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The Rhetoric We Use

Discussion in 'World Politics' started by TheWaffle, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. TheWaffle

    TheWaffle Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2007
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    In an enduring effort to gain a circumspect view of everything that is happening in our world I have a number of new goals for myself. On any given day I will circulate between cnn.com, bbcnews.com, foxnews.com, and aljazeera.com. I found an interesting article on aljazeera, I'll post the link.


    The article is an opinion piece written by Felicity Arbuthnot addressing the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown about his rhetoric regarding the detainment of the 15 British prisoners.

    Brown described their prolonged capture as "cruel, callous, inhumane and unacceptable."

    Please keep in mind that this article does not represent my views, it is not meant as a way to incite anger from supporters of the war, and it should not be used as a tool for opponents of the war. If anything this article exposes a fatal flaw in our thought process. Too often we neglect to examine opposing viewpoints and we fall into fatal traps of ignorance.

    First of all it is important to see that this article is not the result of radical terrorist thinking, it is a well-conceived argument (though at times it borders on being a rant) from a respected news source (aljazeera is in reality comparable to cnn in the Middle East and Muslim world).

    Secondly this article represents the same thought process that many Muslims have begun to examine. We can no longer act surprised at the anger in the British Muslim communities or in the rest of the world. They are not angry for no reason, we must identify and deal with the source of that anger, much of it is caused by misconception in their minds and misdirection by radical rhetoric and we need to realize this. We must also be aware of our own rhetoric. I have heard people say that Muslims "are not people" I've heard others call them towel-heads. To me that is extremely disturbing and I believe that it is damaging to our image and does nothing except place us in greater danger. It is easy to take the moral/ethnic high-ground but in reality it is one of the worst forms of ignorance.

    Thirdly we need to re-examine our own interpretations of the news. Minutes after the release of the video of the British soldiers I saw something very interesting unfold on national television. First I watched cnn as it ran through the video, they accepted the letter from Faye Turney at face value saying "she seems to be doing well" and that her letter seemed calm and careful. They never once questioned that possibility that the Iranian government was playing a political move here. I switched over to Fox news in an effort to find an alternate analysis. What I found was shocking. In the matter of 2 minutes the Fox news anchor managed to watch the video, read the letter, and from that draw completely unfounded conclusions that Ms. Turney was under extreme conditions and that the letter was an attempt by the Iranians to hide their cruel treatment of the sailors. Both news sources failed miserably to convey the truth. In order to understand what happened you need to think about the possible motivations of the Iranian government. You must also realize that the Iranians have no reason to treat the sailors inhumanely. To me it seems that the Iranians are trying to perform a passive-aggressive show of force to tell Western nations not take them lightly (indeed I would not react well if neighboring nations to the United States had govt. officials openly discussing military action against the United States).

    Finally I believe that we all need to compose ourselves and stop being content in our ignorance. To judge the Muslim community based on the actions of a few and from a monoperspectival approach is extremely dangerous and does nothing but ensure further anger and animosity between the Muslim world and the west. We need to be smarter than that. You need to see what is happening from the Muslim perspective, you need to see what is happening in the average American's mind, and you need to recognize that refusing to understand another person is the first step to making an enemy where none existed.
  2. TVoffBrainOn

    TVoffBrainOn Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2007
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    well said. more posts like this are needed around here.
  3. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
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    We certainly do need to stop being content in our ignorance. It is time that the muslim community is judged by the actions of those who are calling the shots and acting in the name of allah, rather than a theoretical vast majority who remain silent in either fear or silent support.
  4. Grounded

    Grounded Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2007
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    I think what you're saying is BS.

    Aljasssaq.com is all terrorist rhetoric. They try to persuade you into thinking that U.S. is terrible and that Al quada is the best.

    I would like to see some sources to backup your argument.
  5. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2007
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    I agree with the original poster. I do not for one second consider Al Jazeera to be a legitimate news source, but we do need to look at what is being said in context of where people are getting their news from. I agree that one news source is not enough. What is being said on CNN needs to be balanced with what is being said on Fox News and vice versa. The truth is usually found in between.

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