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Murder & Media Manipulation: Al-Qaeda’s Strategy in Iraq

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:38 pm - June 20, 2006.
Filed under: Media Bias,War On Terror

Since I first learned of the murder of the two U.S. soldiers whose booby-trapped bodies were recovered earlier today, I’ve been trying to find words to express my outrage at this atrocity. Simply put, it shows the barbarity of our adversary, thugs who use the cloak of a religious ideology to mask their sadism.

Terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda kidnapped the men at a checkpoint south of Iraq. When recovered, “ the bodies showed signs of having been tortured.” More evidence of what we have long known about Al Qaeda: it is not a typical foe. Its followers show no regard for the Geneva Convention, indeed, have no regard for human life, even that of the people for whom it is ostensibly fighting — Iraqis and other Muslims.

As horrible as these murders are, it is important to note that it is one of the few times Al Qaeda has succeeded in directly attacking coalition soldiers in Iraq. Normally, they do not directly attack our troops, but instead use Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to target them. It is a sign of their weakness that they have largely been targeting civilians, murdering innocent Muslims.

They’re killing their own people to make it appear that we are losing. And the Western media is helping them make their case. In the very AP article on the murder of the U.S. soldiers, the reporter writes that “Violence was unabated Tuesday, with at least 18 people killed in attacks nationwide, including a suicide bombing of a home for the elderly in the southern city of Basra.

As one military officer wrote in to Best of the Web:

The media manipulation by the insurgents is brilliant and extremely effective. The press has become a puppet for the insurgents; the insurgents know exactly what they are doing with these “massacres” (quoted here because the investigation has not been completed, nor have any charges been filed) and the political nightmare they will cause the current administration. Bodies are produced for film, and there is zero fact-checking by the media–the media eat up this “news” like there is no tomorrow.

To the terrorists’ fighting our troops and the Iraq people, indiscriminate murder is merely a means of manipulating the media.

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Jargon and Serious Research of Native Cultures & Gay Marriage

As I research a paper for my Native American class on the berdache or “Two-Spirit” people, that is, individuals of one gender (primarily men) who assume the roles of the other gender in public, I am struck at the amount of jargon I encounter in some of the articles and books I’ve been reading. Rather than learn about the traditions of the peoples indigenous to this continent, I’m learning instead more about the writers’ theories of gender — and their antipathy to things Western.

I believe that by looking to myths and attitudes toward homosexuality in cultures more open to homosexuality than the Western world has been since the advent of Christianity, we can better develop means to address homosexuality in our own culture. In order to do this, we need to study the myths and traditions as best as we can reconstruct them, rather than see them as data which prove (or disprove) the latest trendy sociological theories. And too many scholars, alas, seem more committed to the latter end.

To be sure, I’ve discovered at least one book which, despite some sociological jargon and a few politically correct asides, looks at the subject in a reasonably dispassionate manner, Will Roscoe’s well-written, The Zuni Man-Woman, the story of We’wha, a Zuni Man who lived as a woman, even meeting President Grover Cleveland in that guise.

As I was wading through the turgid prose of other writers, I received a book I had ordered from Amazon, Willian N. Eskridge and Darren R. Spedale’s Gay Marriage: for Better or for Worse? : What We’ve Learned from the Evidence. In paging through the book, the prose seems a lot more straight-forward than that I have been reading for my paper. And given that it takes seriously an issue that I unlike all too many gay activists believe merits serious debate, I’m finding myself turning to it rather than returning to those scholarly articles.

This heavily-foototed book appears to provide essential information for a serious discussion of gay marriage, with chapters on the debate here and lessons from sixteen years of same-sex unions in Scandinavia. Unlike other advocates of gay marriage, Eskridge and Spedale acknowledge the Vice President’s opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment and even commend his wife Lynne:

This is not self-serving sympathy on their part, for Lynne Cheney is one of the toughest-minded policy analysts in Washington. We believe that her prounion, and potentially promarriage, stance is a consequence of her attention to the facts: lesbian and gay men are decent citizens; they from committed relationships that work well for them and contribute to the larger family and community.

I’m not yet in a position to offer a thorough review of this book, but on first glance it seems quite well-written and devoid of much of the jargon I’m accustomed to find in books and articles on gay topics (at least in those I’ve been reading on Native American traditions). And, unlike some advocates of gay marriage, these writers at least acknowledges the pro-civil unions stances of the Vice President — and his wife.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com