Friday, September 14, 2007

Corpses, Pleasure-Loving Officers,
and Brutal Interrogations -
"Real Reporting"

Propaganda is an important part of any war. Portraying the enemy as a monster seems to be fairly common.

The "War on Terror" has some interesting variations on that theme.

The current American president has repeatedly asserted that "Islam is a peaceful religion (including the 2003 Ramadan Address and during a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, November 13, 2002)

And, a prestigious university is trying to "correct" what they seem to think is biased news coverage.

"The Chicago Blog" ("Publicity news from the University of Chicago Press including news tips, press releases, reviews, and intelligent commentary.") Non-partisan and academically objective? By today's standards, maybe.

I was impressed by the September 04, 2007, post, "Ashley Gilbertson in Mother Jones magazine." I was also impressed that it was the June 13, 2007, post, too. The U of C blog seems to repeat its publicity releases.

It seems that there's a new book by Ashley Gilbertson, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War" - and it's already receiving critical acclaim.

The review being highlighted says that "much of the recent war reportage from Iraq has been corrupted by bad reporting and bias," and that the new book is going to set the record straight. Apparently, this is a sample.

"Thankfully, we have writers and photographers like Gilbertson, now working primarily on contract for the New York Times, who have not given up on the idea of real reporting. The photographs in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot convey a clear eyed fidelity to the facts. They include pictures of corpses and bleeding soldiers, pictures of officers practicing golf swings and enjoying saunas, and pictures of incarcerated prisoners and brutal interrogations."

"Fidelity to the facts." Pictures of:
  • Corpses
  • Bleeding soldiers
  • Officers practicing golf swings
  • Officers enjoying saunas
  • Incarcerated prisoners
  • Brutal interrogations.
No bloated oppressors of the proletariat, ripping food from the bleeding lips of orphans, though.

The book sounds frightfully relevant.

As for the President's remarks, There are Muslims who agree with him, on this point at least, and some whose actions give Islam a different image.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.