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[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Saturday, June 01, 2002


Let me introduce you to a merchant of all the right thoughts. He has set up shop in understated quarters, though, in the manner of all people wildly overvaluing their importance to humanity, his books - too profound for most visitors to comprehend - are left in conspicuous view. This latest genius places his copy of Zbigniew Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard on the coffee table just past the foyer so as to register an impression upon guests immediately on entering: no matter how many times you've heard these third-hand ideas recycled on O'Reilly or by the belligerent on the barstool next to you, my readings in this book and others invest my tired thoughts with a wisdom inaccessible to you; your conclusion that I'm just another quarter-wit offering the same assertions as everybody else is proof that my brilliance is lost on you. The man under present consideration calls himself, "Chocolate Salty Balz," after what I believe is the Austrian confection of the same name.

Balz's very choice in books is telling. Zbigniew Brzezinski, after all is the former National Security Advisor to Billy Carter's brother. He is an important and dignified man whose great works include, according to Tariq Ali, single-handedly reviving the concept of jihad - then several hundred years in desuetude - in Afghanistan by standing at the border and assuring a group of proto Taliban that "God is on your side" (while wearing a turban in this telling). Balz, historian, certainly knows that bin Laden was an early and prized recruit to the anti-communist effort lavishly supported by America and Teddy Forstmann. Asked in a recent interview if he at all regretted arming and funding the very people who we later felt compelled to betray and then bomb, Brzezinski asked of the interviewer "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?"

Brzezinski wants to distance himself from his monstrous creations and clearly does not want to have his role in enabling current events exposed. For whatever reason, Balz is very receptive to such exercises.

A recent outflow from the Balz artesian well of deep thought treats us to yet another display of derision of the Palestinians, this time by dismissively saying of their performance at Olso that they acted as if they "made all the concessions that we had any right to expect from them by merely showing up." What Balz is fuming over is a Guardian reprint of a response to Benny Morris's recent interview with Ehud Barak, in which Barak "laid the blame squarely on Yasser Arafat for the breakdown of the peace process." The issue is contentious, of course, though Balz has no problem at all arriving at an accurate history. When in ten years time the qualified historians reach the finish line, their foot-noted tomes and first-hand sourced accounts in hand, they'll find Balz, a decade done and a finger up his nose.

Or maybe not. Balz pauses for some head-scratching over this line in the Guardian response: "Palestinians believed they had made their historic concessions at Oslo, when they agreed to cede 78% of mandatory Palestine to Israel." He then betrays his total lack of familiarity with basic chronology and terminology - and, hence, his total lack of qualification to offer an opinion - by admitting that he is "not sure which mandate the authors are talking about, but the 78% can only refer to pre-1967 Israeli territory." Balz's Internet service provider is apparently based in mainland China, and has blocked his access to Google. Click here, genius. He also appears to never have read a book on the matter. When he's done with his Brzezinski, he would do well to read the above Benny Morris's latest, though I cannot picture him reading Righteous Victims's 694 pages, very few of which would flatter his preconceptions and bigotries the way Matt Welch and James Lileks do.

While talking stats, Balz parrots the non-entities in his recommended links and repeats the assertion that Arafat rejected the Israeli "good faith overture that would have given Arafat 97%" of the West Bank. This figure is ridiculous and thoroughly discredited. Even then former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami laughed at it.

Not content to just insult Israeli magnanimity, Balz says, the Palestinians would then "turn their backs" and "walk away." We are not dealing with remote antiquity here. Balz has shown his unwillingness to read a book, though even the laziest of men doesn't find television too demanding. I guess Balz was too busy to catch "Meet the Press" this past April 21, a great shame. I doubt he could be bothered to read the transcript in its glorious entirety, so I'll excerpt the choicest bit, this from Saudi policy advisor Adel Al-Jubeir:
At the Taba talks, which adjourned on the 27 of January, the Israelis and the Palestinians came very close to an agreement. They issued a joint statement, which incidentally is posted on the Web site of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, that said that they were very pleased with the progress and the seriousness of the negotiations, and they felt very comfortable that they can arrive at an agreement and they looked forward to resuming the talks after the Israeli elections. After the Israeli elections, Prime Minister Sharon chose not to come back to the negotiating table.

That joint statement referred to by the rag-head, Balz, is still available for inspection. Again, as it sort of gives the impression that Ariel Sharon, a man whose life has been dedicated to the murderous persecution of Palestinians, kind of walked away, creating much of the current insanity, I doubt you'll read it. When Sharon writes his memoirs Balz will certainly have a photo of its cover somewhere on his site.

Most inexcusable is Balz's "religious following" of the Cardinals. Is there an underdog this lunatic won't root against?

• • • • •

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