Saturday, November 22, 2008

Glenn Beck Gets Something Right

I don't agree very often with any of the people who host and contribute to FOX News, but that's not because of any hard and fast rule; it's just because of the things they say.

Usually they feed you one lie wrapped in another, smothered by a third. But every now and then they accidentally allow a little bit of truth to slip into the mix, and that's when they get interesting.

One interesting bit of accidental truth-telling was occasioned by Wednesday's release of yet another "al Qaeda" video, featuring "number two" Ayman al-Zawahri ([Za-WAHR-ee] whose name often appears as "Zawahiri" [Za-wa-HEER-ee] in the reports of the confused western media) .

The new Zawarhi video was brought to you, if you're a subscriber, by the SITE Intelligence Group, remnant of the now defunct SITE Institute, which somehow gets these videos before they become available on the militant Islamic websites that SITE claims to monitor.

SITE is run by Rita Katz, whose father was an Israeli spy executed in Iraq. This, combined with Katz' close connection to the Bush family, may tend to explain SITE's seemingly magical ability to obtain al Qaeda communications before the radical Islamists do so.

In any case, Ayman al-Zawahri is listed as al Qaeda's "number two" because the confused western media cannot bring itself to believe that Osama bin Laden is dead -- even though the actor who plays him in videos doesn't look very much like him!

As has been clear for a long time, Ayman al-Zawahri, like the late Osama bin Laden, is a CIA asset who specializes in psyop propaganda. The psyops are usually a bit tricky. But one common theme is the "terrorist" voicing legitimate complaints against the American leadership, often in elaborate and earthy language. In this instance, Zawahri's words in Arabic are given in English as subtitles, as provided by SITE or al Qaeda -- who can tell the difference?

Sophisticated psyops such as this one are multi-dimensional and multi-purpose, so it's not easy to say precisely what this video is for. But one recurring purpose has always been to paint any legitimate domestic political opposition as totally offside: immoral, treasonous, and in sympathy with -- if not actually in league with -- "the terrorists".

According to the usual pattern, a "terrorist" video makes a splash and then the domestic propaganda machine hosts the echo. Of course, as with all complicated clandestine operations, there are exceptions. Sometimes the expert manipulators get it wrong, and there was a time when SITE released a video to the White House, which leaked it to the world before SITE could plant it on the militant Islamic websites.

That incident resonates with the story about BBC broadcasting the collapse of World Trade Center 7 before it happened.

Q: What's going on here?

A: Just don't ask and you'll be ok!

In the new video, Zawarhi compares president-elect Barack Obama unfavorably with slain civil rights leader Malcom X.

Look closely at the following mainstream news accounts of the video, and see how everything is spun. It helps to keep the following questions in mind:
  • How much of what Zawahri says is true?
  • How much of what they say about Zawahri is true?
  • Where did this video come from?
  • Where did Zawahri come from?
From the Times of London:
Al-Qaeda today invoked the speeches of Malcolm X in a propaganda exercise designed to divide African-Americans, accusing Barack Obama of being a "house negro".
Ask yourself: How could the Times know what the video was designed to do?
In his first video message to Mr Obama since the Illinois senator was elected on November 4, Ayman Zawahiri attempted to vilify the president-elect in comparison with the black power radical, whom he described as an "honourable" African-American.

His message, entitled The departure of Bush and arrival of Obama, appeared to have been carefully choreographed. It was staged in front of pictures of Mr Obama praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem during a pre-election visit to Israel, and Malcolm X, who was murdered in 1965.
But Mr Obama's visit to Israel, including a photo-op of him praying at the Wailing Wall, wasn't carefully choreographed -- not at all. That goes without saying ... meaning that no one dares to say it. Such freedom of the press!
As Osama bin Laden's deputy spoke, old footage of the black power leader's speeches was played in the background. In one of the speeches, Malcolm X used the term "house negroes" in reference to domestic slaves who were considered more docile towards their masters than the field slaves.

“It is true about you and people like you ... what Malcolm X said about the house negroes,” he said, naming Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, and his successor, Condoleezza Rice.

“You represent the opposite to honourable Black Americans like ... Malcolm X."
This is all too true. It's all too horribly, bitterly, true. I've been saying it for months, and I have not been alone in this. But anyone who has agreed with me has been roundly ignored.

By putting the truth about Obama in the mainstream media via the mouths of "terrorists", the psyop manipulators are preempting any criticism which might someday be given a national voice ... among other things.
He scolded Mr Obama for “choosing to be an enemy of Islam and Muslims”, saying that the Muslim “nation had bitterly received” the US President-elect's pledge of support for Israeli security and the peace process with the Palestinians.

“You have chosen to stand in the ranks of the enemies of Muslims and pray the prayer of the Jews, although you claim that your mother is Christian,” Mr Zawahiri added.
All this is true -- visibly, provably true. And even the most mainstream reports don't attempt to deny any of it. They depend on your revulsion: they want you to assume all these things must be false, simply because of who is saying them. And they want you to get angry on behalf of your "leaders", whose legacies are so badly "maligned" by having the truth spoken.
Also in his video, he threatened to work towards Mr Obama's removal if he went ahead with his proposals to withdraw troops from Iraq in order to concentrate on Afghanistan, urging him to remember "the fate" of President Bush, President Musharraf of Pakistan and Afganistan's former Soviet occupiers.

The recording came after an interview, broadcast on Sunday, in which Mr Obama said that he would push ahead with his campaign promise to begin pulling troops out of Iraq and switch the military focus to Afghanistan.

“What you have announced before ... that you will withdraw [US] troops from Iraq [and send them] to Afghanistan is a policy that is doomed to failure,” Mr Zawahiri said in the message, made available by the SITE Intelligence Group.

"If you still want to be stubborn about America’s failure in Afghanistan, then remember the fate of Bush and Pervez Musharraf, and the fate of the Soviets and British before them,” he added.
This is a difficult pill to swallow for Americans who are used to swallowing the propaganda. They don't think America has failed in Afghanistan. Or perhaps I should say they don't realize America has failed there.

Oh well. They'll figure it out eventually.
Mr Obama refused to comment, declining to get into a "tit for tat with a terrorist group", according to CNN.
That's his best move, from his point of view -- probably his only available move.

What else can he do?

Can he say: "Zawahri is right. I am a house negro. My job is to look after the intrests of the rich and powerful. Didn't you know that already? What did you think the President was supposed to do?"

Not if he wants to maintain his aura of audacity and hope and change.

Or can he say, "Zawahri is all wrong. I won't look after the rich and powerful. I will take care of the little guy. I'll stop America's wars of aggression and I'll stop the American elite from preying on their fellow-countrymen, too."

Not unless he wants to get assassinated.
The tape was not unexpected. Intelligence officials and Mr Obama's campaign team have been bracing themselves for terrorist groups to take advantage of the presidential transition period.
Here's another big lie -- another of the endless big lies in the terror myth psyop. Again it's multi-faceted and multi-purposed.

Aside from scaring you, it reinforces the lie that 9/11 was caused by an understandable difficulty inherent in the transition from one administration to another.

And that's why
Both President Bush and Mr Obama have acknowledged that extremists could stage attacks to destabilise the period, which ends when Mr Obama is inaugurated on January 20.
The myth that 9/11 was the unfortunate and innocent result of the understandable difficulty inherent in the transition has been promoted by some very artful dodgers, including Jamie Gorelick and Slade Gorton who wrote about it in the New York Times back in July.

Both Gorelick and Gorton, of course, were among the chief architects of the 9/11 coverup. Here's an excerpt from their NYT psy-op/ed:
One of the observations of the 9/11 commission was that the deeply flawed presidential transition of 2000 and 2001 created a dangerous period of vulnerability.

As always, the crowd coming in was dismissive of the concerns of the crowd going out. There was a mismatch between the concerns of the Clinton national security team and those of the incoming Bush team. While there were briefings between the election and the swearing-in, there was no trust — and thus no effective dialogue — between the members of the two administrations.
Translation: Because the Bush administration didn't trust Bill Clinton, it paid no attention to the Clinton administration's warnings about the imminent threat of a terrorist attack.

This is, once again, part of the whitewash: it's Clinton's fault that Bush decided not to do any domestic counter-terrorism. If Clinton had only kept it in his pants when that little Lewinsky slut was around, Bush and the rest of the country could have trusted him, and the incoming Bush administration would have taken Clinton's concerns seriously. Yeah, right!

Jamie Gorelick was on Obama's short list for appointment as Attorney General. What does that say about Obama? Nothing you didn't already know, I hope. But we digress...

Here's another, somewhat more detailed report, from MSNBC:
CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader slurred Barack Obama with a demeaning racial term for a black American who does the bidding of whites in a new Web message posted Wednesday.
It's interesting to note that all the mainstream reports categorize Zawahri's statements about Obama as racial, when in fact the gist of them is political: This is not about what color Obama is; it's about whose interests he protects. But of course nobody could write that one day and still have a job the next morning. And so we get nonsense like this.
Ayman al-Zawahri's speech was al-Qaida's first reaction to Obama's election victory — and it suggested the terror network is worried the new American leader could undermine its rallying cry that the United States is an enemy oppressor.
In fact the Muslim world is worried -- and rightly so -- about the possibility that America, under the new "black" and "formerly Muslim" president, will be allowed a free hand to commit atrocites against blacks and Muslims even beyond the atrocities committed by the Bush and Clinton administrations.
Obama has been welcomed by many in the Middle East who hope he will end what they see as American aggression against Muslims and Arabs under President George W. Bush.
Their hope is contradicted by his public statements to the contrary -- which proves, as if any further proof were needed, that the power of self-delusion is not uniquely American.
Some believe his race and Muslim family connections could make him more understanding of the developing world's concerns.
They can believe anything they like, of course. Some people believe the sun revolves around the earth.
Al-Zawahri dug into U.S. racial history to try to directly knock down that belief and argue Obama will be no more sympathetic than white leaders to what the al-Qaida leader called "the oppressed" of the world.
MSNBC is apparently incapable of calling oppressed people oppressed, unless the word is in quotes and attributed to somebody else. What else is new?
He said Obama was the "direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s Muslim African-American rights leader, who is known among some in the Arab world and seen as a symbol of anti-imperialism.

Al-Zawahri also called Obama — along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — "house Negroes."
They should be flattered. Among all the terms that fit, "house Negro" is probably the most polite.
The video included old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters' house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites and discrimination.

Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri used the phrase "abeed al-beit," which literally translates as "house slaves." But in the video message, posted on Islamic militant Web sites Wednesday, al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of the speech that translated the phrase as "house Negroes."
Considering that all the house Negroes were slaves and all the house slaves were Negroes, this little discrepancy doesn't seem to make much difference. But this article -- like all mainstream news on this and many other subjects -- is chock full of details that don't make any difference.

Consider the White House response to the video:
In Washington, White House press secretary Dana Perino said the tape is a reminder that al-Qaida is irrational.
There's nothing irrational about the way Perino digs herself into a hole, though, right?
"What we have here is more despicable and pathetic comments by al-Qaida terrorists," Perino said. "And in America, we are going to have a smooth transition from one administration to the next, and that will be a period of change in our country. What won't change is our commitment as a country to fighting terrorism. And I think that these comments just remind everybody of the kind of people that we're dealing with."
The "transition" is going to be "smooth" precisely because Obama has not challenged -- and will not challenge -- the bogus assumptions behind "our commitment as a country" to fighting bogus terrorism, looking for bogus terrorists, and fomenting terror of our own. Therefore it won't be much of a change as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
There was no immediate reaction from Obama's transition team.
As noted.
The 11-minute, 23-second video featured an audio message by al-Zawahri, played over a still image of the al-Qaida No. 2.

The video graphics underlined the contrast al-Zawahri aimed to show: On one side of the screen was a photo of Obama wearing a Jewish skullcap and meeting Jewish leaders. On the other side was a photo of Malcolm X praying in a mosque. Interspersed was footage of Malcolm X talking of a "worldwide revolution" against the "Western power structure."

Al-Zawahri addressed "all the world's weak and oppressed," and warned them: "America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always."
Again, this is exactly true. I wish it were otherwise. But wishes are not the stuff of truth-telling.

Zawahri spoke directly to Obama:
"You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies of the Muslims, and pray the prayer of the Jews, although you claim to be Christian, in order to climb the rungs of leadership in America," he said.

"It appears that you continue to be captive to the same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards the Muslims," he said.
It certainly does appear that way. But not to professional spin-merchants, who cannot afford to tell the obvious truth.
Jeremy Binnie, an analyst with Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center, said al-Zawahri's message suggests al-Qaida leaders are worried "that Obama could be effective in rebuilding America's image."

"They hated Bush, but Bush was good for them in many ways because he was such a polarizing figure. But Obama seems at the moment to be a more uniting figure," Binnie said.
They hated Bush but he was good for them; they hate Obama because he will be bad for them ...
"Al-Qaida very much would like the U.S. to stay with its old policies that put it in opposition to much of the Muslim world."
... They want us to stay in Afghanistan and that's why they want us to leave ...

All this nonsense feeds into the public pronouncements that al Qaeda is "irrational". But al Qaeda is more than irrational. al Qaeda is fictional!

Blind acceptance of the government/media spin is irrational. Belief in the independent existence of al Qaeda is irrational! But MSNBC can hardly say that, any more than Barack Obama can.
Al-Zawahri proclaimed Obama's victory a sign that Americans had realized the failure of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This part is unclear: If Americans realize the failure of the war in Afghanistan, then why did they elect a new president who wants to escalate the war in Afghanistan?

Because American voters are irrational! And that's a fact that cannot be denied.

But it doesn't matter, either, because our electoral system is so compromised that the will of the people doesn't express itself at the ballot box anymore. So we're stuck with what we've got -- for as long as we are willing to stay stuck.

MSNBC's coverage of the Zawahri video concludes as follows:
He urged Islamic militants everywhere to continue their jihad, or holy war, saying, "Your enemy's stagger has begun, so don't stop hitting him."

Al-Zawahri said Obama's plan to shift troops to Afghanistan is doomed to failure, because Afghans will resist.

"Be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them," he said.

Al-Zawahri specifically addressed al-Qaida fighters in Iraq, saying, "your enemy has admitted defeat," and that as U.S. troops withdraw, "you must persevere, for victory is in an hour of perseverance."

He also told Islamic militants in Somalia, who have been capturing towns in an advance against the tenuous central government, "don't put down your weapons before the Mujahed state of Islam ... has been set up in Somalia."
This summary reveals another aspect of the psy-op: the manipulators are always trying to foment more "terrorist" resistance, in order to "justify" more armed intervention in more foreign countries.

And everything we've read about this video so far amounts to the typical mainstream spin on what is, after all, a transparently thin and mass-murderous sham.

But way off to the side of the mainstream sits FOX News, telling even more outrageous lies, more vicious, more ridiculous lies of the sort which are enabled by all the other lies about al Qaeda and its videos that the mainstream has been telling.

Here's Glenn Beck:
While many Americans want to ignore the threat posed by Islamic extremism and collectively hope it has gone away, Al Qaeda is determined not to let us forget.
On the contrary, the American government and media are the ones who are determined not to let us forget. They're determined not to let us stop and think, either. Otherwise, the mainstream accounts would be telling you about what a farce SITE is, and how disgusting it is to have an Israeli mole doing supposed intelligence gathering for our national government, and much more, too.

But instead, they insist on taking all this stuff seriously.
In their first video release since the election of Barack Obama, Al Qaeda’s No. 2 — Ayman al-Zawahiri — said Obama’s election was “the American people’s admission of defeat in Iraq.” Unless I’ve been holding the graphs of every measurable facet of the war upside down for the last couple of years, I don’t think that we’ve admitted anything of the sort.
It's the unmeasurable facets of the war that are destroying America; it's no wonder they don't show up on FOX news graphs. And it's no wonder Glenn Beck is denying what everyone already knows. That is his job, after all.
He also claimed that Obama’s idea of sending troops currently fighting in Iraq over to Afghanistan wouldn’t work, but we should send more anyway because the “dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious.” Classy guy.
Not half as classy as bombing innocent sleeping children and then denying it, and claiming that the survivors had fabricated the evidence.

Not half as classy as imprisoning hundreds of innocent people for years and years without even giving them a chance to prove their innocence.

Not half as classy as invading sovereign countries based on deliberately fabricated lies.
But the overall message was very clear: the election of Barack Obama changes nothing to our enemies. Zawahiri said Obama appears to “continue to be captive to the same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards the Muslims.” He called Obama “dishonorable” and a “house Negro,” and he said Obama would continue the “crimes of the American Crusade.”

After we’ve been told for months that the election of Obama would magically make our enemies start to like us again, this might surprise some people. But the truth is no change in our voting patterns, no talk of meeting without preconditions, and no blanket promises of diplomacy will be enough to make these people change their minds about us.

Will Barack Obama be as tough as he needs to be? That remains to be seen. There’s not much in his record that makes me believe it, but I hope so. If he is, I’ll be happy to stand with him — because if our enemies aren’t defining us by party, we shouldn’t either.
Here's one point Glenn Beck and I agree about:
no change in our voting patterns, no talk of meeting without preconditions, and no blanket promises of diplomacy will be enough to make these people change their minds about us.
Assuming that by "these people", Beck means the people who actually do hate us, and not the actors in the psyop drama, then why do they hate us?

It's because of what we have done to them, and to their families, and to their countries.

Promises of diplomacy won't make any of that damage go away.

Talk of meetings without preconditions won't bring millions of innocent people back from the dead.

Changing our voting patterns won't help any of those people at all -- especially when we shift our support from a president who has spent the past eight years increasing the military budget and using it to get his way in the world, to a president-elect who pledges to increase the military budget and use it to get his way in the world.

If we were sufficiently color-blind to see beyond Obama-is-black and Bush-is-white, and also to see beyond Obama-is-a-Democrat and Bush-is-a-Republican, what would we be left with? Two guys with funny-looking ears who will tell any lie at all, in a quest to become "the most powerful man in the world", and who are quite willing to use that power to ruin the lives of millions of innocent people.

And instead of being shocked and appalled at Zawahri, all of America would be shocked and appalled at Glenn Beck.

If, if, if: We're in fantasy land again.

Here's the one other bit of Beck's column that I partially agree with:
if our enemies aren’t defining us by party, we shouldn’t either.
I don't agree completely, because it doesn't matter to me how "our enemies" are "defining us". I don't even believe that one person can "define" another. But that's beside the point. The point is: I care about what people do, not what party they join.

And that's what matters to the people of Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Somalia, and Pakistan, and all the other countries where the American military routinely uses its exceptional might, against innocent unarmed people, with unmitigated hubris -- as if somehow it were our right to destroy lives and homes in any foreign countries we choose.

When bombs start falling, the people being shredded and crushed and burned to death don't much care who the president is, or what color his skin is, much less what political party he belongs to. Of course they hate America. You'd hate America too, if America did things like that to you.

But you wouldn't expect to hear such things from FOX News, would you?

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