Chomsky (among others) points out that governments
of "democratic" societies use "induced fear"
to control the public. When it comes to over-stimulating our fears,
"ever-spiralling crime" seems to be one of the main myths.
(Note the recent child abduction hysteria, for example. One crime
stays on the front pages for weeks).
There are countless dissident websites focusing
on foreign policy (invasion of Iraq, etc), but very few attempting
to dissect the crime myths. So we think it's a worthwhile area to
look at (the results have been promising - the BBC keep having to
change their reports as a result of our complaints).
One thing I've noticed since I started writing
about "crime wave" myths in 1995:- many people who are
deeply sceptical about media coverage on foreign policy (eg those
on the "left") aren't sceptical at all when it comes to
"spiralling crime". I don't know why that is, but I'd
like to see it change.
Comment 02 Ged December 6 2007,
Fair enough. I just thought the scale of the
war crime in Iraq outweighed the crime in Britain. Its trrue as
you say that countless sites already concentrate on Iraq.
Comment 03 ALP December 7 2007,
The problem with the approach of sites that
constantly "remind" us of the mass murder in Iraq is that
the people who read those sites don't actually need reminding.
How can you best use your time, assuming you're
altruistically inclined and find unnecessary suffering intolerable?
Not, I suggest, by issuing increasingly hysterical reminders to
people who don't need reminding about the scale of suffering.
It's generally a better approach to inform people
on what they don't already know about. And to not take
a compartmentalised approach.
Comment 04 gwinnie December 7 2007,
ALP: You said " The problem with the approach
of sites that constantly "remind" us of the mass murder
in Iraq is that the people who read those sites don't actually need
As someone who doesn't need reminding and who
posts on sites used by folk of all political stripes, and none,
I often find myself in heated debate with people who don't know
about these figures. Sites like IBC are a very useful resource for
those shouting for linkies. Those my opponents likely won't change
their minds. But there are many lurkers who are new to this holocaust.
The points I make are like stones dropped in a pond. They sink with
barely a ripple as soon as a thread turns a page or is abandoned
for a new thread. And so, I find myself saying the same thing over
and over, being flamed over and over, dragging out the evidence
over and over.
IBC may not be perfect. What is? But it's
what we do with it that's important. We need our gathering places
and our pools of information, if we are to be effective progressives,
rather than arguing amongst ourselves while the neocons get on with
their raping and pillaging.
Comment 05 ALP December 8 2007,
gwinnie wrote: "IBC may not be perfect. What
is? But it's what we do with it that's important. We need our gathering
places and our pools of information"
I agree. To my mind, most of the studies on
Iraqi deaths are both useful (depending on how they are used) and
non-perfect. The IBC website
is an excellent resource for those wish to use it (rather than attack
gwinnie wrote: "there are many lurkers who are new to this holocaust".
poll showed there are indeed many who aren't aware of the scale
of the killing. I make a distinction between those who haven't come
across the information (for whatever reason) and those whose political
framing causes them to reject it out of hand.
By definition, it's the former group that these
discussion forums aren't addressing. And it's probably futile addressing
the latter group (which includes some establishment journalists)
- at least in terms of numbers alone. A more sophisticated framing
approach is needed in communicating with the latter. (Communicating
doesn't necessarily mean convincing or converting).
Ironically, I think IBC's conservative approach
(which necessarily produces an undercount, and for which IBC is
attacked and smeared by the like of Medialens) is the most difficult
for the latter group to reject - and yet it shows an unimaginable
scale of mass slaughter (85,000 documented civilian deaths from
violence). Those, like Medialens, who think 78,000-85,000 corroborated
violent civilian deaths somehow provides a basis for pro-war
propaganda - have let their (anti-IBC) rhetoric overcome reason.