|The Press: Say not, See Not, Hear Not|
CNN in particular, turns these sad events into an endless nauseating soap opera with infinite and at times totally insignificant detail.
Questions are asked about why the most wanted man in Europe was able to elude the police for so long, even though he was living in his home district of Molenbeek in Brussels.
Television and newspapers ask nervously about the chances of Isis carrying out another atrocity aimed at dominating the news agenda and showing that it is still in business.
The reporting of the events in Brussels is in keeping with that after the January (Charlie Hebdo) and November Paris attacks and the Tunisian beach killings by Isis last year, or the killings in Ankara and Istanbul
For several days there is blanket coverage by the media as it allocates time and space far beyond what is needed to relate developments. But then the focus shifts abruptly elsewhere and Isis becomes yesterday’s story, treated as if the movement has ceased to exist or at least lost its capacity to affect our lives.
The outpouring of official grief that commonly follows any atrocity, such as the march of 40 world leaders through the streets of Paris after the Charlie Hebdo killings last year, is used to help neuter any idea that the political failures of these same leaders might be to a degree responsible for the slaughter.
After all, such marches are usually held by the powerless to protest and show defiance, but in this case the march simply serves as a publicity stunt to divert attention from these leaders’ inability to act effectively and stop the wars in the Middle East which they had done much to provoke.
But it its not only the US which deserves the blame. By taking up the cause of the Syrian and Libyan opposition and destroying the Syrian and Libyan states, France and Britain opened the door to Isis and should share in the blame for the rise of Isis, terrorism and creating the refugee crises in Europe.
By refusing to admit to or learn from past mistakes, the West Europeans did little to lay the basis for the current, surprisingly successful “cessation of hostilities” in Syria, which is now considered by the public at large almost entirely as a Russian achievement.
Once again the question can be asked - which major News Agency has shown the courage to sit down with any important political leader and ask them some serious investigative questions, like: "why have you made such a mess in the Middle East , or, "what is being done to stop weapon dealers from selling their weapons and munition around the world at will ", or, "how come the former US Bush Administration is not taken into a criminal court for war crimes ", or, "why is the West propping up the Egyptian military dictatorship, or, "why is the military industrial complex industry selling weapons and aircraft to despotic and undemocratic nations like Saudi-Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Somalia", or, "why can't the UN declare the Middle East region a nuclear free zone", or, "what are the requirements to be a member of NATO, when we see that one of their member states (TURKEY) does not respect freedom of the Press, throws investigative reporters in jail, or takes over newspapers when they don't follow the party line" - and the list goes on and on.
Barton Gellman of the Washington Post says that for journalists just getting basic information from any governmen tagency has become very difficult: “Besides the actual risk of prosecution . . . there’s an investigative issue that very much relates to the ability to do national security journalism now. Almost everything you want to write about these days, if you are writing about diplomacy, or intelligence, or defense, is classified; everything indeed, except the boiler plate press release and the tightly controlled news conference, is classified."
Unfortunately, that is just the way how most governments operate these days. Today there is more classified information which can not be accessed than there is open-source information on the planet.
Bottom-line, political clarity and honesty is a "Fata Morgana" when it comes to getting it from Governments. Consequently distinguishing "fiction" today is the new reality.