Saturday, September 15, 2007

On the Monitoring of Enemy Transmissions

Stephen Pollard writing in The Times (London) describes perfectly the tone and demeanor that the BBC reserves for the United States. Meet Matt “Stir” Frei:

On Monday afternoon I watched General David Petraeus testify before Congress. I listened as he went through the facts of the military action in Iraq. I learnt as he outlined the improvements brought about in recent months.

But it wasn’t until I heard Frei’s take on General Petraeus’s words that I realised what had really been going on. The BBC Washington correspondent told us that he had listened “very carefully” – as opposed to his usual half-cocked approach, perhaps? – and gleaned what was actually being said: “Having tried to resist the fragmentation, the creeping partition, ethnic cleansing, the White House now seems to have bowed to that.”

Forget the reams of pages and the hours of testimony about military strategy and dealing with terrorists. The real story of the general’s report is that the White House is to start ethnically cleansing Iraqis.
I heard the same reporting and felt the same buzz, but this is the thing: as skeptical as I am of the BBC’s coverage of news in the U.S. is, I’ve grown used to expecting nothing else. It is typical, unremarkable, and for all the irresponsible invention of conclusions and selectivity, I find it pointless to get angry. Through the water torture of repetition of hypocrisy, I no longer notice it. Surely those not looking closely at the UK’s state broadcaster’s coverage of the U.S. would not need to take a gulp of the kool-aid. They have been given it daily in an eyedropper from birth.
One should not be surprised by Frei’s warped take. His reports from Washington drip with condescension towards Americans and, most of all, Republicans. He recently called the contest for the Republican nomination – a race that is rather more intriguing than usual – a “panic-stricken hunt”. Given his penchant for such creative contempt for the people among whom he lives, it’s no wonder that he has been nicknamed Stir Frei.

Awful as Frei may be, he fits the BBC’s editorial agenda perfectly. The lead report on Monday’s Ten O’Clock News, by the corporation’s world affairs editor, John Simpson, went two minutes without mentioning anything said by General Petraeus, offering instead clips of opponents of the war attacking the report. Simpson then sneered that President Bush cares not a jot what is actually happening in Iraq, caring only how US voters perceive it.
Indeed the irony is that what this once dependable and venerable news organization does is no longer the coverage of news at all. They do not report the news for the sake of making information available, they do much, MUCH less. They simply follow up with further coverage, rewrites, and tales retold to them through the press releases of ‘pressure groups’ and the like to cover the doings of a short list of issues.

Even at that, it is an ideologically driven exercise in the manner of Gramsci: by the eyedropper, until the viewers and listeners themselves can be selectively employed to produce for them a levee-break of the stuff and no cost to them.
So yesterday’s Victoria Derbyshire phone-in on BBC 5 Live was par for the course. The question of the day was: “Do you believe the Americans? Are things improving in Iraq?” For the first half-hour, every single caller informed us that Petraeus was lying about military progress. And don’t think the airing of such biased calls was anything other than an editorial decision. I called in to suggest that it was unlikely that the entire US military high command was engaged in a conspiracy to lie to the world. And was I put on air? Of course not.

- neer-do’ well and man about
town Stephen Pollard’s marathon
blogging can be found at stephenpollard.net

Hitchens gets in an uppercut

Tariq Ramadan down for the count.

That it Isn’t News Doesn’t Matter



How you get your picture in Le Monde, that famously “independent” newspaper.

Friday, September 14, 2007

March of the Totalitarian Elves

While some frothing conspiracy theory lovers try to argue that French TV didn't show the WTC 9/11 attacks, others can't cite them often enough. Either way, don't they think that there's such a thing as cable TV or satellite, or heaven forbid, people in France may actually watch the non-french channels found on it?

Well, as Thierry Meyssan revealed it (The Pentagate), when transponder are cut, it automatically triggers an alert in control towers and jets are scrambled to see what is happening.
No they don't. Not before 9/11, and necessarily since. Not that truth ever got in a “truther's” way.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"Attacks of an Extreme Virulence", aka "Signs of Defiance Against His Profession" as a Photographer

Claire Guillot presents a full-page portrait of a New York Times photographer. Having thus built up the sympathetic side of his character, and the courageous side of his personality, and "the serious Tyler Hicks who has sacrificed a lot … for his calling" (while making the most out of the alleged crimes that occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq during the American interventions), it is not until then that we learn that his photographs have not always been without controversy.

Just like with the Al-Dura affair's Charles Enderlin, however, a French media outlet does nothing about the scandal but present the reporter as nothing more than a poor innocent martyred victim and his critics as nothing less than shameless, treacherous, envious (!), and "extremely virulent". (In fact, here, too, Le Monde builds up readers' emotions, starting with a non-committal "envied job", going on to a more judgmental "not always kind criticism", and ending with a frankly castigating "attacks of an extreme virulence" as well as, later, "these signs of defiance against his profession" (italics mine!).)
Ce poste envié a aussi exposé son travail à une critique nourrie et pas toujours bienveillante. En 2006, pendant l'offensive israélienne au Liban sud, une série de photos prises à Tyr a fait l'objet d'attaques d'une virulence extrême. Pendant des mois, les blogueurs l'ont accusé de manipulations et de mises en scène visant à diaboliser l'armée israélienne. "Il y avait eu une erreur de légende, qui n'était pas de mon fait. Elle a été très vite corrigée, mais le mal était fait. Tout s'est emballé."

He Hates White People

It's finally time, Benjamin Duffy says, to admit that he is a racist and that he is ashamed of his own color, to boot…

"Nous sommes ceux qui chipotent et qui barguignent, comme si nous voulions donner le sentiment de vouloir empêcher l'OTAN de se transformer"

"L'Europe de la défense ne progressera pas si nous ne changeons pas de comportement politique au sein de l'OTAN"
To the criticism of the socialists, France is considering a full reintegration of NATO, write Laurent Zecchini and Dominique Gallois — albeit with conditions, needless to say — while defense minister Hervé Morin has some criticism to offer for previous French attitudes of confrontation towards the organization as well as for a number of French weapon systems.
La France, a expliqué M. Morin, est l'un des meilleurs élèves de l'OTAN, mais "trop souvent, nous sommes ceux qui chipotent et qui barguignent, comme si nous voulions donner le sentiment de vouloir empêcher l'OTAN de se transformer"

"Dominique is not a person who lies; he is a character of successive truths"

Dominique de Villepin est-il crédible dans ce rôle d'alternative à droite ?
Dominique de Villepin, embroiled in the Clearstream affair, "wounded" by some of Nicolas Sarkozy's words at Dakar in Africa, and using the maxim of his favorite hero, Napoléon ("la meilleure défense, c'est l'attaque"), wants to become the leader of the majority's opposition to the president, writes Christophe Jakubyszyn

A bit hard to do, though, as général Philippe Rondot has just confirmed that Villepin was the scandal's "mousquetaire" (as the plot's insiders called the prime minister at the time).

More revealing than anything, though — especially in view of all the ways that Bush and the members of his administration have been dragged through the mud as liars by everybody in France, from common citizens to élites and journalists — is the fact that not only are the friends of the "musketeer" allowed to present his lying in a positive light (in Ariane Chemin's story of Villepin's tumultous summer), but that Le Monde lets them get away with it, unchallenged.
Là-dedans, allez savoir ce qui est vrai ou faux, soupire un autre [ami]. Dominique n'est pas un personnage qui ment, c'est un personnage de vérités successives. Peut-être que son bras droit ignore ce que fait son bras gauche. Il est tout le temps dans ses paradoxes.
So with an American, we have treachery of the highest degree, deliberate and malicious lies, and evidence that is damning to the fullest; with a Frenchman (or an internationalist of any nationality), we get the high-falutin' psychological "explanation" from his "sighing" friends (see, these wizened friends are trying to show indulgence although they know the poor man hardly deserves it) that he "is not a person who lies; he is a character of successive truths. Maybe his right arm ignores what his left arm is doing. He is always inside his own paradoxes."

The Ardent Champion of Columbia

If a Le Monde article is to celebrate a South American leader, as the Marie Delcas portrait of Piedad Cordoba does, naturally it has to be an adversaries of an ally of Uncle Sam who doubles as an admirer of Hugo Chávez… Although the French interest is in the liberation of the FARC guerillas' hostages (especially Ingrid Betancourt), it is suggested that Alvaro Uribe is nothing but a political wheeler-dealer, that her view of the president's politics (as "inadmissable compromises with the Mafia and criminals") are nothing but the truth (in a region where the "progressive governments of Latin America", including that of Chávez, deserve little else but admiration), and that "Cordoba la Noire's" adversaries are nothing but racists.

On average, poor Americans have more living space than the average person living in European countries, such as France, Italy or England

When you look at the people who John Edwards insists are poor, what you find is that the overwhelming majority of them have cable television, have air conditioning, have microwaves, have two color TVs; 45 percent of them own their own homes, which are typically three-bedroom homes with 1{1/2} baths in very good recondition.
Bill Steigerwald interviews Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation, a national authority on poverty and the U.S. welfare system. "Specializing in welfare reform and family breakdown, Rector has done extensive research on the economic and social costs of welfare."
On average, poor people who live in either apartments or in houses are not crowded and actually have more living space than the average person living in European countries, such as France, Italy or England.

Also, a lot of people believe that poor people are malnourished. But in fact when you look at the average nutriment intake of poor children, it is virtually indistinguishable from upper-middle-class children. In fact, poor kids by the time they reach age 18 or 19 are taller and heavier than the average middle-class teenagers in the 1950s at the time of Elvis. And the boys, when they reach 18, are a full one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs storming the beaches of Normandy. It’s pretty hard to accomplish that if you are facing chronic food shortages throughout your life.

…since the beginning of the War on Poverty the politically correct thing to do is to just exaggerate the amount of poverty that exists in the United States as a way of encouraging more welfare spending.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

French Cable Channel “Celebrates” 9-11



Somewhere in between the porn reality shows, deadly animal handling, cop car-chase shows, ghost-hunting shows, and other sundry signposts in the highly evolved humanism of the land of the cultural obsession, cable channel “Planète No Limit” did the really thoughtful and warmhearted thing on September 11th, and gave Thierry Meyssan a platform in a “Documentary” on 9-11, right after a warm and sentimental showing of “Loose Change 2” from what is becoming a successful franchise in the spirit of the “Holloween” series, but with the seriousness and moral weight of “Porkys”.

What makes it slightly less preposterous, and at the same time more, is the treatment of the event as a drama:

The same correspondent recalls that last year, its’ parent channel, the leading French documentary channel Planète Loose Change on 9-11 as well. Planète appears to be a subsidiary of Canal +
Based on a best-seller, and of those of the same type published with success in Germany, our reporters carry out their investigation. The effects of these books are devastating. In Germany for example, a person on five believes that the American government itself is implied in the attacks.

In Germany, they meet Thierry Meyssan’s editor, Pierre Krebs, also president of a far-right pagan sect, the Thule Union. In Egypt, a persistent rumor starts: that four thousand Jews which worked in the towers were advised not to go to work the day of the attacks. Also in Egypt as the program’s creators collect astonishing testimony from Montasser Al Zayad a lawyer for the jihad and a friend of al-Queda’s second in command, which definitively blows the cover off of all the theories of the plot.

- Hat-tip to Kevin (who seems to be able
to watch this stuff w/o gagging.

What was overlooked in the English-language reports is that Védrine was in fact calling for an essential continuity of substance

…what was, above all, overlooked in the English-language reports is that in recommending a change -- merely -- of "tone" in French foreign policy, Védrine was in fact calling for an essential continuity of substance.
John Rosenthal — aka the expert in going behind first impressions — sheds new light on Hubert Védrine's foreign policy report.
World Politics Review here presents translated extracts from Hubert Védrine's report to the French President. Readers will be able to judge for themselves the degree of "modesty" they exhibit..

Ce délire d'une France admirée pour ses performances multiples et appelée sur tous les continents en arbitre suprême des tensions internationales

Aucun pays au monde, pas même les Etats-Unis, l'Inde, la Chine ou la Russie, ne prétend, comme nous, éclairer la planète. Jusqu'ici, cette prétention à une sorte de magistrature morale de l'humanité tenait encore lieu de poil à gratter dans la communauté internationale, elle a aujourd'hui l'effet limité d'un gaz hilarant.
Paul Giacobbi, député PRG de Haute-Corse, membre de la commission des affaires étrangères, évoque dans Le Monde le "décalage calamiteux entre notre délire diplomatique et une réalité cruelle".
A l'inverse des discours lénifiants qui se répètent rituellement de président à président et de ministre à ministre sur le rôle, phare bien sûr, de la France dans le monde, notre diplomatie cache de plus en plus mal son état cadavérique, entre arrogance et médiocrité, feux d'artifice et misère, inefficacité et autosatisfaction.

…Mais son discours reste imprégné de l'idée que notre diplomatie a vocation à éclairer le monde de nos lumières et à étonner l'univers par nos performances. Qui dans le monde peut entendre sans rire que "la France a encore beaucoup à apporter au monde parce qu'elle a l'un des peuples les plus dynamiques et les mieux formés, l'une des économies les plus performantes, une diplomatie et des forces armées parmi les meilleures", comme l'a affirmé Nicolas Sarkozy ?

…Cédant à cette manie de croire que le monde se réveille la nuit pour nous appeler à l'aide, Bernard Kouchner, qui est pourtant un réaliste et un connaisseur de la vie internationale, se laisse aller à dire que "de l'Amérique latine au coeur de l'Afrique, en Europe comme en Asie, dans les situations les plus embrouillées et les plus dangereuses, on nous appelle".

…A force de rechercher une flamboyance qui n'éclaire plus que nos propres yeux, nous en oublions que le seul but d'une politique étrangère est de servir nos intérêts nationaux. Bernard Kouchner évoque avec réticence nos intérêts nationaux et s'il concède en fin de son discours aux ambassadeurs qu'il "est essentiel de définir et de mieux servir nos intérêts nationaux", c'est pour nuancer aussitôt : "L'appréciation de nos intérêts ne s'applique pas seulement à ces ambitions objectives. Elle touche aussi à l'image que nous avons de nous-même, à la fidélité à nos valeurs, notre vocation."

Aucun pays au monde, pas même les Etats-Unis, l'Inde, la Chine ou la Russie, ne prétend, comme nous, éclairer la planète. Jusqu'ici, cette prétention à une sorte de magistrature morale de l'humanité tenait encore lieu de poil à gratter dans la communauté internationale, elle a aujourd'hui l'effet limité d'un gaz hilarant.

If these measures don't work, there's real unpleasantness to come

…unlike in the Cold War, there are no clear limits on how far this Russia feels it can push this America
writes John Vinocur in his reflections of Vladimir Putin's Kremlin.
The sanctions Sarkozy is talking about are hard, new measures outside the United Nations that would probably involve an ad hoc group including the United States, Britain, France and Japan at its core.

This approach specifically means forgetting about the Security Council, and giving up on Russia, barring sudden and unlikely cooperation. The sanctions have to be so penalizing, obviously disadvantaging Western banks and industry, to become truly dissuasive. This requires real resolve.

Sometimes Thomas Sowell feels as if he must be one of the few people left in America who is not a military expert

…all sorts of politicians have been talking about all sorts of ways we ought to "redeploy" our troops
writes Thomas Sowell.
The closest I ever came to deploying troops was marching a company of Marines to the mess hall for chow.
He goes on to say that
people who have never even put on a uniform are confident that they know how our troops should be redeployed. Maybe this is one of the fruits of the "self-esteem" that is taught in our schools instead of education.
Sowell ends his column with some observations about comparisons with Vietnam.

Iran: The Resort to Weapons?

Even though the daily's excerpts is replete with sentences such as "President Bush's expedition in Iraq", "the American propaganda machine", "the Bush administration's propaganda on the eve of the Iraq invasion", and "the Bush administration's catastrophic record" (few such sentences about Tehran; in fact the author spends most of the time not only denying Washington any good marks but making sure his readers understand that it is in spite of America's policies, and not because of them, that it is — tentatively [hence the question mark] — that he is coming to a bitter conclusion), François Heisbourg's book, Iran, le choix des armes ?, does not seem to convince Le Monde's smarter-than-thou readers

You’ve Learned the European Way Well, Grasshopper

Any possible blowback for the Wolfowitz witch-hunt has been otherwise buried in the Lame-stream Media.

In April, World Bank Managing Director Graeme Wheeler earned his 15 minutes of media fame when he publicly called on Paul Wolfowitz to resign for "the fantastic damage [Mr. Wolfowitz had done] to the bank's reputation and effectiveness." Mr. Wheeler may yet see those words turned against him.

Mr. Wheeler is among the bank employees behind a bureaucratic putsch against Suzanne Rich Folsom, the director of the bank's antigraft unit
He must be so proud.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)

Europe the Orwellian Animal Farm

A demonstration in Brussels was initially planned in sympathy with 9-11 victims, it's banning became quite obviously a signpost of something else altogether. Pointed at the political force driving the banning of such an event, it made the point of addressing a grand cultural hijacking. We then find this chilling quote by a non-authority feigning authority:
The head of the Council of Europe - a mainly human rights watchdog based in Strasbourg, France and not an EU institution - branded the protesters bigots and said they were a threat to Europe's values.

"It is very important to remember that the freedom of assembly and expression can be restricted to protect the rights and freedoms of others, including the freedom of thought, conscience and religion," secretary general Terry Davis said.
Gates of Vienna notes that in an act of good old fashioned act of traditional European repressiveness, that the Police went straight for the suits
Here, the police are openly brutalizing a member of the EU parliament. The Baron thinks this poor guy is probably Frank Vanhecke, president of Vlaams Belang, though he would welcome correction from anyone who is sure of the man’s identity…

…oh, at this point of course, one is supposed to mention Vlaams Belang as the mandatory “extreme right wing” party. Remember the rules: the Left are activists and the Right are extremists. It’s from the international MSM-journalism style book.

It’s interesting how the police deliberately targeted many of the suits, who were not inciting anyone or threatening revolt.

Never Forget


(Thanks to Valerie)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Plantu's Two Minute Hate

To celebrate 9-11, Plantu compares George Bush to OBL (see Erik's post below) and throws in a reference to a French commie to boot. Guy Moquet, French communist and figure of the "French Resistance" [sic], has been carted out of the memory hole recently and is being served up as some kind of inspirational figure for French youth.

On 9/11, French Movie Likening the Symbol of the World Trade Center — Big Business — to Nazism Appears on Le Monde's Front Page

As Plantuagain — compares (the sightless) Uncle Sam to (the sightless) Osama Bin Laden — with all their common victims (in fact, there seem to be more in America's hair) entangled in their common bloody beard (replete with whiskers that looks like military-style barbed wire) — Le Monde uses the 9/11 anniversary to treat us to its usual pompous editorial ("total war" against terrorism, ignorance or minimizing of December 7, 1941 (only six years after 9/11 was ubiquitously called a modern-day "Pearl Harbor"!), "petitions of friendship for a great people that is making a mistake") along with a front page article about a movie (by Nicolas Klotz, due to be released on September 12, and based on a book by François Emmanuel) that compares the average multinational company (i.e., the typical American creation as well as the symbol of New York and its World Trade Center per se) to Nazi Germany.
La Question humaine … un film noir qui … établit en effet un lien entre le monde des multinationales et l'idéologie nazie. A mesure [qu'un psychologue d'entreprise, magistralement interprété par Mathieu Amalric] perce à jour la nature du pouvoir de son entreprise, une effarante proximité lui saute aux yeux entre la langue administrative nazie et celle qu'il emploie dans son travail.
Update: In an interview with Jacques Mandelbaum, Nicolas Klotz and Elisabeth Perceval state that
C'était frappant de voir à quel point [les étudiants d'HEC ou de l'Essec qui ont tourné dans La Question Humaine] comprenaient le film, pour ainsi dire de l'intérieur : ces jeunes gens se considèrent eux-mêmes comme des guerriers, des tueurs, et ont tout à fait conscience de servir une logique de productivité et de profit exponentiels où les plus faibles sont impitoyablement éliminés.
In addition, it turns out that the movie is the third in a trilogy (the first two were about the homeless and foreigners without documents — you can see that this movie follows in the same logic) and (as we learn from Le Monde's review) that the name of the bad guy (played by a "very disturbing" Jean-Pierre Kalfon) in this movie (which Isabelle Regnier tells us "keeps its promises from end to end") is… Karl Rove! (Actually, the movie lists his name as Karl Rose — as does the book — but Regnier (or the daily's spell-checker) seems to have gotten the screenwriters' intention right!) Karl Rove (or Karl Rose), it turns out, was born in a Third Reich Lebensborn and was involved somehow with the SS Einsatzgruppen! We then learn how the "striking proximity" between the multinational firm (whose workers are "warriors, killers" and from which "the weakest are pitilessly eliminated") and the Holocaust:
To gas the Jews, or fire an alcoholic, the same dehumanizing terminology allows the human being to be treated as a production unit, valid or not.
Mon Dieu! The filmmakers have discovered the meaning of life (or death)! How can one avoid being dazzled by so much lucidité?! Regnier couldn't, as shown in her conclusion (about the movie in which there is a scene during which, "alors que les acteurs parlent parfois sans qu'on entende leur voix, un magnifique et interminable chant de flamenco est filmé en temps réel"):
La Question Humaine is a sophisticated film. It is also a beautiful film, a loving film, because its author likes his characters. … it is a great political film.
How wonderful. The viewpoint of one Le Monde reader is slightly different:
The raison d'être of this film is shameful, first and foremost in consideration of the victims of totalitarianism who [unlike the movie's authors] are no longer around to engage in mental masturbation.
Update: See how French (and European) TV commemorated the sixth anniversary of 9/11 (and the murder of 3,000 people)…

The appropriation of issues like Iraq to vindicate a pre-existing chauvinism against America is despicable

Roger Cohen (September of Hope, Globalist, Sept. 3) elegantly reflects on the demise of America's international reputation following the attacks of 9/11
writes Stephen Jones from Tokyo.
Undoubtedly, President George W. Bush's foreign policy has provoked widespread acrimony, but this alone does not account for the global disdain of all things American.

In the late 1990s, I worked in Japan alongside several young Brits, Canadians and Australians. Dispensing frequent invectives against the United States, including its people, was common practice, with one Canadian boasting how she routinely expressed her hatred of Americans to impressionable Japanese junior high students.

There was little goodwill to lose in 2001. While Iraq, Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay irreparably tainted America, the appropriation of these issues to vindicate a pre-existing chauvinism is despicable.

France and Germany both opposed the war in Iraq and both have been targets of terrorist plots by Islamic extremists, some of them before 9/11

France and Germany both opposed the war in Iraq and both countries have been targets of terrorist plots by Islamic extremists, said François Heisbourg, a French expert on terrorism and a special adviser to the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.
Thus reports Jane Perlez in the New York Times.
A French government white paper in 2006 described 11 attempts by Islamist jihadists to blow up targets in France in the past 10 years, some of them before 9/11, Mr. Heisbourg said. This showed, he said, that just because France has criticized the Bush administration and stayed out of Iraq, it enjoys no immunity from terrorism.

Because you are feckless pussies

Europeans ask: "Why do they hate us?"

French writer remembers 9-11

Because, if on one hand Communism has never been as popular and influential all around the world as a carefully “trendy” brand, on the other Capitalism is being attacked from every corner, vilified in art circles and in local pubs and cafes, on TV or in universities. You just have to watch that anti-Americanism oozing all around the planet, not least of where in France.

For instance, I do remember September 11th 2001. I was with my mom on the phone and she was asking: «Why, my son? Why?” with so much anguish in her voice. And suddenly she started crying, sobbing the minute she saw a woman and a man jump from one of the towers, hand in hand. But I also – and above all - remember September 12th 2001, when all my colleagues were mocking me during one of our breaks, laughing at my despair, speaking about the “arrogance” of the Yankees and the “imperialism” of Bush.

What is worse is that, while I can nowadays be labeled an artist or a thinker, I was not at the time working in an artistic or intellectual environment, which are traditionally anti-capitalist and therefore anti-American. No, at the time, I was working in the Paris police force. And I am stating it loud and clear because I was there, smack in the middle of it: on September 12th 2001, a large majority of the French people did not shed even half of a tear over what had just happened in New York.

In the end, it is nothing surprising since the typical French anti-Americanism meshes perfectly with their stupefying complacent indulgence towards Communism. Hence, on the first day of the American intervention in Iraq in March 2003, 4% were “absolutely” approving of it. 87 % disapproved [7]. 4 %. Four sad Frenchmen out of a hundred … Or then the fact that, in the 2004 presidential election, only 11% of the French would have voted for Bush [8] who was carrying high and proud the starry banner of Capitalism. 11%. Only one sad Frenchman out of ten …

And here is a « best of » of the headlines of our main newspapers and magazines after George W. Bush was reelected in 2004 : « Bush, l’homme à battre » (« Bush, the man to beat », Libération), « Bush 2 : pire que Bush 1 ? » (« Bush 2 : worse than Bush 1 ? », Courrier International), « Bush 2 pire que Bush 1 : L’Amérique de la peur a gagné » (« Bush 2 worse than Bush 1 : America of fear has won », Le Nouvel Observateur), « L’Empire empire » (« The empire gets worse », Libération), « L’Amérique d’en bas reconduit Bush » (”The America from down below chooses Bush again”, L’Express), « Une victoire désespérante » (« A maddening victory », L’Express), « Bush : peut-il changer ? » (« Bush: Can he change? », Le Point). And don’t get me started on the Pravda-esque performance of TV news broadcast anchors who looked more than ever like they had something stuck up their behind and were visibly getting paler and paler by the minute, as if they were about to commit seppuku samurai-style.

You want some more examples?

Here are some of the headlines of some of the major French newspapers and magazines (Le Monde, Libération, Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Figaro, Paris Match, Marianne, Télérama) after hurricane Katrina, one of the worse natural catastrophes ever to hit the United States (hurricane’s eye was 50km wide, winds went up to 300 km/h, …) : « Titanic Bush », « Bush : la chute du pompier-pyromane » (« Bush : the fall of the « pyromaniac fireman » »), « Barbara Bush a peur des réfugiés » (« Barbara Bush afraid of the refugees »), « Pour prévenir la critique, Bush visite les régions dévastées » (« To contain critics, Bush visits the ravaged areas »), « Bush connaissait l’ampleur du cyclone Katrina » (« Bush knew about Katrina’s size »), « Bush était averti des ravages du cyclone, la preuve par l’image » (« Bush had been warned about the ravages inflicted by the hurricane : the proof in images »), « L’Amérique mise à nu : le cyclone révèle les déchirures de la société du chacun pour soi » (« America revealed : the hurricane uncovers the tensions of an each-man-for-himself society »), « Les Américains consternés par la fragilité de leur puissance » (« Americans stunned by the fragility of their power »), « L’Amérique à vau-l’eau » (« America haywire »), « Le Naufrage de l’Amérique » (« America’s sinking »), « La superpuissance contrainte d’appeler à l’aide » (« The superpower forced to cry for help »), « Un rapport dévoile l’incapacité des États-Unis à bien gérer les dons étrangers » (« Report reveals the United States are unable to manage properly foreign donations »), « Une nation à la dérive : quand l’Amérique apparaît comme une société arrogante, raciste et amnésique » (« A nation adrift : when America appears as an arrogant, racist and amnesiac society »), « Nous avions peur d’être envoyés au Convention Center pour y mourir » (« We were afraid to be sent to die at the Convention Center »), « Les rebelles de la Fox : quand les reporters de la chaîne la plus réactionnaire du pays sympathisent avec les victimes de Katrina » (« The rebels from Fox : when reporters from the most reactionary US network commiserate with some victims of Katrina »). Reading back all these disgusting headlines shamelessly printed by the French press,

I would almost puke on our national flag.

Katrina killed 1500 people. 1500 dead that shouldn’t have been but please remind me how many people died during a simple heat wave in 2003 in France, country that claims to offer the « best health system in the world » ? And a country with five times less people as the United States? 15 000? 15 000, 1500 times 10? Are you sure?!
And what about the way the Iraq war has been covered by the media in France? In fits of abject hatred where lies and ridiculousness abound, the “Communist Party” beret-wearing, baguette-carrying trash goes hand in hand with the “National Front” baguette-carrying, beret-wearing trash to go dance the anti-American carmagnole, this all-too-familiar tune. And yet …

And yet, the United States is the only utopia that ended up working.


Bertrand Latour, preface to the Vietnamese language edition of George Orwell's 1984, Editions Underbahn.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Al-Dura Affair: France 2 Still Weaseling

The Blogs Extreme-Center and the Augean Stables continue to monitor the al-Dura affair, more to the point – monitoring the very typical “social management” of the deliberate lie’s effect on the reputation of a public institution.

To Patrick de Carolis, France2 Television
France2: Release the Secret Muhammad al Durah Tapes!


People around the world who depend on the media for reliability, accuracy, and transparency in reporting, demand that France2 release the unedited video tapes (”rushes”) that its Palestinian cameraman, Talal abu Rahmah, sent them on September 30 and October 1, 2000 from Gaza.
On September 30, 2000, your Middle East correspondent Charles Enderlin, broadcast a story about Muhammad al-Durah, a 12-year old Palestinian boy. Using the footage and the testimony from his cameraman, Talal abu Rahmah, Enderlin reported that Israeli soldiers had targeted and killed the boy. That allegation of deliberate murder spread instantaneously around the world.

Click here to sign the petition.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)


Hatred is its’ Own Reason

That is... when you’re a leftist

There they were, the determined self-flagellators, flooding the talkback radio lines moaning about what they saw as Australia's and Prime Minister Howard's misplaced but slavish devotion to the US and President Bush.

What's wrong with us, they whimpered, wailing even more when the President said America had no better friend than Australia. They whined about the inconvenience of roadblocks caused by the presidential motorcade: did he really need that many gas-guzzlers? they griped
But for all people of that ilk, the world is static, dictators can mean well, time is something that long ago stood still.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)


Celebrate Liberty



Fête de la Liberté

Sunday 16 Sepetember 2007 from 10-4

at the Charenton Conference Center

323 bis Rue de Charenton; 12th arrondissement, Paris
Metro: Porte de Charenton/Line 8 [Balard - Creteil-Prefecture]
Walking distance from the RER A and D lines from Gare de Lyon

5€ at the door. Students enter free. Dedicated child-minding area.



Map

Année Soixante-Neuf

Legacy Comes to a Close

Reporting from Berlin from the blockade and airlift to the fall of the wall, RIAS radio signs off.

Founded by the United States of America, DIAS (Wire Broadcasting in the American Sector), later to be known as RIAS (Radio in the American Sector), started broadcasting on February 7, 1946.
From the Blockade of 1948/49 to June 17, 1953, from the Khrushchev ultimatum to the erection of the Wall, from the Kennedy visit to the first Agreement on Permits, up to November 9, 1989, when the Wall finally came down: RIAS BERLIN was the Berlin radio station reporting live from the scene.
RIAS BERLIN, as the radio station in the divided city, was always at the center of the East-West conflict. At no time, however, did it run the risk of turning into a propaganda station. RIAS remained committed to the tradition of rational, critical American journalism.
Authority obsessed European critics of the US who ironically accuse it of just that – including allegations of “propaganda” and “imposing American culture may want to take note.

via Glenn Hauser

Soft Limp Power

In the same issue where it is suggested that Belgium would do well to snuff itself, The Economist argues that Europe should aim a little bit of its own celebrated lucidity at itself.

"And that is the final problem: even if the EU could unite, a Europe that has a static or even shrinking population has far less weight in the world than it once did. This leads Mr Sapir and his co-authors to an intriguing argument in favour of more centralisation. If relative decline is inevitable, Europeans might as well consolidate what clout they have left, and get some credit for being generous to rising powers. Take the question of pooling EU seats at the IMF, to free up chairs for emerging economies. If Europeans do not budge up, bodies like the IMF may simply lose credibility. In a phrase nicely calculated to get the attention of well-lunched Eurocrats, the book suggests: “If Europe refuses to share its place at the table, it may find itself increasingly short of dining partners in consequence.”"