From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

One Must See For Himself What Fisk Inflicted On His Own Credibility: In an exceptionally, almost pathetically, petulant rant, Robert Fisk writes that, concerning Jenin, “I did not say they [Israeli troops] committed a massacre.” Hmm. Well, let’s look at what Fisk wrote in just one article:

The stench of decaying corpses is wafting out of the Palestinian city. The Israeli army is still keeping the Red Cross and journalists from seeing the evidence of the mass killings that have taken place there. "Hundreds'' on Israel's own admission have died, including civilians. Why, for God's sake, can't Mr Powell do the decent thing and demand an explanation for the extraordinary, sinister events that have taken place in Jenin?
But of course, the purpose of Mr Powell's idleness was to allow enough time for Jenin to be turned to ashes. Mission, I suppose, accomplished. .
As Israel's indisciplined soldiery yesterday continued to hide their deeds from the outside world by preventing the Red Cross, aid workers, ambulances and journalists from entering the rubble of Jenin, Mr Powell was sitting idly by in Israel, calling for the "utmost restraint'' from an army that has not yet finished filling the mass graves of Jenin.
Has he forgotten that the Israeli Kahan commission held Mr Sharon "personally responsible'' for the massacre of those 1,700 civilians? Does Mr Powell really think that Jenin, albeit on a smaller scale, is much different? Even if we dismiss all the Palestinian claims of civilian butchery, extrajudicial executions and the wholesale destruction of thousands of homes, what on earth does he think the Israelis are hiding in Jenin?

So, although Fisk did not (in this article, at least) say that Israel had committed a massacre in Jenin, he did, as we can see from the above excerpts, openly and blatantly—and falsely, but that goes without saying—charge Israel with “mass killings,” killing of “hundreds,” turning Jenin to ashes, filling mass graves, “hiding” evidence of atrocities in Jenin, and so on. But not a massacre, you understand. Has the man even a shred of decency?

Update: And this:

Further, one day we will have to find out what has happened in the Jenin refugee camp, with the hundreds of corpses – some of which disappeared, some of which appear to have been secretly buried.
If Washington firefighters turned up that late, the city would already be in ashes. As Jenin was. It was generally hinted at on the networks, in the usual coy, cowardly sort of way, that Powell wanted to give Sharon time to finish the job, just as he got to finish the job in '82 in such a bloody way.
But faced with the Israelis hiding their own activities, where hundreds [of Palestinians] have been killed, Powell does not ask to go to Jenin. Why? Because the dead are Palestinians? Because they are Arabs? Because they are Muslim? Why on earth doesn't he go to Jenin?

No allegations of massacre there, either. Just statements that Israelis not only killed hundreds of Palestinians but were hiding the corpses of those killed in the massacre, er, mass killing.

In a related note, although Fisk doesn’t accuse Israel of having committed a massacre, he does accuse the United States of having committed one: “In revenge for the brutal killing of four American mercenaries - for that is what they were - US Marines carried out a massacre of hundreds of women and children and guerillas in the Sunni Muslim city of Fallujah.” Perhaps the American troops should have followed Israel’s example in Jenin and, uh, buried the hundreds of corpses in hidden mass graves so nobody could ever find them, much less list the names of the hundreds killed.

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