Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Rachel Maddow: A Big Fat Idiot on Gaza
I used to be a big fan of Rachel Maddow. Until this broadcast from last night. As my comrade Laurie King noted, Rachel has "drunk the kool aid on Gaza." I guess I should have known earlier, I've been told that Rachel has expressed support for the Israeli position on Gaza previously.
I wish I had more time to analyze and critique this entire segment. It is so wrong, so insidious, on so many fronts. At the same time it is entirely conventional US pro-Israel propaganda. Just look at the image in the embedded file, which conveys very graphically the fact that Hamas/Palestinians are terrorists, scary, the equivalent of those who cut off innocent Jewish and American heads with swords.
Maddow's expose starts with a map of Israel, surrounded by a sea of hostile Arabs, who have always threatened it, from without, and more recently from within. No mention of the fact that the "within" was the West Bank and Gaza, occupied in 1967. No mention at all, throughout the entire segment, that Palestinians lived under military occupation. No mention of the suffering Gazans have endured under the embargo Israel (with US and EU support) put in place after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006.
And she repeats that tired but ubiquitous formula, the "cycle" of violence. It's not a "cycle" when one side is pummeling the other with its warships, with F-16s and Apache helicopters and the latest in "smart bombs," is getting set to send in tanks, and the other has at the most some rockets that inflict a lot of fear and terror but are not major killers. (Mind you, I am totally opposed to the stupid Palestinian deployment of rockets as a strategy. Or is it tactic?)
Maddow's guest, NBC Middle East "expert" Richard Engel, can't even explain the basic facts about the elections, that the Palestinian Prime Minister was Hamas member Ismail Haniyeh and the Parliamentary was held by Hamas and that the Palestinian Authority essentially was Hamas until President Abbas (illegally) ousted them in June 2007.
Engel does say a couple things that are right. Egypt and Saudi Arabia gave Israel the green light for the assault on Gaza. And he says that if Israel eliminates all of Hamas' rockets, that's good for "moderate" (i.e. slavishly pro-US) Arab states--IF there isn't a massacre of Palestinians. Thus showing more sympathy for Palestinians than cute Rachel. (Although isn't the massacre going on right now, whether through outright killing and more "subtle" means like starvation.)
I hope someone will give this execrable piece of phony news the full treatment it deserves. I consider it more dangerous than Limbaugh and O'Reilly and the rest of the right-wing commentators, because Rachel is such a hero for the liberal left. And deservedly so. But she needs to have her feet put to the fire on this issue.