Monday, August 23, 2010
"Charles, People Will Think..." "What I Tell Them to Think!"
Billionaire media autocrat Rupert Murdoch cooked up this whole ground zero mosque controversy to help Republicans in the November elections, and to intimidate Democrats, never a difficult task (I wonder sometimes if Democratic politicians really are such cowards, or if they're just selfish bastards on the corporate dole).
In doing so, he's undermining all American political and military efforts in the Islamic world, a world of 1.5 billion people. I wonder what our allies in Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Indonesia, Albania, central Asia, Iraq, and Pakistan must think of Newt Gingrich comparing Muslims to Nazis on prime time television. What must they think of that parade of Christianist nutters comparing Islam to the hordes of Satan on Fox News? What must those in the Iranian dissident underground, who might otherwise be friendly toward us, think when they see ginned up protests against mosques in the USA? Do we really think that they only watch Al Jazeera? Do we really imagine that they are not paying attention to our domestic politics (which affects them directly and in which they have no say)?
Of course, this creates yet another golden recruiting opportunity for Osama Bin Laden and his little wizards, who seem to be prevailing so far, not because Bin Laden is so brilliant, but because we are so feckless and short-sighted. We are in the process of reshaping our whole attitude toward the Islamic world on his terms. Remember folks that Bin Laden's the one who first described Western intrusion in the Muslim world as a crusade against Islam, not some megachurch demagogue. Bin Laden is the one who first described the current crisis as a "clash of civilizations," not Thomas Friedman. Our own jingoistic bigotry, aided and abetted by cynical political calculation, is doing Bin Laden's work without him bothering to lift a single finger. It will be our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who will first feel the backlash. Our credibility is so shot in Afghanistan that General Petraeus might as well pack up and leave now.
Rupert Murdoch's game of world domination for fun and profit is doing us no favors and our soldiers and ourselves a lot of harm.
Posted by Counterlight at Monday, August 23, 2010