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    World Focus: America and the Muslims
    Saturday, September 15 @ 20:01:40 UTC
    Middle EastThe Reality Behind the “Free Speech” Argument

    By Esam Al-Amin
    September 15, 2012 - counterpunch.org


    Thousands of angry Muslims demonstrated in front of American embassies and consulates in Egypt and Libya because of a newly released film that deliberately insulted and mockingly falsified the life of the prophet of Islam. The protests soon spread to Yemen, Tunisia, Sudan, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, and elsewhere. Taking advantage of the chaos outside the American consulate in Benghazi, it appears that Al-Qaeda affiliates infiltrated the protesters, then attacked and firebombed the consulate building. Clearly there was no justification whatsoever for such reprehensible acts.

    Tragically, several innocent American officials including the U.S. ambassador in Libya died in the senseless violence that ensued. Experts believe that the violent attack was in response to the direct call by the head of Al-Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, to avenge the killing of his deputy Abu Yahya Al-Libi who was killed by a U.S. drone attack last June.

    (Read More... | 20326 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

    World Focus: Both Peoples Were One: Gaza Was Cairo, Egypt Was Palestine
    Sunday, April 03 @ 08:52:24 UTC
    Middle EastBy Ramzy Baroud
    April 03, 2011


    A dear friend of mine from Gaza told me that he hadn’t slept for days. “I am so worried about Egypt, I have only been feeding on cigarettes and coffee.” My friend and I talked for hours that day in early February. We talked about Tahrir Square, about the courage of ordinary Egyptians and about Hosni Mubarak’s many attempts to co-opt the people’s revolution. We were so consumed by the turmoil in Egypt that neither of us even mentioned Gaza.

    The siege on Gaza – and on the whole of Palestine - is a constant factor that unites most Palestinians. However, the genuine solidarity that the people of the Gaza Strip felt when Egyptians took to the streets on January 25 surpassed even the political urgency around the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Ordinary Gazans danced the night away when Mubarak was removed from power on February 18. Although lifting the siege is a Palestinian priority, those who raised Egyptian flags, shed tears and subsisted on coffee and cigarettes for nearly three weeks were hardly making the connection between the siege and Mubarak. While Mubarak was loathed to the core – his decision to block the Rafah border at a critical time victimized thousands - the bond that united Egypt to Palestine runs much deeper than the sins of a senile dictator, or even a terrible siege.

    The story, in fact, starts well before 1948, the year of the Palestinian Nakba. Egypt and Palestine have for long reflected the state of the other: in defeat and triumph, in despair and hope. The valiant youth of Egypt are now the harbingers of hope for their country, for Palestine and for the entire region, although things haven’t always been so promising.

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    World Focus: Sanitizing the Bahraini Crackdown
    Wednesday, March 23 @ 05:37:22 UTC
    Middle EastBy Stephen Gowans
    March 23, 2011 - gowans.wordpress.com


    One of the many ways in which establishment media bias is evidenced is in the selection of the perspectives journalists adopt to relate the events they’re reporting on. This shouldn’t be surprising. As Canadian journalist and author Linda McQuaig points out, we would expect a newspaper owned by environmentalists to have an environmentalist point of view. We would expect a labor newspaper to report on the world from the perspective of labor. For the same reason, we should expect newspapers owned by US corporations with connections to the US foreign policy elite to present the world from perspectives congenial to corporate and US foreign policy interests.

    In major US media, US foreign affairs are always presented from Washington’s perspective. This happens because the least expensive and most “patriotic” way to cover US foreign affairs is to assign reporters to the White House, State Department and Pentagon to record what US state officials say. In this way, what happens outside the United States is presented through the prism of official US state interests. Corporate-funded think-tanks make their “impartial experts” readily available to major media to hold forth on a variety of foreign policy topics. In this way, corporate perspectives—which almost always align with official US state perspectives-help define media coverage of foreign events.

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    World Focus: It's Not About the West, Mr. Friedman
    Friday, March 04 @ 14:47:52 UTC
    Middle EastDistorting the Essence of the Great Arab Revolutions of 2011

    By Esam Al-Amin
    March 04, 2011 - counterpunch.org

    “Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the Orient because the Orient was weaker than the West. . . As a cultural apparatus Orientalism is all aggression.”
    ~ Edward Said
    In his book “Manufacturing Consent,” Noam Chomsky discusses the role of the mainstream, corporate media in conditioning the public to conform to the views and policies of society’s powerful ruling elite.

    Regarding these media outlets- as supposed to independent ones- he argues that “their role is quite different, it's diversion.” He describes those who distort facts to suit the interests of the powerful as living “in a world of comforting illusion.” They present a narrative that is more fiction than fact, one of fantasy rather than analysis. It’s actually “a form of propaganda, which is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state,” Chomsky argues.

    (Read More... | 12892 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

      
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