A matter of Rape-Speak: The New York Times on Serbia
By Peter Duveen
PETER'S NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2008--The manner in which the New York Times serves as an instrument of the foreign policy establishment is truly remarkable. Times
reporters receive training (is brainwashing a better term?) in sessions
sponsored by the New York Times Foundation and the Council on Foreign
Relations. These training sessions, of a sort that are regrettably
common in the journalistic profession, instruct reporters on how
they are to view and report on foreign affairs and other issues. As a
result, Times reporters have
inherited the mantle of those who have crafted foreign policy for a
string of U.S. presidential administrations These reporters serve as
sort of busy bees to get the program out there to the public.
So what is Rape-Speak, and how does it figure in the Times's reporting? A good example may be found in the World Briefing sidebar, page A14 of the Times's
September 4th edition. In fact, it is such a perfect specimen that it
ought to be used as an illustration in journalism classes. For those
busy bees who parrot what they have learned in sessions conducted by
the CFR, it is an example of how to write to satisfy their
handlers and keep themselves on the payroll. For those pillars of the
foreign policy establishment, it is one more notch in the belt of
trying to create history by fiat. But for the astute reader, it is an
insult on the mind and spirit, and a gauntlet thrown down at the feet
of the Serbian people.
Ever since the end of the Balkan conflict of the 1990s, the United
States government has been trying to impress upon the Serbian people
that they are evil demons who must repent of their behavior during that
bloody episode in their regional history. Somehow, Serbians don't
unanimously buy into it. Many remember the bombing of Belgrade directed
by then Secretary of State Madeline Albright. The young of their small
country would huddle every night in basements as a tirade of explosions
filled the night with terror. Death and destruction was rained down on
that city for weeks on end. Then-Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic
eventually capitulated and signed some kind of surrender agreement,
lost his post as president, and was hauled off to a war crimes
tribunal. He died while still in custody of the tribunal, apparently
after being poisoned by his captors. His very public fight at the
tribunal had become an embarrassment to the West, which felt compelled
to end the show trial by any means necessary.
So now, it would appear that the West, particularly after Russia's
recent show of strength in neighboring Georgia, is anxious, or shall we
say, desperate, to bring Serbia under its wing.
The snippet by Stephen Castle in the aforementioned article-ette tells
it all. Titled "Serbia: Good News From the European Union," it
immediately raises the studied eyebrows of the seasoned
reader. Good news for whom? one asks.
"A European official told Serbia on Wednesday that it might become a
candidate for membership in the European Union next year and could
receive trade concessions even sooner."
Oh boy! Wow, break out the ice cream and chocolate bars! But
wait! Not so fast! Has Serbia actually sought membership in this
so-called Union of thugs that were behind the bombing of Belgrade? One
might think our reporter, Mr. Castle, would answer this question for
us. But he remains eerily silent on the issue.
He continues in pure, unabashed Rape-Speak: "It was the most upbeat and
specific statement yet on Serbia's prospects for joining the 27-nation
European bloc." Still no mention of whether the government of Serbia
has even expressed an interest in membership. Castle: "The comments,
from Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, suggested
to the government in Belgrade that things could move quickly if Serbia
removed the main remaining obstacle to its application for membership:
the arrest of Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military
commander." Now that sentence sounds more like a
veiled threat than a passage from a news story.
The entire article cannot help but remind one of the many descriptions
of the heinous crime where the perpetrator emanates glowing confidence
in testifying that the victim wanted, and in fact, enjoyed his actions,
while his hand was held over the victim's mouth to muffle any cries for
help. Rape-Speak has become, or shall we say has been for many decades
now, the lingua franca of the foreign policy establishment and of its beloved instrument, the New York Times.
The difference is that the so-called victim in this case has proudly
and defiantly opposed the rapist's bully body. And there is a rescuer
in the ranks. Russia stands by to lend a helping hand, as it seeks to
form a new pan-Eurasian union of its own. Let's hope the American
public can see through this putrid rhetoric of the Times. But let's also thank Stephen Castle, who, among the minions at the Times, has provided us with one of the finest text-book examples of Rape-Speak.
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