Sunday, 31 October 2010

Auto Victimization



Reading the news about the latest terror scare, bombs sent to the USA via freight planes from the Middle East, I find the most interesting aspect being the obvious variations in which the same news is covered in different countries. Let's have a quick survey:
  • In Israel, Haaretz newspaper's main emphasis is on the two bombs' final destination: they were addressed to Chicago synagogues. Read here and here; the airline security aspect of the affair takes the passenger seat.
  • In the UK we have the complete opposite. UK emphasis is on the words of top politicians claiming the bombs could have been set to detonate midair and bring their airplanes down. Whether you read The Guardian (here) or BBC News (here), it would take some effort for you to realize the bombs were sent to Jewish targets; one doesn't need to make much of an effort to realize why Israelis claim antisemitic tendencies in the two's news coverage.
  • USA's New York Times covers the story (here) by mixing facts with comments from politicians and security stakeholders.
  • Australia's The Age doesn't bother with originality (here). Quoting directly from The Washington Post, the coverage is not much more than stating the facts and providing Obama's own words on the matter. Obviously, The Age does not have the means to support international news coverage on its own, indicating at the poor state Australian journalism is in.
None of the above sources are from the Murdoch circus; all are reputed to be the best news sources for their respective countries. Yet the cynic in me cannot avoid noticing how news is "stretched" to fit national agendas: the notion the entire world hates us that is sponsored by Israel as opposed to the notion of never saying anything complimentary of Israel and/or Judaism in British/European press. Or just the way politicians are going out of their way to impose anti terrorism measures on their citizens and then cling on to every excuse possible in order to explain to their citizens why their privacy has been eroding so much lately and why they need to suffer on every visit to the airport. I find it no wonder at all the harshest words coming from the mouths of politicians are coming from the security obsessed UK.
Personally, I have been trained to see these terror incidents as nothing but an excuse for those in power to have a go at our civil liberties. The entire way in which they handled air security thus far is a joke: all the measures we have been forced to suffer, culminating lately in undressing us at the airport, are all totally useless when freight goes by unscreened. Everything from ensuring we do not carry our lethal tweezers on board to taking our finger prints has been geared towards finding the next suicidal passenger but nothing gave way to the thought there are plenty of other creative ways to attack air transport. Perhaps now we will see tougher measures on freight being introduced, but will that truly stop the terrorists? Can't they just move to attack freight on ships instead?
The entire world is on its knees spending billions at the effort of a slight few in Yemen. Do not tell me we are no being manipulated to be scared by our own leaders so they can pursue their true agendas.

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