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how utterly depressing…

November 24, 2015

How utterly depressing watching/listening to the mainstream news coverage drone on and on about the Paris Attacks – sucking every last sentimental moment for all it’s worth. As if we were to believe that ISIS simply fell from the sky, and we have no idea why they would do such an atrocity to innocent Parisians.

Popular media has often been accused of being ahistorical (Bertrand Russell and Howard Zinn immediately come to mind), and at heart, it is deeply nationalistic – even jingoistic. We are the good guys, and “they” are the bad.

“We want revenge goddamit, and we want it now! Bomb the motherfuckers back into the stone age!”

No one in the media wants to talk about the fact that there was no ISIS before the American-led invasion of Iraq. No one wants to talk about how the Taliban was born of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.

Wahhabism, or orthodox Islam, which is the religious practice of Islamic terrorists everywhere, was born of a fight against the Ottoman Empire – the original ruthless colonialists of the “Middle East”. A fight that began 250 years ago.

The Ottoman Turks gave way to the French, and the British, the Spanish, the Italians, the Russians, and the Americans, but let us suspend that particular reading of History, and think of Arabs as only barbarians.

Let us not think about the fact that western powers have occupied these territories for the better part of 500 years. Let us forget the fact that it was these very western powers that dictated the national boundaries of these countries – arbitrarily drawn up on maps in London and Paris, over good cigars and cognacs.

Think about this for a moment…500 years of outsider occupation (Henry VIII was ruling England at the time), only dissolving in the twentieth century into western-approved dictators who ruled over fake countries using an iron fist to control their people and stuffing their own pockets with petro-gold.

Just as importantly, no one in the mainstream media wishes to discuss how the traumas of war radicalizes people, or the political effects of crushing poverty, or regional unemployment rates that reach into the 40 and 50% range, or climate change, and how all of these have coagulated into a perfect storm that are all at play in this larger tragedy (widespread drought, and summer heat that now reaches into the 60’s). The United Nations predicts that the entire region will be uninhabitable in another half century.

How radical do you think the people will be then?

But it is also equally silly to suggest that there is some larger media conspiracy at play here; that the corporate heads of the media are sitting with the politicians and the military strategists to organize a broader bait-and-switch on the population.

They don’t have to. The rules of the media game itself omit any real historical analysis of this crisis. There is no time in a crisis for historical analysis. There is no emotional release for the people if the media were to then pursue a rational historical analysis. Without emotion, the daily media would have nothing to sell us.

We want blood, and our media is our bullhorn!

So, we pretend we do not know why ISIS would bring the war in Iraq and Syria to Paris. No more then when the French didn’t want to know why radical Algerians were bringing their war against the French colonial occupation of their country to the Paris streets. Or why the Viet Cong attacked the French colonialists occupying what we now call Vietnam.

Without any historical perspective, one Global News journalist even went so far as to say that Paris had never before seen such an atrocity (and I dare say, she said it with all honesty); before someone pointed out World War I and II, and the French Revolution (to name but three atrocities that have filled the Paris streets with blood).

The old adage that we ignore history at our own peril, or, that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it, are as apt to our own “information” age, as they were for any previous age.

We have the world’s libraries at our computer fingertips, yet we collectively know as little about history as any previous society ever did. We are as narcissistic to our own ignorance as any civilization before us.

And for that we are doomed to repeat the worthless lies and the catastrophic mistakes of our forefathers.


One Comment leave one →
  1. November 24, 2015 2:09 am

    A truly terrific blog Sherwood. Send it to every newspaper and media org you can. Ya never know…

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