Herald Sun: How the Left gets loonier [24jun05]: "How the Left gets loonier
FIRST they backed Saddam against his victims. Now our cultural elite backs terrorists against Douglas Wood, the Australian they kidnapped.
You say I exaggerate?
I reply: Andrew Jaspan.
Jaspan is editor-in-chief of The Age, Australia's most Left-wing daily newspaper, and on ABC radio on Wednesday said how 'boorish' and 'coarse' Wood was at his press conference this week when he called his captors 'a---holes'.
You might wonder whether Jaspan, the Englishman whose paper on that same day published a big picture on page one of naked girls from Big Brother, has the right to call anyone else 'coarse'.
But far more shocking was his apparent demand that Wood be more grateful to the men who'd snatched him, kicked him in the head, kept him blindfolded and bound for 47 days, shaved him bald, killed two of his colleagues, made him beg for his life, and -- says a fellow hostage from Sweden -- shot several other prisoners in front of him.
Let's run the tape.
Said Jaspan: 'I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the a---hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through and I think demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else.
'The issue really is largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive.' The ingrate.
I haven't heard much lately more perverse. If what Wood went through is Jaspan's idea of being 'treated well', I finally understand why The Age seems so dismayed by the fall of nice Saddam Hussein, who similarly treated his victims so well that more than 300,000 have been found in mass graves. They must have been simply tickled to death to be there.
It would be wrong to think of all this as just one man's loose talk, rather than an example of the astonishing blindness of the Left, so enraged by anti-Americanism that it can barely distinguish morally between terrorists and their 'boorish' victims. Not when those terrorists hate America, too.
Consider Bob Ellis, who has written speeches and slogans for a collective of Left leaders such as Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, NSW Premier Bob Carr and Greens leader Bob Brown.
Ellis now praises Wood's kidnappers as 'honourable men (with) a well-treated captive'. Keysar Trad, spokesman for the Mufti, Sheik Taj el-Din el-Hilaly, also agreed Wood had been 'well looked after'.
But we know what Wood's real offence is, don't we?
Yes, he did not do as did SBS journalist and Left hero John Martinkus after his own brief captivity and declare his kidnappers were 'not savages', and say Iraq was 'on the road to s---'.
INSTEAD, he roared 'God bless America' and praised the US-trained Iraqi soldiers -- Iraq's real freedom fighters -- who saved him, saying he was 'proof positive that the current policies of the American and Australian governments is the right one'.
It seems that to a Leftist, this makes Wood the boorish inferior of the killers who beat him and held him captive. It is why journalist Tracee Hutchinson, in an Age column, calls him a 'blustering buffoon', moaning: 'It was enough that his words God bless America had been played over and over on his release.'
Let me ask younger readers still deciding on their brand of politics. Wouldn't you blush to join this Left?"