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.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Sarah Whalen, one of the resident geniuses over at Arab News and whom I’ve mentioned before, today retches up an exceptionally rank rant about a (Neocon, of course!) conspiracy to manipulate the news. She even manages to belittle the deaths of at least three Americans, all while smearing others. Nice “quotes” around “Al-Qaeda,” too. Her wisdom contains such gems as this:

Conspiracy? Dare we say the word?

Yes, we dare.

Because Princess Haifa never funded terrorists. She gave money to a woman who claimed to be desperately ill and needed to feed her children.

Because Lynch did not fight off her “captors.” Nor did she brave enemy fire and fire her weapon to defend her unit, but sustained her injuries by automobile accident, and was so incompetent that her gun “fell apart,” likely because she’d never cleaned or fired it.

Because Tillman did not die from an enemy’s bullet defending his comrades under enemy fire, but was killed by a fellow American soldier.

Because Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl was killed not because he was American, but because he was an Israeli suspected of being a Mossad spy using his journalism credentials as a cover in Pakistan.

The last sentence is, well, particularly fascinating. For if such was the case, then why, one wonders, did Pearl’s murderers make him say “My name is Daniel Pearl. I'm a Jewish-American. My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am a Jew.” if their reason for beheading him was, as Whalen states, not because he was an American but because he was Israeli? Of course, Pearl’s murderers had also accused him of being an American spy, but who needs facts when you write for Arab News?

One can only imagine why Whalen is no longer teaching law at Loyola University School of Law, assuming she ever actually did.

This is hardly the first tasteless comment Whalen has made about Daniel Pearl. On April 30, she offered this trenchant commentary about his brutal murder:

Danny Pearl was killed not for “being” Jewish, but for what “Jewish” has come to mean, rightly or wrongly, in a part of the world that sympathizes and suffers with those the Israelis have dispossessed from land, from culture, from civil rights. Danny was killed not by powerful actors in service of some evil ideology, but by those powerless before Zionism, an ideology that sacrifices Palestinians for “freedom” and “security”

Notice how the chief similarity in Whalen’s Orwellian explanations—two, so far, and counting—for Pearl’s murder, other than her obnoxious tone and fairly obvious disdain for Pearl (and his widow), is her portrayals’ lack of anything negative in regards to the murderers in question. One would think that someone with such a sarcastic, venomous pen would have something at least mildly cutting to write about people who beheaded an innocent man. But I guess even Sarah Whalen has to set her standards of silence and civility somewhere. How charming.

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