Americans are grieving over the 20 schoolchildren and six teachers mowed down in Newtown, Connecticut, by a deranged gunman with a semi-automatic assault rifle. But national grief may not be enough to overcome the cold calculations of profit and politics, says Danny Schechter.
Amid stepped-up sanctions against Iran, European authorities are cutting off access to Europe’s satellites for Iran’s PressTV and other stations, thus preventing Europeans from hearing Iran’s point of view. Danny Schechter sees the move as a hypocritical assault on free speech and a free press.
A “peoples” tribunal, modeled after an examination of U.S. war crimes in Vietnam, is exploring Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians. Meeting in New York City, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine sometimes was legalistic but addressed frequently ignored issues, says Danny Schechter.
If President Obama wins a second term, Iran is signaling it would be ready for improved relations with the United States and the West. One sign of that shift in attitude was the toned-down speech by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad at the UN, notes Danny Schechter.
The label “terrorist” has been bent to political use so often the word has lost any semblance of objective meaning. American politicians and pundits like to hurl it against perceived enemies, but now it appears a group can escape the opprobrium with enough high-priced lobbying, Danny Schechter writes.
Some U.S. neocons are eager for another war against a Muslim enemy of Israel, this time Iran. There is anger, too, at any signs of serious diplomacy that might avert a conflict, including UN Secretary General’s Ban Ki-Moon’s decision to attend an international conference in Tehran, notes Danny Schechter.
The U.S. squeeze on Iran over its nuclear program caught London-based Standard Chartered Bank, forcing it to pay penalties to a New York regulator for allegedly handling money from Iran. But Danny Schechter asks if the action was partly to settle a grudge.
The Olympic ideal of replacing armed conflict with athletic competition has fallen to the pressures of nationalism and money. Now, the Olympics are celebrated even as nations continue the killing and plan for more, Danny Schechter writes from Johannesburg.
As Iran becomes a political football in Campaign 2012 – with President Obama and Mitt Romney competing to kick it the hardest and farthest – there is talk about Iran’s failure to meet its “international obligations” but little thought about what that means, notes Danny Schechter.
Between the shallowness of even the “serious” mainstream news media and the sophistication of political spin, it is no wonder the U.S. public is so thoroughly uninformed and misinformed, observes Danny Schechter.