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Sun Sep 23, 2012, 01:20 PM

The Innocence of U.S. Foreign Policy


A survivor of last week's NATO airstrike that killed eight other Afghani women collecting firewood. (Photo/EPA)

Last Saturday's headline in the Wall Street Journal was: “Anti-U.S. Mobs on Rampage.”

The next day, a NATO airstrike killed eight women collecting firewood in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, an event that garnered virtually zero mainstream U.S. headlines.

A survivor of last week's NATO airstrike that killed eight other Afghani women collecting firewood. (Photo/EPA)
Somewhere in the gap between these two phenomena — the overheated news about our violent, irrational enemies in the Middle East and the silence surrounding our war and occupation of the region — lies American politics, values, the presidential race, the national identity. Beyond that gap lies the truth about who we are, and only when we have access to it does the future turn into creative possibility and peace become possible.

The conventional wisdom we’re fed in the mainstream media takes into account only the fear — the hysteria — implicit in the Wall Street Journal headline. The story, by Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee, goes on to tell us:

“The regional furor, coming just three days after an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other workers, underscored Washington’s diminished ability to influence a region where a number of governments newly elected during the so-called Arab Spring have minimal control over their restive populations.

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Reply The Innocence of U.S. Foreign Policy (Original post)
xchrom Sep 2012 OP
mojowork_n Sep 2012 #1

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 08:51 PM

1. Americans don't travel much. And if they do go overseas, they have no foreign languages.

We rely on our newspapers and our tee-vee's to tell us what's going on in the world.

But as the writer points out:

Whereas Arab violence generates adrenalin-pumping headlines and is mostly reported outside any serious context — e.g., the U.S. devastation of Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the Koran burnings, the ongoing drone assassinations — the violence that emerges from U.S. policy is softened with so much context it’s often a struggle to figure out if anything happened at all.

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