AI Shows Newsweek How It's Done

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Way back when I was blogging quite a bit about Democratic soul-searching after the election, I made the following observations:

It is almost as if the Democrats are completely incapable of considering anything other than their own views when thinking about the direction America ought to take.

Are the Democrats really this intellectually bankrupt? To expand upon Bernard Goldberg's point, might the Democrats, as a whole, be like Dan Rather? That is, has their cocooning so divorced them from testing their beliefs against reality that they are no longer aware of their beliefs as such? If so, they are hopelessly self-brainwashed, as it were. [italics added]
It might be more useful to replace "Democrats" with "leftists" in the above quote when considering the recent aid and comfort to the enemy offered by Newsweek's recent Koran story and now by Amnesty International's insistence (Excellent Washington Post editorial via Instapundit) that our detention camp for enemy combatants in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is somehow equivalent to a gulag. From the Washington Post:
[W]e draw the line at the use of the word "gulag" or at the implication that the United States has somehow become the modern equivalent of Stalin's Soviet Union. Guantanamo Bay is an ad hoc creation, designed to contain captured enemy combatants in wartime. Abuses there -- including new evidence of desecrating the Koran -- have been investigated and discussed by the FBI, the press and, to a still limited extent, the military. The Soviet gulag, by contrast, was a massive forced labor complex consisting of thousands of concentration camps and hundreds of exile villages through which more than 20 million people passed during Stalin's lifetime and whose existence was not acknowledged until after his death. Its modern equivalent is not Guantanamo Bay, but the prisons of Cuba, where Amnesty itself says a new generation of prisoners of conscience reside; or the labor camps of North Korea, which were set up on Stalinist lines; or China's laogai, the true size of which isn't even known; or, until recently, the prisons of Saddam Hussein's Iraq [which America recently liberated --ed].
This may not be as scathing by itself as Amnesty International deserves -- until one considers that it's coming from a left-wing newspaper that spends quite a bit of time itself covering Guantanamo.

Why did they do this? After Newsweek, one would think that other left-wing organizations might have learned a thing or two about the value of maintaining credibility. Specifically, in the interest of at least appearing to be staffed by rational adults, one might expect leftist organizations -- at least those not headed by Howard Dean -- to try toning down the hysterical "We'd call America the Great Satan too, but we don't want to offend the Prince of Darkness!" accusations and rhetoric just a smidgen.

But no. This is the invincible left we're talking about. They, at least, believe their own propaganda. And perhaps they are trapped in a modus operandi that evolved in the days when they controlled all the major media: Repeat what you say endlessly and it will be true, at least for the purpose of getting votes. No one will know any better. Unfortunately for them, their irrationality appears to be catching up with them. Having abandoned reason long ago, they don't check the validity of what they feel to be true. And having decided that, as Thomas Sowell might put it, reality is optional, they smugly continue to act as if time stood still. It's still the sixties, the glory days, that bygone era when these dinosaurs first evolved. And having dispensed with reason, they find themselves, like animals, unable to adapt. And like dinosaurs, they are facing extinction.

So it is that one day, Amnestius internationalasurus saw Newsweekius incommodius dumbly running to the left after the scent of blood as it always has, oblivious to the cliff in plain sight it is about to race over. Newsweekius does at least end up noticing that it stands on no ground and tries to claw its way back. A nature documentarian might call it "retraction behavior." Does Amnestius learn anything? Only that Newsweekius gave up too soon. (via Matt Drudge)

Human rights group Amnesty defended its description of Guantanamo prison as a "gulag" Thursday and urged the United States to allow independent investigations of allegations of torture at its detention centers for terrorism suspects.

A verbal feud between Amnesty International and Washington has escalated since Amnesty last week compared the prison at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the brutal Soviet system of forced labor camps where millions of prisoners died.

President Bush dismissed as "absurd" the Amnesty report, which also said the United States was responsible for an upsurge in global human rights violations, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called the description "reprehensible."

"The administration's response has been that our report is absurd, that our allegations have no basis, and our answer is very simple: if that is so, open up these detention centers, allow us and others to visit them [emphasis added]," Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Zubaida Khan told a news conference.

Did Amnesty International learn to tone it down? Obviously not. Did they have the grace to apologize? No. Did they even make a tactical retraction, which I think is all we really got out of Newsweek. No. Not even that. They will repeat the ridiculous, hysterical insult, as if it were the sixties, the left owned the media, and the Democrats ran all three branches of the federal government.

And while they're at it, they're hoping we won't notice their absurd demand that we let them "disprove" their own arbitrary assertion that our country is running a gulag. We are to cave in to their demand that we submit to their idea of inspections (without, by the way, their asking the same of China) and that, while we're at it, we let unspecified "others" visit as well. Does anyone remember Lynne Stewart?
Radical lawyer Lynne Stewart was convicted [February 9, 2005] of smuggling messages from her jailed client -- a blind Muslim cleric convicted of terrorism -- to his Islamic fundamentalist followers in Egypt, actions that a jury found amounted to material support for terrorism.
The sixties may be over, but I'm not quite feeling smug about it. This blatant attempt to raise a drumbeat over Gitmo could work if Bush lets it. I hope the President sticks to his initial dismissal of this inane charge out of hand. These terrorists are imprisoned for a reason. Some of them doubtless can be dangerous if even allowed to pass messages. We can't simply permit unsupervised, unlimited contact with these prisoners. We will have to draw the line somewhere and when we do, Amnesty International will have the green light to cry foul. This is what Amnesty International ultimately wants and this is why they are sticking to their guns. If Bush caves on this, then maybe I'm wrong and the sixties, after a fashion, are still with us. This is what Amnesty International is banking on. They are making a desperate move, albeit one that will require the moral sanction of our government to pay off.

So my title is either a wisecrack at the loony left's expense or it's literally true. Only time will tell.

-- CAV

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