Will The Media Report Flotilla Disaster Accurately And Fairly?

Will the media report accurately and fairly as anti-Israel activists violently resist an IDF naval boarding with tragic results?

In the early hours of Monday 31 May, Israeli naval commandos boarded a flotilla of vessels heading for Gaza. What happened next has created a major media storm as, according to reports, over a dozen anti-Israel activists have died and many more injured, including Israeli soldiers.

Israel’s critics have been quick to condemn the incident, using it to inflame anti-Israel sentiment. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has already termed what is undoubtedly a serious incident as a “massacre”. Will this be the latest in a long list of incidents that have been distorted and misrepresented to cause Israel the maximum amount of damage to its image?
Connected to Terror: Who is Behind the Flotilla?
The organizations and passengers behind the Gaza flotilla have been variously described as “peace activists” and “humanitarian organizations”. This could not be further from the truth. The primary objective of this flotilla was not to deliver aid packages to Gaza but to spread anti-Israel propaganda in cooperation with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

See here and here for detailed information on the IHH.

Amongst the other organizations involved in the flotilla is the International Solidarity Movement. The ISM has a shameful record of placing foreign nationals in danger through encouraging ‘direct action’, which resulted in the death of American citizen Rachel Corrie. In 2003, ISM’s extreme ideology was underscored when terrorists, originating from the UK, used ISM as a cover to attack Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people. More recently, ISM has been a leading force in the violent protests against the security barrier at Ni’lin, while an ISM activist has been jailed in the US, charged with “giving about $20,000 to a group he knew supported Hamas.”

An Al-Jazeera report from May 28, translated by MEMRI, shows activists on board before departing for Gaza, chanting Intifada songs aimed at Jews and praising martyrdom. Chants include “Intifada, intifada, intifada! Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!” relating to a seventh century massacre of Jews in Khaybar by early Muslims.

“Peace” Activists Used Deadly Violence
Despite claims that the activists on board were only prepared to resist the IDF peacefully, the reality was quite the opposite. Upon boarding the Marmara, owned and operated by the extremist IHH, Israeli naval personnel were attacked by activists who had prepared themselves with weapons including knives and clubs. This, despite the following statement from a Free Gaza spokesperson:
We were not going to pose any violent resistance. The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn’t get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance.
Is the clip below showing an IDF soldier being attacked with a crowbar “symbolic resistance”? 
In addition,  IDF forces apprehended two activists holding pistols. The activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines. This goes  some way to explaining the number of casualties as live fire was exchanged as IDF forces found themselves under severe threat as evidenced by the number of injured Israeli soldiers and the types of injuries. One soldier suffered a serious head injury, two others were injured by gunshots and one more was stabbed.
Click here to see Israeli TV footage of Israeli soldiers under attack.

Propaganda Not Humanitarianism

If there was any doubt that these organizations were unconcerned with universal human rights, this was confirmed by the rejection of a request from the family of Gilad Shalit for activists to pressure Hamas to allow international organizations to bring letters and food packages to the kidnapped soldier in exchange for the family’s support for the international expedition’s attempt to dock in Gaza.
In fact, Israel offered to transfer the supplies on the flotilla to Gaza from Ashdod port through official channels, an offer that was rejected in favor of confrontation on the part of the anti-Israel activists. As flotilla organizer Greta Berlin stated: “this mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it’s about breaking Israel’s siege.”
The flotilla was clearly warned by the Israeli Navy in advance of the boarding and the offer repeated by the IDF.

A Legitimate and Legal Operation
 

IMRA asked Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel about the legality of the IDF action in international waters.
Dr. Sabel explained that a state, in a time of conflict, can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters.
Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention then that force has every right to act in self defense.
Dr. Sabel noted that there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters.
Indeed, according to the San Remo Manual that governs international humanitarian law, it is permissible under rule 67(a) to attack neutral vessels on the high seas when the vessels “are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.”
Will the Media Report Fairly?
The initial pictures and reports of this incident (supplied mainly by the less than objective al-Jazeera and Turkish media) do not paint Israel in a positive light, not helped by the fluidity of the situation and conflicting information.
It is the duty of the international media to report fairly and accurately. We have been here before, from incidents ranging from the al-Dura affair, the Jenin “massacre” and many other libels perpetrated by a media all too willing to take the side of those who seek to harm Israel.
We hope that the media will not repeat its past mistakes. While a clearer picture of today’s events may eventually emerge, the damage has already been done in the first few hours of reporting. Retractions and corrections will do little to soften the blow.
Will the media take at face value the statements and anti-Israel propaganda of groups who were committed to causing an incident of this nature? Will the media join in the automatic knee-jerk anti-Israel reaction that is all too often the norm?


Happy Anniversary To Us

Well, loyal readers, it was exactly five years ago that I wrote the first post at Bear to the Right. I actually wrote three posts on that first day.

I am reposting them again:
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Welcome to “Bear to the Right”

This is a new blog where I, and occasional guests, will expound on the meaning of life. Comments will not appear on a regular basis as I have a life to attend to outside of blogging. Check back for further updates.

Since when do you telegraph your next move?

Can someone explain to me why Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made the comment that Iran has nothing to fear from Israel since Israel does not intend to attack Iran’s nuclear capability?

Wouldn’t the world be a lot safer if Iran was wondering what move Israel was going to make, and when?

Just a thought.

Boxer’s “rare” opposition

Barbara Boxer, liberal Democratic Senator from California, claims her opposition to John Bolton, President Bush’s nominee for the post of Ambassador to the United Nations, is rare.

Let’s see, in addition to opposing the Bolton appointment to the UN, she has opposed the appointment of Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State, John Bolton as Under-Secretary of State, John Ashcroft for Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez for Attorney General, Theodore Olson for Solicitor General, Gale Norton for Secretary of the Interior and Michael Leavitt for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Were there any of President Bush’s significant appointments that she supported?

Rare, indeed.
__________________________________

So, as you can see, here we are five years later, and we are still writing about the same topics. 

Happy Anniversary to us.

Understanding Obama – Is He a Pathological Narcissist?

Understanding Obama – Is He a Pathological Narcissist?

Something to think about – does Barack Obama have a narcissistic personality disorder? I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, so I don’t know. Watch this video and let me know what you think.

The author, Ali Sina (pseudonym), has written an article that one should consider. You can read it here.

Excerpt:

Who is Obama?

Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact he is quite ignorant on most important subjects. Barack Obama is a narcissist. Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the Malignant Self Love, also believes, “Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist.”

Vaknin is a world authority on narcissism. He understands narcissism and describes the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism everyone listens. Vaknin says that Obama’s language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

Vaknin explains: “Narcissistic leaders are nefarious and their effects pernicious. They are subtle, refined, socially-adept, manipulative, possessed of thespian skills, and convincing. Both types [cerebral and somatic] equally lack empathy and are ruthless and relentless or driven.” These were the very traits that distinguished Hitler and Khomeini. Many of these traits can be seen in Obama. As for his ruthlessness, perhaps his support of legislation to let babies die if they survive abortion, gives a glimpse into his soul, that he may lacks empathy, does not value life, and if in the position of power can be ruthless. Narcissists need power to show their ruthlessness. Considering the fact that Obama neglected his own half brother, George Hussein Obama, who lives on one dollar per month in Kenya, we can’t vouch for Obama’s empathy or say he is a caring person.

It is a lengthy article, but has a lot of information that seems to me describes who Obama is.

I would like some professionals to weigh in on whether the author has raised issues of merit. Is Barack Obama pathologically narcissistic, as the article claims. The author defines pathological narcissism as follows:

Pathological narcissism, is not akin to typical narcissism—someone with a hedonistic or self-centered sense of self —but rather someone with a very weak sense of self. Obama’s narcissism is pathological.

Narcissists seek power. That is the whole purpose of their existence. Power for them is the elixir of life. Those who know about NPD can’t help but notice it in Obama’s posture, the tone of his voice, his demeanor and particularly his grandiose claims and unscripted adlibs.

Narcissim has degrees. When it is extreme it shows in the posture and the way the narcissist walks and talks. Obama’s posture, exudes haughtiness. He is all puffery. Compare his posture to those of Hitler, Stalin and Saddam.

According to Vaknin, Obama displays the following behaviors, which are among the hallmarks of pathological narcissism:

– Subtly misrepresents facts and expediently and opportunistically shifts positions, views, opinions, and “ideals” (e.g., about campaign finance, re-districting). These flip-flops do not cause him overt distress and are ego-syntonic (he feels justified in acting this way). Alternatively, refuses to commit to a standpoint and, in the process, evidences a lack of empathy.

– Ignores data that conflict with his fantasy world, or with his inflated and grandiose self-image. This has to do with magical thinking. Obama already sees himself as president because he is firmly convinced that his dreams, thoughts, and wishes affect reality. Additionally, he denies the gap between his fantasies and his modest or limited real-life achievements (for instance, in 12 years of academic career, he didn’t publish a single scholarly paper or book).

– Feels that he is above the law.

– Talks about himself in the 3rd person singular or uses the regal “we” and craves to be the exclusive center of attention, even adulation

– Has a messianic-cosmic vision of himself and his life and his “mission”.

– Sets ever more complex rules in a convoluted world of grandiose fantasies with its own language (jargon)

He lists several other reasons that he feels means that Obama is pathologically narcissistic.

The author thinks all Presidential candidates should take psychological evaluation examinations before running for office.

I present this here for evaluation by others. I have no idea if the author is accurate or not, but he seems to know what he is talking about.

 

Barack Obama – Stealth Socialist

Barack Obama – Stealth Socialist

An editorial in today’s Investors Business Daily was very enlightening about Obama’s socialist mentors. Obama’s family and teachers have been communists and socialists. From his communist father and relatives, to Socialist Bernie Sanders, from late communist Frank Marshall Davis, who fled Chicago after the FBI and Congress opened investigations into his “subversive,” “un-American activities” to Gerald Kellman, a disciple of he late Saul “The Red” Alinsky, a hard-boiled Chicago socialist who wrote the “Rules for Radicals” and agitated for social revolution in America, they are people well grounded in the process of taking wealth from those who earned it and redistributing it to those who didn’t.

Before friendly audiences, Barack Obama speaks passionately about something called “economic justice.” He uses the term obliquely, though, speaking in code — socialist code.

During his NAACP speech earlier this month, Sen. Obama repeated the term at least four times. “I’ve been working my entire adult life to help build an America where economic justice is being served,” he said at the group’s 99th annual convention in Cincinnati.

Democrat Barack Obama arrives in Washington on Monday. On the campaign trail, Obama has styled himself a centrist. But a look at those who’ve served as his advisers and mentors over the years shows a far more left-leaning tilt to his background — and to his politics.

And as president, “we’ll ensure that economic justice is served,” he asserted. “That’s what this election is about.” Obama never spelled out the meaning of the term, but he didn’t have to. His audience knew what he meant, judging from its thumping approval.

It’s the rest of the public that remains in the dark, which is why we’re launching this special educational series.

“Economic justice” simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat. It’s a euphemism for socialism.

In the past, such rhetoric was just that — rhetoric. But Obama’s positioning himself with alarming stealth to put that rhetoric into action on a scale not seen since the birth of the welfare state.

In his latest memoir he shares that he’d like to “recast” the welfare net that FDR and LBJ cast while rolling back what he derisively calls the “winner-take-all” market economy that Ronald Reagan reignited (with record gains in living standards for all).

Obama also talks about “restoring fairness to the economy,” code for soaking the “rich” — a segment of society he fails to understand that includes mom-and-pop businesses filing individual tax returns.

It’s clear from a close reading of his two books that he’s a firm believer in class envy. He assumes the economy is a fixed pie, whereby the successful only get rich at the expense of the poor.

Following this discredited Marxist model, he believes government must step in and redistribute pieces of the pie. That requires massive transfers of wealth through government taxing and spending, a return to the entitlement days of old.

Of course, Obama is too smart to try to smuggle such hoary collectivist garbage through the front door. He’s disguising the wealth transfers as “investments” — “to make America more competitive,” he says, or “that give us a fighting chance,” whatever that means.

Among his proposed “investments”:

• “Universal,” “guaranteed” health care.

• “Free” college tuition.

• “Universal national service” (a la Havana).

• “Universal 401(k)s” (in which the government would match contributions made by “low- and moderate-income families”).

• “Free” job training (even for criminals).

• “Wage insurance” (to supplement dislocated union workers’ old income levels).

• “Free” child care and “universal” preschool.

• More subsidized public housing.

• A fatter earned income tax credit for “working poor.”

• And even a Global Poverty Act that amounts to a Marshall Plan for the Third World, first and foremost Africa.

His new New Deal also guarantees a “living wage,” with a $10 minimum wage indexed to inflation; and “fair trade” and “fair labor practices,” with breaks for “patriot employers” who cow-tow to unions, and sticks for “nonpatriot” companies that don’t.

That’s just for starters — first-term stuff.

Read the whole article.

This is scary stuff, folks. This man is close to being in the White House. With a Democrat majority in the House and Senate a President Obama could take this country from a free enterprise economy to a socialist economy in the first four years.

How any American can let this man get anywhere near the White House, or any position of power in the American government is a mystery to me. People just don’t realize the incredible damage he can do to our country and our economy.

The editorial concludes:

Public opinion polls usually reflect media opinion, and the media by and large have portrayed Obama as a moderate “outsider” (the No. 1 term survey respondents associate him with) who will bring a “breath of fresh air” to Washington.

The few who have drilled down on his radical roots have tended to downplay or pooh-pooh them. Even skeptics have failed to connect the dots for fear of being called the dreaded “r” word.

But too much is at stake in this election to continue mincing words.

Both a historic banking crisis and 1970s-style stagflation loom over the economy. Democrats, who already control Congress, now threaten to filibuster-proof the Senate in what could be a watershed election for them — at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

A perfect storm of statism is forming, and our economic freedoms are at serious risk.

Those who care less about looking politically correct than preserving the free-market individualism that’s made this country great have to start calling things by their proper name to avert long-term disaster.

I hope the American public is not so mesmerized by the dazzling images that Obama creates in his skillful manipulation of the press and the public that they are unwilling to see who he really is and how he can truly hurt this country. I also hope they aren’t buying into the notion that opposing Obama means you are a racist. Just because he is black doesn’t mean that you can’t have legitimate reasons for not wanting him to be President.

 

IDF to Israeli leaders – "Don’t deny us victory"

The following is the text of a petition signed by IDF reservists who served in the Spearhead Brigade in Lebanon, sent to Defense Minister Amir Peretz and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz in protest at the handling of the war by the government and senior military officials:

We, fighters and commanders at the Spearhead [Hod Hachanit] Brigade, were called up to enlist under an emergency mobilization order [Tzav 8] on July 30, 2006. Our attendance was complete in all battalions.

As we were signing on the battle equipment and weapons, we knew that we were signing for much more. We left behind wives and children, girlfriends and families. We put aside our jobs and livelihoods; we were prepared to carry out our mission under the most difficult of conditions, in heat, thirst or hunger.

At the back of his mind, each and every one of us knew, that for the just cause of protecting the citizens of Israel, we would even put our lives on the line.

But there was one thing we were not and would not be willing to accept: We were unwilling to accept indecisiveness. The war’s aim, which was not defined clearly, was even changed in the course of the fighting.

The indecisiveness manifested itself in inaction, in not carrying out operational plans, and in canceling all the missions we were given during the fighting. This led to prolonged stays in hostile territory, without an operational purpose and out of unprofessional considerations, without seeking to engage in combat with the enemy.

The “cold feet” of the decision-makers were evident everywhere. To us the indecisiveness expressed deep disrespect for our willingness to join the ranks and fight and made us feel as though we had been spat on, since it contradicts the principles and values of warfare upon which we were trained at the Israel Defense Forces.

The heavy feeling that in the echelons above us there is nothing but under-preparation, insincerity, lack of foresight and inability to make rational decisions, leads to the question – were we called up for nothing?

We are now on the day after, and it seems that the immorality and the absence of any shame are the fig-leaves to be used in order to cover up for the blunders. The blunders of the past six years and the under-preparation of the army have been carried on our backs – the backs of the fighters. In order to face the next battle prepared – and this may happen soon – a thorough and fundamental change must take place.

The crisis of confidence between us as fighters and the higher echelons will not be resolved without a thorough and worthy investigative commission under the auspices of the state. When the commission completes its task, conclusions must be drawn both on the level of strategic planning and national security, and on the personal level of the parties involved.

We paid a heavy price in order to fight and come out of the battle victorious, and we feel this has been denied of us. We will all attend calls to enlist in the future for any mission we will be required to complete, but we would like to know that these missions will be part of a clear objective and will be carried out by striving to engage in combat.

As soldiers and citizens we expect a response at your earliest convenience,

We the undersigned

Fighters and officers of the Spearhead Brigade
Israel Defense Forces


Teaching children to choose death – not life

http://youtube.com/v/Em-MnAYiEWk
When you have a culture whose children are taught from birth that it is better in the afterlife than in this life, you create a people who do not value life, and who seek death as “martyrs.”

This is the cruel manipulation of children. It is abusive to teach children to believe that they should prefer death over life.

Judeo-Christian societies are taught that God tells us to “Choose life.”

Do you wonder what the future of these beautiful children could be, versus what it most certainly will be? Do you wonder about the health of a culture that will sacrifice its children in pursuit of world domination? How does such a sick culture with 7th Century ideology persist in the 21st Century? These are questions we all will have to address at some point.


Blunt Message to ’08 Candidates

Writing in Townhall.com, Douglas MacKinnon says that the Lieberman loss in Connecticut, the attempted Al-Quaida plot to blow up airplanes, and other, so far foiled, terrorist plots should send a message to candidates intending to run for President in 2008. He writes:

For a number of people in the business of preventing terrorism, it says the 2008 presidential election has to be about electing the candidate most qualified to ensure the national security of our country. It says that ignorance is far from bliss, and potentially suicidal.

Having an indecisive or weak leader, as unfortunately Israel has today can be a disaster in a crisis. This article and this one are illustrative of the unwillingness of the Prime Minister of Israel to let the IDF(Israel Defense Forces) execute its plan to finish the war with Hezbollah in 10-14 days. He was more concerned about what the international community thought about Israel’s actions than about what it took to succeed. As a result, Hezbollah and the other jihadists in the Middle East no longer consider the IDF to be invincible. This is sure to lead to other attempts to defeat Israel, which would not be the case if Israel had moved to an early ground war, as proposed by the IDF.

MacKinnon’s article is worth reading. Another excerpt:

various discussions I’ve had with friends in the military and intelligence services, one point and worry keeps being repeated. Those in the business of protecting America, whether they agree with all of his policies or not, are grateful to have George W. Bush as president.

Their point in expressing such gratitude is that — like him or not — since Sept. 11, 2001, Bush has committed to hunting down and destroying cowardly terrorists who have not only hijacked a religion but, as we have seen in Lebanon, hijacked whole countries in the name of killing the innocent.

These members of the military and our intelligence services know that, in concert with a number of allies including the United Kingdom, Israel and a few Arab nations, the “Bush Doctrine” is to exterminate the threat before it can once again reach our shores.

While the ACLU and some politicians and members of the media on the left may strongly disagree with a number of the tactics employed, they get to live, thrive and complain under the very blanket of that critically important policy.

With the latest plot exposed to blow up these airliners, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) put out the predictable statement that, “We once again urge law enforcement authorities and elected officials to caution against stereotyping entire religious or ethnic groups based on the alleged actions of individuals.”

It is not stereotyping if these growing threats continue to come from only one source — a minuscule, twisted segment of the Muslim community. It is a fact that law enforcement has to take into consideration.

With this obviously growing threat in mind, the worry of those entrusted to ensure our safety is this: What if the next president of the United States, for political or “moral” reasons, finds the tactics employed by Bush to be abhorrent or uncivilized.

What if the next president, because of his or her own beliefs, or the beliefs of supporters and others in the administration, deems it unseemly or illegal to hunt down and destroy those who mean to decimate our nation.

[…]

Republican or Democrat. Liberal or Conservative. Man or woman. The next president of the United States has to carry on the Bush doctrine against terrorism or all of us could pay an unimagined price.

I agree.