MEDIA SENSATIONALISM FORCES PIRATES TO WALK THE PLANK OF WORLD OPINION
Posted by politicalpartypooper on January 5, 2009
One sided journalism is a scourge in our world. It is especially a scourge in America. Take the case of the Somali Pirates. Johann Hari has a very interesting and eye-opening piece up on The Huffington Post today. It’s called You Are Being Lied To About Pirates. If what he claims is true, most of us are going to change the way we accept our news in America.
Johann has done an excellent job of tying the ancient pirates with today’s buccaneers. From a historical standpoint, pirates have been miscast and misunderstood at best. Movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, however humorous, do little to improve that image. It turns out that the Somali pirates may also be experiencing a biased false judgment of their activities, from none other than our mainstream media as well as foreign media outlets.
Let’s face it, pirates are good stories, and if you can get a little treasure and plank walking thrown in, why not carry that idea as far as possible? But in listening to the pirates tell their side of the story, you might be struck to find that what they want isn’t so different than what Americans would want under similar circumstances. Just look at the following indictment:
In 1991, the government of Somalia – in the Horn of Africa – collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and many of the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.
Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.”
Let’s be honest. No one here is supporting the kidnapping of people on the high seas or anywhere else for that matter. But if the Somali pirates and the UN envoy to Somalia are telling the truth, why are Russian and American ships not chasing down the pirates who are dumping nuclear waste into the waters off Somalia’s coast?
Who are the real pirates? The Somalis are kidnapping people, and we know that is illegal. But of equal illegality is the dumping of uncontained nuclear waste anywhere. The people dumping this waste are pirates. Their ships should be boarded, and the perpetrators arrested.
Lacking a Coast Guard, the Somalis just might be doing the only thing they can do to finally make the world aware of these alleged crimes. If what the Somalis are saying is true, the only questions remaining, then, is what the world will do for Somalia, and how best to capture and punish the real pirates.
Shame on the media worldwide for engaging in a clear case of biased sensationalism.
That’s code for telling half the story, and outright lying about the other half. Maybe we should label the media as pirates.