Utah Media Blinded By Political Correctness, Paints Salt Lake Mall Shooter as Victim

Filed under:Media, D. Sirmize, Religion, Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on February 15, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

Let me give a little disclaimer right out of the chute. My rantings on this blog do not by any means reflect the political and/or philosophical views of this blog’s owner. The title of this blog is Desultory Thoughts (thoughts jumping from one subject to another without any logical connection to each other). Reading through the recent post list, it’s obvious that Tyler and I discuss a myriad of topics- some light-hearted, some very heavy. Unfortunately, my thoughts lately have been anything but desultory as my mind has turned almost indivertibly to the very real threat of radical Islam. It is not my intention to turn this mostly light-hearted forum solely into a discussion about that subject. To those of you aren’t interested into this, I apologize. Second only to my hate for radicalism is my disgust for political correctness.

I’m absolutely amazed at the Utah media’s reaction to Monday’s shooting rampage. To be fair, there have appropriately been many tributes to the off-duty Ogden police officer who led the charge that ended the violence. I believe he was inspired 1) to be there that night, and 2) to have brought his firearm, which he didn’t originally plan to do. Perhaps if Officer Hammond had not been the soul person in that complex with a gun, the fatality count might have even been lower, but that’s a rant for a different post.

In the days following, Utah and national media have attempted to whitewash the incident by ignoring the Muslim connection and painting Sulejman Talovic as a victim.

The LDS-owned Deseret News leads today’s paper with an arguably sympathetic article:

The atrocities of war and “ethnic cleansing,” and the pressures of daily life in a new country after he immigrated to the United States, could have created immense pressure on Talovic, according to Greg Jurkovic, a psychology professor at Georgia State University who has studied Bosnian teenagers in both Atlanta and Sarajevo.

“What we’re finding is that so many of these kids are suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder),” he said. “What seems to be most important is what they were exposed to, their war exposure.” Jurkovic said it is not being a victim of violence that automatically causes some people to perpetrate it. Instead, he said it is the constant “everyday stressors” — including poverty and the effects of losing ties to family back home in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Now I’m all about getting to the roots of a problem, and I don’t doubt Malovic’s traumatic childhood played a role in his actions Monday. What bothers me about the Deseret News’ reporting is that it borders on rationalizing the rampage. The News follows this article with an editorial (formatted as a news article) decrying anybody even daring to wonder if Malovic’s religion was a factor.

On ultraconservative Web sites like littlegreenfootballs.com, the story of Monday’s shooting rampage at Trolley Square has been reduced to one fact: “Salt Lake City Killer Was a Muslim.”

There is no record that Talovic attended any of the mosques in the Salt Lake area, according to both Tarek Nosseir, a spokesman for the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, or Bobby Darvish of Muslim Forum. Nosseir noted that many Bosnian Muslims are more secular than religious.

The authors of the article then utterly destroy their credibility by quoting CAIR, Islamofacism’s PR arm here in the U.S.

“Welcome to my world,” said Ibrahim Hopper (sic), communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., about the angry e-mails. “I get tons of it every day.”

Had the Deseret News not been so eager to dismiss any religious influence on Malovic’s killing spree, they might have discovered that Mr. Hooper is no stranger to radical Islam. They might have also spelled his name correctly in the article.

While I’m sure many reasonable people sent reasonably-worded emails scolding the News for avoiding reporting Malovic’s religion, the authors focus only on the most vitriolic. Nobody reasonable is outright accusing Malovic of killing people under the banner of Islam. But what floors me is the widespread effort to unequivocally deny that his Muslim faith played any role in the motive.

All week, SLPD has claimed they know very little about Malovic. And if SLPD knows very little about him, rest assured the public knows even less. Yet KSL, the Deseret News, and Rocky Anderson know without doubt that Malovic’s religion had nothing to do with it.

To use a Glenn Beckism, blood’s about ready to shoot out of my eyes.

What’s worse is a staggering effort to turn any discussion of Islam into a racist issue. Keith Roderick has an excellent piece in Tuesday’s American Thinker that addresses this point:

“Islamophobia,” coined as a term to describe prejudice and fear against Muslims and Islam, has gained institutional legitimacy. It is now used to fend off criticism of anything negative arising from Muslims or Islam. Less a psychological state of irrational fear, it creates a pseudo-racial classification for Muslims and Islam that allows criticism of, or opposition to it, to be defined as racist.

Understandably, Salt Lake City officials are looking to avoid a backlash against the estimated 10,000 Bosnians living here. But SLPD Chief Chris Burbank’s comments this morning on KNRS AM make Roderick’s point precisely:

“I really hate to see some of the rhetoric that’s going around and the bias and the prejudice and really, outright hatred towards another race, towards another group of people, based solely on an individual’s actions.”

Ok, hold it right there, Chief. I eat, sleep, and breathe Salt Lake City and I haven’t heard so much as a word against Bosnians or their race. But let’s assume for a moment that you really don’t mean to equate suspicions about Malovic’s religion with discrimination against Bosnians. If you are detecting an anti-Muslim prejudice, it’s not based solely on one individual’s actions, sir. Who’s responsible for most mass slayings these days? Sure, “every religion has its extremists.” But then again you don’t read a lot of news stories about scientologists mowing down innocents in crowded marketplaces these days, do you?

Of course it must be noted that Chief Burbank was personally chosen for his position by uber-liberal Mayor Rocky Anderson. While Burbank (and Rocky for that matter) should be praised for SLPD’s flawless response to the incident, the man is drunk with Rocky’s PC Kool-Aid. It’s a bit alarming when the chief of police rules out any religious connection before the evidence comes in.

So who is more unreasonable here- those of us who refuse to rule Islam out as a potential factor until the evidence is in, or those who are already just certain it wasn’t?

I’ll reiterate what I say on a daily basis- the road to America’s downfall is paved with political correctness. Especially as it relates to radical Islam. Political correctness originates in the former Soviet Union, where citizens who dared voice a disagreement with communism were sent away to re-education camps until those views were corrected. In an America where anybody who questions Islam’s “peaceful” role in the world is condemned as a racist bigot, one wonders if our collective ideology is closer to that of Washington’s or Lenin’s.

UPDATE: One more thing about the media’s hypocrisy in not mentioning Malovic’s religion. Newsbusters’ Warner Todd Huston remembers:

Remember how Timothy McVeigh was immediately called a Christian, a White Separatist, or that he was part of a militia, etc.? There was little waiting for facts to emerge with McVeigh.

Yep, but Christianity and Judaism have always been exempt from the graces afforded by political correctness. Sucks to be us, huh?

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Salt Lake Mall Shooting: Home Grown Jihad?

Filed under:Media, D. Sirmize, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on February 13, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

I was walking downtown Monday evening when a police cruiser waiting to turn into the SLPD HQ parking lot on 200 South suddenly turned on its lights and sirens and sped eastbound.  Within seconds, at least ten more cruisers pulled out of the station following the first, joined by a fleet of ambulances and fire trucks along the way.  I knew whatever happened must have been big, but I had no idea it would be the bloodiest day in this sleepy city’s history.

A teenage gunman opens fire in a crowded mall full of families buying Valentine gifts and enjoying Family Night.  It hits close to home.  Literally.  Reports started streaming in as soon as I got home, and I’ve been glued to the TV/Internet/AM radio waiting to find out how this could have happened here.

So far, nobody seems to have a clue what the killer’s motive was.  Not a clue.  But of the 24+ hours of continuous coverage so far, there is one minor detail absent in any of the reports- the fact that Sulejmen Talovic is a Muslim.  KNRS AM’s Bob Lonsberry opines in his daily column (emphasis mine):

He was an 18-year-old Muslim. A high school dropout who lived with his mother and brought two guns, a bandoleer and a backpack full of ammo. He got up and went to work on Monday, completely normal, and then he drove over to the mall and killed two people before he was 10 feet from his car.

Is it relevant that he is Muslim? Absolutely. Is it a factor in his crime? It’s too early to tell. But in this day and age, when a young man named for a Muslim sultan who delighted in killing Christians ends up killing some Christians of his own, it’s not out of line to ask.

Why is his religion relevant?  First, had he been a Mormon, the headlines would have read “Mormon Madmen on Killing Spree,” or “Mormon Shoots Nine- More Trouble for Mitt Romney?”  If he were LDS, his religion would have been front and center.  And since his religion has been conveniently ignored, the rest of the nation who saw the headline on Drudge last night probably assumed it was ”just another crazy Mormon.”

But young Sulejmen was a Muslim.  Which means the news media walks on eggshells.  Just like the reports of “youths” torching cars in France and the UNC “student” gone wild, no mention has yet been made about his religion.  It’s just too politically dangerous to do so.  The PC media won’t touch the M-word with a 40 foot pole.  I’m not saying his religion played a role in the terror he wrought in my backyard last night.  But I’ll go ahead and stick my neck out and say what everybody else is thinking-

You have to wonder, don’t you?

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Thoughts on Saddam Hussein's Execution (Part 2)

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Media, Guest, Web Log (Blog), Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on January 11, 2007 @ 10:41 am

“They’re very effective if people don’t wear masks.”

“You mean they will kill thousands?”

“Yes, they will kill thousands,”

No, this is not Michael Moore bragging to Al Franken about his flatulence.

“If you arrest any of them, cut off their heads. Show no mercy. They only joined the security to avoid having to join the army and fight Iran.”

The voice is Saddam Hussein’s. It’s an excerpt from several recently revealed recordings of the former dictator in conversation with his subordinates, in this case telling them to execute internal security officials for “incompetance.”

Oh, there’s more.

“Some commanders who abandoned their positions when they found themselves in an awkward situation, who deserved to have their necks cut, and did.”

The most disturbing dialogue discusses the effectiveness of chemical weapons (from Tuesday’s NY Times):

On one recording, Mr. Hussein presses the merits of chemical weapons on Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, his vice-president, and now, the Americans believe, the fugitive leader of the Sunni insurgency that has tied down thousands of American troops. Mr. Douri, a notorious hard-liner, asks whether chemical attacks will be effective against civilian populations, and suggests that they might stir an international outcry.

“Yes, they’re very effective if people don’t wear masks,” Mr. Hussein replies.

“You mean they will kill thousands?” Mr. Douri asks.

“Yes, they will kill thousands,” Mr. Hussein says.

Mr. Hussein sounds matter of fact as he describes what chemical weapons will do. “They will prevent people eating and drinking the local water, and they won’t be able to sleep in their beds,” he says. “They will force people to leave their homes and make them uninhabitable until they have been decontaminated.”

As for the concern about international reaction, he assures Mr. Douri that only he will order the attacks. “I don’t know if you know this, Comrade Izzat, but chemical weapons are not used unless I personally give the orders,” he says.

The tapes, made a decade ago and played at the continuing trials of his cohorts, reveal Saddam as the calculating, evil incarnate rat bastard that we knew he was.

Well, not all of us, I guess. CNN censored their own reporting of Saddam’s terrors in order to retain access in Baghdad. Leading up to the coalition’s 2003 invasion, foreign media painted Saddam as an enlightened moderate. The UN (including Kofi Anon’s own son) privately sucked millions from the Oil For Food program while publicly turning a blind eye to Saddam’s tyranny. Russia and France were dead set against taking any action against Saddam’s regime that amounted to anything more than empty rhetoric. The Angry Left defended Saddam and and sent human shields to Baghdad to protect him. Jaded politicos still bark that Iraq was better off under Saddam’s rule.

The New York Times, until Tuesday’s article, seemed convinced of Saddam’s innocence, accusing Iran of gassing the Kurds.

In reality, Saddam was a devil that murdered millions of his own people. There were the Kurds (the victims of Saddam’s “very effective” gas), the mass executions following the Shi’ite uprising, the revenge killings, and the random beheadings of his own security forces. I could go on and on.

Say what you want about the Bush. Say what you want about the war. But I admire a country and an administration with the juevos to actually look evil in the eye and send it to hell.

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Thoughts on Saddam Hussein's Execution (Part 1)

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Media, Guest, Web Log (Blog), Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on January 10, 2007 @ 11:18 am

I had mixed feelings about the execution of Saddam Hussein last month, and I wanted to wait to post about it until the dust had settled and I could refine my view of this event.

I wanted Saddam dead, of course. I lamented his escape from that first April bomb. When he was captured I knew his trial would become a spectacle. Indeed, for 15 months Saddam used the trial to spew his fascist propoganda, which the media gleefully echoed around the globe. His execution, in my opinion, couldn’t come soon enough.

But then it came and, much to my surprise, I was bothered by it. Not bothered by his death. Not bothered by the fact that the rope nearly decapitated him with an audible “crack.” Not bothered by the cheering in the streets.

No, I was bothered by the way it went down (or fell through, if you will).

The key to “winning the peace” is to prove to Iraqis (specifically the Sunni minority), the war-weary American public and the world that the invasion of Iraq was justified, that the new Iraqi leadership is legitimate, and that it is dedicated to building a stable democracy.

Much of the sectarian violence stems from the perception that Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki’s government is either unable or unwilling to bring order to his country. An orderly, official-like execution of Saddam by uniformed government officers would have gone far to demonstrate this legitimacy.

Instead, the execution looked more like a mob hit. Street-clothes thugs taunted Saddam as they put the noose around his neck, then danced a jig around his hanging body. Security failed to confiscate cameras and cell phones, resulting in a video leak that crushes any notion of the government’s credibility.

But what bothered me most was the confirmation of a fear I’ve had for a long time- al-Maliki’s ties to Shi’ite radical Moqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is one of the most influential Shi’ite clerics in the region. He commands the largest independant militia in Iraq and is adamantly anti-American. He and his henchmen are responsible for most of the sectarian violence in Iraq. In short, al-Sadr is a huge thorn in our backside.

Since al-Maliki took office, both he and the Bush Administration have desperately attempted to convince the world that he is not beholden to al-Sadr, and that he’s doing everything he can to stop the flow of blood through Baghdad’s streets. The edited video of Saddam’s execution, provided to news outlets by Maliki’s government, is silent and cuts off just before the money shot. Yeah, it looked a little bit 7th century, but it had an aire of legitimacy.

But then the cell phone video popped up on the Internet. It was the whole deal, audio and all. Soon after came translations of the dialogue- specifically the exchanges between Saddam and his executioners:

The room was quiet as everyone began to pray, including Mr. Hussein. “Prayers be upon Mohammed and his holy family.”

Two guards added, “Supporting his son Moktada, Moktada, Moktada.”

Mr. Hussein seemed a bit stunned, swinging his head in their direction.

They were talking about Moktada al-Sadr, the firebrand cleric whose militia is now committing some of the worst violence in the sectarian fighting; he is the son of a revered Shiite cleric, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, who many believe Mr. Hussein had murdered.

“Moktada?” he spat out, a mix between sarcasm and disbelief.

Yes, Saddam, Moqtada.

Al-Maliki’s government had to realize the importance of a credible trial and execution for Hussein. They have to realize the importance of pacifying the Sunni minority. Yet somehow the most critical event in this government’s young history was carried out by al-Sadr foot soldiers. And that should bother all of us.

Saddam Hussein was not executed by the democratically elected Iraqi government. He was murdered by the Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. And that, dear reader, does not bode well for Iraq or the U.S.

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Google: Zionist Tool?

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Guest, Tech, Politics — posted by D. Sirmize on November 13, 2006 @ 8:24 am

What do the United States, Israel, and Google have in common? They’re all on Iran’s ‘Must Be Destroyed’ list. Yes, Google, the China-owned, commie led virtual world superpower has done pissed off Iran.

From The Guardian (UK)

Google has provoked the wrath of Iran’s notoriously suspicious authorities by appearing to question the country’s sovereignty over the province of Azerbaijan in an entry on its Google Video website.In a move tailor-made to wound Iranian patriotic pride and arouse a blizzard of protest, the Azeri provincial capital, Tabriz, is located “in southern Azerbaijan, currently in the territory of Iran”. To add insult to injury, the ancient city is listed as being in Azerbaijan, rather than Iran. Tabriz and southern Azerbaijan have belonged to Iran for more than 4,000 years.

The text of a tourist film on the site has drawn accusations that the US-owned search engine is deliberately trying to undermine Iran’s territorial integrity by fomenting separatist sentiment in the mainly Turkish-speaking province.

Jihad time, baby- cyber style!

The information technology ministry has branded the entry an attempt to intervene in Iran’s internal affairs and has urged Iranians to flood Google with emails.”This act is a typical example of interference in the affairs of another country,” said Samad Mohmen Bela, the IT ministry’s representative in parliament. “The simplest, most effective response is for all Iranian users to reflect their objection to Google’s management.”

Wow. Color me amazed. What a novel idea- expressing objection through peaceful means. It’s doubtful, however, that even repeated emails from all 18 of Iran’s Internet users will be that effective. But before you abandon Yahoo or Gigablast to return to Google, anybody care to bet how long it takes Google to remove the offending video in order to placate our peace-minded Iranian brothers?

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