Glenn Greenwald’s False Accusation Against The New York Times

by A. Jay Adler on July 26, 2011
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(The following is Guest Post by Robert H., cross-posted from OpenSalon.)

In the wake of the deadly attacks in Norway on Friday, Glenn Greenwald posted this controversial column. It mainly spoke to both the media’s early reporting of a Jihadi claim of involvement, and the ongoing journalistic portrayal of Norway as a peaceful nation when they are, in fact, militarily involved in Libya and Afghanistan.

Leaving aside the acrimonious debate over the intent and propriety of penning such a piece in the immediate aftermath of these attacks, Glenn updated his column with this accusatory nugget:

The New York Times headline was quick to suggest responsibility for these attacks

Attached was a partial screen grab of their online page highlighting the attack that also contained this sub-headline:

Powerful Explosions Hit Oslo; Jihadis Claim Responsibility

I’m still unclear as to his problem with this since it is simply a fact that a Jihadi website did claim responsibility for the attacks. And this is how The New York Times detailed that claim:

A terror group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or the Helpers of the Global Jihad, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, according to Will McCants, a terrorism analyst at C.N.A., a research institute that studies terrorism. The message said the attack was a response to Norwegian forces’ presence in Afghanistan and to unspecified insults to the Prophet Muhammad. “We have warned since the Stockholm raid of more operations,” the group said, according to Mr. McCants’ translation, apparently referring to a bombing in Sweden in December 2010. “What you see is only the beginning, and there is more to come.” The claim could not be confirmed. [Emphasis added]

On Saturday, he continued his castigation of The Times headline (and, by extension, The Times) by leading off his piece with this damning accusation:

For much of the day yesterday [Emphasis added], the featured headline on The New York Times online front page strongly suggested that Muslims were responsible for the attacks on Oslo; that led to definitive statements on the BBC and elsewhere that Muslims were the culprits.

“For much of the day,”… that sounds dreadful and slovenly on the part of The New York Times, doesn’t it? How could they be so irresponsible as to leave that headline up for such a long period of time when it became clear there was no Jihadi involvement in these crimes? After all, according to Glenn, it “strongly suggested that Muslims were responsible for the attacks on Oslo.”

I had seen the headline Glenn referenced, but I also noticed it had vanished a little while later. I even commented on its removal in his letters section. So I was fairly certain it hadn’t been on the site for “much of the day,” as Glenn put it. But to be sure, I needed to check with The Times.

As I suspected, the truth turned out to be that the headline he sharply criticized in two columns — over two days — was only online for about two hours, and NOT “much of the day.” I confirmed this with a Senior Editor at The Times by simply sending him an email inquiring about the headline in question. This is what he wrote back:

I checked with our Home Page editors.  The reference was in the second — or so-called “deck” — headline.  Beginning around 3pm, we had:

Blasts and Gun Attack in Norway; 7 Dead
Powerful Explosions Hit Oslo; Jihadis Claim Responsibility

Two hours later [Emphasis added], all references to Jihadis was gone from the Home Page and this explanation was given in the article as the news continued to unfold:

Initial reports focused on the possibility of Islamic militants, in particular Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or Helpers of the Global Jihad, cited by some analysts as claiming responsibility for the attacks. American officials said the group was previously unknown and might not even exist.

According to Salon’s timestamp, Glenn posted Friday’s column at 2:23PM (when he posted the update is unknown). I posted my comment about the headline at 6:12PM. So undoubtedly, somewhere within that time frame, the ‘offending’ headline had been removed. And considering the update certainly wasn’t posted at 2:23, and my comment was being composed before 6:12, that pretty much cements what the Senior Editor stated above.

So how Glenn translated those two hours into “much of the day,” is beyond me. I won’t speculate on his motivation for prominently kicking off an article with such explicit misinformation (because when it comes to debating Glenn on equivocal subjects, it places one squarely in nailing-Jello-to-the-wall territory), but I will say that at best, it’s a reckless mistake, and at worst, a blatantly misleading accusation. And it appears he made it without performing the slightest bit of fact checking.

More importantly, one of the thrusts of Saturday’s column was that the headline’s narrative about Jihadis being responsible for the attacks was widely dissemenated throughout the world. Therefore, along with other examples, it painted a false picture; one that unfairly disparaged Muslims as terrorists.

There’s no doubt some of that is true, and Glenn was absolutely correct in pointing that finger at conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post. But if one is going to denounce the dissemination of uncorrected, false information, one should ensure one is innocent of that sin, as well.

As a case in point, Jennifer Rubin updated her article late Sunday afternoon, so Glenn’s accusation from Saturday morning is no longer valid:

The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin wrote a whole column based on the assertion that Muslims were responsible, one that, as James Fallows notes, remains at the Post with no corrections or updates.

So… according to Glenn’s standards, he should note Rubin’s update in his piece. But predictably, Glenn’s accusation remains at Salon, “with no corrections or updates.” Her mea culpa may be too little too late, and he may not approve, but as the saying goes: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

As to The Times headline, he’s clearly fabricated a distorted picture of their coverage that’s now widely disseminated. But unlike that headline (now long gone from their site), Glenn’s accusation against The Times lives on. And unless he updates his piece (many of those Google hits don’t supply the entire story, but only a link to Glenn’s column at Salon), predictably, it will be repeated with little skepticism by followers and like-minded bloggers. So I’ll wait for the “corrections or updates” in his column on that one, too.

With that in mind, last year (in rather astonishing fashion), Glenn admitted in a comment to me that he’d made a mistake about something he stated twice on national TV. Because of Jello, I’m not getting into  his reasoning, except to say that his professed devotion to being factual on TV took a hit. Despite my early detection of this mistake, and asking him mulitple times to post a correction to the article, it’s never been corrected there, nor in the television transcript which still stands at Democracy Now (and I wrote to Democracy Now about the error but they never replied). Part of his continuing explanation for the mistake was this:

It doesn’t matter how “prominent” you are or how many television shows you appear on – making mistakes and getting things wrong is absolutely inevitable for every single person, including me. If it’s perceived that you do it deliberately or recklessly, then your credibility won’t last very long, but the mere making of mistakes is something that every single person does….

It was just a simple, honest mistake of the kind I (and everyone else) have made many times before and will make many times again.

So… Glenn has made many mistakes before and will do so again many times in the future.  So… my questions become: What method does he propose to ensure that his mistakes are not circulated around the world? And what, exactly, does he plan to do to ensure he doesn’t make so many mistakes in the first place?

Ya know, like the egregious one about the Times headline.

UPDATE: Glenn, via Richard Silverstein, printed this from The Times story. I note it because it contains the same paragrah sent to me by the The Times:

Initial reports focused on the possibility of Islamic militants, in particular Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or Helpers of the Global Jihad, cited by some analysts as claiming responsibility for the attacks. American officials said the group was previously unknown and might not even exist.

There was ample reason for concern that terrorists might be responsible.

Does that last sentence seem somewhat forlorn? Like it’s lost its friends? It has, and if you were so inclined to view said “ample reason,” you had to find it yourself. Greenwald and Silverstein weren’t going to offer it up. Why? I’ll let readers decide for themselves because as I’ve said, I’m not so fond of Jello. In its entirety:

Still, there was ample reason for concern that terrorists might be responsible. In 2004 and again in 2008, the No. 2 leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, who took over after the death of Osama bin Laden, threatened Norway because of its support of the American-led NATO military operation in Afghanistan. [Emphasis added]

Here. Were. Some. Ample. Reasons. For concern.

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37 comments

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam Levick August 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

Hi Jay P,

I just added your blog’s RSS feed to my Google Reader, and look forward to following your posts.

Adam

Reply

Jay P August 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

For anyone who’s interested, my post relating to this comment thread is up on my blog (http://jaypinho.com/2011/08/04/on-glenn-greenwald-israel-and-the-godfather-iii/). I didn’t get a chance to respond to each and every point, but I tried my best before succumbing to various other obligations (e.g. eating, sleeping).

I’ve enjoyed the back-and-forth! Thanks for making this fun.

Jay

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Adam Levick August 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Jay P.,

Just to be clear, I wasn’t accusing you of anti-Semitism.

I was simply making the argument that those who are actively advocating for the end of my nation are either anti-Semitic or blind to the real world consequences of such a “solution.”

One of the reasons why I stopped participating in a group back in Philadelphia which attempted to bring left-wing and right-wing Jews together to rationally discuss Israel was, in large measure, due to the fact that those who held the position that, perhaps, Israel shouldn’t exist were given the same respect as those who truly struggled with the vexing question of how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

My previous post was only meant to make case that Israel’s right to exist is not open for debate.

Reasonable people on the left and right can disagree with the particulars.

Moreover, my belief in “Big Tent Zionism” includes people on the right and the left. But, it doesn’t include those who believe, as J Street founder Daniel Levy opined, that “maybe, Zionism isn’t a good idea.”

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Jay P August 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Adam,

I would respond at length here, but due to the ever-expanding comments section on this post and my desire to post more at length about several of the topics we’ve discussed here, I’m planning to write a post of my own at my personal blog within the next few days, in case you’re interested (you can click on my name to get to the blog).

Jay

Reply

Adam Levick July 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Jay P,

I assure you that a bi-national “solution” is indeed morally equivalent to the argument that the Jewish state should cease to exist because, well, a bi-national “solution” is ipso facto the equivalent of calling for Israel’s destruction. That is, it’s defined by the end of Jewish sovereignty in our ancient homeland.

Israel, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, like all national liberation movements, is defined by the belief that the Jews are no less deserving of a national homeland than the Greeks, Germans, (or the 57 nations who define themselves as Islamic states).

But, moreover, the only people who advocate for such a “solution” are either those possessing malevolance towards Israel or those who simply have been living in their own mind too long. As an Israeli I can tell you that I’d fight (like the overwhelming majority of my fellow Jewish citizens) with everything in my power to resist the imposition of such a “solution.”

It’s really hard for me to understand how anyone could fail to see why Jews would resist the imposition of a solution which placed them in the position of being a minority ruled by a Muslim majority.

This isn’t a solution. It’s surrender.

And, if I’ve learned anything in my life it’s that some things are worth fighting for. I’d rather be hated than once again consigned to the role which history has assigned us: of cherished and pitied victim.

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Jay P July 30, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Adam,

I wasn’t advocating the bi-national solution; I was simply pointing out the existence of such a theory, which some — a small minority, but some nonetheless — still discuss as a possibility. It is absolutely not the same as “calling for Israel’s destruction.” Whether or not you believe it would result in that is very different than the question of whether or not the people advocating it do.

And your alleged disgust with the perception that history has “assigned” Israel the role of “cherished and pitied victim” loses credibility by your continued attempts to perpetuate that very sense of victimization. Before you accuse me of anti-Semitism — a charge which you wield freely and irresponsibly — I am no Holocaust-denier (and, in fact, had a late distant relative who lived through it), nor an anti-Semite. I’m not Israeli and only nominally Jewish (by a distant — albeit maternal — line of ancestry), but I’ve spent several weeks traveling there, visited Yad Vashem, studied the I/P conflict during college and independently since then, and I take great interest in Middle Eastern politics in general (where I studied for a semester).

It is not Jews I’m criticizing; it’s mostly the current Israeli government and, more generally, the mindset of the increasingly mainstream right-wing in both Israel and the United States as it pertains to the conflict. Emotional statements can be fun to throw around at will, but they don’t match up well to the facts.

Firstly, I’m disturbed that you take no responsibility for altering statements to make them appear anti-Semitic. That’s a huge strike one. Secondly, morally equating a bi-national solution (which has been proposed by many well-meaning people, however misguided or not they may be) to Israel’s destruction is indicative of the same brand of overheated rhetoric that marks the nearly-monthly proclamations from Bibi that, this time, Israel really is about to be pulverized by Iranian nuclear arms. I never thought we’d get to a point at which the words “existential crisis” lost all meaning, but here we are.

What is perhaps most disturbing, however, is your deliberate conflation of legitimate criticisms with racist motivations. To you, it seems, criticism of Israel’s handling of the conflict is almost by definition anti-Semitic. (And if it doesn’t fit the bill, you’ll gladly change the wording so it does.) Just because some bigot goes around spouting off that Jews control the world does not invalidate any influence Jewish lobby groups do exert over American policy.

In fact, the very notion that I have to preface any criticisms of Israel with “I am not a Holocaust denier/I am not an anti-Semite/I don’t hate Jews” is a prime example of the lack of discussion we’re having in this country (the U.S., not Israel — where, ironically enough, it seems that citizens are more able to express their disgust with current Israeli policies than they are here). Would you feel the need to say “I don’t hate Arabs” before blasting the Palestinian leadership? Would I need to say “I don’t hate African-Americans” before criticizing President Obama?

The real tragedy is that, by spraying the term “anti-Semite” at everything (see your other post accusing Greenwald of it simply for explaining that Jewish organizations have generally supported certain American military endeavors), you’re cheapening the term and, consequently, reducing the ability of language to properly address racism when it’s really happening.

A. Jay, I’ll respond to your comment either tonight or tomorrow, but it’s getting late. :-)

Reply

Jay P July 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Rob,

I don’t have too much to say in response; as A. Jay pointed out, we’re probably nearing an impasse in terms of our beliefs about the I/P conflict. But allow me to respond to what I think is the most crucial point in your comment. (BTW, I made the smiley face just by doing this: :, then -, then ).)

In regards to your point re foreign aid to Israel/Egypt, I think it’s extremely important to keep in mind why and how we got to the point where Egypt became our second-largest beneficiary. This was a direct result of the Camp David Accords in 1979; Egypt is being rewarded almost entirely due to its alliance with Israel.

In fact, one of the U.S. embassy cables released by Wikileaks said the following: “President Mubarak and military leaders view our military assistance program as the cornerstone of our mil-mil relationship and consider the USD 1.3 billion in annual FMF as ‘untouchable compensation’ for making and maintaining peace with Israel.” (Source: http://www.propublica.org/blog/item/f.a.q.-on-u.s.-aid-to-egypt-where-does-the-money-go-who-decides-how-spent.) Of course, priority access to the Suez has some benefits, but the main impetus for the aid is Egypt’s alliance with Israel.

I’m also not sure what you’re referring to with the mention of Bashar al-Assad. For a long while, the US didn’t even have an ambassador in Syria due to its turbulent relationship; and especially now, relations are at an extreme low (source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2011/0721/Syria-threatens-to-expel-US-ambassador). As far as I can tell, this bears no comparison with Israel, whom American presidents, congressmen, and the public alike often refer to as our closest ally. Syria has long been seen as the opposite.

This is exactly why, I think, you don’t see Greenwald castigating, say, Syria on their human rights issues, but you do see him condemning other countries — with which the US has closer relationships — for theirs. The difference is that, by virtue of our alliance with these countries, they bear closer inspection on our part. Here’s one such example:

“As our other good friends Saudi Arabia and Bahrain collaborate on attacking civilian protesters, there are no calls for U.S. intervention there — even though that’s arguably more serious than what’s happening in Libya — because those governments serve our interests. ” – Greenwald, 3/16/2011 (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/16/various_matters)

But even more to the point, here’s Greenwald (just several weeks ago) explaining exactly what his reasoning is behind “picking on” certain countries and not on others:

“In the last week alone, U.S.-allied governments have done the following to their own citizens: killed “dozens of civilians” in Yemen; beaten anti-government protesters in Baghdad while the Iraqi Prime Minister threatened “bloodshed” and “blood . . . to the knee” if protests continued; attacked protesters in Cairo with arms; and beat opposition protesters in prison and branded them “traitors” in Bahrain. As we recently learned, the U.S. cannot and will not “stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy.” What, then, can and should the U.S. do in the face of this oppression? Don’t we have more of a responsibility to act when such brutality is carried out by regimes that we arm, support and prop up than by ones we don’t?” – Greenwald, 7/9/2011 (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/07/09/terrorism)

In light of all this, I think his stance is pretty consistent.

Jay

Reply

Adam Levick July 29, 2011 at 9:51 am

To anyone who finds the semantic argument over the wording of Greenwald’s defamation of Jews, and how I specifically quoted him, of interest:

I simply don’t see how those few words I omitted are in any way significant in the context of what he was saying.

To argue that there’s something pernicious about “Jewish money groups” and that non-Jewish political leaders are being pushed to war by the power of this organized Jewish community should, in and of itself, offend any real progressive’s moral sensibilities.

Further, if you want to read anything further about his obsession with Jewish power, and his tendency to advance the canard of dual loyalty (two lethal antisemitic narratives, as anyone would surely know with even a rudimentary understanding of Jewish history), I wrote a long piece at the JCPA, which includes several more quotes.

http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=3&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=624&PID=0&IID=3211&TTL=Anti-Israelism_and_Anti-Semitism_in_Progressive_U.S._Blogs/News_Websites:_Influential_and_Poor

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Rob July 29, 2011 at 11:09 am

(The following commentary is strictly tongue-in-cheek and is employed for satirical purposes only. No amendments to the US Constitution were harmed in the writing of this (mostly) fictional commentary)

“Not even our Constitution’s First Amendment has been a match for the endless exploitation of American policy, law and resources [by the Israel lobby] to target and punish Israel’s enemies.”

– Glenn Greenwald

BREAKING NEWS FROM JANE HAMSHER AT FDL: Israel has overpowered the First Amendment and forced the arrest of the fearless Glenn Greenwald because of his continued stances against the Israeli apartheid state. He’s also been fired by Salon, I mean Israel, and restricted to writing 18 characters a day (he got 18 because the judge was Jewish and thought that humorous).

What part of the Constitution will be next to fall to the power of the Israeli lobby? I fear it will be repeal of the 22nd Amendment so Obama can serve as many terms as it takes to cement his vision of a repressive Security State and provide permanent funding for both Israel and Endless War in the Middle East.

So please donate generously to FDL to help free Glenn Greenwald from Israeli shekels… I mean shackles.

;)

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Jay P July 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Adam,

You’ve just done the same thing again. First of all, your claim that you “omitted” a few words is simply false. You changed, not omitted, them. Here’s Greenwald:

“It is simply true that there are large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups which are agitating for a U.S. war against Iran…”

And here’s you:

“For instance, in 2007, in a passage which again employs tropes about Jewish power and dual loyalty – while also warning of the corrosive effects of Jewish money – said, ‘Large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups are the ones agitating for a U.S. war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devoted to promoting Israel’s interests.’”

That’s not an omission; that’s a re-wording that deliberately changes the meaning to make it sounds as if Greenwald solely “targeted” Jewish people. In fact, the opposite is true. If you’d bothered to read a few paragraphs further, you’d see that he wrote the following:

“It goes without saying that there are other factions and motives behind the push for war with Iran besides right-wing Jewish groups. There is the generic warmongering, militarism and oil-driven expansionism represented by Dick Cheney. And there are the post-9/11 hysterics and bigots who crave ever-expanding warfare and slaughter of Muslims in the Middle East for reasons having nothing to do with Israel. There are evangelical Christians who crave more Middle Eastern war on religious and theological grounds, and there are some who just believe that the U.S. can and should wage war against whatever countries seem not like to us. And, it should also be noted, a huge portion of American Jews, if not the majority, do not share this agenda.”

Please explain how this is remotely anti-Semitic. If you maintain that this is somehow anti-Semitic, then I’d be very interested in hearing under what circumstances a non-Jewish person could comment critically on Israeli or Jewish-American policies/interests without earning that label, because I don’t see how it would be possible.

Reply

Rob July 29, 2011 at 5:11 am

I’m up pretty early. Hence, while it’s quiet, and seeing that I just read Glenn’s latest column, I’ll take some time to further expand on his narratives about The New York Times. Here’s what he wrote about six months ago:

“One would never, ever find in The New York Times such a sweeping denunciation of the plutocratic corruption and merger of private wealth and political power that shapes most of America’s political culture.”

Here’s what he wrote yesterday:

“Conversely, the U.S. Government most certainly did pursue vastly increased security powers in the name of McVeigh’s attack: the Clinton administration, citing the Oklahoma City attack, demanded a full-scale prohibition on all computer encryption that the Government could not access, as well as significantly increased domestic eavesdropping powers, while Congress — by an overwhelming majority — enacted the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 that severely infringed due process rights, created new Terrorism crimes, and vested the government with a litany of vast new prosecutorial powers — all galvanized by the McVeigh attack (read more from The New York Times’ Linda Greenhouse on how both parties exploited the Oklahoma City bombing to significantly increase the government’s surveillance and police powers).”

Leaving aside the imminent implosion of that sentence/paragraph (I’m sorry, my head just spins at times looking at some of his sentence constructs), I’m sure you notice in the first construct how Glenn (as usual) frames The New York Times as 100% obsequious to power structures in the United States. But I’m also sure you notice that yesterday, he praises Linda Greenhouse’s admirable work in the Times on an issue that is clearly in opposition to the same power structure that The New York Times would supposedly never, ever denounce.

The fact is, when it suits him, he often cites articles in the Times to buttress his arguments. But you can’t have it both ways. And if the first construct were truly the case, why did/does The New York Times employ such writers as Bob Herbert, Frank Rich, Charles Blow and Paul Krugman to write for one of the most widely read and influential pages in the world?

But Glenn never misses an opportunity to forcefully hammer home the first narrative. And the vast majority of his readers are ready to be taken in by that construct because it fits not only their views, but also much of the prevailing belief about today’s media.

And his recent depictions of Norway are so diametrically opposed, it’s absurd. In the wake of Friday’s attacks, he attempted to puncture the media’s description of Norway as a peace-loving nation by portraying it as a country deeply involved in Afghanistan and Libya (and bear in mind, Glenn strongly supported the war in Afghanistan. And believe it or not, he also supported the war in Iraq, but we’ll leave those for another day). To reinforce this narrative, he chose two screenshots; one a photo of a flight of Norwegian fighter/bombers, the other of sinister looking Norwegian troops wearing gas masks and bearing assault weapon. To give Norway an even bigger black eye, and expand on the visceral impact of those images, he expanded his narrative to include the death and mangling of children. In his own words:

“Regardless of the justifications of these wars — and Norway is in both countries as part of a U.N. action — it is simply a fact that Norway has sent its military to two foreign countries where it is attacking people, dropping bombs, and killing civilians.”

“On a weekly basis — literally — the U.S. and its Western allies explode homes, mangle children, extinguish the lives of innocent people, disrupt communities, kill community and government leaders, and bring violence and terror to large numbers of people — those are just facts.”

But in yesterday’s column, “An un-American response to the Oslo attack,” Norway is suddenly a courageous and principled country refusing to buckle into fear in the face of terror attacks. So which version, or construct, of Norway is correct: Yesterday’s where a courageous and principled nation eschews the “Security State,” or Friday’s where Norway is killing and mangling children and extinguishing the lives of innocent people while bringing terror to large numbers of people? Once again, you can’t have it both ways. It’s like my friend who’s a comedian said of Bush administration born-again Christians working in the oil industry: you cannot live in the Garden of Eden and work in Jurassic Park. You have to decide.

But Glenn won’t because it doesn’t seem to matter to him when he argues both sides of a position. And the position often seems subordinate to what he’s really after: a platform where he can tendentiously argue the same points over and over, even when the constructs involve glaring inconsistencies.

Anyway…I’m going to go eat breakfast. But to lighten things up after you read this, here’s my friend’s routine that includes the Jurassic Park/Garden of Eden joke. He’s a very astute and funny guy. And yes, I’m shamelessly plugging him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PZUywkJ-ak

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Jay P July 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Rob,

Damn, this catches me as I’m leaving work on a Friday (my last day, actually…I’m moving next month to go back to school). So this will have to be short.

I see what you’re saying. Greenwald tends to use extremely aggressive language in the service of his columns, but I think the substance of his critiques — if properly disembodied from the way he expresses them — is still consistent. Norway can, in fact, be guilty of killing Muslims (if that’s the way you choose to see it, which he does) via its participation in NATO, while simultaneously choosing not to succumb to the type of rampant xenophobia that struck the US immediately following 9/11.

Granted, the way in which he hails Norway as a bastion of restraint and civil liberties mere days after bashing them for their participation in NATO’s wars does give a bit of whiplash. But it’s not contradictory so much as it is overly enthusiastic in painting caricatures. And — here I’m getting into hagiographer mode — I would argue that this happens most frequently for “activists” such as Greenwald.

In other words, people whose views and/or principles lie significantly outside of the currently accepted conventional wisdom (the brand of politics currently being executed in Washington by Congress, for example, no matter whose side you happen to be on) tend to latch on feverishly to counterexamples that validate their disgust with the perceived mainstream. That doesn’t make those counterexamples any less valid; it just means the person is perhaps overly excitable (and in Greenwald’s case, bitter/hostile, even with some commenters such as yourself) when presented with support for his/her arguments.

Lastly, your friend is funny.

Jay

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A. Jay Adler July 30, 2011 at 11:54 am

I feel like Al Pacino in Godfather III.

First, Jay P. if you noticed one of your comments not appearing for some time, it was because of the number of links in it. My filter is set to treat comments beyond a set number of links as spam. I was busy yesterday and didn’t notice it. It’s published now.

Some of the commentary subsequent to my previous and, I’d hoped, final comment draws me back into the conversation one more time.

Jay P. has been critical of Adam over the accuracy of one of Adam’s quotations of Greenwald about Israel, and this commentary thread has intertwined criticism of Greenwald on a different topic with the topic of Israel. Ultimately, I think, for those critical of Greenwald and of certain ideological trends he represents in his peculiar way, those two strains have the same source.

Here is a typical passage from Greenwald that Rob quotes:

“Conversely, the U.S. Government most certainly did pursue vastly increased security powers in the name of McVeigh’s attack: the Clinton administration, citing the Oklahoma City attack, demanded a full-scale prohibition on all computer encryption that the Government could not access, as well as significantly increased domestic eavesdropping powers, while Congress — by an overwhelming majority — enacted the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 that severely infringed due process rights, created new Terrorism crimes, and vested the government with a litany of vast new prosecutorial powers — all galvanized by the McVeigh attack (read more from The New York Times’ Linda Greenhouse on how both parties exploited the Oklahoma City bombing to significantly increase the government’s surveillance and police powers).”

Vague and diffuse adjectives and adverbs for Greenwald are ideational cluster bombs. Based just on those few I highlighted one might think 1996 ushered in the beginnings of a police state. Undoubtedly, there are readers of Greenwald who do think we already live in a police state. Language, like the metaphors of violence I mentioned earlier, can create the reality in which we choose to live. There is, too, the mixture of what the government pursued and Clinton demanded with what the Congress enacted. How many readers of that passage know how these laws actually are changed based on these events?

Rob quotes this passage:

“Regardless of the justifications of these wars — and Norway is in both countries as part of a U.N. action — it is simply a fact that Norway has sent its military to two foreign countries where it is attacking people, dropping bombs, and killing civilians.”

“On a weekly basis — literally — the U.S. and its Western allies explode homes, mangle children, extinguish the lives of innocent people, disrupt communities, kill community and government leaders, and bring violence and terror to large numbers of people — those are just facts.”

Greenwald is no real writer anymore than he is a genuine thinker, so it would probably take skills he lacks to argue with any less integrity. On the larger level, these two bathetic paragraphs would apply, allowing for anachronism, to every war ever fought in the history of humankind, regardless – and why, pray tell, regardless? – “of the justification of these wars.” (Don’t justifications matter?) More narrowly, “attacking people [just people, any, old people], dropping bombs, and killing civilians” certainly sounds purposeful to those effects, doesn’t it? “

[T]he U.S. and its Western allies explode homes, mangle children, extinguish the lives of innocent people, disrupt communities, kill community and government leaders, and bring violence and terror to large numbers of people.” Sounds purposeful again, doesn’t it? What monsters! If only it weren’t for “the U.S. and its Western allies,” what peaceful, terror-free and unmangled and unextinguished lives we might all be leading. And this manipulative combination of purposeful agency and bathetic description is labeled “just facts.”

The kind of person capable of arguing in this manner is the bullshitter. In “The Hypocrisy and Bullshit of Glenn Greenwald,” I quoted thusly Harry G. Frankfurt from On Bullshit:

Telling a lie is an act with a sharp focus. It is designed to insert a particular falsehood at a specific point in a set or system of beliefs, in order to avoid the consequences of having that point occupied by the truth. This requires a degree of craftsmanship, in which the teller of the lie submits to objective constraints imposed by what he takes to be the truth. The liar is inescapably concerned with truth-values. In order to invent a lie at all, he must think he knows what is true. And in order to invent an effective lie, he must design his falsehood under the guidance of that truth. On the other hand, a person who undertakes to bullshit his way through has much more freedom. His focus is panoramic rather than particular. He does not limit himself to inserting a certain falsehood at a specific point, and thus he is not constrained by the truths surrounding that point or intersecting it. He is prepared to fake the context as well, so far as need requires.

Unfortunately, this practice infiltrates its way into more sincere political argument, in which the context may not be faked, but it is distorted. Jay P., you argue,

This is exactly why, I think, you don’t see Greenwald castigating, say, Syria on their human rights issues, but you do see him condemning other countries — with which the US has closer relationships — for theirs. The difference is that, by virtue of our alliance with these countries, they bear closer inspection on our part.

This is a common variation of the argument Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International offer for why they focus disproportionately on alleged Western and, even more so, Israeli abuses. They claim they direct more of their oversight to where it might actually produce results (and, less publicly, they claim, to areas of topical interest that will generate more funding).

These rationales all distort reality.

One can draw on two bases for forms of absolute judgment. One is a set of ideal values. The other is a set of criteria drawn from the complete range of relative relations among all the elements that produce data within the category of judgment. Realism sets the latter form of judgment against the former. Cynicism dispenses with the former, and relativism argues that the former doesn’t exist. Beyond this, to purposefully limit (whatever the rationale may be) the elements and relations under consideration – the nations and their conduct – and then still to offer absolute judgments is merely tendentious. The judgments produced will either have been ideologically predetermined or inherently determined by the methodology.

Finally, Jay P., you wrote in response to Rob,

In regards to your point re foreign aid to Israel/Egypt, I think it’s extremely important to keep in mind why and how we got to the point where Egypt became our second-largest beneficiary. This was a direct result of the Camp David Accords in 1979; Egypt is being rewarded almost entirely due to its alliance with Israel.

I know you’re rightly concerned with exactitude in language, but that isn’t just an issue in quotation. What is meant by Egypt’s “alliance with Israel”? Alliance as in that between the U.S. and Great Britain or that between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during World War II or any point in the range between? “Ally” is not a very precise term. You right after quote from a Wikileaks cable that refers to

USD 1.3 billion in annual FMF as ‘untouchable compensation’ for making and maintaining peace with Israel.

Being political friends (one implication of “alliance”) is a distant shout of alarm away from being paid off not to engage in, provoke, or support war against Israel or to formalize cultural and religious anti-Semitism as foreign policy.

The failure – the refusal – to consider the full range of relative relations in assessing the history and current state of Israel-Palestine leads to this kind of slippery conceptualizing. Still earlier in the conversation you referred to “the Jewish-American (and Jewish Israeli) communities[’] disproportionate amount of influence on the American political process.” You made clear that by “disproportionate” you meant something merely, literally numerical, but we know that is not how the term is generally intended. The connotation is generally “excessive,” “controlling,” and against U.S. interests. What would mere numerical proportionality mean, anyway? It that possible (even to calculate)? Is it desirable? If Hispanics are 32% of the population, should they be restricted ideally to 32% influence, and what would that be?

You used the analogy of the NRA as another lobby that is commonly characterized as having disproportionate influence or power. But that characterization is always a value judgment against the NRA, not a numerical analysis. And it is always made as a value judgment and criticism of Jewish influence in the U.S. regarding Israel. However, it is the focus on Israeli lobby influence, and that ideologically tendentious approach to judging nation-state conduct, that leads so many of Israel’s critics to miss the essential and so obvious point.

Walter Russell Read has written multiple times – and polling supports his analysis – that greater than the influence of Jewish-American organizations in determining U.S. policy towards Israel is the overwhelming support that Israel has in the U.S. among non-Jewish Americans. An obvious element of this support is one of natural sympathy. Unlike any other nation in the Middle East, its sole liberal democracy shares a whole range of philosophical, political, cultural, Enlightenment and spiritual values with the United States. It would be remarkable if Americans did not support Israel in its adversarial relations with scores of nations that do not share these values, that in so many instances stand contrary to them. Odd it is that those like Greenwald who criticize the U.S. for its consort with autocratic Arab regimes to do not in complementary fashion praise it for its even greater support of their opposite. What ideology must it be that prevents this?

From a purely cynical realpolitik standpoint, given other U.S. interests in the Middle East, nothing would ever have made greater sense than for the U.S. to have abandoned Israel long ago. However, there is sometimes no person more cynical than the professional observer of cynics. What critics like Greenwald cannot see in their monovision of the U.S, Israel, and the West, including, when it suits, Norway, is that within the interplay of so many forces and trends over time, with ebbs and flows and no party without error, U.S. support both for the creation of Israel and of it in its travails – in contrast to so many compromised geopolitical alliances – is as great a representation of American values and what the United States should stand for in foreign policy as one will find.

Reply

Jay P July 31, 2011 at 12:02 am

A. Jay,

I’m starting a post at 2:25 AM. This is not a good sign. Also, before I forget, I’m wracking my brain trying to make sense of the Godfather III reference but coming up empty. Can you explain?

OK, then…to your post. I will try to address your points roughly in the order you wrote them.

1) In regards to Greenwald’s rather grim depiction of American and Western military endeavors: “Regardless of the justifications of these wars — and Norway is in both countries as part of a U.N. action — it is simply a fact that Norway has sent its military to two foreign countries where it is attacking people, dropping bombs, and killing civilians.”

Again, I have little to add as to his tone. He is definitely painting a picture, and he’s doing it in such a way that highlights certain colors more than others, without question. I will admit to being a bit of a Greenwald fanboy (as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now), but I maintain that his offending phrase — “regardless of the justifications” — is in fact completely acceptable given the point he’s trying to make. That point is simply this (taken from Greenwald’s post, a few paragraphs before the above quote):

“It is, however, worth commenting on both the prevailing descriptions of Norway as well as the reaction to these attacks, as they reveal some important points. Most media accounts express bafflement that Norway would be the target of such an attack given how peaceful it is; The New York Times, for instance, said “the attacks appeared to be part of a coordinated assault on the ordinarily peaceful Scandinavian nation.” This is simply inaccurate. Norway is a nation at war — in more than just one country.”

Thus, the justification of the war really doesn’t matter; the fact that it’s currently engaged in military activities is indicative of the error of the NYT’s characterization of Norway as “ordinarily peaceful.”

2) I must confess that I’m not entirely sure I followed the portion of your comment devoted to the “two bases for forms of absolute judgment.” (I must note, however, that in that paragraph you also included a sentence with 7 nested prepositional phrases, which gives Greenwald a run for his money in the “complex sentence structures” department. :-))

From what I understand, you think it’s disingenuous to decide that certain behavior is immoral, and then to exclude certain nations from condemnation for that very behavior simply because they do not fit into a specific set of predefined qualifications. Is that an accurate retelling?

If so, I’m not sure I follow your reasoning. Don’t you think it matters, for me as an American, where my money is going and how my country’s foreign policy is being directed? If, for example, Syria is slaughtering its own people (as is the case), I can be — and am — concerned, but short of invading or fomenting further internal unrest, the US has very little leverage in the country.

Israel, however, is a different story. In addition to the $3B/year of foreign aid, Israel receives many intangible benefits of the alliance as well, including the implicit promise of US support in the UN, military and intelligence sharing, and so forth. What does the US get out of all this? Obviously, this will depend on the person, but I would argue that it’s a net negative relationship for the US. Whether or not this is accurate is beside the point, because I’m simply stating that Israel’s close alliance with us deserves heightened scrutiny — not because its behavior is necessarily any worse than non-allies of the US, but simply because our association with Israel confers huge benefits on Israel, and I believe we should be gaining something in return.

3) As for the nature of Egypt’s alliance with Israel, again, I don’t think the relative degree matters. I was simply responding to Rob’s statement here:

“As to Israel, the funding issue is a red-herring. Why? Because it’s very, — dare I say — nationalistic to focus one’s ire on Israel because of the foreign aid they receive from our country. The next biggest recipient of foreign aid is Egypt, and unless I’m mistaken, until the Arab Spring, Glenn never really mentioned Mubarak’s repression of his own people.”

Rob was suggesting, in other words, that Egypt was another example of a state implementing immoral policies that the US supported, and that Greenwald seemed not to care. My point was that Egypt’s foreign aid was dependent on its relationship with Israel. Whether that relationship is close or arm’s-length is another issue; the money we send to Egypt may very well require nothing more than the absence of military hostilities, but that wouldn’t change anything about what I said. Either way, I was simply stating that Greenwald would not be inconsistent to attribute US foreign aid to Egypt as part and parcel of our alliance with Israel.

4) As to disproportionate representation, you wrote:

“You made clear that by “disproportionate” you meant something merely, literally numerical, but we know that is not how the term is generally intended. The connotation is generally “excessive,” “controlling,” and against U.S. interests.”

I disagree. Apart from my general disgust for moneyed interests’ infestation of politics (across all interest groups, not just Jewish lobbies), I wouldn’t characterize any one group’s influence as “excessive” in a legal or democratic sense. I may dislike the extent of that influence in certain cases, but using “excessive” brings to mind the need for some sort of specific regulation against that type of group, which obviously I would oppose (although, again, I’d gladly support such restrictions in a generalized form for all lobbying). I would definitely argue that the very hawkish portion of the Jewish-American lobby is against US interests, but that’s simply my opinion. As for “controlling,” that’s not something I’d use either, nor would most (if any) non-anti-Semites.

So by “disproportionate,” I mean such things as the fact that, whenever an even moderate amount of presidential pressure is applied on the Israeli administration, massive numbers of senators and representatives quickly sign petitions circulated by AIPAC and others to oppose it, when on virtually any other issue (as we’re seeing so clearly now) neither the House nor the Senate can achieve bipartisan agreement on anything. So yes, I do think it is damaging (and “excessive” only in the sense that I don’t think it’s good for our country, nor for Israel’s).

And lastly, as for US support of Israel, I’d find it a lot easier to stomach if we were dealing with a Livni, instead of Bibi, Lieberman, Ayalon, et al. But unfortunately I think the trend is heading in the opposite direction.

Reply

Rob July 31, 2011 at 9:42 am

Jay P,

As the author who kicked this off, I feel a responsibility to try and substantively reply to some of the issues you’ve raised. But as Jay has pointed out, this discussion has strayed from my original thoughts on Greenwald, so let’s try and save further discussion for another day. I think we’re all about talked-out at this moment. We need some time (as my idol Sarah P says) to reload. ;)

But now that you’ve described yourself as a “bit of a Greenwald fanboy,” I would only ask that you attempt to scrutinize his work with “a bit” more objectivity. You admit he can be “downright hostile,” has a “weirdly aggressive, tone,” and paints “caricatures” of his subjects. Plus, as I’ve shown, he often makes mistakes and even admits it while declaring he’ll make many more. So the next time you hear him haranguing journalists on their responsibilities to correct mistakes, keep that in mind that he clearly doesn’t correct his own. And if you can overlook those (and many other faults) in order to rationalize the ‘greater good’ of his contributions, that’s your right. Then again, I’ll bet he’s never called you an illiterate, bed-wetting, 3rd grade, mentally challenged, Obama cultist crack addict. In my opinion, he’s an utter embarrassment to rational discourse and I don’t want him on my ‘side.’ I also find it more than ironic that one of his heroes is Bill Moyers. As I wrote to him once as part of a letter (one he arbitrarily deleted) WWBMD?

And not for nothing, but as I pointed out earlier, Glenn strongly supported Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan, and even more bizarrely, supported him on Iraq. As a “fanboy” did you know that? And I ask that question not out of any malice, but when I wrote something about it in his comments, a collective cry went up challenging me. But as it turned out, some of his most ardent readers had no idea that was true (and more probably didn’t want to raise their voices in fear of what’s commonly known around the internets as “Glenzilla.”) As you may have seen, he constantly – and I mean constantly – employs the most inflammatory of language to describe people who supported the Iraq war. I have zero problems with evolving positions on issues (especially Iraq). But it would be – let’s say – more intellectually honest if just once he admitted to that factoid in a column where he rhetorically carpet bombs people like Jeffrey Goldberg and Joe Klein over their support of the war. Included in Glenn’s reply to me on that issue was that he wrote about it in the preface of his first book and publicly discusses it at times. NOT included were any links to disprove my allegation that he’s never written about it on the net (how very unlike Glenn not to have a plethora of links at hand).

As to Egypt, it is simply a fact that Glenn never criticized Mubarak’s Egypt, even as Mubarak used US military aid to repress his own people. Only when Glenn thought he could use that to his advantage did he begin bringing it up. That’s called a double-standard. And you can choose to view that aid as some sort of pay-off to maintain an “alliance” with Israel, but that’s simply a poorly drawn caricature of historically complex relationships between the superpowers, Egypt and other states in the region. After all, Sadat began dismantling Egypt’s alliance with the Soviets almost as soon as he attained power (and then basically threw them out in 1976). And part of the Camp David Accords provided the first framework for settling the Palestinian issue. And that led to Oslo. And so on and so on. To paraphrase Bob Marley: for every little action, there’s a reaction.

And it does matter to me where my money goes, but I don’t limit my compassion for a country’s citizens based on how much aid we give their government. When I look at Sudan and see genocide, I don’t waffle because my country ain’t waltzin’ with Bashir. I send money to those I feel are helping, I attend rallies and I write letters. It ain’t much, but I do what I can do. Now imagine what Glenn could do on that issue. But he won’t because of his supposedly strict doctrine.

And I disagree as to the leverage the US can apply on Assad. Our ambassador visiting Hama sure ticked him off (not to mention Iran’s government). That sent a signal to Iran that we’re keeping an eye on the situation because Assad is part of Iran’s pathway to expanding its power in the Middle East. So our government has obvious strategic concerns over that issue and also about Hezbollah and Hamas, two Syrian proxies who could push a tense Netanyahu into something we’d all regret. Assad has already cynically sent Palestinians to the border to deflect attention from his crimes. And who knows what might trigger what these days.

Furthermore, it’s obvious that much to the detriment of Iran, Turkey has steadily been gaining influence in the Arab world. And we have interests in keeping Turkey as stable and secular as possible as a counterweight to Iran (and it’s not only the United States, but other Arab nations have a stake in this as well). And like it or not, this type of ‘realpolitik’ was part of the world long before there was a United States, and will endure for ages to come. It’s why, unlike a historically isolated Libya, we can’t invade or bomb Syria to stop Assad. There’s just too much at stake there in both lives and treasure. That’s what’s known as the real world, as opposed to Glenn’s simplistic black and white narratives that color almost everything he writes. ‘We’re dropping bombs on Qadaffi so why aren’t we dropping bombs on Assad?’ Not that simple when people actually take the time to inform themselves of the complexity of these situations, is it?

And be careful of finding it easier to stomach Livni rather than Bibi. That kind of talk will get you more than castigated over at Glenn’s place. They ain’t too fond of anything Israeli. But at least I agree with you on that gastronomical point.

Godfather III?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPw-3e_pzqU

– Rob

A. Jay Adler July 31, 2011 at 9:54 am

Jay P.
The Godfather III reference was to Michael Corleone and his longstanding efforts to make the family legitimate. Finding himself drawn back into criminal activity, he cries out in his kitchen, “Just when I think I’m out” – and he reaches out with his hands, drawing them back into himself in fists – “they pull me back in.” This regarding my earlier attempt to bring my contributions to the comments on this post to an end.

I find you’ve missed my point about Greenwald, which is one in toto and not merely about the Norway/war quotation. My comment about “regardless of the justification” was not key to my point, but telling nonetheless, because in human behavior facts have no real meaning without considering their causes. Key, however, was the misrepresentative, manipulative nature of the language, in a passage purporting to offer “just fact.” In my very first comment, I wrote,

The point on which Rob and I agree is that Greenwald’s methods are not insignificant in consideration of his ideas and his arguments.

As a bullshitter, Greenwald constantly, in Frankfurt’s terms, “fakes the context,” at the micro level of language and syntax and at the macro level of setting the parameters of the discussion. You appear willing to forgive all manner of fraudulence in argumentation because you like the message. However, “he’s full of shit, but he’s got a point” is not a contribution to discourse.

You claim the point was simply the media’s characterization of Norway as a peaceful nation and Greenwald’s demonstration that it is actually a nation at war. You ignore:

1. the slanted nature of that warlike characterization, and why it was so slanted,

2. that part of Greenwald’s point was to counter any mystification at why “peaceful” Norway might be attacked – a counter point that only makes sense if the mistaken headline of the New York Times that is the basis of this post, and that Greenwald so criticized, had been true; but it was not true, and thus the purported basis for making this point (possible reaction, in the terror attack, to Norway’s war making) not even one Greenwald believed,

3. and that, completely irrelevant to the merely factual point Greenwald (and you in support of him) claimed to have been making, he inserted in that second paragraph the real argument he is always offering as red meat to his supportive readers:

“On a weekly basis — literally — the U.S. and its Western allies explode homes, mangle children….

In the “two bases for forms of absolute judgment,” I managed to convey my general point, but your response suggests you missed the crucial term – absolute judgment – even as you repeat it. You write,

Don’t you think it matters, for me as an American, where my money is going and how my country’s foreign policy is being directed?

Sure. And this policy consideration, which you mostly present in cold, calculative terms – what is the U.S. getting in return for its aid, commitment, and alliance. Then, the class under consideration consists only of those nations with which the U.S. has such relations, and its members are evaluated according to (as you seem to set them) practical political criteria. But the judgments Greenwald makes about Israel (and you less explicitly within this discussion) are not these simply political judgments predicated on association – thought that sop is thrown out as a cover – but absolute moral judgments about nations, their policies and conduct. Then Syria is indeed in the mix, and Myanmar, and China, and Russia, and Sudan and on and on.

It is one thing to say the U.S. has a race problem. It is another to say it is a racist nation, because then I begin by asking, “Compared to what other nations?”

You go back and forth between cold political calculus and seemingly ethical consideration (albeit not always clearly so in the distinction between yourself and your defense of Greenwald), and this fudges the terms of consideration. I made clear in my last comment that I consider the terms paramountly moral, though I can make a very realpolitik defense of our alliance with Israel.

In those moral terms, as I again made clear in my last comment, your attitude toward Israel as I make it out, and Greenwald’s, is incoherent to me. You write that

as for US support of Israel, I’d find it a lot easier to stomach if we were dealing with a Livni, instead of Bibi, Lieberman, Ayalon, et al.

That isn’t a statement with which I’m totally out of sympathy. I’d be in even more sympathy with the sentence if you substituted in it, some years back, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. Nonetheless, there was never any question for me who I favored in the opposition between even that U.S. and a variety of its global adversaries or how I evaluated that U.S. in absolute judgment.

Which is it – you want something “out of” our relationship with Israel that you think we don’t get, or you morally can’t “stomach” Israel? You can’t stomach Syria either, but at least you’re not paying for the upset, and that’s bottom line? And there are not other bases upon which to distinguish between then two and upon which to base our relations with them?

To begin to wrap up, I write,

The connotation [of “disproportionate”] is generally “excessive,” “controlling,” and against U.S. interests.”

You say you disagree. But then you write,

So by “disproportionate,” I mean such things as the fact that, whenever an even moderate amount of presidential pressure is applied on the Israeli administration, massive numbers of senators and representatives quickly sign petitions circulated by AIPAC and others to oppose it, when on virtually any other issue (as we’re seeing so clearly now) neither the House nor the Senate can achieve bipartisan agreement on anything. So yes, I do think it is damaging (and “excessive” only in the sense that I don’t think it’s good for our country, nor for Israel’s).

Sounds to me like you do agree. Disproportionate is a value judgment on the nature of the influence. You look at Israel, in the world, and in the world of the Middle East, and what you see is beyond my comprehension in ethical terms, though I am certainly familiar with the ideological constructs within which that vision can fit.

Finally, in line with all this, you strain to cavil with me and Adam over whether the one state idea, in place of Israel, has as its intent “the end of Israel” (my phrase). Adam introduced the word “destruction” and you used its kinetic implications to further your efforts, but really, Jay P. – one state, in place of Israel, means the end of Israel. The current state of Israel, a national homeland of the Jewish people, would no longer exist – the end. And to believe that the proposal of a one-state “solution” by almost all who do propose it is meant actually, merely as a “solution,” and is not truly directed purposefully at the elimination of the Jewish state is contrary to the evidence and simply blindness.

Jay P August 1, 2011 at 10:09 am

Rob,

As I just mentioned to A. Jay in a comment on my own blog, I’ll defer to you in not continuing this discussion in perpetuity here. Instead, within the next few days, I expect to post my responses in slightly longer form on my own blog, in case you’re interested in reading it.

I appreciate the thoughtful, civil discussion! In that way, at least, Glenn Greenwald has a lot to learn from us. :-)

Jay

Adam Levick July 28, 2011 at 3:54 am

Excellent post. I only wish that being an irresponsible journalist was his worse sin. No, his worse trait is that, in Chomsky style, he truly sees the U.S. as nothing but a force of evil in the world, an also has this nasty little habit of advancing explicitly anti-Semitic arguments.

Here’s a link demonstrating the former

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/06/glenn-greenwald-compares-the-iraq-war-to-the-nazi-conquest-of-europe/58966/

And, here’s something I wrote regarding the latter.

http://blog.z-word.com/2010/03/glenn-greenwald-keeps-an-ugly-calumny-alive/

Reply

Rob July 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

Thanks, Adam. I’ve seen both those, and anyone with a true sense of intellectual honesty would acknowledge them for the truth they speak about Greenwald. But then again, there ain’t a whole lot of intellectual honesty on those subject from Glenn and his ilk.

The other day he called me a “Muslim hater.” When I loudly protested, he lectured me about grammar and then conceded it may have been an error in the construct of his sentence.

Of course he still managed to call me an ‘Israel obsessive.”

Reply

Jay P July 28, 2011 at 8:26 am

You fail to mention that your post was utterly and efficiently discredited in the comments section.

Reply

Jay P July 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

To be clear, the above comment was directed at Adam, who (as you can see in the comments section of the link he provided) doctored Greenwald’s quote to attempt to make him sound anti-Semitic.

Reply

Rob July 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Jay P,

Here’s the (full) quote from Glenn I believe to be the one in question. It’s from 2/3/07 when Glenn was still writing Unclaimed Territory (if not, I can’t find anything remotely close).

“It is simply true that there are large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups which are agitating for a U.S. war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devoted to promoting Israel’s interests and they perceive it to be in Israel’s interests for the U.S. to militarily confront Iran.”

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2007/02/enforced-orthodoxies-and-iran.html

Here’s Adam quoting Greenwald:

“Large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups are the ones agitating for a U.S. war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devoted to promoting Israel’s interests.”

The difference is between Greenwald’s “which are agitating” and Adam’s “are the ones agitating.” Adam’s quote makes it appear as if these donor groups are the only ones supposedly agitating for war with Iran, while Glenn paints a broader picture, albeit one filled with highlighted quotes from political consultants, including one about New York Jews being ATM machines for candidates.

I can’t speak for Adam as to the difference, but as you said about Glenn, Adam’s “overall point still stands.” In short, if that’s what you’re hanging your hat on, considering the plethora of other evidence in Adam’s piece, your chapeau is likely to fall.

Here’s what I wrote on the overall subject right around this time last year. I used the “Jewish donor groups” quote from that same Greenwald piece.

http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/40064/mainstreaming-hate/comment-page-3/#comment-83450

I suggest you read Jay’s pieces here on the subject of Glenn and Israel. They’re pretty enlightening. And just so you know, I used to like Greenwald’s work at Salon when I first started reading it. Then I began seeing that he didn’t live up to his self-proclaimed lofty standards for journalism (and that’s putting it mildly). Plus the fact that when he disagrees with someone, he often launches demeaning and insulting personal attacks which have absolutely no relevance to the discussion. It’s like he doesn’t think he can substantively debate honest disagreements unless he totally humiliates you in other people’s eyes. Just ask Larry Lessig. Or Jeffrey Goldberg. Or me. Or, etc., etc. It’s really NOT the way to win friends and influence people.

On that subject, why he thought it germane in a discussion about the Oslo shootings to suddenly accuse me of being an ‘Israel obsessive’ is a question only answerable in Glenn’s mind. But it’s more evidence of his thought process when it comes to Israel. I would say he’s projecting, but I’m not a psychiatric professional.

And thanks for the reply on the Europol report. I can’t look at it again now, but I’ll try later.

Reply

A. Jay Adler July 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Jay P., you should be able to see, beneath the links that follow most posts, a button that enables you to subscribe to comments.

A few different issues have been mixed together in the running comments here. It seems clear that what is of greatest importance to Jay P. is the general point Greenwald has made about the tendencies in the MSM’s response to the Oslo terror attack. Rob was focused on Greenwald’s methods of reportage and representation. Jay P. doesn’t wish to dispute that specific issue with regard to the Times in this case, but seems to care more about that general issue.

About that general issue and how people treat it – what they wish to emphasize and what they’re willing to discount in the greater service of that which they wish to emphasize – I hope to post soon. The point on which Rob and I agree is that Greenwald’s methods are not insignificant in consideration of his ideas and his arguments. For example, in making his generally defensible case about poor reportage and a rush to draw conclusions about Oslo, Greenwald characteristically distorts the case in an update:

This article expertly traces and sets forth exactly how the “Muslims-did-it” myth was manufactured and then disseminated yesterday to the worldwide media, which predictably repeated it with little skepticism. What makes the article so valuable is that it names names.

“Myth,” “manufactured,” “disseminated,” and “names names” all together appear a concerted intent on Greenwald’s part to suggest a conscious, even conspiratorial effort to promulgate a false story for obvious ideological purposes. If you actually read the article to which he links, it turns out the “names named” are only one, that of Will McCants, about whom even the authors of the article say only in final judgment,

It’s too bad McCants didn’t exercise the caution and restraint that he says the forum moderator did.

The article by the way is from Electronic Intifada, a source that in this recent editorial, “The sham solidarity of Israel’s Zionist left,” impressively seeks to employ what Richard Landes has described as the moebius strip of cognitive egocentrism in shaming to its knees even the Israeli left. A source that is opposed to two states and that advocates the end of Israel. And that link, that sourcing, is just one stray, falling hair from the balding head of evidence for Greenwald’s hostility to Israel and why he has no credibility with most people who are true supporters of Israel.

Jay P July 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Rob,

First, agreed on your point regarding Greenwald’s tone. He tends to be dismissive, if not downright hostile, too often, even when it’s unwarranted.

The reason I respect him tremendously in spite of this, however, is that in a sense I can feel his frustration with the overwhelming amount of b.s. that gets thrown around in public discourse. I think — perhaps hyperbolically, but perhaps not — that Greenwald is the most important media critic in the U.S., because he meticulously and methodically debunks prevailing media myths and mischaracterizations on an almost-daily basis, at a time when such lies and deception are often considered as all just a part of having a national conversation.

Anyway, that’s beside the point. I take huge issue with Adam’s post because it contains a host of logical fallacies, which would necessitate a blog post of my own to correct (and, as such, maybe I will devote some more time to it later, but right now I’ll try to keep it short).

The main error Adam makes — and I’m convinced that, given his dubious methods, it’s intentional — is to conflate longstanding anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and slurs with legitimate observations. Chief among these is the common accusation that “Jews have stood accused of not possessing sufficient loyalty to the nations where they reside.”

He is right about this. But it is patently absurd to then accuse someone of being anti-Semitic simply for pointing out the fact (quite supported by ample evidence) that Jewish-American (and Jewish Israeli) communities exert a disproportionate amount of influence on the American political process. This is not racist; it’s simply a (fairly obvious) remark. Various groups exert disproportionately high (rifle-owners, retirees, the wealthy, etc.) or disproportionately low (African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, etc.) levels of influence in relation to their size (obviously, people are free to debate who fits into each group). Noticing this is not racism, and yet Adam cleverly conflates the two to make it seem as if it is. Even the State Department report on anti-Semitism that he cites, in qualifying its definition of anti-Semitism, states, “The EUMC makes clear, however, that criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded in itself as anti-Semitic.”

The common rebuttal to this is that criticism of Israel is indeed heightened compared to that of other countries. To which I would respond: Yes, because the US spends more money on Israel in foreign aid than it does on any other country, coordinates and aligns its foreign policy in relation to Israel’s interests more than it does with any other country, and has arguably made many more enemies as a result of its alliance (and thus diminished its own global image) than it has in its relations with any other country.

But anyway, I’m getting into the substance of Israel debates, which is well beyond the scope of this comment. You can freely disagree with the above; however, it is flat-out disingenuous on Adam’s part to pretend that criticizing the policies of a state that benefits hugely from American aid and remarking that Jewish-Americans have large influence over the American political process is somehow a priori anti-Semitic. Do I hate rifle owners just by noticing that the NRA exerts an undue influence on the political process?

Also, I would take issue with your comment that “Glenn…[includes a comment] about New York Jews being ATM machines for candidates. ” In the post you linked to, a Democratic consultant — who, for all we know, is a huge supporter of Jewish causes; it is not clear at all that he meant this disparagingly — said, “New York is the ATM for American politicians. Large amounts of money come from the Jewish community…If you’re running for president and you want dollars from that group, you need to show that you’re interested in the issue that matters most to them.” He said New York is a political ATM, which has always been the case (see Obama’s recent bankers’ fundraiser at the Daniel restaurant in NY a few weeks ago), but he only mentioned Jews as a part of that overall scene. (This is borne out by reality; there are tons of wealthy donors in NY, and Jews are only part of that). I don’t see how that’s remotely anti-Semitic. If you’re running for president, then ANY group needs to see you’re interested in their issues before giving you money; this applies to Jews like it does to anyone else.

Finally, what really bothers me is that Adam deliberately re-worded the Greenwald quote to make it sound as if he specifically picked on Jews. He didn’t. In fact, just a couple paragraphs beyond that doctored quote that Adam cherrypicked, Greenwald writes, “It goes without saying that there are other factions and motives behind the push for war with Iran besides right-wing Jewish groups. There is the generic warmongering, militarism and oil-driven expansionism represented by Dick Cheney. And there are the post-9/11 hysterics and bigots who crave ever-expanding warfare and slaughter of Muslims in the Middle East for reasons having nothing to do with Israel. There are evangelical Christians who crave more Middle Eastern war on religious and theological grounds, and there are some who just believe that the U.S. can and should wage war against whatever countries seem not like to us. And, it should also be noted, a huge portion of American Jews, if not the majority, do not share this agenda.”

Anyway, I’ve spent far too much time on this comment. :-) I do understand your lack of respect for Greenwald’s attitude, but I maintain that, if you can get past his weirdly aggressive tone, he still has a lot of relevant things to say about the state of national discourse.

Jay P July 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm

A. Jay,

Thanks for the subscription how-to.

Looking forward to your upcoming post on media narratives and how people choose to address perceived problems with them.

You mentioned that “‘Myth,’ ‘manufactured,’ ‘disseminated,’ and ‘names names’ all together appear a concerted intent on Greenwald’s part to suggest a conscious, even conspiratorial effort to promulgate a false story for obvious ideological purposes.” I can’t purport to speak for Greenwald, but I would argue that it’s not necessarily — although it may be, depending on the source — a “conspiratorial effort to promulgate a false story.”

In reality, I think it’s quite often a combination of laziness and unconscious prejudice. That Greenwald castigated the New York Times, which is hardly considered a bastion of anti-Muslim rhetoric, is (to my mind) an indication that he is disgusted by its nevertheless rushed pre-judgment as to who must have been behind the Oslo attacks. If he were speaking primarily of FOX News, on the other hand, I could very easily see it being an issue of “obvious ideological purposes” behind the quick finger-pointing. So I think it really depends, but whether it’s out of laziness or conscious racism, it’s a problem either way.

P.S. As for Electronic Intifada, it “advocates the end of Israel?” I’ve linked to them in the past and occasionally read articles on the site, but I don’t recall anything like that. That said, I’m not a frequent visitor by any means, so I may have missed something. Do you have a link?

Maureen July 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm
Maureen July 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Terrorist, extremist, Christian right winger. . . As I remarked the other day, perhaps it’s time to rethink using any (handy) label other than “cold-blooded murderer”. What his twisted political orientation, Brevik is that.

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Maureen July 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I meant to write: Whatever his twisted political orientation, Brevik is that.

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Jay P July 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm

You may not like Greenwald’s mistake, if that’s indeed what it was — and it sounds like it — but his overall point still stands. Perhaps not for the headline of the NYT specifically, but in general the media fell head over heels for the Muslim-as-the-terrorist narrative before even stopping to collect any evidence. (Greenwald is hardly the only person to notice this. Check out Colbert last night: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/393042/july-25-2011/norwegian-muslish-gunman-s-islam-esque-atrocity?xrs=share_copy.)

As for the point that some people make that it is reasonable to assume Muslims were behind the attack because they’re so much more violent in comparison to other groups, Europol statistics would strongly disagree: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEMQFjAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.europol.europa.eu%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fpublications%2Fte-sat2011.pdf&rct=j&q=europol%20terrorism&ei=yiUvTommDdCRgQen-rSgAQ&usg=AFQjCNFA9S8nCWh6X-uCciH9zplJDRBY_Q&sig2=eyZ7k8lt9gcnaD717VSW0Q&cad=rja.

Only 3 — three! — of 209 terrorist attacks in the EU last year were committed by Muslims. That’s under 1.5%.

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Rob July 27, 2011 at 4:46 am

Broad statistics of “terrorist attacks” in this instance are misleading. First, you’re only citing the EU. Second, as defined here, incidences of terrorism includes paint and arson attacks against personal property. Third, while according to the report there were only three Islamist terror attacks carried out, there were 179 Islamists arrested for terror offenses and 89 arrested for planning terror attacks, which, “compared to previous years ” was a “relatively high number… arrested for preparation of terrorist attacks.”

That’s 278 total. A bit more than 209 and A LOT more than 3. So it wasn’t for lack of trying.

As the report says: “The number of Islamist terrorist attacks actually carried out in the EU was limited to three attacks in 2010. They
caused minimal damage to the intended targets. Potentially, however, at least two of these attacks could have caused mass casualties and multiple fatalities. The attacks shared some characteristics of motive, location
and, fortunately, lack of familiarity with explosives.”

As an example (and I obviously realize these were not committed in 2010) there were almost 2,000 casualties in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, including 191 fatalities. In London in 2005, there were 48 killed and 700 wounded on 7/7. Those are just two instances. Now how many injuries and deaths are caused when someone splashes paint on an office building?

And yet, a single paint attack is treated equally in this statistical analysis as an unsuccessful attempt to inflict mass casualties. An arson attack against property is treated the same as attempts to kill cartoonists in Denmark and Sweden. There’s nothing wrong with that for purely statistical purposes, but obviously those same statistics can be spun to paint a less threatening picture.

As to Greenwald, I addressed the overall narrative of Muslim responsibility by closely examining two of the major points he used to buttress that narrative. And they were clearly misleading, not to mention disseminated around the world. I gave him credit for pointing out Jennifer Rubin’s column as an example of leaping to conclusions, but I also showed how he doesn’t live up to his own standards when opining about how lack of corrections or updates can lead to the propagation of false narratives (as in his claim against Jennifer Rubin which is still not corrected or updated). I also showed how he omits pertinent information when it suits him.

And there are plenty of other instances of careless Greenwaldian fraud. For example:

http://letters.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2010/12/14/manning/permalink/249cf3cfb3bffcd30b23be88409be198.html

And it’s simply true, as I pointed out, that he made a huge mistake about Elena Kagan on national TV, but, once again, never issued a correction or update. And that lead to another false narrative. And those are just the tip of the iceberg if you look around. Heck, look at some Jay’s pieces on Greenwald listed above. Or this one:

http://sadredearth.com/the-vice-of-the-extremes/

Or this piece in Salon just yesterday:

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2011/07/26/kilgore_greenwald

I’ve credited Greenwald with being an important voice on important issues, but he so often resorts to distortions, false claims, faux outrage and ad hominem attacks, that reflexively, I just don’t trust a lot of his work.

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Jay P July 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

Rob, thanks for the response. (Speaking of which, is there any way to get notifications when someone responds to my comment? I just thought to check this page today and saw you’d responded yesterday.)

However, I do have some issues with the report as well, but from the other end. For example, while it is quick to count 179 arrests “for offences related to Islamist terrorism,” it then goes on to say that “Only 20% of these were linked Islamist terrorist groups…These are individuals or small groups unaffiliated to a local or foreign terrorist organisation but adhering to an ideology…” (page 16). This extremely vague definition (“adhering to an ideology , similar to that promoted by Islamist terrorist groups”) makes me wonder exactly how they define Islamist terrorism. Is the only requirement that the person committing the crime is a Muslim? Or do his beliefs have to be the primary reason for his crime? And if so, how do they separate the two?

As for the arson, vandalism, and paintball attacks, I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that you’re misreading the report here. As I read it, those types of attacks were only mentioned in conjunction with the “single-issue terrorist and extremist activities” section, for which there was only 1 actual terrorist attack in 2010. (I’m pretty sure this is the correct reading, since it also says, “In 2010, more than 200 single-issue extremism related incidents were recorded in the EU, including 24 arson attacks using improvised incendiary or explosive devices.” And yet none of those appear to count towards the terrorism totals for the year. They’re counted separately as “incidents.”)

But anyway, I suppose my main point is that, yes, of course we have problems with Islamist extremism, but as often happens in cases of terrorism — when, after all, the whole point is to irrationally terrorize large populations with fears that are hugely disproportionate in relation to the probability of those attacks occurring — these narratives are overblown. (Think of how many people are afraid to fly post-Sept. 11, despite the insanely miniscule probability of one’s plane being hijacked.)

So I do think that, while Greenwald may have stretched a bit (perhaps intentionally) about the NYT headline to make a point, his overall point about the rush to judgment in the hugely over-reactive media spotlight on Islam is absolutely spot-on. Yes, it’s a problem, but it’s nowhere near as big of a problem as people tend to believe it is.

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A. Jay Adler July 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Jay P.,

There should have been a link in my comment to the EI editorial. Here it is again: http://electronicintifada.net/content/sham-solidarity-israel-s-zionist-left/10213

From the editorial:

A quasi-state built on 22 percent of the land of historic Palestine is not what Palestinians have been fighting for over the last 63 years and presenting it as such strips Palestinians of their voices and of their right to decide their own destiny.

and

The whole idea of two states for two peoples as the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli impasse — extremely popular among liberal Zionists — is predicated upon isolationism, exceptionalism and Zionists’ sense of moral righteousness and superiority to Palestinians which grants them the legitimacy to determine the problem, the solution and the means by which this solution shall be achieved.

and

[Israeli left demonstrations] reflect support for a “solution” that overlooks the refugee problem — the core of the Palestinian struggle — and fragments the Palestinian nation and dooms Palestinian citizens in Israel to perpetual inferiority and discrimination.

and

Fighting alongside fifty Israelis who are truly committed to the Palestinian cause is, therefore, much more important and valuable than marching in the shadow of thousands of Israelis who think Palestine is merely the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

and

On its Facebook page, the 15 July Jerusalem march was titled in Hebrew “Marching for the independence of Palestine” while the Arabic version read, “Together towards the liberation of Palestine.” There is a huge difference between liberation and an “independent state.” Freedom for Palestinians means much more than establishing a bantustan in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The inconsistency in the Arabic and Hebrew wording is telling but it is neither new nor rare for “leftist” Israeli organizations to address the Palestinian public in a different language and tone to that used for addressing the Israeli public.

That last, by the way, about addressing different publics with different voices is a typical demopathic co-option of a well-known (and abundantly demonstrable) criticism of Palestinian official doublespeak. It is here, with the usual cynicism, turned on the Israeli left, which is a likely subject to roll over for it: “Oh, yes, by all means – ‘liberation,’ not ‘independence.’”

This is all representative of the general run at EI.

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Jay P July 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm

A. Jay,

I would agree that this editorial seems to be strongly opposed to a two-state solution, but that is not the same as advocating “the end of Israel.” There are a variety of credible people, from all angles of the I/P conflict, who advocate a bi-national solution. It’s definitely more of a stretch and is doubtless harder to imagine than the more mainstream two-state solution, given the mutual distrust between the two peoples; nevertheless, it is hardly an unheard-of proposition.

As we’ve all heard countless times, due to demographic realities, in the long run Israel will be forced to make the choice between being Jewish and being democratic. The only alternative, in the long run, would be apartheid, since at the current rate of growth Arab Israelis will outnumber their Jewish counterparts in the relatively near future (a few decades). A bi-national solution, while not the most commonly-trumpeted one, is not the same as advocating Israel’s destruction.

P.S. A full right of return is probably even less likely than a bi-national solution.

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A. Jay Adler July 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Jay P.

It will come as no surprise at this point, I think, for you to read that I disagree with almost all you say on this last score, while I do appreciate the tone and reasonableness of the exchange. But we’ve strayed far from Rob’s post, and I suspect we both will be blogging on these or similar issues in the future. Perhaps we can pick up the thread then, at your place or mine.

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Jay P July 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Indeed. Looking forward to it!

Jay

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Rob July 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Yowza. I just got home and I’ve read through much of what I missed since this morning

A few short points, and then I must relegate myself to the more mundane tasks of life which don’t include Greenwald or the I/P conflict. And that is good.

Jay P:

As to Greenwald’s frustration, he’s not alone. I’m frustrated with what’s going on in my country and in the world. But my main bone of contention with him is how he deals with it. If one criticizes the BS that’s regularly flung around with BS of one’s own, it tends to undercut, if not completely negate, one’s criticism about said BS. In short, you can’t be part of the solution if you’re part of the problem. And Glenn is often just as shrill, if not more so, than the other Glenn. He styles himself a media critic, but as we see in my piece, he’s just as guilty of that which he professes to abhor. And that’s just one example. I could write a bunch of pieces on that subject.

As to Israel, the funding issue is a red-herring. Why? Because it’s very, — dare I say — nationalistic to focus one’s ire on Israel because of the foreign aid they receive from our country. The next biggest recipient of foreign aid is Egypt, and unless I’m mistaken, until the Arab Spring, Glenn never really mentioned Mubarak’s repression of his own people. Only when he could use it as a cudgel against Obama did he start to take notice. And why not before? Simply put, it wouldn’t fit his framing of the Middle East. It’s also why he never mentions Assad’s slaughter of his own population. Doesn’t fit the frame of Israel as international boogeyman. So Assad can kill and injure thousands of his own citizens and not hear a peep from the likes of Greenwald. And I’m not sorry to say, that just doesn’t jibe with his whole self-righteous schtick of caring about human rights. Those principles are just as selectively applied as his human rights principles.

As to the one state solution, well, I’ll win the Daytona 500 on a pair of 1947 roller skates before that happens. The only people hyping that are waaaaay out on the fringe. Not only is it not going to happen, but quite frankly, it’s insulting to Jewish history.

And no, I didn’t get a chance to look again at the Europol report.

Still, I thank you for debating in a calm and rational fashion. It’s better than being compared to a 3rd grader and a crack addict. And yes, Glenn did compare me to those. Not sure how you got that smiley, but in response to his characterizations, here’s mine: *rolls eyes*

I guess that wasn’t as short as I thought and I apologize if this sounded rambling. I’m just too tired to edit and I admit that!

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Rob July 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Well, here’s my one egregious error: “Those principles are just as selectively applied as his human rights principles.” I meant to say “journalistic principles” there.

Goodnight, all.

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