Jeffrey Rudolph – Informed Comment
Can You Pass the Terrorism Quiz?
Misconceptions about terrorism, regularly promoted by the mainstream media, have facilitated harmful US government actions—two wars, domestic legislation that curtailed civil liberties, excessive national security spending. That basic, factual information about terrorism is so rarely reported thus serves to reinforce the power of those who benefit from a fearful population.
It should be banal to read in the mainstream media that the US not only engages in terrorism but often aggravates it; that if the current crop of terrorists in, say, the Middle East were killed, new terrorists would simply arise if the underlying political and social conditions remained unchanged; and, that if a particular country is perceived as actively supporting dysfunctional political and social conditions in a part of the world, it will become the target of anger and, possibly, violence. Yet, instead of such obvious conclusions about terrorism, we are daily exposed to much bias and distortion.
Several years ago my local newspaper, the (very mainstream) Montreal Gazette, published a piece I had written with only one change: Jewish “terrorists” was edited as Jewish “fighters”—needless to say, “Arab terrorists” remained unchanged. To counter such inadequate journalism, I have prepared the following quiz.
The Terrorism Quiz:
1. Who made the following statement? “To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom.”
-Ronald Reagan: President of the United States, 1981-1989.
-Photo of President Reagan meeting with the Mujahideen: