Thursday, July 27, 2006

Must be sweeps month: Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV

Next time you find yourself complaining that CNN or Fox is a little too one-sided for your tastes, tune-in to Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV, based in Beirut. So far, the station has not been struck by Israeli missiles knocked off the air nor its information services closed.

Among today's headlines:

Starbucks thanks costumers for contributing in paying for Israel's weaponry

Main headline in Iranian newspaper: Tel Aviv evacuated

Israeli reserve combat soldiers refuse to take part in "missions of occupation and aggression"

Rice in Israel: a ceasefire is not at any price


Michael Gillespie said...

You write that Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV in Beitut "has not been struck by Israeli missiles." But CNN and most other major news organizations, including the Israeli newspapers (see below), have all reported that Al-Manar has been struck, early and repeatedly. Do you have your own little disinformation campaign going here on Under the News, Ron? Or did you simply miss the many reports that the Israeli air force is pounding Al-Manar in an attempt to silence Hezbollah's voice?,7340,L-3276311,00.html

IDF strikes al-Manar television station in Beirut

The Israel Air Force bombed Hizbullah's television station al-Manar, which is located in Beirut.

This is the third time in the past few days that the building is struck by the IDF. (Ynet)

(07.16.06, 03:16)

Ron Franscell said...

No, not disinformation, merely a misstatement on my part (whioch will be corrected shortly): While Israeli missiles/bombs might have hit the Al-Manar building, the operation has not be knocked off the air nor prevented from disseminating its information.

Michael Gillespie said...

Can you understand why, coming from an accomplished author and newspaper editor who has traveled in the region and ought to know better, such misstatements might be perceived as evidence of bias or part of a disinformation campaign, especially when there is an identifiable pattern of misinformation, such as the map of supposedly Arab countries, which you posted on Tuesday, July 25, titled, "End the Unjust Jewish Occupation of Arab Land!" Many of the lands on that map are not, in fact, Arab lands. And many Arab lands are not on that map. The map you posted is propaganda, pure and simple. It is typical of the kind of ignorance and exaggeration that are part and parcel of all too many Westerners' attitudes regarding the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Ron Franscell said...

I don't think the map was as much propaganda as it was classical sarcasm. And please note that my headline uses the word "Muslim," not Arab. The wording on the map is not mine, but the original mapmakers', and part of the artwork.

Not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. For readers who want to understand the difference between Arabs and Muslims, here's a very good explanation from Yale University:

"Arab is a term that refers to an ethnic group made up of a member of an Arabic-speaking people who share a distinct culture. On the other hand, Muslim is a term that refers to a person who practices the religion of Islam. The fact is that some, if not most, Arabs are Muslims. However, some are not. Many Arabs, especially in Lebanon, are Christians. On the other hand, some Muslims are Arabs, but most are not. Another clarification should be made. All Palestinians are Arabs but not all Palestinians are Muslims. In fact, some of the Palestinian leaders such as Hannan Ashrawi and Edward Said are Christians."

Michael Gillespie said...

The fact remains: With regard to perhaps the single most sensitive issue in international, interfaith, and interracial relations today, here on Under the News you're posting misstatements and sarcasm instead of soundly researched, accurate, and informative information that might enlighten your readers. You and I both know you can do better than that--as you did by posting the clarifying information above about the difference between the terms "Arab" and "Muslim". American audiences desperately need accurate, thoughtful, informative views regarding the Middle East, not misstatements and sarcasm. Wouldn't you agree?

Ron Franscell said...

No, we need more misstatements and sarcasm. It's an inviolable rule of the blogosphere: "Soundly researched, accurate, and informative information" will not be tolerated.

ArielLives said...

No, what Gillespie means is that you apologize for the terrorists, who are after all just misunderstood innocent waifs who only want a hug. The world needs to understand Israel's true evil intentions to put gefilte fish on every table and a giant matzo in every garage. If only the world had heard us when we cried out against the cunning wickedness of bagel-and-a-schmear!! Oh, when will they listen?? The horror! The horror!

Bill said...

GoHuskers said...

Americans have killed more American soldiers than Israelis ever did. In the first Gulf War, fully 41% of casualties are attributed to Americans firing on Americans, even though our technical capabilities were the best they'd ever been. Did they kill their comrades deliberately? Does the mere fact that an American fired the shot that killed another American prove malice and premeditation? Why can't there be accidents?

Conspiracy theories are just theories, often to sustain the theorist in some way. Just like the bombing of the UN observation post is now proving to not be so black and white as the Hezbollah-lovers want it to be, the USS Liberty might not be as black and white as some conspriracy junkies think. Should we break off relations with Japan because they deliberately bombed us on December 7, 1941, and we can prove it? Is the Japan of 1941 the same as Japan of 2006? What about England, which delibertaley burned down the White House almsot 200 years ago? Nuke them? Get over it, fellows.

R. B. Scott said...

"The Insane Brutality of the State of Israel"

Atrocities in the Promised Land

former CIA analyst

Words fail; ordinary terms are inadequate to describe the horrors Israel daily perpetrates, and has perpetrated for years, against the Palestinians. The tragedy of Gaza has been described a hundred times over, as have the tragedies of 1948, of Qibya, of Sabra and Shatila, of Jenin -- 60 years of atrocity perpetrated in the name of Judaism. But the horror generally falls on deaf ears in most of Israel, in the U.S. political arena, in the mainstream U.S. media. Those who are horrified -- and there are many -- cannot penetrate the shield of impassivity that protects the political and media elite in Israel, even more so in the U.S., and increasingly now in Canada and Europe, from seeing, from caring.

But it needs to be said now, loudly: those who devise and carry out Israeli policies have made Israel into a monster, and it has come time for all of us -- all Israelis, all Jews who allow Israel to speak for them, all Americans who do nothing to end U.S. support for Israel and its murderous policies -- to recognize that we stain ourselves morally by continuing to sit by while Israel carries out its atrocities against the Palestinians.

A nation that mandates the primacy of one ethnicity or religion over all others will eventually become psychologically dysfunctional. Narcissistically obsessed with its own image, it must strive to maintain its racial superiority at all costs and will inevitably come to view any resistance to this imagined superiority as an existential threat. Indeed, any other people automatically becomes an existential threat simply by virtue of its own existence. As it seeks to protect itself against phantom threats, the racist state becomes increasingly paranoid, its society closed and insular, intellectually limited. Setbacks enrage it; humiliations madden it. The state lashes out in a crazed effort, lacking any sense of proportion, to reassure itself of its strength.

The pattern played out in Nazi Germany as it sought to maintain a mythical Aryan superiority. It is playing out now in Israel. “This society no longer recognizes any boundaries, geographical or moral,” wrote Israeli intellectual and anti-Zionist activist Michel Warschawski in his 2004 book Towards an Open Tomb: The Crisis of Israeli Society. Israel knows no limits and is lashing out as it finds that its attempt to beat the Palestinians into submission and swallow Palestine whole is being thwarted by a resilient, dignified Palestinian people who refuse to submit quietly and give up resisting Israel’s arrogance.

We in the United States have become inured to tragedy inflicted by Israel, and we easily fall for the spin that automatically, by some trick of the imagination, converts

Israeli atrocities to examples of how Israel is victimized. But a military establishment that drops a 500-pound bomb on a residential apartment building in the middle of the night and kills 14 sleeping civilians, as happened in Gaza four years ago, is not a military that operates by civilized rules.

A military establishment that drops a 500-pound bomb on a house in the middle of the night and kills a man and his wife and seven of their children, as happened in Gaza four days ago, is not the military of a moral country.

A society that can brush off as unimportant an army officer’s brutal murder of a 13-year-old girl on the claim that she threatened soldiers at a military post -- one of nearly 700 Palestinian children murdered by Israelis since the intifada began -- is not a society with a conscience.

A government that imprisons a 15-year-old girl -- one of several hundred children in Israeli detention -- for the crime of pushing and running away from a male soldier trying to do a body search as she entered a mosque is not a government with any moral bearings. (This story, not the kind that ever appears in the U.S. media, was reported in the London Sunday Times. The girl was shot three times as she ran away and was convicted to 18 months in prison after she came out of a coma.)

Critics of Israel note increasingly that Israel is self-destructing, nearing a catastrophe of its own making. Israeli journalist Gideon Levy talks of a society in “moral collapse.”

Michel Warschawski writes of an “Israeli madness” and “insane brutality,” a “putrefaction” of civilized society, that have set Israel on a suicidal course. He foresees the end of the Zionist enterprise; Israel is a “gang of hoodlums,” he says, a state “that makes a mockery of legality and of civil morality. A state run in contempt of justice loses the strength to survive.”

As Warschawski notes bitterly, Israel no longer knows any moral boundaries -- if it ever did. Those who continue to support Israel, who make excuses for it as it descends into corruption, have lost their moral compass.

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on Middle East issues for 30 years. She is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession. She can be reached at

Gohuskers said...

So let me get this straight: Iran, Hezbollah, Osama bin Laden, Syria, Hamas and anybody who supports the genocidal eradication of Israel is a heroic good guy ..... and the USA, Israel, the UK and supporters of the legal state of Israel are the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany. Folks, you have some serious mental issues.

Michael Gillespie said...

Well, I, for one, don't know anyone who calls for or supports "the genocidal eradication of Israel." I wholeheartedly support the right of the Israeli people and the state of Israel to exist and prosper as a people and a state within the pre-1967 war bounraries. I endorse U.N. Resolution 242's land-for-peace formula, supported by seven successive U.S. presidents. I support Middle East solutions that are consistent with the Charter of the United Nations and traditional American support for human rights, self-determination, and fair play.

True friends of Israel can hardly support criminal acts that turn world opinion against Israel and rachet up anti-Jewish feeling around the globe. Israel's repeated attacks on defenseless civilians, ethnic cleansing, and collective punishment, as we have seen so often in Palestine and, now, once again in Lebanon, do immeasurable harm to the legitimate interests of Israel and Israelis. To the extent that the U.S. government supports and encourages such crimes and commits similar crimes in Iraq, the legitimate interests of the United States are seriously harmed, too.

Many Israelis and members of the American Jewish community are in agreement with these sentiments.

Prior to the disastrous neocon misadventure in Iraq, most Americans supported the Arab League's 2002 offer to normalize relations with Israel. See:

The vast majority of people want peace, not endless war. The way to peace is through negotiation and compromise.

gohuskers said...

Gillespie, your main problem is that you believe only you know the truth...and are longwinded about it. I found some of your writings on the internet and find much of what you have to say to be as intellectually dishonest and politically motivated as it is narcissistic in its grotesque volume. I am a retired college history professor and I simply don't share your view of the world. I know that makes me part of the whole conspiracy you have desperately concocted, so sue me. If you were as tolerant as you demand everyone else to be, you'd stop your sermonizing and listen. Try to understand the feelings you dismiss instead of looking for insignificant errors and 'gotcha!' opportunities.

Gillespie diatribe

lajunta278 said...

Never thought I'd agree with a Husker fan, but in this case I do. Mr.Gillespie seems to have the only news sources that are trustworthy and accurate and everyone else's are Israeli dupes or incapable of getting their facts straight or just racist rags who would do anything to make terrorists look bad. How is this possible that Mr.Gillespie knows exactly whose facts are right and whose are wrong?

I agree with one thing he says about peace being negotiation and compromise instead of confrontation. It seems that Mr.Gillespies approach has been confrontational on this topic and he hasn't shown much tendency to want to compromise or negotiate or listen. All talk and no action or as we say here in Colorado, all hat and no cows.

Michael Gillespie said...

Thank you for posting the URL of my 2002 article titled "Bill Moyers, Modernity, and Islam", gohuskers. I really appreciate that. It's one of my better efforts, I think (though it did find its way into print without the aid of an editor).

By the way, I was long ago disabused of the notion that I had cornered the market on the truth. Most days I feel fortunate to be able to string a few sentences together in a way that makes some sense. But whether you agree with my published reports, analysis, and opinion makes little or no difference to me. I strive for accuracy, correct at the earliers possible moment any factual mistakes that come to my attention, and strive to create more light than heat and smoke with my work. I may not always succeed, but when I fail its not for lack of trying. Moreover, I have the courage of my convictions--I put my name, not some alias, on my work. I've never understood how people who offer their opinions anonymously expect anyone to take them seriously. If you don't believe in what you write enough to put your name on it, why on earth should professional writers and journalists who identify themselves for their readers respect your unsubstantiated opinions? If talk is cheap, anonymous hyperbolic ad hominim attacks must be damn near worthless, don't you think?

If you'd care to identify yourself by putting your name on your work, if you'd care to substantiate your criticisms and make rational arguments with specific reference to facts, analysis, and opinion that can be discussed, you'd almost certainly get more traction.

Of course, some formal or serious informal study of the history of terrorism; substantive knowledge of the history, culture and politics of the Middle East; familiarity with the history of journalism and of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias in Western media, that would help a great deal, too. Well-informed opinion and analysis seems to carry more weight, though it is likely to annoy those who are easily bruised by inconvenient facts and analyses that challenge their long-held cultural biases.

gohuskers said...

You tell only half the story, Gillespie. You say nothing nor apparently give any weight to anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-white bias in Middle Eastern media, as well as long-held cultural biases among Arabs and Muslims against the West. You find it abhorrent when WE do it, but absolutely justifiable when THEY do it. If you actually practiced what you exhaustively preach, you'd hold Middle Easterners as responsible as the West for the conflagration that has become the Middle East. But you don't. You find fault only with the country in which you live (and its allies, in this case.) You present yourself as a knowledgeable spokesman for a broader world view, but really you seem to suffer from the same short-sightedness of the American Far Left, which adopts opinions only for their diametric opposition to the Far Right and then grasps for any reason to support it. The add insult to that injury, the Left then deems anyone who disagrees to be intellectually inferior, dishonest and racist/sexist/jingoistic/sanctimonious. Your reasoning has the patina of intellectualism without a core of the real stuff. You see what you want to see, accept only what supports your own biases, and anyone else who suggests your emperor is naked is a slave to his prejudices and ignorance. That's why the insufferably superior attitude of liberals/progressives has relegated that wing to the political peanut gallery.

Many people in this country DO understand "the history of terrorism; substantive knowledge of the history, culture and politics of the Middle East; familiarity with the history of journalism and of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias in Western media," but it has not blunted the anti-American, abti-Israeli, anti-West rhetoric or sentiment one iota! How do you account for this failure of knowledge to forestall attacks on Americans by people whose stated goal is to wipe Americans off the face of the Earth? How do you explain the increasing anti-Western racism of the Middle East even as efforts increase in the USA to do exactly those things you suggest? Could it be a classical conflict between a contemporary culture and a more primitive one?

Michael Gillespie said...

LOL! What's more primitive than a powerful nation whose people are so gullible that they swallow whole a pack of whoppers like the ones the neoconservative cabal concocted prior to the invasion and occupation of Iraq? Saddam's WMD--non-existent. Bush, Cheney, and Condi said he had a nuclear program--dismantled a decade earlier. Connections to Al-Qaida--there weren't any, but now Iraq is one vast training center for Islamist terrorists and insurgents. Wolfowitz said Iraqi oil was going to pay for the invasion and occupation--now the USA has the biggest deficit in the history of the world. Oops! Iraqis were going to welcome American forces in the streets with flowers and candy--instead American military occupation fomented a civil war and an insurgency that has cost the lives of more than 2,500 American servicemen and women and more than 18,000 casualties. Who pays you to peddle the stuff you post here? Why don't you take your deceitful jingoistic propaganda and put it with your lust for death and destruction, somewhere the sun doesn't shine?

gohuskers said...

Gillespie, who pays YOU to spout YOUR claptrap? I was presuming you simply had opinions that you expressed exuberantly, but I guess you believe that opinions only come out when compensation is offered. That makes me wonder whose agenda you're pushing and for what price? And why do you believe that dissenting opinions -- the great currency of American opinion -- must be stuffed where the sun don't shine? What would be your reaction if somebody tried to force you to hide your dissenting views where they could only be found in a cavity search? Would you cry intolerance? After your evisceration of American government (although you conveniently ignore that former President Clinton and a majority of congressional Democrats also believed Iraq had WMDs in 2003) why are you so threatened by anyone who disagrees with you? Is the burden of being the only truth-teller in the room starting to weigh you down? And why can't you bring yourself to condemn the stated goals of Iran and various terror groups to wipe Israel off the map and to kill Americans wherever they find them? Why do you find that justifiable or at least not worthy of your condemnation? Do you truly believe Osama bin Ladin or Nasrullah will sit down with Westerners seeking peace after they've openly admitted they don't want to negotiate, but want to kill us?

You enjoy the great privilege of being able to condemn your own government because you live in a country that protects your speech, unlike the terror states you embrace with your big wet kisses. I am proud we can disagree about crucial issues out loud, especially if we can do it without any uncomfortable anal probing. Be honest. You are consistent only in your hatred of democratically elected American government that happens to be generally conservative. Call me suspicious, but I believe it's unlikely you can produce a single instance of your vitriol directed at the Clinton Administration, which also supported Israel.

Mwebster said...

I must have drunk the Koolaid and it's starting to kick in. I'm hallucinating! I think Osama Bin Ladin wants to kill me! I think Hezbollah wants to kill Jews! I think Iran and North Korea have nukes! I think Saddam Hussein WAS a WMD who killed more than 350,000 people in his own country! I think the Taliban is a modern version of the Nazis!

Thank god it's just the Koolaid making me hallucinate and none of this is true!!!

Michael Gillespie said...

gohuskers wrote: "What would be your reaction if somebody tried to force you to hide your dissenting views where they could only be found in a cavity search?" To which I can only reply, they already did that--why the devil do you think I'm writing here? But my work here is about to come to a screeching halt. My friends in law enforcement advise me not to mix it up with nut-jobs on-line.

So, Reynolds (aka MWEBSTER -- how cute, but not as cute as that line in your bio about how you and your wife "passed ourselves off as Christians"), still flaking for the DNC? Or are you making big bucks as an "information warrior", hiring your keyboard out to the highest bidder? But I suppose I repeat myself.

mwebster said...

You have been watching too many CIA movies, Mr. Gillespie. You should try the Koolaid. My name is Melissa Webster. I have no site of my own yet but I am a frequent reader of so I like to link to it. At any rate, I am NOT Mr. Reynolds and I am not even a Mister. I posted here at because I disagree with your opinion that everyone who disagrees with you is delusional, undereducated, racist and/or duped by the news media. Now you assume one of your political enemies is masquerading to needle you and you are WRONG but I doubt you will admit you are WRONG. If you were George Bush and I were a liberal I would say you lied deliberately but you're not and I'm not so I just assume you GOOFED. Mistakes happen. I won't wait for an apology.

richard h. said...

excuse me fellas, mind if i join in?

i'm jewish, born and living in america, love the fact that in case america goes ass over teakettle as the cost of gasoline goes to $30/gal and somehow the jews get blamed (as usual), i'm heading for israel, where i can get in without a passport cause it's my God-given homeland.

i hate the idea that israel has to militarily occupy any country, period. it should have sealed off its borders right after the 1948 war that arabs declared and started when israel declared itself a sovereign nation, having waited in vain for the UN to take its head out its ass.

that being said, if one does the merest modicum of research into the history of the american military, one will discover that many many presidents have used "our troops" against many many countries, regardless of the political persuasions of those US presidents and economic philosophies of those unfortunate nations.

the standard use for US military incursions has been the creation of "favorable business climates" in countries where american corporations have need of cheap labor markets and/or plentiful natural resources.

call it war profiteering, corporate imperialism, call it what it is, mass murder racketeering for capitalism, as twice-decorated Major General Smedley Butler, USMC did in the 1930s. be good detectives: FOLLOW THE MONEY-- who are the only entities profitting from war? Defense contractors. Courtesy of the Times, here are six top defense contractors and the percentages by which their profits have increased since 2004:

Boeing (37.4 %)
Lockheed Martin (44.2 %)
General Dynamics (19.1 %)
Northrop Grumman (29.2 %)
Raytheon (108.9 %)
Halliburton (292.9 %)
-- Tim Grieve

bush, cheney, rumsfeld, rove, wolfowitz - not only connected with major corporation players (bechtel, halliburton, unocal, carlyle) but all invested deeply in US Treasury notes, loans to "our" gov't to pay for the war they created, knowing it would eat Clinton's surplus and bankrupt us once again. These loans are already earning this crew of thugs beaucoup interest bucks.

my points:
1- is it any wonder countries that got raped by american corporate/govt militaries hate our guts? no. are they justified in that hatred? lemme ask ya, if russia had invaded us and won, then planted soldiers on the streets of chicago, new york, philadelphia, miami, los angeles, while turning capitol hill into the new kremlin -- would americans who fought them by any meas possible be called insurgents or freedom fighters? think we might hate the reds any more than we already do? can you right wing assholes ever understand that american soldiers are doing in iraq exactly as i've hypothetically described the russians here?

2- worldwide war, hatred and misunderstanding has to stop real soon, cause guess what, fellas? between global warming and oil depletion, the human race may not have the time to build and use massive alternative energy infrastructures to halt the CO2 buildup from internal combustion engines that can and will kill us all.

to build these infrastructures will require worldwide cooperation and mobilization of workers of all categories, right up to the highest management/skilled labor/financial and civil engineers... war is one gigantic waste of time and resources that benefits only BIG WAR, BIG OIL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES.

i cant express it any more simply. it's time for the human race to grow the fuck up already.