Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Middle East Uprisings and the Media

Enthralled with the wave of successful protests sweeping across north Africa and the middle east, I've been following as much as I can via daily visits to BBC with their continuously updating live feeds. Western media may be "losing the propaganda information war" as Hillary so boldly put it recently, but compared to the state of American media today, the Beeb is providing exceptional real-time world news coverage that would make McLuhan proud.

They've created thorough in-depth backgrounders on all the players in the region, both good and bad, going the extra mile with demographics and stability/corruption indices for each country presented in one of the many clickable maps on the subject.

But take a closer look at that map. What do you see? Or rather, what don't you see? It seems there is a sizable country comprised of a contented people brimming with peace, love, and tranquility caught right betwixt a hostile Syria and Iran. In the Middle East? Gee, what country could that be? Well, according to the Beeb, it's none other than that latest triumph of the west, Iraq.

Except it's not. You may not find alot of coverage in our western media concerning daily protests throughout Iraq, including the BBC. But it's boiling over just like its neighbors. And its government's tortuous repression tactics make the first days of Mubarik's ouster seem divine in comparison. I wonder, why aren't the aspirations of the Iraqi people being given the same respect by global leaders and their mouthpieces as say the people of Morocco? Do you even need an answer to that question?

On to Libya. Libyans were in full rebel mode a full week before the US had anything of substance to say about it. And our first official words were "we're waiting for other countries to say how they feel first, then we'll say something." I believe a more descriptive term for the administration's reaction would be impotence, and don't think for one minute this won't be thrown back at Obama come next summer. Who remembers GWBush's dogwhistle "we don't need no UN permission slip" targeting Clinton's dismal record of empire underachievement during his administration? Round and round we go.

But speaking of impotence, how about those British special forces, huh? British SAS captured by teenage malcontents! So much FAIL in that little episode. Who would have thought they're just a bunch of halfassed students of Klaatu? So, they set down in a strange land, disembark and promptly state, "take me to your leader?" It may look like failure to the average layperson, and of course it does, but come on, they accomplished their goal of establishing contact with rebel forces didn't they? Maybe they planned perceptions of failure into the mission to throw a wrench in Gaddafi's propaganda machine.

Tonight I was looking around to find out more information about the uprisings in Iraq and stumbled across this little gem. I have no idea who the author is, but I must say even if it's a complete work of fiction despite all the sources provided, it's an exceptionally captivating writeup. And well worth the eyestrain to read it all the way through.

What do you think?

1 comment:

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