Concerned over Obama editorial

Dear Mr. Auguste:

I read your recent editorial “Obama deserves more credit,” with some unease. While one does not have time for the antics of the Birthers I was somewhat taken back with the casual manner the editorial seems to be indirectly cheering on the President for being a “war hawk,” by quoting American media personalities who are loudly stating that maybe if Obama kills Ghaddafi or Mahmoud Ahmedinejad his popularity will increase even more.  

When did media people become military strategists? The unprofessionalism and blood lust of these folks (CNN/Fox) is astounding and disturbing. The casual way in which the death of leaders of majority Muslim countries is talked about is rather scary and barbaric. And it is occurring in every level of society. I see comics such as Bill Maher saying that maybe Obama needs to kill more Muslims to get the Birthers off his back!

Now, recently, Serbia surrendered Ratko Mladic, the architect of one of the most gruesome genocides in recent memory. Under Mladic’s order, over 8000 Muslim Bosnians were executed as part of Serbia’s ethnic cleansing. He was also charged for the atrocities he committed during the siege of Sarajevo. This man has been living free for 16 years. The United States, NATO and the EU knew where he was but made no attempts to capture or arrest him. Only the survivors of his genocides and their families, plus some human rights groups, pressed for justice.

Just when it suited the EU they decided to ‘capture’ Mladic. He is to be tried in The Hague for genocide and crimes against humanity. We did not see the U.S., NATO or the EU stealthily entering Serbia and removing or killing Mladic. He will be tried in a court of law, as he should be. Could it be that the nonchalance with which Mladic was treated by the West had to do with the fact that the people he brutally murdered were Muslim, and as such of no consequence?

Make no mistake about my letter. I am in no way, shape, or form supporting Osama. What I am saying is that in the aftermath of his capture the attack on Muslims seems to be becoming a popular pastime. We even see it here in Canada where security agencies are vilifying and falsely accusing members of the Muslim community who refuse to be informants and paid spies.  

We have seen in recent times what ethnocentrism and xenophobia have done to destroy lives and  communities. As journalists and intellectuals we have to ensure that we do not portray one group or individual as being more important than the other.


A.P. Cooper


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