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MEDIA PLATFORMS AND CONTENT April 18, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Uncategorized.
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What are the limits to speech? Yelling fire in a crowded theatre is one case. Does talking with a “terrorist leader” constitute “material support to terrorism”?

If that is the case, what chance is there for democracy, or for ending violence through negotiation? The critical issue, it seems to me, are those that use violent methods and means to violent ends, which is in itself a summary of a significant part of the politics of international relationships. The problem of violence at that level of political behavior ought to be the focus of political science. Despite often the failings of democratic societies, many have achieved processes of governance at the personal, local, regional and national levels that have subject violence to the rule of law.

The presumption often at the international level is that violence prevails, and yet, if the long ten years of murder in Afghanistan proves anything, it is it doesn’t. Now, of course, efforts are attempted to negotiate with the Taliban. We can remember in the early stages of the Afghanistan Occupation, some of the British with the recent of experience of Northern Ireland fresh in their understanding, were proposing negotiation, and how that was brusquely and arrogantly dismissed.

Systematic murder cannot be waged without dehumanization. And the dehumanization of the other is the frame for individual acts of situational violence, as perhaps may be illustrated by the pepper spraying of Occupy protesters, the slaughter of women and children in Afghan villages, or the brutal assault of a cyclist protesting cruel dispossession. The word terrorist is used to dehumanize the other, and to suggest that that person is more violent than those, like the mass murderer in Norway, who would claim goodness.

With these considerations in mind the implicit and explicit evaluations of the interview of Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, conducted by Julian Assange can be viewed. Assange has not gained notoriety and a sealed Grand Jury injunction, a secret indictment, by a groomed jury in Virginia, which everybody except the Australian Government knows about, because of his interviewing skills. Still, I would suggest, it is useful to hear about where people are coming from and how they seek to justify their actions. Importantly, this tape is very different from the Al Qaeda tapes, which were very violent.

Perhaps the ABC report describing Hassan Nasrallah as Hezbollah’s “chief” is evoking Cowboys and Indians, which in itself is very instructive, and in its unconscious truth telling very apt. “Their ABC” continues from one story to the next to surpass itself, and must be gaining magnificent kudos. Such is the liberation of lateral communication that now bias and distortions are now easily exposed. After awhile, regardless of the perpetrator, it becomes very tedious and not worth the effort to read.

Assange may well have originated the notion of “Kremlin television”, although the Soviet Union, the former enemy has now disappeared into history.The charge against him of “material support for terrorism” may be enhanced by that interview. “Their ABC” might have something to learn from RT. Consider the following interview with David Swanson:

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