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A Free Press, But for Whom?


Oswald Spengler in his mighty tome, “Decline of the West,” had some very prophetic things to say about the press. He wrote that the sentimentalist may beam with contentment about it being “constitutionally free,” but the realist will always ask, “At whose disposal is it?”

The wire pullers, he said, know how to use the media “as a weapon to be forged and used for blows” against their enemies. They realize that the “truth” for the great mass of the public is what it “continuously reads and hears” in their controlled outlets. Doesn’t this explain how if you ask school children who their heroes are, they will invariably answer by citing some air headed Hollywood celebrity, whose name and image appears repeatedly in the newspapers, magazines and on television?

“What the press wills, is true. Three weeks of press work, and the truth is acknowledged by everybody,” said Spengler. A prime example of this proposition is how President George Bush’s deeply flawed pro-Iraq War propaganda offensive, thanks to the complicity of the Establishment media, has completely overwhelmed the Congress, with only a handful of gutsy exceptions, like Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), Rep. Ron E. Paul (R-TX), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and David E. Bonior (D-MI).

Spengler argued further, that although much is made of free speech, what that really means is that the press is free to “take notice” of what any individual or group says, or not. “It can condemn,” he wrote, “any truth to death,” simply by not undertaking its communication to the world-“a terrible censorship of silence.” On this point, the right of the Palestinian people to self determination, free of Zionist Israel’s brutal domination, is a classic example. This “truth” has effectively been given a death sentence by the “censorship of silence” scheme.

Meanwhile, War Hawks daily push on the media front for the U.S. to bomb Iraq back to the Stone Age. They pretend, too, that it will all be in America’s interest, while never mentioning the interest of Zionist Israel. Some ideologues regularly depict Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians in the most dehumanizing of terms for their readers. On television and cable, the mud slinging is even worse than in the print media. Only, occasionally, is a dissenting voice permitted, e.g., on the Op Ed page of a newspaper. But even there, the deck is stacked against the truth fully revealing itself. Let me give you an example.

On Oct. 22, an article appeared in the Baltimore Sun, on the Op Ed Page, authored by one Irwin J. Mansdorf. He doesn’t live in Baltimore City. He lives in (triple gasp) Ra’Anana, Israel! Keep in mind, that it isn’t easy to get an Op Ed article published in a town with only one daily newspaper. Mansdorf isn’t known in America as author or essayist. In fact, he describes himself as a “psychologist.”

Now, if the author was Israel Shamir, one of Judaism’s greatest sons, a celebrated writer, intellectual and courageous wordsmith, my critique wouldn’t be necessary. Shamir, who resides in Jaffa Israel, has dared to sharply criticize Ariel “The Butcher” Sharon regime. He called it a “Jewish apartheid state, that deserves to disappear” (April 2, 2002, Media Monitors Network). An ex-Israeli paratrooper, he has championed a “one state solution” for Palestine/Israel. He referred to Palestine as a “living country,” and its people the Palestinians, as “her soul.” No wonder the Sun doesn’t publish Shamir’s essays. It would go against their “censorship of silence” gimmick.

Question: “What was so important about Mansdorf’s article, entitled, ‘Sniper Fits Profile of Terrorist,’ that warranted the Sun to publish it ?” Nothing, that I could see.

Mansdorf made the obvious point that the Beltway Sniper, who has now killed ten innocent victims in the D.C. area, was also “a terrorist.” Then, he tried to politicize the sniper’s killings by drawing a connection between him and the acts of terrors by al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, and the night club bombers in Bali. I think he failed miserably on the latter point. First, the Beltway Sniper is now demanding money before he stops his crime wave; secondly, he is probably just a loner/hater, like the wacky David “Son of Sam” Berkowtiz; and third, he more than likely has no political motives whatsoever. How does the sniper’s profile fit in with the agenda of the other groups he cited? It doesn’t. But, it did give the author an opportunity to draw sympathy for Israelis, who “have been shot by snipers,” which was probably the main reason the Sun published the piece.

Mansdorf said terrorism teaches that “alleged grievances can indeed be settled with violence.” He’s right, but he doesn’t mention any incidents close to his home that belong in that category. He failed to specify names and events, like Ariel Sharon, who on Oct. 14, 1953, commanded an army unit, that reportedly slaughtered 66 innocent civilians in the West Bank village of Qibya (EIR, Jeffrey Steinberg); Menachem Begin, later an Israeli Prime Minister, who helped plan the bombing of the King David Hotel, on July 22, 1946, in Jerusalem, that killed 91 British subjects and injured 46 others (“The Revolt” by Menachem Begin); and, Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29 Muslim worshippers in a Hebron mosque, on Feb. 25, 1994 (Allan C. Brownfeld, WRMEA, March, 2000). These kind of horrific acts were perpetrated by Zionist zealots committed to what Mansdorf labeled “an ideology of terror.” Yet, he chose to leave all of them out of his article. I wonder why?

I’m afraid Mansdorf’s slanted Op Ed views, published by the Baltimore Sun, is yet another example of the “silence of censorship” phenomena. The learned Spengler was right to warn us about it and how the media can be used to subjugate, not liberate, us from the yoke of the cunning wire pullers.

WILLIAM HUGHES is the author of Baltimore Iconoclast. He can be reached at (C) WILLIAM HUGHES 2002


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