Wednesday, December 22, 2004
The enemy chose the weakest point he could find to attack; exploited the known limitations of the American response; and understood that he was to all intents and purposes exempted from the condemnation attendant to attacking the wounded and medical personnel. The chaplain and the medical personnel knew this and did not mill around expecting the Geneva Convention to protect them from those who have never heard of it, except as it applies to their own convenience. They knew the true face of the enemy; a face which bore no resemblance to the heroic countenance often presented by the media to the world.
Of the first three factors, the advantage of choosing the weakest point of attack has been a combatant's right from time immemorial. That is a purely military condition. But the enemy ability to exploit the limits of American response and attack medical personnel with public relations impunity are examples of military advantages that arise from political restraints....
The world's mainstream media (MSM), even the American MSM, do not hold our enemy to the same standards of behavior that they hold America. Why? Is it because they feel sympathy for this enemy that is committing war crime every day as a matter of military doctrine? Or is it because they are racist, and just don't believe that Arabs know how to conduct war according to its rules? Is there a third explanation I haven't thought of?
I think that the media's unwillingness to highlight the insurgents' war crimes is due, in part, to a collective guilt for abdicating their journalistic responsibilities in the run-up to the war. A sort of We won't get caught wrapping ourselves in the flag again mentality.
Most of the insurgents' actions fall into the war crimes category. Another reason it's not highlighted is that Americans hold themselves to a higher standard of conduct, so when we're caught with our moral pants down it's bigger news. The FBI emails implicating President Bush in approving torture is one example.
For the record (flame repellant) I am pro-America, anti-terrorist.
So let me see if I understand you. Your explanation for the MSM's massively different coverage of American and Iraqi war crimes has two prongs. Your first theory, if I understand it, is that the MSM is failing to cover the actions of insurgents as war crimes because of they failed to do a good job of covering the run-up to the war. I think we can fairly label this the "two wrongs actually can make a right" theory.
Your second theory, if I understand it, is that the MSM in fact holds Americans to a higher standard. This seems to be a euphamism for holding Arabs to a lower standard. I must say, you seem to be agreeing with me on this, although you do not say as much so I'm not sure if we agree. The question is why does the MSM hold Arabs to a lower standard? I offered two reasons: (1) the MSM actually supports the Arab insurgency, or (2) the MSM is just contemptuous of Arabs -- racist, essentially -- and therefore cannot imagine holding a people that it deems inferior to the same standards as Americans. Taking into account your idea that "two wrongs can make a right" and that the disparity in coverage is a conscious or unconscious effort to "make up" for the pre-war coverage (leaving aside the question whether there was any problem with the pre-war coverage), do you have a fourth explanation? If not, we are left with (1) "two wrongs can make a right," (2) the MSM actually favors the insurgency and Sunni ascendancy, or (3) the MSM is profoundly racist. Hmmm.
I think it's the w + w + w = R. The MSM is more interested in avoiding controversy than in fanning the factual flames. I think the efforts are subconscious except by those at the very top.
The implied MSM themes as I see them are:
1) War Bad
2) Poorly Behaved Americans Very Very BAd
3) Insurgents Bad Like Foot Fungus
4) Aren't Arabs funny little monkeys?
5) America Good
6) Don't Touch That Dial!
I don't know if we agree or not. I'll bet we agree that the sooner one stops getting one's news solely from mainstream media sources the better.
Happy Kwanzaa my brother, I'm out for a couple of days.