Monday, February 6, 2012

Thomson Reuters flushes its Trust Principles down the loo (Part II)

In our post just below, we cited a hysterical and wholly one-sided opinion piece by Reuters correspondents William Maclean, Peter Apps, Andrew Quinn, Mark Hosenball, and Tabassum Zakaria prophesying virtual Armageddon should Israel launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear weapons facilities -- er, sorry, disputed energy and medical isotope facilities.

Reuters normally disguises its opinion pieces with the ambiguous and scientific-sounding "Analysis" banner so that de facto propaganda can be sold on to hundreds of other media outlets as dispassionate inquiry, but in the case of the aforementioned story, even that banner is conspicuously missing.  With continuing, flagrant violations of their employer's corporate governance charter and handbook of ethical standards, Reuters correspondents simply have no shame.

Yesterday, we attached a few editorial comments to Reuters' biased litany of prophesied events associated with a possible Israeli military strike against Iran, but the central propagandistic message to which we wish to call attention, a message Reuters is intent on peddling to its audience, is that Israel is alone -- both in its assessment of the danger of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, and in the increasingly-evident reality that it (Israel) will have to act to defend itself against Iranian threats of genocide.

Reuters correspondents embed the propagandistic message of Israeli isolation into their reporting with a barrage of entirely one-sided claims and assertions, while willfully omitting essential countervailing evidence from sources other than Israeli officials.

Correspondents Maclean and Co. for example, want readers to believe that an Israeli strike on Iran, with military or moral support from the United States, will unleash a torrent of anti-Israel and anti-American Muslim sentiment in the Middle East:
- Anti-U.S. sentiment would be inflamed in Muslim countries, especially Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories. Hamas and Hezbollah would be likely to intensify attacks making a Middle East settlement even more unlikely.
- "If the Israelis think they can attack Iran and remain immune they are living in a fools' paradise," said Farhang Jahanpour of the Oxford University Faculty of Oriental Studies.  He said a raid would create "huge anti-Israeli feeling" and an "Islamic backlash" in the region.
Of course, the United States and Israel have long been considered "Big Satan" and "Little Satan" by Muslims in the Middle East, and Israel in particular, is not interested in winning any popularity contests with Hamas, Hezbollah or Syria.  But the 72 percent of Lebanon's population not Shia would likely be thrilled with the decapitation of Hezbollah's patron.

Moreover, Reuters completely ignores the fear and loathing of Shi'ite Iran demonstrated by Sunni Arabs in Saudi Arabia and Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates, where officials have not only endorsed punishing economic sanctions against Iran but actively solicited the U.S. to pursue military action, i.e., "cut off the head of the snake".

We know that Arab states, including Egypt, have tacitly accommodated the movement of Israeli warships as a signal to Iran and reportedly provided Israel with permission to use their air space in an attack on Iran.

Maclean and Co. predictably mention none of this, cite none of this, in their agitprop because it would distract from their campaign to brand Israel as a lone loose cannon and to solicit public condemnation of the Jewish state for seeking to survive in the face of palpable threats of genocide.

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