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Terrorist coverage more PR than journalism

Editor,

Shame on our so-called "journalists" for betraying their duty for so long now. They failed us worse than any intelligence community, which merely missed clues; these guys fed us a completely one-sided story of the Middle Eastern conflict and thus disarmed us from being able to present our true interests to our political representatives.

By failing to let us know the extent of the hatred against us (that millions of Muslims have considered us at war with them for years now), they stole our warning. And they continue to make us a target of terroists who resent U.S. actions which could be changed if only they were freely reported on and debated.

By changing U.S. actions in the Middle East, such as sanctions against Iraq which have killed more than a half million innocent civilians (the U.N. estimates), we could expect to dry up the support among Muslims on the street for these sadistic terrorists. This makes it not only a matter of justice and Christian Love, but also a matter of self-defense.

By requiring Israel to pull back to the boundaries the world recognizes, we could make some amends for one of the most offensive foreign policy mistakes we have ever made, and could thus prove ourselves to be truly interested in being not the boss of the world, but an equal member of a world family.

The fact that these potential self-protective policy changes are not even debated freely is a success of the very rich and powerful pro-Israel lobby.

And the fact that this lobby is not discussed more by our media is a further proof of their own abdication of responsibility. Something so influential (and now we can see is so potentially destructive to our own interests) as that lobby deserves to be public knowledge. Where has that coverage been?

Just as it is shamefully anti-intellectual to confuse explanation of why the terrorism happened with justification for it, it is similarly weak-minded to confuse criticism of Israel with being anti-Judaism.

That makes no more sense than thinking that criticism of the Taliban is anti-Islam, or criticism of Jerry Falafel and the "American Taliban" is anti-Christianity.

We need to spend a billion dollars on improving departments of journalism, perhaps beginning by endowing chairs of professional ethics to underscore the difference between journalism and public relations.

When reporters are interested in being appreciated as more than corporate and government PR flacks, i.e. when the American public is educated as to the difference between journalism and public relations (and the activities and influence of PR on our decision-makers), we citizens will begin to be in a position to debate and defend justice and our own true self interests. Thank you.

Bob Williams

Hood River

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