Vox Rodentae

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Latest Big Story

Understandably, the big story that still has people hopping is the NYT's detailed publication of the US's financial battle plans to track terrorist funds around the world. The Left (which I have decided to start referring to as "The Wrong") insists that the entire furor is merely a pathetic and obvious manufacture by the Administration to discredit them and try to grab an inch or two of moral high ground. Of course. I mean, why should we be upset that their rag of choice just revealed in detail how we track their pet terrorists' money trail? UBL must have a NYT subscription - it no doubt provides him some of the best info available on our tactics and methods. And the fact that the program they've pasted on the first page is entirely legal (despite their every implication of the opposite) is just the "crowning turd in the water pipe" (to quote from Blackadder the IV). Where was the public value in publishing that knowledge? What public right to know (which is, by the way, not listed in the Constitution) trumps the security of a program that tracks those money trails not only for terrorist actions but also for their money laundering operations, which also affects our economy? Sure common sense would have told you that such a program existed. But they were under no obligation to publish it, and more precisely there was overwhelming reason not to. What we have here is an organization that has become obscene, bloated with its own perceived power, its complete lack of accountability, and its feeling of vast moral superiority over the entire nation. In response to Bill Keller's pathetic attempt at self-justification, at not knowing whether those methods were ever even argued and proved legal in a court of law? I have mentioned around the web (sites including but not limited to Captain's Quarters, Blackfive, Dr. Sanity, Michelle Malkin, etc...), that all of these methods, investigations and programs are researched very, very thoroughly both pro and con, by lawyers employed for just those purposes. The cases are argued before a court of law . They can be instituted only if and when they have been proved to be fully and legally justifiable.

In the MSM's neverending attempts to stick it to the Administration (and the American public, whom they obviously hold in great contempt), they have abandoned every shred of journalistic ethics they were ever credited with having. Your writer believes they should be very publicly tried and even more publicly punished. They have gone so far beyond the pale that it calls into question whether or not they still merit the protection of the society they claim to be part of. I think they need to be reviewing book club selections from the prisoner's library inside Sing Sing. And now that they have exposed our tracking methods (and thereby enabled their pet terrorists to change and adapt their money transfer options), they need to be held accountable for every victim of the terrorist actions that occur from here on out, since the funds they've helped protect will be used to pay for the attackers, their materials, their training, and their reconnaissance, not to mention the actual attacks themselves.

And so we return to the Public's Right to Know, as shouted from the rooftops by the MSM whenever confronted with their immoral, illegal and unethical and downright fallacious reporting. They say, "Well, so what if it's secret? The public has a Right To Know what their government is doing in their name/with their tax dollars", or "Well, so what if it isn't true? The public needs to know that that's the kind of thing this administration would do". They crow over the fact that they often report information from the front much faster than does the military, but what they don't mention is that this is because the military is obliged to ensure that the information it reports is both reliable and correct. Time and again we have seen MSM reporters in-country acting hand-in-glove with insurgents and former regime members who give them the exclusive "inside story" (can everyone say "Haditha"? A story which had already been under military investigation for a while). They often report misinformation, rumors and outright lies as well as blatant propaganda, as well as anything they can find which does not portray the US in a favourable light (big surprise there). Not that many (if any of them) are inclined to report favourably on the US efforts. Indeed, two reporters embedded with US forces saw their stories and photos excised as being "too positive" in the US's favour (they and other such reporters are scorned by their colleagues as victims -or willing dupes- of the Stockholm Syndrome).

At what point did we elect the press to decide for us what we need to know? At the beginning of the 20th century, in the heyday of Yellow Journalism, it was understood that each of the umpteen-gazillion newsrags being published was the tool of the party or group publishing it. There was no question of their impartiality - that was discounted completely. Somewhere down the line, we came to be convinced in The Press as an impartial body out to report The Truth. And the press has been playing us, pushing their own agenda, cashing in on that impression of impartiality for years now. Think about Walter Cronkite's "impartial reporting" turning our overwhelming victory at Tet (General Giap was actually preparing all his papers and personnel to surrender), into a crushing defeat. Or Dan Rather's reporting of W's military service. Or the heinous perfidy reported by Newsweek about the desecration of the Korans (and their laughable-if-it-wasn't-so-sleazy-apology). Never mind that 15 people were killed in rioting due to that lie. It's not Newsweek's fault at all, just ask them. The Wrong, and the MSM have elevated moral equivocation and getting their way with what is Right. They insist that the problem lies with Conservatives, who are incapable of seeing the grey areas and nuances inherent in the many issues at hand on the international stage. They refuse to accept any possibility that often there is no grey area - some things are just wrong, and no amount of equivocating or ignoring them will change that.

I guess I am no longer amazed that they don't accept responsibility for the consequences of their irresponsible reporting. Their persistent refusal to look beyond the here and now, indeed beyond their own skins, to see that what's going on is so very much bigger than internal politics and the coming election. What we are dealing with right now is nothing less than upholding and defending basic human rights, our way of life, against a group of people who, using their fundamentalist and self-serving interpretation of their religion, fight to subjugate the world (yes, the world - just read their screeds) to the whims of these self-styled "caliphs". And the multi-culti crowd, who has adopted muslims as their Victim Of The Moment, would have us think that this is because they are just misunderstood, and marginalized by the oppression of the Anglo-White, Western, Judeo-Christian, Crusader System. But let us step aside for a moment and take a look at this. I'll agree that they are misunderstood. But that's more to their benefit than their detriment (*see below). As to marginalized, well, not anywhere within reach of the MSM. The moment someone doesn't offer rapturous praise of islam, you'll find the muslim community, CAIR, any MSM and other hangers-on jumping to their feet screaming "Racism, racism! Discrimination!" And that 'someone' slinks off to the hisses and boos (and often the death threats - don't forget, this is the religion of peace) of the multitudes. I believe it is generally the mark of a failed or failing society that they have to work hard to keep the eyes of their people focused on the past - both on past failures and grievances (they did this and that to us), and to past glories (we deserve to have this and that again just as we used to have - whether that is true or not). Heaven forbid you let people see how awful things are now - with the kidnappings, shootings, torture, disappearances, and looting. No industry, no public works, no civic infrastructure, no actual schools, no hospitals worth speaking of, no safety. I'm still waiting for someone in the press to let the public in on the fact that the AQ and the insurgents are the biggest killers of Muslims right now (Sadaam Hussein holds the current record, but shhh, you can't say that out loud - it might make it look like Dubya had a reason). How many people are aware of the fact that one of the other victims in the blast that killed Zawahiri was his 14 year old wife? Yes, it's sad that his child bride died, but what kind of living hell was she spared? And yes, trading around 12-14 yr old daughters as wives to cement ties is a standard and well-accepted practice among AQ leadership (as well as the Taliban and the fundamentalists). And right now, about the only country in the world whose press has the balls to stand up to the threat of islam against the basic human rights our western society is based on is Denmark. Visit any of a host of excellent websites to see the Mohammed Cartoons, and please, support Denmark by buying Danish whenever possible!! The fact that there are so many observant Muslims in America who live exemplary lives, who follow the prescripts of their religion and the laws of this country, who raise their children to be good citizens makes the argument all the more powerful in favour of not currying favour with special interest groups. These people show that there is no necessary dichotomy between practising and living under islam in the Middle East and doing so in the US, except as enforced by the fundamentalists and terrorists for their own interests.

Enter the US military. We see our guys (and gals, of course) as the liberators and protectors of the Iraqi people, freeing them from the tyranny of the former regime and terrorists at large in Iraq. Yet from all over the world come cries that the US is really there to occupy and colonize Iraq, to steal its oil and line its pockets with oil money (*cough*cough* Kofi*cough**Annan*cough*cough**). Accusations like this used to enrage me, but as I've gotten older I've come to realize they say that because it's the only way they're capable of thinking, because that's what those other countries would do in our position. Heck, it's what the UN is doing pretty much everywhere they've been sent. (Pages of rant could go toward propagating the idea of dissolving the UN "Peacekeeping" Forces - maybe a rant for a later date). But we are not a colonizing country, despite the cries of past-it, also-ran countries whose colonial ambitions now lie in tatters and shreds. In this, as in all of our overseas campaigns, the constant refrain of the American GI is "We just want to get this job done so we can go home." Is this the rally of the colonizer? The oppressor? When I was stationed overseas, we used to supply orphanages and local children with school supplies, blankets, clothes, toys and food. Totally Awesome Mom last night reminded me of the floods of boxes of same sent from the US to Viet'Nam during that "police action". Himself takes great joy in handing out mechanical pencils and leads and drawing pads and teaching kids to draw cartoons and caricatures - kids from Kosovo, Afghanistan, Southeast and Southwest Asia (as well as other places too numerous and odd to mention) are out there cartooning - who knows what tomorrow's cartoon industry is going to look like? Together with the time and affection that GI lavish on the kids, this is one of the great legacies of the American GI. No one would be foolish enough to say that we are perfect; we have all the requisite number of idiots and bastards as the rest of humanity (well, maybe slightly fewer - we are America, after all!), but one of the things that sets us apart is that we really do want to help people become like us (not at the cost of their culture - so calm down Multi-Culti's!). We really don't understand why everyone can't just walk down the street, go to the store, buy a car, attend a decent (possibly non-religious) school, receive good medical treatment at a hospital, send their kids (especially daughters) to school, or any of the other myriad of rights and liberties we enjoy. Without getting shot doing it. Without fear of kidnapping and torture. And knowing that you will wake up tomorrow and it will still be true. So why is it that when a grateful Iraqi person tries to express him/herself to the media about the wonderful things brought to the country by US troops, those images never make it past the cutting room floor? Could it be because those images don't fit in with the dramatic cuts of insurgent "freedom fighters" and "sinister" US forces? Heaven forbid you try to sell ad space on a page with an article talking about how the US did something right. Or maybe that's part of the problem - the word "right" is no longer in their collective vocabulary, except in a pejorative way...

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