Friday, January 08, 2010

The Great Taboo

(If you want to purchase these cute little monkeys they are just $9.95)

On Friday's ATC Mara Liasson says one of the stupidest things I've heard on NPR in a while - which is saying something! Talking about the waning popularity of the BushLite Obama administration among more left leaning and progressive Democrats Liasson states,
"And there are other disagreements. On Afghanistan much of the Democratic base is opposed to the President's troop increase although the Christmas bomber may have taken some of the heat out of that sentiment."
In Liasson/Foxworld one's thinking seems to be limited to rather primitive stimulus/response equations, such as
Terrorist attempt [X] against a US target [Y] = more US military action [N] in Afghanistan [or Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan].
How else to explain the utter nonsense of her claim that progressives - who know that the Obama Afghanistan War is immoral, stupid, and ultimately destructive of real security - would change their minds based on one terrorist's attempt to bomb a US airliner? If Liasson had any clue about progressive/leftist voters she would realize that the attempted Christmas day attack contradicts the supposed rationale for stepping up the US war on Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, Liasson's comments reveal not just Foxified thinking but that of the mainstream media - and especially highlight its refusal to ever consider what creates and motivates acts of terrorism and/or violence against US assets.

After the Christmas Day bombing attempt, probably the biggest story of the week was the bomber who attacked the CIA in Afghanistan. Any curious person would want to know what motivated the apparently trusted attacker to infiltrate the US base and lethally target US/CIA operations. However, the stunning fact is how little attention is given in the mainstream media to the factors that motivate terrorists and irregular fighters who attack US forces. Glenn Greenwald has covered this taboo recently in two articles: the first regarding the Christmas Day bomber and the second on the CIA base bomber. Regarding the CIA bomber there's nothing unclear or hard to discern about his motives:
  • Time magazine notes "The Jordanian intelligence sources who spoke to TIME speculate that al-Balawi had become enraged at the Americans for killing a high number of civilians in their hunt for al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders."
  • CBS reports that the wife of the bomber stated that he "was outraged over the treatment of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison and the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan."
  • The New York Times reports that the bomber's brother explained "that his brother had been 'changed' by last year’s three-week-long Israeli offensive in Gaza, which killed about 1,300 Palestinians."


geoff said...

Ha ha ha! See, Hear, Speak No Evil Happy Monkeys! Enn Pee and Argh

geoff said...

The transcript of Mara's complex commentary finishing with the usual turn of the screw:

LIASSON: And to make that happen, says Podesta, the president will need to get out of the scrum on Capitol Hill, spend less time cutting deals with lawmakers and more time leading like a president.

blithering idiocy dressed up in tones of sage insider truth. I wonder if Podesta said that? These California pols tend to corrupt at a rate something like .9 of the typical Haitian puppet.

byg!pynk!fvzzy!bvnny! said...

Mr. Greenwald would be quite possibly the most worthy individual to take up the mantle for the soon-to-be-memory-holed Moyers Journal... in a perfect world.

However in our typically imperfect and entropic reality, Dr. Mara Mabuse Medusa maintains for wicked life the cushy chair with her nameplate on it at #1-rated Fox (wha'???) Power Panel poker table, double-dutying all the while with an ostensibly "public" news organization.

Nate Bowman said...

GG has another post. This one is on how Helen Thomas was ignored when she tried to ask about the motivation of terrorists.

krameroneill said...

Yeah, I heard something similar a week ago on...Weekend Edition, maybe? (I was in a store where they were playing it, as I'm taking a break from listening, for obvious reasons.) Summarizing the Christmas would-be terrorist attack, an anchor said something like "people aren't worried about privacy issues anymore" regarding full-body scanning machines. Just like that: nobody cares, because this one attack happened [almost]. "Let's throw a few billion at some useless technology; I must have talked to three or four people, and they all agree, it's worth it!"

Short, short attention spans over there.

geoff said...

Kramer, Yeah, even Robert Scheer was heard to say this week that such scanners are obvious and should have been implemented long ago.

btw: Michael Shirtoff (Skeletor) is cashing in big on these machines. In an interview with Robert Siegel last year, Professor Bob pressed him hard on the issue:

SIEGEL: In your current role as a consultant, do you have an interest in body scanners?

Mr. CHERTOFF: You know, I, to be - we consult with all kinds of firms including firms that you manufacture body scanners.

As Steve Benen of Washington Monthly points out, in the same WaPo issue where it is noted that Chertoff has been lobbying hard for these scanners (less than a year after leaving his HS that legal?) he has...well,

And yet, in the same newspaper, on the same day, in the same section, none other than Michael Chertoff has a 736-word op-ed calling for the expansion of whole-body-imaging technology at airports, and dismissing skeptics as "privacy ideologues."

krameroneill said...

Wow! At least he could put a tiny bit of effort into pretending this isn't a quid pro quo. ...but surely our intrepid media will expose such an obvious conflict of interest...