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September 1998 
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THE U.S. PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

MER - WASHINGTON - 9/8:

A few weeks ago on 21 August, when the attacks on the U.S. Embassies in East Africa were so much in the news,we received the following from Jonathan Petty at the Center for Korean Studies in Berkeley.

 

"TERRORISM" ACCORDING TO THE L.A. TIMES

Jonathan Christian Petty

To give a material example of the totality of the U.S. propaganda machine, consider this single fact about mainstream media reportage of the current US bombings of Sudan and Afghanistan.

In 1996 the Israelis shelled the UN base in Qana, Lebanon, killing several score people including members of the UN peacekeeping force.Israel claimed an "accident" but videorecordings of the massacre showed a hovering Israeli spy plane circling the camp for the duration of the shelling -- of the type used to guide gunners. This was widely decried by the UN as "terrorism."

The L.A. Times operates a home page with an archive search program. Among the over two dozen pages covering current US attacks on "terrorists", there appears "Islamic Groups Target U.S. with New Threats."

I am not concerned with the irony between the uses of the word "target" for US targetting of the Sudanese capital vs. the "targeting" of the US by "threats", so much as the flag at the bottom of the piece inviting the public to "search the archives of the Los Angeles Times for similar stories about: TERRORISTS, MUSLIMS, THREATS, TERRORISM -- UNITED STATES, INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC FRONT FOR JIHAD AGAINST JEWS AND CRUSADERS, ISLAMIC ARMY FOR THE LIBERATION OF HOLY PLACES, MOHAMMED SADIK HOWAIDA, OSAMA BIN LADEN, BOMBINGS -- KENYA, BOMBINGS-- TANZANIA, UNITED STATES -- EMBASSIES, UNITED STATES -- MILITARY BASES." It requires exactly 40 words even to list the topics considered to be generally related by the LA Times owners.

Instead, I used the archive search function to search for QANA. I found precisely this (the following is a complete citation):

"Article 1 of 1 found.
"U.N. Orders Israel to Pay Bomb Damages;
"Saturday, June 27, 1998
Home Edition
Section: PART A
ID 0980059730
Words: 79.
Byline; Reuters.
The U.N. General Assembly on Friday called on Israel to pay $2.4 million for damages from its shelling of a U.N. base in southern Lebanon two years ago."

This is the only archival reference to "Qana" in the Los Angeles Times. It is exactly 79 words long. In other words, it requires more than half this number of words even to list the general topics of articles covering "Muslim Terrorism" than it required for the L.A. Times to describe literally everything they found to be relevant about the Qana Massacre.


 

 

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