Lies, Dammed Lies and CNN’s Mideast Reporting

Lies, Dammed Lies and CNN’s Mideast Reporting

Granted we are in a recession and all media outlets have trimmed staff, but CNN REALLY Needs a fact checker. Since Israel began the bombing of Gaza last week, the Cable Nonsense Network has been doing its best to spread misinformation about Gaza War. CNN’s Lies included blaming Israel for breaking the cease fire and accusing Israel of not letting necessary medical supplies into Gaza. But then again, CNN has never been big on the truth:

Who Broke the Ceasefire? CNN’s “Fact Check” Falls Short-CAMERA
by Alex Safian, PhD

In recent days CNN has been playing an interview with Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti in which he claims that Israel broke the ceasefire with Hamas by launching an attack in November, and that the current fighting is therefore the fault of Israel rather than the Palestinians. Barghouti also charged that Israel’s supposed blockade of Gaza was a further violation of the ceasefire agreement with Hamas.
Barghouti’s charges are nonsense and easily disproved – but apparently not easy enough for CNN to disprove.
On Dec. 31, perhaps in response to complaints about the Barghouti interview, anchor Rick Sanchez made a great show of supposedly “fact checking” the charges “fairly [and] honestly.” Here’s the clip:
CNN’s intrepid fact-checkers found a few online articles confirming that there was an Israeli attack in November, and were satisfied and looked no further? Does CNN really believe finding such articles proves that Israel broke the ceasefire? 
Might there have been prior serious violations by the Palestinians? In fact there were many such violations, including dozens of rockets and mortars fired into Israel during the so-called ceasefire. And there was also sniper fire against Israeli farmers, anti-tank rockets and rifle shots fired at soldiers in Israel, and not one but two attempts to abduct Israeli soldiers and bring them into Gaza.
All of this was missed by Rick Sanchez, his co-anchor Jim Clancy, and the CNN fact-checkers. Here are some of the details:
(most of this data is from The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement, a detailed report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli NGO)
From the start of the ceasefire at 6 AM on June 19 till the incident on November 4th cited by CNN, the following attacks were launched against Israel from Gaza in direct violation of the agreement:
  • 18 mortars were fired at Israel in this period, beginning on the night of June 23.
  • 20 rockets were fired, beginning on June 24, when 3 rockets hit the Israeli town of Sderot.
  • On July 6 farmers working in the fields of Nahal Oz were attacked by light arms fire from Gaza.
  • On the night of August 15 Palestinians fired across the border at Israeli soldiers near the Karni crossing.
  • On October 31 an IDF patrol spotted Palestinians planting an explosive device near the security fence in the area of the Sufa crossing. As the patrol approached the fence the Palestinians fired two anti-tank missiles.
There were two Palestinian attempts to infiltrate from Gaza into Israel apparently to abduct Israelis. Both were major violations of the ceasefire.
  • The first came to light on Sept. 28, when Israeli personnel arrested Jamal Atallah Sabah Abu Duabe. The 21-year-old Rafah resident had used a tunnel to enter Egypt and from there planned to slip across the border into Israel. Investigation revealed that Abu Duabe was a member of Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and that he planned to lure Israeli soldiers near the border by pretending to be a drug smuggler, capture them, and then sedate them with sleeping pills in order to abduct them directly into Gaza through a preexisting tunnel. For more details click here and here.
  • The second abduction plan was aborted on the night of Nov 4, thanks to a warning from Israeli Intelligence. Hamas had dug another tunnel into Israel and was apparently about to execute an abduction plan when IDF soldiers penetrated about 250 meters into Gaza to the entrance of the tunnel, hidden under a house. Inside the house were a number of armed Hamas members, who opened fire. The Israelis fired back and the house exploded – in total 6 or 7 Hamas operatives were killed and several were wounded. Among those killed were Mazen Sa’adeh, a Hamas brigade commander, and Mazen Nazimi Abbas, a commander in the Hamas special forces unit. For more details click here.
It was when Israel aborted this imminent Hamas attack that the group and other Palestinian groups in Gaza escalated their violations of the ceasefire by beginning to once again barrage Israel with rockets and mortars.
In light of these systematic and serious violations of the ceasefire by Hamas and other Palestinian groups in Gaza, it is absurd to claim that Israel broke the ceasefire in November or at any other time.
That CNN took Barghouti’s charges seriously and repeatedly aired them calls into serious question CNN’s competence as a news organization. It is also notable that while Sanchez said that Israelis denied Barghouti’s charges, he apparently did not see the need to have an actual Israeli appear to deny the charges in detail.
The Border Crossings  Open or Closed?
Barghouti also claimed that Israel violated the ceasefire agreement by allegedly refusing to open border crossings to allow food, fuel and other goods into Gaza. This charge is also false – Israel did open the crossings and allowed truckload after truckload of supplies to enter Gaza. Closures until November were short, and in direct response to Palestinian violations, some of which were detailed above.
To quote from the ITIC report on the “Lull Agreement” linked above:

On June 22, after four days of calm, Israel reopened the Karni and Sufa crossings to enable regular deliveries of consumer goods and fuel to the Gaza Strip. They were closed shortly thereafter, following the first violation of the arrangement, when rockets were fired at Sderot on June 24. However, when calm was restored, the crossings remained open for long periods of time. On August 17 the Kerem Shalom crossing was also opened for the delivery of goods, to a certain degree replacing the Sufa crossing, after repairs had been completed (the Kerem Shalom crossing was closed on April 19 when the IDF prevented a combined mass casualty attack in the region, as a result of which the crossing was almost completely demolished).

Before November 4, large quantities of food, fuel, construction material and other necessities for renewing the Gaza Strip’s economic activity were delivered through the Karni and Sufa crossings. A daily average of 80-90 trucks passed through the crossings, similar to the situation before they were closed following the April 19 attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing. Changes were made in the types of good which could be delivered, permitting the entry of iron, cement and other vital raw materials into the Gaza Strip. 

... Israel, before November 4, refrained from initiating action in the Gaza Strip but responded to rocket and mortar shell attacks by closing the crossings for short periods of time (hours to days). After November 4 the crossings were closed for long periods in response to the continued attacks against Israel. (Rearranged from p 11- 12)
Day to day details of the supplies delivered to Gaza and the numbers of trucks involved have been published by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and are available here. The figures confirm that the passages were indeed open and busy.
CNN conveyed uncritically – multiple times – Mustafa Barghouti’s charge that Israel violated the cease fire by not opening the crossings. Unfortunately this charge, like his charge that it was Israel that violated the ceasefire, is entirely bogus.
Too bad CNN anchors Rick Sanchez and Jim Clancy, along with the network’s fact checkers, didn’t bother to really fact check anything. Too bad CNN didn’t bother to actually interview an Israeli official or expert who could debunk Barghouti’s charges with the facts.
Judging by Rick Sanchez and Jim Clancy, viewers who want accurate, factual news from the Middle East should avoid CNN like the plague.

The Night We Waved Goodbye to America . . .Our Last Best Hope On Earth

 

The Night We Waved Goodbye to America . . .Our Last Best Hope On Earth
                                                                        
By Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail ( London ),                                
                                                                         
Anyone would think we had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful replacement for God, with a plan to modernize Heaven and Hell-or that at the very least John Lennon had come back from the dead. The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of  the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilization. At least Mandela-worship-its nearest equivalent-is focused on a man who actually did something.            
                                                                         
I really don’t see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts.       
                                                                         
It already has all the signs of such a thing. The newspapers which recorded Obama’s victory have become valuable relics. You may buy Obama picture books and Obama calendars and if there isn’t yet a children’s picture version of his story, there soon will be. Proper books,  recording his sordid associates, his cowardly voting record, his astonishingly militant commitment to unrestricted abortion and his blundering trip to Africa, are little-read and hard to find.                                                               
                                                                         
If you can believe that this undistinguished and conventionally Left-wing machine politician is a sort of secular savior, then you can believe anything. He plainly doesn’t believe it himself. His cliche-stuffed, PC clunker of an acceptance speech suffered badly from nerves. It was what you would expect from someone who knew he’d promised too much and that from now on the easy bit was over.          
                                                                         
He needn’t worry too much. From now on, the rough boys and girls of America ‘s Democratic Party apparatus, many recycled from Bill Clinton’s stained and crumpled entourage,  will crowd round him, to collect the rich spoils of his victory and also tell him what to do, which is what he is used to.                                           
                                                                         
Just look at his sermon by the shores of Lake Michigan . He really did talk about a ‘new dawn’, and a ‘timeless creed’ (which was ‘yes, we  can’).  He proclaimed that ‘change has come’. He revealed that, despite having edited the Harvard Law Review, he doesn’t know what ‘enormity’ means He reached depths of oratorical drivel never even plumbed by our own Mr Blair, burbling about putting our hands on the arc of history  (or was it the ark of history?) and bending it once more toward the hope of a better day (Don’t try this at home).
         
                                                                         
I am not making this up. No wonder that awful old hack Jesse Jackson sobbed as he watched. How he  must wish he, too, could get away with this sort of stuff.                                                    
                                                                         
And it was interesting how the President-elect failed to lift his admiring audience by repeated-but rather hesitant-invocations of the brainless slogan he was forced by his minders to adopt against his will-’Yes, we can’. They were supposed to thunder ‘Yes, we can!’ back at him, but they just wouldn’t join in.            
                                                                         
No wonder. Yes we can what exactly? Go home and keep a close eye on the tax rate, is my advice. He’d have been better off bursting into ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony’ which contains roughly the same message and might have attracted some valuable commercial sponsorship.                                       
                                                                         
Perhaps, being a Chicago crowd, they knew some of the  things that 52.5 per cent of America prefers not to know. They know Obama is the obedient servant of one of the most squalid and unshakeable political machines in America ..  They know that one of his alarmingly close associates, a state-subsidized slum landlord called Tony Rezko, has been convicted on fraud and corruption charges.             
                                                                         
They also know the US is just as segregated as it was before Martin Luther King-in schools, streets, neighbourhoods,  holidays, even its TV-watching habits and its choice of fast-food  joint. The difference is that it is now done by unspoken agreement rather than by law. 
                                                                         
If Mr Obama’s election had threatened any of that, his feel-good white supporters would have scuttled off and voted for John McCain, or practically anyone. But it doesn’t. Mr Obama, thanks mainly to the now-departed grandmother he alternately praised as a saint and denounced as a racial bigot, has the huge advantages of an expensive private education. He did not have to grow up in the badlands of useless schools, shattered families and gangs which are the lot of so many young black men of his generation.
                             
                                                                         
If the nonsensical claims made for this election were true, then every positive discrimination programm aimed at helping black people into jobs they otherwise wouldn’t get should be abandoned forthwith. Nothing of the kind will happen. On the contrary, there will probably be more of them.                  
                                                                         
And if those who voted for Obama were all proving their anti-racist nobility, that presumably means that those many millions who didn’t vote for him were proving themselves to be hopeless bigots. This is obviously untrue.                                              
                                                                         
I was in Washington DC the night of the election. America ‘s beautiful capital has a sad secret. It is perhaps the most racially divided city in the  world, with 15th Street -which runs due north from the White House- the unofficial frontier between black and white. But, like so much of America, it also now has a new division, and one which is in many ways much more important. I had attended an election-night party in a smart and liberal white area, but was staying the night less than a mile away on the edge of a suburb where Spanish is spoken as much as English, plus a smattering of tongues from such places as Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan .        
                                                                         
As I walked, I crossed another of Washington’s secret frontiers. There had been a few white people blowing car horns and shouting, as the  result became clear. But among the Mexicans, Salvadorans and the Third World nationalities, there was something like ecstasy. They grasped the real significance of this moment. They knew it meant that America had finally switched sides in a global cultural war. Forget the Cold War, or even the Iraq War. The United  States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.                                      
                                                                         
Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.           
                                                                         
These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of  America ‘s conservative party-the Republicans-to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.       
                                                                         
They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts. And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World .
 
How sad. Where now is our last best hope on Earth? 
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