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Dishonest Dissent (Not)

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  • Dan Clore
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo [This is probably a good place to remind readers that transmitting an article does not
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2003
      News for Anarchists & Activists:

      [This is probably a good place to remind readers that
      transmitting an article does not imply endorsement. I
      consider these articles utter bilge, but someone may find
      them of some use or wish to reply to them.--DC]

      Dishonest Dissent
      By Bill O'Reilly
      CNSNews.com Commentary
      February 01, 2003

      Robust debate is one of the things that has made this
      country great. The Founding Fathers really went after one
      another during the forging of the Constitution, and
      sometimes the verbal rancor was frightening in its

      But the Founders had common ground in that they believed in
      the concept of a free United States and that individual
      rights were the key to that freedom. Theirs was a labor of
      love, and they all were proud to be called Americans.

      Fast forward to the current debate over Iraq. The intensity
      is certainly there, and, for the most part, the differences
      of opinion are sincere. But there are major exceptions. Some
      Americans who object to any military action against Iraq
      believe that the United States is, itself, a terrorist
      nation and that anything the Bush administration proposes is
      to be scorned.

      A few days ago, an organization called "Not In Our Name"
      paid for a two-page advertisement in The New York Times,
      part of which said this: "We too watched with shock the
      horrific events of September 11, 2001. We too mourned the
      thousands of innocent dead and shook our heads at the
      terrible scenes of carnage-even as we recalled similar
      scenes in Baghdad, Panama City and, a generation ago,

      What? Is that advertisement saying that the United States is
      guilty of crimes akin to those of the 9-11 terrorists?

      There is a huge difference between honest dissent and
      distorted propaganda designed to denigrate your own country.
      Equating the terrorist attack on 9-11 with the United
      Nations' mandated removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait and
      the arrest of the drug-dealing dictator of Panama, Manuel
      Noriega, is incredibly insulting to the people of America.
      This text goes far beyond protest-this is anti-Americanism.

      The advertisement was signed by well-known radicals like
      Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. But it was also signed by
      entertainers like Joan and John Cusack, Danny Glover, Susan
      Sarandon, Martin Sheen and Sandy Duncan, of all people.
      Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton also lent their names to this
      piece of propaganda, which, I believe, puts those gentlemen
      into sharp perspective.

      Ms. Sarandon, in particular, is lashing out against people
      who are calling her anti-American. She recently told the
      British press that she is just "raising questions." But
      signing on to an ad that implies your country committed
      terrorism on the scale of the 9/11 attacks is far more than
      just "asking questions." And most people know it.

      The "Not In Our Name" group is a front for the Bill of
      Rights Foundation, a far left group that has been around for
      35 years. It is a tax-exempt organization that, for the past
      few years, has given most of its donated funds to the
      defense fund of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia cop killer
      whose case has been appealed to death, pardon the pun. The
      evidence against this man remains overwhelming.

      Now, the Bill of Rights Foundation has turned its attention
      to opposing the policies of the Bush administration and has
      convinced some celebrities to get on the train. But where
      were these celebrities when President Clinton ordered the
      bombing of Belgrade, which led to a regime change in Serbia?
      Was Slobodan Milosevich a direct threat to the United

      Could it be that some in the anti-war movement are selective
      in their strategic targets? Sorry about the military

      The sad truth is that there are some American citizens who
      consider President Bush to be more of a threat to the world
      than Saddam Hussein. These people are entitled to their
      opinion, of course, but when the dissent becomes vitriolic
      propaganda, then judgments must be made. Saying that the
      United States committed terrorism in the Gulf War and Panama
      is outrageous and foolish. It is also anti-American.

      (Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox
      News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of the new book
      "The No Spin Zone," in addition to last year's best-selling
      book "The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the
      Completely Ridiculous.")

      The New York Post

      January 31, 2003 -- AMERICA is the new Nazi Germany, and
      George W. Bush the new Hitler - according to a front page
      article in the London Daily Mirror, a newspaper partly owned
      by U.S. companies.

      Since the 9/11 attacks, the paper has been a mouthpiece for
      some of the most venomous anti-Americanism in Europe -
      indeed, it was the first mainstream media organization to
      claim that Guantanamo Bay detainees were being "tortured."

      But on Wednesday the Mirror's bile reached a new low with
      the assertion that "the current American elite is the Third
      Reich of our times, although this distinction ought not to
      let us forget that they [sic] have merely accelerated more
      than half a century of unrelenting American state terrorism
      . . . "

      Accompanied by a photograph of Tony Blair with bloodied
      hands, it was written by John Pilger, an expatriate
      Australian journalist who has long specialized in demonizing
      the United States.

      In the 1970s and '80s, Pilger was so notorious for
      ideologically motivated dishonesty that British journalists
      took to referring to ludicrously exaggerated or biased
      reporting as "pilgering."

      But the Mirror's editor, Piers Morgan, last year decided to
      make Pilger the tabloid's star columnist and ideological
      mainstay, rendering him newly respectable. He is now the
      loudest anti-American and anti-war voice in the United
      Kingdom, and his articles reach an audience of millions.

      Pilger's feverish anti-Americanism is a slightly cruder
      version of the theology promoted by U.S. academic Noam
      Chomsky, for whom the United States is the root of all
      global evil.

      A typical Pilger piece goes something like this (from The
      Guardian): "Having swept the Palestinians into the arms of
      the supreme terrorist Ariel Sharon, the Christian Right
      fundamentalists running the plutocracy in Washington now
      replenish their arsenal in preparation for an attack on the
      22 million suffering people of Iraq."

      Note not only the hysterical jargon, but the false concern
      for the people of Iraq.

      There is something almost comical about the cliched Marxist
      language and content of statements like "the Washington
      regime of George W. Bush is now totalitarian, captured by a
      clique whose fanaticism and ambitions of 'endless war' . . .
      are a matter of record."

      But it really isn't all that funny that a major paper should
      render this sort of thing mainstream and respectable.
      Especially when (in the same article) Pilger goes on to
      liken the State of the Union speech to "that other great
      moment in 1938 when Hitler called his generals together and
      told them 'I must have war.'"

      Pilger may be as blind to the vileness of the comparison as
      he is to Saddam Hussein's oppression and genocide of Iraqis.
      But surely his editor must see the monstrous irony entailed
      in labeling "Nazis" those who, like Bush, want to overthrow
      a regime that has in fact used poison gas to murder its own

      It is true that the Mirror also prints columns by writers
      like Christopher Hitchens who favor war to overthrow Saddam.
      But these pieces don't represent the viewpoint of the paper
      and are not put on the front page. Nor do such pro-war
      articles mirror or in any way balance the kind of extremism
      that likens the Bush administration to the Third Reich.

      The largest shareholders in the Mirror's parent company,
      Trinity Mirror, are all American: the mutual-fund giant
      Fidelity (12 percent), the Capital Group (13 percent), and
      the New York based fund Tweedy Browne & Co. (6 percent).
      (Efforts last night to contact the companies mentioned here
      were unsuccessful.)

      All three U.S. firms were reported to have been angered by a
      previous front-page attack last July in which Pilger, with
      the blessing of editor Morgan, called Bush a "criminal," the
      boss of "the world's leading rogue state," and again likened
      the United States to Nazi Germany.

      Given that this vile comparison seems to represent the
      official point of view of the Mirror, those companies should
      now seriously reconsider their investment. And U.S. firms
      that advertise in the Mirror like Toys 'R' Us, AOL, Dell
      Computer, 20th Century Fox and the Ford Motor Co. might also
      want to re-evaluate their relationship to the newspaper.

      This is not a question of censorship. Pilger may be a
      dimwitted fanatic whose head is crammed with leftover
      outrage from the Vietnam War and a lot of tired New Left
      cant about neo-imperialism, but he's of course entitled to
      hold and propagate his views. And if Piers Morgan believes
      against all the evidence that he can benefit his paper's
      fortunes against its competitors - which include the Sun
      (owned, like The Post, by News Corp.) - by taking extreme
      positions against the Blair government and America, he
      should be free to do so.

      But there is no obligation for Americans or U.S.
      corporations to subsidize such opinions.

      After all, investors can and should think carefully about
      the moral and political import of their investments. This
      was true during the days of the South African divestment
      campaign, and it should be true when it comes to organs of
      opinion that objectively side with America's enemies and in
      all seriousness liken the United States to Nazi Germany.

      This is a comparison that defames those who died fighting
      Hitler and defames those whom he slaughtered.

      And no American should profit from such slander.


      Dan Clore

      Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      All my fiction through 2001 and more. Intro by S.T. Joshi.

      Lord We├┐rdgliffe and Necronomicon Page:
      News for Anarchists & Activists:

      Said Smygo, the iconoclast of Zothique: "Bear a hammer with
      thee always, and break down any terminus on which is
      written: 'So far shalt thou pass, but no further go.'"
      --Clark Ashton Smith
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