Why is it only terrorism when ‘they’ do it?

Duncan – A local editorial regarding “the brutal murders of 12 French journalists” wrote: “Poking fun at a religion…or at power in any form…is a right all of us share”.

My observation is that, unfortunately, we are fed news stories that sympathize with the loss of life in our NATO forces and Western citizenry, while demonizing or dehumanizing the lives of the local Muslim population in the targeted/attacked Middle Eastern region itself.

I have been mulling over this topic and have some questions: 1. When our NATO forces have been using tomahawk missiles, depleted uranium tipped warheads, helicopter gunships, jetfighter precision missiles, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, and drone strikes in the areas of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria, why is it that the devastation to Middle Eastern human life is not called NATO terrorism?

I mean, I don’t see that kind of “devastating force” being used against us in the West.

2. Is it freedom of speech when the millions of Middle Eastern deaths of Muslim citizens over the last 13 years by NATO/U.S. forces gets minimal mainstream press, radio and television coverage? (ie: when food production plants, electrical power stations, transportation systems, and water purification plants get bombed, are not the local Arab population being left to die of disease and hunger?) Yet, mainstream press continually inundates us with the handful of deaths, worldwide, from fundamentalist radicals (who often turn out to be just psychotic Westerners) whose idea of responding to the NATO “terror” is to use their own forms of terror.

Neither NATO leaders nor radicalized fundamentalists are

serious about peace.

3. Why, when Middle Eastern Muslim deaths occur by the hundreds of thousands, do our leaders call that collateral damage, while on the other hand our media is found embellishing the deaths of a handful of Western citizens?

4. Are NATO forces really bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East, or are those who take us to war terrorizing the entire region to create regime change that favors the private interests of oil cartels, weapons manufacturers, military contractors, and international bankers?

5. When these questions are not being asked locally or nationally, through the mainstream media, can we say we have freedom of speech?

When pro-war newscasts fuel hatred for Middle Eastern Muslims and show little empathy for the slaughter of the Middle Eastern citizenry by NATO forces, is that not “keeping the topic within parameters which support further military aggression in the region”?

Is this what Noam Chomsky called “manufacturing consent”, when radio, press, and televised newscasts are used to garner support for further warfare? Is this what David Baldacci meant, in his novel The Whole Truth, when he called mainstream media agencies “perception management” firms?

Bill Woollam Duncan

Cowichan Valley Citizen