The Times Dont Name the Victim Mentality - August 14, 2003

Times Watch for August 14, 2003

The Times Dont Name the Victim Mentality

Thursdays story from Israel by Ian Fisher, 2 Suicide Bombers Fulfilled Their Fathers Worst Fears, profiles the fathers of two young terrorist bombers and talks about the anger the boys felt toward Israel, while mentioning their two victims in passing and without even giving their names.

Fisher writes: These two fathers never met until Tuesday, when word spread through Nablus that their sons-both 17, who knew each other slightly but were apparently working separately-had carried out suicide attacks that morning. They killed one Israeli man who was grocery shopping and an 18-year-old army recruit at a bus stop. And thats it for the victims.

Fisher concludes the story with a warning that Israels countermeasures, including the razing of the houses of the families of suicide bombers, will only breed more bombers: With the blasted-out window framed surreally with orange curtains, the view is now of their neighbors' toppled house. Of course now my kids will be full of hatred toward anything called Israeli soldiers, Mr. Sadr said. They will grow up with these memories.

Of course, victims like 18-year-old Israeli army recruit Erez Hershkovitz will never grow up at all, and even in death will be relegated to the 27th paragraph in the Times, as he was in Fishers Wednesday story on the attack. (To be fair, that same days edition named the other Israeli victim, Yehezkel Yakutieli, in the caption of a front-page photograph of his grieving sister.)

For the rest of Ian Fishers story on the proud dads of suicide bombers, click here.

Ian Fisher | Israel | Palestinians | Terrorism

Shielding for Saddam

Thursday the Times takes a sympathetic, chronologically challenged look at the U.S. citizens who went to Iraq to serve as human shields this spring in protest of the imminent U.S. invasion. U.S. May Fine Some Who Shielded Iraq Sites, is the headline to Adam Liptaks story, which focuses on a young Milwaukee record-store owner named Ryan Clancy who went to Iraq to protest the imminent U.S. invasion. (Clancys become a popular human shield.) But Liptak rather overstates their nobility by omitting some key chronology.

Liptak alleges: Several hundred people calling themselves human shields camped at oil refineries, water treatment plants, electricity generating stations and similar sites during the war. Many were from Europe; about 20 were American. Several people involved in the effort said that none of the sites were attacked while human shields were present.

Thats hardly surprising, since as other reporting makes clear, the shields left before the war started!

On Aug. 11, Gina Barton of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel filed a report on the same brave protester, which, while glowing, also notes: Clancy left Iraq before bombing by the U.S. began. He crossed into Jordan to get cash he thought he'd need to make it home once the war started, and he was not allowed to re-enter Iraq. So these noble human shields were all ready to protect Iraq from bombingup until the moment the bombing actually started. Liptak finds another brave soul who protected an oil refinery: Several people involved in the effort said that none of the sites were attacked while human shields were present. That tells me we were successful, said Judith Karpova, a 58-year-old writer in Hoboken, N.J., who placed herself at an oil refinery near Baghdad. We went there to protect innocent civilians, and I went there to protect my own country against further crimes against humanity and war crimes.

That makes sense, since, as Karpova told Jennifer Frey of the Washington Post back on March 18, she stayed in Iraq just three weeks before high-tailing it to Jordan March 9-eleven days before the war began.

As for Karpova, the little old lady writer from Hoboken is also a member of the Socialist Party, a fact that may have cost her some reader sympathy, if Liptak had bothered to mention it.

For the rest of Adam Liptaks story on human shields, click here.

Anti-War Protestors | Ryan Clancy | Gaffes | Human Shields | Iraq War | Judith Karpova | Adam Liptak