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May 18, 2005

Newsweek's Act of War

In case you were wondering, Newsweek has no intention of firing anybody over Korangate, according to Fox News. Their Michael Isikoff's false claim that interrogators at Gitmo have been flushing Korans down toilets predictably ignited lethal riots in the Middle East, but apparently this is not a major concern for Newsweek.

They have retracted the story. However, that is pretty much like retracting the match you used to burn down a barn. It isn't going to put the barn back up. The people who have died in the rioting will still be dead, American efforts to stabilize the situation in the Middle East will still be set back years, our troops will still be subjected to greatly increased danger, and al Qaeda — maybe you remember them, they want to destroy our civilization and are actively seeking the technology that will allow them to do it — will still have scored a major propaganda coup.

Try telling these guys it's all right, nobody flushed any Korans down any toilet, Newsweek was just printing vicious unconfirmed rumors because they don't like their own country:


By the way, if anyone ever did flush a Koran, would that be more insulting than burning our flag? Do we ever have a right to be angry? Would it surprise anyone if it turned out that these goons disgracing our flag are living off American aid?

Over at The Cliffs of Insanity, The Warden is right to wonder why Newsweek considered the Koran flushing incident — supposing it were true — to be news in the first place. Is it because they are concerned that people's religious views may not be shown proper respect? But then why have they published work by the guy who made Piss Christ? Why did they defend the outrageous portrait of the Virgin Mary smeared with elephant dung that taxpayers were forced to subsidize at the Brooklyn Museum?

The reason Newsweek published this fictional story is because they knew it would feed hostility against the government of the United States. They may have underestimated just how much damage it would do — just as bin Laden underestimated how much damage flying two jets into it would do to the World Trade Center. But that hardly redeems them.

As most people are aware, we are at war. It is a very serious war, one that we could conceivably lose. The price of losing would be the end of our civilization, and the beginning of a terrible new age of darkness. Imagine a radioactive wasteland ruled by the Taliban. That is the future if we lose.

In World War II, we fought two main enemies that were allied against us: Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. In the current war we again face an alliance of two enemies sworn to our destruction. Unfortunately they are harder to fight, because they are not so easily pinpointed on a map. Our two enemies are radical Islam and the Left.

Few on the Left would admit, even to themselves, that they are allied with al Qaeda in a war of annihilation against Western Civilization. But their actions speak much more clearly than the sanctimonious justifications used to excuse them.

Those who want to destroy us cannot compete directly with our military. This is why the war is not being fought on a conventional battlefield. Our enemies have two weapons: terrorism and propaganda. Al Qaeda provides the terrorism. The left-wing media — including our own "mainstream" media — provides the propaganda.

Newsweek's phony story is a godsend to al Qaeda, rallying the populace against us and pulling the rug out from under our Middle Eastern allies. Propaganda is a very real weapon. Korangate isn't sloppy journalism. It is an act of war — the equivalent of shipping ammunition to Germany during World War II.

Michael Isikoff — a treasonous twerp with blood on his hands.

Posted by Van Helsing at May 18, 2005 6:33 AM


The left says they fear a theocracy, but that exactly what they aid when they aid these terrorist.

Posted by: Jay at May 18, 2005 8:13 AM

Though provocative, it isn't that much of a stretch to accuse Newsweek of deliberately attacking the US and its interests in the Muslim world. Your superbly written article is quite persuasive.

Clearly the damage that's been done is very nearly irreparable -- far worse than Rathergate. And you're probably right, few heads will roll. (Though, it did take awhile for CBS to finally smell the coffee.)

Wait - do I hear a congressional inquiry in the distance?

Posted by: The MaryHunter at May 18, 2005 8:48 AM

Great pic of Isikoff. How could you even imagine firing such a compleat investigative reporter, dressed to the nines and replete with that "killer smirk." Don't you know he feels "just awful" about this?

Posted by: Redhand at May 18, 2005 9:25 AM

A righteous AMEN. I don't see how people (lefties) cannot understand the far-reaching implications of this heinous act.

Posted by: Todd at May 18, 2005 10:46 AM

Michael Isikoff was the darling of you right wingers back in '98.


You don't remember when he broke the story about Monica Lewinsky and Bil Clinton?

Meanwhile, it's obvious no one posting here (including the host) has even read the article.

Here's a link:

You'll notice the Koran flushing thing was mentioned only in passing.

The article deals an investigation into a Major General's involvement in abuses at Gitmo. Ten interrogators have been disiplined.

That stuff is all true. But the White House is freaked that the American people might find out and want to draw attention away from that part of the story.

In the meantime, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is poo-pooing the idea that riots were triggered by a half page Newsweek article.

Posted by: Denny Hix at May 18, 2005 12:56 PM

My money is on George Tenent as Isikoff's anonymous source.

I mean he got that whole WMD thing wrong when Bush relied on him.

At least Newsweek apologized for listening to a Bush administration source. Still waiting for W to be man enough to do that.

But I'd probably faint if W ever grew a backbone.

Posted by: Randy Case at May 18, 2005 12:59 PM

Van Helsing sayeth, "...The price of losing would be the end of our civilization, and the beginning of a terrible new age of darkness. Imagine a radioactive wasteland ruled by the Taliban. That is the future if we lose..."

That's potent stuff, perhaps a bit hyperbolic, BUT the idea is indeed one to remember. To anchor a poignant mental image, wheel over to the library and check out "A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (Lippincott Co. - 1960). Much better than some of the futuristic, Sci-Fi flix of recent memory.

Posted by: Bergbikrk at May 18, 2005 1:44 PM

Strange how the "right" never mentions the more egregious "misstatements" made by the Bush Administration concerning the reasons they said we needed to go fight in Iraq.
Haven't their incorrect assumptions caused far more death, to Americans no less, than this article? For the administration now to start harping over this smacks of severe hypocrisy.

And what about the notion that these people who are rioting and killing (each other) have never shown any such restraint with regards to other religious icons? Remember the 1000 year old Buddhist statues that the Taliban blew up? I don't remember any Buddhists rioting over that.
What about the burning of American flags over the years? Did anyone go start killing each other?

Maybe these people who are rioting are still stuck in the middle ages? At any rate, they already hated us, will continue to hate us.

Posted by: ken grandlund at May 18, 2005 8:09 PM

"You don't remember when he broke the story about Monica Lewinsky and Bil [sic] Clinton?"

Really!? As I recall he sat on it because he only had one source, and only "broke the story" after Matt Drudge.

Interesting that it was OK to sit on a scandal involving Bubba because it wasn't dual sourced, but not for this.

Posted by: Redhand at May 18, 2005 8:20 PM


Ken Grandlund has mastered "Tu Quoque" argument!

It's all over now-- we can just go home, because Kenny has put the argument to bed by pointing out that America has made errors in the interpretation of intelligence.

Listen closely, Kenny-- Newsweek wasn't printing an article based on flawed assumptions. They ran an article based in unverifiable information, knwoing full well that typical Muslim murderous rage would result. That's why they're called "The Fifth Column", Kenster.
Consider if you will that your friends at al-Qaeda have a trining manual that instructs captive a-Q operatives to allege mistreatment and religious persecution at every opportunity. They know our tendency towards sympathetic outrage well. Does that make those allegations a little less believable? It should.

But it's all "Bush Lied, People Died!" for you isn't it, Kenny?

Posted by: triplenecksteel at May 18, 2005 8:57 PM

The funny thing in all of this Newsweek mess is that nobody on the Right seems to have noticed that the reason the Middle East doesn't trust us in the first place is because Bush invaded Iraq, claiming tobe after wmd's when hew knew the evidence didn't support his claim. He was REALLY there on vendetta but chose to claim otherwise. These false justifications are what pissed everyone off at he United States. If this hadn't happened, the Newsweek article wouldn't have had nearly the impact. The right can't have media with double standards, it doesn't work that way. Either you admit the guilt of all or stop griping. Also notice that the government has yet to prove that Koran's were NOT flushed. Have they offered videos of interrogations that prove this is a false allegation? No. Stop complaining just to protect the President.

Posted by: Joseph (OK Democrat) at May 18, 2005 10:20 PM

Wow! This is truly the Moonbattery tonight!

Maybe someone can explain to me how it's completely acceptible for Newsweek to supress stories of in-fighting in the Kerry camp because it would be detrimental to someone because it's good Journalism to do so. Then rush a story without proper evidence that is directly related to 19 deaths and over 100 injuries due to riots because the news cannot be sensored and that's supposed to good journalism too.

No, I'm sorry. Newsweek is nothing more than a left-wing attack machine that does not appear to care who it hurts as long as it is attacking Bush or the Republicans in some way, shape or form.

Can someone from the moonbattery explain this to me without trying to compare Newsweek to Bush? I'm so happy you all think Bush is the anti-christ. I really do...well not really. It just helps one understand why you can't get your collective heads out of Barbara Boxer's backside long enough to think for yourselves.

Should there be a requirement to prove something didn't happen? Let me provide examples:

Joeseph, I heard a claim that you were on Newsweek's payroll. I demand you prove me wrong!

Ken, Someone told me that you swore an oath of alleigence to the Hamas and have donated thousands of dollars to terroist organizations. Provide evidense to the contrary directly to me.

Randy, I was snooping through your cookies and believe I saw some gay porn with George W. Bush as the lead character. Dispute it!

WTF is wrong with you people? Newsweek printed a story that was bull$#i+. People were killed because of it. It is uncionable to defend it with coloquialisms of how evil you think Bush is. I hope your party dies the same miserable death they nearly died before Monroe. Don't know what historical reference I'm making? Go look it up. History appears to be repeating itself.

Posted by: Jeremy at May 18, 2005 11:19 PM


I am utterly shocked that you would ask those folks to actually do some historical research.

Shocked I tell you.

Do you want them thrown out of their party?

Posted by: Kender at May 19, 2005 12:14 AM

Hey Tripleneck-
"Newsweek wasn't printing an article based on flawed assumptions. They ran an article based in unverifiable information, knwoing full well that typical Muslim murderous rage would result."

Bush & Co. invaded Iraq based on false assumptions, formulated on unverifiable information, knowing full well that American soldiers would die and that Murderous Muslim Rage would result.

Newsweek made at least a lame attempt at attrition.

And I don't think I defended Al-Qaeda or the crazed rioting Muslims anywhere in my comment. Read between the lines and you'll see that I'm hardly a PC sycophant, blindly following the leader. But you're not interested in anything beyond bouying your blind devotion to a corrupt government led by corrupt people on both sides of the aisle.

Jeremy- You are obviously suffering from a common right wing malady that zeroes in on the word Bush, identifies a negative adjective in connection, and then blanks out all other words on the page.
Is Bush to blame for people rioting? Is Newsweek to blame for people rioting? Are the rioters to blame for rioting? Is rioting a reasonable response at all? Look carefully...the answer is obvious if you get past the first line.
Also- "Should there be a requirement to prove something didn't happen? "
Sure. And there should also be one to prove something did happen. Something for journalists and politicians both to aspire to.

Posted by: ken grandlund at May 19, 2005 1:47 AM

here Ken. Let me throw out a lefty term you may be familiar with since you're so good at using it: Straw Man. You are using Bush as a staw man in a Newsweek argument.

BTW, if you'd like to reasons for war I'd like to point out there were 21 OTHER reasons for invading Iraq besides the ONE item, Nuclear WMD, that you are focusing on. Of course, you probably never read the document that one and a half page document that congress voted unanimously on. Of course, neither did Barbara Boxer, or at least that's what Barbara said. (yes, Barbara Boxer voted to go to war with Iraq without reading the one and a half page reasons for use of force.)

..and you still haven't provided any evidence that you DIDN'T give money to the Hamas or other terrorists organizations. Where is your "PROOF OF INNOCENCE"?

That's what you're getting to, right? Being guilty before proven innocent. Is that how we work in America?

I'm asking you for, as you said:

"Proof something didn't happen."
(Yes, it's a paraphrase. Get over it.)

Posted by: Jeremy at May 19, 2005 3:35 AM

Excellent post. It does put things in perspective -- we ARE fighting a war, no matter who says otherwise.

Oh, No blood for WMD oil, or some such crap. Is that required to post here? ;)

Posted by: Ogre at May 19, 2005 5:44 AM

Only if you want me to make a silly accusation and demand you prove it wrong!...jsut like Newsweak. (I think that's the proper spelling.)

Wait, here goes:

Ogre, I know you had an affair with a llama named Rusty! The llama told me so himself! It's irrefutable!

Posted by: Jeremy at May 19, 2005 6:33 AM

Damn; Jeremy / Ogre - that llama swore he wouldn't cheat on me (again)!

Um, I mean ... it never ceases to amaze me how, regardless of the circumstances, the lefties always yell "Bush Lied" and expect that to answer ALL QUESTIONS. As mentioned above, it wasn't a lie and it wasn't the only reason to invade.

PS - they hated America LONG before we removed Saddam "I kill my own people for fun" Hussein.

Posted by: TJ at May 19, 2005 9:24 AM

I will describe Newsweek in two words: Yellow journalism.

Posted by: Anna at May 19, 2005 10:14 AM

Hey, Redhand. Matt Drudge didn't break the Monica story. He reported broke the story that Newsweek had the story. Big diff. Newsweek then put the full story on their website. They weren't holding it for additional sourcing -- but because they're a freakin' magazine and it was several days before publication.

Posted by: Randy Case at May 19, 2005 1:27 PM

So Randy, why haven't you refuted the claim about Bush porn? We know you have it and have...ahem...enjoyed it in the past. You have provided no evidence to the contrary so it must be 100% correct!

BTW, good point about the Monica story. There are other, much better examples of double standards in journalism at Newsweek though. Ever notice how the never mentioned about a dozen problems in the Kerry campaign until AFTER the election?

Posted by: Jeremy at May 19, 2005 1:53 PM

It's so interesting. The post is about Newsweek and the fact that 16+ people died because of a story that was comprised of nonverifiable information --which the source now can't even say where he saw it. Hmm. Like a rumor.

And they're not really disputing that fact, or the irresponsible reporting, they're turning it around and making WMD and Bush the issue. Hmmm. Like there's a connection there?

Doesn't anybody know or remember that the media is what put the emphasis on WMD? And that we did, in fact find WMD?

Maybe your ranting is because we didn't find missiles with their ominous lights blinking, with a big sign painted on them that said: "Warning: WMD Target: The Great Satan America!" Something straight out of BATMAN.

We actually did find a lot of stuff, and the satellite images show that the trucks that Saddam paid $35 million to hide stuff went to Syria and quite a bit of it is buried in a trench. It's actually in Bekaa Valley.

Naturally you're experiencing more of that revisionist history like the founders were liberals, lol. Sheesh. Ever thought of picking up a BOOK outside of the crap that's being spoonfed to you while you sit in your high chair screaming about a Rovian conspiracy?

Posted by: Cao at May 19, 2005 5:41 PM


Point taken. What I did remember correctly was that Drudge was the first to put the story out. Ann Coulter's take on it is:

"When ace reporter Michael Isikoff had the scoop of the decade, a thoroughly sourced story about the president of the United States having an affair with an intern and then pressuring her to lie about it under oath, Newsweek decided not to run the story. Matt Drudge scooped Newsweek, followed by The Washington Post." www.anncoulter.oog

Posted by: Redhand at May 21, 2005 9:00 PM