“…I know the kind of terror it is….Listen, what’s the most horrible experience you can imagine? To me – it’s being left, unarmed, in a sealed cell with a drooling beast of prey or a maniac who’s had some disease that’s eaten his brain out. You’d have nothing then but your voice – your voice and your thought. You’d scream to that creature why it should not touch you, you’d have the most eloquent words, the unanswerable words, you’d become the vessel of the absolute truth. And you’d see living eyes watching you and you’d know that the thing can’t hear you, that it can’t be reached, not reached, not in any way, yet it’s breathing and moving there before you with a purpose of its own. That’s horror. Well, that’s what’s hanging over the world, prowling somewhere through mankind, that same thing, something closed, mindless, utterly wanton, but something with an aim and a cunning of its own….”
–Steve Mallory to Howard Roark in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.*
In the aftermath of the abduction, rape and beating of Lara Logan, CBS foreign correspondent, in Cairo on February 11th during the “celebrations” in Tahrir Square over the resignation of Hosni Mubarak as head of Egypt’s government, the news media and the web have been buzzing with accounts and recollections of how dangerous it is for especially women journalists to cover events in so-called “hot spots.”
Note that I do not stress that she and her camera crew were surrounded by a “dangerous element” of two hundred men in a crowd of tens of thousands of Muslims. That whole crowd in the whole square was the “dangerous element.” Note also that I do not stress that she was somehow, inexplicably “separated” from her crew and bodyguards. Physically, yes, she was “separated,” but what does that mean in the context of what happened to her? Any kidnapping requires that the victim be “separated” from home, family, friends, and safety.
She was separated with malice aforethought. Muslims consciously interposed themselves between her and her bodyguards and crew. She was blond, unscarved, unveiled, distinctly non-Muslim, dressed to the nines to conduct an interview later that night with an Egyptian official. In short, she was Western. Too late, to judge by the look on her face in the CBS-released photograph, did she realize the foolhardiness of wading into a crowd of maddened Muslim men celebrating their vaunted omnipotence.
It may have been that the men who raped and beat her were pro-Mubarak Muslims, angry at Western journalists for precipitating the downfall of their man.
But, regardless of the attackers’ political persuasion, she was an infidel, and a natural, inevitable target. And as they assaulted her, they shouted “Jew! Jew!” in conformance with the common fairy tale in Egypt that Israelis were behind Mubarak’s capitulation. However, they could have just as well believed that she had spit in Mubarak’s face, or hailed Islam as the end-all and be-all of human existence, and it would not have mattered. She was a value – to herself, to others – and had to be defiled and destroyed. She was the good, and Islam is all about hating and destroying the good for being the good.
What happened to Lara Logan in Cairo was Islam-by-the-book, the book being the Koran. Like many stonings and beheadings in that Islamic hell-hole, the whole thing was probably recorded on video by participating Egyptian men, but that near-snuff video will not surface in the West.
I read Don Kaplan’s account of the incident, in The New York Post, and offered him these thoughts:
See this report from the LA Times on a CNN-altered photograph of her “moments” before the attack. My questions are: Who took the photo? One of her crew? And did this person have time to take subsequent pictures? Was it taken with a cell phone, or a regular professional camera? Has CBS, which released the original photo to the AP, any other photos that would record and shed light on what happened in the next few moments? Why isn’t there a photo credit? Where did the “200” figure for the crowd come from? Whose estimate was it? Who were the twenty women who rescued Logan and escorted her back to her hotel/crew?
Is the mob in the background pro-Mubarak or anti-Mubarak? They don’t look angry enough to be pro-Mubarak, who’s just stepped down, and not jubilant enough to be anti-. It hasn’t been specified whose mob it was. The one Egyptian in the background to the right of Logan’s head looks like he’s mugging for the press. If so, would he really want the crew to escape unharmed with an incriminating photo if he planned to take part in the assault?
Hypothesis: Because Logan and her crew were arrested by the military a week earlier, detained overnight, and kicked out of the country, was this the military’s punishment for her and the crew having returned to Cairo – that is, was it a set-up to drive home the point that she wasn’t welcome?
Forgive the questions, it’s the Call Northside 777 in me, but the LA Times report just underscores my suspicion that there is more behind the Logan photo than meets the eye. I don’t doubt that Logan was attacked and beaten. What I wonder about is why CBS is being so circumspect about it. Could it be that CBS doesn’t want to indict Muslims, or hold Islamic diktats responsible? I mean, who raped and beat Logan? Chinese? Patagonians? What men of what religious/ethnic group are noted for brutalizing Muslim women as a matter of religious belief, and defiling Western women, as a sign of actual or imminent Islamic conquest, in their own countries (e.g., Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Britain, etc.), and whose responsibility for the attacks is veiled by the press in super-sensitive, politically correct language that hides their identities?
To date, Mr. Kaplan and his associates have not acknowledged or replied to my queries. I believe these to be legitimate journalistic questions worthy of some cogitation and investigation.
Richard Cohen of The Washington Post made this important observation about the “frenzy” of the night of February 11th in Cairo. Castigating CBS for having withheld news of Logan’s assault, he noted:
As I’m sure even Logan would admit, the sexual assault of woman by a mob in the middle of a public square is a story. It is particularly a story because the crowd in Tahrir Square was almost invariably characterized as friendly and out for nothing but democracy. In fact, some of the television correspondents acted as if they were reporting from Times Square on New Year’s Eve, stopping only at putting on a party hat. In those circumstances, a mass [sic] the sexual assault in what amounted to the nighttime version of broad daylight is certainly worth reporting.
“Times Square on New Year’s Eve” was precisely how most Western news media portrayed the roiling, emotional, mass-man chaos in Tahrir Square. In fact, I would disagree with anyone who claimed that the events in Egypt the last three weeks had anything to do with a legitimate “revolution.” This is an Islamic country, and its citizens are simply demonstrating for a kinder master, more jobs, better medical care, and the like. This was and is not a “revolution” founded on ideas. It was a clamoring for regime change. That is all.
But even Cohen does not grasp the significance of not only the attack on Logan, but the nature of the “celebration.”
Still, the assault and its undertones of pogromist anti-Semitism (Logan is not Jewish) is very troubling and, at the very least, suggests that not everyone in Tahrir Square that night had democracy on their mind.
Yes, every Muslim in Tahrir Square had democracy on his mind. Democracy means mob rule. Democracy, by definition, turns men into criminals. And the attack on Logan was democracy in action. Her attackers wanted a piece of her, and to destroy her, too. That is the Muslim way. The Koran sanctioned it.
On the other side of the critical scale is Debbie Schlussel, who grasps the nature of Islam but whose recent column on Lara Logan’s ordeal was callous beyond decency. She “gets it” but does not “get it.” She allowed her emotions to dictate what she wished to say, and in doing so robbed herself of credibility. She was more interested in venting her anger (and rightfully) at the Western left that has given Islam a free pass in the name of non-judgmental multiculturalism. Lara Logan was of the Western left. Schlussel ended one post about Logan with this unbecoming rant:
This never happened to her or any other mainstream media reporter when Mubarak was allowed to treat his country of savages in the only way they can be controlled. Now that’s all gone. How fitting that Lara Logan was “liberated” by Muslims in Liberation Square while she was gushing over the other part of the “liberation.” Hope you’re enjoying the revolution, Lara!
James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal surveyed the left’s treatment of the attack on Logan. Of course, the left hates America as much as any Muslim Brotherhood member or rank-and-file “Death to America” Muslim sign carrier. So it is no paradox that the left would sidle up to Islam in an unlikely alliance. They are ideological and philosophical birds of a feather. No mystery there.
Taranto points up the leftist blinders worn by the MSM and even its hostility towards anyone who questions the legitimacy of the Egyptian “revolution.” Among other instances of leftist ideological binge-drinking, he reports on the Bill Maher-level Twitter comments by left-wing journalist Nir Rosen, an academic at New York University (subsequently fired from his cushy “fellowship” at the school’s Center on Law and Security). Earlier on, however, he poses this conundrum:
The lack of specific detail is completely understandable, as CBS is caught in a conflict between the imperatives of reporting the news and protecting its employee’s personal dignity. But it does leave one having to read between the lines to judge the crime’s seriousness.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the assault “lasted for roughly 20 to 30 minutes, said a person familiar with the matter, who added that it was ‘not a rape.’ ” Whatever it was or was not, the New York Post reports that “most network higher-ups didn’t even know how brutal the sexual assault was until a few minutes before the statement went out.”
One major trouble I have with the story, a trouble cited by Taranto, is that there are no specifics about the assault. The CBS statement is cautionary and vague, so much so that it leaves one doubting whether or not a criminally-defined “sexual assault” occurred at all. In today’s politically correct environment, my calling Senator Barbara Boxer “Ma’am” or Nancy Pelosi a “Botox bimbo” could be deemed “sexual assault.” Was she raped and beaten, or simply beaten by the thugs?
We have only an allegation by CBS, which, as Taranto writes, leaves us “reading between the lines,” one way or another. We have only that one photo of Logan surrounded by Egyptians, and nothing else but the assertion of CBS and Logan later stating that she wants to go back to work. Another New York Post article mentions that Logan suffered “internal injuries.” Again, “internal injuries” merely connotes, but does not denote, leaving one “reading between the lines.”
Having watched videos of the beheading and stoning of Muslim women, and sexual assaults on them – two of them filmed in Cairo – I do not doubt the bestial capacity of Muslim men to have subjected Logan to rape and beating in public.
Carolyn Glick, in a lengthy article in The Jerusalem Post, discusses the double standards of the MSM, and poses the paradox of the news media condemning Nir Rosen’s “mirthful” remarks about Lara Logan’s ordeal in Tahrir Square and its otherwise oblivious disregard for the nature of Islam and its hostility towards women. She puts her finger on the source of the paradox: “identity politics.”
Identity politics revolve around the narrative of victimization. For adherents to identity politics, the victim is not a person, but a member of a privileged victim group. That is, the status of victimhood is not determined by facts, but by membership in an identity group. Stories about victims are not dictated by facts. Victim stories are tailored to fit the victim. Facts, values, and individual responsibility are all irrelevant.
In light of this, a person’s membership in specific victim groups is far more important than his behavior. And there is a clear pecking order of victimhood in identity politics.
Anti-American Third World national, religious and ethnic groups are at the top of the victim food chain. They out-victim everyone else.
After them come the Western victims: Racial minorities, women, homosexuals, children and animals.
Israelis, Jews, Americans, white males and rich people are the predetermined perpetrators. No matter how badly they are victimized, brave reporters will go to heroic lengths to ignore, underplay or explain away their suffering.
All this is true. But “identity politics” is strictly a Saul Alinsky-inculcated state of mind, a collectivist tactic to achieve political power and/or to commit legalized felonies against the targeted and isolated in the name of “democracy.” Glick notes that Nir Rosen mocked Logan because she was “insufficiently anti-American.” Glick further observes:
When members of Western victim groups are attacked by Third World victims, the story can be reported, but with as little mention of the identity of the victim-perpetrator as possible. So it was with the coverage of Logan and the rest of the foreign reporters assaulted in Egypt. They were attacked by invisible attackers with no identities, no barbaric values, no moral responsibility, and no criminal culpability. CBS went so far as to blur the faces of the men who surrounded Logan in the moments before she was attacked. [Which claim raises the question: Who was responsible for the altered photo: CNN or CBS?]
What happened to Lara Logan was Islam unleashed. That was the “religion of peace” glorying in its power to violate, defile and destroy. That was Islam at its giddy height. Islam’s doctrines eat out the brains of its adherents, or attract people who wish to surrender their minds. That is the essence of Islam, experienced by Lara Logan in the most personal and violent way. That is what Islam has in store for the West.
Islam is a system of nihilism. It is a drooling beast.
I hope Lara Logan ends her ideological predisposition to Islam and things Muslim, or that someone tells her: That’s the essence of Islam for you, that is what you have been promoting and rationalizing. But If, after what it did to you, you continue to romanticize it, then fare-thee-well.
And then there is Washington D.C., and the drooling beasts and the “dangerous elements” in the White House and Congress who wish to defile and destroy this country for the same nihilistic reasons. But, that is another story.
*The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. New York: 1943. Charter Books/Bobbs-Merrill, 1962.