Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The latest chapter in Operation Western Auto-destruct

Christmas 2006, Boxing Day and another conflict, a fresh war by proxy (or the second instalment of a rather stale one) ... not two days old and the Western press is already levelling the balance of power, or whatever it is they think they are doing in an attempt at "impartiality". In a so-called scoop they are appealing to the Western sense of chivalry, by which it is considered cowardice and generally bad form to attack someone whose back is turned. You might think it from a distant past, occasionally observed in outdated movies from a time when we were civilized, but apparently it is alive and well. Consider this head line:

"Ethiopian jets fire on retreating Somali Islamists"
The news
With the blessing of the African Union which has upheld its right to intervene the Ethiopia government launched attacks on Sunday against forces of the Council of Islamic Courts in Somalia and "foreign organizations" (terrorist groups) in a decision to protect the country’s sovereignty and in a back-up of the official Somali government. On Monday, Ethiopian jet fighters attacked another airport controlled by the Council of Islamic Courts in Somalia, a few hours after an air raid against the Mogadishu International Airport.
The Ethiopian government has asked for a surrender of the Islamist troops and promised no revenge would be taken. They called on the Islamists to surrender and promised them amnesty if they lay down their weapons and stop opposing the internationally recognized government. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has said he does not intend to keep his forces in Somalia for long, perhaps only a few weeks. His goal is to damage the group's military capabilities so as to allow both sides to return to peace talks on an even footing.

A reminder
A reminder of U.N. and U.S. involvement in Somalia you might like to visit our Store Room, the place were we keep notes, clarifications, documentation, which might otherwise hamper easy reading here.
Back to the story
That Islamists, having taken power by force from the officially recognized government doesn't bother Reuters. That the Islamists have imposed strict sharia law (with all its excesses, corporal punishments, including stoning of adulterers and other violations of universal human rights) in the conquered areas, also doesn't bother them. That Bin Laden in a November 1996 press interview said that he had provided weapons to the warlords in Somalia during the relief operation and that his cadres carried out attacks against U.S. forces, stationed there in protection of said U.N. mission, doesn't bother them either. Nor that the U.S. government says four Al Qaeda leaders, believed to be behind the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, are now leaders in the Islamic militia.

The trick
Press agency Reuters, barely two days into the conflict, has already taken it upon themselves to restore the balance of power, or whatever it is they are doing, by creating an atmosphere against the "top dogs", the Ethiopian and the official Somali government, saying in effect: they are shooting innocent people in the back! What Reuters is doing is framing the situation in Muslim terms by opposing "we" being the kafirs (or infidels) to "them" being the Muslim faithfull; "they" are the under-dogs attacked by "us", thereby confirming what "they" have been saying for a long time. The Muslim perception has become the norm in the Western media. Or more correctly sometimes, it is how Western relativists/multi-culturalists think Muslims perceive it. It is a trick which is played out day after day in the news outlets, by which we are told the story of ourselves, re-framed in perceived Muslim terms. That is how Christianity and speeches by Pope Benedict are misportrayed, how news items are distorted and how policies are misrepresented.

The scoop?
What then is the meaning of such headlines? No other news outlet is carrying the story and the allegation is also not borne out by the story itself, except to say that "Ethiopian jets fired missiles on Somali Islamist fighters retreating on Tuesday ... "and that (thereafter, we must assume) an Islamist fighter commented that two planes attacked heavily in the last 30 minutes. "I can confirm three dead", he says in confirmation.

It is to be understood as a scoop of course by one of Reuters' people on the ground. I think it is just the latest chapter in Operation Western Auto-destruct under the banner of Down With Us. Now let's see if the story is picked up and/or followed by others ...

No comments: