Every once in a while, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will come upon a sentence that leaves us simply flabbergasted. There’s no other word for it: We find the sentence so jaw-droppingly obtuse that we are stunned.
Such was the case when we examined “Ignorance Is No Excuse,” a review of Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s tome Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone found in the venerable London Spectator. The author of this review is one Said K. Aburish, a Palestinian journalist who informs us that he previously “advised Saddam’s government on Iraqi-American relations” until he resigned “in protest against his use of chemical weapons.” Well, gee: Thanks for taking that moral stand, Said.
As one might expect, Mr. Aburish loved Imperial Life in the Emerald City, claiming that it demonstrated the unfathomable ignorance of those in charge of the occupation of post-Saddam Iraq. For example, Mr. Aburish tells us “It is obvious from the picture that emerges [in the book] that [Paul] Bremer was in the business of pleasing Bush and it is equally obvious that Bush has always known very little about Iraq.”
That, naturally, amounts to unremarkable criticism of the Bush administration. But then Mr. Aburish says this:
People have a tendency to bite their lips before they criticise the President of the US openly.
To which the proper response is: What? Are you completely insane? What the heck are you talking about, you buffoon?
Never mind the fact that Mr. Aburish’s review amounts to little else than open criticism of President Bush. His assertion–that people hesitate to criticize the President–is so absurd that one wonders about Mr. Aburish’s sanity.
Has this man never seen the Internet? Has he never read a newspaper? Heck, has he never met anyone?
If anything, Mr. Aburish’s comment struck us as a choice example of a newly emerging left-wing tactic: The erroneous claim of censorship or, at least, fearful self-censorship. Critics of Israel, we think, have been parading around this dubious tactic like it’s in danger of going out of style.
By now, dear reader, you know the old saw: People in America (or, perhaps, the world) don’t feel free to criticize Israel. How many times have we heard the anti-Israel loons spout this nonsense? Sundry detractors of the nefarious “Israel Lobby” dribble this garbage in countless major media outlets. Even Nicholas Kristoff took time off from his busy “self-touting his magnanimity in the face of Third-World poverty” shtick to make similar claims in the pages of The New York Times.
Simply put, this is all arrant nonsense. The sheer number of times anti-Israel ideologues scream about the horrors of censorship in regard to criticizing Israel demonstrates the untruth of their argument. These folks are criticizing Israel, Zionism, Jews, &c., and they’re living to tell about it. Now, if they’d only turn their attention to various Arab dictators, who really stifle internal criticism…
(Note: The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are thinking of renaming Said K. Aburish “Said K. Airbrush.”)