Media, War, and Terrorism: Responses from the Middle East and Asia

Media, War, and Terrorism: Responses from the Middle East and Asia

Media, War, and Terrorism: Responses from the Middle East and Asia

Media, War, and Terrorism: Responses from the Middle East and Asia

Synopsis

Media, War and Terrorism analyses, for the first time, responses to the events of 9/11 and it's repercussions from the point of view of Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Perhaps controversially, the contributors argue that while the US, and to an extent European, media seems largely unified in their coverage and silence in public debate of the events surrounding the attacks on the World Trade Centre, there exists open, critical debate in other parts of the world. By examining the use of media as an instrument of warfare and analyzing the construction of public opinion in mediated electronic warfare, this book clearly shows the difference in perspectives between public opinion in the US and the rest of the world. Moving away from popular assumptions that societies in the West are democratic and progressive and those in the Middle East and Asia are either authoritarian or under-developed, this examination of the media in those countries suggests the exact opposite. In combining an examination of thegeneral, theoretical issues concerning the use of the media as an instrument of warfare with rich, geographically diverse case studies, the editors are able to provide a diverse and intriguing analysis of the impact and inter-connectedness of national and global medias. Bringing together contributions from academics, journalists and media practioners from all over the world, Media, War and Terrorism is an essential read for all of those seeking an informed, non-Western perspective on the events following 9/11.

Excerpt

An assault on the financial and military headquarters in the metropolis of an empire is unprecedented in modern history. The horror of the massacre and the scale of the destruction as well as its aftermath in warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq have made 9/11 a moment of world-historical significance. Empires have always been built by war and expansion and therefore have encountered armed resistance and military setbacks, but Paris, London or Amsterdam were never under direct attack from militants, coming from Africa, India or Indonesia. In that sense the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon in Washington highlight a rupture in the history of empires. Earlier European empires, such as those of the French, British, and Dutch, were outcomes of a form of globalization in which empire and nation-state were produced within the same historical frame. There was a direct linkage between imperial culture and the national cultures of both the colonizer and colonized (van der Veer 2001). The struggle for national independence by the colonized often did not so much challenge the universality of enlightenment values, but rather challenged their imperial application in the domination of peoples of other race and civilization. In the contemporary form of globalization, a period of decolonization, in which independent nation-states have filled the United Nations and the map of the world, has been succeeded by the collapse of the post-World War II division between the First (capitalist), Second (communist), and Third (developing) World. The current era is characterized by simultaneous talk about a New World Order (or Pax Americana) and about a Clash of Civilizations. While the first is a continuation of the notion of the universality of the Western Enlightenment and the need for a global police to keep global peace, the second is a continuation of the romantic notion of essential differences between civilizations and the need to keep these civilizations peacefully in their separate geographical places. The responses to the assault on the United States on September 11 have held elements of both notions. This is the contradictory result of the contemporary form of globalization, in which, on the one hand, there is a growing connection between people of very different historical backgrounds and traditions within a framework of huge power inequalities; and, on the other, a growing disquiet and desire to keep things separate.

The horrendous attack on New York and Washington has raised, first and . . .

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