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Analysis of Early Media Coverage

these attacks are the natural and logical conclusion of global capitalism. The governmentÂ’s attempts to further deny civil liberties to the people it rules over are a natural and logical conclusion to this threat to its power.
On Tuesday morning, their was a coordinated attack by unknown people on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Also apparently relevant is a fourth plane crash near Pittsburgh. At this point, the WTC has collapsed completely and there is no consensus as to whether more destruction is imminent.

What follows is a quick analysis of the situation and the coverage by the mainstream media.

As of now, few people believe this could be an extraordinary coincidence. It appears that some group effectively coordinated an attack that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon using hi-jacked commercial airliners. All we know is that no one has claimed responsibility.

As soon as the scope of the attacks became apparent, these attacks were appropriately termed terrorist attacks. However, everyone should keep in mind that the term terrorist attacks are not used when the United States uses military jets and missiles to blow up a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan or civilian targets in Iraq. My use of the word terrorist is not intended in any way to suggest these attacks should be viewed in dissimilar ways.

Anti-Arab Sentiment

That being said, the reaction of many news stations (perhaps NBC most notably) was to immediately begin talking about Islamic Fundamentalist terrorism with a focus on Palestinian groups. This was aided by a news agency reporting the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine took credit for the attack. However, a DFLP spokesperson later said that was false and the DFLP had no connection to the attacks.

Nevertheless, NBC often showed footage of Palestinian groups in the West Bank celebrating the attacks on the United States. They probably could have shown pictures of right-wing militias scattered throughout the Great Plains celebrating an attack on Washington D.C. and New York, but they did not. They chose to show Arab groups at least partially because every time an apparent act of terrorism occurs involving the United States, the first group of people scape-goated are the Arabs. This was true of the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Bombing though Arab groups had no ties to those who were convicted and executed for the crime.

While NBC and others show pictures of Arab groups celebrating, these media outlets rarely inform their viewers while certain Arab groups celebrate attacks against the United States. Having traveled in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon, I am familiar with Arab sentiment in that part of the world toward the country I live in. Arabs in general, and specifically Palestinians have many reasons to hate the United States. It is the United States backing that allows Israel to continue its occupation of Palestinian lands. It is the United States that singularly blocks the United Nations from responding to Israeli aggression against Palestinians. And it is predominately American media sources that demonize all Arabs (but particularly Islamic Palestinians) as being crazed terrorists bent on destroying democracy. So we should not be surprised by the positive reaction of some that the United States has been damaged in terrorist attacks.

In fact, so long as the United States remains committed to using several times its share of the world’s resources and maintaining its position as the figurehead of global capitalism, it should expect to be the target of these types of attacks. The vast majority of people on Earth are not benefiting from global capitalism, they are suffering from it. The simple fact is that the United States will be a target so long as it perpetuates an unjust status quo.

The Pearl Harbor Analogy

The corporate media often referred to Pearl Harbor as they covered the attacks. This analogy appears to come from the unexpected nature of the attacks as well as their overwhelming force.

While there are some parallels between the two attacks, there is also a difference that has disturbing implications for everyone in the United States. The attack on Pearl Harbor was made by another nation. This attack was most likely the work of a small group of people. The United States was able to attack Japan afterward because nations are easy to find. Small groups of people are somewhat more difficult to find. Thus, national defense agencies and industries will undoubtedly see a substantial increase in their operating funds while Americans will see a corresponding decrease in civil liberties.

Lest anyone make this a partisan issues, Clinton laid the ground work for tomorrow’s attack on civil liberties with such actions as greatly increasing the FBI‘s wire-tapping abilities. With CNN interviewing people like Tom Clancy (no joke), there will be no shortage of people calling for Americans to trade in some more freedom in return for a promise of more security. Benjamin Franklin correctly said that the people who would make that trade would neither get nor deserve freedom or security.

The FBI, NSA, CIA, and all the other Federal agencies cannot give anyone security. They present an illusion of security. When that illusion is shattered, as it is now, they will attempt to rebuild it by increasing their budgets, generating reports, creating a new office of so-and-so, and generally shifting blame around.

The only way we can increase security is by preventing the United States military and businesses from exploiting people from Nicaragua to Indonesia. So long as the United States bleeds other countries of their resources with the combined might of the Pentagon and Wall Street banks, everyone in the United States is a potential target.

Basically, what I am trying to say is that these attacks are the natural and logical conclusion of global capitalism. The government’s attempts to further deny civil liberties to the people it rules over are a natural and logical conclusion to this threat to its power. We must break the cycle by demanding our rights as humans and confronting the upper classes that are pillaging people and resources alike around the globe.




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