The Dim-Post

February 23, 2010

Git yer media conspiracies here

Filed under: media — danylmc @ 9:27 am

From Stuff:

My theory is that the public would have a different attitude towards the conflict in Afghanistan if stories about massacred civilians were accompanied by pictures of massacred civilians instead of scary looking soldiers with guns. We don’t illustrate stories about 9/11 with pictures of US Marines, so why the double standard?

On the subject, why did the story about Israel assassinating a single Hamas commander in Dubai get more coverage than NATO’s semi-regular slaughter of civilians?

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28 Comments »

  1. Because the slaughter IS semi-regular. It’s not often the media gets a juicy James Bond style international undercover intrigue to write about, but they get dead Afghans all the time.

    Comment by Philonz — February 23, 2010 @ 10:07 am

  2. “stories about massacred civilians were accompanied by pictures of massacred civilians instead of scary looking soldiers with guns”

    but all muslims are scarey with beards and guns danyl.

    when have you ever seen one that wasn’t, hmmm?

    those civilians were probably armed to the teeth. and if they weren’t, they were probably on the way somewhere to buy WMD. or rape goats. or talk about “the americans” in hushed voices.

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 23, 2010 @ 10:07 am

  3. My theory is that the public would have a different attitude towards the conflict in Afghanistan if stories about massacred civilians were accompanied by pictures of massacred civilians…

    It’s a plausible theory. Newspapers in the Middle East cheerfully include photos of the dead bodies to illustrate their stories, and the public there definitely has a different attitude to this conflict than the public in the West.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — February 23, 2010 @ 10:30 am

  4. Danyl: massacred civilians

    Or: a deliberate attempt at killing as many civilians as possible is the same as casualties trying to remove an enemy that blows up schools for girls.

    But your left credentials are firmly established again Danyl. The congratulations of the usual crowd are streaming in.

    Comment by Berend de Boer — February 23, 2010 @ 10:56 am

  5. care to explain that point berend?

    your comment has entirely escaped the babelfish translater… were you using something other than standard “idiot”?

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 23, 2010 @ 11:02 am

  6. We don’t illustrate stories about 9/11 with pictures of US Marines, so why the double standard?

    Ease of picture access. There are plenty of photos of civilians involved in 9/11, US Marines and Talebanesque Afgani men with guns, but bugger-all of civilian Afgani convoys before or after being bombed. You’ve got a story, you need a photo, and it’s easier to use a pic that’s vaguely related to the story rather than scrambling to find an international photo journalist who was in the right place at the right time.

    I’m not saying that’s right – just that that’s how it is.

    Comment by Ataahua — February 23, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  7. Because the Afghan war is Obamas war, not Grorge Bush’s. The US media is still covering for Obama because he is not George Bush. To be fair, that syndrome is part of Key’s charm, ie, he isn’t nine years of Helen.

    There’s also a funny quirk of human nature at work in both Iraq and Afghanistan,, seen in many modern conflicts..

    Iraq was about soldiers physically up close and personal, shooting, stabbing and fighting whereas Afghanistan is more about blowing up people from drones or jets. For some strange reason distance killing is less appalling than hand to hand.. less icky.

    So Obama wins here because he’s not “personal” about his war.. its just “business” that lets technology, not men do the killing.

    Lastly, Afghanistan is in its ninth year.. nobody’s got the energy for outrage anymore.

    JC

    Comment by JC — February 23, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  8. I can try Che! Danyl says that the NATO is “massacring civilians”. He uses that in the same sense as the civilians massacred in 9/11. So he doesn’t see any difference between the NATO and the 9/11 hijackers. They’re both massacring civilians.

    It doesn’t really matter if your intention is to kill civilians or not.

    One would think that a leftie would have a bit more sympathy for an organisation that fights against terrorists who blow up schools for girls. But no. Both sides are massacring civilians.

    One really wonders how many civilians NATO could massacre if it really tried though…

    Comment by Berend de Boer — February 23, 2010 @ 11:41 am

  9. sooo… massacred civilians aren’t important because some civilians somewhere elese in the world were massacred?

    or are you saying the end justifies the means? taliban are bad, therefore killing civilians is ok.

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 23, 2010 @ 11:52 am

  10. You’re leftie Che. For you guys targeting civilians is the same as inadvertedly hitting them.

    Comment by Berend de Boer — February 23, 2010 @ 11:54 am

  11. @JC, i think you mean 31st year.

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 23, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  12. i knew i shouldn’t have gotten drawn into this…

    berend, there is no left/right distinction in killing civilians. lots of right-leaning people kill civilians too.

    you do know what went on in chile, don’t you?

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 23, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  13. Che, don’t forgot the quote your comments here if you, which I hope not, are driving in your car and hit a civilian. As obviously hitting a civilian is the same as targeting him, you should get behind bars for quite a while for deliberate murder.

    Comment by Berend de Boer — February 23, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

  14. “@JC, i think you mean 31st year.”

    Yeah. But every ninth year the convention is you stop the record and update the names,eg, note that this killing was the result of a “Nato” mistake, not “US Led Coalition Massacre”.

    JC

    Comment by JC — February 23, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

  15. Much as it pains me to admit it, Berend has a point, which I didn’t notice for a while because he expressed it in such obnoxious terms.

    Berend, how about just making your point in relatively civil language without insulting the person you’re addressing and everyone who has vaguely similar politics? Maybe that way people might take you seriously from time to time instead of pre-emptively dismissing all your posts.

    Comment by Helen — February 23, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  16. Actually Helen, I’m not sure Berend does have a point. He’s still largely incoherent.

    Is he saying that in criticising the NATO forces for killing civilians that Danyl/Che are on the side of the Taleban? Or is he saying that to make an omelette you’ve gotta break some eggs? Or is he saying “kill em all, let god sort em out”?

    Comment by Paul — February 23, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

  17. It’s true that Che and I are firmly on the side of the Taliban, but that still doesn’t mean Berend has a point.

    Comment by danylmc — February 23, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

  18. yes, “accidental killing of civilians”… but the story isn’t claiming he massacre to be “just”, or “legal”.

    the story is pointing out that soliders are clumsy fckers who constantly kill non-combatants. but, the image it uses is of a combatant. it’s a dogwhistle for “muslims are all dangerous anyway, right?”, and typical of the western media.

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 23, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  19. The word massacre has an inherent implication that it was deliberate, just like the word murder. I think if NATO knew the people were civilians they would not have dropped the bomb (or whatever it was that killed them). They intended to kill the group of people, but got their facts wrong as to who they were.

    Comment by radar — February 23, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  20. “The public.”

    Too easy for politicians to send professional soldiers to do all the work. Much better if military conscription enacted if the West wants to take out and then rebuild countries.

    That way our political elite have to get widespread buy in from the public.

    Comment by Simon — February 23, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

  21. Berend seems to be saying that it is appropriate to show the bodies of innocent people who were killed if they were not killed for a good cause, but not if they were killed for a good cause. I don’t see the logic of that – either it’s appropriate to report the loss of innocent lives by showing photos of their bodies, or it isn’t.

    Comment by kahikatea — February 23, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

  22. “Che, don’t forgot the quote your comments here if you, which I hope not, are driving in your car and hit a civilian. As obviously hitting a civilian is the same as targeting him, you should get behind bars for quite a while for deliberate murder.”

    There is a subtle difference between driving a car (usually an activity in which the driver has no intention of killing anyone) and launching an air strike.

    Let me try another car analogy: I’m driving along the road and I see some lights ahead, and I think: this is where I turn. So I turn left! And, WOE, I discover that I’m on the wrong street, and I should have waited until the next lights before turning.

    And just as I have to now drive around the block, so do the NATO pilots have to return to base to get more bombs so they can kill the right people.

    So, really, it’s the same thing as long as you’re willing to equate killing people with taking a detour.

    Comment by Repton — February 23, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

  23. Berend seems to be saying that it is appropriate to show the bodies of innocent people who were killed if they were not killed for a good cause, but not if they were killed for a good cause.

    That’s exactly what he’s saying. If we were to show pictures of large numbers of civilians killed by NATO, people who count (ie, people in Western countries, not people in the Middle East where they already get to see such photos) might begin to feel reluctance to continue supporting their troops in the activities that resulted in the dead civilians. It would be terrible if this were to happen, as it’s only the presence of our troops flinging ordnance at people who may or may not deserve it that prevents Afghanistan falling under the rule of a… er, ahem… corrupt and repressive regime.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — February 23, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

  24. It’s true that Che and I are firmly on the side of the Taliban, but that still doesn’t mean Berend has a point.

    Thank you Danyl, I now have tea on my shirt. And tie.

    Comment by progger — February 23, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  25. “We don’t illustrate stories about 9/11 with pictures of US Marines…”

    We don’t illustrate them with pictures of body parts in the rubble of the Twin Towers either. Or the bodies of those who chose to throw themselves out of windows rather than burn to death.

    Comment by radar — February 23, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

  26. We don’t illustrate them with pictures of body parts in the rubble of the Twin Towers either. Or the bodies of those who chose to throw themselves out of windows rather than burn to death.

    To be fair, noone’s (afaik) advocating pictures of body parts.

    Comment by progger — February 23, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

  27. “If we were to show pictures of large numbers of civilians killed by NATO..”

    and why not show those killed by the Taliban?

    market places etc where civilians have been deliberately targeted.

    Comment by Neil — February 23, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

  28. Reconsider definition of “massacre”.
    Lovely media erectile provoking. Yes.
    Accurate. No.
    An unfortunately directed missile kills some
    people who are unfortunate enough to be in a war zone?

    This is a massacre?

    Barend you are a bore.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — February 24, 2010 @ 8:51 pm


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