Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Final Answer to Mr. Anonymous (Or Maybe Ms. Anonymous?)

In response to my post a few days ago titled “The Gathering Nuclear Storm: A Moment that History will Judge,” I have received a number of comments from an “anonymous” person around Milton Keys in the United Kingdom. Mr. Anonymous is unfailingly courteous which explains why I am taking the time to respond (for the last time). Mr. Anonymous certainly engages in classic moral relativism and accuses me of tunnel vision, and failing to look at the story from “both sides.” I deny that; I can safely say that I have certainly studied this issue far more than most and I believe that what bothers Mr. Anonymous is that I have, based on extensive analysis of this complex issue over a period of many years, reached a clear conclusion as to the nature and severity of the threat to Western civilization. I also make a clear distinction between the arsonist and the fire brigade, whereas Mr. Anonymous blurs that distinction at every opportunity, and dwells on what I perceive as a truly silly idea of a TV “debate” between an Islamic fanatic who lives in the 12th century, and has visions of the hidden Imam returning to earth at any moment, and… the President of the United States. Good lord! Anyway, Since “Anonymous” is from the UK I will now post a few thoughts on this matter from a number Englishmen who by Anonymous’ standards are probably also narrow-minded. First I give you Sir Winston Churchill's comment on Islam, from The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-250 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899 (over 106 years ago):

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of
commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property a child, a wife, or a concubine must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science (the science against which it had vainly struggled) the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."

Now Imagine That With A Nuclear Bomb.

While compiling his most recent book Never Give In! The best of Winston Churchill's Speeches, Sir Winston Churchill III discovered the following hand written speach delivered by churchill on the 14th June 1921 (75 years ago) hard on the heels of the Cairo Conference, at which he presided over the re-shaping of the Middle East, including the creation of modern day Iraq. He warned the House of Commons:

“A large number of( Saudi Arabia's King) Bin Saud's followers belong to the Wahabi sect, a form of Mohammedanism which bears, roughly speaking, the same relationship to orthodox Islam as the most militant form of Calvinism would have borne to Rome in the fiercest times of (Europe's) religious wars.

“The Wahabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practice themselves they rigorously enforce on others. They hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahabi villages for simply appearing in the streets.
“It is a penal offence to wear a silk garment. Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette and, as for the crime of alcohol, the most energetic supporter of the temperance cause in this country falls far behind them. Austere, intolerant, well-armed, and blood- thirsty, in their own regions the Wahabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account, and they have been and still are, very dangerous to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina ….”

In Churchill's day, of course, the viciousness and cruelty of the Wahabis was confined to the Saudi Arabia peninsula, and their atrocities were directed exclusively against their fellow Muslims, whom they held to be heretics for not adhering to the Wahabi creed - but not anymore.

Today the combination of the oil wealth of Saudi Arabia and the supine weakness of the Saudi royal family which - as the price for not having their won behaviour subjected to scrutiny and public criticism by these austere extremist clerics - has bank-rolled the Wahabi fundamentalist movement, and given these fanatical zealots a global reach to their vicious creed of hatred and extremism.

The consequence has been that the Wahabis have been able to export their exceptionally intolerant brand of Islamic fundamentalism from Mauritania and Morocco on Africa's Atlantic shores, through more than two dozen countries including Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, to as far afield as the Philippines and East Timor in the Pacific.

This is a stark challenge that today confronts the Western world and I fear it will be with us, not just for a matter of years, but perhaps even for generations. Whether the decision to invade Iraq was right or wrong, wise of foolish, is immaterial.
Sir Winston Churchill III

There is one more Englishman that should be quoted here as well. not from 100 or 75 years ago, but from a few weeks ago: "Even the issue of Israel is just part of the same wider struggle for the soul of the region, if we recognize this struggle for what it truly is, we would be at least along the first steps of the path to winning it. But I fear a vast part of Western opinion is not remotely near this yet…. whatever the outward manifestation at any one time -- in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in a host of other nations, including now some in Africa -- this everywhere is a global fight about global values…it's about modernization within Islam and out of it. It's about whether our value system can be shown to be sufficiently robust, true, principled and appealing that it beats theirs."
Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Los Angeles World Affair Council, August 1st 2006.

That is my answer to you Mr. Anonymous. Please put all of this in your pipe and smoke it slowly. I am not at all convinced that you are open to face truth and reality when it is so much more comforting to wollow in the murky depths of indecision, moral and intellectual ambiguity. Most I hope will come to recongnize that the days of such luxury are quickly disapearing.
Joe Gelman (not anonymous).

PS: Might I also suggest that you read these latest articles from two wicked Neocon writers David Warren and Victor Davis Hanson becouse us Neocons like to stick together you know:
Doing the Enemy's Work
Messy Democracy Still the Best Course

Christopher Hitchens Puts Bill Maher in his Rightful Place

I recently watched this episode with Christopher Hitchens on the Bill Maher show and was impressed by Hitchens’ handling of Maher’s demagoguery, and especially with his handling of the intellectually infantile studio audience that Maher seems to attract. Fortunately somebody edited out the nonsense coming from the other guests so we could get the full flavor of Hitchens’ remarks and they are that much more powerful. I remember it was not that many years ago that I held Hitchens in low regard. He has come a long way from his pathetic days as a Marxist and has evolved into a powerful, clear- thinking intellectual. Hat Tip: Jeffrey Mark

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another Case of Sudden Jihad Syndrome, This Time In San Francisco

When this item first appeared on the wires, my instinct was to declare it a “possible” case of Sudden Jihad Syndrome, because it seemed very similar to the recent attack at the University of North Carolina by an Iranian-American Muslim student on an SUV rampage. The name of this latest attacker is Omeed Aziz Popal who just returned from a trip to Afgahnistan. The fact that the attacker struck two people in front of the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco is too much of a coincidence considering the recent attack on the Seattle JCC only a few weeks ago. Although all the facts are not in so I am hedging slightly, but this is clearly shaping up as another case of Sudden Jihad Syndrome which will likely be ignored by the main-stream media just as all the other attacks have been. That’s why the blogasphere is so vital, The Neocon and others will follow this closely

The Bacteria of Stupidity
Will Ahmadinejad Stop in Time?

Developing: Another Possible Case of Sudden Jihad Syndrome In San Francisco

Poll: Americans Back Anti-terrorism Racial Profiling by Wide Margin

The Gathering Nuclear Storm: A Moment That History will Judge

Arnold de Borchgrave makes a number of important points about the probability of military action against Iran in the coming months, in his latest column in the Washington Times. At the end of the day when one cuts through all of the horse manure, it’s a rather simple situation; stand by and do nothing (i.e. talk endlessly about sanctions and all the rest of it), or take action to halt the Iranian march to the bomb before it’s too late. That is the stark choice facing us, all the rest is commentary. Nobody denies that these are two bad choices or underestimates the serious consequences of military action, and even de Borchgrave raises the specter of the draft. The question comes down to which reality is more disturbing? An Iran with the bomb (and all that implies for future generations and for Western culture), or the fallout from taking action to stop it? For the Neocon, and I believe for the President, there is no question where our duty for future generations lays.

"The president keeps reminding private interlocutors to think of how history will judge this critical period 15 to 20 years hence. He sees personal and national humiliation if he were to leave office having acquiesced to an embryonic Iranian nuclear arsenal. So odds makers bet sometime before the end of his second term President Bush will order a massive air attack on a wide range of carefully selected targets in Iran, in partnership with Israel, and against the advice of many of his advisers. Mr. Bush is convinced a nuclear Iran would pose an intolerable threat to U.S. national security and, as one former intelligence topsider put it, "he is firm in his faith that God agrees with him on that point, and certain that history will eventually recognize and properly appreciate his courageous and visionary leadership."
Arnaud de Borchgrave

Tehran by the Sea
Pronouncing Blame on the Israel Lobby

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Is Israel 'Slouching Toward Gomorrah'

A good number of articles recently have documented the change of mentality in Israeli society. This interesting article by Max Boot in the Weekly Standard is just the latest. But it’s not just foreigners who are making these observations, Israelis from both sides of the Political spectrum are also pointing out the perceived problem: Isi Leibler wrote What to do About Tel Aviv recently in the more conservative leaning Jerusalem post; a hard look at the disconnected and out of touch island that is Tel Aviv, with its rather embarrasing and desperate search to be perceived as hip as the world around it burns. While Israel Harel writes in the more liberal leaning Ha’aretz, in his article A Defense Force for the IDF, how many in Israeli society have come to view their soldiers as little children to be protected rather than defenders of the Republic and its civilians. A fascinating read.

The West Invites Attack
A Reminder of Who We Are and Why We Are Fighting
Use Harsh Sanctions, and Maybe Force against Iran

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Neocon Hero of the Day, Jordan's Prince Hassan: "Arab leaders stole billions from their people"

The Neocon spends a lot of time criticizing Islamic-extremism and analyzing the clash of civilizations. However, when an Arab-Muslim leader speaks out publicly and forcefully against this type of extremism, we feel a need to highlight and congratulate that leader. In this case, Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan spoke plain and straightforward truth while representing his country at a Kyoto International Conference today: "The Arab leaders stole billions of dollars from the Arab people and spent it on weapons to fight Israel, which they will never defeat, instead of using the money for health and education purposes to aid their people," Prince Hassan also attacked the Iranian nuclear development program. Hassan spoke against nuclear armament, especially on Iran's part, and said that it needs to be made sure that the nuclear project in Iran does not reach the stage of nuclear weapons. Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami was present at the conference. The Neocon Congratulates Prince Hassan of Jordan a real leader.
The Return of the Tribes
A GOP Terror Bump
The current clash of civilizations
What if the Heathrow Bombers Succeeded?
The Murder of an Italian Palestinian Apologist
What to do about Tel Aviv
What is Kofi doing for the kidnapped Israeli soldiers?

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Islamo-Penis Pump "Bomber" Takes One for the Team

This is a priceless piece called "Homeland security can't get over the pump” by Mark Steyn (the man in the photo, not to be confused with the penis-pump "bobmer") in today’s Chicago Sun Times: Enjoy this rather small sample:

"Mardin Azad Amin found himself in a tight squeeze last week when security at O'Hare Airport discovered a suspicious-looking object in his luggage. So, Amin, 29, handled the delicate situation this way: He told security the object was a bomb, Cook County prosecutors say. In fact, it was a, er, penis pump. But the unfortunate Mardin Azad Amin was traveling to Turkey with his mom and was understandably a little sheepish. So, faced with the potential social embarrassment of being revealed as a pervert, he allegedly preferred to pass himself off as a terrorist. Many of us chaps would do
the same in his situation, though one suspects rather fewer, when flying on vacation with our mothers, would pack a penis pump in our hand luggage. I hasten to add I've no idea whether Mrs. Amin took any maternal pride in her son's alleged claim to be a fanatical suicide bomber -- and even if she had, it would have been tempered by at least a mild irritation at discovering that she was also along for the ride." Ahhh, so many angles to this story, where to even begin?

Nasrallah ‘did not think’ act would spark war

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Fox News Reporters: "We Were Forced to Convert to Islam." Evidence of Stockholm Syndrome. "Conversion" Videotape Below:

"We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint," Centanni told FOX News. "Don't get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn't know what the hell was going on." He then went on to describe the Palestinian people as "very beautiful and kind hearted." Also still suffering from Stockholm Syndrome was camaraman Olaf Wiig who stated: "My biggest concern really is that as a result of what happened to us foreign journalists will be discouraged from coming to tell the story and that would be a great tragedy for the people of Palestine," Wiig said. "You guys [Palestinians] need us on the streets, and you need people to be aware of the story." Good lord! That's his "biggest concern?" Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological condition meant to describe the phenomenon of hostages who out of fear come to identify with their captors as a survival mechanism.

Centanni, Wiig convert to Islam

Venezuelan President Chavez to visit Syria to bolster ties
The Necessary Accounting In Israel
Our Strategic Intelligence Problem
Faint Hope for Lebanon
Western guilt blinds us to the nature of Islamic extremism
Time for Olmert to go
Squeezing Iran

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Chavez Seeks To Join The Axis of Evil

This Video is an incredible and disgusting display of arrogance and fool-heartedness. Certainly one expects these types of comments from Iran’s Ahamadinejad, but coming out of mouth of a Latin American leader is a big eye-opener. This is even more extreme behavior that one might expect from Fidel Castro. Chavez is rapidly gaining ‘Axis of Evil’ status:

Why Hezbollah Didn't Win
Where are the Muslim mothers for peace?
Islam's Trajectory
Iran's enablers
Chavez rips U.S., Israel during China visit
Russia rejects sanctions against Iran

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

'Ahmadinejad would sacrifice half of Iran to wipe out Israel'

Speaking of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Israel's former National Security advisor, Giora Eiland, predicted today in the Jerusalem Post that if he ever became the supreme decision maker in his country, which is a distinct possibility, he would "sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel." Ahamadinajad "has a religious conviction that Israel's demise is essential to the restoration of Muslim glory, that the Zionist thorn in the heart of the Islamic nations must be removed. And he will pay almost any price to right the perceived historic wrong." The article then goes on to explain the options in dealing with Iran, all of which are bad and worse than bad. This was one of the most depressing articles the Neocon has read in some time. It was accompanied by an image of Ahmadinejad literally looking like the devil.
Iran scores in world war
Some in G.O.P. Say Iran Threat Is Played Down
The Ayatollah's Answer
Iran leaves U.S., allies plenty of bad options
The Perils Of Using 'The Allies'

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In Hindsight: Passing on Nautilus Anti-Missile System a Major Blunder

The Neocon wonders way only following crises, are promising defense systems suddenly deemed “economically viable.” The billions of dollars in economic and physical damage incurred by a month long showering of katyusha rockets into northern Israel, not to mention the psychological effect and strategic threat, has prompted a new look at the Nautilus Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), an Anti-missile defense system that proved extremely promising and effective against short-range katyusha rockets. The US canceled its participation in the program, and/or (unclear to the Neocon) Israel passed on the system because it was deemed too bulky and not mobile enough, requiring the purchase of multiple systems, which at the time, and in the absence of vision, was deemed to fail a cost-risk analysis. Who made that call? My, my how things have changed. Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL)
Cancelled U.S.-Israel Defense System Could Have Helped
Boeing completes testing of tactical high energy laser
THEL is key component of U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation
Tactical High Energy Laser Wins Technology Grand Prize
U.S.-Israeli Katyusha-killing laser Passes Test
U.S. Cancels Rocket Interception Weapon Deal with Israel

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Germany Working Hard to Prevent a 2nd Holocaust

The Irony is lost on no one: The stance of the German government underlines a radical transformation for that country's people. While their grandparents' generation perpetrated the Holocaust, and the previous generation paid for the Holocaust with reparations to its victims, the current generation is helping prevent a second Holocaust by providing the IDF with some of the most important weapons systems in its arsenal. As far as corrective steps go, that's a huge one.

Tell Iran the Consequences
Relearning Lessons in the War on Terror
What Part of the War on Terror Do Dems Support?

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ahmadinejad Expected to Announce Iran's 'Nuclear Birth'

The Iranian news service Al-Borz, which is known to have access to sources in the Iranian government, predicted that on the first anniversary of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's government, in late August 2006, Ahmadinejad is expected to announce what the news service called Iran's "nuclear birth."

In addition, an August 23, 2006 article about Iran's reply to the incentives proposal, that was posted on the Iranian Foreign Ministry-affiliated website , implied that Iran's nuclear technology had already reached the point of no return: "... If the West is seeking to impede Iran's nuclear industry, it should realize that Iran has passed this stage." [1]

The following are excerpts from the Al-Borz report: [2]

"It is expected that the first anniversary of the forming of the ninth government will be the date of the Ahmadinejad government's 'nuclear birth.'

"... Together with [the celebration of] the anniversary of the forming of the ninth cabinet, the president of the country [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] will hold his third press conference... where he will answer questions from journalists from Iran and from abroad.

"In addition to detailing the activities of the government at the end of [its first] year, the head of the government [i.e. Ahmadinejad] will officially present Iran's positions on: economic and cultural matters, the nuclear dossier, the activities of nuclear research centers, and developments in the region."

Iranian foot-dragging may compel Israel to 'go it alone'
Terrorism: let's do the maths
Max Boot: Israel Should Hit Syria First
Senior Iranian Official: Iran planning nuclear 'surprise'
Why this man should give us all nightmares
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August 23rd: Another Day

The Palestinians new Play-thing: Fox News reporters Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig. They are demanding the release of prisoners held by the US at Guantanamo Bay, and have set a 72-hour deadline…or else… The usual Palestinian sympathizers are rushing to engage in PR damage control.

Advantage: Iran
After August 22
Time to Profile Airline Passengers?
12 "South Asians" Arrested After Flight returns to Amsterdam
Muslims "shocked" at ejection from jet by passenger mutiny
What Israeli security could teach us

NSA Judge May Have Conflict of Interest
Crossposted from Stop The ACLU:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and judicial abuse, announced today that Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, who last week ruled the government’s warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional, serves as a Secretary and Trustee for a foundation that donated funds to the ACLU of Michigan, a plaintiff in the case (ACLU et. al v. National Security Agency). Judicial Watch discovered the potential conflict of interest after reviewing Judge Diggs Taylor’s financial disclosure statements.

According to her 2003 and 2004 financial disclosure statements, Judge Diggs Taylor served as Secretary and Trustee for the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan (CFSEM). She was reelected to this position in June 2005. The official CFSEM website states that the foundation made a “recent grant” of $45,000 over two years to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, a plaintiff in the wiretapping case. Judge Diggs Taylor sided with the ACLU of Michigan in her recent decision.

According to the CFSEM website, “The Foundation’s trustees make all funding decisions at meetings held on a quarterly basis.”

“This potential conflict of interest merits serious investigation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “If Judge Diggs Taylor failed to disclose this link to a plaintiff in a case before her court, it would certainly call into question her judgment.”
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The Photoshop wizard who created this image knew what he was doing. The Hauptamt sleeve insignia shows why. From Islamic Evil

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

From LGF: How Much Does It Cost to Buy Global TV News?

The Neocon Express came across this fascinating article on Little Green Footballs that was posted back on August 11th. It is rather difficult to find so I am sharing it here. I do encourage folks to visit Little Green Footballs to read this and a good number of other great articles. This one was a real education for me:

An LGF reader who worked for Associated Press TV News sent me the following article explaining how APTN works, and suggesting a reason why their coverage of the Middle East is so overwhelmingly biased against Israel:

The vast majority of the TV news pictures you see are produced by two TV news companies. Presented here is a case for how a large amount of money has been used to inject a clear bias into the heart of the global TV news gathering system. That this happens is not at question, whether it is by accident or design is harder to tell.

You may not realize it, but if you watch any TV news broadcast on any station anywhere in the world, there is a better than even chance you will view pictures from APTN. BBC, Fox, Sky, CNN and every major broadcaster subscribes to and uses APTN pictures. While the method by which they operate is interesting, it is the extra service this US owned and UK based company offers to Arab states that is really interesting.

About the Associated Press

The Associated Press (AP) is a not-for-profit news gathering and dissemination service based in the US.Formed in 1848, the AP grew up from an agreement between the six major New York newspapers of the day. They wanted to defray the large telegraphy costs that they were all independently incurring for sending the same news coast to coast. Despite being highly competitive, they formed the Associated Press as a collection agency and agreed to share the material. Today, that six-newspaper cooperative is an organization serving more than 1,500 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast outlets in the United States. Abroad, AP services are printed and broadcast in 112 countries.

Associated Press Television News

Associated Press Television News (APTN) is a wholly owned subsidiary of AP. It was formally set up as a separate entity in 1994. It is run as a commercial entity and aims to make a profit. Any profit it does make is fed back to AP (which is non-profit making: APTN profits reduce the newsgathering costs incurred by the 1500 US newspapers that collectively own the AP). APTN is the largest television news gathering player (larger than Reuters, its only true competitor in this field). While AP is based in the US, APTN operates out of large premises in Camden, London. They have news teams, offices and broadcast facilities in just about every important place in the world.

APTN uses news crews and broadcast facilities all over the world to record video of newsworthy events (in News, Sport and Entertainment). These pictures are either sent unedited or very partially edited back to London. Most news is fed back within hours but they also cover and feed certain events live (news conferences in Iraq, press conferences after a sporting event etc.). Most of these stories are sent in with “natural sound”: there is no journalist providing a voice over, but the choice of what to shoot is in the hands of the local producer and camera crew. Local crews are sometimes employed directly by APTN, or more often “stringers” are hired for a particular event or paid for the footage they have already captured.

Once the stories have been fed back to the UK they are edited. This is a round the clock operation. The goal is to produce a 30 minute news bulletin comprising 6 or 7 stories every few hours. These stories are made by editing down the raw “rushes” that come in from all over the world. This is done by a team of producers who work for the news editor. They don’t supply a voice over but they do edit, discard and sequence pictures dictating the emphasis and direction of the story. They will accompany each story with a written description of each shot and the general reason this was a story. This is repeated for News, Sport & Entertainment with a geographical emphasis that shifts around the world as different markets wake and sleep. The output of this is called the “Global News Wire” (GNW).

The Business of TV News

This is how APTN makes its money: news organizations (mostly TV but not all) subscribe to APTN and pay an annual amount to both watch and then re-use the stories that are fed over the GNW. The stories are supplied with sound, but no journalist to do a voice over. Most commercial news stations (like the BBC, SKY, Fox or CNN) would take this feed, decide which pictures to use then re-edit it and supply an appropriate voice over for the story. The video comes with a written description of the shots and the events that occur in them.

The fee for this feed depends on the size of the receiving organization, their audience size and a negotiation with APTN’s sales force. It is pretty much impossible, however, to operate a TV news organization without taking feeds from either APTN or Reuters or usually both. The agreement with APTN usually allows the receiving news channel unlimited use of the video for two weeks. If they want to re-show those pictures after that they have to separately license the pictures (which can cost anything from $100 to $10,000 per 30 seconds depending on the content).

A Separate Service for Arab States
How Much Does It Cost to Buy Global TV News?

However, there is another significant part of their business model that affects the rest of the business. While most of the world takes news pictures with minimal interpretation beyond editing, the Arab Gulf States have asked for and receive a different and far more expensive service. These states pay for a complete news report service including full editing and voice overs from known journalists. The news organizations in the Arab countries don’t do anything (beyond verify that they are appropriate for local tastes) before broadcast.

What this means is that while there are around 50 people producing news pictures for the whole world working in Camden at any time, there are a further 50 Arabic speaking staff producing finished stories exclusively for the Arab states of the gulf. This has a tremendous effect on the whole feel of the building as these two teams feed pictures and people back and forth and sit in adjacent work areas. The slant of the stories required by the Gulf States has a definite effect on which footage is used and discarded. This affects both the Gulf newsroom and the main global newsroom.

This full service feed is much more expensive for the customers than the usual service, but it is also much higher margin for APTN. This is partly because there is great commonality in what they can send to most of the Gulf States taking this service: stories are made once and used in a number of countries.

Disproportionately Negative Coverage of Israel

Anything involving Israel is a favorite with Gulf Arab states for showing to their viewers. Could this be the reason why Israel receives such a disproportionate amount of particularly negative coverage especially and increasingly ever since the early 1970’s? HonestReporting is usually unable to decide which is most biased: AP or BBC. As the BBC is often using APTN footage, the difference is minor. A significant twist to what is seen, concerns what is not seen. Footage such as the Palestinian mob joyfully lynching two Israeli reservists in Ramallah in October 2000 is held by APTN’s library: any attempt to license this film for reshow is carefully vetted. Requests for the use of “sensitive clips” are referred directly to the Library director. This is not the case with clips that paint Israel in a bad light. Likewise, the re-showing of Palestinian celebrations on 9/11 is considered “sensitive”.

The way in which raw footage such as APTN’s is compiled into a news report and sent round the world has also been analyzed. The Second Draft gives a comprehensive view of how editing can make all the difference. APTN is the gatekeeper that sits between you and the actual event. You will never see what the editors at APTN see before they compile your evening news. What do you think is cut out?

The Wrap-Up

Was this organization set up with this in-built bias on purpose? Is there some way that the expensive payments made by Gulf state governments form part of a deliberate attempt to skew the media?

In “Islam and Dhimmitude” (2002) by Bat Ye’or on p294-296 she recounts how decisions were taken in the wake of the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 to try to put across an anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist message. Successive conferences resolved to contribute vast sums “to universities, centers for Islamic studies, international communications agencies, and private and governmental organizations in order to win over world opinion.” (p296).

The messages from these conferences stressed an addition to the more familiar violent jihad: they also emphasized the importance of jihad by the written and spoken word—what we would recognize as classic propaganda. Without question APTN’s interesting business model represents a concrete example of an ongoing financial “contribution” to an important communication agency promoting a pro-Arab bias.

The Jerusalem Post reports: In the face of Iran's race to obtain nuclear power, Israel signed a contract with Germany last month to buy two Dolphin-class submarines that will, according to reports, be capable of sea-launched nuclear tipped cruise missiles, providing Israel with a superior second-strike nuclear capability. The Neocon believes that Israel will have no choice but to also seek to acquire long range strategic bombers, such as the B1, and or even the B52.
Are Bush's Critics Right?
Germany Goes to the Middle East
Israeli leaders face a reckoning
What Is 'Islamofascism'?
The War on Terror at Five
Iran's Answer: We won't Stop Nuclear Activity
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The soul of a nation

In this excellent piece, the Chicago Tribune pays tribute to Joe Rosenthal, the man who photographed the flag rising on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima on February 24, 1945. Rosenthal died this Sunday in Northern California at the age of 94. Over 7000 US soldiers died in the battle of Iwo Jima. A small sample of the Tribune piece: “The action he captured -- a fleeting one-400th of a second -- became the best-known, most enduring photograph of World War II. The image of muscles straining, of hands letting go as the 100-pound pole rose, of a breeze filling Old Glory, inspired an America eager for World War II to conclude. The photo drew power from its composition--its triangles project strength and stability--but especially from its faceless Marines: To their countrymen they were the unknown, individually undistinguished soldiers who were triumphing over tyranny. “

Monday, August 21, 2006

Point of No Return?

What kind of people provide a market for videotaped beheadings of innocent hostages? What kind of people would throw an old man in a wheelchair off a cruise liner into the sea, simply because he was Jewish? What kind of people would fly planes into buildings to vent their hate at the cost of their own lives? These are the kinds of people we are talking about getting nuclear weapons. And what of ourselves? Do we understand that the world will never be the same after hate-filled fanatics gain the ability to wipe whole American cities off the face of the earth? Once these fanatics have nuclear weapons, those victims can include you, your children and your children's children. The terrorists need not start out by wiping our cities off the map. Chances are they would first want to force us to humiliate ourselves in whatever ways their sadistic imaginations could conceive, out of fear of their nuclear weapons. After we, or our children and grandchildren, find ourselves living at the mercy of people with no mercy, what will future generations think of us, that we let this happen because we wanted to placate "world opinion" by not acting "unilaterally"? We are fast approaching the point of no return.
Thomas Sowell

We Can't Continue Waiting on Events
Mideast Echoes Of 1938
Making the World Safe for Shari’a?
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Looking for the Will Beyond the Battlefield

I continue to marvel at the quantity and quality of material emanating from our side of the political aisle on a daily basis, especially in comparison to the other side of the aisle that seem empty of any intellectual idea other than “Bush is bad.” Ben Stein delivered a strong, thought provoking piece in the paper of shame yesterday. An absolute must read (no, don't buy the paper read it here); a small sample:

"…Who’s fighting for us in the fight of our lives? Brave, idealistic Southerners. Hispanics from New Mexico. Rural men and women from upstate New York. Small-town boys and girls from the Midwest. Do the children of the powers on Wall Street resign to go off and fight? Fight for the system that made them rich? Fight for the way of life that made them princes? Surely, you jest.
And that’s the essence. The other side considers it a privilege to fight and die for its beliefs. Those on the other side cannot wait to line up to blow themselves up for their vision of heaven. On our side, it’s: “Let the other poor sap do it. I’ve got to make money.” How can we fight this fight with the brightest and best educated rushing off and working night and day to do private equity deals and derivatives trading? How can we fight this fight with the ruling class absent by its own sweet leave?
I keep thinking, again, that if Israel, with its back to the sea, cannot muster the will to fight in a big way, then the fat, faraway U.S.A. will never be able to do it. I keep saying this and it terrifies me.
We’re in a war with people who want to kill us all and wreck our civilization. They’re taking it very seriously. We, on the other hand, are worrying about leveraged buyouts and special dividends and how much junk debt the newly formed private entity can support before we sell it to the ultimate sucker, the public shareholder.
We’re worrying whether Hollywood will forgive Mel Gibson and what the next move is for big homes in East Hampton. We’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The terrorists are the iceberg."

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August 22nd: Waiting for the 12th Imam?

The Neocon is skeptical (to say the least) of the various doomsday and Armageddon scenarios circulating on the internet. Indeed, the date does coincide with an important day of reckoning for many Shiite Muslims who believe that only following a massive conflagration will the world finally witness the return of the 12th Imam, which will usher in an era of world peace under Islamic law. Radical Shiites such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamadinajad are known to possess mystical beliefs in relation to the 12th Imam and the concern is that he may feel compelled to initiate an action on that important date on the Shiite calendar that will, in his mind, help to bring about the great conflagration (a number of experts suspect that is why he chose August 22nd as the day he will deliver his answer to the UN and its demands for a halt to the Iranian nuclear program). Hopefully, the various scholars and bloggers will be proven overly concerned.
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Hezbollah's faith-based terrorism
The London Plot: Real After All!

Thuggery & Trickery: How Islamic Terrorists Manipulate the Media

In this excellent piece by Joel Mowbray of Real Clear Politics, he lays out the case as to why there is often pro-terrorist bias in much of the main-stream-media (MSM). One point however that Mowbray failed to mention and I believe is possibly a crucial component to this issue is that Arab media themselves, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States pay a premium for Arab-Israeli conflict material generated by MSM and expect a tilt that will be acceptable to their audience. This creates an economic incentive for bias which is almost never mentioned, in addition to all of the other well argued reasons laid out in Mowbray’s piece.
Iran turns away U.N. nuclear inspectors...again
Iran says it won't halt atomic work
11 of 23 suspects in Britain air plot charged

In an interesting development, many Israeli reservist soldiers have signed on to a petition criticizing the indecisiveness and vacillation of their government. This is consistent with the Neocon’s assertions early on in the Lebanon conflict that the IDF rank and file were ready to take risks and do their duty no matter what the cost, while the IDF senior leadership and political leadership was paralyzed by indecision as the highly motivated troops waited like sitting ducks for instructions that never came.
The Threat and the Strength
Hezbollah’s Propaganda “Victory”
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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Op-Ed of the Day: Michael Barone's 'Our Covert Enemies'

Michael Barone hits the nail on the head with today’s op-ed “our covert enemies” to be found at Real Clear Politics. Barone is one of our favorite political analysts and is always guilty of clear thinking and straight talk. A small sample below:
"In our war against Islamo-fascist terrorism, we face enemies both overt and covert. The overt enemies are, of course, the terrorists themselves. Their motives are clear: They hate our society... and want to make us all submit to their totalitarian form of Islam....
Our covert enemies are harder to identify, for they live in large numbers within our midst. And in terms of intentions, they are not enemies in the sense that they consciously wish to destroy our society. On the contrary, they enjoy our freedoms and often call for their expansion. But they have also been working, over many years, to undermine faith in our society and confidence in its goodness. These covert enemies are those among our elites who have promoted the ideas labeled as multiculturalism, moral relativism and (the term is Professor Samuel Huntington's) transnationalism."

Let the devil take tomorrow
Photojournalism in Crisis
Americans growing nervous about role of Iran in terror
Staying Focused
Beware of a religion without irony
With doublespeaking France, honor gets lost in translation

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fox News Under Pressure to Change Coverage?

The Neocon suspects that the kidnapping of Fox News Journalist Steve Centanni and his Cameraman Olaf Wiig has to do with Islamo-Fascist efforts to bend Fox News Middle East coverage, and Fox’s coverage of the Global war with Islamo-Fascists in general, towards the type of relativists coverage currently offered by CNN and BBC, deemed more friendly to the Islamic cause. Fox News, whose coverage until now has been more pro-Western have been very careful in its handling of this difficult situation, rarely mentioning the subject except for intermittently publishing appeals from family members and respected Arab organizations with repeated mentions of how the kidnapping “hurts the Palestinian cause.” We hope that this terrorist-hostage episode does not mark the beginning of a reversal in Fox’s approach to coverage of the global struggle.
Muslim Myopia
Useful Idiots: Islam’s Best Soldiers
The Real Teachings of the Koran
Anti-Terror Weapons We're Afraid to Use
Not worth the paper it's written on
Stand with Hizbullah, Lebanon's army tells troops
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The civil rights lobbies are blind to the lethal nature of the new Salafist totalitarianism.

Quote of the day:
"It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of looking insufficiently progressive."
French Poet Charles Peguy

Israel's Broken Heart
Mr. Ahmadinejad's Neighborhood
Would the world really be a better place without Israel?
Reconsidering Our Opposition to Profiling
We must stand up to Islamo-fascism
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Jerusalem Post Establishes 'Christian Edition'

Regular readers of the Neocon Express know that we rarely dwell on religious themes, but this interesting item caught my attention because of the potential political ramifications. If the ‘Christian Edition’ of the Jerusalem Post takes off, as we suspect it will, it will undoubtedly become an influential voice for a very large population in the Western World. As usual, we also find the links below informative and interesting reading, particularly the poll taken recently in the US about attitudes towards the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"Star Wars" agency helps Israel on rocket threat
Iran says won't back down over atomic rights
Poll: Deep Well of Good Will for Israel in the USA
The Olmert government must go
It Is Islamic Fascism
The EU Idiot's Guide to Islamic Extremism
In Israel, the Political Casualties Start to Mount
Assad: America's Mideast 'an illusion'
UNIFIL chief Wants 'strong measures' to enforce UN resolution
Record immigration to Israel in spite of crisis
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LTC Randolph C. White Jr. Delivers Infantry Graduation Speech

Monday, August 14, 2006

Muslims to Face Extra Travel Checks in Britain

Bowing to common sense and to the obvious, the United Kingdom will soon begin to implement security measures at airports that will likely single out young Muslim males for extra security scrutiny. The idea of spending time, money and energy at endless airport security lines on Japanese grandmothers, Norwegian children, women from Ecuador or men from the Congo, is no longer a sustainable game when the system becomes so backed up as to be economically unviable. Everyone knows who the likely attackers are. That is not to say that proxies can’t be recruited by the enemy, and thus should not be scrutinized. But by forcing the enemy to recruit outside the profile, the harder it becomes for the enemy to formulate an attack, and ultimately, the safer we all are.
Syria: We Will "Liberate" the Golan Heights
Internal message to Fox News personnel about the kidnapping
CBS: Communication for Barbarians Service

"Democracies are in a fix. If your enemy will gladly die for his cause while you wouldn't think of dying for yours (not that you even know what it is: freedom? liberty?) then clearly the fight is not to the swift but to the suicidal. The obvious short-term remedy is cold, lethal, technology. But the reliance on high-tech stuff has not subdued Iraq and it utterly failed in Lebanon as well. These are the realities of the new warfare and if they are the "birth pangs of the new Middle East,'' then what is being produced is not some cute, babbling democracies but a hideous monster. Just wait until he reaches for a nuclear weapon."
Richard Cohen
Washington Post
Real Clear Politics

Know Your Enemy

Yes, the problem is 'Islamic fascism'
Iran launches Holocaust cartoon exhibit

Fox News Reporters kidnapped by Gaza “militants”

The kidnapping is undoubtedly meant to influence Fox News Middle East Coverage. CNN usually have less of a problem with Muslim “militants” because, like the BBC, they spend most of their days, if not sucking up to the Jihadies, than portraying a certain moral equivalency between the arsonists and the fire brigade. Fox News on the other had tend to try to make a distinction between the criminals and the police, something that the criminals are not always happy about, which may lead them to try to teach Fox News a lesson. We encourage Fox News to continue the path of clarity that has earned it much higher rattings than CNN. Fox should ware the animosity of the Jihadists as a badge of honor.
The Jihadi Big Tent
They are in denial over terrorism
Once again the trail leads back to Pakistan
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Bibi: This Was Israel's Wake-up Call

"This is a moment of unity and a moment of self examination. I don't mean simply learning lessons from the recent conflict. I think that we need to examine our collective self as a state, based on one basic principle – every living thing must do two things in order to survive: it must identify dangers and it must arm itself sufficiently to protect itself from these each generation there are those that rise up seeking our destruction. But since Hitler, there has not risen such a bitter enemy as Iran's president, Ahmadinejad, who openly declares his desire to annihilate us and his development of nuclear weapons in order to carry out this desire. Until he carries out his scheme, he is using his covert forces: in the south, Hamas, a Sunni force, and in the north, Hizbullah, a part of the Shiite arc that extends from Tehran to Lebanon."

Iran's militia mayhem
"At War With Islamic Fascists"
CAIR Doth Protest Too Much
Ahmadinejad's 60 Minutes Interview
Ahmadinejad Requested of C-SPAN To Air Full Interview
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Sunday, August 13, 2006

IDF Uncovers More Interesting Hezbollah Capabilities

The following photos just arrive overnight to the Neocon Express from our sources in the IDF. The photos illustrate a level of sophistication for at terrorist organization never seen before. A Mobil observation post placed in a private home, which was connected to a command and control center placed in a nearby school. Please notice the arial photo's of Northern Israel allowing Hezbollah the ability to see the IDF's defense posture and troop dispersal along the border.

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The links below are to some excellent reading today, including new pieces by Ralph Peters, Mark Steyn and Bill Bennet, three of our favorite writers. As usual, our side of the aisle produces excellent, constructive and time-relevant material. I truly pity our opponents who never seem to produce anything but the drivel of whining, defeat, surrender and retreat.
Pan-Islamism challenges idea of nation state
We should not tolerate the preachers of jihad
The New Age of Terror
The enemy within
Bill Bennet: Why Israel Fights…

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Chutzpah: British Muslims Blame Blair for Bomb Plot

In one of the most disturbing and graphic illustration of the deep penetration of Islam into Europe, and particularly in Great Britain/Londonstan, "moderate" British Muslim leaders took out full page advertisements in the British press today blaming Prime Minister Tony Blair for the recently discovered plot to blow up multiple airlines crossing the Atlantic. These Muslim leaders blame British policies in Iraq and Lebanon for radicalizing Muslims who may then take extreme actions. Wow!!! And these are the “moderate” Muslims! No word yet if the weather also may have been a factor.

Ralph Peters does it again! In his latest article in the NY Post from the front line Peters paints an interesting picture and delivers an accurate assesment warts and all.

How lucky can we get? first Raplh Peters and now Victor Davis Hanson's Surreal Rules brings us his latest and always insightful assesment.

Unrepentant Neocon
Why the U.S. Government Should Consider Assassination
On terror, many still don't get it
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