As you’ve probably guessed, I’m a little short on time this morning. However, I wanted to take a moment to report on one of the stories that’s not getting reported — the progress the surge is seeing in Iraq. Fortunately, considering that I haven’t burrowed deep into this story, I know people who are keeping an eye on things. If you surf over to the Strata-Sphere, AJ has a nice post about all the good things happening in that sadly benighted land.
And to the extent that the truth is out there, but that the media leaves it lying around like soggy noodles, while putting its energy into trumpeting disinformation and misinformation, Lorie Byrd asks Republicans, whenever they can, to start speaking the truth more and more loudly.
UPDATE: I’m involved in a project that has to do with calling the press on its dishonesty, dishonesty that manifests itself both through silence when it should speak and through out and out misinformation. (I’ll keep you updated on the project when there’s something to report.)
One of the things I’ve been examining as part of this project is the so-called Jenin massacre. As you may recall, when the Israelis moved on Jenin, which was a terrorist stronghold, word very quickly emerged that there was a terrible massacre going on, with Israelis savaging the civilian population. The story quickly took hold in the world media, with the BBC doing more than its bit to flog the story. The whole thing, of course, was a lie. There was no massacre and, in fact, the Israeli Army sacrificed many of its soldiers in order to keep down the number of civilian deaths.
My research on the subject, however, has revealed something disturbing. The BBC was awful, and continued to promote the story of a massacre long after the truth emerged. However, in the early phases of the Jenin campaign, there was no doubt that the Israeli Army, by securing the area, made it impossible for the truth to emerge. The Israeli Army’s absolute silence provided a perfect petri dish for the BBC’s campaign of disinformation, since they could publish Palestinian “reports” with impunity, always adding at the end of the report that “Israeli Army spokesmen declined to comment” or “No reporters have been allowed on the scene to confirm the number of deaths.” By the time the Israelis finally opened the area to reporters, they already had their paradigm in place, and would no longer recognize the reality on the ground. I’ve therefore been struggling with the fact that the BBC’s one-sidedness could only have happened because the Israeli Army allowed it to happen.
The fact is, I’ve been aware for years that the Israelis, by being tight lipped about information (a military necessity, I know), have allowed falsities to flourish. Nature may abhor a vacuum, but lies live for those empty moments, and move in swiftly to fill them.
In this way, the Jenin massacre becomes a reminder, not only of the media’s propensity to push an agenda, but also of the fact that it can do so when people with accurate information fail to speak or fail to speak loudly. So, keep this in mind if (when) you read Lorie Byrd’s column.
Filed under: Iraq