The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for the 'Middle East' Category

28 May
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Syria = Thieves Falling Out

Can’t help agreeing with the old windbag here. Syria ia a hornets nest and the last thing we need to do is poke a stick into it. Indeed “a pox on all your houses” should be our watchword here. Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard proxies duking it out with AQ leaning Jihadist fanatics from all over the world should not be unwelcome news. Remember the split between Mao and the late unlamented Soviet Union?  It was very good  for us in the west because it meant the Russians were always looking over their shoulder.

The Foreign Office and elements of the North London dinner party circuit are itching to pimp their consciences here with dreams of intervention but, as sure as eggs is eggs it would all end in tears.

When thieves fall out it’s honest folk who benefit….

 

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09 December
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Why Not “Hamas Talks To Israel” Rather Than “Israel Talks To Hamas”

Prof Jacobson’s blog at Legal Insurrection should be a must read for any English politics junkie interested in American conservatism. With the exceptions of Dan Riehl and Instapundit nobody else mines the seam of small government outside-the-beltway Edward Abbey style mockery of bien pensant radical chic so effectively.

Which of course is why we here in the UK never hear his name mentioned by the High Tory bloggers at Conservative Home and Coffee House who much prefer the bleating of David Frum and the ravings of Andrew Sullivan

So I must recommend a guest post at LI by Joel Berger in which he takes to task, not just the liberal/left US/UK media but also several highly respected Israeli talking heads who are constantly chanting the mantra that, at some stage the Israelis should start a dialogue with the Hamas leadership in Gaza.

Berger turns the question around. Since Hamas is wedded and glued to the total destruction of the Israeli state and also driven by a hatred of Jews as visceral and obsessive as any SS operative there can be very little mileage in attempting to initiate dialogue. That’s why Berger is saying that the onus should be on pushing Hamas to the conference chamber. After all, why should anyone be expected to “negotiate” with a group of people who not only glory in violence but also say they are going to throw you not only out of your house but also over the top of the 500 ft cliff that is behind it?

The Palestinian political elite, be it Arafat or Hamas, see any Israeli concession as a sign of weakness, not of good will. That the UK and US should still be pushing initiatives and plans based on the assumptions of a two way street in the face of a self proclaimed disdain from Hamas is yet another triumph of hope over substance.

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28 November
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Things You Won’t Hear Too Much About From The BBC About Those Hamas Rockets…

Douglas Murray spells out some cold, hard facts about Hamas, their rockets and the Israeli response which should always be borne in mind when watching any BBC report from Gaza.

The reason Hamas are firing into the heart of Israel is because they do not believe that Israel should exist anywhere at all. Hamas are not quibbling over the 1967 borders, or the Oslo parameters. They are showing that they do not accept the 1948 borders. Hamas do not accept Israel. They say so and, by actions like these, they demonstrate it.

And one thing you cannot say about the leaders of Hamas is that they are concealing their true motive

There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

Not that you will hear too much about that from the BBC and the rest of the liberal/left media….

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21 November
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Every Western Media Report From Gaza Comes Courtesy Of Hamas…

We now know that during Saddam Hussein’s murderous rule in Iraq CNN acted as a mouthpiece of the regime in order to maintain its presence. No doubt the BBC did the same. All foreign reporters had “minders” who directed them to “news stories” that the regime wished to be disseminated. They were thus essentially broadcasting the government’s propaganda. The advantage for the Iraqis, of course, was the BBC/CNN tag which gave these reports an air of respectability.

Why people have not grasped that everything coming out of Gaza today from CNN, BBC, Reuters etc is equally managed and directed by the Hamas regime is something that astonishes me. When the BBC interviews someone in Gaza they have been handpicked by their media minders. Street scenes, hospital footage – it’s all carefully stage managed and filtered in order to buttress the image of Hamas.

Ask yourself this. Has the BBC ever interviewed somebody in Gaza who is critical of Hamas policy? Have they ever filmed an anti Hamas demonstration in Gaza? No, of course not.

Then riddle me this….has the BBC ever interviewed an Israeli who is critical of his/her government’s policy – or filmed a demonstration denouncing Israel’s policy towards Gaza? Yes, many times….

Until we can have confirmation that the Hamas regime will allow the BBC to interview its political opponents and to film some form of public disaffection in Gaza then I will simply refuse to take any report from within Gaza as anything more than a tissue of lies or half truths.

Every western media report coming out of Gaza should be accompanied by a loud and explicit caveat that it was compiled under very strict conditions of censorship and highly resticted access – and needs to be taken with a very large pinch of salt…..

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17 November
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If Only The Israelis Would Be Reasonable And Die Quietly….

The UK Guardian goes Der Sturmer, faked casualties for BBC/Reuters in Gaza and Hamas organises a fair trial…..all because those Jews are being so unreasonable and refusing yet again to die quietly….

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15 November
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No, Mr Cameron, We Should Not Intervene In Syria

Strange, isn’t it, that the BBC and its clones amongst the left leaning punditry consistently beat a negative drum over Britain’s involvement in the Falklands and the first Gulf War while our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has created a mini industry of reports. exposures and dramatic reconstructions that serve to underline the “futility” and social costs of these campaigns. But, with Syria you get the feeling that the mood music is quite different. Months of BBC reporting, highlighting the activities and sufferings of the anti Assad rebels has built up the pressure for that most seductive of all messages – “something must be done”….

And now it appears that David Cameron is taking up the challenge

Last week, the Prime Minister visited a UN-run compound on the border with Jordan and saw the conditions being endured by tens of thousands of fleeing Syrians.
He said he was determined to do “more” and would be working with newly re-elected US president Barack Obama to up the pressure on Bashar Assad’s regime.

Doing more almost certainly means some form of military intervention – no fly zones, providing the rebels with weapons, sending troops to the Syrian borders to give humanitarian assistance

Wonderful words, Mr Cameron – and it’s true that the Assad regime is brutal, bloodthirsty and autocratic and some of the rebels want to replace it with a liberal democracy. However many of the others have a different agenda – and we all know what happened in Egypt.

However General Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence Staff has a dash of cold water for Cameron’s dream.

Our political masters are quite happy to reduce the size of the Armed Forces, but their appetite to exercise influence on the world stage is, quite understandably, the same as it has always been.
“Often politicians say to me, ‘Can you go and do this?’ I say to them, ‘With what?’

Exactly – we have been “intervening” for over a decade and at considerable cost for uncertain effect. It’s time to retrench and regroup and resist the temptation to grandstand on the world’s stage merely to satisfy David Cameron’s need to feel warm inside.

Let’s give Syria a miss and concentrate on sorting out our own problems…..

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29 June
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BBC Reports From Gaza Always Forget To Mention The Presence Of Hamas “Minders”…I Wonder Why?

Remember reading the 2004 Balen report requested by the BBC itself to investigate accusations of anti Israel bias in its Middle East reporting?

No, neither do I – because the BBC has resisted all attempts to force it into the public domain. Don’t bother to ring Sherlock Holmes either to find out why because the findings must have been an embarrassing indictment of the Beeb’s lack of neutrality.

At The Commentator Simon Plosker has a good analysis of a more recent report on the BBC’s coverage of the Arab Spring. Generally a whitewash but, to be fair, there are some criticisms, particularly of the rather cavalier use of unverified mobile phone footage without an accompanying caveat.

Perhaps the Balen Report also found that the BBC has an unhealthy reliance on Palestinian “eyewitnesses” whose versions of events cannot be guaranteed as reliable.
And what about the lack of caveats? Does the BBC announce the reporting restrictions from Gaza where there is risk of intimidation and threats from Hamas, both towards foreign media and against Palestinians who deviate from the party line?

That is a very pertinent point. The Hamas administration in Gaza is an authoritarian regime with an unpleasant record of human rights abuse. Any Palestinian who publicly criticised it would almost certainly suffer severe consequences. But in any Gaza vox pop presented by the BBC there is never a caveat about this lack of freedom.

But then should we be surprised? After all whenever “ordinary folk” were interviewed in any Catholic enclave in Northern Ireland during the thirty years of the Troubles we were never told by the BBC that their reporters only operated under IRA “protection”.

Similarly we were never informed that government “minders” always accompanied BBC “journalists” around Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, making certain that every citizen toed the party line.

As long as a regime or group is anti British (or anti Israel) you can be certain those caveats are conveniently forgotten.

After all, as the BBC says, “it’s what we do”

cross posted at Biased BBC

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