I watched “Morning Joe” this morning as I do every day while working out… and there were great expressions of outrage at the civilian casualties in Gaza. Two reactions: the losses are appalling, getting worse and the Israelis have both a moral and a political reason to stop them and to embrace offers of humanitarian relief assistance and secondly, what do we think is happening or has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan? Civilian collateral damage, deaths and suffering that make this Gaza exercise look insignificant by comparison. It is interesting how well the media cover the losses in Gaza and how badly they have been doing at covering the human cost in America’s two wars.
That is Rothkopf ruminating as he stares at the cracks in his ceiling at night. I wish I had a ceiling like that. Staring at my ceiling mostly induces thoughts of eating chocolate chipits straight of the bag, in the kitchen, while my wife is asleep.
What is more remarkable about the Gaza situation is that there are few Western reporters and photographers in the territory. There is a nice discussion of this point by the Times‘ public editor. Most of the Gaza reporting is second and third hand.
Meanwhile, journalists in the throes of the Iraq war mentioned little of the civilian carnage. It would be easy to blame the US military for masterful stage management, but could it be the very fact that Western journalists are not physically in the war zone, not feeling personally threatened, literally looking in from outside, that bestows a different perspective on civilian death. In war, with distance does the heart grow fonder?