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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The final nail in the coffin

Please read this article. I will leave you to your own conclusions.

(h/t: Tim Blair)

26 comments to The final nail in the coffin

  • guy herbert

    Bit worried about that last link. I’m definitely in favour of honest reporting. As would anyone else be, surely – hence the name. But it does seem that the organisation is only intrested in defending Israel from disparaging stories, and sees itself as part of a battle.

    What will it do with any disparaging stories that turn out to be true?

  • guy herbert

    The main post is interesting. I’d like to know how widely this was reported, and to see how the story spread and developed.

    What is particularly interesting is the role of pictures here and elsewhere. Modern journalism is so desperate for pictures that anyone supplying pictures that appear to confirm or expand a story is in a strong position to manipulate the media.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    Using rust as a time guide isn’t a reliable method of determining the accuracy of the timeline as any sort of heat, such as that generated from shrapnel piercing the roof at high velocity, would accelerate the oxidisation process. You don’t need moisture present, heat and oxygen is enough. Penetration damage would also accelerate the rusting process. It would not take very long indeed for rust of the sort in the photos to appear.

    I can’t fault the rest of analysis though.

  • Jason

    The video has been (amateurishly) edited to emphasise an anti-Israeli slant on the ITV news piece. Considering the author starts with this premise:

    “The fact that the media was lying was indeed extremely important, and justified the publicity surrounding the exposés.”

    One can only conclude (s)he is hoist by her or his own petard.

    Certainly one can argue that when bloggers and the like post their thoughts for reflection, at least the bias is overt, unlike the inherent – hence covert – biases concealed by the even-handed claims of the traditional professional media. But how far does this argument go? If something is so obviously tendentious, to even the most credulous observer there surely must come a point when any claimed ‘factual’ account in the service of an agenda (‘bias’ if you prefer) crosses the line from the dubious to the spurious.

  • Freeman

    Just for the record, Brenden Halfweeg obviously never did much O Level chemistry. For iron to rust it needs both air (oxygen) and water — there’s a neat lab experiment which shows this.
    Anyway, the whole thing is clearly a total fabrication as the evidence given shows. If one needs further proof that it’s fake, look at the photos of the London 7/7 bus – the internal explosion peeled it appart, but the ambulance remained intact.

  • HisHineness

    James, you may already have seen Anonymous Lefty’s moronic take on the whole scenario.

    But in case you haven’t

  • Dannyboy

    This is all a bit absurd, isn’t it? You’ve got someone coming from an absurdly pro-Israel perspective manipulating evidence and making spurious assertions to suit his agenda, just as he’s accusing the media of doing.

  • Ibrahim AbdAllah

    If the guy who wrote that wasn’t a crazed zionist, he’d be writting about the Pentegon being hit with a cruise missile and not a plane.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    Just for the record, Brenden Halfweeg obviously never did much O Level chemistry. For iron to rust it needs both air (oxygen) and water

    Freeman, of course you are correct. What I meant was that you don’t need excessive moisture. Plus, Tyre is a coastal town, which would indicate the present of salt air, which would also help accelerate rusting.

    Not that I did O levels, I attended a West Australian high school and had heaps of fun burning magnesium in bunsen burners and sodium in water.

    My point was simply that rust formation will accelerate under the types of scenarios that the ambulance seemed to be exposed to, some sort of impact with shrapnel most likely (not a missile).

    Anyway, the whole thing is clearly a total fabrication as the evidence given shows

    I think I indicated that by saying:

    I can’t fault the rest of analysis though.

  • Brendan,

    If that were the case the flange around the point of entry would be similarly rusted, but we see shiny metal….or maybe it was greased with “Preparation Hzb”?

  • On the topic of false information in the media, does anyone here have any updates on the widely-made (but untrue) claim that the Madrid bombers were traced by investigators because you cannot buy a mobile phone (the attack used mobiles as bomb detonators) in Spain without showing an ID card?

    Since in fact you can buy a phone in Spain without showing identity, I’m trying to find how the no-Spanish-mobiles-without-ID story spread in Britain. I’ve traced a speech by Charles Clarke in the Commons where he makes this claim as one early source.

    Has there been anything on this here? Thanks.

  • Yikes. Segments of the Islamist cheersquad have arrived. So, boys, have you spotted any factual errors in the article? Any hasty conclusions that require correction? Blatant efforts to deceive? Care to elaborate? Sure, the author of the article is almost certainly pro-Israel. But is he wrong? Come on, Dannyboy and Ibrahim, enlighten us. Tell us the version of events you’ve deducted. Or did you just pop by to label the article “Zionist propaganda” and then take off?

    Yep, thought so. Do you really think you’re fooling anyone – apart from your like-minded and benighted ideological brethren, that is.

  • Some observations:

    (1) There is no air-to-ground missile small enough that it could strike an unarmored vehicle and not destroy it through shear mass alone. If the missile detonated it would have destroyed the vehicle utterly. If it did not, remains of the missile should be easily visible inside the vehicle. Heat from the missile’s rocket should have set the vehicle ablaze. An actual missile did not strike this vehicle.

    (2) The supposed entry hole for the missile is normal i.e. at a 90% angle to the roof. The missile would have had to strike straight down. Only armor piercing anti-rockets fly such trajectories. We know that can’t be the type of missile used because (a) they’re to big and (b) they do not carry a fragmentation warhead.

    (3) The large hole in the roof has an obvious flange around it. It is clearly a manufactured hole and not the result of a missile strike. Only the smaller rusted holes could have come from a fragmentation warhead.

    (4) The windshield glass bends inward indicating that any blast occurred outside the vehicle. However, the front of the vehicle shows no holes or scratches. Likewise, if a fragmentation warhead detonated within the vehicle we should see a spherical hole pattern with exit holes in the sides and bottom of the vehicle. There should be visible scorching everywhere inside.

    (5) The only possible scenario is that a fragmentation round detonated directly above the vehicle and at some height. In that case, there should large numbers of through-and-through holes traveling from the roof, through the seats and out through the bottom. The tires should be flat. The side door should be intact etc. The witness testimony directly contradicts this scenario.

    I think someone ripped off the ventilation unit or siren from the top of the ambulance. Then stood on the roof and shot holes in it. Then they went inside and pulled down the other materials.

  • RAB

    I met an Ibrahim AbdAllah once.
    Cept he spelt his name
    Abdullah Ibrahim.
    He’s a black south african who used to be called
    Dollar Brand.
    You don’t play jazz piano by any chance?
    No thought not, mainly from your grammar.
    I dont normally make a point of being picky but…
    You are in proportion to your namesake
    as Eric Morecombe was to the Greig piano concerto
    All the right notes but not nessessarily in the right order…

  • Paul Marks

    The media (when they accepted that they were anything other than “unbiased”) used to say that they were just anti “the Israeli right” as the present government is anything but that, the cover is blown.

    The source of the media bias is partly that the Hez and other Islamic groups will make their lives very difficult (if not end them) if they report any other way, but it also part of the general “death to the West” stuff that people are taught at school and college.

    Even on Fox I heard one of the reporters (Sheppard Smith or whatever his name is) say that “history shows that one can not defeat an ideology with force” (so the Jews should just try talking to those dedicated to their extermination).

    How Shep explains why German National Socialism, Italian Fascism and Japanese Militarism (or State [as opposed to Shrine] Shinto – as the Japanese ideology was a religion) are no longer ruling ideologies is unknown to me (perhaps he would say that the violence of W.W.II had nothing to do with this development).

    As for Islam – southern Spain stopped being Muslim after being under Islam for centuries (and this was not achieved by talking either) although, of course, the Muslims are try to reverse this at the moment (just as various groups seek to reverse the work of Charles Martel in France – presently at least 10% of the French population is Muslim and this percentage is growing).

    Just because an area of land is taken by the Muslims (and the majority of the population gradually made up of Muslim colonists and local converts) does not mean it is lost for all time. Although, of course, it is better to prevent conquest in the first place – as reconquest is apt to be very nasty indeed.

    Conversion is difficult as all the majority of schools of Islamic law regard conversion from Islam as a crime punishable by death (the minority view holds to more moderate punishment). And a more liberal Islam is difficult as one would have to overlook the life of the founder the religion (a life of conquest, murder, slave taking, rape and so on) and Islamic law.

    For example, the provision that four males must give evidence in a women’s favour if she accuses a man of rape (otherwise the women is held to be a guilty party) – in practice this is the de facto legalization (or at least noncriminalization) of rape and the attitudes it gives rise to are predictable (as anyone who studies the French suburbs knows).

    There are two ways out of this. A nominal Islam (where someone says “I am Muslim” in much the same way that most people say “I am Church of England” – i.e. without knowing of careing much about the religion) or the mystical route.

    Nominal religion serves little purpose (if someone really has an intertest in basic matters nominal religion will not satisfy him – although, oddly enough, athiesm sometimes does).

    The mystical route is followed by Sufi Muslims. They would argue that one should ignore such things as the arguments over the life of “the Prohet” and the letter of Islamic law – and concentrate on living a kindly, gentle life by seeking a personal relationship with God.

    I am not qualified to say anything much about the mystical approach to religion as it depends on positive feelings (love and so on) and I know nothing about such things (my own emotions tend to be negative ones – which is why I distrust emotion).

    For example, a Sufi Muslim (and many other religious people) will chant words not for the meaning of the words (these may not even be known) – but for the positive feelings that the process produces.

    However, (to change the subject) the dedication of the media to destroy what is left of Western civilization is not really a matter of Islam. Media people (like the establisment generally) have nothing much in common with Islam.

    There is no real support for Islam among the media (or academia and the rest of the elite) it is a matter of “death to the West” (a negative rather than a positive thing – the elite is against the West rather than being for Islam).

    Of course if the West is destoyed the comfortable lives of the elite will end with it – but this does not occur to them.

    I think it is a mistake to call the struggle against the mainstream media (and the rest of the establisment) as a “war” (I prefer to reserve that word for general violent conflict).

    But certainly to pretend that one can treat such institutions as the mainstream media or academia as fair minded folk who will give proWestern civilization people a fair deal is absurd.

    The struggle to build up alternative media and education is a vital one (if the West is to survive).

    Fox is hardly a serious political network (the line “Fair and Balanced” is straight from the Progressive movement in the early 1900′s – who tried to destroy the old tradition of journalism where people openly argued a case, and replace it with a new “unbiased” and “scientific” journalism where dissent from statism would not be allowed).

    There is and can be no such thing as “unbiased” journalism. The people who write for a newspaper, or produce work for radio or television are going to present their view of the world – they either do so openly (as with the older tradition of journalism) or pretend (perhaps even to themselves) that they are involved in some “unbiased”, “scientific” work (i.e. they present the ideology of statism and allow no dissent).

    People should be allowed to choose what newspaper they wish to read and what television news they wish to watch (just as they decide what, if any, blog to read) – and this newspapers and broadcasting stations should be open about which side they are on.

    The same is true in education.

    There is no way to teach such subjects as economics in an “unbiased” way. One teaches what one believes to be true – one can either do that openly or lie about it.

    Nor is it just economics – it is true of all subjects.

    Take the example of history. Either F.D.R. “saved America from the Depression” or his policies (an expanded version of President Hoover’s interventionism) prolonged the Depression.

    Certainly one can (and should) refer to both cases and cite books that argue alternative views. But if one is to explain the Depression years in detail it is simply not possible not to indicate where one stands to the students.

    Again the only alternative is whether to do this openly – or to pretend that one is being “unbiased”.

    When someone explains any subject (from physics to history) it is actually to cheat the students not to say “my view is…..”

    Of course a student may write an essay saying “your view is false because…..” and if they present a strong enough argument one must be prepared to change one’s view.

    Or they may simply go to another teacher or (with the media) turn to another station. But the choice must be there and be open and clear – no lies about being “unbiased” or “not taking sides”.

    On this specific case. How could any Western journalist not “take sides” when covering the Hez?

    The Hez represents the same ideology as the regime in Iran – and ideology dedicated to the extermination of the West (not just Israel).

    The test for any journalist in a Hez controlled area is simple “did the Hez kill them?”

    If the Hez did not kill them, the journalists were obviously not on the right side. They were out to “get a story” – even if this had to be the Hez’s story.

    Clearly the Hez would only allow what they wanted to be broadcast to be broadcasted from an area under their control.

    Any journalist who broadcast things the Hez did not wish to be known could hardly expect to go back to the area again (if what was being broadcast was not discovered at the time).

  • David Roberts

    Paul,

    Even if it is true that we cannot escape our biases, that does not prevent us from striving to do so. The necessity of multiple sources of information to me is a given but a single source which successfully provides a balanced view is surely valuable. This, in my view, can only be achieved by high quality reporting over a long timescale. Maybe my bias is showing but I think that both the BBC and the Times have, in the past, been close to this ideal, although the BBC in particular is no longer what it was. I think that balance ultimately results from a scientific tern of mind. i.e. believing that you may be wrong, thus allowing other possibilities. This I contend is the nub of western thinking and our best hope for a worthwhile future.

    David Roberts

  • Elaine

    I came across this last night. I studied the photos before I read the report. I knew that it was faked when I saw photos showing the side door open & the interior. If an ambulance was hit with any type of missle (even one that didn’t detonate on impact) the windscreen would be gone, the frame would be bent completely out of shape & the interior would be unrecognisable. I’ve seen the aftermath of too many bombs to believe that the ambulance in that report was hit by anything other larger than a mallet.

  • chuck

    I don’t trust news photos anyway. Pictures of small crowds are almost always framed and cut to hide the true numbers, pictures of politicians and other famous folk are almost always selected to present a point of view. Tearjerker shots are likely to be posed. Photography is by far the most dishonest of the journalistic professions.

  • kcbiskit

    It’s ridiculous to believe that there is or should be “unbiased” media. Maybe someday the media will be ran by robots or humanoid cyborgs that are not bogged down with human traits.

    All news reporting is biased. Humans are biased in a variety of ways. It’s part of human nature. If someone tells you they’re coming from a completely unbiased point of view or that their source is unbiased, they’re either naive or they’re lying.

    Does that mean that their news reports are dishonest? No. Most (not all) reporting is “honest” or based on some sort of reality but is constructed in a way that conforms to the writer’s or editors point of view, whether he realizes it or not and most realize it.

    Media can be honest, fair and balanced but never unbiased. That’s just how life is. Many people have to struggle with their personal biases and make difficult decisions based on logic rather than “feelings” like judges & jurys for example, at least we hope they do. Yes, I know this isn’t always true. They are only humans.

    What I’ve been seeing lately isn’t “biased” or “slanted” journalism. It’s not even journalism. It’s not propaganda (I know my propaganda…just take my word for it). It’s fabricated bullshit and sloppy at that. I can’t help but wonder how much fake news has been fed to us and for how long.

    Troy Specter, the first poster, shared a link for a site called “www.honestreporting.com”. The following poster, Guy Herbert, was worried that the site was too “pro-Israel”.

    No doubt, Mr. Herbert felt that information reported from a “pro-Israel website” would be biased, therefore, untrustworthy. I wonder what “unbiased” news sources he has access to and why doesn’t he share?

    Welcome to the real world, Mr. Herbert. At least you know what angle the website comes from because they tell you. It’s sad that posters here use phrases like “crazed zionist” and “absurdly pro-Israel”. Oh, and the self-important, sneering, snots that write this Zombie guy off as some sort of wacko or zionist robot (in so many words). You just can’t digest any information that isn’t presented to you at your comfort level. Remind me again who’s brainwashed here? (Libertarians my ass.)

    Zombietime did an excellent job exposing the current crap thats being fed to us.

  • I think you’ll find the “self-important, sneering, snots that write this Zombie guy off” are most certainly not Libertarians. Nor are they regular commenters at this site.

  • Winger

    After 57+ years of observation of and reading about the world with interest, whilst living in several countries to which I am both native and not, I believe that every single newspaper, magazine, TV news show, radio talk show, call-it-what-you-may news deseminator, etc, etc was started, founded, whatever, for the primary purpose of expressing the founders’ political views to other persons.

    There is nothing wrong with this and has provided us with some very interesting stories. The “wrong” comes when reality is manipulated to harm others.

    Nowadays, many intelligent people don’t seem to be able to understand that “the ends justify the means” isn’t really a good excuse for bad actions. Never was.

    Hopefully, we are somewhere near the bottom of the curve.

  • Paul Marks

    We have had a more than a century of “unbiased”, “scientific” journalism (from the Progressive movement on). And it is clear what it is – statism with no dissent allowed.

    A person should say “I believe such and such and these are the reasons why…..”

    Not pretend to be some unbiased God type.

    No lies and no “school of journalism” style monopoly of information (where there may be many news and current affairs, but they all say the same thing).

    Nor should one try (as a lecturer or a journalist) to suppress one’s biases (or whatever).

    On the contrary – one should be open and honest about one’s beliefs. And allow others to argue for their beliefs.

    Anything else is dishonesty (and the fact that a man may be telling lies to himself does not make this any better).

  • Paul Marks

    Many OUTLETS (or some other word) of news and current affairs.

    Telling lies (for example presenting fake photo’s) is wrong – but the whole “we are objective” stuff is a lie.

    British journalism used to be less under the influence of the fake “science” of journalism than American – but it is going the same way.

    Many journalists who work even for the supposedly conservative Daily Telegraph show knee jerk “liberal” opinions and attitudes – and do not even know they are doing it (because their education has taught them that such opinions and attitudes are “unbiased” and “objective”).

    A writer is there to argue for what he believes in. If he thinks he doing anything else he is lying to himself.

    In journalism presenting false “facts” is not dishonouable it should be stupid as well (as people on the other side of the debate should be eager to expose their opponents lies) – however if there is “unbiased” “objective” school-of-journalism control then lies will go unchecked.

    In education a lecturer should be trying to teach their students the best understanding of their subject – this can only be what they believe to be the truth. But lecturers should be open that they are presenting their own opinion and not pretend to be “unbiased” (people who pretend to such status are the most intolerant educators).

    If the students wish to challenge what the lecturer thinks – fair enough, that is what such things as student fraternities used to help do (if there was too much agreement among the academics).

    Of course these days student fraternities are just social things – they are not there for serious research and debate of subjects.

    Students just cram the “objective” view they are given and repeat it in their examinations.

    This makes a modern college education (at least in the liberal arts) a waste of time.

  • David Roberts

    Any person or organization which claims to be unbiased almost certainly has an hidden agenda. After Marcus Aurelius: “A candour affected is a dagger concealed.”
    But are we, not trying to minimise our biases, those of us, who attempt to use the scientific method to make sense of our existence.
    Therefore those people and organizations that also strive to eliminate bias should be supported and encouraged. Just because we believe that it is almost impossible to eliminate bias does not mean it is not a worthy objective. Further those people and organization who thus strive, are the first we turn to for information.

    David Roberts