The Media and American Elections
By Amjad Arar
Translated By Joseph McBirnie
9 November 2012
Edited by Laurence Bouvard
UAE - al-Khaleej - Original Article (Arabic)
Did the television film about the assassination of one of America’s opponents propel Barack Obama to victory in the presidential election? Some sensationalist media hold this opinion, but from my point of view, I believe this is incorrect, at least concerning the case of Barack Obama and his losing opponent Mitt Romney. It is true that other considerations, such as a toxic candidate, often play a role in Americans’ choices, but it is more correct that voters see this as a reason because there have been no significant differences between candidates, especially in the last 13 elections after World War II.
If that film did help Obama, one must note that it was preceded by an August documentary, “Obama’s America 2016,” which grossed as much as five million euros in one week. Furthermore, Obama’s opponents have continually focused upon the film highlighting Obama’s African roots. Although the majority of Americans are over racism, the film was a calculated move culturally and historically.
The year 1999 saw the race between Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu for the Israeli prime ministerial elections. The organizers of the Barak campaign were quite good at exploiting military history, that is, the Palestinian and Arab history of terrorism. Although Barak is the highest decorated in the Zionist army, that did not stop his campaign from releasing pictorial reportages of military history which pertained to the assassination operations that he carried out or supervised. During the campaign, a picture emerged which depicted Barak dragging the martyr Dalal Mughrabi by her hair as she was covered in blood and after her heart had stopped.
From our position on the Arab conflict, we reject the Zionist rape of Palestine as a matter of principle and reject the crimes of occupation in principle and practice. At the same time we understand that the fate of militant martyrdom rests in the battlefield or in a military operation where we cannot blame the enemy for the martyrdom of any fighter in a military engagement. But any outside, objective observer of this conflict cannot, as he watches that image, help but classify Barak as a military man having war ethics during an election campaign which demonstrated a sadistic and horrendous crime.
Regardless, in the cases of both Barack Obama and Ehud, it is clear to what extent they resort to the media, not in the battle field but in political and electoral battles. Still, it would be better that this be done under the guise of credibility, morality and humanity.
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