Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Good and Bad Collateral Damage in Syria

Innocent readers who look at the UK news may experience child-like confusion. On one hand ISIS is so very naughty that we simply have to bomb them in order to save civilisation, no matter how many civilians may suffer Collateral Damage. Collateral Damage is an expression with two very big words in it. It’s often employed to describe people our government kinda killed, maybe, and even then only by accident. So it’s not like there’s real death, grief or murder. It’s so hard to prove these things after all...
Then again, it’s not true to say Western media doesn't recognise civilians are being killed in Syria. Just look at the grave concern expressed regarding Russia’s outrageous bombing of civilians in Syria. And who can forget the fortuitous alliteration of barrel bombs, fortuitous in that it’s a wonderful, anti-Assad soundbite, easily repeatable for idiot media - and memorable for idiot consumers. Obviously barrel bombs do what the murderous Assad intended them to do, i.e. kill innocents - unlike Western bombs, which carefully avoid civilians and guide little old ladies across the street before landing only on bad guys – except in kinda accidents, of course.
Western moral authority is such that when we tragically cause some people to … err … cease to be, we consider it tragic, regrettable, yet never a deterrent to doing it over and over again. Our leaders’ crusading work for humanity must not be interrupted by the tears of weaklings who’d hand our country and way of life over to the barbarians in a jiffy. Sure, of course our media’s job is to question authority, but not in time of war! Surely people understand that? It’s not our leaders' or our media's fault that we’re at war perpetually, is it?

Best not to think about the term Collateral Damage too much because if we did, then all sorts of upsetting visions may give us nightmares. And who apart from sick-minded, discontented extremists, for goodness sake, would ever wish to draw attention to visions of decapitated and obliterated remnants of innocents? What would be the benefit of that? It would be irresponsible and would only be using such dreadful pictures for the purpose of garnering opposition to the Western activity in Syria. That would be immoral. And might cause terrorism. After all, our government’s devastating actions are only in the cause of eliminating terrorism. Such sacrifice ...

However, we in the West are allowed to employ images of innocents, either being burned alive or decapitated,  legitimately. How else would our governments and their media convey the true horror of ISIS, Russian Interventionism, and old Barrel Bomb himself, Assad, to our unwitting, child-like populace? They have so many distractions that the media have a moral duty to shock them into supporting potentially unpopular actions that our government undertakes with only the greatest reluctance and for everyone’s own good.  

So, it’s perfectly simple. The media must show horrific images of horrors committed by our enemies, but must never show the same horrors as committed by our elected leaders’ in our name, for our own good. What is so confusing about that?  

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