December 09, 2004


Don't you hate it when innocent employees get caught up in an attack on wicked American diplomats?

American diplomats were the target, but innocent employees became the victims, writes Neil MacFarquhar in Jeddah.

The above is a Sydney Morning Herald addition to this NYT piece. Got a grievance against the SMH? Go right ahead and storm the building, but please leave the "innocent employees" alone. They'd be the cleaners, I guess.

UPDATE. This is exactly the sort of bigotry never dealt with by Media Watch, currently enjoying a post-Marr congratulations festival.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 9, 2004 01:15 AM

"Neil MacFarquhar"

is he related to lord fuckwad in shrek?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at December 9, 2004 at 01:43 AM

Having been a member of the innocent employee ranks (ret), I think I would be angrier at the people shooting at me than at the people I worked for. And I would be angrier still at their apologists.

Oh, wait. I think I am angry at those people.

Posted by: Rebecca at December 9, 2004 at 01:55 AM

American Embassy employees held hostage in Iran in 1979. Weren't they innocent?
But hey, they were AMERIKKAN!
Lord Farquar and his pretended grievances are just not worth the bother.

Posted by: Observer at December 9, 2004 at 02:08 AM

When is a victim of a criminal act an "innocent" victim? What are they "innocent" of, that other victims are not?

Presumably, none of us is innocent of all sin (pace the Virgin Mary). Similarly, a conviction for drunken driving wouldn't disqualify us from being considered an "innocent" victim of a drive-by shooting, unless we were its intended victim - the family of the child we injured wants to get even.

Perhaps "innocent" in this context just means "unintended", in which case the writer can't be faulted.

Posted by: rexie at December 9, 2004 at 03:13 AM

Even "unintended" doesn't cut the mustard. The people throwing the grenades did so intentionally, and intended that the grenades go off. They also intended that anyone in hte blast radius get hurt. That means, in my book, that they intended to hurt the people they hurt.

Sure, maybe they would have preferred to hurt someone else, but that doesn't mean they didn't intend to hurt the people they, in fact, through their intentional actions, did hurt.

Posted by: R C Dean at December 9, 2004 at 03:21 AM

But of course the writer wrote "innocent employees" not "innocent victims" so the above is bollox.

The above analysis applies to "Innocent employees" became the victims" not "Employees became the innocent victims".

Posted by: rexie at December 9, 2004 at 03:22 AM

Other way round. Oh dear. Time to give up - I'm supposed to being doing some work.

Posted by: rexie at December 9, 2004 at 03:27 AM

Remember old Fisky. He said he deserved to be beaten up and attacked because of his race.

Just apply the same lack of logic to this and you can see the warped self-hating world of appeasers

Posted by: Rob Read at December 9, 2004 at 03:41 AM

I wonder what the daiquiri diplomats would think of diplomats being deservedly victims of terrorists, as opposed to innocent cleaners, drivers etc? Presumably, they feel the Australian diplomats should have died in the bombing of the embassy in Djakarta, but not the guards who were the ones actually injured.

Let's hear it,Richard and Alison Broinowksi.

Posted by: mr magoo at December 9, 2004 at 09:01 AM

I think this is related to Michael Moore's thinking that the 9/11 hijackers got the wrong buildings and the wrong people because many of them were unlikely to have been Bush voters. Thus, as Americans, they were obviously deserving victims of a justifiably angry Islamic fascist, but as Gore voters they were innocent victims because the stupid hijackers accidentally killed people Moore believes thought like him. Just logic.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at December 9, 2004 at 09:12 AM

JorgXMcKie...and by extension Moore wants people who don't think like him dead. He just does not have the guts to do it himself. All evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: Greg at December 9, 2004 at 09:46 AM

Why haven't you guys been convinced yet that anyone working to advance the BushHitler grab for global dominance (really the dominance of the 'Jews Who Control All') is guilty? Even if they haven't done anything, just the fact that they work at an Amerikkkan Embassy makes them guilty. The REALLY good guys are the freedom fighters trying to put an end to Amerikkkan tyranny!!

Reporters, Hollywood celebs., the UN, and other fearless activists have tried to let you know THE TRUTH about this wicked BushHitler grab for power. You MUST believe, before it's too late and BushHitler's minions (including those in ALL Amerikkkan Embassies) take over the world and you're all forced to live in JesusLand.

(sarcasm off)

Posted by: Chris Josephson at December 9, 2004 at 10:01 AM


Here's an oldie but goodie:

Jesus shielded the prostitute from the mob and said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

A stone sailed over the crowd and plonked the prostitute on the head.


Posted by: JDB at December 9, 2004 at 10:09 AM

Marr on Marr: I've been furious. I've been lofty. I've been continuously hilariously funny, of course.
Such great wit and intelectual modesty!
Such great achievements "Cash for questions"!
But we taxpayers paid cash for answers and got NONE.

Posted by: davo at December 9, 2004 at 01:20 PM

When a bomb exploded outside a synagogue in Paris ,several years ago, the french prime minister made the same remarks, deploring the "Innocent people" outside had been injured.
This was not some dumbassed western reporter revealing his true feelings about Americans though.

Posted by: davo at December 9, 2004 at 01:26 PM

Tim, if I read your piece correctly, you're saying that the SMH added that particular gem to what MacFarquhar wrote, no? I've worked with Neil and this doesn't at all sound like him. He was very upright in his dealings with the "innocents" when he was at the US Embassy/Consulates in Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: John at December 9, 2004 at 01:33 PM


Correct. The "innocents" line is an SMH addition, which is why I've included the original NYT piece for comparison.

Posted by: tim at December 9, 2004 at 01:48 PM

well that's all very well,but NYT reqiores REGO and most of us prefer not to be inundated with left wing propaganda.
It's bad enough dealing with the Viagra and dick enlargements spams.
mmmm... perhaps if i change my email to diana@ ?

Posted by: davo at December 9, 2004 at 02:14 PM


Posted by: JP Gibb at December 10, 2004 at 01:27 AM
...perhaps if i change my email to diana@ ?

It won't make any difference, believe me! I should have saved some of the choicer invitations I've received for various pills and devices to enlarge something I don't even own. ;-)

Posted by: Mary in LA at December 10, 2004 at 06:19 AM