A Culture of Scare Tactics

A journalist’s diatribe labelled, “Reporter gets angry and tells us the REAL news”, went viral and impressed upon its audience the simplistic and increasingly narrow solutions used to solve global problems. It seems that problem solving has yet to evolve at a similar rate to our technological capacity and military prowess.

Journalist and presenter Jonathan Pie used every ounce of venom he possessed to shine a light on the simplistic solutions and the illiberal character of the international system with no other tools than an acute grasp of common sense. His sentiments included the capacity for destroying Syria with bombing raids in an effort to slow the migratory patterns of those escaping warfare and the exert destroying this country aids the susceptibility of Syrians to extremist behaviour. Not to mention the inherent control of the financial industry on acting on a series of failures, the actions of China, the fact that ‘Russia is always bad’, and that the poor and the environment are simply nothing to worry about.
The most alarming feature is the extent to which this highlights the simplistic solutions or conclusions to foreign policy issues that are discussed or enacted by politicians and journalists alike. Even between eye rolls the propensity to use possible extremism as a way to combat ISIS has given rise to totalitarian and fascist policies. To be a Muslim is a crime punishable by increased scrutiny and accusation where terrorist charges can have you incarcerated regardless of palpable evidence. In some places, Islam is a crime and can lead to accusation with absolutely no evidence whatsoever of terrorist charges. In Portland, Oregon  Brandon Mayfield; a lawyer and veteran, was arrested after bogus evidence declared him the arbiter of a bombing in Spain.
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(Photo: Winter in Portland by Ben Asmtutz/Flickr)
The FBI has now along with many other political figures such as Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Anne Coulter have laid the path for McCarthy like trials wherein Muslims, are increasingly the object of fear and misguided abuse for campaign popularity spikes. As much as commentators would like to claim this is un-American; historically the persecution of groups based on religion, race and even political affiliation has often found a home in the American consciousness and judicial system.
The tenants of laïcité has been warped and narrowed amongst the French, the spectre of attacks by ISIS agents in Brussels and Paris have enlivened ideas of secularism in the media domain. Its original proclamation was one of equality in the face of race or origin and liberty to pursue religion in similar equanimity. Yet Charlie Hebdo and proponents such as Marion Maréchal-Le Pen and Alain Finkielkraut have questioned the character of French society as a forced Islamisation.
Symbols of religious faith have already been stripped from educational institutions as an affront to secularism, yet whilst law prohibits all religious symbols, Muslim girls have found themselves bare-headed and furious in the face of rule of law. Many classically French intellectuals have been unafraid of claiming the mask of Islamophobia and regardless of its meaning Le Pen has gone so far as to declare the natural Christian nature of France.
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(Photo: Border Girl by David Dennis/Flickr)
Yet the status has yet to end as irony has declared itself the sister of the immigration question across the world. The hidden character of the Afro-Mexican minority that faces  deportation by Mexican authorities regardless of having resided in Mexico for near five centuries, Mexicans face the same level of racial discrimination across the border.
In a fit of psychological angst the human brain has panicked, trying to painfully connect the dots and provide a rule of thumb in a globalised ever interconnected world. We are painting our own ghosts and breathing life into our own fears. Little is said of choice or rationality, even for those who are Jews, Muslims or Christians, the gradual and eventual conversion to another religion lacks the agency of choice. Brandon Mayfield had chosen to convert to Islam on marrying his Egyptian-American wife, he had not been held up at gun point until he grew a prophet-like beard.
Yet sensationalisation is a virile infection, it has brewed unaccounted for in right-wing movements and culminated in Britain in a movement towards a Brexit. The support has been festering unawares and the poisoned apple of immigration alongside the EU-Turkey treaty to place migrants, and Greece’s non-committal position in the migrant crisis is leading to further warnings that a Brexit is the best possible option. Real news is as Jonathan Pie related, a brash and blatant examination of ironic and hypocritical sentiment across the world.
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