Thursday, September 13, 2012

Where's the WHY?

With attacks in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, why is there not more reporting on the WHY?   There appears to have been planning and coordination.   What we're seeing is not as simple as a response to a film trailer.   

In the United States at the time of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Iran, there was understandable outrage at the taking of American hostages.   There was little understanding or reporting on the why.   Every family in Iran was aware of American foreign policy; Iranians knew the CIA had orchestrated a coup to overthrow the leader of the country and install the Shah, a ruthless dictator who imprisoned or tortured or murdered political opponents.   Few American citizens shared that knowledge.   They did not realize it was the United States that was responsible for installing a ruthless dictator.

Following 911, understandably the citizens rallied around the flag.   Indeed, the United States had an opportunity for support of nearly the entire world community.   It was an opportunity to understand the why, and it was an opportunity wasted for world understanding.  For the most part, the press ignored the why and the why certainly was not what President Bush said.  911 did not happen because "they hate our freedoms."   Rather than examine the why, much of the American press just played human microphone stand. 

In a war of any kind, it's important to understand the enemy.   Understanding the enemy requires and demands an examination of the why. 

Zbigniew Brzezinski examines the why in Stategic Vision.   Unfortunately, there won't be much an examination of the why by the networks.   Why takes time, takes resources, takes thought, takes more than a freelance stringer, takes more than a Tweet or a Facebook post.  

When journalism fails, bad things happen.

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