"The drum-bangers of the toxic media right... that gaggle of sclerotic reactionaries clustered around the op-ed pages of The Australian... fly in the face of fact and reason. A difficult feat with your head in the sand, admittedly, but somehow they do it. These people are not merely deluded. They are downright dangerous." (And they all drank banana smoothies sadly ever after, Mike Carlton, Sydney Morning Herald, 12/12/09)
Among the swarm of "sclerotic reactionaries clustered [like flies] around the op-ed pages of The Australian," you'll often get Israeli (and pro-Israeli) blow-flies like Professor Gerald Steinberg* settling on the rancid fishwrapper and dropping their bundles along with the native variety. Such exotics are often in the business of keeping young Israeli Jews on the Zionist straight & narrow at one of Israel's tertiary yeshivas (or, as The Australian puts it in Steinberg's case, teaching political science at Bar Ilan University), but the species may also put in time manning the cyber barricades at one of those Zionist 'We've-got-our-unblinking-eye-on-you-so-watch-it' websites that sometimes end in the suffix '-watch' but in Steinberg's case is called NGO Monitor. [*See my 18/11/09 post No Hidden Agenda]
Brazenly exploiting the occasion of International Human Rights Day (December 10), and ignoring the Palestinian blood pooling at his feet, Steinberg points the finger at the usual range of kosher villains, such as Sudan, the Congo, North Korea, Burma, and all-time favourite Iran. "Ignoring the pleas of victims around the world," he rails, "the UN Human Rights Council is locked on to a political agenda that uses the rhetoric of international law as a weapon in the political war targeting Israel." (Day to mourn, not celebrate human rights, 14/9/09)
And rails: "The Organisation of Islamic Conference... controls the UNHRC's agenda and chooses its officials," and "[s]uperpowers like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights and similar groups with multi-million-dollar budgets [are] work[ing] closely with and support the agendas of the UNHCR..." with the result that "human rights values" have been "twist[ed] beyond recognition."
So here we have Steinberg (who, it just so happens, lives in the one place on earth where men know how to treat human rights, right?), allegedly mourning their demise at the hands of assorted tinpot tyrants and, amazingly, 'human rights' organisations - so what do you think The Australian's opinion editor goes and does? That's right, bungs an article by David Ignatius on the same op-ed page celebrating the life of the recently deceased General Saad Kheir (aka Saad Pasha), former head of Jordan's General Intelligence Directorate (aka 'the fingernail factory').
Of which 'great' man, the Washington Post hack writes: "[I]n his prime, he was a genius, and it's hard to think of a foreigner who helped save more American lives than Saad Pasha."
Apparently, for Ignatius, helping Americans have their way in the Middle East is sufficient for an Arab to be labelled a genius. The fact that Saad Pasha's genius lay in fingernail-pulling (and who knows what other dark arts) matters not a whit. So he tortured? He did it for us, didn't he?
Any Arab, on the other hand, who isn't so helpful, who doesn't do it for us, is considered fair game. Here's Ignatius writing about one who wasn't and didn't: "The Iraq war is just and defensible: Taking up arms to depose a dictator who twice has attacked neighbouring countries, tortures his own people and lies to the UN is precisely what a responsible international community should do." (Get ready for the American Ninjas, 25/2/03) No, Saddam was no Arab genius - just another Middle Eastern dictator doing it his way, instead of our way.
Only in Murdoch fishwrapper...