Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Not knuckling under to Johnny Foreigner’s International Court

I reported some time back that a couple of months before 9/11, John Ashcroft took reports of terrorist threats seriously enough to stop flying commercial flights. I expected some degree of outrage, but instead the story was completely ignored. I think my original source was British, and the only attention its gotten in the American media has been in the Tom Tomorrow cartoon This Modern World.

Speaking of the media, CNN has been caving in to the Israeli government on how it reports on terrorists. This is after the local satellite company introduced Fox News & threatened to kick CNN off the air, and the Israeli gov. threatened reporters. CNN will stop reporting statements by suicide bombers (taped beforehand, obviously) and their families. Israelis have been complaining about moral equivalence in CNN reporting. Fine, let's balance out the terrorists with interviews with Israeli soldiers who bulldozed homes in Jenin with people inside (hey, I wonder how that UN inquiry is going. Oh, yeah.), or fired rockets from helicopters, etc etc. And their proud mothers as well.

Moral equivalency. Sheesh. I remember listening to the BBC in the 1980s, when Thatcher had declared IRA leaders unpersons in the media (following South African precedent), and they got some actor to dub Gerry Addams’s voice.

Since writing that, Ive seen a McNeil-Lehrer debate on the subject, in which a CNN flack talked about moral equivalency & not upsetting the families of Israeli victims of terrorist attacks. Just in case you thought of CNN as being in the news business.

Britain has been experimenting locally with loosening enforcement of marijuana laws. Headline in Daily Telegraph: Blair Under Pressure on Cannabis. And you know what could take the edge off that pressure...?

Bush looks like realizing that threatening to halt the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia in order to get his way on the International Court does not look good to the rest of the world. I don’t know, Bosnia occupied by soldiers from a nation which puts its own nationalistic goals ahead of international human rights standards, well at least its what they’re used to over there. Bush’s idea of a compromise would leave the court intact but give the US a permanent veto over its citizens actually having to appear before it, or to use his words, prevent them being drug in front of
it. The Unilateral States of America rides again.

The bridge & groom of that wedding party did survive, if anyone cares (the US media sure didn’t). The US media also, according to one British paper, gave far less time to this than to the one soldier in Afghanistan who got shot in the foot during a fire-fight. Moral equivalency, I guess. The US still hasn’t gotten its story straight on this one, no doubt in part because of the little detail that if the rocket was dropped by a B-52, as the original reports said, well a B-52 flies too high to be under any
threat from the anti-aircraft fire they claim it was under fire from.

Israel dismantles some settlement outposts. Empty ones. Big woop.

Note to Julius Caesar Watts: don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

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