Shire Network News #98 has been released. The feature interview is the second half of a conversation with Professor Deborah Lipstadt about the resurgence of anti-semitism worldwide, and why it’s not just Jews who should be afraid. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary segment.

Hi, this is Doug Payton with Shire Network News, asking you to “Consider This”.

This week, we take a run through headlines of the recent past, starting with this Associated Press headline, “Shuttle crew practice countdown”.


See, I knew I was astronaut material!

Next up, we have a story from the NY Times, discussing the progress in the war in the area of Ramadi in Anbar Province. You don’t hear much about Anbar these days, probably because it’s going so well there. Here’s a clip from that story.

Now, a pact between local tribal sheiks and American commanders has sent thousands of young Iraqis from Anbar Province into the fight against extremists linked to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. The deal has all but ended the fighting in Ramadi and recast the city as a symbol of hope that the tide of the war may yet be reversed to favor the Americans and their Iraqi allies.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Oddly, the story appears to be invisible to the editorial writers who wrote these sentiments on the very same day.

“It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit. . . . Milestones came and went without any progress toward a stable, democratic Iraq or a path for withdrawal. . . . Whatever [President’s Bush’s] cause was, it is lost. . . . Keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse.”

It’s like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is writing. If these folks do indeed read their own newspaper, what does it say about the quality of reporting if even their own editorial writers don’t believe it?

Also from the terrorism front comes this headline atop an article from ABC New’s Investigative Team; “Exclusive: Terror Commander: New Attack Will Dwarf Failed Bomb Plot”. OK, maybe something big is indeed coming, but how big does it have to be to dwarf a “failed bomb plot”? Sounds like the Taliban are setting the bar rather low for the future.

CNN is reporting that the United States wants ex-Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega, extradited to France. This sounds like some sort of prisoner rendition. Isn’t there a law against torture?

And finally we have an assurance from Senator John Kerry that our knowledge of history, of 165,000 dead in Vietnam and 2 million in Cambodia, was not as bad as we thought it was. (Click here for the video.) He responds to a caller to CSPAN who wants us to leave Iraq but is concerned that the aftermath in Iraq might mirror Vietnam.

Let me just say to the first part of your question with respect to boat people and killing, everybody predicted a massive bloodbath in Vietnam. There was not a massive bloodbath in Vietnam. There were reeducation camps, and they weren’t pretty and, you know, nobody, you know, likes that kind of outcome. But on the other hand, I’ve met lot of people today who were in those education camps, who are thriving in the Vietnam of today.

So there you have it. While reeducation camps aren’t pretty and generally distasteful, the fact that some survived it means that they couldn’t have been all that bad. One wonders if they were pretty, if a little more attention had been paid to the decor, they might have been just marvelous. Next week on CSPAN, Senator Kerry brings an Auschwitz survivor in to show how they’re thriving.

And those are the headlines from “Consider This”. Back to you, Brian.

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