JULIA GORIN: NEWSMAX BUYS INTO THE LIES ABOUT THE BALKANS
I was barely finished with my recent blog “A Tired Script: Tampa Terrorist from Pro-American Kosovo,” which asked journalists to notice their own words about Albanians loving us because we bombed their turf rivals, and mocked their rote exercise of inserting the requisite Albanian-pro-Americanism paragraph in articles about the latest Albanian terrorist. I was barely finished writing it when I happened upon the March issue of Newsmax magazine at the house of a relative who has since promised to cancel his subscription.
As always playing catch-up in embracing stale left-wing propaganda — whether it’s adulating Bill Clinton, or buddying up to Islam, or forcing down the mainstream media’s Kosovo Kool-Aid that it once debunked, Newsmax was at it again. This time it was the Travel section trying to catch up to (regress to) the zombie presses of AP, San Francisco Chronicle, AAA’s “Via” magazine, Wall St. Journal, and assorted travel bloggers who sometimes are too young to even remember our pro-terrorist war that made Albanians love us. This time Newsmax was trying to catch up by selling us on Albania as a travel destination. Highlighting of course — you guessed it — its pro-Americanism. Behold a section titled “You don’t have to look hard to find countries that give U.S. visitors a warm welcome,” by a John Alderley (another byline without any trace of previous articles, probably belonging to a travel agent paying Newsmax to run the feature):
…This is another surprise, but Albania is now considered the most pro-American country in Europe.
Where else but the largely-Albanian Kosovo capital of Pristina has a Bill Clinton Boulevard and a George W. Bush Boulevard, as well as a 10-foot-high golden statue of Clinton?
There was even a trend among Albanian parents to name their kids Bill and Hillary. They love Americans not just because the United States led the defense [aggression] of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. They remember how their country was saved by President Woodrow Wilson after World War I — hence plenty of boys were named Wilson 90 years ago. Besides a warm welcome, you’ll see fabulously preserved castles, beautiful scenery, and empty beaches.
That these things have already become a punch line for people who follow the Balkans doesn’t deter the writer from repeating them with a straight face. Clearly he’s only just learned of these propaganda talking points for the first time.
(See also “Bill Clinton statue is already a relic: The former US president should have been too embarrassed to attend a ceremony in Kosovo with unpleasant historical echoes,” and see the last paragraph of my blog, asking why the statue wasn’t nude. I mean, if you’re going to erect a statue of Clinton…)
Newsmax’s mantra-repetition hoped to entice people to the pro-American paradise of Greater Albania, and to hell with the reality for people who actually live there. Even spineless, dishonest France is more honest than Americans about our Albanian demon child, as is the rest of Europe (though complicit nonetheless):
The Council of State as the highest administrative body in France annulled the decision of the Administrative Council of the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) which qualifies Kosovo and Albania as countries of safe origin.
On March 18, 2011, OFPRA listed Albania and Kosovo as [countries] in which the principles of freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights and essential freedoms are respected, the French asylum posted on its website. The Council of State annulled the decision on Monday at the request by the organisation and the Refugee Forum, the release states.
Each year, France offers protection to a considerable number of refugees from Kosovo and Albania…The associations recalled that the assessment of the situation in a country should not depend on diplomatic decisions….
In mid-makeover, the wannabe-mainstream Newsmax is in a class of its own: remedial mainstream media. (Remedia?)
And just when you thought a single magazine issue couldn’t top the Albania number, a short pro-Muslim hack job turned out to be the real showstopper, pretending to not understand the real controversy about Muslims and replete with simplistic, unthinking assumptions plus inversions of the “extremist” label: “Anti-Muslim Bias Isn’t Helping Us: Former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese says upstanding political figures are suffering prejudice based on their ethnicity,” by the magazine’s “chief Washington correspondent” Ronald Kessler:
Disparaging Muslims because of their religion is wrong and hurts the effort to defeat terrorists, Edwin Meese II, President Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, tells Newsmax.
Meese supported David Ramadan, a candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, when he was being attacked by extremists simply because he is a Muslim.
The conspiracy-minded extremists then turned their sights on Meese, who was Reagan’s chief of staff when Reagan was governor, saying Meese had been “hoodwinked” by Ramadan and calling for complaints to the Heritage Foundation, where Meese is a Ronald Reagan distinguished fellow in public policy.
Despite the attacks, Ramadan won the election last November by 50 votes.
Meese explains why he took that courageous stand and why prejudice against Muslims defies American traditions and values.
Because he’s senile but knows enough that he won’t have to live with the consequences of his nice-guy antics? It’s all fine and well to be “courageous” (i.e. sheepish) when you’re going to die soon anyway.
Meese calls Ramadan a “fine man” who was appointed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to George Mason University’s board of visitors, similar to a board of trustees.
Meese previously had served on the board and, through that connection, met Ramadan, who is CEO of the fitness franchise Curves for Women in the Middle East and India.
[Note to self: cancel Curves membership.]
“He thought very much in terms of political lines the same way I do, and so I was very happy to support him, attend one of his fundraisers, and give him my endorsement,” Meese says.
Meese says a “fringe group” accused Ramadan of “somehow not being totally an American or being an Islamist or somehow not being worthy of running for office. I felt that this was an unfair attack and persisted in my support of him because of that.”
Rather than look into the accusations, of course, which are documented.
Meese calls Ramadan a “person who is qualified, is an American who believes in America, and is a citizen.”
To have people “disparage a person, without any evidence or without any indication that there is anything wrong with them, simply on the basis of the fact that he had come from a Middle-Eastern background [seemed to be] the wrong thing to do.”
Ramadan was born in Lebanon and came to America in 1989 when he was 19. A graduate of George Mason, he worked for the Bush-Quayle campaign in 1992, the George Allen campaign for governor in 1993, and the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000 and 2004.
Similar baseless attacks have been leveled at Suhail Khan, a Muslim who is a respected board member of the American Conservative Union and a former White House aide to President George W. Bush.
“All of us have come to America either directly or through ancestors from some other country — other than Native Americans, perhaps — and so I think it is important that we be very careful not to accuse people of things that are not true,” Meese says.
Who’s talking about things that are untrue?
It’s one thing if a Muslim “believes in Shariah law, for example, and thinks that we should have it in this country, or believes that we should not have fought against terrorists who happen to come from Muslim backgrounds,” Meese adds.
Otherwise, in the cases of Ramadan, Khan, and others, “I think it’s always serious when any American is disparaged because of their religion, solely because of their religion or their background, when there is no basis for it,” Meese says. “I think it’s a wrong thing, and it does hinder our efforts to counter those people that are really involved and hurting America.”
This is Newsmax’s “chief Washington correspondent” writing at this level. In a longer online version of the article, Kessler has the following paragraphs:
Suhail Khan…has also come under attack by similar groups because he is a Muslim. Ironically, Khan devotes a great deal of his time to bringing together Muslims, Jews, and Christians. [The ubiquitous “interfaith dialogue” charade is supposed to be testimony to something.]
As noted in my story Herman Cain Apologizes for Muslim Remarks, Khan saw what bigotry can lead to when he and Marshall Breger put together a visit last August by leading rabbis and imams to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany and to Auschwitz in Poland.
And that’s supposed to mean something? Kessler is falling for the hackneyed visit-the-concentration-camp-together tango? Or did Newsmax really staff itself with conservatives willing to play dumb?
Since it’s Muslims who are doing today’s Jew-killing, this tired charade of imam outings to the concentration camp is an insult. “Khan saw what bigotry can lead to when he and Marshall Breger put together a visit to the Dachau concentration camp”? It can lead to that for Jews, not for the Muslims who kill them.
Anyone can visit a concentration camp. Besides which, how much do these Holocaust memorials mean anyway, given that the anti-Semitic Serbocidal Croatian nationalist Franjo Tudjman — the wartime Croatian president we supported — was seated at the dais during the inauguration of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and the former Hitler recruiter Alija Izetbegovic — the Western-backed fundamentalist Bosnian wartime president whose son has now been elected — was invited. (He didn’t attend, lest Muslim opinion of him soured.)
…Breger is an orthodox Jew who is a professor at Catholic University of America and was President Reagan’s liaison to the Jewish community.
Let’s count how many times Kessler mentioned Reagan in this article. Five. Kessler made sure to play on the Reagan thing as if Newsmax’s conservative readership is as stupid as Newsmax is complicit. And as if the obsolete Reagan tag has any meaning in the context of what we know about Islam today. Besides which, it’s not like we don’t know that Republican ranks have always been dotted with Arabists and anti-Israelites. Given that today the Islamic danger is a more compelling issue and known quantity than it was during Reagan’s time, this is less forgivable today.
Newsmax is still dancing rather than admit that the jig is up: the differences between left and right are minimal, and where it counts most — jihad — there is almost no difference. After all, the anti-jihad wing of conservatives is the “fringe” of “extremists.” Citing this one or that one as supporting Ramadan (Meese, Cantor) testifies to nothing at all. Wasn’t it the 2008 alternative to Obama — John McCain — who along with Lindsey Graham has been facilitating the installation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and Syria?
This may shock Newsmax, but even if Ronald Reagan told me to jump off the Empire State Building, I wouldn’t do it.
Then again, what can one expect from Newsmax? Here was the previous issue’s cover:
The editors act as if Norquist — whose clique probably accounts for half the Republican establishment — hasn’t already been totally busted as a stealth Islamist. (By World Net Daily, Front Page Magazine, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney, and others. That “fringe” of “extremists” Meese was referring to.) And David Ramadan is of course a Norquist protege.
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