(Warning. Image on the left is graphic. Clicking on it will show a larger version of it. Seeing it has made me sick to my stomach.)
The U.N. reported in 2009 346 Afghan children were killed and more than half were killed by NATO, mostly through air strikes.
Just in the beginning of this month, nine Afghan children were killed by U.S./NATO helicopter attack in Kunar Province. Media watch-dog, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), has systemically documented the lack of coverage in the U.S. over this tragedy. I wondered if Americans are aware of the brutal deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan would they still support the bombings in Libya.
I just searched for images of children killed in the Afghan and Iraqi wars and saw some of them. If there is any real humanity in the Western media, they need to show these pictures, not just words justifying the wars. Without the images, Western citizens will continue to be apathetic to the horrific deaths the wars are causing. Below is analysis from FAIR:
How Many Afghan Kids Need to Die to Make the News?
The number of Afghan boys gathering firewood killed by a March 1 U.S./NATO helicopter attack in Kunar Province: Nine.
The number of stories about the killing of the nine children on ABC, CBS or NBC morning or evening news shows (as of March 6): Two.
One was an 80-word report on NBC Nightly News (3/2/11), the other a brief ABC World News Sundaystory (3/6/11) about Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s “harsh words for the U.S.” after the “mistaken killing of nine Afghan boys in an airstrike.”
On the PBS NewsHour? Two brief mentions (3/2/11, 3/7/11), both during the “other news of the day” segment.
On NPR? Nothing. On the”liberal” MSNBC? Zero. Fox News Channel? Zero.
CNN had several mentions of the killings. In one report (3/2/11), correspondent Michael Holmes remarked: “It does a lot of damage to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. You don’t win hearts and minds that way.”
In the Washington Post (3/3/11), the children’s deaths were called “the latest irritant” in the relationship between U.S./NATO forces and the Afghan government. Civilian casualties are “a sore point,” and U.S. commander David Petraeus “has had to walk a fine line. Civilian casualties undermine NATO’s counterinsurgency mission here by angering Afghan civilians and bolstering the Taliban’s attempt to portray foreign troops as ruthless invaders.”
In contrast to the corporate media, Democracy Now! (3/3/11) talked about the attack as part of the larger story of civilian deaths in Afghanistan. “It was at least the third instance in two weeks in which the Afghan government accused NATO forces of killing large numbers of civilians in airstrikes,” host Juan Gonzalez noted in introducing a discussion. “An Afghan government panel is still investigating claims some 65 people, including 40 children, were killed in a U.S.-led attack last week.”
It is often said that Afghanistan is largely a forgotten war–a critique usually meant as a comment on the lack of attention paid to the hardships of U.S. military personnel. Far less consideration is granted to the Afghans who are suffering in far greater numbers.
“Free” press means free to report something and free not to report other things. Free to pick what they want to report, so to speak.
Pen is mightier than the sword. The western media know how to avoid reporting things like this. But, whenever they report about Chinese affairs, they always amplify the molehill to a mountain, or even downright distortion and fabrication. This is based on my 30 some years observation living in the west…. I DO NOT BELIEVE THEM.
Here is an anecdotal evidence about “free press” choosing what to report. I was at the 2008 Olympic torch relay in San Francisco. As you may recall, it was a tumultuous time, with exile Tibetan and human rights activists trying to sabotage the relay at all cost.
I was (really, really) surprised at the turnout of the anti-Chinese activists. But I was even more surprised at the Chinese supporters – which outnumbered the anti-Chinese ones by 2-1 if not more. Besides these two, there were even more “neutral” spectators who just wanted to see the torch.
Guess what, I saw media people with camera trolling around, finding people to interview. They saw me, asked why I was there, and when I told them I was there to support China, they had a disappointed look and went on. I followed and saw that when the next person they asked told them they just wanted to see the torch, they had this disappointed look and moved on. This happened 5-6 times until they finally met someone who said he wanted to see a free Tibet. Then the journalist perked up, pulled the guy to the side, and have the cameramen start rolling the camera. They talked for more than 10 minutes… I talked to him afterwards, asked him about Tibet (to his credit he did know Tibet is in the eastern part of China, but other than that, didn’t know too much more except what you hear on the news). I also found he had been a “protester” all his life – it was his “identity” in life – and protesting about Tibet before like the Olympics seemed to him like right thing to do, at the right time, at the right place. More probing revealed that he was there because he had been urged to come through some massive email mailing that his friend passed on to him (they were supposed to meet up for lunch at some Chinese place afterwards).
That night, I watched the news, and saw lots of pictures and photos of anti-Chinese protesters … and on one channel, a very brief bit about “surprising number of Chinese supporters.”
To follow up on my annecdotal observation in #2, here is a copy of an article from FAIR, not necessarily a pro-China organization:
the Nazi’s did not need to censor their concentration camps.
The true horrors were simply ignored by average Germans who lived next doors to the death camps.
Ignorance is the best censor of the real Truth.
Corporate media plays to the audience’s interest and preconceptions. Casualty news coming out of Iraq/Afghanistan are so common most people don’t care anymore. It’s also the same reason why they highlighted anti-China protests instead of larger pro-China protests back in 08, because it fits the longstanding narrative of “China’s evil government” and “hurr durr Free Tibet”.
US’s democracy is violent democracy. If you do not come to me, I will come to you(with Bombs)
By the way, Please take a look at my recent posts. My study tells me that China’s political reform will likely take place in next 5 years. Let me know what do you guys think about it.
SmallTalks, interesting piece. I think most acknowledged the fact that CCP does uphold democracy values during their earlier years, including the first few years when they rule China, merely to a stage when some leaders declared that party democracy is dead in the latter years. Therefore the crux of the matter is what will be the mechanism being installed to ensure the same would not happen again? During peacetime and pursue of economy path, a country doesn’t need a charisma and outstanding leader but there always unstable period by looking at the macro history. Can China purge out a leader such as Churchill as what the British did after the world war?
I agree Singapore is close to one party state but the fact remain that there is general election every five years, and the people still have a said if they truly unhappy with PAP or any of their leader but I don’t know how this work in CCP and China. Come to think of it, I am pretty perplex reading rv on morality and to certain extent, I think CCP is actually lean towards morality base and not scientific base for it internal system, unless there is more fact to support such claim.
Party democracy can easily be destroyed because the power would normally concentrate in the hands of few and I saw this happen again and again in my country, it is always easier to control/manipulate a few hundreds and thousands party leaders but not the whole population, and our election still work as a checking point though I agree that there is still much to be desired to have a fair and just election process. Singapore PAP “bribe” 55% of their electorate while Malaysia BN “bribe” only the less than 200 party division leader will be good enough to be the Prime Minister and government. Not sure about China.
Morality based arguments don’t work in China any more, because the People got sick of all the political moralities during the Cultural Revolution.
Thus, CCP politicians know that they can’t sell policies by slogans any more. It just doesn’t work. (They do say some of those slogans every now and then, very rarely now, but when they do, they are laughing at themselves inside).
CCP politicians now survive on their records of numbers and statistics. How many jobs, how much taxes, how many unemployed, foreign or private investments, corruptions, etc.
“purges” are quite often now in CCP, mostly because of “corruption”, which is often a catch word for a CCP member who is a little too influential or popular, or too wealthy.
I personally think these regular removal purges are quite healthy for the CCP. It forces old members to retire and allow younger members to rise up, and prevent too much entrenching of power.
It used to be that the “Shanghai Clique” was very powerful during Jiang Zemin’s era, and now they are pretty much all gone. Even Jiang is pretty much gone from power.
That they should keep doing.
yinyang,don’t be such a bleeding heart. S**t happens during war, and these boys and girls happened to get in the way of the Almighty American war machine.
They are children of a lesser god; nothing newsworthy. It’s just collateral damage, nothing personal; reporting should be limited to vague and abstract notions about “irritants” (that’s all they are worth, children of terrorists, and potential future terrorists) and “increasing tensions” between governments.
No reporting that will put a human face to the tragedy – the loss of innocent young lives, the grief of their families, the anger in their c ommunities.
Any AFP or Reuters reports on China’s media is always prefixed with “state-controlled”. The Western media works by collusion with government interests. Wonder which is worse.
This quote is just as applicable today as ever with these two-faced media jerks:
I do not know how the one-party-democracy is going to work for CCP, right now. It is still a test run, but multi-party democracy would not be accepted by CCP. And the pressure for reform is accumulating to the point that it has to be done.
Right now, it appears that do someting is better than do nothing. So, I can only with the best for China.
The one-party-system is still a blueprint. I believe CCP will revise it during the next few years and they deploy. It would take another 20 years to see the final result.
I find the idea of a political party quite antiquated.
what is the needs political parties?
if the political discourse is solely based on the utilitarian value of an individual’s idea, then the need for political parties would disappear.
theoritically, CCP can declare itself no longer needed (end stage of communism?) and merge with the government as an institution. while out lawing every political parties in China. Free-association? yes. Association of people entering politics? not allowed.
Clearly this can be justified on the ground that there is a conflict of interest of that “political association” with duties we expect from government.
True enough, I also find political parties and associations to be antiquated.
If associations are truly “free”, then there is no reason/need to differentiate oneself from others via means of labels of affiliations.
Such labels carry nothing but emotional symbolism, similar to Religious symbols.
“If there is any real humanity in the Western media”
But we all know there is not.
Charles Liu says
Iraq is starting to become the “forgotten war”. Anybody still remember the depleted uranium oxide dust causing childhood leukemia to skyrocket in southern Iraq, where heavy bombing with DU munition occured:
And we are doing it again in Libya: