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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Things He Carried, Video: Gaza War Crimes, In history, farce and tragedy often come in pairs

The Things He Carried - Airport security in America is a sham—“security theater” designed to make travelers feel better and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes and all manner of prohibited items—as our correspondent did with ease.

Video: Gaza War Crimes

In history, farce and tragedy often come in pairs - Take the two events as examples that came towards the fag end of this year. One was the indictment by an inquiry commission of a former prime minister and self-proclaimed charioteer of Indian nationalism. He, along with 68 others was found culpable of razing the Babri Masjid in 1992. In other words they had organised the mobs to tear the Indian constitution to shreds. Much of the media treated it as a minor aberration, a speck of dust merely, and no more, on democracy’s fair name. It was further claimed that Messrs L.K. Advani and A.B. Vajpayee were unjustly dragged in it. It didn’t matter that TV coverage of that event proved otherwise. Then came the last stages of the Mumbai terror trial in which Kasab, the main accused in captivity, denied any role he had previously admitted to having played in inflicting the gruesome attack. Now he claims that he had travelled from his native Pakistan to act in movies in Mumbai! That’s how he was picked up by police a day before the November 26 attack. He claims he was framed.
Several of India’s leading national newspapers and TV channels have been exposed as having widely and repeatedly published and telecast falsehoods about the accused in the Parliament attack. The coverage brought India and Pakistan to the brink of nuclear war. A few years later, when the trial was completed, the Supreme Court acquitted two of the four accused. A third was convicted on a separate set of charges altogether. Mohammad Afzal continues to be on death row even though the Supreme Court held that it had found no evidence to prove that he was a member of a terrorist group. However the judgement went on to say that “in order to satisfy the collective conscience of society” it was sentencing him to death. In modern society, it is the mass media that fashions the collective conscience of society. It is the mass media that is deciding which injustices society should tolerate and which it should not.


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