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Irresponsible Journalism, Militants, and Children

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During my usual perusal of news this morning, I came across the following story about a certain Gaza "militant" who was killed via an Israeli airstrike.

Militant? Merriam-Webster defines the word "militant" as someone who is "engaged in warfare or combat" or alternatively someone who is "aggressively active (as in a cause)." As far as I know, there is no war between Israel and the Palestinians. After all, if Israel were at war, the war would very quickly be over, and there wouldn't be many Palestinians left. I guess you could say that Hamas is aggressively active. But a much better term to describe people who are not soldiers, who fire rockets into other countries is the word "terrorist." Not sure why CNN refuses to describe these people as such.

Hamas Body PartsIf you are wondering what's in the picture I've posted to the left, well let me start by saying this picture is the fifth Google image result for "hamas". Go ahead, try the search yourself, and you will see I am not cherry-picking anything here. What is on the table in front of these so-called "militants?" Body parts of an Israeli. Yes, those are body parts on that table. Fun, eh?

As I've said in earlier posts, and to my own detriment given the deep thought that seems to go on in the liberal sphere, I tend to view things in a very simple way. For example, in this case, there are two sides in a disagreement. Both Israelis and Palestinians have their valid points and both claim to be interested in some sort of a resolution to the conflict. However, I've yet to see a picture of Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert or any of the military leaders in Israel standing proudly in front of a table of Hamas body parts, in anticipation of a YouTube moment. I've yet to see Israelis fire rockets in the general direction of Palestinians, at least without being provoked by aimless rocket attacks first being fired at Israel.

Well, you say, just because I've never seen it, how am I sure it hasn't happened anyway? Because if it did, the UN, the anti-semitic EU, and virtually everyone else in the world except for the good old US of A would be sure to heavily document it, and the media coverage would make Paris Hilton jealous.

But I've disgressed (actually a few times so far), so back to the article!

On Tuesday, Israeli attacks launched at what Israel said were Palestinians involved in firing missiles into Israel from Gaza killed as many as four people, including two children, Palestinian sources said.

There were conflicting reports about how many people were killed in the initial attack, an air strike. In the second attack, Hamas security sources said Israeli forces had killed two children.

In the first attack, Islamic Jihad said three of its members were killed in an Israeli air strike as they prepared to fire rockets into Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces said an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at two armed Palestinians in central Gaza. An IDF spokesman said the two were about 600 meters from the security fence, making their way toward it.

Palestinian medical sources could confirm only one death and two injured.

In the second attack, the Israeli army said it launched an attack on two Palestinian militants standing near a rocket launcher in northern Gaza, in an area from which a Qassam rocket was fired onto Israel just a short while before.

Hamas security sources said the Israelis hit and killed two children, both age 11, with what seemed to be a ground-to-ground missile.

There is a lot wrong with how this is written, starting with the first sentence. Did Israeli forces say that children were killed or did Palestinians? Who "launched" the attack? Just by this first sentence, it would seem that Israel started attacking Palestinians whom they claimed were involved in an attack (giving the Palestinians the benefit of the doubt that they weren't) and according the Palestinian "sources," two children were killed (no benefit of the doubt here). In the last sentence, it becomes clear that the charge that two children were killed was made by "Hamas security" sources. So according to CNN, the IDF and Hamas are on the same footing.

As far as I know, in most countries, the military does not carry out activities near children if they can at all help it. Except for situations in an active war where there is no choice but to fight where the fighting is, every measure is made to ensure innocent civilians are not caught in the crossfire. But apparently Hamas has not yet gotten this memo. Assuming of course that they are not lying outright about whether children were even killed in the first place.

Let's put aside the whole question of whether children were killed, or whether these are militants or terrorists, or whether CNN has a bias (although it's obvious to everyone that they do), and get to the most important question: Couldn't the entire tragedy of lives lost have been avoided if Hamas was not firing rockets into Israel?

Or better yet: Why does Hamas continue to fire rockets, unprovoked, into Israel?

The answer to both of these questions is in the picture supplied with this article, above. Hamas has no concern or respect for human life, and especially no concern for the lives of Israelis or for the lives of their own children. And this is precisely why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues.

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About The Obnoxious American

  • Matt

    Good read.

    Prepare for the flurry of normal mis-informed social and political rejects to come along and trash your opinion.

  • Paul2

    [Edited] This is probably one of the worst pieces of garbage ever published here. Anyone who has dealt with this very complex issue for more than 30 minutes could come up with something that makes more sense.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Having read both of his ~ahem~ articles, I can say without any hesitation that Obnoxious American couldn’t write a check. I’m not even going to debate his so-called atance– it would be akin to kicking a dog. But this is not writing in any sense of the word.

  • moonraven

    Fortunately, almost nobody writes checks anymore.

    Otherwise he would be in jail–when where he belongs is in a hospital for the criminally insane.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Rhetorically speaking, then– he couldn’t scan a debit card. The PIN would prove too daunting.

  • moonraven

    So long as the PIN is the one in the handgrenade in his pocket and can be pulled out….

  • Baronius

    Solid article. I love those “Israel did something harmful in response to something lethal” stories.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I think ObAm is the new anti-Liam Bailey.

    As for the article, it IS a bit simplistic, but the basic point that the media presentation of this issue is biased, seems pretty sound.

    No one is going to solve the actual problem of Palestine and Israel instantly in a blog post, but at least he has a point to make and makes it effectively.

    Dave

  • Dr Dreadful

    What I’m not entirely clear about is who exactly described the man killed as a militant – the Israeli Army, Hamas or CNN?

    Back in the Thatcher era there was a faction of the British Labour Party called Militant. They saw themselves as the true Socialist core of Labour, not the social democratic party which they viewed mainstream Labour as having become.

    They certainly weren’t terrorists, unless you count things like throwing eggs at cabinet ministers as acts of terror. A lot of them did probably see themselves as soldiers, though.

    But any violence they did perpetrate was never anything more than petty.

  • gonzo marx

    Doc, from th elinked article , it was the Palestinians who referred to the Hamas man as a “militant”

    makes sense from their perspective to use that nomenclature…

    but i digress

    Excelsior?

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    I have no problem with opposing viewpoints–they’re the stuff of discourse. What I do have a problem with is a rant disguised as an article. Bad writing is bad writing, and an article should at least make a cohesive point. Rants and such are better suited for comments.

    Talk radio- style rants are not journalism, or even op-eds..

  • http://voanews.com/english/2007-08-31-voa40.cfm Cindy D

    Personally, I think that the journalist did an excellent job of remaining objective. Giving benefit of the doubt exactly where there IS doubt.

    You may want to reread the article for bias after you learn that the: Israeli Military Admits Palestinian Children Killed in Gaza Were Not Militants.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Whatever the story, CNN can be counted on to trash Israel. That 20% Saudi stock ownership in the parent company buys an editorial voice…

  • Graham McKnight

    Long time no post, good to be back and confronting those who believe that Israel is the victim of anti-semitic propaganda.

    The Palestinians have no option but to be characterised by exterior organisations, nations and individuals such as the UN, Israel and Obnoxious American.

    They have been left disenfranchised and without autonomey, they have been collectively impoverished as their economic activities cease as a result of Israeli iron wall tactics. Israel does not allow the Palestinians to police themselves, Israel prefers to spend American tax-dollars on policing Gaza and the West Bank themselves. In the 1950s Israel did not trust Jordan to police it’s own borders so decided to raize an entire Jordanian villiage to the ground.

    The Palestinian people are not permitted to build factories and produce commodities, so they dig tunnels and smuggle weapons instead.

    I could go on but it all seems rather futile given that I am addressing an Obnoxious American who is proud of his government’s actions abroad and thus implies that he would rather see his tax-dollars spent on supplying foreign nations with weapons rather than on improving health care, education and public services in his own country.

    How perverse.

  • Baronius

    Graham, it’s not perverse to be proud of one’s nation; for most people, it’s the instinctive first response. One should instinctively side with Israel as well. It’s a democracy surrounded by dictatorships which hate it. I get that you support the underdog Palestinians. But your comments reveal the slippery slope: you sympathize with the Palestinian weapons smugglers, and denounce US weapons sales.

    At some point, you’ve got to look at the hand each people have been dealt, and see what they do with it. Israelis and Palestinians are both in difficult situations. One group launches missiles randomly against the other. That’s where my sympathy ends.

    Of course, the real pressure comes from neighboring Muslim countries. They have so much money and such a need for workers that they take in a stream of South Asians (ironically, of all religions). Yet they don’t take in the Palestinians. They don’t care about the Palestinian people. They just want to use their pain to make a point.

  • moonraven

    Oh?

    And what point, precisely, would that pain be making?

  • JustOneMan

    Hey Obnox,

    The problem is not CNN but all of the self hating Jews who work there..heres just a short list Klein -President (Head Rabbi), Sandy Berger, Rahm Emanuel, Jeff Greenfield, Andrea Koppel, Gary Tuchman, Bob Franken, Larry King, Madeleine Albright, James Rubin, Wolf Blitzer, etc..etc

    Take the issue up with your fellow tribesman and leave us alone..

    JOM

  • Graham McKnight

    Baronius, if you were given a choice between employment in a factory producing commodities such as radios or cash for digging tunnels and smuggling weapons you would unquestionably accept the former.

    As it happens the former choice is not an option for most if not all Palestinians at the moment. Israel has denied Gaza the oppertunity to import and export goods. Only basic foods such as grain finds its way into the Strip due to the embargo that Israel and the USA has placed upon the Palestinians currently contained there.

    Israel does not stop at economically blockading the Strip and the West Bank though. It also prevents academic progress for those aspiring Palestinian intellectuals wishing to seek an education abroad.

    One side-effect of Israel’s treatment towards the Palestinian people is that a lucrative weapons trade has blossomed. Destitute unemployed workers are given the oppertunity to smuggle or harbour weapons on behalf of their militant employers for around $250 per weapon. With this money they are able to provide for their families a roof over their heads and some very expensive grain.

    JustOneMan, you use the descriptive ‘self-hating Jew’, when it would be more appropriate to think of the people that you list as simply having an opinion, and in my opinion they generally posses the correct opinion. Far too often people confuse those who critique Israel’s foreign and domestic policies with anti-semtism and offer little else to back their counter-argument.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    As I’ve said in earlier posts, and to my own detriment given the deep thought that seems to go on in the liberal sphere, I tend to view things in a very simple way.

    Then you tend to view things in a very unrealistic way.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Graham,

    All those poor, embargoed, allegedly starving, work deprived “Palestinians” seem to have enough energy to launch Qassam after Qassam at S’derot and the villages nearby. If they are that hungry and so damned “unfortunate,” where are they getting all the energy to kill Jews from?

    Mind you, these are the very same “poor Palestinians” who rioted in a mob and destroyed the greenhouses stolen from the residents of Gush Qatif. Had the uncivilized pigs (that’s the sobriquet their behavior earns them) had any brains at all, they would have stayed out of Gush Qatif until they had jobs at the greenhouses. But it didn’t work out that way.

    I feel zero sympathy for the Gazan savages.

    Zero.

  • Graham McKnight

    I expect nothing less from you, Ruvy.

  • suqit abignot

    In response to comment #12 to quote OA – As far as I know, in most countries, the military does not carry out activities near children if they can at all help it. Except for situations in an active war where there is no choice but to fight where the fighting is, every measure is made to ensure innocent civilians are not caught in the crossfire. But apparently Hamas has not yet gotten this memo. Assuming of course that they are not lying outright about whether children were even killed in the first place.

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