"Observers in Iraq do not understand Jill Carroll's abduction, because even the Sunni's believe she's fair."
This was the AP wire line read by the brainless female DJ on a local FM Radio affiliate here in Portland this morning at the 6:30am news update. To be fair, the DJ's male counterpart is even Less capable. Nevertheless, the comment underscores the serious problem that exists among Western journalists and much of the public regarding the war in Iraq and its connections to the greater global conflict at hand. They simply do not understand what is happening.
The public might well be forgiven for their ignorance if it in fact it exists, considering the notable lack of information being provided by an equally obtuse media. The media gets no such pass of condemnation, however. The press is charged with the responsibility to comprehend and convey information for the very purpose of educating the public about conditions and events beyond their immediate scope of knowledge and experience. Theirs is the profound responsibility of real-time anthropologists, to observe happenings and position them against one another for sequence; to weigh them against facts to convey meaning; to place them in context to establish significance; then to project them before the public to facilitate an objective perception of truth. For this process to unfold, there must be a foundation by which to evaluate the situation at hand.
And yet, the modern fog of subjective valuation forbids even the most rudimentary conclusions regarding the quality of human virtue beyond a hedonistic identification of individual worth or fraternal deference to tribal concensus. ( I think therefore I am. I’m fair therefore I'm safe.We agree therefore its true.") Their truth is disseminated to the public accordingly by way of selective information in the form of News. And the image develops for us like a portrait - cropped, blurred, and dark.
We adhere most mercifully in the West to a notion of honor and trust, believing the intention to be key to acknowledged virtue. We convince ourselves that we are good people, and need not therefore be despised. Some actually believe it because it's true. Others fancy their own progressive degree of fairness do ordains them for exclusion from the wretched motives of their fellow villains. And so why dare they suffer the fate so deserved of those others... the unenlightened scurge of Western Emperial hubris on which the hatred feeds?
And thus how dare anyone harm one of the enlightened?
The AP spoke with Jill's mother. The elder Mrs. Carroll said,
... her daughter has always shown the highest respect for the Iraqi people and their customs in her reporting.
"We hope that her captors will show Jill the same respect in return," she said. "Taking vengeance on my innocent daughter, who loves Iraq and its people, will not create justice." Jill Carroll was abducted in one of Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods while being driven to meet a Sunni Arab politician, who failed to appear for the interview. Carroll's translator was killed, but her driver escaped.
Carroll asked that her daughter's captors find a way to contact her to discuss her daughter's release.
"We call upon you to ensure that Jill is returned safely to her family, who needs her and loves her," she said.
Note that Separate Baghdad Bombings Leave 23 Dead today.
And so why might Mrs. Carroll or anyone in the Press believe that some abstract personal notion of fairness regarding Iraq and its people lends them a particularly unique status of enlightened neutrality from the actions of butchers that is denied the Iraqi people, it's soldiers, American liberators, and any other citizen of Western Civilization from Bali, to Beslan, to Jerusalem, or Manhattan?
The fact is that no such neutrality exists in this War for anyone defined as infidel by an enemy willing to sever all ties with human civilization in the pursuit of their perverse kleptocratic etherium as easily as they might well sever the younger Mrs. Carroll's fair head from its living body, thereby proving that death is every bit as real and tangible as judgment! ... if only for Mrs. Carroll herself much to her brief regret.
The lesson we learn from it, might well determine our own fate, fair or not, one way or the other.