Greg Shupak on Syrian Airstrikes

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Bombing Doesn't Kill an Ideology--It Feeds It (cc photo: Alisdare Hickson)

(cc photo: Alisdare Hickson)

This week on CounterSpin: The United States military is, at any given moment, visiting lethal violence on human beings—with families, and hopes and dreams—in a range of countries around the world. Media coverage is a sort of roving spotlight, highlighting one or another of those nightmares, and enjoining the US public to care about it, for a minute, and in a particular way, even if they haven’t heard much about it until now, and might stop hearing about it next week.

That coverage, while it may be full of narrative detail, is generally crude in message: There are good guys (hint, that’s always going to be the United States) and bad guys…. Those will be whoever the article tells you they are, even if they just got through presenting those bad guys as good guys in another context. And there’s an implied encouraged response, which virtually always involves dropping bombs, and virtually never involves ascertaining what regular people say they want and need to live in peace.

So, as corporate media talk about Syria, where a recent airstrike by the US—legality be damned—is meant to represent the US doing the right thing in the world, you are right to ask questions. What is actually happening in Syria? It’s a real place, with real people—not a talking point; do the people there welcome intervention—by the US, Russia or anyone? Are the principles supposedly guiding US intervention in Syria really principles—in the sense of being universally applied—and if not, why are they being invoked now?

Americans can be forgiven for not knowing what’s going on in every other country. They are also right to ask whether media demanding that their country’s president order devastation on another country’s people are actually informing them, or just doing state PR.

We’ll talk about US military intervention in Syria with Gregory Shupak. He teaches media studies at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto, and is author of the new book The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel and the Media.

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Plus Janine Jackson takes a look at what may be the New York Times-iest op-ed ever.

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This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission from FAIR.