Blogger and reporter Michael J. Totten gives incredibly detailed views from all sides of the conflicts in the Middle East. He’s spent significant time in Lebanon and can often be found reporting from there as well as Israel, Iraq, etc.
A brief excerpt from an interview of Michael that speaks depths of sanity most others in the media profession miss…
Chris Dyszyński : There’s an ongoing debate about the ways in which radical Islamist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas are portrayed in the media. For example, there’s controversy over terms such as ‘terrorist’ or ‘militant’, and from one side complaints that the ideological extremism of these groups is never spelled-out, and from the other that the legitimacy of their territory-based grievances aren’t given due prominence. A noticeable curio is the tendency to ‘balance out’ the rather more unsavory aspects of these organizations – for example, by emphasizing their social charity work – as if they were just Islamic equivalents of the Salvation Army, albeit with more literal weapons. What’s your take on this?
Micahael Totten: First of all, Hamas and Hezbollah don’t have territory-based grievances. They explicitly say, in no uncertain terms, that they wish to erase an entire nation (Israel and the Jewish people) from the face of the earth. No other country gets discussed in this manner. I don’t believe that if the Irish Republican Army vowed to conquer London and massacre the English that even the most radical of British leftists would find the IRA remotely acceptable or describe its program as “territory-based.”
Second, I’ve never understood why some people think it’s such a big deal that Hamas and Hezbollah engage in charity work. They’re still terrorists. They’re still fascist movements that place the murder of Jews at the core of their ideologies. Pol Pot may not have built hospitals, but Hitler did. Both Hitler and Pol Pot built schools. So what?