It is very amusing (well, sad really) to see the media getting all worked up about the military junta in Birma/Myanmar (admittedly, one of the most despicable dictatorships in the world at the moment) using ‘tear gas and batons’, would you believe it, to suppress peaceful street protests. Yes? So? Belgium, Germany, the US, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and every other ‘Western democratic’ country uses ‘tear gas and batons’ – and a lot worse, remember Genua 2001 – at every occasion where people choose to exercise their ‘democratic right’ of protesting peacefully in the streets, whether it’s a G8-top or a WTO-meeting, an anti-racist demo or a Eurotop. You’ll never hear our ‘impartial and independent’ Western media calling that ‘repression’ or ‘excessive force’. You’ll never catch them discussing the undemocratic aspects of a government using either its internal security forces or its army against its own population. But if it’s Birma, virtually the only dictatorial regime in the world not supported by the US and ‘the West’, official commentators are ‘worried’ and ‘scandalized’ by methods of repression that are standard fare in any ‘democratic’ country… In the same news edition, by the way, it was also mentioned in passing that Israel launched an airstrike on Gaza killing ‘at least seven’ – there was not even a mention of the earlier IDF tank fire killing 3 in Beit Hanoun. But these are negligible ‘incidents’ no doubt, that in any case obviously do not merit the ‘moral indignation’ reserved for the tear gas and batons of the Myanmar junta… Yeah right.
(continued in Media Watch 2)