Sunday, January 04, 2009

Linda McQuaig's Latest Piece Is Provably False

(The following is the already published portion of the column featured above. It deals specifically with her latest - and perhaps greatest - example of bias and lack of integrity:)

Like many who are familiar with Linda McQuaig, I’ve found the great liberties that she takes with the truth to be startling. McQuaig writes exclusively about leftist causes. That itself would be fine. But in her defense of logically indefensible positions, she has at times reinvented the rules of math and just about whatever else she can grasp at. Her end goal is for insane propositions to be taken as fact by readers who don’t care to follow her convoluted reasoning and simply accept her conclusions.

A prime example of this is her past assertion that Canada has, in essence, a flat tax. Despite all studies showing that Canadians pay an average of 50% of their revenues in some form of government taxation (income, sales, capital gains, etc.) and despite the even clearer fact that lower income earners pay less and those who earn more pay more, McQuaig single handedly reinvented the laws of arithmetic to argue that all Canadians really pay between 30-35% in taxes. If Canada does indeed have a flat rate, she argued (the point of her reinventing math in the first place), then any tax cuts would amount to the poor paying the greatest percentage. Of course, both a cursory glance and a substantive look at actual tax rates shows otherwise and even the EU has largely adopted tax cuts as a way to stimulate jobs and investment. But why write the truth when absolute rubbish is as good a substitute?

Similarly, in various columns, McQuaig has blamed former Ontario Premier Mike Harris for that province’s young offenders, written that Harper will cut social spending so drastically that, from the way she describes it, he’ll send Canada back to the middle ages (I guess the Prime Minister's Office never got the note) and otherwise fills her columns with tales of vast and abundant conspiracies. Again, if it were a conservative making such claims of the opposite side, the outcry from the left would be audible 100 miles away. Either that or they’d be wholly ignored. No paper would print their unsubstantiated ramblings.

McQuaig also has another trait. Like so many of the radical left, her sympathies lie with terrorists who she sides with, always, against Israel. There are simply no radical leftist fads or causes celebres that escape her narrow minded world view. Unlike many on her side, she tries to support these fancifully misbegotten notions with logic. As with math, when the logic or facts don’t fit, she invents them or quotes others who do it for her.

No where is there a better example of this than in her latest column, one in which she decries Canada’s support for Israel. (It should be of note that Canada’s support for Taiwan, India or any other allies fighting a dictatorial enemy may also not meet with McQuaig’s approval. But I assume she’ll have to confer with her “professors” before she issues a pronouncement on same one way or another.) Again, she does not find it sufficient to merely state her opinion and move on. In this case too, she must manipulate reality in a way that combines the talents of a communist propaganda minister with those of an acrobatic contortionist.

McQuaig does not once make mention of the 80 rockets that Hamas lobbed into populated areas of Israel. The fact that Israel and Hamas signed a six month truce, which Hamas refused to resign is also ignored. In fact, McQuaig quotes Richard Falk, a man she refers to as a “Jewish-American professor,” as saying that the situation was Israel’s fault for having entered into Gaza a month ago on a military incursion.

The truth is that intermittent attacks coming from Gaza were commonplace even after the ceasefire was signed. Hamas continually broke the terms and conditions throughout its six month duration. Last month, the Israeli Army found that Hamas supporters were digging a tunnel toward Israel that presented a clear security risk. Israel destroyed the tunnel and left.

As her column progresses, her other claims continue to decry incredulity. She blames Israel for sectioning off Gaza. The problem is that Gaza also has an equally long border with Egypt, so Israel could not unilaterally section it off. McQuaig knows this, so she again relies on Falk as the source of her seemingly (as well as actually) incredulous claim. To be sure, Israel did block off Gaza after rocket attacks persisted. But if Gaza was at all reasonable, why would both Israel and Egypt see the need to block it off? Israel still allowed food and vital supplies in, McQuaig’s reference to food shortages (for which she again quotes Falk, as only he and Hamas have made this claim) is unsubstantiated and probably countered by the mere fact that all Hamas fighters have clearly had ample strength and resources to continue fighting over the past few days.

What’s also missing from the picture is that Israel gave the Palestinian Authority in Gaza its autonomy in the hopes that a lasting peace could be cemented. Had they not done so, the Israelis would still be there and there’d be no argument over border crossings. So the argument that Israel has some kind of desire to reenter Gaza is scurrilous. They could have kept it in the first place.

But who is this Richard Falk who McQuaig so relies on, and whose singular claims are taken by McQuaig as fact? Well, a simple google search immediately exposes who Falk is and shows him to be little more than a Hamas mouthpiece, albeit one with other very interesting ties as well.

Falk is a professor emeritus. He is also a Special Rapporteur for the UN. But as Pajama Media’s Ron Radosh succinctly puts it: “Falk’s appointment was made, not surprisingly, by the chairman of the UN General Assembly, Father Miguel D’escoto Brockman of Nicaragua, the Sandinista liberation theologian who was himself appointed by Daniel Ortega. Throughout D’escoto’s entire career, he has been a left-wing ideologue, whose anti-Americanism is legendary.”

Yes, Nicaragua is on the UN Human Rights Commission, as is Saudi Arabia. They do not designate all appointees, but one prominent Ortega ally found Falk to be just the man for a Special Rapporteur position. Perhaps Father D’escoto is a McQuaig fan too. But aside from being a pal to Ortega’s pals, Falk also has some opinions about Hamas that would shock even their Palestinian counterpart Fatah (which has also engaged in terror and has yet to renounce the “Jerusalem Martyrs Brigade” of suicide bombers with allegiance to Fatah).

Among Falk’s pronouncements is that Hamas should not be branded a terrorist organization (what a man who thinks that an unrenounced past history of targeting infants doesn’t qualify a group as terrorist is doing working for the UN Human Rights Commission is a question best left to them) and that Hamas’ legitimacy is recognized by other Palestinian groups. He also views the suicide bombings and the targeting of civilians as the “right of resistance.” By contrast, he compares the Israelis, (who have taken precaution after precaution not to target civilians, and seek to minimize casualties even when Hamas terrorists barricade themselves in civilian areas – Israel is, again, also the only side ever to have given real concessions) to Nazis.

Yes, Richard Falk may be Jewish, but he’s probably one of the only Jews aside from Meir Lansky to be denied entry into Israel. The reason he was turned back at Ben Gurion airport was due to the fact that even before he started his investigation, he was making the above listed pronouncements and blaming Israel once again for the current crisis. In the words of the Israeli foreign ministry, Falk’s mission was “profoundly distorted and conceived as an anti-Israeli initiative.”

Falk has no first hand knowledge of the situation. In short, not only is a he a Hamas mouthpiece (who, again, makes statements that would even be countered by Abbas), he’s also a fraud. There’s no way he could have known what was happening on the ground. His ridiculous assertions and public statements were made before he arrived, and because of them, he was turned back. Israel has let in scores of international observers, just not elderly professors emeriti who call them Nazis and glorify Hamas terrorists as “resistance fighters.” Even then, they’d have let him in if not for his statements of “fact” before he arrived.

Is that all? Unfortunately not. Falk is also a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who is sad that the issue did not receive prominence during the presidential election. According to Falk, not only did the US government quite possibly arrange 9/11, Barack Obama should have made it a campaign issue as well!

In other words, McQuaig and may as well have used a guy who claims to get his information from a large bunny named Harvey who sits at his left side as their source.

As Falk, with no first hand knowledge of the situation, must have been getting his “information” from Hamas (unless he made it up himself – I’m discounting Harvey from the picture), McQuaig was more than likely quoting Hamas when quoting Falk. And of course, there was no need for her to run a basic fact. Not when you’re using George Orwell’s 1984 as a journalists’ training manual.

McQuaig ends off her column by sanctimoniously opining that Israel does have a right to defend itself. The only problem for McQuaig, seemingly, is that when it does, it should be mindful of the accusations of an indirectly Ortega appointed Hamas sympathizer. If he suspects impropriety then all defensive measures must stop.

The spin and, honestly, the anti-Semitism that columnists like McQuaig engage in is covert. As in the most recent example: Find one lone radical professor who makes a false claim which decries incredulity and report it as the “statement of a Jewish-American professor,” instead of that of a Marxist and terrorist sympathizer whose views represent the same lunatic fringe that has turned Mideast Studies programs in universities such as Columbia into hotbeds of anti-Semitism.

It’s one thing to be a crazy leftist who fumbles with the truth on taxes and spending policy and who views math as her own personal lump of molding clay, ready to twist and contort at her leisure. It’s another thing entirely to print falsehoods in defense of avowed terror organizations that recruit young children to their causes and target infants for slaughter, while smearing those who were attacked and blaming them for it. Yet all those traits fit neatly into the package that is Linda McQuaig.

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