Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Monday, October 20, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana Delatour
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • R. P. Singletary
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr



  • Login or Subscribe

    Like the Dew?

    We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.

    Journalistic Neutrality

    We Have Found the Enemy and He Is Us

    by | Sep 4, 2012

    suspicion insurgent militant rebel terrorist activist stereotype label propaganda truth news reporting political independence good-guys ideology exploitation enemies threat bad-guys broadcast press fairness police-drama cold-war suspicion civil-war journalism talk-trash reporters readers cheesy hostility counter-productive Taliban Sunni Islamists correspondent Afghan combatants guerrillas jihadists Syria fighters armed men fighter  Iraqis Palestinians connotations weapons fanatics New-York-Times NPR Fox-News CNN loaded-language reporters labeling-norm boom news-organizations foreign-policy warpath journalistic-neutrality schizophrenic Saudi-Arabia Arab-monarchies Egypt Shi’a Druze Christian-minorities defending geopolitics strange-bedfellowsNew York Times war correspondent C.J. Chivers isn’t covering the War in Syria in the same way that he covered the War in Afghanistan. He is still writing fascinating accounts of the weapons and munitions improvised by Sunni Islamists. However now the words he uses to identify those Sunni Islamists are strikingly different.

    Consider a May 20, 2009 article, “Arms Sent by U.S. May Be Ending Up in Taliban Hands,” in which Chivers details the evidence that ammunition given by the U.S. military to the Afghan military ended up in the hands of the enemy. Who are the enemy? Although he labels their equipment as “Taliban,” the combatants themselves are identified as “insurgents” 13 times. Indeed, “insurgents” is the first word in the piece. Then in an October 27, 2011 article, “Mao’s Rocket’s and the Eastern Afghan Border War, Part II,” Chivers identifies Sunni Islamists attacking American bases in Afghanistan with rockets as “guerrillas” 5 times, as “insurgents” 3 times, and as “jihadists” twice.

    Compare those labels with the way Sunni Islamists are identified in the recent news stories Chivers has written about Syria. An August 20, 2012 article, “Life With Syria’s Rebels in an Cold and Cunning War,” describes operations by Sunni Islamists that includes an attack with a truck bomb. Who are they? He identifies them as “fighters” twice and once each as “men,” “armed men,” and “armed rebels.” An August 29, 2012 article, “Many Hands Patch Together Rebel Arsenal,” appearing above the fold, describes them as “rebels” 7 times and as “fighters” 3 times. He does not describe them as “insurgents” and most definitely not as “jihadists.” The closest that Chivers dares approach drawing the forbidden parallel is in writing that their weapons “resemble those seen in the insurgencies fought against Western forces by Iraqis, or against Israelis by Palestinians.” Apparently it is the responsibility of the reader to recall that said Iraqis and Palestinians were also Sunni Islamists.

    Let’s recap. Sunni Islamists using improvised weapons and munitions to attack the government of Afghanistan are “insurgents,” “guerrillas” or “jihadists,” while the Sunni Islamists using improvised weapons and munitions to attack the government of Syria are “rebels” or “fighters.” Mind you Chivers is hardly alone in consistently assigning labels with different connotations to the same violent fanatics in one ongoing war than in another. Reporters for NPR, Fox News and everything in between appear to be obeying that same labeling norm, although few seem quite as fixated on things that go boom.

    Although it is tempting to condemn reporters for using patently loaded language, it is important to remember that they work for U.S. news organizations busy competing with one another to produce news that is patriotic, at least in the dumbed down sense of that sentiment: support for U.S. foreign policy when it on the warpath. We could condemn U.S. news organizations for abandoning journalistic neutrality but we would benefit more by asking how it is that we arrived at this rather schizophrenic moment in U.S. foreign policy? How is it that we find ourselves defending the government of Afghanistan from Sunni Islamists but supporting them against the government of Syria?

    Part of the answer is that geopolitics makes for strange bedfellows. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab monarchies are financing the Sunni Islamist movements across the region. Overthrowing the Baathist or secular Arab nationalist government of Syria, which draws much of its support from the country’s Shi’a, Druze and Christian minorities, would deprive Iran of an important ally in the region. Of course that leaves unanswered the question of why the U.S. treats Saudi Arabia as an ally and Iran as an enemy.

    Another part of the answer is that the U.S. did not win the War in Iraq. If that sounds startling, recall that after the George W. Bush declared victory in Iraq prematurely, the U.S. military occupation dissolved into a ugly counter-insurgency that only ended with the U.S. cooptation of the Sunni Islamists in the western provinces of Iraq. In effect, we ended up having to pay them to stop attacking our troops. One of the dangers in such a strategy is that cooptation is a two way street. Patrons coopt clients but clients also coopt patrons. Today the U.S. finds itself doing the bidding of Sunni Islamists in Syria who bear an uncanny resemblance to the Sunni Islamists in Iraq who killed and wounded thousands of U.S. soldiers. We may have sacrificed something other than the lives of our soldiers in that war. Something important about America has been lost when we wage one optional war after another in a region that is no longer essential to our national security.

    ###
    John Hickman

    John Hickman

    John Hickman is associate professor of comparative politics at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. His published work on electoral politics, media, and international affairs has appeared in Asian Perspective, American Politics Research, Comparative Strategy, Contemporary South Asia, Contemporary Strategy, Current Politics and Economics of Asia, East European Quarterly, JOunral of Third World Studies, Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Science, Review of Religious Research, Women & Politics, and Yamanashigakuin Law Review. He may be reached at jhickman@berry.edu.

     

    Print Friendly

     

    Note: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for the agreed-upon rules of civility. Comments do not reflect the views of LikeTheDew.com. Comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click here to report a violation.

    • Trevor Irvin

      Good piece, good point, as well as an apt description of the
      schizophrenic U.S. foreign policy for the last 50 years. We’ve played both
      sides of a lot of fences over the years.

      T

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Also on the Dew

    The Force Is Not With Us: We Identify with Our Fantasy Heroes — Why Don’t We Emulate Them?

    The Force Is Not With Us: We Identify with Our Fantasy Heroes -- Why Don't We Emulate Them?

    By: Andy Schmookler

    Summary: We all know how to respond to evil. Again and again, our popular stories and mythology take us vicariously and gratifyingly through the process -- e.g. in films like "Avatar," "Star Wars," "Lord of the Rings," where our heroes put themselves on the line to defeat an evil force in defense of sacred values. Why is it, then, that as we face that same essential situation in America's contemporary reality, we fail to respond as our heroes do? *******The the destructive force that has arisen on the right is only one side of America's present national crisis. The other  Read on →

    Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

    Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

    By: Andy Schmookler

    Summary: Why does that the line from Yeats apply to America in our times? "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are filled with a passionate intensity." One important reason is that the battle playing out in our politics is fundamentally a moral and spiritual battle, and while the right is connected to their moral and spiritual passions (even though that connection has been made on the basis of lies) Liberal America is not. Much of that disconnection in Liberal America is due misguided beliefs, including: 1) that "value" is not really real, and 2) that there is nothing in  Read on →

    Mr. R.E. Lee, Without the Flags

    Mr. R.E. Lee, Without the Flags

    By: Doug Cumming

    The Confederate flags are now gone from around the incumbent marble Robert E. Lee, at eternal rest with his riding boots on in the innermost sanctuary of Lee Chapel in Lexington, Va. That is as it should be, for many reasons. One is historical. Our campus was a sanctuary of recovery from the Civil War, where “the sun falls through the ruined boughs of locusts/ Up to the president’s office.” That president was Lee, “in a dark civilian suit who walks,/ An outlaw fumbling for the latch, a voice/ Commanding in a dream where no flag flies.” These are lines from “Lee in the Moun  Read on →

    Georgia, the state of things left out

    Georgia, the state of things left out

    By: Monica Smith

    My spouse of fifty years has a quirky brain. It looks for things that aren't there. Which is probably why one of his favorite poems is Antigonish or "The man who wasn't there," by Hughes Mearns. Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, I wish, I wish he'd go away... When I came home last night at three, The man was waiting there for me But when I looked around the hall, I couldn't see him there at all! Go away, go away, don't you come back any more! Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door... Last night I  Read on →