The U.S. mainstream media has an important role to play as the fourth estate. Sometimes it does an excellent job of informing the public, particularly on many social issues.
However, the mainstream media long ago abrogated its responsibility of accurately informing the public on foreign policy issues involving this nation. Instead, it seems as if the media views its role as building support for whatever our political and military leaders are selling. Sometimes it could be for more military spending because of the “threat” from another nation that dares to challenge our hegemony or attempts to follow a different economic or political model. On other occasions, the media builds support for sanctions or war on allegations of another nation’s violations or other actions labeled as threatening.
For example, many of us remember how the George W. Bush administration and our leading media misled the public over Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. These false allegations then led to a major U.S. war crime and the devastation of Iraq. The media has since downplayed how this war crime led to the creation of the Islamic State and the continued slaughter of innocents in the Middle East.
Lesser remembered is how the compromised mainstream media again cooperated with the Bush administration in attempting to generate support for an attack on Iran. They used the same spurious claim of an active nuclear weapons program. Fortunately, the U.S. intelligence community finally stood up for the truth and undercut support for an attack despite strong Israeli pressure for it. However, the truth has not prevented the continued attempt by many politicians, supported by many truth-challenged media pundits and the Israeli lobby, to sway U.S. public opinion in favor of an attack.
In addition, we continue to hear that Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism. What about Saudi Arabia? For example, a 2009 State Department cable stated: “Still, donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” I guess the out for Saudi Arabia is that it’s private donors providing the funding instead of the Saudi government.
However, even if we ignore the Saudis’ prolific funding of Sunni Islamic terrorism, one would think Saudi human rights violations might merit at least a media campaign. If not these violations, how about the Saudi slaughter of Yemenis and the blockade of Yemen? Wait, I remember — the U.S. is supporting this Saudi war crime. Note that Saudis also support the Sunni terrorists, including IS, that are trying to overthrow the Assad government in Syria.
Clearly, the U.S. is hypocritical in its positions, and the mainstream media is generally polite enough not to point out this blatant hypocrisy. It all makes sense now.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.