Saturday, June 04, 2005

On the accidental Koran urine-splashing

Cannibalizing from my own comments again, from Roger's:

As I went to my computer today, and my home page came up (Yahoo news), and I saw that the lead story (AP, naturally) was headlined, "U.S.: Gitmo Quran Was Splashed With Urine," I felt (and still feel) the strangest combination of weariness and anger.

I have become convinced that these stories will continue until the MSM gets what it wants. What it wants seems to be the election of Democrats. What it may get instead is the undermining of Western civilization and the tradition of the Enlightenment, I kid you not.

Sorry to be so gloomy, but this story crossed some line I didn't even know existed, with its absurd and self-destructive digging up and flaunting and trumpeting of anything--anything--that could get the US, Bush, and the military in trouble. Next it will be dust: "two US military personnel let dust blow on the Koran at Gitmo," and thoughtcrime, "Five Guantanamo guards lusted in their hearts about defecating on the Koran." Lost in the whole thing (of course!) is the fact that these prisoners are given Korans in the first place.

The Islamofascists can cut back on their budget for propaganda. The US press is doing the job far better than they ever could.

I'll calm down soon, I imagine, and this will join the long list of similar incidents that I hope, in the end, will not matter. But why is the press so determined to make the task of protecting ourselves as hard as possible?

I'm still reading Radical Son, and have gotten to the part dealing with how the press and the left protected the thuggier elements of the Black Panthers back in the Seventies. Remember radical chic? There does seem to be a consistent and time-honored concern on the part of the press and the left, dedicated to the protection of terrorists, nihilists, or anyone "underprivileged" or of the third-world who advocates violence--protection from any hint of offense or mistreatment even of the mildest (and most accidental!) sort.


At 1:01 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous someone said...

[I'll cannibalize mine, too. ;) ]

neo-neocon: I had the same reaction, but in an even more pessimistic key. Have we lost? Is the country this stupid? Even if the populace isn't, Bush seems deeply tangled in the nonsense himself.

Is Gitmo optimally arranged to extract intelligence from the enemy combatants we have there? If not, why not? How many of us have to die before it is?

At 1:48 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger THIRDWAVEDAVE said...

You aren't alone in your feelings this morning. The MSM is will continue to utilize this "kamikaze" journalistic technique in order to shape public opinion. Somewhere along the line, though, there will be a backlash.

At 2:16 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger Joan said...

Thanks for this... I saw that same headline several times yesterday, and each time it made me more angry. I'm so annoyed I can't even articulate it. You did a fine job.

At 2:27 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" ... why is the press so determined to make the task of protecting ourselves as hard as possible?"

The press is behaving like it always behaves. It's a strong-flowing river. Getting all wound up about it is pointless.

Expecting all reporters, editors, news outlets, blogs, witnesses and gossipers to focus on the positive and toe the line is, in a word, escapist.

At 2:33 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous meander said...

YES, YES, YES, (oh and did I mention YES). I am so sick of this nonsense and yet demoralized that the stupid MSM keeps putting this crap (speaking of defecation...excuse my language) out there!!! These kinds of stories give me such a headache because they seem to defy giving due credence to the logical stuff. You know, little facts like why are there even copies of the Koran around if this prison is so cruel and inhumane. I, too, really worry for our country because it's as if the MSM has declared war against the better interests of the United States.One keeps thinking and hoping that they will reverse course but they are in the throes of a powerful force that I don't think even they understand and the result for our country might be tragic and costly. Maybe I'm overreacting but it's so wearing.

At 2:37 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous colagirl said...

I'm with you, neoneocon.

At 4:14 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

This is the same MSM who splashed Abu Ghraib on the cover for six to eight weeks, yet something like 3/11 and Beslan but a week or two.

Two fundamental principles of propaganda being deployed: the meta-narrative and repetition. Repetition per se serves as substitute for substance, while Rumsfeld is a good example of someone who does not naively accept the meta-narratives being offered by the MSM.

At 4:43 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I think there are massive hunks of the population that really don't give a damn about the koran, and could give a (excuse the language) a rat's ass less about what happened to did not happen to it.

At 5:08 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muslims are stupid to care about the things they care about. I think muslims should learn not to care about the things they care about, and learn to care about the things Americans care about.

God bless our leader.

At 5:21 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger sammy small said...

On the other hand, headlines like that could be taken to mean that any other news of significance which would reflect negatively on the Administration's efforts must be going swimmingly.

I also agree with "someone" above that Gitmo seems to have become just a tad bit too gracious to its guests. If I were in charge, I would immediately remove all Korans from the premisis since they have become a serious distraction to the business at hand.

At 5:29 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 7:10 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous portlandpundit said...

You are all killing the messenger. This is just all deepthroat backlash, because you can't stand the fact that the press had a hand in bringing down Nixon and you'll do anything to make sure it won't happen again. What you don't realize is that Nixon brought down Nixon, and it's not the media who make Bush look bad, but it's Bush who makes Bush look bad.

At 7:21 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger THIRDWAVEDAVE said...

I guess Happy Hour hasn't started in Portland, yet. Or, that was Mo Dowd posting.

At 8:13 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

You suffer an acute case of Cronkite-envy. After visiting your pathetic, wannabe site, it is clear that you wish the division of good and evil that is so clear in your adolescent mind was as clear in everyone else’s worldview. You know, all those people who “don’t realize” whatever it is you realize (actually what you realized when you where sixteen, before your development was arrested for trespassing in reality). Sometimes the messenger is the guilty party because no one gave them the message, they made it up, or exaggerated it or repeated it well beyond reason. As an opponent of the war in Iraq, even I can see that what has been passing for news for the last two years is nothing but tendentious cr*p. Your site lists you as an educator; that figures.

At 9:04 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous portlandpundit said...


Why the personal attacks? That's really too bad.

At 9:09 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous anemone said...

Neo-neocon: Thanks for putting my feelings on this topic so plainly.

I'd like to send of copy of this post to the major MSM players - 5 times a day, every day - or until such time as they finally realize that we really, really don't give a toss about these maniacs' percieved issues about mishandling of the Koran or anything else for that matter.

Is it any wonder that the MSM are losing readers/subscribers/viewers at a record rate? Is it possible they can't be aware that this sort of thing is a main contributing factor to their irrelevance and lack of credibility?

Just another reason to tune them out for good.

At 9:34 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous fred said...

All this nonsense started with the "flushing the Koran down the toilet" stories. Now reports that it was the Islamist Gitmo detainees themselves who flushed pages torn from the Koran.

At 9:44 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Portland pundit - This is just all deepthroat backlash, because you can't stand the fact that the press had a hand in bringing down Nixon and you'll do anything to make sure it won't happen again

If you read neo-neocon's 'About me' statement, you'd notice that she was a lifelong democrat. I was also a lifelong democrat before 9/11. Neocon may be another word for a liberal who is so disgusted by the state of the Democrats nowadays, we have no choice but to lean to the right.

Speaking for myself, I'm glad Nixon got the boot.

Speaking of Watergate, here's a quote from Carl Bernstein about the mess that is the MSM:

Speaking to a crowd of about 200 at the Wyndham Westshore, he placed most of the blame on modern media outlets.
Bernstein, the former Washington Post journalist who, along with fellow reporter Bob Woodward, unearthed the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, said much of today's news has deteriorated into gossip, sensationalism and manufactured controversy.

That type of news panders to the public and insults their intelligence, ignoring the context of real life, he said. Good journalism, Bernstein said, "should challenge people, not just mindlessly amuse them."

He said the modern press lacks true leadership, citing such examples as AOL Time Warner and mogul Rupert Murdoch as media owners that have increasingly abandoned the principles of meaningful reporting.

"Their interest in truth is secondary to their interest in huge profits," Bernstein said.

Still, he said people can change that trend by exploring the Internet and piecing together from reputable sources their own news about important world matters.”


I mean really, water balloon fights and peeing in the general vicinity of a Koran? This is news? The next thing you know, Irene Khan of Amnesty international will be calling fraternity houses 'Gulags'

And the press will print that quote on the front page.

At 10:03 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Now that we know the Afghanistan riots weren't about the Newsweek report, and now that we know the detainees do worse to the Koran without getting upset, it appears the whole thing is a scam.

At 10:33 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

Portlandpundit lists A People's History of the United States as a favorite book. My goodness. But wait, there is a cure: vouchers and home schooling. The messengers must be attacked!

At 10:40 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

Countercolumn News Network - Three former U.S. guards at Guantanamo responsible for alleged Koran desecration will recieve a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, officials said today.

I also like this take at Countercolumn.

At 7:44 AM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous Je suis fatigué said...

It’s only going to get worse. From the AP (via the Wash. Post), last Friday, June 3, 2005; 9:25 AM (

"NEW YORK -- A judge has ordered the government to release four videos from Abu Ghraib prison and dozens of photographs from the same collection as photos that touched off the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal a year ago.

The federal judge issued the order late Wednesday requiring the Army to release the material to the American Civil Liberties Union to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

The ACLU said the material would show that the abuse was 'more than the actions of a few rogue soldiers.'

Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the 144 pictures and videos can be turned over in redacted form to protect the victims' identities. He gave the Army one month to release them."

Too early to say we’re doomed?

At 8:21 AM, June 05, 2005, Blogger knoxgirl said...

I agree that the endless repetition of stories like this is extremely frustrating and even depressing.

But at this point I tend to be optimistic in terms of the changing media. I think average American is able to discern what is important news and what isn't, and they certainly don't have the myopic anti-American zeal of the average journalist.

As a result, the New Media will simply continue to take up more an more of the market share and crowd out the Leftist voice of the Old Media that has dominated for so long. Or at least provide more and more balance.

At 9:18 AM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous terrytj said...

Thanks,neo. you describe the seemingly time-honored practice by the MSM /left of defending & protecting violent/nihilists.
you discuss this in your Viet nam series. many journalists/leftists appear to be locked into that identity, sometimes seeming like angry teenagers. Disagreement with policy is one thing, but the endless reporting of koran splashing-trampling-improper-touching is just absurd. reporting just the facts? nonsense. In it's tone and quantity, it's become propoganda. Trash the American military. Trash the current administration. Trash America. Then bring in the warm & fuzzy, far more humane UN-loving democrats to save us.

At 11:53 AM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

knoxgirl--I agree that, as time goes on, more and more Americans are rejecting this sort of thing.

But it continues its effect worldwide. Decades of this sort of activity on the part of the highly respected MSM, the BBC, etc. (plus people such as Michael Moore being the darling of the European lecture circuit) have taken their toll, and contributed mightily (not caused, but contributed) to the virulence of anti-Americanism around the world.

At 12:34 PM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The left is just as suspicious of the media as you all seem to be.

9/11 severed the corpus collosum of your culture's collective mind, spawing echo chambers such as this blog, where visitors make absurd generalizations -- really, really absurd generalizations -- about the integrity of the other half of the brain.

It's fascinating! Thanks for the entertainment.

At 1:02 PM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous someone said...

More -- much more -- insane and dangerous grandstanding to follow.

Due process rights? They're noncitizens who've never touched US soil. They have no rights. Meanwhile, who's going to run an inquiry as to the efficacy of this setup, or the setup Specter and friends want to impose on us? No one, until many more Americans die.

At 1:37 PM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous portlandpundit said...


You forgot One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Great Gatsby, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

At 1:40 PM, June 05, 2005, Blogger Paul said...

You're not the only one who's disgusted with the press. There's the constant repetition about Gitmo and Abu Ghraib but we are never treated to how the other side talks and behaves. Just for example, courtesy of on sermon & mecca):

Friday Sermons in Saudi Mosques: Review and Analysis
Part I - 'The Christians and the Jews are "Infidels," "Enemies of Allah"'

Part II - 'Jews - The Descendants of Pigs and Apes'

Part III - 'It is Impossible to Make Peace With the Jews'

Part IV - 'Muslims Must Educate Their Children to Jihad… and to Hatred of Jews and Christians'

Part V - 'The Palestinian Struggle Must be An Islamic Jihad'

Part VI - 'Muslim Women's Rights are a Western Ploy to Destroy Islam'

BTW, these are all from 2002, well before the invasion of Iraq. There's plenty of this in the same vein that is more up to date. If the Christian conservatives spoke this way we'd hear about it. A lot.

There is little or no discussion about beheadings, suicide bombers, honor killings of women, child abuse, corruption, and general lawlessness that goes on in Arab societies. But we don't talk about how nasty the other side is because that would be very un-PC and hurt their feelings.

We are really engaged in a clash of civilizations but the press doesn't get it. Which is not surprising since journalism is a no-knowledge craft that isn't very hard, fifteen year olds do a very credible job of it every day on high school newspapers. The news of the world comes to us every day filtered through the minds of eloquent idiots.

At 2:13 PM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We are really engaged in a clash of civilizations ..."

Yes, Paul, precisely.

At 2:14 PM, June 05, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

Anon 1:34,
Typical. “It’s fascinating!” =
“I’m anonymous (wearing my shades) and I’m laughing at you!”
It’s a typical attempt at intimidation. Don’t debate; mock and silence.
(Actually, as a univ prof I see this stuff all the time: half-arsed grad students trying to intimidate undergrads into not chatting among themselves about politics by mocking them)
Of course if he opened himself up to debate he would have to explain that the problems that the left has with the media is that fails to explicitly posit Chomskyesque views on US foreign policy and “social justice” perspectives on domestic affairs; a failure by omission, which is quite different than the failure by repetition and sense of proportion that has been noted here.

At 2:39 PM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad, you're a university prof? What's your last name? Where do you teach? What's your field?

At 3:23 PM, June 05, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

Anon, wow you're an interesting person! Actually Brad is just a blog name. Last name: Churchill. Univ: CU. Field: ethnic studies.
How 'bout you?

At 4:56 PM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch, Brad, that was awkward.

Speaking of Ward Churchill and the echo chamber phenomenon, why doesn't everybody stretch their legs and read the notorious essay itself? The link includes press coverage and post-game analysis.

The left's problems with the media are a tad more involved. This site covers the issue from the left's pov: Democracy Now.

btw, 9/11 did alienate American citizens from one another, I find that tragic, this is an echo chamber, echo chambers are full of people making outrageous generalizations about the left/right, the culture war is fascinating and some places, such as this site, are entertaining.



At 5:19 PM, June 05, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

9/11 severed the corpus collosum of your culture's collective mind, spawing echo chambers such as this blog,...

It's fascinating! Thanks for the entertainment.

Wow, God dropped by. Hey God, glad to oblige. Should we sacrifice a goat or something?

At 5:20 PM, June 05, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

Yes I agree with you, you are sorry.

At 6:02 PM, June 05, 2005, Blogger knoxgirl said...

The thing that's so amusing about trolls who come to this blog is that they consistently ignore a defining trait of its author and many of the frequent commentors here: these are people who have come, slowly, often painfully, to change their minds on complex issues. Most remain stalwart liberals in many areas, but have come to identify themselves as "neocons" in the area of foreign policy. This is the context in which all discussion takes place here.

All of which makes it entertaining to us when someone stops by to drop smarta*s comments like "echo-chamber" or "stretch your legs."

This is one of the FEW blogs you will find on politics that has people who do not necessarily identify strictly as Liberal or Conservative, and think for themselves, not along party lines.

In contrast, the trolls who post here often dismiss the discussion as closed-minded and reactionary--simply because they disagree!

Please go troll on some partisan site, where you know what you're talking about and are safe making such asinine comments.


At 8:18 PM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous Scrapiron said...

It is time for the U.S. to comply 100% with the Geneva Convention. Take all the prisoners out of Gitmo, give them each a Koran to hold over their heart, and shoot them through the Koran. They were all captured on the field of battle without a uniform. The law is the law. Also, give the field commanders the authority to shoot, on the spot, every person they capture on the field of battle without a uniform. Give the ACLU and Am-nasty international credit for the change in policy. I will forward this recommendation to my Senators tomorrow so they can debate the policy change when the nuts bring up the so called abuse at Gitmo.

At 9:03 PM, June 05, 2005, Anonymous Neo said...

This story has now achieved the "Terri Schiavo" critical mass. The only question now is just how it will explode.

The possibilities (that I thought of):
1) Michael Isikoff will become the target of a "urine splashing"
2) as a show of ecumenism, "Piss Christ" will be put on exhibition at Gitmo
3) Newsweek will be surrounded by angry Muslims carrying Qurans
4) officials of Amnesty International will be jailed at Gitmo
5) readership of newspapers will continue to plummet.

At 11:31 PM, June 05, 2005, Blogger Alex said...

Good response to the trolls, knoxgirl. Unfortunately I can't imagine it will make a particle of difference.

At 9:27 AM, June 06, 2005, Anonymous terrytj said...

Thanks Knox girl!
I live on the upper west side of manhattan where there also lives a man who in several op-eds in the NYSUN calls himself Mr X. A former Democrat now Republican, his change of mind applies specifically to foreign policy of the current admin vs that of the John
Kerry/kennedy/Pelosi/UN-loving group.X has described the awkwardness, the shunning, the smug groupthink atmosphere of friends and collegues when he voiced his new position. Dozens of other NYers have written the The Sun in support. Thanks for pointing out the layer of experience that informs the opinions of those of us who relate to neo-ness.

At 11:59 AM, June 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed the inconsistency in the left's demand for sensitivity toward Islam on the one hand and for complete separation of church and state on the other? No one on the left would ever condone deliberate effort by the state not to offend, let alone to respect, Jewish or Christian sensitivities. There's no amount of humiliation that Christians and Jews aren't asked to bear by the left, which reserves for itself the right to defame Judaism and Christianity at will. At the same time, there's no amount of unintended slight toward the religious beliefs of Islamic extermists that the left will accept the way it often accepts deliberate acts of violence toward Christians and Jews. The contradiction shows an intellectual perversity and moral depravity that truly is frightening to me.

At 12:01 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger LHM said...

I have found myself equally frustrated by this never ending story.

While you are correct in your comments regarding the Democrats (Socialists), I fear that our enemies will continue to use such tactics in the future.

I have posted several essays on this event and given my thoughts from my perspective here in a Muslim country.

An American Expat in Southeast Asia

At 6:37 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To an "Anonymous" statement just above:

The "Left" doesn't have to defame Judaism or Christianity, they are doing a fine job all on their own.

At 7:10 PM, June 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho Chi Minh:

If they don't have to engage in all their defaming then why do they devote such a huge amount of time and effort to it? Might add that with a hundred million+ murdered in the last century and all the other lives wasted as well that lefties are one to speak about doing 'a fine job on their own'. Which is another reason lefties need to devote so much time to public relations. -differnt anonymous

At 11:00 PM, June 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear all of you, truly.

knoxgirl, that may be the context of the conversation, but the content is a rose.

And a rose is a rose is a rose.


9/11 did alienate American citizens from one another, I find that tragic, this is an echo chamber, echo chambers are full of people making outrageous generalizations about the left/right, the culture war is fascinating and some places, such as this site, are entertaining.

chuck, the rose is a metaphor.


At 6:28 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To "A different Anonymous":

Blowing a whistle on someone or thing is not defaming, it's a duty.
Or is Israel (with the Palestinians) and Christianity (supporting fascism) above reproach to you?

Neither do I buy that Communism, or Islam today is something we had to, or have to fight. If we piss them off they will, and they are, and did. In a state of war and utter desperation America too would resort to "strong arm" tactics which could be seen later (if properly twisted and taken out of context for propoganda purposes) as representing an inherently evil force. Just ask an American Indian or African American, or anyone else abused out of our national necessities. When speaking of "Leftist" crimes, be careful not to take events out of their historic context.

Besides that another thing capitalist and communsit countries have in common is they both get steamin' mad when someone tries to over throw them.

And since you're on the look-out for Leftist public relations enterprises, take a look at Cuba, much better off then neighbouring Haiti, a U.S. satellite since we first invaded it in 1828, now the arm pit of the world. Compare Vietnam, now the 2nd (or 1st?) exporter of rice in the world to neighbouring Philippines, also a U.S. colony, and now number 1 exporter of human slaves and prostitution. The Maoist kibbutz system, what built Israel out of nothing (something we send our kids to because it's good for their character) seemed to work fine for them. And a visit to Shanghai today is sure to convince anyone Communism doesn't work (not).

Now this "Lefty" is telling you we're radicalisng Isalm today he same was we radicalised Communism. Big mistake.

At 11:26 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho Chi Minh: Bit of a shell game you're playing there. Maybe call yourself P. T. Barnum instead of Ho Chi Minh. You'll have to find some other dog to fetch your sticks. That's what i'm telling you Ho Chi Barnum.

At 11:57 AM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Bill C said...

Consider yourself pinged.


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