The French military commenced Operation Serval against separatist rebels in Northern Mali on January 11, 2013. The air and ground intervention was undertaken with the cooperation and support of the United States, as well as several European and African states. U.S. press reporting has provided a simplistic account of the intervention as a heroic effort to protect the civilized world against Islamic terrorist threats. What is missing from this image is how the past interventions of the “War on Terror” helped cause the Malian crisis in the first place. A Washington Post editorial (1/12/13) claimed the French were simply trying [...]
Media overlooked role of 'War on Terror' in sparking crisis
What's missing from the Mali storyline? And what is the likely impact of this latest military action on the Malian people? CounterSpin talks to Emira Woods from the Institute for Policy Studies. And Barack Obama's nomination for Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, has been celebrated in the financial community and corporate media. William Black joins us to talk about how the Lew nomination is just another brick in the Wall Street on the Potomac.
Scott Nova of the Workers Rights Consortium joins us to talk about the fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh that killed over 100 workers. “War torn, mineral rich” --that’s pretty much all Time magazine thinks you need to know about the region of eastern Congo. Maurice Carney of the group Friends of the Congo talks media.
Emira Woods on Kony 2012
The viral video Kony 2012, a call by the U.S.-based group Invisible Children to “make famous” the brutal African warlord Joseph Kony and capture him through military action, has been seen by an unprecedented 87 million people, according to YouTube. The video has come under fire for inaccuracy and for what many see as a white savior mentality. This is an important discussion shining a light on a lingering Western neocolonial and paternalist sensibility. But what might be Kony 2012’s real impact on the troubled region? That’s a point left out of most corporate media coverage of the controversy. Emira [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When Barack Obama ordered armed military advisors to central Africa to help regional officials fight the brutal Lord's Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, few journalists asked why or why now. The fact that the LRA is bad seemed to be enough. But is the move against the LRA part of something bigger happening in US foreign policy with regard to Africa? Well talk to the Institute for Policy Studies' John Feffer about searching for terrorists in Africa. Also on the show: Possible cuts to defense spending could mean the loss of a [...]
Press downplays U.S. role in renewed crisis
After years of paying scant attention to Somalia, U.S. media suddenly rediscovered the war-torn African nation in 2006 when a coalition of Islamic courts and their affiliated militias imposed peace on feuding warlords and began enforcing religious law. A U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion soon loomed, and the Bush administration made the preferred story line clear. "The Council of Islamic Courts is now controlled by Al-Qaeda cell individuals, East Africa Al-Qaeda cell individuals," announced Jendayi Frazer, U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs (Voice of America News, 12/14/06). "The top layer of the courts are extremist to the core. They are [...]
[Note: This piece is a sidebar to Bono, I Presume?] Even when it’s not an entertainment celebrity that brings the cameras to Africa, nearly as many TV news Africa stories are about Americans or other Westerners “making a difference” in Africa. Whether it’s a high-profile figure like Bill Gates fighting malaria (ABC, 10/31/05), a 12-year-old American boy raising money for AIDS orphans in Africa (NBC, 12/8/06) or the wife and daughter of an NFL football coach missing his big day in the Super Bowl to volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ABC, 2/3/06), these segments tell the story [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Once again media turn to a story in Africa only after it's become a devastating humanitarian crisis. The violence, killing and internal displacement in western Sudan is being called a genocide. What's the US role there and where is the press on this story? We'll hear from Salih Booker of Africa Action. Also on the show: Michael Moore's new film Fahrenheit 9/11 has garnered, along with big box office receipts, harsh criticism from mainstream journalists and the right, who accuse Moore and his film of everything from inaccuracy, to cheap shots, to having a [...]