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August 09, 2006

Madness

(Posted by John.)

Wow.  I knew Krauthammer had issues, but... damn.

About three years ago, I saw Krauthammer flip out in synagogue on Yom Kippur. The rabbi had offered some timid endorsement of peace -- peace essentially on Israel's terms -- but peace anyway. Krauthammer went nuts. He actually started bellowing at the rabbi, from his wheel chair in the aisle. People tried to "shush" him. It was, after all, the holiest day of the year. But Krauthammer kept howling until the rabbi apologized. The man is as arrogant as he is thuggish. Who screams at the rabbi at services? For advocating peace?

I'm hardly a religious person, but I've also been to Church enough times to hear things from the pulpit I disagreed with, even stuff I thought was offensive.  But heckling the holy like it was an episode of Jerry Springer?  That never occurred to me.

August 9, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

Yeah, but you're the type who's M.O. is to make reasoned arguments until you reach an agreement, or agree to disagree. Krauthammer's the type who prefers to yell and yell and yell until no one want to talk to him anymore, at which point he declares victory.

In other words, you're a rational human being, and Krauthammer's a bully.

Posted by: Vladi G | Aug 9, 2006 8:59:29 PM

Krauthammer outburst, happening as it did on Yom Kippur, mocks the faith to which he ostensibly belongs.

He mocked his people's slavery in Egypt, the desert wanderings, the settling of the Promised Land. He denigrated the subjugation from foreign powers, the revolts, the Diaspora, the progroms, the suffering and the perseverence of those much, much better than he.

He mocked Torah. I'm not a Jew, but no one should be allowed to mock Torah. He may as well have smeared pig's blood on the Ark.

Posted by: Stephen | Aug 9, 2006 9:30:46 PM

The jerk who wrote that probably seen a guy in a wheelchair yelling at a rabbi and decided the guy was Charles Krauthammer.

If Krauthammer can keep from yelling at Juan Williams 2 nights a week I think he can keep from yelling at a rabbi.

They are on a program together on FoxNews Channel, the most watched, and most trusted name in news.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 9, 2006 10:11:12 PM

I'm not sure being trusted by the most misinformed group of viewers is really something you want to brag about.

Posted by: Vladi G | Aug 10, 2006 12:42:30 AM

Poll: Fox Most Trusted News Source in U.S.

Why don't you point to specific examples of where FoxNews Channel, The Most Trusted Name in News, where FoxNews Channel specifically misled or misinformed?

It seems I can disprove your source right now. According to your poll that says FoxNews Channel viewers are dumb:

"An in-depth analysis of a series of polls conducted June through September found 48% incorrectly believed that evidence of links between Iraq and al Qaeda have been found,"

Ohhhh, but links have been found.

* Abdul Rahman Yasin was the only member of the al Qaeda cell that detonated the 1993 World Trade Center bomb to remain at large in the Clinton years. He fled to Iraq. U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, that show that Iraq gave Mr. Yasin both a house and monthly salary.

* Sudanese intelligence officials told me that their agents had observed meetings between Iraqi intelligence agents and bin Laden starting in 1994, when bin Laden lived in Khartoum.

* In 1999 the Guardian, a British newspaper, reported that Farouk Hijazi, a senior officer in Iraq's mukhabarat, had journeyed deep into the icy mountains near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 1998 to meet with al Qaeda men. Mr. Hijazi is "thought to have offered bin Laden asylum in Iraq," the Guardian reported.

* In October 2000, another Iraqi intelligence operative, Salah Suleiman, was arrested near the Afghan border by Pakistani authorities, according to Jane's Foreign Report, a respected international newsletter. Jane's reported that Suleiman was shuttling between Iraqi intelligence and Ayman al Zawahiri, now al Qaeda's No. 2 man.

* As recently as 2001, Iraq's embassy in Pakistan was used as a "liaison" between the Iraqi dictator and al Qaeda, Mr. Powell told the United Nations.

* Spanish investigators have uncovered documents seized from Yusuf Galan -- who is charged by a Spanish court with being "directly involved with the preparation and planning" of the Sept. 11 attacks -- that show the terrorist was invited to a party at the Iraqi embassy in Madrid. The invitation used his "al Qaeda nom de guerre," London's Independent reports.

* In 1998, Abbas al-Janabi, a longtime aide to Saddam's son Uday, defected to the West. At the time, he repeatedly told reporters that there was a direct connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

* Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi oversaw an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, Mr. Powell told the United Nations. His specialty was poisons. Wounded in fighting with U.S. forces, he sought medical treatment in Baghdad in May 2002. When Zarqawi recovered, he restarted a training camp in northern Iraq. Zarqawi's Iraq cell was later tied to the October 2002 murder of Lawrence Foley, an official of the U.S. Agency for International Development, in Amman, Jordan. The captured assassin confessed that he received orders and funds from Zarqawi's cell in Iraq, Mr. Powell said. His accomplice escaped to Iraq.

* Mullah Melan Krekar, ran a terror group (the Ansar al-Islam) linked to both bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
...
His group operated in portion of northern Iraq loyal to Saddam Hussein -- and attacked independent Kurdish groups hostile to Saddam. A spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan told a United Press International correspondent that Mr. Krekar's group was funded by "Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad."

* After October 2001, hundreds of al Qaeda fighters are believed to have holed up in the Ansar al-Islam's strongholds inside northern Iraq.

And there are even more examples of "evidence of links between Iraq and al Qaeda have been found".

Huh, I guess FoxNews Channel, The Number One Name in News, I guess FoxNews viewers are better informed.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 10, 2006 1:41:58 AM

How could your source miss all those examples of links between Iraq and al Qaeda, Vladi?

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 10, 2006 1:54:36 AM

HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

Tech Central Station! That was good. You had me going there for a moment. I almost thought you were serious. Honestly, on we on Candid Camera or something?

Posted by: Vladi G | Aug 10, 2006 2:27:55 AM

S.H. was a secular dictator by the way. Osama bin Ladin is a fundamentalist fanatic. The idea of them working together just because they are both Muslim and evil is ignorant.

Links are easy enough to find. Links that are firm and proved not spurious, however, are a little bit harder to come by.

I'm not a big fan of the "riddle me this" school of blog debate, but this level of stupidity seems to call for it. Tell me, captain. If there are really all this wonderful evidence that Saddam had links with Al Qaeda, why is the administration not trumpeting it from the hilltops instead of resorting to weasely techniques like mentioning "Saddam" and "9/11" in adjacent sentences really fast to establish the link in the minds of the American people?

If you want a concrete link, consider the fact that the U.S. secretly funneled billions of dollars to the mujahadeen network back in the eighties, the very network that metastasized into Al Qaida and the taliban (mujahadeen = holy warrior). Maybe we should go back in time and bomb the Reagan administration.

Posted by: battlepanda | Aug 10, 2006 2:41:52 AM

Ezra, do you really want to allow "Captain Toke"'s blatant advertising spam in the blog comments?

Posted by: Firebug | Aug 10, 2006 2:42:52 AM

"Tech Central Station! That was good. You had me going there for a moment. I almost thought you were serious. Honestly, on we on Candid Camera or something?"

Wow, is that the best you can do Vladi?

Why don't you clowns debunk the links between al Qaeda and Iraq? C'mon, just debunk 3 or 4 of them. There is a whole bunch to pick from up there from lots of sources.

Because you can't!

TCS is just reporting, the sources are the liberal British paper 'The Guardian', documents found by our troops in Iraq, foreign Intelligence services, etc.

I guess that is why you guys attack FoxNews Channel, The Most Trusted, Most Watched Name in News. You attack them because they report facts that don't jive with your foolish world view.

I'm sure I would have gotten the same response if the reporting entity had been anyone. Because when you clowns get backed into a corner with facts, you attack the source.

C'mon, if the claims are such bullshit, debunk them! I have them listed for ya.

Ohhh, you can't.

Like I said before, I guess FoxNews Channel, The Number One Name in News, I guess FoxNews viewers are better informed.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 10, 2006 7:50:48 AM

"Tell me, captain. If there are really all this wonderful evidence that Saddam had links with Al Qaeda, why is the administration not trumpeting it from the hilltops"

Hey battlepanda, why don't you read what the source claimed a little closer.

"An in-depth analysis of a series of polls conducted June through September found 48% incorrectly believed that evidence of links between Iraq and al Qaeda have been found,"

Links between Iraq and al Qaeda have been provided. And the administration has touted it. You guys just refuse to acknowledge it because it doesn't coincide with your perverted world view.

That is clever, the way you try to switch "Iraq" and "Saddam". And you guys say FoxNews Channel, America's Most Trusted News Network tries to mislead?

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 10, 2006 8:01:29 AM

Vladi, here is another report on the same subject.

Here is a sample:

"In 1998, for example, when the Clinton Justice Department indicted bin Laden, the writ read: "In addition, al-Qaida reached an understanding with the Government of Iraq that al-Qaida would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al-Qaida would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq."

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 10, 2006 8:19:17 AM

(I feel like I'm wasting time, responding to a spam-bot or something.)

Captain:

I thought the whole point was that "Saddam", and not "Iraq", was our enemy. Unless, of course, you believe that geography is a terrorist.

The only reliable evidence of any al Qaeda operations in Iraq come from Kurdistan, where Saddam had no influence. We also know that Bush was twice given the opportunity to destroy the al Qaeda operatives in Kurdistan, and twice refused because it would get in the way of his splendid little war.

The idea that al Qaeda (which was founded officially in 1998) had anything to do with the World Trade Center bombings in 1993 is literally impossible. There is a connection between Kalid Sheikh Mohammed (later an AQ operator) and WTC1993, but neither KSM nor the bombers were employed by AQ.

Any connection with Zarqawi or Ansar al-Islam refer to the Kurdistan camps, over which Saddam had no control. (See above.)

Ooh.... an Iraqi embassy invited a bad man to a dinner party? Surely they were plotting their nefarious schemes. Or, you know, eating.

And you'd think Republicans would have learned to stop relying on the words of defectors. Look: These people will almost always be killed if they don't get American protection, so it's in their best interest to say whatever they can to get protection. Including, yes, lying about how easy it will be to invade Iraq and be greeted as liberators.

Please, if the rest of your so called "links" can be dismissed this easily, don't bother sending more.

Posted by: john | Aug 10, 2006 9:10:25 AM

How many hours do you spend talking online to people you hate, Captain Toke? Don't you have a family? Friends? Online friends, at least, with whom you might agree on something and for whom you don't feel contempt? I find it hard to understand what you're getting out of this, because you sure don't look like you're having fun.

Posted by: Christmas | Aug 10, 2006 9:11:46 AM

Look, here's the important distinction, and it wasn't well put in the initial article.

Yes, there were connections between Iraq/Saddam and al Qaeda. These connections occured in the mid-90s and never developed into anything operational, and did not continue on in hte late 90s or early 00s.

If you read the 9/11 commission report, you'll see that most of Toke's citations are not considered solid intelligence.

From the useful WaPo summary:

But the report of the commission's staff, based on its access to all relevant classified information, said that there had been contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda but no cooperation. In yesterday's hearing of the panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, a senior FBI official and a senior CIA analyst concurred with the finding.

The staff report said that bin Laden "explored possible cooperation with Iraq" while in Sudan through 1996, but that "Iraq apparently never responded" to a bin Laden request for help in 1994. The commission cited reports of contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda after bin Laden went to Afghanistan in 1996, adding, "but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

What Bush and Cheney have done, aided by TCS and National Review, is to conflate a few "feelers" in the mid-90s with actual operational assistance at the time of 9/11. These are very different things, and need to be treated very differently.

In terms of the Fox News misinformation findings, you should read the whole thing instead of focusing on one poorly-worded statement in a summary. The questionnaire did not ask whether any links at all existed, but:

Is it your impression that the US has or has not found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the Al Qaeda terrorist organization?

This is precisely what the 9/11 commission found was not the case. There were "links", but they were not "working closely" with each other. People who answer "yes" have the facts wrong.

Posted by: DivGuy | Aug 10, 2006 9:31:20 AM

"I thought the whole point was that "Saddam", and not "Iraq", was our enemy."

You don't think Saddam knew everything that happened in Iraq? Especially if it involved his sons and al Qaeda?

There is no proof of direct contact between Saddam and Bin Laden, but there is proof of links between Iraq and al Qaeda, their respective subordinates.

I am still waiting on someone to prove those links are not credible. Be specific, I was.

Oh, you can't be specific because you can't disprove the report.

"An in-depth analysis of a series of polls conducted June through September found 48% incorrectly believed that evidence of links between Iraq and al Qaeda have been found,"

DivGuy says:

"Yes, there were connections between Iraq/Saddam and al Qaeda."

DivGuy, you must watch FoxNews Channel.

The Most Trusted Name in News.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 10, 2006 11:04:52 AM

Dude you need to upgrade the quality of your bud.

Because you are sounding more like Captain Meth than anything.

Posted by: Bruce Webb | Aug 10, 2006 11:19:15 AM

I could be on acid and still out think you clowns because I got the facts on my side.

Correcting liberals with half my brain wrapped around a big, fat, giant doobie, just to make it fair.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 10, 2006 11:33:02 AM

I honestly and truly feel very sorry for you, Captain Toke.

Posted by: Christmas | Aug 10, 2006 12:23:47 PM

Yeah Christmas, it is lonely being right all the time.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 10, 2006 12:32:28 PM

Whatever gets you through the night, big guy.

You still haven't answered my question, but then again I don't expect you to.

Posted by: Christmas | Aug 10, 2006 12:47:12 PM

"Yes, there were connections between Iraq/Saddam and al Qaeda."

DivGuy, you must watch FoxNews Channel.

You took a very clear statement wholly out-of-context, such that you reversed my meaning entirely. I don't watch it all that much, but I recognize such tactics as quite typical of Fox News.

Posted by: DivGuy | Aug 10, 2006 1:13:54 PM

Sorry DivGuy, but you need to be a little more specific when you debunk those connections between al Qaeda and Iraq than just saying "the 9/11 report says there were no links".

You can't disprove them or their sources.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Aug 10, 2006 1:54:30 PM

I generally do like it when opposing sides attempt to interact with and engage each other, but am almost routinely dissapointed by how badly it really plays out. I suppose my frustration and cycle of dissapointment come from the seeming innate contempt of such efforts. Captain Toke seem to have come with no good intent as I doubt that any serious and sensible attempts to persuade a group the believes the contrary of what he believes would be couched in such ill-mannered and sumptuously indignant, condescending terms. Especially given how most of what he has written ends in some terse assertion that is so drenched in obnoxious doubtlessness as to read more like a statement of faith than anything meant to be argued.

I suppose then that my question is, "if you weren't going to take paints to offer restraint and respect, then what was the point?"

Posted by: Paul A. Brömmer | Aug 10, 2006 5:19:40 PM

You can't disprove them or their sources.

Why would anyone want to? Your examples are pathetic, much like yourself.

Posted by: Col Bat Guano | Aug 12, 2006 12:02:55 AM

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