, friends and foes of Israel, and friends and foes of the president.
For many serious commentators, the confusion lies on what the president meant by his statement that "We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states." Was this a shift of policy, no shift or a critical increase in U.S. presidential pressure on Israel in future peace negotiations?
Contrary to what NBC's David Gregory said Friday, U.S. News & World Report editor Mort Zuckerman believes that in the wake of President Obama's Mideast speech, "The Israelis do not feel they have the Americans at their back for the first time since the founding of the state of Israel."
Such was said during a heated debate about the subject on PBS's "McLaughlin Group" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Most Americans are probably familiar with outspoken Kiss star Gene Simmons, but likely didn't know that he was born and partially raised in Israel.
With this in mind, when he was asked by CNBC's Jane Wells what he thought about President Obama's suggestion that Israel's borders be redrawn to pre-1967 levels, Simmons replied, "He has no f--king idea what the world is like because he doesn’t have to live there" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In lockstep with Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, who scolded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "please don't speak to my president that way," MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell cautioned of the "political pitfalls" for Republican presidential candidates who dared to challenge Barack Obama's speech on the Middle East.
On the May 20 edition of "Andrea Mitchell Reports," NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent warned against criticizing the Democratic commander-in-chief and bewailed the "angry reception" he's received over his desire to see Israel surrender territory it acquired in the six-day Middle East war of 1967.
On Friday's Early Show, CBS called upon Clinton administration alumnus Jamie Rubin to act as a flack for the current Obama White House and to comment on the President's speech on the Middle East. Rubin lamented the President's poor approval rating in Israel: "Unfortunately- and this is unfortunate for everyone, I think...Obama doesn't have the huge popularity in Israel that, perhaps, President Bush had."
Anchor Erica Hill brought on the husband of ABC host Christiane Amanpour and first identified him as "Assistant Secretary of State Jamie Rubin, who is now executive editor of the Bloomberg View [the new opinion section of Bloomberg News] " However, she failed to mention at any point in the interview that Rubin served under former President Clinton, unlike Nicholas Burns, who appeared later in the program. Hill clearly identified him as "undersecretary of state under President George W. Bush."