Except for some environmentalism near the end, this Atlanta Journal-Constitution> article by Patricia Guthrie does a good job of putting SARS into perspective: People fear SARS but shrug off other risks. Excerpt: Remember the recent summer of shark attacks? Forget swimming in the ocean. It seemed safer hanging out at the food shack chowing down a cheeseburger, ice cream and frosty mug. But the chances of being killed by a shark are 1 in 280 million; the chances of dying of a heart attack caused by clogged arteries are 1 in 384. ... "The facts notwithstanding, we're freaked about being attacked by a shark. It's a terrible way to die," said [Harvard Center for Risk Analysis' David] Ropeik, who spent 25 years as a TV reporter, chasing his share of ambulances. "The more afraid folks are, the better for the media," he said. "A story that is about a risk that hits a lot of hot buttons, that's a good story."
For Holocaust Remembrance Day, we thought it would be appropriate to call attention to an illustrator we admire.
The editorial cartoon above is from The New Order (1941, G.P. Putnam's Sons), a collection of wartime illustrations by Arthur Szyk (1894–1951).
From the The Art and Politics of Arthur Szyk exhibit Web site at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: "During World War II, Szyk (pronounced 'Shick') devoted his energies to defeating Nazi Germany and its allies and calling the world's attention to the mass murder of Europe's Jews. His incisive wartime cartoons and caricatures filled the pages of American newspapers and magazines, earning him a reputation as a 'one-man army' in the Allied cause. His moving portrayals of Jewish suffering and heroism bespoke a political activism that demanded 'action—not pity.' By 1943, Arthur Szyk had become perhaps America's leading artistic advocate for Jewish rescue from Nazi Europe."
For more about Holocaust victims, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
For more about Mr. Szyk and to see samples of his work, visit:
The Art and Politics of Arthur Szyk
Arthur Szyk, Master Illuminator
Arthur Szyk, Artist for Freedom (Library of Congress)
Arthur Szyk: Drawing on War
The Arthur Szyk Society
Fox News reports: Iraqi Shiite Pilgrims Criticize U.S. and White House Eyeing Iranian Influence Among Iraqi Shiites. Excerpt from latter article: [White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer] said Bush doesn't have a problem with Iraq being an Islamic state as long as it is a democratic and tolerant one. Officials point to the model of Turkey, a democratic nation run by an elected Islamic party that allows religious freedom. The United States opposes an Islamic dictatorship in Iraq, similar to that seen in Tehran, Fleischer said.
But a "democratic" state is not necessarily a "tolerant" one. Here are two good editorials about the type of government that should be established in Iraq:
The first is by Robert Tracinski of the Ayn Rand Institute: 'Iraqi Freedom' Requires Individual Rights. Excerpt: "The greatest threat to good government in Iraq is precisely that each tribal and religious faction will demand special favors, that the Shiites in the south will want a Khomeini-style theocracy, or that the Kurds will make a grab for control of the northern oil fields. This kind of political gang warfare between opposing factions is inevitable--so long as the government has the power to dispense such privileges. That is why it is crucial, for example, that the new Iraqi government enforce, not a balance of power between Sunnis and Shiites, but a separation of church and state."
The second editorial (via Capitalism Magazine) is from InterMarket Forecasting's Richard Salsman: Turning Iraq Into Another Iran. Excerpt: "The problem [of democracy] in Iraq is that 60% of the population consists of Shiite Muslims. They are more religious and more anti-American than the other two tribes (Kurd and Sunni) that comprise the population. The Shiites in Iraq are similar to those who run the dictatorial, terror-sponsoring theocracy in Iran. By deposing the Shah of Iran in 1979, the U.S. helped terrorist Shiites take hold of Iran. Will the U.S. now do the same thing in Iraq? It certainly will if it concedes to 'one-man, one-vote' in that country – with no constitution protecting individual rights. If that is the result, the U.S. will have wasted its war effort, by allowing an Iran-style government to develop next to Iran."
UPDATE APRIL 25: Indications are that the Bush Administration is not taking the principled approach advocated in the editorials above, which argue that a secular government based on individual rights should be established in Iraq, not a mere democracy. Though the headline is encouraging, this Fox News reports reveals a mixed message coming from the Administration: Rumsfeld: Iraqis Can Form Own Gov't, Just Not a Religious One.
Rumsfeld quote: "If you're suggesting, how would we feel about an Iranian-type government with a few clerics running everything in the country, the answer is: That isn't going to happen."
Powell quote: After giving Pakistan as a positive example of an Islamic state, he asked: "Why ... cannot an Islamic form of government that has as its basis the faith of Islam not be democratic?"
Bush quote: "One thing is certain: We will not impose a government on Iraq. We will help that nation build a government of, by and for the Iraqi people."
These quotes cannot be reconciled. So which one is official policy?
Fox News reports: Three-Way Talks Begin on North Korea's Nuclear Program and North Korean Negotiators Known for Drama. Excerpt from latter article: Historically, North Korea, as a small nation, has tried to play larger players on the world stage against each other, he [Scott Snyder, an expert on the nation's negotiating style] said. "They did that for years in their dealings with the Chinese and the Soviet Union," he said. "They basically worked with the Chinese for a while and tried to make the Soviets jealous and then switched back — all the while asking for benefits, primarily economic."
UPDATE APRIL 24: Fox News reports: North Korea Admits It Has Nukes. Excerpt: North Korea continued to try to ratchet up the pressure and is believed to want economic aid in exchange for concessions. Its leaders are outraged over U.S. moves to cut off oil shipments because of its suspected nuclear weapons program, and fears it is next on Washington's list for military action. ... The North's Korea People's Army vowed to "put all people under arms and turn the whole country into a fortress" and urged its soldiers to become "human bombs and fighters ready to blow up themselves" to protect leader Kim Jong Il.
U.K.'s The Independent reports: Under cover of war, Mugabe unleashes a new reign of terror. Excerpt: "Hundreds, if not thousands, of Zimbabweans were arrested and tortured as Mr Mugabe, apparently taking advantage of the lull in international scrutiny, stepped up his campaign of repression during the three weeks of the United States' war on Saddam Hussein." Yet, "The South African government mustered support among African nations within the UN Human Rights Commission to prevent a vote condemning Zimbabwe in Geneva this week." (Via LGF)
Last year, The Intellectual Activist's Robert Tracinski analyzed Mugabe's despotic methods, including his so-called "land reforms": The Post-Colonialist Famine. Excerpt: "In the language of tin-pot dictatorships, 'reform' means 'theft.' For years, Mugabe has allowed armed gangs to occupy white-owned farms, sometimes murdering the owners, as a precursor to a plan to seize the farms, allegedly for redistribution to poor blacks. (In reality, the farms are going to Mugabe's cronies.)"
This cartoon [from June 2002] was created for the TIA editorial and is in our book, Black & White World.
You read it correctly; it says "Taliban." This cartoon is from November 2001, but it's just as relevant to Iraq, both in the quickness of the Coalition success and in the media reaction. There was no "quagmire" (except for the one at the U.N.). This cartoon is in our book, Black & White World.
This week, Mark Steyn reviews the latest phony quagmires coming from the media: Meanwhile back in the real world. Excerpt: "On to the next quagmire! Don't get mired in the bog of yesterday's conventional wisdom, when the movers and shakers have already moved on to new disasters. America may have won the war but it's already losing the peace! Here's your at-a-glance guide to the Top Ten Impending Quagmires -- all you need to know about what the experts who got everything wrong last week will be getting wrong this week."
Fox News reports that Bush's 'Axis of Evil' Feels the Heat from Coalition Success in Iraq.
In October 2002, The New Republic's Franklin Foer accused CNN among others of collaborating with Saddam's Ministry of Information in order to retain "access" to news from inside Baghdad: Air War: How Saddam Manipulates The U.S. Media.
CNN executive Eason Jordan responded to these charges in an NPR interview by Mike Pesca, saying: "The [New Republic] writer clearly doesn't have a clear understanding of the realities on the ground because CNN has demonstrated again and again that it has a spine; that it's prepared to be forthright; is forthright in its reporting." And later, "We're not reading Iraqi propaganda; we're reporting as an independent news organization."
Now, after the fall of Baghdad, the "realities" are revealed. In last Friday's New York Times, Mr. Jordan confessed to withholding information about Saddam's bloody regime: The News We Kept To Ourselves (a must-read, but requires free registration). Excerpt: "For example, in the mid-1990's one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government's ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency's Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk."
And an article by Peter Collins in yesterday's Washington Times describes his experience with Mr. Jordan's complicity in airing Iraqi propaganda: Corruption at CNN. Excerpt: "The day after one such meeting, I was on the roof of the Ministry of Information, preparing for my first 'live shot' on CNN. A producer came up and handed me a sheet of paper with handwritten notes. 'Tom Johnson wants you to read this on camera,' he said. I glanced at the paper. It was an item-by-item summary of points made by Information Minister Latif Jassim in an interview that morning with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Jordan."
And as if the hypocrisy couldn't get any worse, there's this report from The Washington Post: U.S. Uses Iraqi TV to Send Its Message. The U.S. government has taken over Saddam's air waves and is broadcasting its message of "self-government and free enterprise" along with news from ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and Fox. Guess which media outlet refused to participate on ethical grounds? Excerpt: "CNN declined to have its newscasts included. 'As an independent, global news organization, we did not think it was appropriate to participate in a U.S. government transmission,' spokeswoman Christa Robinson said." (Via The Command Post)
Finally, Capitalism Magazine's Mark Da Cunha has a deeper analysis of this issue, including information about the BBC: Saddam Hussein's Real Ministers of Disinformation Come Out of the Closet.
And in The Washington Dispatch, Greg Lewis examines what CNN has in common with much of the Arab media: When Worldviews Collide.
UPDATE APRIL 23: Mark Steyn weighs in on CNN: All the News That's Fit to Bury. Excerpt: "CNN's slogan is 'The Most Trusted Name In News, which rings a little hollow now. I like the counter-slogans doing the rounds on talk-radio: 'No Blood For News.'" (Via SteynOnline)
NewsMax has two good articles about a couple of celebrity "anti-war" activists who thought Iraqis would not celebrate their liberation from tyranny by U.S. forces: It's Crow-Eating Time in Hollywood and Janeane Garofalo: 'I Have Nothing to Apologize For'. (Via LGF)
According to a Los Angles Times article, Putin, Chirac, Schroeder seek to mend fences with America. Excerpt: Andrei Piontkovsky, director of the Independent Institute for Strategic Studies, a Moscow think tank, said Chirac's statements were "clearly an attempt to mend fences with the U.S. after the protracted standoff in the international arena. ... France and Germany are now racing each other trying to be the first one who asks the U.S. for forgiveness for having misbehaved," he said. "Today France and Germany are like pigeons who want to snatch a bit of the prey killed by hawks. They want contracts in the post-(Saddam) Iraq and are ready to work hard to get them."
And Fox News has a report about "Baghdad Bob": Missing Iraqi Information Minister Becomes Celebrity in West.
And now for something completely different ... Sports Illustrated recently reported on the protests at the Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters Tournament. Feminist Martha Burk has been making a stink for months about the private club excluding women (as if it's any of her business) and organized a protest. Female golf fans are siding with the club, and at least a few people planned to counter protest. But one group in particular caught our eye, and though they decided not to protest, they get lots of credit for their name: Protesters Against Ridiculous Protests.
UPDATE: Sports Illustrated's John Donovan has a humorous review of today's Augusta protests — Mixed Message: Masters protest drowns in a sea of silliness.
This cartoon was created in October 2001 and is in our book, Black & White World.
The Ayn Rand Institute has two good op-eds dealing with the subject of civilian casualties.
One is an updated version of an op-ed by Onkar Ghate: Innocents in War Excerpt: "As a free nation our goal is our own defense, not civilian deaths, but we must not allow human shields, innocent or otherwise, to deter us from defending ourselves. The U.S. government recognized the truth of this on September 11 when, in order to defend those citizens it could, it ordered the shooting down of any more airplanes-become-missiles, even though this meant killing not only the terrorists but also the innocent American civilians captive on board. The government must now recognize that the same principle applies to civilian captives in Iraq and the rest of the Mid-East."
The other is a new op-ed by Peter Schwartz: Stop Apologizing for Civilian Casualties Excerpt: "Our moral right, and responsibility, is to do everything possible to safeguard American lives, however many civilian casualties that goal may require. We may lament the loss of innocent Iraqis during the war, just as we lament the loss of innocent Americans. But we should not apologize, since the blame, in both cases, rests entirely with the enemy, who made it necessary for us to wage war to defend ourselves against his threat."
Fox News reports that in Baghdad small bands of youths tore down portraits of Saddam and chanted,"Bush! Bush! Thank you!". Excerpt: "Emboldened by the sight of U.S. troops taking control of the capital, they dared not only to loot but also to rejoice over Saddam's fall, to vandalize his image and to call him a criminal -- offenses that just days or weeks ago could have brought arrest, imprisonment, torture, even death at the hands of the secret police. They danced in the streets, waving rifles, palm fronds and flags, thrusting their arms in the air and flashing the V-for-victory sign. ... On a Baghdad street, a white-haired man held up a poster of Saddam and beat it with his shoe. A younger man spat on the portrait, and several others launched kicks at the face of the Iraqi president."
Meanwhile, completely blinded by ideological hatred, the Communistic "anti-war" group International ANSWER has announced a March on Washington. Excerpt: "Baghdad has been bombed relentlessly, terrorizing the occupants of that city and of the entire country. ... This horrific unprovoked attack on Iraq must be understood as one of the extreme terrorist acts of modern times. ... The Bush Administration is hell bent on world domination. The war on Iraq was meant to signal that the U.S. use of raw military power will be the means to create a new era of Empire." (Via The Command Post)
In a CNN report that Oakland antiwar protest gets ugly, the leftists' true anti-American-military nature is revealed: "Direct Action to Stop the War organized the protest against American President Lines, saying the company ships arms and supplies for the U.S. military and is profiting from the war on Iraq." And what exactly do they think would happen to our troops without supplies and arms?
In December, The Ayn Rand Institute's Alex Epstein wrote about these Peacenik Warmongers: "There is an increasingly vocal movement that seeks to engage America in ever longer, wider, and more costly wars — leading to thousands and perhaps millions of unnecessary deaths. This movement calls itself the 'anti-war' movement."
Thanks to Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs for use of "JihadTV," a term he coined to describe the Arab "news" channel, Al-Jazeera. Also found via the ever-vigilant LGF, here are recent articles examining the anti-American/Israeli, pro-jihad bias in Arab media: Mamoun Fandy on Where Al-Jazeera & Co. Are Coming From; Stefan Sharkansky on How The Arab Media Reports on The War; and Bill Hobbes on Whitewashing Al-Jazeera.
And there's this quote from a BBC story: "Some Arab channels are not showing the good, they do not show when the Americans bring help to the Iraqi people. They show just one side," says Balqis Aziz, who joined up to 2,000 other Kuwaitis at an open air meeting to reaffirm their support for the efforts to unseat Saddam Hussein. (Via The Command Post)
UPDATE: WorldNetDaily.com reports: Arab media slammed over war coverage: Editor of Saudi daily says reporters lying to try to bolster morale. Excerpt: "I know that adopting an impartial stand in the [Arab] media world is akin to suicide, because there are many who push the media into extremes and take 'nationalistic' positions and maintain that whoever thinks differently is committing treason against the [national] cause. [They maintain] that lying for the sake of the cause is moral and honorable." (Hat tip justdanny at LGF)
UPDATE April 8: Yahoo News reports that Jailed Iraqi children run free as marines roll into Baghdad suburbs. Excerpt: More than 100 children held in a prison celebrated their freedom as US marines rolled into northeast Baghdad amid chaotic scenes which saw civilians loot weapons from an army compound, a US officer said. ... "The children had been imprisoned because they had not joined the youth branch of the Baath party," he alleged. "Some of these kids had been in there for five years." (Via LGF)
We created this cartoon (from our book, Black & White World)) in February 2002. At the time it fell into the "How It Ought To Be" category. But with U.S. troops closing in on the tyrant's lair without the "approval" of Old Europe and the U.N., we're glad the cartoon is now "How It Is."
We created this cartoon a few months back. The reality, however, was recently revealed to be far worse when Columbia Professor Nicholas De Genova declared: "The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military. I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus." (From New York Newsday via InstaPundit)
UPDATE: De Genova to speak in New York City on April 3. The forum's ad says they hope for an "invigorating and participatory discussion." Perhaps some NYC residents have something "invigorating" to say about his call for the death of Americans. And Daniel Pipes writes about more anti-American sentiment coming from the university in Columbia VS. America. (All via LGF).
UPDATE: Fox News reports that controversial Columbia professor has gone into hiding. Coincidentally, as the professor had disgustingly wished, a U.S. Black Hawk Helicopter Shot Down Near Karbala; 6 Killed.