Saturday, May 14, 2011

Selective Moral Outrage in the Middle East --Our Media's Double Standards

Hitler's atroticities were not believed by large segments in the west. Even the New York Times tucked away news that Jews were being gassed in their millions well inside the newspaper for fear they would be branded as a Jewish owned paper and lose their credibility as a reliably establishment organ. So with the Middle East. Robert Fisk the fearless Middle East reporter who writes for The Independent who never minds calling things as he sees them, writes that flagrant human rights abuses are taking place not just in Syria (the country like Libya that does not hesitate to fire on their own defenseless people) but also in the lands controlled by our old petro friends in the Gulf such as Bahrain and Saudia Arabia.

We are probably not aware of this because as Fisk writes the country is now being given a free pass in the human rights department.

Fisk for example notes that despite engaging in brutal tactics to quell dissent (with the help of their Saudi friends) without any real shock and disgust from the west. that
"On this tiny island, a Sunni monarchy, the al-Khalifas, rule a majority Shia population and have responded to democratic protests with death sentences, mass arrests, the imprisonment of doctors for letting patients die after protests and an "invitation" to Saudi forces to enter the country. They have also destroyed dozens of Shia mosques with all the thoroughness of a 9/11 pilot. But then, let's remember that most of the 9/11 killers were indeed Saudis."

Fisk comments on the near complete silence in the Western media concerning the systematic exercise of state sponsored brutality by Cameron-Clegg duo and of course Obama. All you really need to know why is contained in this one factoid as Fisk properly reminds us --Bahrain hosts the US Fifth Fleet -- and let us not forget
the three letter word "oil" that to paraphrase Bob Dylan does not just talk and swear it kills.

Why? Why is the west so pleased to wear the mantle of fearless first amendment proud free press exposer of the great and powerful so pathetic at reporting fairly the news that does not favor western interests? To wake them up here is a a graphic detail that Fisk reveals to wake them and us up to the kinds of brutality that is going in that benighted oil state. The military police walking into hospitals and charging of Shia Muslim doctors for "letting their patients die." This is Orwellian perversion of the truth would be Monty Python like funny if were not the truth -if we did not understand first that the patients the doctors were accused of murdering had already been shot by the "security forces." Fisk was actually "in the hospital when these patients were brought in. The doctors' reaction was horror mixed with fear – they had simply never seen such close-range gunshot wounds before." As Fisk reports "If this was happening in Damascus, Homs or Hama or Aleppo, the voices of CamerClegg, and Obama and La Clinton would be ringing in our ears. But no. Silence." Fisk reports "Four men have been sentenced to death for killing two Bahraini policemen. It was a closed military court. Their "confessions" were aired on television, Soviet-style. No word from CamerClegg or Obama or La Clinton.

We are also told in the same piece that "Even when Bahraini students in Britain are deprived of their grants because they protested outside their London embassy, we are silent. CamerClegg, shame on you." Media even more shame for your selective attention span. Fisk blames this all not so much on the Bahrainis oddly he feels the need to protect them by saying (it has nothing to do with the Bahrainis or the al-Khalifas. (nothing?!).."It is all about our fear of Saudi Arabia. Which also means it is about oil. It is about our absolute refusal to remember that 9/11 was committed largely by Saudis. It is about our refusal to remember that Saudi Arabia supported the Taliban, that Bin Laden was a Saudi, that the most cruel version of Islam comes from Saudi Arabia, the land of head-choppers and hand-cutters. It is about a conversation I had with a Bahraini official – a good and decent and honest man – in which I asked him why the Bahraini prime minister could not be elected by a majority Shia population. "The Saudis would never permit it," he said. Yes, our other friends. The Saudis. Don't blame this all on Saudi Arabia though Robert--blame it on the Bahrainis and also on us --their enablers--blame it on the politicians who won't own up to the fact as they righteously swear and reaffirm their fight against their "war against terrorism" (we will let go the fact that you cannot have war against a tactic--you can however confront an ideology and prevent its virus like spread). Let the war against our own media's wilful blindness and our polticians equal wilful hypocrisy first and then we might well be able to start a war against some of the extremist ideologies with some better hope of winning.

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