"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Saturday, 25 April 2009

More Media Double Standards

In Thursday's Times, there was a full page spread about the Israeli use of white phosphorus shells, and how the Israeli military had had to 'bow to media pressure' when it emerged that this weapon was responsible for severely injuring civilians.

The Times, naturally, led the charge on this issue, publishing nice objective headlines such as 'Israel's rain of fire on Gaza'.

Oddly, though, they seemed eager to overlook another fairly important development which also emerged this week.

The Jerusalem Post revealed that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh set up his command post in a hospital during Israel's campaign, deliberately daring the Israeli military to kill civilians if they wished to take him out.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh operated a command and control center inside Shifa Hospital in downtown Gaza City throughout Operation Cast Lead in January, the IDF revealed on Wednesday.

IDF probes opened following the offensive discovered that Haniyeh and other senior Hamas commanders took over a ward of the hospital, the Gaza Strip's largest, and set up a command center for the duration of the campaign.

Hamas believed that Israel would not target the hospital due to the high risk of collateral damage.

Guards were posted at the entrance to the ward and field commanders took advantage of the humanitarian corridor and cessation of action that the IDF instituted every day for several hours, to enter the hospital and meet with senior Hamas officials to receive instructions.

Senior Hamas commanders also set up a command center in a Red Crescent Society clinic in Khan Yunis and used it as a detention center.

So is this not a 'definite war crime'? Do we not need an independent inquiry? Does it not put into perspective all the hysterical hand-wringing about Israel 'targeting civilians'?

The same report also revealed that Hamas operatives commandeered ambulances to transport personnel and weapons - instead of allowing them to attempt to save the civilians we were all supposed to be so concerned about.

The most disturbing aspect of this case is that Westerner Dr Mads Gilbert gave several interviews to the media from the Shifa Hospital during the campaign. Although he must have known exactly what was going on, he chose to say nothing and continue his one-man propaganda crusade against the Israeli military. Here he is being interviewed by the BBC at the height of the conflict:

This isn't the only glaring omission in the news this week, however. Now that Obama has revealed that some who were involved in sanctioning the torture of terror suspects may be tried, as well as ordering the release of over 2,000 damning images of prisoner abuse, we're all agreed that torture is bad and must be stamped on wherever it is found.


Well, I must confess that I've not seen the most outrageous story concerning torture this week appear on the BBC.

A tape has appeared of the brother of the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates brutally torturing a grain merchant he suspected of short changing him on a delivery to the Royal cattle ranch.

From The Mad Hatters:

A videotape smuggled out of the UAE shows Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan — brother of the country’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed — torturing a man with whips, electric cattle prods and wooden planks with protruding nails.The torture victim, Mohammed Shah Poor, was accused by the Sheikh of short changing him on a grain delivery to his royal ranch on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi.

The final scene on the tape shows the Sheikh positioning his victim on the desert sand and then driving over him repeatedly. A sound of breaking bones can be heard on the tape.

Such are the joys of living in a moderate, enlightened Arab country. Whereas the US torture story has been all over the news here, I haven' seen one mention of this (according to some sources the tape is one year old - but I didn't hear anything about it then either).

ABC carried a more detailed version of the story. From the ABC News site:

A video tape smuggled out of the United Arab Emirates shows a member of the country’s royal family mercilessly torturing a man with whips, electric cattle prods and wooden planks with protruding nails.

A man in a UAE police uniform is seen on the tape tying the victim’s arms and legs, and later holding him down as the Sheikh pours salt on the man’s wounds and then drives over him with his Mercedes SUV.

In a statement to ABC News, the UAE Ministry of the Interior said it had reviewed the tape and acknowledged the involvement of Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, brother of the country’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed.

“The incidents depicted in the video tapes were not part of a pattern of behavior,” the Interior Ministry’s statement declared.

The Minister of the Interior is also one of Sheikh Issa’s brother. [sic]

The government statement said its review found “all rules, policies and procedures were followed correctly by the Police Department.”

Please note the last part.

This sort of hypocrisy from sources which many people still trust is incredibly dangerous and disturbing. The media's role in a fair and open democracy should not be underestimated, nor undermined.

Hat tip: Israelly Cool & Gates of Vienna.


Dr.D said...

You must understand that when you are the brother of the crown prince, you are considerably above the law and have no need to wait of a court of law to settle a disagreement. You just settle things the way you think is appropriate, at least if you are a camel jockey!

The use of a hospital as a command center is quite parallel to the use of mosques as bomb assembly and storage facilities by the Palestinians. It make me wonder just how long we will continue our wishful thinking that these people have some sense of civilization when they prove repeatedly that they are absolute barbarians. We could actually reduce suffering by destroying all their hospitals, mosques, schools, etc. first thing so that they would not have any such places to use as hiding places. That sounds terribly cruel, but we have seen repeatedly how they use our respect for these places against us. We really should just level them to begin with and be done with them. They are essentially a cave dweller society, so let them live that way!

MK said...

Don't you know Earl, it's only whitey and the Jews who can do bad things. That's why the western media don't care for a hamas terrorist operating from a hospital or some poor bastard catching it from an arab. For the western left, it's first America or the Jews and then everyone else. Only once both have been torn down and are broken can they even entertain the notion that the savages really are the savages. But by then it's too late.