Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Spin machine keeps spinning

My boyfriend was watching a documentary on the history of Al Qaeda's movements, etc. on the History Channel tonight and I noticed something that I've kind of noticed before but went without comment. Whenever someone on TV wants to show disdain for any semblance of decency in fighting terrorism, there is a cliche that is whipped out nearly every time. And that is that the police/military didn't catch Terrorist X (or Saddam or whatever), because he was near a mosque they didn't want to destroy.

It's really quite a clever phrasing. No doubt on any city block that we refrain from bombing there could be a mosque, but also shops, homes, schools, what have you. The more accurate phrasing was that we did not bomb a place Terrorist X may have been hiding because we did not want to kill innocent civilians. But by mentioning the mosque, we tend to think of the building itself and not the people in it. And that makes it sound like pansy liberals are so enamored of Islam that we would rather have Americans killed than cause burn stains on a single Islamic relic. (I don't even think they have relics, but the other thing is that we tend to relate Islam to the religions that we know well, which do have relics. Or at least statuary.)

Also, I think it tends to make us think that the buildings at stake are mostly empty. Most Christian churches are not stuffed full of people most of the time. I have no idea what a mosque in a Muslim country is like, but that's irrelevant, as I can guarantee you they don't stand alone without any nearby buildings stuffed with people most of the time. The phrasing also highlights the religion of the terrorist networks (or people said to be in them, even though they are not) over any other beliefs they may have, subtly implying that everyone of that religion subscribes to anti-American beliefs. I doubt very much that any ol' mosque in the whole world would welcome Osama bin Laden with open arms, particularly if they knew that turning him over would spare them an onslaught of American bombing.

On the tangential subject of ways the media is pushing for Bush, James Wolcott mocks the hell out of reporters who are functioning as campaign staffers for him when interviewing Kitty Kelley, who is holding her own, to be fair.


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