Monday, January 07, 2013

"Valentino’s Ghost: Why We Hate Them " PBS Documentary on Islamophobia & EPA Head Resigns & Britain's MI6 Fuels Militancy in Syria

Valentino’s Ghost: Why We Hate Them, Jan. 06, 2013
PBS documentary about the changes in attitudes towards "Arabs" & Muslims as depicted by the film industry and other media.

As Philip Giraldi in his article at The American Conservative discusses how the West moved from a view of Arabs as mostly positive seen as exotic and romantic and connected to the legends and fables of the Arabian Nights cliches and stereotypes to viewing Arabs and Muslims as an evil presence in the world who were savage and bestial who did not share the same positive values of Western Civilization and Christendom.

The radical shift in perception of Arabs began in mid 1920s with the various European powers dividing the region up amongst themselves without any consideration of the wishes of the Arabs who inhabited the region for centuries.

This was later exacerbated by creation of the state of Israel on Arab /Palestinian lands in 1948 as Giraldi notes "...with its forced relocation of most Palestinians — which Mearsheimer describes as “ethnic cleansing” — made further shifts in the narrative essential, particularly to demonstrate that Jews had a historic right to the land of Palestine and that the creation of the Jewish state was humanely carried out in a land that did not exist politically and was largely empty and undeveloped."

The overarching narrative is the notion of Palestine as an empty land for a people without a land which is simply pure anti-Arab anti-Palestinian propaganda. This fiction has been maintained in the Media and by Western leaders as if it were a well substantiated truth when in fact it is a lie promulgated by the Israelis and its allies.

Perception is everything when it comes to the media. Reality is always in need of editing and a radical re-writing to suit the agenda of various groups or nations.

Then came the Six Day War which the Western Media depicted as a triumph of civilized values over the uncivilized Arabs. As Giraldi says "...The Six-Day War further added to the denigration of Arabs in general. Israel’s surprise-attack triumph over its neighbors, in which it was able to exploit superior military resources, was seen as a victory of good over evil in the U.S. media. Walter Cronkite announced on the evening news that “Jerusalem has been liberated.” Footage of long columns of Palestinian refugees appeared briefly on television but then disappeared completely.

and so as the narrative was constructed there was no room for the Palestinians who lost their homes and lands in 1948 or in 1967 and so their voices , their concerns their plight as a forgotten people as far as Israel and its Western allies were concerned was not an issue so the Palestinians were rendered silent and invisible like the American Indians who were also the victims of Ethnic Cleansing or more aptly genocide. And anyone challenging the accepted narrative have been relegated to the margins by being accused of anti-semitism.

"...Mearsheimer describes the post-1967 unwillingness to discuss either the Palestinians’ plight or the nature of the Israeli relationship with Washington as “The Great Silence” fueled by “The Great Silencer,” namely the charge of anti-Semitism or Jewish self-hating inevitably leveled against any critic of Israel."

And from the beginning of the creation of the state of Israel there has been a rewriting of historical events to promote the idea that the Arabs were blood thirsty savages and that the Israelis were always the innocent victims . Historical facts have been abandoned to suit Israel's overarching national mythology.

That in the real world the early Israeli fighters used terrorists tactics such as blowing up Embassies and Hotels assassinating government representatives from Britain or France to using car bombs or implementing the use of Jewish death squads to terrorize Arab civilians. For instance the present day Israelis and their allies ignore the Jewish terrorist' IRGUN 's tactics such as the infamous " Bombing of the King David Hotel" (History learning Site) which
"...occurred in July 1946 and some saw it as a pivotal moment in recent Middle East history. The King David Hotel was the site for the British Military Command in Palestine. It also served as the headquarters of the British Criminal Investigation Division. The bombing of the hotel galvanised the British into realising that their time in Palestine was coming to an end.

On June 29th 1946, the British unexpectedly entered the premises of the Jewish Agency and took away with them a large number of documents – some of which were deemed to be sensitive. All the documents were taken to the King David Hotel where they were to be assessed by intelligence analysts. At around the same time, the British arrested 2,500 Jews in Palestine. Irgun, a Jewish secret organisation (deemed to be a terrorist group by the British) decided to target the hotel for vengeance and also as a way of destroying the documents that had been taken by the British.

The leader of Irgun, Menachem Begin, claimed that Irgun saw the hotel solely as a military building – and therefore a legitimate target..."

Jewish Terrorism In The Creation Of Israel part 1

So from the creation of the State of Israel through the use of terrorist tactics to the pre-emptive war aka The Six Day War to the Olympic hostage taking to the Hostage taking in Iran 1979 to 9/11 everything else that happened during that time is deliberately set aside to push the Israeli anti-Arab anti-Palestinian narrative . So in any discussion of Israel's policies the assumption is that the Palestinians and Arabs have no rightful claim over the lands now occupied by Israel and that the Arabs are the evil terrorists while the Israelis are the beleaguered good guys who always fight fairly .

So when Israel bombs civilians in Gaza they are doing so because according to them the very survival of the state of Israel is at risk. No matter that Gaza has become an open air prison for 1.5 million people who are suffering due to Israel/USA blockade.

When the Israelis set up their defense walls and their road blocks and check points and their Jewish only highways this is seen by Israelis and America as justifiable even though the International community and I would say justly refers to Israel's separation of Jews and Arabs and treating Arabs differently under the law as being a racist Apartheid regime. The Apartheid Israeli Regime is indefensible and should be abhorrent to anyone interested in justice and human rights for everyone not solely for the people of the West or Christendom or America.

"Why We Hate Them: Arabs in Western Eyes: A new PBS documentary reveals how films and other media have shaped an anti-Muslim narrative." by Philip Giraldi, The American Conservative , Jan. 02, 2013

Control of the preferred narrative is essential in today’s instant-news political culture. This has been particularly true since 9/11, as the United States government and the cooperative media have worked together to make sure that a series of enemies are identified and then attacked as a response to what has been shaped as a global terrorist threat. Narrative-shifting also protects against failure, by making it more difficult to advance any actual inquiry either to learn what motivates terrorists or to explore the apparent inability of the federal government to respond effectively. The best known attempt to shift the blame and thereby redirect the narrative was President George W. Bush’s famous assertion that “those evildoers” of 9/11 “hate us because of our freedom.” Other, more plausible motives need not apply.

Later this year PBS will release to its affiliates a documentary film that it co-produced called “Valentino’s Ghost.” I recently watched a preview copy. In its full version it is 95 minutes long, and it lays out a roughly chronological account of how Muslims, particularly Arabs, have been perceived in the West since the 1920s. Written and directed by Michael Singh, it includes interviews with a number of well-known authorities on the Middle East, including Robert Fisk, Niall Ferguson(?), John Mearsheimer, and the late Anthony Shadid, the New York Times journalist killed in Syria last February. The film explores the political and cultural forces behind the images, contending that the depiction of Arabs as “The Other” roughly parallels the foreign policies of Europe and America vis-à-vis the Middle East region. The title of the film is taken from the first great cinematic “Arab,” Italian Rudolph Valentino, who starred in the 1922 silent film “The Sheik.” When asked regarding the plausibility of the script, in which English aristocrat Lady Diana falls for the “savage” Sheik, Valentino responded “People are not savages because they have dark skins. The Arabian civilization is one of the oldest in the world…the Arabs are dignified and keen brained.”

...The 1920s also witnessed Anglo-French moves to divide up the Arab provinces of the defunct Ottoman Empire and to gain control of Iran’s oil supply.The Arabs, not surprisingly, resisted, which forced a rethink of who they were and what they represented as reflected in Eurocentric movies made in the 1930s, including “Beau Geste,” “The Lost Patrol,” and “Under Two Flags.”

Arabs were increasingly depicted in the cinema as lawless savages who mindlessly opposed the advanced civilizations of Europe, not unlike the American Indians who had stood in the way of manifest destiny. The possible motives for their savagery were strictly off limits, as they were in the American historical narrative. The good Arabs were the ones who were “obedient” and sought accommodation with the French and British. The bad Arabs were the “disobedient” who sought to maintain their traditional ways of life.

The Young Turks Cenk Uygur discusses and shows his disdain for President Obama's poor environmental record. The issue is that Obama as candidate Obama was all for fighting to protect the environment while President Obama is more concerned with defending the oil and gas companies . So over and over again Obama compromises with Big Business but this is not compromise but rather capitulation on environmental issues and on a host of other issues. When Obama needs the support of real progressives he speaks their language but once the votes are in Obama suddenly becomes a right wing conservative who willingly gives into the demands of Wall Street and the Banks and ignores the suffering of millions of Americans who have lost their jobs, their homes through no fault of their own.

Obama appears more comfortable as George W. Bush did playing the role of Commander in Chief bombing innocent civilians and characterizing those killed as "terrorists" or "friends of terrorists" that is anyone who is male over 15 or anyone who gives a terrorist aid and comfort even if they didn't know the person was a terrorist or if they had refused the terrorist would have killed them.

TYT Cenk Uygur Obama Ignores Climate, EPA Head Leaves

Published on 29 Dec 2012

"Lisa P. Jackson is stepping down as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency after a four-year tenure that began with high hopes of sweeping action to address climate change and other environmental ills but ended with a series of rear-guard actions to defend the agency against challenges from industry, Republicans in Congress and, at times, the Obama White House."*

After being ignored and having her policies mostly tossed out in favor of conservative initiatives, Lisa Jackson is stepping down as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. How long will climate change be a low priority, and can anyone change that? Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

As Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks pointed out last July Obama allowing for the drilling for oil and gas in the arctic ocean is a recipe for disaster. As Cenq quotes oil industry experts saying that at most when a spill occurs they are lucky to reclaim just 10% of the oil.

Already there is an oil drilling rig platform which has broken from its moorings and is now run aground on the shores of Alaska. Rachel Maddow brought us that report several days ago.

No one knows what the real effect would be on the region if there was a major oil spill or other disaster comparable to the BP spill in the Gulf or the Exon Valdez off of Alaska.

For Canada this should also be a concern since we share these waters with the USA and the ocean does not respect borders in case of an American made disaster. Any large scale spill will affect Canada as well and so we should have a say in what happens in these waters.

If Canada which shares these West Coast Arctic shores with Alaska and the USA wasn't being run by a neoconservative government which are allied with the Neo-liberals and the Oil industry may be our government could have insisted on a more cautious approach or even a ban on drilling any where in the Arctic region. Unfortunately Canadians like Americans are more concerned with ensuring the profit margins of Oil Corporations and other big business than with protecting the environment and the health of thousands who would be impacted by a major spill like the one in the Gulf .

Truth About Oil Spill Clean Up TYT
Drilling in arctic region

Published on 6 Jul 2012

July 02, 2012 C-SPAN

And here's an update on the Western backed bloody civil war or sectarian war in Syria. Bashar al-Assad is a fairly nasty character but replacing his Regime with a bunch of crackpot Islamic extremist who want to cleanse Syria of all Non-Sunni Muslims and Christians etc. appears to be a recipe for disaster. For decades Assad at the very least kept the various religious and ethnic groups from tearing each other apart. Whereas the AlQaeda and Taliban foreign fighters are already involved in attacking innocent Shiites and Alawites and Christians and destroying their places of worship Mosques and Churches and their schools.

British government fueling the militant rebels in Syria along with the USA even though thousands of the rebel fighters are Islamic extremist connected with various terrorist organizations such as AlQaeda and the Taliban etc. So as the Western alliance backed extremist in Afghanistan in the 1980s to oust the Soviets they are now backing extremist in Syria .

'Britain's MI6 fuels militancy in Syria'

and so it goes,

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