Monday, March 3, 2008

Missile strikes on Somalia

The story is still fairly fresh at this point, but I've only seen CNN reporting on this. The US has attacked Somalia this morning, sending missiles into the country in an attempt to weed out "known terrorists." the major issue with what has been reported so far is that reporters are, as usual in war reporting, not asking the right questions. They "pentagon correspondent" for CNN is happy having the authority of the Pentagon behind her, and accepts "known terrorist" targets as sufficient explanation. But this is the same thing that happened last January. The US bombed "strategic" targets in Somalia, but then the story disappears, the public has no idea why we are attacking another country, and we aren't allowed to.

The journalist who are covering this story need to be more vigilant, ask the right questions. If the pentagon doesn't want to give information find someone else. How about questioning other military officials, or how about they stop pretending like military officials are the be all and end all of authority. They are trying to control what is known, do Somali officials know anything? what about people in the region who are being bombed? It's disappointing to see that major journalists are satisfied being told evasive answers from the pentagon and don't feel like they need to dig any deeper, especially in a time of war. Why? They are afraid of repercussions from the top, and of being perceived as unpatriotic. So instead they use the government jargon, and play up standard rhetoric to make the public believe that what is being done, though mysterious, must be noble because we are doing it, and the secretivism must be a product of our dealing with the eradication of terrorist cells...which is just generally not true. The journalists who have the power to ask the questions have a responsibility to ask the right questions and not the questions that have been asked over and over, nor the questions that they have been told to ask.

3 comments:

David said...

You've probably seen this guy on Guernica, but he's great about calling out journalists about this kind of stuff: considers himself an independent journalist.

Norman Solomon.

David said...

Haven't seen the doc yet. He's a cool guy--at least in the email exchanges I've had with him. Do you own it?

Dustin said...

yeah I've got it if you' like to steal it