The Power Of What’s Not Said, What’s Not Shown, What’s Not Known

by lizard

If I only derived what I know about current events from CNN, I would probably have no idea a sustained occupation of Wall Street has been ongoing for the better part of a week, with the predictable police state response peaceful protests expect these days.

JC makes a good point in the comments of his post. the comment was in response to some links I provided about Twitter and Yahoo trying to suppress #occupywallstreet related information/momentum (along with a jab at Hillary Clinton, the most popular politician). JC:

If this protest was being held by the t-party, the media would be all over it like flies on sh*t.

The power of the media to amplify (and in Fox’s case with the Tea Party, actually help create) current events is a much easier phenomenon to track than the more insidious power of the media to ignore, or omit. But as the American spectacle gets more and more absurd, the fight to give voice and attention to critical perspectives shunned by corporate media is needed now more than ever.

An area where many fear to tread is America’s “special” relationship with Israel. For good reason. The crosshairs of AIPAC are (just?) politically lethal.

Still, Obama’s speech before the UN was, well, read it yourself. I still haven’t read it in full (my first attempt left me feeling sorta ill) but in skimming it little nuggets of bullshit like this popped out at me:

So this has been a remarkable year. The Qaddafi regime is over. Gbagbo, Ben Ali, Mubarak are no longer in power. Osama bin Laden is gone, and the idea that change could only come through violence has been buried with him. Something is happening in our world. The way things have been is not the way that they will be. The humiliating grip of corruption and tyranny is being pried open. Dictators are on notice. Technology is putting power into the hands of the people. The youth are delivering a powerful rebuke to dictatorship, and rejecting the lie that some races, some peoples, some religions, some ethnicities do not desire democracy. The promise written down on paper — “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” — is closer at hand.

Fuck the hollow rhetoric.

When it comes to Israel, its behavior as a state is increasingly brutal and paranoid, fascist and racist, and this president, despite the crazies on the right bleating otherwise, has been very subservient to the almighty security of Israel, a security Israel slaughters to achieve, like in Operation Cast Lead, killing right up to Obama’s Inauguration day.

And remember, Israel doesn’t just defy any gesture to peace, it brazenly thumbs its nose. Like timing the rebuilding of controversial settlements to coincide with Biden’s visit.

Like turning down the shockingly generous concessions Abbas was willing to make as leaked by the Palestine Papers.

Like killing peace activists in a gutless assault on international waters, including an American citizen, Furkan Dogan, then lying about it.

With all that, Obama still musters a bit of oratory to cover Israel’s ass on the UN stage, backed by the threat of veto. Too bad what he argues against regarding Palestine was just dandy when it came to Kosovo:

In his September 21 speech to the United Nations, President Obama announced that he would veto U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, because its independence was not a result of a negotiated settlement with Israel. He said that “peace depends upon compromise among people who must live together long after our…votes have been tallied….That’s the lesson of Sudan, where a negotiated settlement led to an independent state. And that is and will be the path to a Palestinian state — negotiations between the parties.”

But President Obama neglected to mention a recent prominent example of unilateral independence, the State of Kosovo, which was recognized by the United States three years ago–even though its statehood did not come about through a negotiated settlement with Serbia. If an independent state of Palestine should only be recognized with Israel’s approval, then why did the U.S. recognize the independence of Kosovo in 2008, over the objections of Serbia? Why recognize Kosovo but not Palestine?

blah blah blah. Sounds like stuff not many people care to know about. As long as puppet prez keeps gesturing as requested by the uncomfortably inserted fingers of Israel, who are we to criticize?

And we shouldn’t just endlessly criticize. Time for that is coming to an end. The peaceful occupation of space, the Tahrir square bug threatening an Arab spring/summer/fall/winter/spring, is not isolated to just the Middle East. It’s spreading. Has been, and will continue to.

Even in Israel.

These peaceful occupations (one of many tools) won’t be lasting, and they don’t need to be. The idea of Temporary Autonomous Zones, as articulated by (iffy) anarchist author Hakim Bey, describes what some temporary occupations of space may look like. This from wikipedia:

The book describes the socio-political tactic of creating temporary spaces that elude formal structures of control. The essay uses various examples from history and philosophy, all of which suggest that the best way to create a non-hierarchical system of social relationships is to concentrate on the present and on releasing one’s own mind from the controlling mechanisms that have been imposed on it.

In the formation of a TAZ, Bey argues, information becomes a key tool that sneaks into the cracks of formal procedures. A new territory of the moment is created that is on the boundary line of established regions. Any attempt at permanence that goes beyond the moment deteriorates to a structured system that inevitably stifles individual creativity. It is this chance at creativity that is real empowerment.

There is a lot not being said right now, not being shown, not known.

But for those of you more actively trying to figure out what the hell is going on, if there are obvious attempts to suppress or ignore something as it’s happening, that usually means it’s really important.

  1. Ingemar Johansson

    Drudge has the occupation front and center.

    • JC

      Good one. Nary a story about the occupation on Drudge right now.

      • Ingemar Johansson

        Gotta to get up before noon.

        Hit the search with key words “Wall Street”

        They even had a picture up at 6 am this am.

        • JC

          Um, look–my reply was at 9:30, and I had been up for hours before that working. So knock off the condescending bs.

          Why would I want to use the search function at Drudge? Who uses search at drudge to discover “new” news. Ya gotta be a psychic to be able to do that.

          The point is that the mainstream media is not putting this story up front and center.

  2. Turner

    Ineresting, though, that the mainstream media are running with the line that Obama hates Israel. See

    • lizard19

      thanks for that link, Turner.

      i find it absolutely absurd that Gregory can perpetuate that stupid meme. what a spineless sock puppet.

      not dealing with known reality, though, is what makes the extreme right, both domestically and in Israel, so dangerous.

      and a corporate media that services those delusions is deserving of more than simple contempt.

      the perception of their unwavering servitude to Israel’s interests only gives fuel to anti-semites that scapegoat the jews for everything.

  3. JC

    I’m going to try and keep posting up current bits on the Occupation, as I get access to them. I’ve got a friend on the ground in middle of things, and he’s going to try and keep a feed going. I’ll post this one up here for now.

    Immortal Techniques stops by the #OccupyWallStreet encampment with words of encouragement last night.

  4. JC

    Al Jazeera has far greater coverage of the #OccupyWallSt protests than any mainstream american media source:

  5. The lame stream media has been in the business of king making for decades. The fact that you treat this as news is what suprises me. They are doing it with this election and with current events as they have been doing it for decades. No surprise here. Look at how little coverage Ron Paul gets. Look at how little coverage Huntsman gets. The media has already picked their slate of candidates and those are all you will hear about in the next 16 months.

    The media also created the Palin fortune. Without the media hanging on every word she says and every insane thing she does, she would have faded back to Wasilla without the vast fortune she has amassed (and we would be smarter not to have been subjected to her inane BS for years).

    I watch four different news sources daily (at least I scan four different ones). While I like CNN the best of all the US news sources, they have blind spots too. Sadly, some of the best news comes from the BBC. They don’t tend to have the bias that most of the US news sources have (though I find it interesting that they continue to express surprise and sadness at the insanity that is our current Congress…)

    • lizard19

      The fact that you treat this as news is what suprises me.

      yes, i think twitter and yahoo suppressing information about a significant protest of wall street is news.

      and i think the stifling omissions and downplaying of atrocities committed by Israel (as reported by corporate media) is news.

      i’m surprised you find this surprising, moorcat.

      • It certainly wasn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last. I have no issue with finding it disgusting, just not surprising. In fact, I agree that the lack of news about the protest is troubling, but again, not surprising.

        As far as Isreal, not sure what you are talking about. CNN has actually been pretty good about reporting both sides of the issues in Isreal and the BBC has been even better. Isreal has painted themselves in a corner and no amount of grandstanding by the US is going to change that. It should be interesting to see how they dig themselves out of this latest set of circumstances.

        • lizard19

          here’s a little thought experiment: what if it was Iranians who stormed the peace flotilla and killed 9 people, including an American citizen. how do you think CNN would report that? how do you think this whole country would respond to that provocation?

          anyway, “surprise” is your word, Moorcat. i never said in the post i find corporate media’s omissions surprising. that’s your interpretation.

          • Here’s a real thought experiment: What would discussions be like if those who propose ‘thought experiments’ hadn’t already assumed the stance and beliefs of others?

            It might serve you well, and everyone else, Lizard, if you didn’t ask loaded questions.

          • two entirely different questions…

            1) how would CNN (or presumably the BBC which I said I felt gave the situation better coverage) report it? One would hope they would report it the same way.. with facts, not opinion.

            2) How would the whole country respond to it? This is the obviously loaded question. Neither you nor I could presume to say how the entire country would respond to it, but it is reasonable to assume that the responce would be stronger than to Isreal. Isreal is an ally (some say a puppet but we will avoid that discussion for now) of the US. Iran is a potential enemy and for some, “an abomination before god”. It is pretty safe to say that the country would – in general – react badly and politicians would use it as yet another reason to hate Iran/Muslims/terrorists etc (insert whatever hot button, hate mongering language you prefer). Sadly, as you well know, Isreal bashing – even when deserved – in this country is grounds for an immediate title of “anti-semitic” and since that is still a buzz phrase in this country, the media will underplay it.

            The reality is that Isreal did commit a number of acts that would be labled heinous had they been any other country. We can bemoan the fact all day and complain about the media bias, but it is the touchy feely social climate – one which was traditionally favored by Democrats – that make it so. A media source today is in the business of making money and being labled anti-semitic is a quick way to lose money. A business will not work against it’s own interests so it should be no surprise the media sources downplayed Isreal’s latest actions. In fact, I am somewhat surprised that the factual reporting was as good as it was by some new services (like CNN). Expecting differently is futile and rediculous. Rail against this windmill all you want. It won’t change it. On the other hand, I encourage you to report factual stories about what is going on (notice I said factual, not emotional). Take on the role of the journalist if you feel that a situation is under-reported. I did when I felt the actions of our local city council were being under-reported. In some small way, I actually effected some change (certianly not as much as I desired and I paid a pretty heavy price for it, but some change is better than none). Complaining about something that you can’t change or giving “intellectual exercises” that are pointless won’t help.

      • Doesn’t sound much different than the suppression of news about protests and the arresting of journalists at the ’08 republican convention that was really only picked up by Amy Goodman, who, not ironically, was one of the arrested.

  6. “…the idea that change could only come through violence has been buried with him.”

    Really? I would say the case for violence’s transformative power is stronger than ever. Isn’t the Arab spring a direct result of the application of government violence and suppression against the citizenry? It was violence that stirred people to take to the streets and it was the government’s draconian response to these mass demonstrations that solidified the resolve of the opposition.

    • lizard19

      that particular line jumped out at me as well. Obama’s “idea” is fucking ridiculous.

    • A lot of politicians are downplaying the violence going on in the world right now, and for many of them, it is because they know that over 80% of the US citizenry is upset. Worse, we are better armed than the citizenry of any other country. If it comes to violence in the US, things will not go well for these politicians. It seems to be the meme of the day to downplay the significance of the events occuring, such as the actual financial impact of the Debt Ceiling debacle or the estimated financial impact of further fights over the budget (sparking a government shutdown). History teaches us that events can get out of control rapidly if the populous gets angry (or hungry) enough and we are certainly headed in that direction.

      • I disagree on several points, Moorcat.

        1) All politicians downplay violence, except when it’s done to an accepted ‘other’. If one wishes to accept that, then a difference between the two parties (who are supposedly the same) becomes very apparent.

        2) Being better armed than any other nation means absolutely nothing unless in case of a Zombpocalypse.

        3) It isn’t history that teaches us that events can get “out of control rapidly”. History usually teaches a long and tedious walk of causation and reaction. It’s actually mathematics that teaches us, or at least should, that things will and do get out of control very rapidly.

  7. lizard19

    and it’s being reported that Obama sold Israel the bunker-buster arms that Bush refused to sell them.

    yeah, Obama has been so mean and unfair to poor, forever victimized, Israel.

  8. Ingemar Johansson

    Unlike some of your other protests at least they bagged some of their trash.

  9. Ingemar Johansson

    Your only hope is the “new” media.

    That and intimidation.

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