Jewish World Review Feb. 3, 2003 / 1 Adar I, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

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Consumer Reports

Dissenting dishonest dissent



http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Robust debate is one of the things that has made this country great. The Founding Fathers really went after one another during the forging of the Constitution, and sometimes the verbal rancor was frightening in its intensity.

But the Founders had common ground in that they believed in the concept of a free United States and that individual rights were the key to that freedom. Theirs was a labor of love, and they all were proud to be called Americans.

Fast forward to the current debate over Iraq. The intensity is certainly there, and, for the most part, the differences of opinion are sincere. But there are major exceptions. Some Americans who object to any military action against Iraq believe that the United States is, itself, a terrorist nation and that anything the Bush administration proposes is to be scorned.

A few days ago, an organization called "Not In Our Name" paid for a two-page advertisement in The New York Times, part of which said this: "We too watched with shock the horrific events of September 11, 2001. We too mourned the thousands of innocent dead and shook our heads at the terrible scenes of carnage -- even as we recalled similar scenes in Baghdad, Panama City and, a generation ago, Vietnam."

What? Is that advertisement saying that the United States is guilty of crimes akin to those of the 9-11 terrorists?

There is a huge difference between honest dissent and distorted propaganda designed to denigrate your own country. Equating the terrorist attack on 9-11 with the United Nations' mandated removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait and the arrest of the drug-dealing dictator of Panama, Manuel Noriega, is incredibly insulting to the people of America. This text goes far beyond protest -- this is anti-Americanism.

The advertisement was signed by well-known radicals like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. But it was also signed by entertainers like Joan and John Cusack, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen and Sandy Duncan, of all people. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton also lent their names to this piece of propaganda, which, I believe, puts those gentlemen into sharp perspective.

Ms. Sarandon, in particular, is lashing out against people who are calling her anti-American. She recently told the British press that she is just "raising questions." But signing on to an ad that implies your country committed terrorism on the scale of the 9/11 attacks is far more than just "asking questions." And most people know it.

The "Not In Our Name" group is a front for the Bill of Rights Foundation, a far left group that has been around for 35 years. It is a tax-exempt organization that, for the past few years, has given most of its donated funds to the defense fund of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia cop killer whose case has been appealed to death, pardon the pun. The evidence against this man remains overwhelming.

Now, the Bill of Rights Foundation has turned its attention to opposing the policies of the Bush administration and has convinced some celebrities to get on the train. But where were these celebrities when President Clinton ordered the bombing of Belgrade, which led to a regime change in Serbia? Was Slobodan Milosevich a direct threat to the United States?

Could it be that some in the anti-war movement are selective in their strategic targets? Sorry about the military reference.

The sad truth is that there are some American citizens who consider President Bush to be more of a threat to the world than Saddam Hussein. These people are entitled to their opinion, of course, but when the dissent becomes vitriolic propaganda, then judgments must be made. Saying that the United States committed terrorism in the Gulf War and Panama is outrageous and foolish. It is also anti-American.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.

Up


01/27/03: The Clooney Factor
01/21/03: Poverty-inducing entertainment
01/13/03: To protect and serve
12/30/02: Global double Crossing
12/30/02: The villains of 2002
12/23/02: Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness
12/16/02: The Houston lesson
12/09/02: Somewhere Santa is weeping
12/02/02: A taxing situation
11/26/02: Talk is expensive when it comes to Bill Moyers
11/18/02: Sanity has left the building
11/11/02: The right stuff
11/04/02: The Attorney General blues
10/28/02: This ain't no game
10/21/02: It's only rock and roll, but it's brutal
10/14/02: The root of all evil
10/07/02: When children murder
09/30/02: THE TRUTH BE TOLD
09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate