Daily Archives: June 6, 2010


The 4.45pm Link

Today I link to something that I did not enjoy reading, just to illustrate a point. It is a truly poor article by one Niles Gardiner in the Telegraph.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100041748/the-world-demonises-israel-once-again/

I point out merely in passing that the first few hundred overwhelmingly negative comments were deleted by the Telegraph. But the real reason I link is the significance of the strapline:

He appears frequently on American and British television and radio, including Fox News Channel, CNN, BBC, Sky News, and NPR.

I bet he does. He has no international diplomatic experience, no knowledge of international law and very little experience of the hotspots of the world. But he is fully armed with the set of opinions those news outlets want their readers to hear.

Absolutely anybody can write this rubbish. Just string these elements together:

Poor little Israel. Threatened from all sides. Nazi Germany. Islamic terrorism. Hamas. Anti-semitism. Brutal Jihadists. Self defence. The right to return. Only democracy in the Middle East. Self defence. Iranian President threat to wipe off map. 8,000 Hamas rockets. Alliance of liberals, commies and islamists. 9/11. Chopping off hands. Subjugation of women. Taliban. Clash of civilisations. Existential threat. Self defence.

I could churn this stuff out easily and be on Fox, Sky and BBC as often as I like. I could pick up a fat salary like Nick Cohen for a weekly column of this stuff, and pocket the Rupert Murdoch TV fees as an extra. I could sit in a think tank. I would certainly be a great deal more qualified, and a great deal more convincing, than Niles pisspoor Gardiner. I write a lot better too.

But then I am handicapped by morality.

Which reminds me. Having followed the media coverage of the Israeli action very carefully, have you noticed what seems a complete absence on TV of bona fide experts in maritime law?

Normally live news brings in “experts” at the drop of a hat to fill in the 24/7 broadcasting, but despite the fact that professors of international law specialising in the law of the sea are not exactly hard to find, no TV station has asked one about the legality of the Israeli action.

That is because the martime law community is unanimous that the Israeli action is illegal.

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BP Lies

For anybody inclined to be sympathetic to BP over the Gulf oil link, note that its latest capping effort is capturing about 10,000 barrels of oil a day, estimated to be about half of what is leaking.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jun/06/bp-oil-spill-chief-executive

But note that for months, BP claimed the total leak was only 5,000 barrels a day and roundly abused the very many experts who suggested otherwise – while rebutting any independent monitoring.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7746662/BP-admits-underestimating-oil-leaking-from-Gulf-of-Mexico-well.html

So what we now know is that total leakage is about four times what BP were claiming for 90% of the period covered by the disaster so far. Now, either BP don’t know much about oil wells, or they were deliberately lying about the extent of the disaster.

Oil is of course a perfectly natural substance which on occasion gets into the sea through seismic events, erosion or other natural cause. Chemical dispersants – most of which are varieties of detergent – are not natural substances at all. I am sceptical whether spraying the seas with chemical dispersants does not make the situation worse.

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Nick Cohen Rambles Into Incoherence

Of all the defences of Israel killing unarmed Turkish protestors – the majority of them shot in the back, four in the back of the head execution style – Nick Cohen’s ramble must be the least coherent by a very highly paid hack.

As far as I can make any sense at all of his nine pint muddle, it relies chiefly on his usual contention that anti-semitism and anti-zionism are the same thing, plus the idea that anybody who opposes Israeli brutality, supports Islamic extremism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/06/israel-gaza-blockade

He manages to get in a side swipe at those of us wise enough to oppose the war in Iraq.

Why is he paid for this nonsense?

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