On the WaPo’s ‘Tacit Faith in Massive Violence’

Writing that “it takes at least tacit faith in massive violence to believe that after three decades of horrendous violence in Afghanistan, upping the violence there will improve the situation,” FAIR associate Norman Solomon (Huffington Post, 6/8/09) tells us that,

when last Sunday’s edition of the Washington Post printed the routine headline “Iraq War Deaths,” the newspaper meant American deaths–to Washington’s ultra-savvy, the deaths that really count. The only numbers and names under the headline were American.

Ask for whom the bell tolls. That’s the implicit message–from top journalists and politicians alike.

A few weeks ago, some prominent U.S. news stories did emerge about Pentagon air strikes that killed perhaps a hundred Afghan civilians. But much of the emphasis was that such deaths could undermine the U.S. war effort. The most powerful media lenses do not correct the myopia when Uncle Sam’s vision is impaired by solipsism and narcissism.

With plenty of experience chronicling such matters, Solomon foresees “plenty more media invisibility and erasure ahead for Afghan people as the Pentagon ramps up its war effort in their country.” Read the current edition of FAIR’s magazine Extra!: “Treating Civilian Deaths as a ‘Sore Point’: The PR War in Afghanistan and Pakistan” (6/09) by Peter Hart.