|The rosy picture US media paints of genocide
Sat, 17 Jan 2009 13:39:14 GMT
By Shirin Barghi and Dex A. Eastman, Press TV, Tehran
|For those who still believe the United States of America is the land of freedom of speech, US news coverage of the Israeli war on Gaza provides a second insight and more than enough evidence to the contrary.
In the follow-up to Tel Aviv’s Operation Cast Lead on Gaza, the US media for three weeks has silently watched Israel kill innocent civilians day in and day out without so much as a wince.
At a time when world news outlets — some of which are owned by Tel Aviv’s allies — are condemning the war, the so-called free media of the US has virtually cheered and championed Israel for its courage to kill, providing a completely divorced-from-reality version of what is happening in the virtual ghetto.
The New York Times has so far provided one-sided coverage of the conflict with little editorializing and commentary, and the Washington Post has — in its usual contortionist manner — described the offensive as “risky” but thoroughly “justified”.
So this brings us to the inevitable question: Why have American news outlets opted to follow Washington’s example of abetting Israel even when it has time and again proven to see no obstacle in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity?
Perhaps it is because of its forced but sacrosanct marriage with Tel Aviv that Washington continues to feed the US media, think tanks and academia with billions of taxpayer dollars to manipulate the realities on the ground at the expense of US national security and its image worldwide.
“Especially since the Six-Day War in 1967…the centerpiece of US Middle East policy has been its relationship with Israel … the United States has been willing to set aside its own security in order to advance the interest of another state (Israel),” say political strategists John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt.
For a country that has long trumpeted its provision of “first amendment rights” to its nation and claims on top of that to be “the freedom of speech beacon for the rest of the world”, what a total disgrace to stand behind Europe with a rank of thirty-sixth in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index — according to the latest report by Reporters without Borders.
The annual rankings have been established based on the amount of self-censorship and government abuses of the press as well as physical abuse of journalists, all of which have become prevalent in the United States.
America set a glaring example of the extent of its eroding press freedoms in September, when nearly 100 journalists were arrested and detained in Minnesota while trying to report on the Republican National Convention.
The US government also showed its biased colors when it decided to prolong the imprisonment of Al Jazeera’s Sudanese correspondent Sami al-Hajj for six years. His crime? He was of the wrong color, the wrong nationality, the wrong religion and working for the wrong news outlet covering the wrong war — the war on Afghanistan.
While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that has its roots in the injustices of history, the average American who follows the news has almost no knowledge of the endless problems faced by the Palestinians as well as their philosophy of resistance.
Most Americans therefore know not even the simplest fact about the conflict: that there was no Israel before 1948 and that their own corrupt government joined European powers to steal the native land of the Palestinians.
The issue becomes even more shocking when one considers that the US media has propagated the lies of Zionist histrionics by having suggested that not that many Palestinians resided in the currently occupied territories when Israel was created.
In a world where the occupier becomes king of the land and the hearts of countless unknowing Americans go out to the invaders, it is indeed not of relevance to know that the very people living in the Gaza Strip have been crammed into this sliver of land due to the hostile takeover of their homes elsewhere in their native Palestine.
While the US disinformation campaign continues to blow out of proportion the insignificant rocket attacks against the Israelis, what receives no media attention in the United States is that the Palestinians have been subject to over sixty years of horrific crimes.
The US media has not only managed to portray Hamas as the violator of the ceasefire, but also makes no mention of the fact that the Gazans have been under an 18-month blockade. How can rocket retaliations therefore be unjustifiable?
For the rational American thinker, there are many questions that have been left unanswered and have even been avoided.
Have the Palestinians been given the state they have been promised? Did the Israeli invaders not have sixty years to relinquish control of land for the creation of a Palestinian state? Why did the US and Israel label the Palestinian Hamas as the terrorist just after it was democratically elected?
Having drawn lessons from its many wars on democracy, Washington should be expected to at least know that terrorism spawns terrorism and that it is also responsible for the various crimes committed against the Palestinian population. Nevertheless, the cozy relationship between Israel and the US has created only world hatred toward America and has further provoked Israeli acts of terrorism.
In this serious time of crisis when over 1,200 Palestinians have been brutally killed and nearly 5,000 others have been injured, it is a relief to know that America has finally found its role model journalist, ‘Joe the Plumber’.
Covering the onslaught in Gaza from an Israeli perspective, the most popular plumber in the United States has set aside his wrench to remind Americans just how bizarre the world of US media can become.
The Ohio plumber, Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, arrived in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on Sunday and began tackling the BIG issues from the start, just to show local and foreign reporters “how to do it right”.
The people of Sderot “can’t do normal things day to day” like get soap in their eyes in the shower for fear of rockets, said Joe.
“I’m sure they’re taking quick showers,” he said. “I know I would.”
“You should be patriotic, protect your family and children, not report like you have been doing for the past two weeks since this war has started,” said the newly-discovered American talent.
“Why hasn’t Israel acted sooner?” asked Wurzelbacher, who was dubbed the embodiment of the common American man by Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
“I know if I were a citizen here, I’d be damned upset,” he said.
While Joe’s one-sided propaganda has prompted both American and international media outlets to send correspondents to cover the giant steps he is taking for mankind, one man has managed to expose the harsh reality of life in Gaza.
“It is an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe that each day poses the entire 1.5 million Gazans to an unspeakable ordeal, to a struggle to survive in terms of their health,” the UN special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories Richard Falk says of the ongoing blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza.
The Jewish professor of law is the embodiment of everything American reporters lack; he stands for his beliefs and not for the Zionist agenda in spite of being subject to humiliation, imprisonment and subsequently deportation from Israel in December.
“This is an increasingly precarious condition. A recent study reports that 46 percent of all Gazan children suffer from acute anemia. There are reports that the sonic booms associated with Israeli overflights have caused widespread deafness, especially among children. Gazan children need thousands of hearing aids. Malnutrition is extremely high in a number of different dimensions and affects 75 percent of Gazans. There are widespread mental disorders, especially among young people without the will to live. Over 50 percent of Gazan children under the age of 12 have been found to have no will to live,” Falk adds.
This is the reality of the ghetto created by Washington and Tel Aviv and what the US government and media will never let Americans know.
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