[OPE-L:5994] media and the state

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Sat Sep 22 2001 - 15:18:11 EDT

In an appreciated post Gary writes:

I am struck by two things.  First, while I acknowledge and approve the 
statements by politicians and talking-heads warning against anti-Arab & 
anti-Islam backlash, I think these statements have by-and-large been 
insufficiently forceful.  The attacks by Americans against their dark-skinned 
neighbors are so repugnant to the democratic values Bush et al. claim to be 
defending that they deserve coverage at least comparable to the treatment that 
the most heinous hate-crimes get in more normal times -- page one, 
above-the-fold; lead story on the nightly news, etc.  Indeed, in the present 
circumstances such stories deserve even more prominent treatment.

As Jerry has intimated, such sympathy may well prove incompatible with the 
demonization needed for war, especially a war in which many innocent muslims 
may die. That is, if the American people really do understand that the islamic 
jehadi no more represents muslims than mcveigh's militias reflect white 
america, then people will be too soft about the mass killing of innocents and 
the ongoing death of iraqi civilians. This would throw a wrench in rumsfeld's 
and cheney's mad plans (such as they can be made out). 

In today's NYT my old friend Somini Sengupta was able to document the expulsion 
of Arabs and Arab Americans from commercial flights. The story was tucked away 
on p. B8, I believe. And we know that the NYT is a much better paper than what 
passes for journalism in the US. 

the other thing which the media seems to have proven incapable of doing is 
DETAILING how the US created the islamic jehadi, then abandoned it as well as 
the the pakistani and afghani societies that were distorted and destroyed in 
the successful attempt to destroy the evil empire. this left many youth no 
where to go but the islamic seminaries; there was no marshall plan for the 
reconstruction of Central Asia. people were left to suffer and scavenge in the 

it feels like treason to say that US policy (esp that of the CIA) is 
responsible for the slaughter of innocents in the WTC. one is reminded of 
George Schultz who responded to a request to enquire into the causes of 
Palestinian terrorism: "There is no connection with any cause. It's wrong."

now it seems that the cia wants the right to fund unsavory types again, i.e., 
to create a new proto fascist force to destroy the one for which it no longer 
has any use. 

Rumsfeld seems all too willing to simply annihilate the networks which the US 
is itself created, no matter how much more the Afghani and Pakistani people 
will have to suffer..."incidentally".  


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