Saturday, June 4, 2005

The Koran and Guantanamo

The media is having a feeding frenzy over Guantanamo again, this time, we are told, because interrogators (1) kicked the Koran, and/or (2) permitted urine to touch it.
Why are we hearing about this ? Would it be news in the American and European press, at least of a similar magnitude if soldiers someplace (1) kicked the Bible; and/or (2) permitted urine to touch it ? We all know the answer, don't we ?
The reason we are hearing about this now is because the mass media has closed ranks around Newsweek, which ran a false Koran desecration story last month. The Bush administation was, for some reason, upset about the resulting riots and killings all over the Muslim world, and had the gall to criticize Newsweek. Clearly, the imperialist U.S. administration must be punished for its temerity, so the newsies have since spent every waking hour looking under rocks for any poor sap that even so much as snarled in the Koran's direction.
Hurray. Now the media's found some patsies and can be "vindicated." Of course, the predictable new round of rioting and killing is of no consequence, and will help the media sell papers, and cripple the American war effort. A win-win for the press. Meanwhile, the interests of poor Mrs. Jones from Nowheresville, Mississippi, who loses her only son in Afghanistan when his Army unit breaks up a riot of angry Koran-thumpers can be completely disregarded -- unless she wants to get in print by blaming the Bush administation for her son's death.
What world do these people live in ? Why does freedom of the press include the right to depress support for the war effort ? Can you imagine the press running similar stories about the mistreatment of, say, Japanese prisoners of war sixty years ago ? Now you know damn well this went on, but somehow the media bosses of the day managed to avoid putting such stories on page one. Too right they did, because the public of those days, serious people who knew where their bread was buttered, would have roasted the editors of such publications on a spit.

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