Wednesday, July 4, 2007

BBC's Alan Johnston freed after 16 weeks

I'm sure that by now you've all heard that Alan Johnston has been freed. He seems to be in fine shape and will hopefully be back home soon. I first read about it here and felt I had a few things to say.

Hamas routed the Fatah faction in a kind of civil war in Gaza last month
and since then has been trying to deliver on promises of security and stability.

What's a kind of civil war?
A civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. [wiki]
What is going on in Gaza is a civil war. They share the same culture, the same society and the same nationality. What they don't share (besides the power, obviously) are their international policy tactics.
Hamas makes it officially loud and clear that they will annihilate Israel if given half the chance.
Fatah has it a well known secret that they will annihilate Israel if given half the chance.

The release of Johnston was an important goal for Hamas, which is
classified as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, in
its efforts to secure international credibility.

International credibility for what? For being able to negotiate with terrorist scum like themselves? How do we know this wasn't orchestrated by Hamas from the start, in order to later be able to show the world "Look, we freed him, we're good people".

At the news conference, Johnston thanked all those who had worked for his
release, including Haniya and Hamas. He said he was only beaten in the last
half-hour before his release, and said that once Hamas took over Gaza, his
kidnappers, whom he described as "comfortable," began to get very nervous.

A subliminal message to make us feel that the Hamas takeover is a good thing?

"It was really grim," Johnston said. "It was like being buried
alive, really, removed from the world
." His kidnappers were
and he became very ill twice, he said, "and I had the
feeling that they would watch television while the British guy died in the other

Does that mean that now Alan Johnston will be writing about the horrible situations of Tzvi Feldman, Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz, Ron Arad, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev? After four months of indifferent treatment, does he realize what 25 years of torture and cruel treatment means?

Mahmoud Zahar, said Hamas would enforce the rule of law in Gaza and protect
foreigners. "It's a new era," Zahar said. "We will not allow illegal activities
against anyone."

This coming from Hamas? They won't allow illegal activities against anyone? Kassam rockets are legal now? This doesn't make much sense at first sight.
Meryl has often said that fallacies like what we just heard often make sense if at the end of the fallacy you add "Unless it's Jews/Israel/Israeli citizens". Let's give it a try.
"We will not allow illegal activities against anyone, unless it's Israeli citizens."
Yep, perfect. Works every time.

His continuing detention was considered an embarrassment by many ordinary
Palestinians, who considered him a fair and sympathetic voice, and made
it more difficult for other journalists to cover the territory

And yet the British academic boycott is against Israel. Go figure.

Now let's see how his release was arranged

Hamas and the clan agreed that kidnappings would stop and that the
clan's extensive weaponry will be considered part of "the resistance" against
Israel and not confiscated
, according to a member of the Army of Islam
interviewed this morning. But his version of the deal could not be immediately
confirmed. One member of the Hamas military wing said that the Army of Islam had "played an important role in the resistance," including in the capture a year
ago of an Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit, still being held.

I'd like to remind readers, or maybe inform new readers, that this "resistance" is against a neighboring country who gave them full control over Gaza, removed every last Jew from the strip, and are no longer an "occupying power". What on earth are they resisting against?

Also, I'd like to point out that the only reason Hamas helped free Alan Johnston is because having him kidnapped is bad for their image, and therefore bad for their ultimate goal.
What is that ultimate goal?
Total. Destruction. Of. Israel.
And if they can get the world to close their eyes and let them do it, that's just the cherry on top.
But they can't quite do that if they're also holding a BBC reporter captive right? So free the dude, get the world to love you again and appreciate your peacefulness, continue doing everything in your power to destroy Israel.

And now to the double standards issue.
The last paragraph of the story is the following.

Israeli troops fatally shot a Palestinian youth in Hebron on Tuesday
evening after they mistook a toy rifle he was carrying for an M-16, an Israeli
Army spokeswoman said. Maan, the Palestinian news agency, identified him as
Ahmed Skafi, 15.

What has that got to do with anything?? [full story here]
First of all, how stupid do you have to be to play around with a plastic M-16 replica in a war zone with armed soldiers? Maybe Israeli soldiers should have waited to see whether the M-16 would shoot at them to determine if it's real or not.
When armed robbers who are killed by policemen are later found to have been carrying a fake arm, no one blames the police. Why should this be any different? Ah yes, because it's Israel. (When in doubt, always refer back to the Meryl concept)

But the real issue is, why on earth is this part of the article??
If it's there just to paint a general picture of the situation in the past 24 hours fine. But then why not mention this?

A Kassam rocket was fired at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip Tuesday
evening. There were no reports of casualties or damage.

Why not add that Hamas launched a rocket into the State of Israel in the hopes of killing civilians again? Because it would defeat your point of Hamas being a nice fuzzy-wuzzy organization trying to bring peace and tranquility to the world?

Just because Hamas "helped" free Alan Johnston doesn't mean they're not bloodthirsty terrorists.

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