03 August 2006

What's the Frequency, Kofi?

Rarely do we see a paragraph so mistaken as this gem from Mark Malloch Brown, the #2 man at the United Nations. And by gem, I mean piece of poo.

Mark Malloch Brown, currently Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, started his career, or at least the high-profile segment, as a journalist. He wrote for The Economist from 1977-1979, and so his investigative skill should be particularly sharp, as The Economist is often liberal but rarely shoddy. So we expect Mr. Brown to tell us something substantial. Something helpful. At least something true.

Let's listen.

It’s not helpful to couch this war [between Israel and international terrorist organization Hez'b'Allah] in the language of international terrorism. Hizbollah employs terrorist tactics, it is an organisation however whose roots historically are completely separate and different from Al Qaeda.

This Orwellian inversion of "helpful" to "not helpful", and of "identical to" to "separate and different from", can only hold true within a tightly-defined context.

First off, it's certainly not helpful from the point of view of international terrorists, that's for sure. International terrorists probably don't like many things about the Global War Against Terror, such as the American PATRIOT Act endorsed, strengthened and supported by all three branches of the U.S. government, the International Terrorist Telecommunications Surveillance Program run by the NSA, or the International Terrorist Finance Monitoring Program with access to the SWIFT database of worldwide monetary transfers. And so far, we haven't even mentioned bombs or bullets--all things which the international terrorists do not find helpful, but which those countries fighting against international terrorism do find immensely helpful. So I guess we can see where the UN feels its interests lie, and that provides us with the necessary context for Mr. Brown's remarks.

Moving on to the second sentence, Mr. Brown courageously knocks out his own shadow while the international terrorists of the U.N. march down the hall, unimpeded, past the office of Mark Malloch Brown. Nobody said that Hez'b'Allah was al-Qaeda, except perhaps Mr. Brown. But it takes a big man to reverse himself when spouting silliness and immediately begin spouting the opposite silliness. You see, he has traded up from Dan Rather's "fake but true" to "real but false". So with his journalistic integrity intact, he bravely and accurately destroys the truly unspoken argument that Hez'b'Allah is al-Qaeda by citing facts which are not true--that the Hezbos' and the Alkies' "roots historically are completely separate and different".

This might hold water if one organization were derived from a radical arm of bloodthirsty sect of a dark ages religion bent on world domination, and the other were, say, Shinto. It might make sense, if the goals of the two organizations were, on the one hand, genocide against the surviving members of the world's oldest mainstream religion, huddled on a tiny strip of land where they watch the graves of their ancestors pillaged to make urinals under the watchful eyes of the United Nations, and on the other hand, a goal of freeing the oppressed peoples of the Arabian Peninsula, Northern Africa, Southern Asia--and everywhere else the world's 1.3 billion Muslims live--from the hateful and repressive regimes they currently suffer under.

Of course, if you limit the context of Mr. Brown's comments to matters of nationality, and a certain time-frame, and if you quibble over differences caused largely by geography (and certainly not ideology), you could indeed say that these two organizations are separate and different.

But no, the origins of Hez'b'Allah and al-Qaeda are the exact same; hatred and repression under Islamic dictatorships which manufacture handy bogeymen to blame for all of the privations caused by first, Islam, and second, dictatorship. So America and Israel are the Emmanuel Goldstein of Islam's permanent 1984, a society Hell-bent on sending us all back to the year Nine-Eighty-Four.

Not only their origins then, but their goals too, are identical, and at any rate not hard to discover. It doesn't take an investigative reporter of any particularly great skill to ferret out the true goals of both al-Qaeda and Hez'b'Allah--Death to America, Death to Israel. You may even have heard these phrases yourself.

And so I am reminded of Winston Smith in the Orwell novel 1984, and I will remember the last four words of that book until my dying day, so complete was my horror at the masterful conclusion of the novel. Unfortunately, only the bad parts are familiar in reference to Mr. Brown, and the good parts are not present. There is no conclusion, and if Deputy Secretary-General of the international terrorist organizations the United Nations Mark Malloch Brown has his way, there also will never be a conclusion. Not one that you can read in a language other than Arabic, anyway. Also, the lack of conclusion is not masterful, it is pathetic, or it would be, if that didn't also require pathos. Only the horror remains, but it is ours, not Mr. Brown's, as we realize the bone-chilling truth behind this journalist-cum-diplomat and his views on truth, proof, context, and goals:

He loved Dan Rather.