The Boston Marathon bombings have dominated U.S. news for the past week, prompting fresh calls for ignoring constitutional protections in the face of “Islamic terrorism.” But the reality is that politically motivated violence has declined in America over recent years, notes Lawrence Davidson.
If journalistic objectivity is applied honestly, it means that all people must have equal standing whether they’re “on our side” or not; outrage over human rights crimes can’t be selective. But Israeli journalist Amira Hass faced fierce attack when she said Palestinians had a right to resist, as Lawrence Davidson notes.
Since the social upheavals of the Sixties, the American Establishment has sought to constrain critical thinking through a variety of techniques, from propaganda to government secrecy to the celebrated ignorance of Fox News. But there are broader societal pressures as well, notes Lawrence Davidson.
Like an overeager suitor, President Obama professed his love for and lavished praise on Israel during a three-day visit, causing some Israelis to blush at his fawning rhetoric and promises of endless fidelity. But Obama on bended knee failed to note a malodorous reality, says Lawrence Davidson.
Awash in evidence of U.S.-inflicted civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning chose action over silence, releasing thousands of documents via WikiLeaks to the public. In doing so, he violated the code of faceless bureaucratic complicity, writes Lawrence Davidson.
After the Civil War, Reconstruction tried to suppress white racism but was aborted prematurely leading to a near century of Jim Crow segregation in the South. Now, five right-wingers on the U.S. Supreme Court are contemplating a replay by stabbing at the heart of the Voting Rights Act, writes Lawrence Davidson.
When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, the U.S. news media suppressed many images of dead and wounded Iraqis so as not undermine the feel-good patriotism, and a similar bias has held true for Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks. But that favoritism seems finally to be breaking down, says Lawrence Davidson.
After the 9/11 attacks, the smart response might well have been to denounce the killings as a monstrous crime and treat al-Qaeda as outlaws to be brought to justice. But President Bush’s tough-guy response was to declare the crime a “war” and ensnare the U.S. in a conflict with no end, as Lawrence Davidson explains.
“The Gatekeepers,” a new documentary, records the views of the Israeli security officials most responsible for suppressing Palestinian resistance and their growing doubts about the strategy of endless repression. But even this criticism glosses over the depth of the problem, writes Lawrence Davidson.
Millions of Americans are almost literally up in arms over the prospect of a few commonsense restrictions on “gun rights,” but there has been no similar resistance to far more sweeping, post-9/11 encroachments on fundamental constitutional rights relating to due process under the law, notes Lawrence Davidson.