Western media keep the Cold War hot

Vladimir Putin Photo: The Herald

Vladimir Putin
Photo: The Herald

It is hardly surprising — it is a norm rather — that western media follow the flag on foreign policy.
Sometimes it even leads it.
That is how this world has gotten along in the Cold War, and in recent times, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Zimbabwe, Uganda and even lately Ukraine and Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.

There are other innumerable examples.
Lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, terrorists in Afghanistan, horror stories of government crackdown on “civilians” in Libya and Syria; among others, have been peddled the media.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddaffi, whom the western media liked to call “Mad Dog”, was toppled.
Syria’s Bashir still stands, hanging by the cliff rather, after the US nearly invaded Syria for having crossed some dubious “red line” last year.

Zimbabwe has been fodder for negative western media following the revolutionary land reform and indigenisation and pro-poor policies. President Mugabe became a villain. He is also so because of his stance against homosexuality.

Unsurprisingly, the western media sunk to new lows by appearing to begrudge the Zimbabwe’s leader’s 90th birthday last week.
The UK Independent, for example, had a piece entitled “Robert Mugabe’s 90th birthday, and why no-one on earth should have turned up to his party”.

Many Zimbabweans did with a lot of goodwill. But the Independent emblematically said President Mugabe’s has been a “catastrophic dictatorship that continues to claim lives. And for that reason, Mugabe, we’re afraid we can’t make it.”

One Vince Musewe, nowadays very useful in western commentary on Zimbabwe, thought celebrating the milestone was “just irresponsible”. There were other reasons, according to the Independent, for not celebrating President Mugabe.
One of them: “Because what he says about homosexuality makes (Russian President Vladmir) Putin look like a pussy cat . . .”

The juxtaposition of President Mugabe and Putin is significant. Coincidentally, President Putin sent a warm congratulatory message to President Mugabe saying, “You enjoy well-deserved respect as one of the leaders of the African national liberation movement,” and appreciating friendly Russia-Zimbabwean relations.

That Presidents Mugabe and Putin end up in the same bracket, according to the West, confirms the continuance of the Cold War which the western media is fanning whether in courting confrontations and advancing preemptive purposes or by way of interpreting events.

Sochi thus became a new Cold War metaphor. Many analysts and experts saw an overdrive of western media propaganda.

Stephen F Cohen, professor emeritus at New York University and Princeton University writes about the US media’s “shameful” treatment of the games.

“If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines — particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin — is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm,” he says in an article.

By Tichaona Zindoga

Source: The Herald