Sunday, July 31, 2005

Two-for-One Terrorist Apologia in the Times

Readers of the Sunday New York Times today can enjoy, while sipping their morning coffee, a special treat: not one but two dreadful, offensive articles justifying terrorism.

Article No. 1 appears on the front page and is by Amy Waldman, filling in on the terrorism-apologist beat for Hassan Fattah. Picking up where the always-unreadable Hezbollah sympathizer Fattah left off, her article engages in a protracted process of guessing as to the "seething unease" that filled the breasts of the brave young men who slaughtered 56 Britons on 7/7. Well, rest assured she guesses in a way that is consistent with the Times policy of functioning as terrorist apologists, not even mentioning the degree to which radical Islam inculcates hate in its followers.

Waldman explains that the three murderers "turned their backs on what they came to see as a decadent, demoralizing Western culture. Instead, the group embraced an Islam whose practice was often far more fundamentalist than their fathers', and always more political, focused passionately on Muslim suffering at Western hands."

In other words, their acts of murder were justified. Shame on you if you believed differently. And if you made the mistake of finishing your breakfast this morning before completing this nauseating pap, shame on you again. Of course their "transformation" (into monsters) had "positive elements," she reports. Yes indeedy, there is a silver lining in every cloud. Did you ever read how Zyklon B from Auschwitz built up the Ozone Layer? Here we have similar delightful tidings spread before us. The radical Islam that sent them reaching for the dynamite kept these young fellows from drugs. Goody!

However, the main thing is that we have answers! Yes, the wrong answers, but answers. We have the answers that terrorists want dumb reporters like Waldman to provide, which is "the sense of injustice at events both at home and abroad that is far more widespread among Muslims than many Westerners recognize," plus what she delicately describes as "rigid and deeply political form of Islam that increasing numbers of educated European Muslims are gravitating to."

Though flawed by terminating with a preposition, this sentence comes closest to the "H" word -- as in hate -- omitted from this report. As is Times editorial policy, it is inconceivable that the Times would dare to accurately report that it was actually "seething hate" that drove these murderers.

Article No. 2 is an op-ed piece by Alan Cowell that poses the question, "Two Faces of Terrorism: Is One More Evil Than the Other?" Cowell doesn't have the guts to actually answer his own question and say, "Yes, absolutely! One form of turning civilians into body parts is totally justifiable!" So instead he just drops hints through innuendo and offensive remarks throughout his rambling and pointless article.

Thus we get: "In its broadest definition during most of the 36 years of the I.R.A.'s war, armed struggle was depicted as a means to national self-determination - sanctified during the second half of the 20th century by anti-colonial struggles. Liberation movements, from the African National Congress in South Africa to the Palestine Liberation Organization, claimed international legitimacy as the custodians of national aspirations."

This is the cowardly way of saying, "The Palestine Liberation Organization, founded before the 1967 war for the express purpose of destroying Israel, is an anti-colonial liberation movement."

We then get: "Leaders once dubbed terrorists - from Nelson Mandela to Yasir Arafat - became national and internationally accepted figures."

This is the cowardly way of saying, "Yasir Arafat, the Nelson Mandela of his oppressed people, was once unfairly dubbed a terrorist like Mandela, but we know now that he was never a terrorist and in fact he became an internationally accepted figure."

He does write one declarative sentence, however. Picking up from the Waldman apologia, Cowell says, "If there is an anger among many British Muslims, whose extremists provided the crucible of the London bombers, it relates directly to Britain's involvement as an ally of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. Short of defusing that anger, Mr. Blair cannot hope to undermine the enemy within..." Again, the same point Waldman made. The terrorists are justified in their murders by "anger" at British "involvement as an ally of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq."

These are, Cowell, tells us -- continuing to read the mind of the dead terrorists -- "legitimate" political aspirations. He then puts in a plug for the romantic, liberating IRA and PLO: "The last thing any Western government wants is to permit jihadists to be seen - by however small a minority - as the voice of Islam in the way the I.R.A. or the P.L.O. assumed the mantle of national spokesman and liberator."

Well, there is some truth to that, I suppose, if one adheres to the precept that death is the great liberator. However, Cowell is too caught up in his own deep-rooted biases to appreciate the unintended irony of his pro-terrorist essay.

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