Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Access to discord

Something I stumbled over this morning covered a great deal of information from not necessarily allied camps. Any time I find a place where verifiable facts are being discussed from truly distinct viewpoints, I pronounce the day a worthwhile one.

The people of Iran and Iraq are not backward. And they are not interchangeable entitites as many in the U.S. think. The Neocon Liberal dichotomy here does not map onto the issues in these countries. Social reform, political reform, and religious reform do not necessarily align nor split in ways that make sense to those persons using western mental templates. Nothing is neatly black and white -- both the left and the right in America make tactless errors that are seized upon by the opposition. Take the sticky situation of implying all Americans are racist as Saman Sepehri stated when he quoted Barbara Ehrenrich talking about "camel-riding rapists." The situation she described applied only to Darfur; Christians and Muslims both have been raped, tortured and slaughtered, and camels have been used as transport. A more or less leftist person uses an ethnic stereotyping slur to describe a genocide. Hmmmm. No easy answers there. Just as confounding, to people who like neat divisions -- many folks from these regions are both anti-theocracy and anti-imperialist. Thoughtful discussion of the rich history, ethnic and religious divisions, and long-term strife in this region do not map well into 15 second sound byte corporate media coverage.

This commentary was triggered as I listened to Postel and Sepehri
speaking at a July 2005 conference "The Threat of Intervention in Iran," organized by Chicago Media Action at Chicago Temple. I stumbled across this broadcast of a CAN TV program on Access Tucson.

Long live community media! I cherish access to all information.

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