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29th August 2010
Abdel Bari Atwan: “That’s the problem in the west here. You always blame the victims.”
This remark, THIS, is on BBC TV in self-flagellation Britain where anyone who DARES to question anything … ANYTHING to do with Islam is shunned as a pariah and pushed outside the building to fume away on their little ownsome [for instance Geert Wilders; and the English Defence League.]
On Dateline London we hear the views of “Foreign correspondents currently posted to London.” They “look at events in the UK through outsiders’ eyes, and at how the issues of the week are being tackled around the world.”
Quite where TWO of yesterday’s commenters, Brown and Atwan fit the “foreign correspondents” label, is beyond me. They are both, purportedly, British and both based here in jolly old London.
That aside, they DO sometimes fill up the spots with British journalists after all, some of the time this programme is reasonably interesting. Most of the time its left-wing bias is unbalanced as well as downright misleading, operating as it does thanks to BBC licence payers’ money, and using often anti-British Britishers far too often for my liking. But this anti-establishment position is par for the BBC Establishment’s course, as many of us have noticed. For instance, see here – ‘Dateline, 5 to 1 commenters from the Left’
Yesterday’s programme participants were – Abdel Bari Atwan,Yasmin Alibhai Brown, Thomas Kieling and Michael Goldfarb. They discussed three topics:
- 1. The Middle East peace process about to restart this week;
- 2. The ecomic situation, given that the USA is experiencing a fallback and Britain an unforeseen bounce-back, and Germany is motoring steadily, never having fallen back much in the first place;
- 3. Tony Blair.
The first individual to air his (mostly pessimistic) views was also the last – the aforementioned laughter-and-tears-inducing ABDEL BARI ATWAN. I am not sure if that is quite balancing the programme. But who am I to question the wisdom (or agenda) of the Beeb?
But just as it wound up, I literally gasped out loud – VERY loud.
- Not because Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the widely banned (in the Arab world) Al-Quds (printed in London – where else?) described Tony Blair as a “criminal” and was warned by Esler that said criminal’s wife was a top barrister, and that he’d better belt up. We’re all used to that zeitgeist.
- Not because Atwan seemed to have NO conception of the idea that a new democracy such as Iraq might have some responsibility for its present lack of government, and not Bush or Blair who both left the power scene some time ago. (See around 24 mins on video)
- Not because Atwan’s denial state meant he somehow missed the videos of the REAL criminal behaviour on board the “fiasco of the bloody flotilla” or because he used journo-simplistic, semi-ignorant soundbites like “Gaza war crimes.”
- Not because Atwan uses our freedom and liberal values to publish a paper in the centre of London AGAINST the west’s freedom and liberal values and appears frequently on the Beeb as a bonus for doing so.
- Nor even because he is a copper-bottomed nincompoop that I would not invite to participate in a car boot sale in case he’d likely upset the organisers.
Because, quite simply, Mr Bari Atwan, or ‘Bari’ to his colleagues on the programme, wound up with this:
“That’s the problem in the west here. You always blame the victims.”
Three of the five in the studio, including Gavin Esler, actually laughed at this obvious nonsense. But Yasmin A Brown applauded her fellow-spirit! Esler, to his credit, responded in a raised, somewhat bewildered tone, “Seriously? Well, right” – (thinking, no doubt – we always blame Blair, Bush and ourselves.)
By saying we always blame the victims Atwan meant, presumably, those victims on his side. Those whose leaders’ controlling mindset is full of nothing but peace and love towards all mankind. Those who wouldn’t recognise a jihad threat or their hand in it or a terrorist outrage or their hand in it if they celebrated it daily, which many of them do.
SO WHY DID I LAUGH?
I realise that many readers will probably think Mr Atwan was right to say this, IF he was only referring to innocent people. That, while inarguable, is not the point.
I laughed because his remarks rang some recent bells for me. If you think he might be right, you have NOT heard the other side of the argument. This inversion of language, blaming the victim, is exactly how Islamist jihadists operate. Pots, kettle, black.
The last ten minutes of the programme (from around 19 mins) were about, whisper it, Tony Blair. Red rag to a bull time for many of our over-exposed on the meeja so-called intelligentsia.
So, prompted by the release of his memoirs next Wednesday and the widespread furore by his enemies over his magnanimous donation of the book’s entire proceeds to the Royal British Legion the judges and jury on Dateline, or at least 2 of the 4 of them, fell back into their usual attack mode.
Blair had supported Bush in Iraq – he lied – he has no contrition over the deaths – he is making money … et-bloody-stupid- cetera.
Esler: “The former Prime Minister Tony Blair remains an international superstar, loathed by some people respected by others. Now he has published his memoirs and is offering a donation [all proceeds, in fact, roughly FOUR AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS but we’ll let that little detail pass, Mr E] to the Royal British Legion which cares for those which are affected by war. What is the real Blair legacy?”
Thomas Kieling: “I’m a bit leery about this envy phenomenon … Blair was famous about David Beckham – “as rich as he wants to” …why is the country not allowing him to do as much as he can?”
Brown: “Because he was wrong then and he’s wrong now. Simple.” [Laughter, not necessarily laughing WITH her] from other guests)….
Esler: “But isn’t the real point about Blair that whatever you think about his financial arrangements, the Iraq war… he’s a huge political figure, who was very, very succesful, made it safe for many people to vote Labour and won three elections in a row?”
Abdel Bari Atwan: … “Ok, he is clever because of the deceptions because he managed to deceive all of us.” [STOP insulting the real British people, halfwit Atwan!]
Keiling: “deceived three times?”
Goldfarb: “The only chapter I want to read … “I was wong about my relationship with George Bush and I should have stood have stood up firmer about three minutes after we took Baghdad and the looting began … it will ruin his reputation in history and I’m sure that that matters to him, and, two it will take decades to wash away.”
Atwan: “… Tony Blair shared the responsibility for that. So we shouldn’t say he can make money as he likes because you know this man … this man is a criminal…and what amazed me he is welcome in the Arab world.” (22 mins)
Esler: “Mr Blair’s wife is a very highly paid lawyer and calling him a criminal is possibly not the thing …”
Brown: “Two things he did well. He broke the hold of the Tories in this country … and second the Northern Ireland … he followed through … but where he will never recover in the estimation of most of the world … is that he went to war on a false prospectus and he still doesn’t show any contrition. He didn’t show it during Chilcot and what kind of faith has this man got that he never looks inside?”
Kieling: “I wonder how you can be so sure talking about history and Blair… I mean Iraq, we don’t know the outcome … but eventually one may see a stable government.”
Atwan: “Iraq, after seven years of Blair/Bush invasion [what? ONLY Blair & Bush?] until now there is no government, no electricity, no water actually … [all lies, of course]
Goldfarb: “Bari there have been two elections, the last one is for real … for Iraqis… it is for the Iraqis …”
Atwan: “It is the Iraqis now who are responsible … that’s the problem in the west here, you always blame the victims.”
A quick resume of their positions and political positions:
Yasmin Alibhai Brown, of The Independent sounded VERY pro-Hamas, though did not mention Israel’s “right to exist” as being of any importance, as another panel member reminded her. Also, on the Economy – “you (Germany) never followed the manic ago-saxon model – AND – “in the US the right is gathered like hyenas around Obama.” She was once pro-Labour, but voted Lib Dem in the general election, and is now disappointed. Ahhh. Sweetheart.
Thomas Kielinger, Die Welt was by far the most balanced of the panel. He suggested that the MEP talks might put pressure on the uninvited guest, Hamas if there is a semblance of unity. The only one with real empathy for Blair.
Michael Goldfarb Globalpost.com, said he wanted Blair’s book to explain WHY he hadn’t insisted to Bush that immediately after the Iraq invasion they hadn’t stopped the looting [Oh, FGS! And that is analysis?! That ambivalent approach to Iraq won’t please his chums – Brown & Adnan.]
Abdel Bari Atwan said he was pessimistic about the upcoming MEP talks, and that they were only a ploy to justify any coming war against Iran and Lebanon, Hezbollah and Hamas. You can see who the Left, Guardian Cif types follow, can’t you? Atwan seems to have another agenda, apart from being anti-Blair and anti-the Iraq war.
Yasmin Alibhai Brown is BAD enough to put up with, but this guy had me in a state of almost paralysed apoplexy. I seldom feel this numbstruck. And I’m generally calm and restrained while listening to others’ opinions. Honestly. I AM!
Recent, from Biased BBC –
27 June – Yasmin Alibhai Brown (Independent)
Gavin Esler’s ‘Dateline London’, broadcast on BBC News 24 and on BBC World, is – even by the BBC’s standards – a highly biased programme.
A Country of Words, Atwan’s memoir, was published 25 September 2008 by Saqi books [ISBN 978-0-86356-621-9]. It traces his remarkable journey from the Gazan refugee camps where he was born and raised, to a highly successful London-based career as an international journalist, author and broadcaster. Taking in stints as a factory worker in Jordan, a student in Cairo and a journalist in Libya, the memoir also documents Atwan’s meetings with remarkable people such as Osama bin Laden, Yasser Arafat and Margaret Thatcher.
Review of ‘A Country of Words’
‘Atwan is an engaged, descriptive writer; but he does not seem inclined to reflect theoretically on what he writes. Since he sympathizes with his family’s political views, one expects his sympathy to be more developed, in that he does not offer insights as to how the Palestinians’ inside and outside views of the conflict and the solution to it can be bridged. The book is an invaluable narrative from a familiar and eminent Palestinian media figure, but it lacks the reflective subtlety of a scholar.’
1. Criticism of Abd Al-Bari Atwan, the Gaza-born, immigrant British citizen:
‘A frequent commentator in both Western and Arab Media, Atwan has been accused of masking his extremism to Western audiences.
Following an October 2003 article in which Atwan claimed that the U.S. is to blame for the Arab world’s hatred of it, a Yemenite journalist and columnist for the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Munir Al-Mawari, stated: “The Abd Al-Bari Atwan [appearing] on CNN is completely different from the Abd Al-Bari Atwan on the Al-Jazeera network or in his Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily. On CNN, Atwan speaks solemnly and with total composure, presenting rational and balanced views. This is in complete contrast with his fuming appearances on Al-Jazeera and in Al-Quds Al-Arabi, in which he whips up the emotions of multitudes of viewers and readers.”
In response to Atwan’s legitimization of the Mercaz HaRav shooting in March 2008, Lior Ben-Dor, a spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in London, said: “The problem is that when addressing the British public, he tends to hide his true opinions and ideology – his support for terror and the murder of civilians. This article reveals Atwan’s real colors, a supporter of fundamentalism and terror, and hence he should be treated accordingly.”
It’s good to know that conspiracy theorist Atwan & our present prime minister David Cameron agree on at least one thing. Their description of Gaza as “a concentration camp” (see around 1 minute in this video on GG’s beloved (Iranian) Press TV with fellow-Gazan George Galloway. They make it clear where their loyalties are – “all Hamas now”, since the Arab world, and in particular “the Egyptians are collaborators.”
Although, to be fair, to Mr Atwan – his concentration camp” description was in January 2009, and the Israeli bombing . David Cameron’s was a month ago.
2. Al-Quds Al-Arabi (Arabic: القدس العربی), (English: “Arab Jerusalem“) is an independent pan-Arab daily newspaper published in London since 1989. The paper is owned by Palestinian expatriates, and edited by Abd al-Bari Atwan who was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza Strip in 1950. Due to its strong criticism of the Arab regimes and their perceived obedience to the U.S. & Israel, the paper has been censored and sometimes temporarily banned in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. It has a circulation of around 50,000.
This newspaper was the first, or among the first, to publish a number of communiqués threatening, and taking responsibility for, Islamist and terrorist violence. Those include the fatāwā of Osama bin Laden and several statements from the person or people who sign themselves the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades. Talking about Iran’s nuclear capability on ANB Lebanese television on June 27, Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi, encountered stern criticism when he said, “If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.”
I’m presently reading Melanie Phillips’ The World Turned Upside Down. I cannot begin to do it justice here in one short post. But I will be including some extracts in a new post, when time permits.
It might explain WHY I laughed out loud at Mr Al-Qud.
BBC Broadcasts of Dateline London
Sat 28 Aug 201012:30
Mon 30 Aug 201002:30
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Tags: Abdel Bari Atwan, Bari Atwan, BBC, BBC News, britain, Dateline London, Gavin Esler, gaza strip, Geert Wilders, history, Iraq, Islam, London, Marc Lynch, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Goldfarb, Middle East, Muslim world, Osama bin Laden, prime minister, Quds Al Arabi, Royal British Legion, Thomas Kieling, Tony Blair, World Trade Center, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Yasser Arafat