Monday, April 16, 2007

No Dial Tone

It didn't take long. In fact, it didn't take any time at all. Reactions to the rumored death of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston are already rolling in. ITN correspondent Alan Hart says in his blog:

There is a case for saying (repeat a case) that the party with most to gain from Alan Johnston's permanent disappearance was Israel. It would not be the first time that Israeli agents had dressed as Arabs to make a hit.

If Alan Johnston is dead, it's my hope that the BBC at executive management level will rise above its fear of offending Zionism too much and allow its reporters (Frank Gardner and Jeremy Bowen are second to none) to make a full, thorough and honest investigation.


Melanie Phillips, for one, is totally unsurprised by the unvarying reaction of British journalism to anything, even the death of one of their own.

Those who might have doubted that the British media is in general institutionally incapable of reporting the truth about Israel might note the weekend’s remarkable vote by the National Union of Journalists to boycott Israel.

The reason given for the NUJ's boycott is the "slaughter of civilians by Israeli troops in Gaza and the IDF’s [Israeli Defense Forces] continued attacks inside Lebanon following the defeat of its army by Hezbollah." No mention of Johnson by the NUJ of course, and probably none until Frank Gardner finishes investigating whether or not the BBC correspondent was kidnapped by the Jews. Phillips continues:

Incredibly, it appears not to realise that Israel is no longer occupying Gaza. It withdrew in 2005, with members of the NUJ actually reporting that seismic event. There is no ‘slaughter of civilians’ in Gaza by Israeli troops. The slaughter that is going on in Gaza — including the recent murder of small Palestinian children by Palestinian gunmen as part of the vicious intra-Palestinian gang warfare that is going on — is by Palestinians on Palestinians. Not to mention also the rockets being fired into Israel almost daily from Gaza, and the tunnelling and huge military build-up going on there in preparation for a redoubled — and definitely ‘pre-planned’ — assault yet again upon Israel.

Even more remarkably, given yesterday’s deeply distressing (although as yet unconfirmed) report that the kidnapped BBC correspondent in Gaza Alan Johnston has been murdered by Palestinians, the NUJ did not see fit even to discuss the fate of their colleague at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.

Possibly the real news here is not Johnston's reported death (which one hopes is not true) but the media reaction to it. Even after Daniel Pearl's beheading. Even after Frank Gardner was shot in Saudi Arabia while pleading "I'm a Muslim! I'm a Muslim!". Even after Robert Fisk was beaten within an inch of his life by his "friends" in Afghanistan. And even supposing that another tragedy has taken place, the reaction among journalists will be denial. It can't be true that their friends want to kill them. There must be some mistake. Surely Israel must be behind it. The Jew, that's it. The Jew. Just like the Jew was behind 9/11.

No it can't be true that they've completely misidentified the good and bad guys or else their little tidy journalistic world will fall apart and they will realize they have been living a lie; or worse, have been taken for for fools. Let's hope Alan Johnston is still alive, that he can be returned to his loved ones. Anyone who has him should realize there is no propaganda point to killing him; not by Palestine, not by al-Qaeda not by Israel. His death sends no message. People have long ago made up their minds about everything there is to choose from in the Middle East and are waiting, depending on their inclination, for a new Caliphate, the Madhi or the Mothership to arrive. Communication has long been at an end. The wire has been cut for years. Whoever has him should send Johnston home.

24 Comments:

Blogger Stephen Renico said...

My bet is that the BBC will somehow rationalize that it, as well as Alan Johnston, had it coming.

We've seen this kind of disgusting self-mortification before: witness the reaction of Nick Berg's father to the beheading of his son.

4/16/2007 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger ElMondoHummus said...

"There is a case for saying (repeat a case) that the party with most to gain from Alan Johnston's permanent disappearance was Israel...

... it's my hope that the BBC at executive management level will rise above its fear of offending Zionism too much..."


Oh my God. Is that man really that stupid?? When the hell did Ivory Tower disassociation and academic cluelessness infect the world of journalism? These are the sort of oblivious clichés you expect to hear out of someone who's totality of existence is involved in abstractions over real-world observation, such as a cloistered professor, not a travelling journalist.

Oh, wait... Walter Duranty and Stalin... what was I thinking about reporters and the ability to comprehend the real world?... guess the disassociation and cluelessness has always been there...

4/16/2007 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

...it's my hope that the BBC at executive management level will rise above its fear of offending Zionism

Oh. I don't know whether to laugh or vomit.

4/16/2007 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

As Alan Johnston is/was an employee of the BBC, I would imagine there is a life insurance policy laying about. In which event, I would modify Mr. Hart's comment to:
"There is a case for saying (repeat a case) that the party with most to gain from Alan Johnston's permanent disappearance was Mrs. Hart..."

Mr. Hart's blog has a biography attached, quite a read. Remarkable for its narcissism.

4/16/2007 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Anyone who has him should realize there is no propaganda point to killing him

I think the rest of your post refutes this assertion handily. The bad guys enjoy the happy situation in which no matter how evil their acts, it somehow redounds to their credit in the international media.

4/16/2007 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

You took the words right out of my mouth Jeff.

Since the BBC has already displayed its desire to see this as the Jews' fault, there's EVERY reason for Jihadis to off the poor guy. As long as they're not caught red-handed with the body, the media will heap the blame on Israel, no doubt about it.

4/16/2007 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 04/16/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

4/16/2007 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger pst314 said...

How about: "There is a case for saying that the party with most to gain from Alan Johnston's permanent disappearance is Alan Hart. Without incidents he can blame on Jews he would have to find an honest job."

4/16/2007 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Evanston2 said...

Wretchard, thank you for another great post. Minor correction: it's "Mahdi" (not "Madhi").

4/16/2007 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

"There is a case for saying (repeat a case) that the party with most to gain from Alan Johnston's permanent disappearance was Mrs. Johnston..."

That'll learn me to comment so early in the morning.

4/16/2007 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

He knows who to blame for the burning of the Reichstag...

He already posted responses to the commenters. The response to Ray is standard fare: decouple Zionism from Judaism, so that you can handily say, "Criticism of Israel/Zionism isn't criticism of Jews!" A neat trick, but so transparent nowadays through overuse that no one really is fooled.

Thanks for that link, Wretchard. I'm always on the prowl for those. Makes for good material when the folks at Daily Kos have one of their dry spells.

4/16/2007 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Sagredo said...

Hey, if the Iranians nuke Tel Aviv, that is also the fault of the Jews...virtually all the top scientists who created the bomb were Yids.

Of course, the crucifiction was the fault of the Jews. But also all the nasty things done by the Church for the last 2000 years---no Jews, no Jesus, ...right?

Seriously, responsible bloggers should agree to ignore these anti-semites (yes they are!). They want publicity. Let them die unread.

4/16/2007 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Sagredo,

They need to be publicized because they are by no means fringe. Jew-hatred, when dressed in the mantle of anti-Zionism or anti-Israel sentiment, is now all but acceptable. Denying them publicity won't make them go away. At the very least, I'd like to see more Jews realizing the Left isn't what it used to be in their grandparents' days and not deserving of a single Jewish vote.

4/16/2007 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Let them die unread.

Indeed. Some of the positions of the Left, MSM included, are truly contemptible and should be treated as such. Chief among those is Jew hatred. Not only is this recurring illness illogical, it's dangerous and evil. The people who advance it are also contemptible and that includes Cedarford.

4/16/2007 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

There is a case for saying (repeat a case) that the party with most to gain from Alan Johnston's permanent disappearance was Israel.

Not anymore, there is sweet f.a. being reported about violence in Gaza and what little there is does not include Israellis. If Israel was ever going to do anything it would have been 3 - 4 years ago.

Alan Johnston had become effectively anti-Hamas/Fatah by being the only Western journalist there and reporting what Hamas/Fatah are doing. Israel gains nothing by his departure.

4/16/2007 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger William Tyroler said...

Hart argues in the first instance that the Palestinians couldn't have done it because Johnston, the BBC's man on the ground, was on their side:
He was, in short, the best and most informed provider of news about the Palestinian side of the story ... which, in many of its details, is an embarrassment to ... Israel's efforts to break the will of the Palestinians to continue their struggle for an acceptable minimum of justice..
Such an embarrassment to the "Zionists" (love that code for "Jews") for that matter that they were compelled to "make a hit" on him.
But then Hart proceeds without pause to worry that that self-same BBC may be loathe to "rise above its fear of offending Zionism too much" and put Frank Gardner and Jeremy on the trail. (Talk about hit men and character assassins!)
In other words the BBC simultaneously was: responsible for bringing world-wide calumny to the "Zionsts" and yet trembling at the very thought of "offending Zionism." An elegant little illsutration, if one is needed these days, that the bigot is untroubled either by elementary rules of logic or by that larger governor, cognitive dissonance.

4/16/2007 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Hmm...

1) Zionism is racism

2) All Israelis are Zionists

3) All Israelis are racists

The BBC makes life so simple.

4/16/2007 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger pst314 said...

Muslim violence against Jews precedes the creation of Israel, and in fact it precedes the Zionist movement. In its self-professed justification it resembles what the Ku Klux Klan did, but in this case to "keep infidels in their place." But I don't suppose people like alan Johnston care.

4/16/2007 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

"Zionism sprouted from the modern political judgment that anti Semitism was endemic to European regimes and could not be solved through attempts at societal reform."
___David S. Ariel

The BBC, the UK boycotters, et al certainly reinforce this opinion.

One could argue that the present passivity of the current Israeli leadership demonstrates the death of Zionism.

4/16/2007 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yo, zionistyoungster, re your 1:29, this group has been saying the same thing as you, in ads running on FoxNews lately. Spread the word!

4/16/2007 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

If Alan Johnston is dead, it's my hope that the BBC at executive management level will rise above its fear of offending Zionism too much and allow its reporters (Frank Gardner and Jeremy Bowen are second to none) to make a full, thorough and honest investigation.

Hart does have a point. One hopes the BBC will be sending all its reporters to Gaza. Maybe Fisk wil think about joining them.

4/16/2007 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Buddy Larsen,

Yeah, I know, I've had the RJC website on my blogroll for a long time. Thanks.

Anti-Semitism on the Right is now fringe (Buchanan) and condemned (Duke); on the Left--all but acceptable, if just formulated in the Israel/"Palestine" debate. The two political sides have switched positions as compared to what was in the first half of the 20th century.

4/17/2007 03:52:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

I like the way william tyroler exposed the whacky thinking of bigots. I've never really met a smart anti-Semite. Something about vicious prejudice that bleeds out into the mind and dulls it all the way round.

I think Israel stands in the position of Constantinople - Byzantium - circaa 1450; the west is about to give it away to the forces of rabid Islam. It is a hateful thing to see and the BBC is the worst of the lot because they think they are all intelligent and progressive; the jihadis must appreciate their hatred for the west.

4/17/2007 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

So what was the difference between Soviet Communism and German Nazism? It wasn't anti-Semitism, they both featured it. The BBC is just carrying on in the footsteps of its fathers.

4/17/2007 11:27:00 AM  

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