Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thomas Friedman and MEMRI: ALL THAT I KNOW ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST I LEARNED FROM AN ISRAELI PROPAGANDA OUTLET. "The Iraqi newspaper Al-Umma al-Iraqiyya carried an open letter signed by 400 Iraqi intellectuals, both Kurdish and Arab, defending Alusi. That takes a lot of courage and a lot of press freedom. I can’t imagine any other Arab country today where independent judges would tell the government it could not prosecute a parliamentarian for visiting Israel — and intellectuals would openly defend him in the press." Thomas Friedman, now I can tell you, receives his (mis)information on the Middle East from MEMRI. Friedman does not tell you (and he does not know) that this newspaper is the mouthpiece of Allusi himself. He also does not tell you that no intellectual of note signed the petition, and that it was was signed by Allusi cronies and various names he collected. But the newspaper in question carries "independent" articles that are not commissioned by the Lincoln Group on behalf of the Pentagon. For example, this article about "This Greatness of the US" is truly independent and represents the views of the Iraqi people who are begging for the US to get the hell out of their country. Or this "independent" article: "Bush: success in Iraq will undermine Iranian regional ambitions." Oh, yes. But this is a trend: for US liberals and conservative, any Arab (no matter how sleazy how unsavory how anti-Semitic how autocratic how fanatic how blood thirsty how criminal) who calls for peace with Israeli occupation, becomes a hero and is immediately hailed as a champion of freedom. I mean, as we say in the US: what the fuck? Lest you doubt there is a conspiracy, there is an orchestrated fanatic Zionist campaign on behalf of Allusi.

PS Here is the list of signatories on the petition that Thomas Friedman mentioned. If can identify one of the signatories (aside from the famous Arkan `Ala' the "accountant"), Friedman will send you a 10-speed blender.