Friday, October 12, 2007

USS Cole Anniversary: Media Silent

On this day in the year 2000, the guided missile destroyer USS Cole was attacked by Islamic terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Quaeda group. Today is the seventh anniversary of that attack. Seventeen American sailors were killed and thirty-eight injured in the attack which severely damaged the ship. Yet not a single major media organ has reported this so far.

Attacking a ship of war has been long viewed as an act of war. The most recent example occurred in 1968 when North Korea attacked the USS Pueblo. To our national shame, the Pueblo is still in the hands of the North Koreans. A rather more forceful response occurred in 1941, when Japan attacked the US Pacific Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor.

However, then-President Bill Clinton did not respond to the attack, emboldening the Islamists who viewed the United States as a paper tiger. The attack on the Cole was one of a series of attacks on Americans throughout the decade of the 1990s to which the United States failed to respond. This eventually led to al-Quaeda and its allies decided to attack the Twin Towers in 2001. Unfortunately for them, President George W. Bush took a different view, correctly deciding to respond with military force. Since 2001, there have been no further successful attacks on American soil, though we remain engaged in a military offensive against the Islamic terrorists.

However, despite the significance of today's date, not a single major media organ has chosen to cover it. Why? CNN felt that news about Britney Spears' thoughts on her children were important enough to put on their front page, but there is no mention of the attack on the Cole. MSNBC has former Vice-President Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize3 plastered all over the front page, but there is no mention of the anniversary of the attack on the Cole. What happened to remembering cowardly attacks on Americans and avenging them? The attack on the Maine sparked a war with Spain. the attack on Pearl harbor sparked US involvement in World War II- a war that ended with then unconditional surrender of our opponents. Yet not a single media organ seems to care that Americans were attacked and killed.

Does our media not care? They are assiduous in reporting deaths of Muslims at the hands of Americans- even when those deaths did not occur, or when those killed were actually terrorists (see Haditha). Yet the anniversary of an unprovoked attack on a US warship that resulted in the deaths of American military personnel does not even warrant a mention on the anniversary. I can only gather that to the US media, Muslim terrorist lives are more important than American military lives. Cross-posted on NewsBusters.

CORRECTION: I initially typed 'North Vietnam' instead of 'North Korea' in describing the 1968 attack on the Pueblo. It was North Korea, not Vietnam, that attacked and seized the Pueblo. Thanks to numerous commenters for pointing out the initial error.

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