Davidsmedienkritik posts the latest cover of the mass circulation weekly magazine Der Spiegel, with its incendiary cover drawn from the latest batch of photos from Abu Ghraib, now years old. The cover caption reads: "America's Disgrace: Torture in the Name of Freedom"
David asks the right questions and makes some very solid points.
Torture in the name of freedom? Since when has America advocated torture as a means of promoting freedom? When someone is tortured or abused in a German jail in violation of established standards, does that mean the German government is torturing in the name of democracy as well? When illegal immigrants suffocate or commit suicide in German custody is that also in the name of democracy? It is as if the United States had never addressed the issue. It is as if the McCain bill torture ban had never been passed by Congress and signed by the President.
This is a dangerously cynical equation of two concepts. Particularly in a Europe where the general public is already so jaded that many no longer believe in the concept of freedom. Why? Because instead of reporting on the systematic violation of human rights in nations like North Korea and Iran the German media finds it necessary to exploit two year old photos of Abu Ghraib for profit (again and again). Never mind that Saddam's Abu Ghraib was a thousand times worse or that hundreds of thousands are starving to death in Kim Jong Il's gulags. There is no need for context in the world of asymmetric journalism.
Germany's Disgrace: Standing By While Dictators Murder Millions
Germany opposed toppling Saddam and his regime of mass graves. It was not Germany or the UN but the United States that ended the killing in the Balkans. And while Der SPIEGEL lectures us on "America's Disgrace," the German government is out actively promoting business ties and trade fairs with the genocidal Sudanese government.
We have lately been treated to yet another poll indicating that "the world" regards America right up there with Iran as a threat. Such poll results can only be understood with reference to the hate—America campaigns current in much of the world's mass media, applying standards to the United States that are applied to no other country (except, of course, Israel). Any imperfection, even when criminally prosecuted, is attributed to policy and taken as indication of the corrupt and brutal nature of the United States.
Why media elites are so invested in such a warped perspective is a most interesting question.
Thomas Lifson 2 18 06