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Propoganda, War on Evil, etc etc

ainwood

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Had a few thoughts / observations that I wanted to raise, but since they are related to several different threads, I will try to (cunningly) link them via a new thread.

First, the media. It is a somewhat sad fact that the Western media plays ranking games with what is important. The death of three westerners in flooding will always get more coverage (and maybe even more aid more aid) than (say) 3000 deaths in a third-world country. Whilst the reasons for this are fairly obvious, it can send the message that Western lives are more important than those of others. The tragedy that was September 11th completely overshadowed everything else in terms of saturation coverage. Events in Toulouse were completely ignored, as soon as a link to Al Qaida was ruled out, even though there was very little that was newsworthy and actually "New" coming out of NY and Washington D.C. And this was a major event in a EUROPEAN town. This is all about generating perceptions.

On this, what is the perception of "EVIL"? It is very easy to highlight that the Taliban are oppressive and hence "evil", but that is a so-called "enlightened" view from the developed world. There are still quite a few countries and regimes that oppress woman (for example), and even in the westernised world, we have only recently (by human standards) given woman voting rights. Hell- 10 years ago many countries believed that homosexuals were subhumans. Racism is still rife world-wide. What I am trying to say is that people who say that the Taliban are "evil" are saying this effectively "in their opinion". Their opinion is drawn from their experience and their environment. We could easily say now (and some do) that anyone who wants to clone a human is "evil". I wonder what the general population will think of this two hundred years from now, when society will (most probably) be completely different. Many of those growing up in Afganistan are exposed to a different environment, and hence, in all probability, they believe that the Taliban is "right". Hell - even our US posters can't agree whether its the republicans or the democrats who are the "good guys"!

One thing is for sure - anyone who thinks propoganda ended with Goebels (spelling?) is naive. Just because you are given a perspective from the government, it may not be right. I heard from a friend working in Kuwait that the Iraqi invasion was actually the result of Kuwait renegging on a deal with Iraq. This may or may not be true, but it is a "different" view.

Dubya wants to divide the world into good guys and bad guys. Which side he is on is just a question of your particular point of view. In my opinion, he is neither - he believes that he is "good"; yet some of the things that he does I perceive to be "bad". The scary thing is that he holds the biggest stick. He has every right to defend the States and their allies - I don't argue with that. But defend them against what?

Are North Korea, Iran and Iraq "evil" because they are trying to develop weapons of mass destruction? If so, then aren't the US, UK, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, France etc already evil? Its all a bit hypocritical, really. Unless they are evil for completely different reasons.
 
In my experience, people who consider themselves "good" and others "evil" are usually very dangerous.

Since they are per definition "good", they have a tendency to regard every act made by themselves as "rigth". Especially when dealing with those who are "evil", since you do not have to show any respect to evil people. And when everything you do is automatically "right", there is effectively nothing stoping you from commiting all sorts of horrible atrocities.
 
I could hardly agree more. Some people (many, unfortunately) simply don't see that there's more in the world or life in general than just "good and evil". And of course noone sees himself as evil, some actually pretend to, but that's not really honest cause they think evil is good. ;)
And I agree with Mr Spice that those who think in that terms are generally the most dangerous people, and ironically maybe the closest to being evil.
 
The tragedy that was September 11th completely overshadowed everything else in terms of saturation coverage. Events in Toulouse were completely ignored, as soon as a link to Al Qaida was ruled out, even though there was very little that was newsworthy and actually "New" coming out of NY and Washington D.C.

American tv-channels and newspapers have a tendancy to believe that they're the only ones in the world and if there is something about the "rest of the world" it is often/only because there have been americans involved in the event/situation.


The good and evil stuff.
I agree totally. We, the western civ, think we are the good ones and yet many of the western countries do not follow the ideas of the western civ or the human rights then we must be evil :nuke: :mad: :rocket: too. It is too simple to see things black and white because there's also grey between these colours.
 
Only someone who regrets their actions would consider themselves evil.

Most people think they are good, or right.

If this thread is about war propaganda, remember thats what it is after all.

Propaganda.

Everyone has to read between the lines and decide for themselves where they stand.

I do.
 
Originally posted by ainwood
Had a few thoughts / observations that I wanted to raise, but since they are related to several different threads, I will try to (cunningly) link them via a new thread.
Works for me. ;)

First, the media. It is a somewhat sad fact that the Western media plays ranking games with what is important. The death of three westerners in flooding will always get more coverage (and maybe even more aid more aid) than (say) 3000 deaths in a third-world country.
I often see this opinion expressed.
It would be interesting to see how that third world nation covers the death of those three westerners, if at all.
Whilst the reasons for this are fairly obvious, it can send the message that Western lives are more important than those of others.
I think your showing a lack of objectivity with this sweeping generalization.
You can't force people to be interested in things, news outlets sometimes try, but they can't really.
I would ask, that in your example, do third world nations rank their lives ahead of westerners?
i would think so, wouldn't you?
If so, why is the way news is portrayed surprissing in any way?
The tragedy that was September 11th completely overshadowed everything else in terms of saturation coverage. Events in Toulouse were completely ignored, as soon as a link to Al Qaida was ruled out, even though there was very little that was newsworthy and actually "New" coming out of NY and Washington D.C. And this was a major event in a EUROPEAN town. This is all about generating perceptions.
I disagree.
The 9/11 attack was the biggest story in decades, all else pales in comparison, the news outlets attempted to give the public what the public wanted, information. and was not attempting to practice the thought control you seem to be hinting at.
What happened in Toulouse that was so important that you think it slighted?
I'm not being obdurate, I'm looking for the motivation for your thoughts.

On this, what is the perception of "EVIL"?
As I get older, it becomes clear that the world is far more Black and White then I thought in my teens and twenties.
There are indeed states that are evil in outlook, and the west has turned a blind eye to many of them for years, and are, in fact, allied to several.
It is very easy to highlight that the Taliban are oppressive and hence "evil", but that is a so-called "enlightened" view from the developed world. There are still quite a few countries and regimes that oppress woman (for example), and even in the westernised world, we have only recently (by human standards) given woman voting rights. Hell- 10 years ago many countries believed that homosexuals were subhumans. Racism is still rife world-wide. What I am trying to say is that people who say that the Taliban are "evil" are saying this effectively "in their opinion".
Everything in this world is someone's opinion, stating it as such is to only state the obvious.
Did the average German view the Hitler regime as evil?
The answer from many intervies i read, and also to speaking to some who was there, was overwhelmingly no, yet that was the regime that made mass murder a science.
So it becomes obvious that everything is viewed from a select ponit of view, but this does not alter fundemental tenants of right and wrong.
Their opinion is drawn from their experience and their environment. We could easily say now (and some do) that anyone who wants to clone a human is "evil". I wonder what the general population will think of this two hundred years from now, when society will (most probably) be completely different. Many of those growing up in Afganistan are exposed to a different environment, and hence, in all probability, they believe that the Taliban is "right". Hell - even our US posters can't agree whether its the republicans or the democrats who are the "good guys"!
This is also a perception that is often seen by me from Europeans, you have a profound misunderstanding of the USA and it's politics.
We argue amoungst ourselves quite loudly, and often proclaim one side or another right or wrong, or is to blame for this or that, but i know no American that views either party in terms of good or evil.
We see it as each party has a different approach to running this nation, the Republicans by taking chances with the budgit by cutting taxes and taking a hardline with enemies abroad, the Democrats by large and heavily regulated government that feels the rest of the world can go hang as long as American buisness thrives and the people and environment are protected.
We pick and chose from the two groups, and attitudes change from time to time, but good and evil?
Not at all.

One thing is for sure - anyone who thinks propoganda ended with Goebels (spelling?) is naive. Just because you are given a perspective from the government, it may not be right.
This is an interesting point I often also see from Europeans.
I can tell you, from my work, I monitor European news services often and find them heavily one sided and biased towards whatever their government's postion is, far more then US news services.
I know many Europeans think differently, but this opinion has also been expressed to me by many frineds in Britain, Spain, germany, holland, and france.
Quite frankly, many European news services lack fairness in their reporting.
Not that the US news isn't biased, but the assertion of the inverse simply isn't the case.
An example, a few weeks ago it was asserted that prisoners in Cuba held by the USA were being improperly treated was put forth by several extreme Left wing elements in Britain, and was quickly reported as truth by British news services, and followed just as quickly by other European news services.
A red cross investigation quickly proved the charges were groundless, yet Europe's news services reported the alligation as fact WITHOUT even checking up on it.
Hardly objective.
I heard from a friend working in Kuwait that the Iraqi invasion was actually the result of Kuwait renegging on a deal with Iraq. This may or may not be true, but it is a "different" view.
The Kuwaitis were practicing "slant" drilling, stealing Iraqi oil, there reason being the Iraqis had stolen oil from Kuwait's offshore fields.

Dubya wants to divide the world into good guys and bad guys.
It is already so devided, he only states the obvious.
Which side he is on is just a question of your particular point of view.
As I said earlier, all is from a certain point of view.
In my opinion, he is neither - he believes that he is "good"; yet some of the things that he does I perceive to be "bad". The scary thing is that he holds the biggest stick.
You needed worry, and Vietnam we made sure no chief executive could act unilaterally, he must get approval from Congres before acting against anyone, so his "stick" is held firmly in check until the US people say differently.
He has every right to defend the States and their allies - I don't argue with that. But defend them against what?
Against states that abandon civilized ways of diplomancy and resort to murdering innocents to get what they want.

Are North Korea, Iran and Iraq "evil" because they are trying to develop weapons of mass destruction?
I find them repulsive for several reasons, not the least of which is they blame all their problems on others, and treat their own people like scum, by that is just my opinion.
If so, then aren't the US, UK, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, France etc already evil? Its all a bit hypocritical, really. Unless they are evil for completely different reasons.
The weapons they developed where for a different world, a world that fell in 1989.
The major difference the governments of the US, UK, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, France etc that you mentioned can be counted on to act responcibly and not attack others with said weapons.
A show of hands here, who believes iran, Iraq, and North Korea would show the same restraint based on thier past track records? :rolleyes:

Those nations have shown themselves to be enemies of humanity, it's time to traet them the way they behave, and cease glossing over them in the name of "high-mindedness", because if we don't, 9/11 will be repeated over and over again.

But all of this is just my opinion. ;)
 
I am sorry AoA but I do totally disagree. It is obvious in your text that you're an american.

The 9/11 attack was the biggest story in decades, all else pales in comparison, the news outlets attempted to give the public what the public wanted, information. and was not attempting to practice the thought control you seem to be hinting at.

The medias loved the 9/11 attack as they love every other catastrophe. They kept going in circles in with this headline. I could not find a single channel (!) that did not show the terrorattack in two days and I do not even have any american channels :sleep: . It is not that I don't think it should be covered by the news but I didn't hear any "new" news about the attack in the first week after the terrorattack. :sleep:

Against states that abandon civilized ways of diplomancy and resort to murdering innocents to get what they want.

Oh like the USA that has bombed the civilians in Libya, Serbia, Afghanistan and so on. I agree that dictatorstates (As the USA which is ruled by a president who did get the majority of the votes at the elections) should be isolated and I do not support them but I do not support bombing of civilians.

A show of hands here, who believes iran, Iraq, and North Korea would show the same restraint based on thier past track records?

I do not believe that they would attack another land who also have a-bombs because of their fear for retaliation.

Those nations have shown themselves to be enemies of humanity, it's time to treat them the way they behave, and cease glossing over them in the name of "high-mindedness", because if we don't, 9/11 will be repeated over and over again.

I can agree that they have mistreat their population and have betrayed the human rights but how can you claim that you/the USA are in your right to invade a souvereign country (You can only do this in civ ;) ) which has not done anything against you ever?
And when have you ever stopped supporting dictators? You support dictators in Central Asia and before the Gulf War you supported Saddam Hussein and I do still remember this citate from an american He is a son of a ***** but at least he is our son of a *****.
 
quote:
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Dubya wants to divide the world into good guys and bad guys.
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It is already so devided, he only states the obvious.

I'd only like to add that the U.S. Intelligence services admit that they must deal with unscrupulous characters in order to get better information, described as "shady, nasty" people. The logic being that if it helps to protect America, then it is a neccessary task.
So, in short, you have the "good guys" dirtying themselves for their protection.
On the other hand, I have not seen anything to prove that every single Taliban is full of pure malice. I will give some the benfit of the doubt, and conclude that at least a few hold higher principles, and may in truth be decent people who belong to the "bad guys".

That said, America did not pick this fight. Personally, I firmly support the U.S. in this endeavor, at least. But one cannot fight a war against "evil" and expect to win. One might just as easily declare a war on "fun". I only hope that this is rhetoric, and not the objective.
 
but how can you claim that you/the USA are in your right to invade a souvereign country (You can only do this in civ ) which has not done anything against you ever?

By looking at past experience and realizing that to let evil go unchecked leads to greater suffering in the end.

(If you like, replace evil with "people and nations that do things and act in a manner inconsistant with our own beliefs and moral codes, who to best judgement present a danger to our interests") "Evil" is a bit catchier, and easier to digest.

As far as past experience, that is read WWII. The US's experience from that was:

1. That America needed to participate in the world because it couldn't be trusted to be left on its own.
2. That waiting until aggressive people and nations are on your doorstep is not the best action.
3. That WWII started from WWI, primarily because of the resentment caused by the treaty of Versailles. Said treaty being too harsh because American input was largely ignored by the victorious European nations.
4. The world out there seems to be capable of horendous tragedies, and keeping those things from happening is a good thing.

Now I would like to ask to whom you are refering to when you refer to nations that haven't doneanything against us ever. I don't claim a perfect record for the US, but I'd like to see who we have invaded, or you think we will invade that is so pristine?
 
Originally posted by Ptolemy
I am sorry AoA but I do totally disagree. It is obvious in your text that you're an american.

I'm sorry Ptolemy but I must totally disagree, because it is obvious from your post that you are a large roast beef, lettuce and tomato sandwich with hot mustard, pickles and onions.




I will save my actual opinion on this issue until after the roast beef sandwich moves away from prejudgements based on citizenship. I mean, hey, I'm a Canadian. If I let people judge me by that, not only would they think I was soft, desperate for compromise, boring and not very sexy, but they'd also insist I was a lousy hockey player!
 
My question about this issue is why now? Please correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I know none of the countries involved in this axis is any different than they have been for years. Why didn't america decide to attack years ago? Is it just convenient now? What have they done in recent times to provoke the US. As far as I know they have done nothing they haven't always been doing.

Sure they all treat their own people like scum as aoa said but they always have and I strongly doubt pulverizing their militaries will make them adopt our version of democracy and love their fellow man any better.

As for nclear weapons, they've all been trying to do this for years as well. Why didn't anyone try to stop them when they were earlier in their nuclear weapons programs if it was so important to do so?
 
Originally posted by Alcibiaties of Athenae

I often see this opinion expressed.
It would be interesting to see how that third world nation covers the death of those three westerners, if at all.I think your showing a lack of objectivity with this sweeping generalization.
You can't force people to be interested in things, news outlets sometimes try, but they can't really.
I would ask, that in your example, do third world nations rank their lives ahead of westerners?
i would think so, wouldn't you?
If so, why is the way news is portrayed surprissing in any way?

This is the point. It is not surprising; it is unfortunate. It could be sending a message to those in the westernised world that they are more important than their third-world cousins. It is not that the third-world deaths don't get covered - it is the depth of coverage. Often flooding in the third world resulting in 100,000's homeless can literally get one paragraph in a major newspaper. As I said in my first post, I do understand the why.



I disagree.
The 9/11 attack was the biggest story in decades, all else pales in comparison, the news outlets attempted to give the public what the public wanted, information. and was not attempting to practice the thought control you seem to be hinting at.
What happened in Toulouse that was so important that you think it slighted?
I'm not being obdurate, I'm looking for the motivation for your thoughts.


Why was this the biggest story in decades? Because the media turned it into one, and because it was an attack on the US.

This is not the first time war has been declared in decades, not the first time civilians have been killed in large numbers in decades (Rwanda?), and certainly not the first terrorist act in decades. It may have been the largest number of people killed in a single terrorist act in decades, but not through lack of others trying (nerve gas in Tokyo subway for example).

I am not sure from your post as to whether you are actually aware of what happened in Toulouse. A chemical (fertiliser) plant in the middle of the town exploded, effectively flattening a few blocks, and (I think) blowing out windows up to 12 miles away. Death toll was relatively low, but (in my opinion) this was more newsworthy than "there is nothing new to report on the WTC events".

My motivation? To highlight that I think more balance is needed in the media. That unbalanced media focus can, and does, affect public opinion. Whether it is intentional or not.




As I get older, it becomes clear that the world is far more Black and White then I thought in my teens and twenties.
There are indeed states that are evil in outlook, and the west has turned a blind eye to many of them for years, and are, in fact, allied to several.Everything in this world is someone's opinion, stating it as such is to only state the obvious.
Did the average German view the Hitler regime as evil?
The answer from many intervies i read, and also to speaking to some who was there, was overwhelmingly no, yet that was the regime that made mass murder a science.
So it becomes obvious that everything is viewed from a select ponit of view, but this does not alter fundemental tenants of right and wrong.

You said it. Evil is a matter of opinion. My point exactly. Why is George Bush's opinion of what is "evil" any more valid than anyone elses? On this, why has George been selective on who he includes in his infamous axis? Because these are the countries that he feels may be a threat to the US. Fair enough, but if you're going to play policeman to the world, don't be selective about it.



This is also a perception that is often seen by me from Europeans, you have a profound misunderstanding of the USA and it's politics.
We argue amoungst ourselves quite loudly, and often proclaim one side or another right or wrong, or is to blame for this or that, but i know no American that views either party in terms of good or evil.
We see it as each party has a different approach to running this nation, the Republicans by taking chances with the budgit by cutting taxes and taking a hardline with enemies abroad, the Democrats by large and heavily regulated government that feels the rest of the world can go hang as long as American buisness thrives and the people and environment are protected.
We pick and chose from the two groups, and attitudes change from time to time, but good and evil?
Not at all.


I'm not european, but you're forgiven!

This is the nature of democracy - two (or more) opposing views. I have no problem with that, and support it. Not because I think it is right, but because I think it is the fairest system. Just because someone is a dictator, it doesn't make them evil, and vice-versa. (Hitler was elected; Pakistan's dictator took control because democracy was corrupt. He fully plans to restore democracy in the near future). And I never said that either republicans nor democrats were evil. I just tried to illustrate that in US politics, there is no clear cut right and wrong. Why should world politics be any different?




This is an interesting point I often also see from Europeans.
I can tell you, from my work, I monitor European news services often and find them heavily one sided and biased towards whatever their government's postion is, far more then US news services.
I know many Europeans think differently, but this opinion has also been expressed to me by many frineds in Britain, Spain, germany, holland, and france.
Quite frankly, many European news services lack fairness in their reporting.
Not that the US news isn't biased, but the assertion of the inverse simply isn't the case.
An example, a few weeks ago it was asserted that prisoners in Cuba held by the USA were being improperly treated was put forth by several extreme Left wing elements in Britain, and was quickly reported as truth by British news services, and followed just as quickly by other European news services.
A red cross investigation quickly proved the charges were groundless, yet Europe's news services reported the alligation as fact WITHOUT even checking up on it.
Hardly objective.

My point again. I am concerned that you think I am coming from an anti-american point of view. Please re-read what I said, as I meant "Western media", not US media. Anyway, its more evidence that you can't trust in the media to report the facts. They only report the news.




The Kuwaitis were practicing "slant" drilling, stealing Iraqi oil, there reason being the Iraqis had stolen oil from Kuwait's offshore fields.

Thanks for that. I couldn't remember the details. But who is 'right'?.



It is already so devided, he only states the obvious.As I said earlier, all is from a certain point of view.You needed worry, and Vietnam we made sure no chief executive could act unilaterally, he must get approval from Congres before acting against anyone, so his "stick" is held firmly in check until the US people say differently.

Glad to hear it. But he doesn't need congress approval to antagonise other states does he?




Against states that abandon civilized ways of diplomancy and resort to murdering innocents to get what they want.

Sorry to be blunt about it, but the US is not exactly shy about murdering innocents to get what they want either. Of course, we can then get into the semantics about who is and who isn't 'innocent'.




I find them repulsive for several reasons, not the least of which is they blame all their problems on others, and treat their own people like scum, by that is just my opinion.The weapons they developed where for a different world, a world that fell in 1989.
The major difference the governments of the US, UK, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, France etc that you mentioned can be counted on to act responcibly and not attack others with said weapons.
A show of hands here, who believes iran, Iraq, and North Korea would show the same restraint based on thier past track records? :rolleyes:

Those nations have shown themselves to be enemies of humanity, it's time to traet them the way they behave, and cease glossing over them in the name of "high-mindedness", because if we don't, 9/11 will be repeated over and over again.

But all of this is just my opinion. ;)

India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons well after 1989. At this point, the US put them on their list of embargoed countries.

In summary, I think that media bias, whether intentional or not, can and does affect public opinion. Unfortunately, not all people are educated enough, or given the right information to draw their own conclusions and "read between the lines". I think that Dubya's war on terrorism is antagonising a lot of people in a lot of countries. This may make new sept. 11s more likely, not less.
 
I did not know that Iran and Iraq were good enough friends to form an "axis". I mean, Iran and Iraq? Come on! *Hint* :enlighten

I agree that Saddam is dangerous and it would probably be a good thing to remove him, not only for us in the western world but for the Iraqi people as well.

But in Iran there is an ongoing development towards democracy. Slow, but still. If USA attacked Iran, much of that work would be in vain. Instead West should support the democratic movement. Democracy is hard to force on people, it is more like a process of matureness that has to come from within. Iran is most probably the arab country of today with the most "mature" population. Treated correctly, it could very well become the first example in history of a democratic arab country.

Btw, Iran is about the only arab country with an USA-friendly population. Most Nato-friendly arab governments have troubles with spontaneous anti-american demonstrations. But in Iran, the government has to force people to attend to them. Ironic, isn´t it? This would however probably change rapidly if USA was to attack. :rolleyes:
 
So much for the myth that Republicans are always good at foreign policy.

At first we had a nice, clear cut goal. To go get Osama and Al Qaida for their attack on us. We've kind of done that....just no Osama....yet.

This was all ok. What else COULD he do.

But then came the whole 'Axis of Evil' goofiness. Duhbya's flow off the handle, threatening this nation or that. His foreign policy is suddenly scattered and seemingly aimless. The rest of the world, while they pretty much backed his hunt for Osama, are balking at his vitriolic hyperbole.

He's turning the Earth into his own private WWF.

I think I agree with the majority of people when I say Iraq is one thing, Iran and North Korea are two COMPLETELY different things.

For one thing, he sure has made it hard to be pro-American in Iran. He's driven the progressives into the same camp as the conservatives now.

Personally, I agree with the Iranian progessives. They're doing what any good American would do, right? Get behind their leader if threatend?

But Duhbya wasn't smart enough to realize the ramifications of his demagoguery.

Or did he? The longer our 'military action' continues, the longer his approval ratings stay up. When the people tire of it, or when it stops, they plummet. You read it here first!
 
Originally posted by Alcibiaties of Athenae
Hardly objective.The Kuwaitis were practicing "slant" drilling, stealing Iraqi oil, there reason being the Iraqis had stolen oil from Kuwait's offshore fields.
I think that is incorrect... I believe the Iraqi's accused Kuwait of using slant drilling, but I don't think they ever presented any evidence, which would all have been destroyed before objective sources got a view on it.
Iraq actually had $80 million in war debt they owed Kuwait and couldn't pay it. Great way to erase the debt.

Originally posted by Scrimshaw
My question about this issue is why now? Please correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I know none of the countries involved in this axis is any different than they have been for years. Why didn't america decide to attack years ago? Is it just convenient now? What have they done in recent times to provoke the US. As far as I know they have done nothing they haven't always been doing.
I think that is a very fair question; it is the same one I asked initially. The reason is this:
Prior to 9/11, Osama bin Laden told us he would try and kill Americans at every step. He said he would kill many of us. He said it over and over again. We made attempts at stopping him, but nothing all out because we didn't take him seriously. That is the underlying fact. Regimes in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea have said the same thing: they are going to attack us, they are going to hurt us. We didn't take bin Laden seriously enough and paid a huge price for it. So, as a result, we're not going to let these regimes continue to threaten and wait for them to act.

Iraq is the worst example of this in my opinion. Saddam has shown frequent disregard for self control, and if anything can be drawn from the U.N. weapons inspections is that there is a lot he is doing he doesn't want anyone else to know about. He has said, repeatedly, he wants to get nuclear weapons to use them on Israel. Do we have to wait until he does before we take him seriously? I hope not.

Originally posted by ainwood
It is not that the third-world deaths don't get covered - it is the depth of coverage. Often flooding in the third world resulting in 100,000's homeless can literally get one paragraph in a major newspaper. As I said in my first post, I do understand the why.
Because, in America anyway, newspapers and TV news needs to sell advertising. Advertising works by people watching it. People aren't interested in watching continuing coverage on a story that will never directly effect them. Most people don't want to follow every event in the world; only those that effect them. Only us cosmopolitan intellectual types care about the rest :D

Originally posted by ainwood
My motivation? To highlight that I think more balance is needed in the media.
And I'm sure you'd be the perfect arbitrator of what is balanced :rolleyes:

Originally posted by ainwood
And I never said that either republicans nor democrats were evil. I just tried to illustrate that in US politics, there is no clear cut right and wrong. Why should world politics be any different?
Because Democrats and Republicans don't try to KILL ONE ANOTHER! And Democrats and Republicans rely on the public for support, and the Courts for oversight, so there is a system of checks and balances that makes being 'evil' very difficult.

Originally posted by ainwood
Glad to hear it. But he doesn't need congress approval to antagonise other states does he?
Very complex to explain but I'll try to keep it as short as possible. If he acts unilaterally without congressional approval he can expect every domestic project and appointment to get stonewalled, and Congressional support is vital if he hopes to get re-elected. He'll give endless fuel to opposition fire. Basically its easier to get congressional approval than it is to clean up after ignoring them.

Originally posted by ainwood
I think that Dubya's war on terrorism is antagonising a lot of people in a lot of countries. This may make new sept. 11s more likely, not less.
Great... so we'll sit on our asses and hope they don't try and hurt us again...
I wish I could be that passive when someone is trying to kill me.
 
Originally posted by Ptolemy
I am sorry AoA but I do totally disagree. It is obvious in your text that you're an american.
And just as obvious from your position that your European.
You also say it like it's some kind of insult, god knows why you would take such a stance.

The medias loved the 9/11 attack as they love every other catastrophe. They kept going in circles in with this headline. I could not find a single channel (!) that did not show the terrorattack in two days and I do not even have any american channels . It is not that I don't think it should be covered by the news but I didn't hear any "new" news about the attack in the first week after the terrorattack.
That may be the case by you, but here, the thing felt most strongly was shock.
This was hardly a case of loving disaster I think, as it was concern that the most powerful nation on Earth was viciously and ruthlessly attacked.

Oh like the USA that has bombed the civilians in Libya, Serbia, Afghanistan and so on.
This is one of those things that irks me greatly, the dis-information campaign that claims the USA bomgs indiscriminatly.
Let me make this perfectly clear, as many of you fail to see this, the USA NEVER targets civilians.
Ever.
Libya was a low level strike at Qaudaffi's residence, as a warning to cease his terrorist activity, which he did.
Serbia was a plee from nato for the USA to stop Serbian aggression and to end their murder of balkan Muslims, which was accomplished.
Ahghanistan was tactical strikes to get at terror bases and break the back of the Taliban military.
You must abandon this rallying cry of US bombing is wrong, it simply isn't as you say.
Have innocents been hit?
Most definatly yes.
Was it deliberate?
Most definatly no.
All you do is antagonize Americans with these baseless claims.
I agree that dictatorstates (As the USA which is ruled by a president who did get the majority of the votes at the elections) should be isolated and I do not support them but I do not support bombing of civilians.
How little you really know us.
We would NEVER permit such things either, our people watch our military like Hawks, looking for the slightest slip-up.
There are always mistakes, and always will be, as people are not perfect, but to claim Americans target civilians is an out and out lie.
I do not believe that they would attack another land who also have a-bombs because of their fear for retaliation.
What of lands that don't have such weapons?

I can agree that they have mistreat their population and have betrayed the human rights but how can you claim that you/the USA are in your right to invade a souvereign country (You can only do this in civ ;) ) which has not done anything against you ever?
If your referring to Afghanistan, we asked them to turn over the criminals who perpitrated 9/11, they refused, and as it turned out, not only harbored them, but supported them activily.
The US had every right to enter war in Afghanistan, I'm surprissed you think differently.
Do you feel that if I was a terrorist in Luxembourg, and attacked Holland with Luxembourg's government's full support and blessing, that you would have no right to come after me?
I think not.
See?
It's all perspective.
And when have you ever stopped supporting dictators? You support dictators in Central Asia and before the Gulf War you supported Saddam Hussein and I do still remember this citate from an american He is a son of a ***** but at least he is our son of a *****.
When did I say that?
I see no such quote by me.
It feels like your just trying to say "you do rotten things, so they are justified to attack you".

The truth of matters are, the USA ISN'T the world's policemen, it isn't our job to tell others how to live, but by the same token, we won't let them tell us how to do things either.
Perspective, remember? ;)

Originally posted by Scrimshaw
My question about this issue is why now? Please correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I know none of the countries involved in this axis is any different than they have been for years. Why didn't america decide to attack years ago? Is it just convenient now? What have they done in recent times to provoke the US. As far as I know they have done nothing they haven't always been doing.
It is my opinion that after 9/11, the USA isn't going to continue to let others pick the time they will next kill our people.
Before the WTC it was just talk, but now the lesson has been learned, then can hurt the USA, and we are not of a mind to let them again.

Sure they all treat their own people like scum as aoa said but they always have and I strongly doubt pulverizing their militaries will make them adopt our version of democracy and love their fellow man any better.
I would agree with this, it's not just a matter of winning the war, but of winning the peace.

As for nclear weapons, they've all been trying to do this for years as well. Why didn't anyone try to stop them when they were earlier in their nuclear weapons programs if it was so important to do so?
I think that before nobody believed there was a danger.
After 9/11, it seems they would do anything, so nobody is taking a chance.

Originally posted by ainwood

This is the point. It is not surprising; it is unfortunate. It could be sending a message to those in the westernised world that they are more important than their third-world cousins. It is not that the third-world deaths don't get covered - it is the depth of coverage. Often flooding in the third world resulting in 100,000's homeless can literally get one paragraph in a major newspaper. As I said in my first post, I do understand the why.
[/quote]As I said earlier, I just don't think people are interested.

Why was this the biggest story in decades? Because the media turned it into one, and because it was an attack on the US.
That is simply a biased statement on your part.
ANY western state attacked in such a cruel and vicious way would have had similar coverage.
No story in years could match a superpower being assaulted in such a way.

This is not the first time war has been declared in decades, not the first time civilians have been killed in large numbers in decades (Rwanda?), and certainly not the first terrorist act in decades. It may have been the largest number of people killed in a single terrorist act in decades, but not through lack of others trying (nerve gas in Tokyo subway for example).
I think your just trying to down grade things here.
Was the United states involved in those attacks or wars?
No.
The last time a foreign power did real damage to the USA was 1814, quite a long time, wouldn't you say?

I am not sure from your post as to whether you are actually aware of what happened in Toulouse. A chemical (fertiliser) plant in the middle of the town exploded, effectively flattening a few blocks, and (I think) blowing out windows up to 12 miles away. Death toll was relatively low, but (in my opinion) this was more newsworthy than "there is nothing new to report on the WTC events".
i knew the story from a friend in France, but that was not a deliberate terror attack, now was it?

My motivation? To highlight that I think more balance is needed in the media. That unbalanced media focus can, and does, affect public opinion. Whether it is intentional or not.
I think what your asking for is an immpossibility.
Almost like people to turn off feelings and motivations.

You said it. Evil is a matter of opinion. My point exactly. Why is George Bush's opinion of what is "evil" any more valid than anyone elses? On this, why has George been selective on who he includes in his infamous axis? Because these are the countries that he feels may be a threat to the US. Fair enough, but if you're going to play policeman to the world, don't be selective about it.
I have said this many times, we are not the world's police force.
It is our country and our interests we are talking about, so we certainly can be selective about it. just as britain, France, or Outter Mongolia for that matter would be about matters concerning it.
Why is it seen as some sort of crime to act in your own best interest against those who activily try to harm you?

This is the nature of democracy - two (or more) opposing views. I have no problem with that, and support it. Not because I think it is right, but because I think it is the fairest system. Just because someone is a dictator, it doesn't make them evil, and vice-versa. (Hitler was elected; Pakistan's dictator took control because democracy was corrupt. He fully plans to restore democracy in the near future). And I never said that either republicans nor democrats were evil. I just tried to illustrate that in US politics, there is no clear cut right and wrong. Why should world politics be any different?
Hitler never won an election, he was appointed by Hindenburg, but it's a minor point. ;)
US politics don't include terrorism and and such as part of it's aggenda as many states do, that is the difference.

My point again. I am concerned that you think I am coming from an anti-american point of view. Please re-read what I said, as I meant "Western media", not US media. Anyway, its more evidence that you can't trust in the media to report the facts. They only report the news.
That's true of all media.

Thanks for that. I couldn't remember the details. But who is 'right'?.
The Kuwait claim is not substaniated in the least, the Iraqi claim is.

Glad to hear it. But he doesn't need congress approval to antagonise other states does he?
Other states never seem to have a problem atagonizing the USA.
I think everyone was caught off guard that the USA is now answering back, instead of ignoring it.

Sorry to be blunt about it, but the US is not exactly shy about murdering innocents to get what they want either. Of course, we can then get into the semantics about who is and who isn't 'innocent'.
No nation has clean hands, but I would put the USA's record up against any other world power EVER.
India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons well after 1989. At this point, the US put them on their list of embargoed countries.
Tell your not nervous about these two in light of the Kasmir?

In summary, I think that media bias, whether intentional or not, can and does affect public opinion. Unfortunately, not all people are educated enough, or given the right information to draw their own conclusions and "read between the lines". I think that Dubya's war on terrorism is antagonising a lot of people in a lot of countries. This may make new sept. 11s more likely, not less.
I disagree most strongly.
By doing nothing, ala the Clinton regime, we only encouraged more of the same.

But, it's all a matter of opinion, isn't it? ;)
 
I agree with AoA.

However, I do notice his opinion and view, as well as other patriotic Americans, are affected by propaganda slightly.

The bombings of terrorists goal is just that--to eliminate their threat. The Taliban was disposed of because they harbored terrorists and refused to step down.

I don't have much to say, but AoA's ideas on this are very understandable.
 
I'm a little stunned that the answer isn't clear:

What is more newsworthy:

A quiet day in an ongoing war with global implications?

or an industrial accident with no implications for anyone other than the (unfortunate) victims?

Obviously it's a). So what was the issue with Toulouse then?

R.III
 
Originally posted by ainwood
Had a few thoughts / observations that I wanted to raise, but since they are related to several different threads, I will try to (cunningly) link them via a new thread.

First, the media. It is a somewhat sad fact that the Western media plays ranking games with what is important. The death of three westerners in flooding will always get more coverage (and maybe even more aid more aid) than (say) 3000 deaths in a third-world country. Whilst the reasons for this are fairly obvious, it can send the message that Western lives are more important than those of others. The tragedy that was September 11th completely overshadowed everything else in terms of saturation coverage. Events in Toulouse were completely ignored, as soon as a link to Al Qaida was ruled out, even though there was very little that was newsworthy and actually "New" coming out of NY and Washington D.C. And this was a major event in a EUROPEAN town. This is all about generating perceptions.

On this, what is the perception of "EVIL"? It is very easy to highlight that the Taliban are oppressive and hence "evil", but that is a so-called "enlightened" view from the developed world. There are still quite a few countries and regimes that oppress woman (for example), and even in the westernised world, we have only recently (by human standards) given woman voting rights. Hell- 10 years ago many countries believed that homosexuals were subhumans. Racism is still rife world-wide. What I am trying to say is that people who say that the Taliban are "evil" are saying this effectively "in their opinion". Their opinion is drawn from their experience and their environment. We could easily say now (and some do) that anyone who wants to clone a human is "evil". I wonder what the general population will think of this two hundred years from now, when society will (most probably) be completely different. Many of those growing up in Afganistan are exposed to a different environment, and hence, in all probability, they believe that the Taliban is "right". Hell - even our US posters can't agree whether its the republicans or the democrats who are the "good guys"!

One thing is for sure - anyone who thinks propoganda ended with Goebels (spelling?) is naive. Just because you are given a perspective from the government, it may not be right. I heard from a friend working in Kuwait that the Iraqi invasion was actually the result of Kuwait renegging on a deal with Iraq. This may or may not be true, but it is a "different" view.

Dubya wants to divide the world into good guys and bad guys. Which side he is on is just a question of your particular point of view. In my opinion, he is neither - he believes that he is "good"; yet some of the things that he does I perceive to be "bad". The scary thing is that he holds the biggest stick. He has every right to defend the States and their allies - I don't argue with that. But defend them against what?

Are North Korea, Iran and Iraq "evil" because they are trying to develop weapons of mass destruction? If so, then aren't the US, UK, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, France etc already evil? Its all a bit hypocritical, really. Unless they are evil for completely different reasons.

I agree wholeheartedly. I am glad someone has stated this as clearly and cohesively as you just did. Ultranationalist propaganda in America had reached a new high (really a new low) since the tragic events of 9-11. No mainstream media outlet is presenting to the American people a point of view contrary to our President's.

A recent example I have seen are the drug commercials first aired during the Superbowl, paid for by our tax dollars, which equate supporting terrorists with buying drugs. This commercial is misleading at best. Yes, a small portion of the money Americans pay for drugs may go to terrorists. But even so, the drug connection claim is full of holes. It is just another attempt by our government to justify it's horribly wrong "War on Drugs". If we really wanted to put the drug dealers out of business and eliminate terrorist drug profit, ending prohibition of drugs is the way to go. Then we would have international pharmecetuical companies selling at much lower rates. The black market would be gone, and the stigma and prison time to go along with drug use would disappear. But I have already dealt with this issue so I will stop here.

I just hope people in the US are intelligent enough to form their own opinions on issues and current events, not take everything they see and hear for fact.

As for homosexuality, unfortunately homosexuality is still not accepted into the mainstream here in America. Reverend Jerry Fallwell unexplicable blamed the 9-11 bombing on gays and lesbians. The Catholic church still condems homosexuality, which is quite ironic considering how much Catholic priests like little boys, and recently the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court was quoted as saying "Homosexuality is abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature and a violation against the laws of nature." Here is a link to his comments: http://www.nandotimes.com/nation/story/254812p-2386991c.html
 
Originally posted by ApocalypseKurtz
No mainstream media outlet is presenting to the American people a point of view contrary to our President's.
To be fair, its hard to find people (in America) who have a whole lot of complaints. I live on a College campus and even here there are many people who support the gist of it. Of course, many times the media DOES give a contrary story; and there are many times when the contrary story would come from a rambling towel-head calling us the great Satan. Its really hard to balance that.

Originally posted by ApocalypseKurtz
As for homosexuality, unfortunately homosexuality is still not accepted into the mainstream here in America. Reverend Jerry Fallwell unexplicable blamed the 9-11 bombing on gays and lesbians.
To be fair, Falwell got critisized by the left and right. Behind the doors at the Christian Coalition (or whatever the one he ran) his comments had a lot to do with him stepping down as the chair. Additionally, a lot of young people who are disolusioned with Christianity cite him and his type as their reason. Falwell is about as mainstream as homosexuality.
 
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