Saturday, August 09, 2014

Middle East Atrocities, Propaganda, and the Media War

In An Age of Deception, Who to Believe?

Many of us have been horrified by images out of the Middle East of late. From pictures and stories out of Gaza and Israel, to the reported atrocities against Christians and others in Iraq by ISIS, the terrorist army now advancing through the region—the images are hard to take. The one to the right is purportedly ISIS executing Iraqi men in a northern city. We've seen others of beheaded children, children being shot in the head, and a host of other gruesome things.

Now, I want you to take a look at two stories quoting the same group—Human Rights Watch. First, here is one from International Business Times in London. The story appears to raise skepticism about the photos being circulated around, at least judging from the headline, although when you read the actual article, the photos are not being dismissed outright. And the killings in Iraq are not being denied.

Next, look at this article from Human Rights Watch itself. You get a totally different spin and notion that HRW is gravely concerned about atrocities that appear documented. It kind of makes you wonder what the point of the first article was.

I write this after a little jangle last night on Twitter with a person who I am assuming is a Muslim apologist for Gaza located in London. He basically went through the same schpiel I've encountered for eons—Israel is the aggressor, Israel is the genocidal maniac in the region, etc. This one was really rich: "Love Christians. Love Jews. Love. Love Muslims. Hate Zionists!" You see, "Zionist" is the new buzzword that really means anti-Semitism. They try to project some sense of moral equivalence between what Hamas and the terrorists are doing and what Israel is forced to do in self defense. Sadly, much of the media buys into it. The world is swiftly turning against Israel with the media helping to fan the flame.

After a few tweets, I realized what I was dealing with and also knew that nothing I said—even if I bothered to buttress it with demonstrable facts—would be received. My disputant demanded that I document my views while "documenting" his own with UN resolutions and other "facts." I have been down that road many times, and whatever you put up to support your own argument, it will be dismissed as false, misleading, Zionist propaganda, etc. So I ended the discussion. Never mind what I think of the UN, who puts known human rights abusers on its Human Rights Council.

The fact that my disputant (and the IBT article) originated in London is less of a surprise than it used to be. The UK has absorbed a lot of Muslims through the years. So has Western Europe. France especially has had some serious issues with radical Islamist activists in recent years. So when I see anti-Israel sentiments being expressed even by government leaders, I know what's in the back of their minds. A growing radical population in their midst who isn't afraid to unleash violence if they get provoked in any way.

It's sad to see, but there is also a long history of anti-Semitism in Europe. Documented history, by the way. Even so, I had a young fellow tweet his outrage at me when I mentioned this anti-Semitic history. "I've lived in Europe all my life and have NEVER seen any Jew hatred." Seriously? I got asked if I had ever been to Europe (yes) and had my knowledge-level impugned. When I displayed a photo of my rather large library, the response was that history books can be filled with garbage. No doubt true with some, but by no means the majority and NOT on this subject. A willfully, woefully blind, deceived young man. Or an evil one who is knowingly disseminating false statements. I hope the former, but neither is good.

Let's be clear. Yes, it's a given that two sides of any dispute or war have their grievances and point of view. Any side in an armed conflict is capable of doing evil things. We live in a fallen world. But some things have been so well documented that it shouldn't be an argument. Even so, there are those who argue the Holocaust never happened. What can you do with those types?

Another real concern of mine - and the point of this post - is that Scripture tells us deception will increase in the Last Days. Stories CAN be made up, photographs CAN be faked with great ingenuity in this technological age. We have media whose bias has been long documented. Governments and their secret services are capable of ginning up propaganda wars and their agent provocateurs can purposefully go into a place and destabilize a region. It's the same old game over and over again, only now the technology is better and the audience is global with TV and Internet. Who can we really believe? Will we refuse to believe the obvious until the danger is right at our door and snapping at our throats?

One final thought.

We are not immune here at home. Unrestrained immigration WITHOUT the assimilation that was formerly part of our immigration process has had a very real impact on the body politic in the US. Our history has been welcoming of the immigrant, with the well known poem about the Statue of Liberty the ethos. The US has been a melting pot of many races and cultures. But these cultures came here because they wanted the freedom and the IDEAL that America represented. They assimilated and became as American as it's possible to get. Their children born and raised here carried the same ideal.

No longer. We have a whole lot of people who have come here not to truly assimilate, but for more nefarious purposes. When you become a citizen here, you're supposed to renounce loyalties to other nations and transfer that  loyalty to your new nation. I could cite many examples, but the knee-jerk reaction from many on my even saying this will be "Racist! Bigot!" And in response, I would use the situation with Mexico and the mass of illegals flooding in through our southern border, and the fact that many LEGAL Mexican-Americans and those of Mexican descent who grew up here are outraged by what's happening. The legal immigrants are furious with the illegals for not following the rules, and the native-born Mexican-Americans are furious when they see people flying foreign flags on our soil and putting their host country down. No, it's not just Caucasian native born Americans like me who are concerned. Race, ethnicity and the like have nothing to do with it at all. But shouts of racism and bigotry are bludgeon words to intimidate people into silence.

It was once said, by Abe Lincoln I think, that if America will be destroyed, it will destroy itself from within. That prescient statement may well be coming true.

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