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May 12, 2005

‘Foreign Fighters’ On a ‘Rampage’; U.S. Media On a Roll

An AP dispatch this morning bears the headline "Iraqi Insurgents Go on Rampage, Kill 60." The article describes a string of suicide bombings that were unleashed Wednesday as US forces were in the midst of a major offensive against insurgents in western Iraq, near the Syrian border.

My issue here isn't whether or not the insurgents went on a rampage. It appears that they did. Rather, the bigger question is whether the AP, or any other US mainstream media outlet, applies the same standards when describing violent, offensive actions on the part of warring factions?

I don't recall the AP using a similar headline while US forces were attacking Fallujah last November. During that battle, US forces attacked hospitals, killed thousands of people (how many civilians, we'll probably never know), and drove maybe 100,000 - 200,000 people from their homes.

Was that not a rampage? Certainly the scale of the attack was far bigger than that of Wednesday's suicide bombings.

The AP article also includes this astonishing passage, which has actually become customary for US mainstream media:

...evidence obtained from captured insurgents confirmed the presence of foreign fighters in the area.

Foreign fighters? Aren't the 1,000 or so US troops conducting the offensive "foreign fighters?" I don't think any of them are Iraqi-born, nor are they from neighboring countries. So why does AP simply repeat US military statements or comments about "foreign fighters" in Iraq? Aren't the soldiers who make such statements also foreign fighters? And what exactly is the "evidence" they've obtained? The AP doesn't say.

Perhaps AP could at least rewrite the article to read: "The US military, which itself is fighting on foreign soil, says evidence obtained from captured insurgents confirmed the presence of other foreign fighters in the area who have taken up arms with the insurgency."

Hey, here's a thought: What if all the foreign fighters left Iraq?

Comments...

VivekApte: ‘Foreign Fighters’ On a ‘Rampage’; U.S. Media On a Roll

Write on, dude. It sure is frustrating when the most obvious and largest truths (e.g., without their oil we're cooked) aren't allowed to surface amidst all the daily manufactured details.

I've been thinking in terms of a new methodology for studying the media. How does it sound to say that Israel, oil, and the middle east generally are the most important stories of the day, and that _everything_ else, by inclusion or exclusion, is structured around promoting myths and falsehoods about this that are essential for the established social, political, and business interests to maintain? (Absent the Israel/oil/middle east issues, in this view, the media in general would be a lot more fair, informative, socially and politically empowering, and relevant - which, as it turns out is partly the case in countries that aren't as firmly committed to a Jewish-only state - i.e., in every other country in the world.)

joeblogs56: ‘Foreign Fighters’ On a ‘Rampage’; U.S. Media On a Roll

This asymmetry concerning 'insurgent' rampages - bad; US-UK military rampages - invisible, is currently being played out in the UK re. George Galloway MP. The issue of Galloway's guilt concerning any covert involvement (so far unproven) in the Iraq Oil-for Food program is currently highly visible (Channel 4 aggressively interrogated Galloway last night; the question raised by the relatively respectable and conservative UK charity Christian Aid, in its report detailing $20bn of oil revenues unaccounted for under the Interim Gov't/US-UK watch, this question is nowhere uttered in our media.

0ll0: ‘Foreign Fighters’ On a ‘Rampage’; U.S. Media On a Roll

Let's be "rational" (not sane or humane) for a moment, how could any rational regime and its supporters question their actions with the same rigour as they apply it for their opponents'. It never happened in entire human history and it will never happen, when any regime wages war (covert or otherwise) against another group of humans the rational behaviour is that they accept and internalise their motives, from the beginning, as pious or moral or whatever adjective of righteous they choose for it.

So let's shed these mawdlin cries of foul play so abundant in progressive media like yours. We all know about chauvinstic bent of mass-media, that's the reason why we are reading "The NewStandard" not some right-wing tabloid.

Power for the poewrless is always gained and protected by continuous grassroot movements and harnessing solid humane logic to bolster these movements not by appeals to the conscience of the masses.

0ll0: ‘Foreign Fighters’ On a ‘Rampage’; U.S. Media On a Roll

Let's be "rational" (not sane or humane) for a moment, how could any rational regime and its supporters question their actions with the same rigour as they apply it for their opponents'. It never happened in entire human history and it will never happen, when any regime wages war (covert or otherwise) against another group of humans the rational behaviour is that they accept and internalise their motives, from the beginning, as pious or moral or whatever adjective of righteous they choose for it.

So let's shed these mawdlin cries of foul play so abundant in progressive media like yours. We all know about chauvinstic bent of mass-media, that's the reason why we are reading "The NewStandard" not some right-wing tabloid.

Power for the poewrless is always gained and protected by continuous grassroot movements and harnessing solid humane logic to bolster these movements not by appeals to the conscience of the masses.

tsbardella: ‘Foreign Fighters’ On a ‘Rampage’; U.S. Media On a Roll

Dude, you were confused by to much pot. That is Al Jazeera that you are writing about not AP. AP is American Press or something.... Americans write from thier POV you know, Cat. Word


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