Friday, December 27, 2002

The top headline on the Vangua's front page is about the tougher treatment of prisoners that the Spanish government's new proposal is promising. The second, with a total lack of irony, says:

CIA Mistreats Al Qaeda Prisoners

Page Three, the most prominent international story, leads off with the headline:

United States Verging on Torture
Washington Post denounces inhumane treatment of Al Qaeda prisoners

And continues with this paragraph:

Since 9-11, some 3000 suspected terrorists have been captured in the whole world. Those within the power of the United States are detained, in the immense majority in secret installations in foreign countries, and subjected to interrogation by CIA agents. They are anonymous people in legal limbo, without the right to a lawyer or access to organizations like the Red Cross.

Now get what happens to these poor victims: if they don't "collaborate" with the CIA (many Europeans consider the CIA as the very heart of the Jewish-Masonic-Illuminati American Empire conspiracy; the three letters CIA indicate the anti-Americanness of a foreign paper: the more prominently "CIA" features, the more America-bashing you're going to have to sit through) they are, horrors, required to remain kneeling and blindfolded. Oh, the humanity. Sometimes they suffer from sleep deprivation or, even worse, the lights are left on all day and all night. So tragic. They use techniques of "stress and coercion", and if these techniques don't work, the prisoners are threatened with being turned over to Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco. These countries have much more ruthless secret services than the Americans, see. In effect, the Americans are causing these poor fellows stress by threatening to turn them over to their Muslim brothers. The tears are flowing freely down my cheeks--my ass-cheeks, too--in sympathy. Sometimes, even, get this, the interrogators are women. "This conflicts with their cultural patterns and contributes to their psychological pressure." How could those perfidious Americans stoop so low. Imagine, a woman asking you questions.

Here's the ineffable "Fettucini" Alfredo Abián in the Vangua's signed Page 2 editorial comment today:

Liberties in times of war

The crimes against humanity that were committed on 9-11 call for justice, not revenge. Amnesty International expressed it that way on the first anniversary of the apocalypse that struck New York, where 3000 people from more than sixty countries died. Remembering that the struggle against terrorist madness is not only a question of security but of values, it seems convenient at a time when bellicose rhetoric threatens to enslave liberties and those who defend them. The mercenaries of so-called order are taking advantage of the widespread fear among the citizens to shamelessly break the rules of the game. It's the same to investigate tens of thousands of foreign teachers and students who live in the United States as it is to hold the hundred of arrested residents, indefinitely and without charges, without communication with the outside and without legal assistance, all according to the fearsome Patriot Act. Now, the Washington Post shows that the Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners are tortured within the Allied bases in Afghanistan. Hundreds of them suffer in the same situation at the Cuban base of Guantánamo. And, beyond all reason, many of them are old, retired, farmers, shoemakers, illiterate Afghans whose only crime was to be recruited by force by the Taliban right before the invasion.

Now wasn't that a just lovely "Yes, but"? And the Vanguardia is the most pro-American paper in Spain. Imagine what they're writing over at the País, the Socialist paper, which is so solidarious with the poor that they've started charging to reach their Internet site, thereby taking away free access to the news. Since I refuse to pay a nickel to the País, I guess we'll never know.

UPDATE: Looks like everybody else linked to this one, too. Well, Fettucine Boy Abián stated right out that the Americans use torture, while the original Washington Post story only implied it. The news side of the Vangua also very strongly implied that America uses torture, though the closest they came to saying it outright was "US verging on torture" in the headline, which is of course what people will remember.

One of the most important sources of anti-Americanism is the American press. The Europeans, at least the journalists, read Time and Newsweek and the New York Times and the Washington Post. These officially prestigious news outlets bend over backward to give the liberal side of the story, as we all know. Well, imagine yourself a columnist sitting in Barcelona. You need a topic to write on. You flip through the newspapers on your desk looking for the last crusade that the American left and the American media have gone off on. That's not hard to find. Especially as horrible as the Times and the Post are. You find that crusade after about three hours of digging through news articles that you barely understand, because, let's face it, your English sucks. You then exaggerate what the largely leftist American news media says that coincides with your pre-established ideas. For example, we have caught Fettucine Boy red-handed upgrading an implied accusation of Americans using torture, as the Post rather sleazily made, to a flat-out statement that Americans use torture.

Now imagine, my fellow Americans, that the spin on the story they give in the New York Times and Newsweek was taken as gospel by 99% of foreign correspondents in Washington and New York, who are all too lazy to do any work and can't speak English anyway. I repeat: European reporters in America are morons who just do a half-assed translation of something from the NYT and palm it off as reporting. What opinion would you have of America if the crap they print in the New York Times were the only news you ever got about it?

I therefore conclude that the self-hating anti-Americanism of the Democrat Party's peace and justice wing, expressed through the major US media of communication, is one of the major causes of foreign dislike of or distrust of or hate for America and the American people.

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