Friday, February 17, 2006

A New Times Myth: The 'Pragmatic' Terrorist

In today's New York Times we see an example of a new myth in the process of formation. The old myth, "the myth of Palestinian moderation," is still alive, but it is looking so silly recently that it has been joined by a new myth: the "Myth of the Pragmatic Hamas."

Thus we have a story today entitled, "Pragmatic Hamas Figure Is Likely to Be Next Premier." After first noting that Abbas is "moderate," despite ample evidence to the contrary, we are told that "Hamas plans to nominate Ismail Haniya, viewed as one of its less radical leaders, for prime minister." We are told absolutely nothing to support this point of view, except that "While considered to be part of the more pragmatic side of Hamas, he endorses its fundamental positions."

In other words, he favors destroying Israel, establishing an Islamic state, using suicide bombings to murder Israeli civilians -- but he's a realistic guy! Pragmatic! Not a dreamer with unrealistic goals.

In an accompanying article out of Washington, meanwhile, the Times reports this breathtaking scenario in the event aid to the Pals is cut off:

The Palestinian Authority employs about 140,000 people, including 58,000 security personnel. Some Europeans say throwing them out of work would be analogous to dismantling the Iraqi Army after the invasion in 2003, sending into the street armed men who might then join radical militias.

Nossir, we don't want that! We want them to remain in the barracks, like World War One doughboys, singing "Lili Marlene." The Times is clinging still to one of its other myths, which is that there exists Pal "security forces" that aren't little more than gun-toting thugs.

So, old myths and new are coexisting cozily at the Times, which continues to prefer fantasies to reality in describing the Israel-Palestinian conflict.


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