Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We have met the enemy and it is us

Wretchard, at the Belmont Club, has posted an almost lyrical attack on the weirdly lopsided coverage the press gives the ongoing war against Islamic terrorists:

[A] court in The Hague turned down a demand by a dozen plaintiffs who wanted to force the Dutch government to arrest US President George W Bush when he visits the Netherlands. Donald Rumsfeld has been repeatedly asked to resign over 'widespread prison' abuse in Abu Ghraib. The point of these calls for lopsided retribution is to drive home just how dangerous it is to trifle with sacred person and belief system of the enemy. It aims to paralyze anyone who even contemplates such an act of lese majeste. The modern 'grave of a hundred dead' isn't a pyramid of skulls over the tomb of British Subaltern: it's an American Secretary of Defense's head on a stake over a photograph of a jihadi wearing a pair of panties as a hat. It is front-page calls for an abject American apology for flushing a Koran down a toilet even if it was never flushed down a toilet at all, except on the pages of Newsweek. It is calls for an admission of guilt if only the mere possibility of guilt existed. And if that were not psychological domination at par with the worst the British Empire could offer in its heyday then nothing is. There are Empires today of a different sort, but they maintain the power by much the same means.
There's more, and it's just as good. Perhaps it's understandable that the American press doesn't want to turn into a government handmaiden, blindly touting the virtues of war, a la the press during the Spanish American War. (Which I'll just mention took place over a hundred years ago, so it's not as if anyone in living memory can feel guilty about that hagiographic war coverage.) The Press's current conduct, however, does not indicate that it is merely trying to maintain the objectivity one expects from a vapidly self-lauding institution. Instead, the American press gives every indication that it is willing to praise dictatorships, turn a blind eye to the death of innocents, and, if necessary, help America lose a war, if that will help it in its blind, unthinking determination to unseat a President that the institution dislikes. That's mean-spirited, selfish and stupid behavior. If I could be sure that its only effect would be to bite the Press in butt, I'd say, so be it. However, since the Press's power means I must travel in its wake, I have to say that I bitterly resent this approach to America's interests abroad. Hat tip: Brain Droppings