Johnno

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ambivalence



In these uncertain times of Australian legislation branding writing "seditious" I'm a little nervous about this....nevertheless, I'll press on.

I've just watched the documentary about Al Jazeera during the Gulf War, Control Room.

A good indeopent article about the documentary here

I was completely blown away by this documentary and the presentation of the network. The quality and intelligence of the Al Jazeera journalists and producers, a lot of them from the ex BBC Arab Network, since closed down.

From the other side of the fence I was equally blown away by the frankness, honesty and frustration of a Lieutenant Josh Rushing who was effectively silenced by the Pentagon after the documentary was aired. In frustration he quit, bummed around for a bit and now works for Al Jazeera itself. he was a little younger and greener than the seasoned Al Jazeera journos, however he presented his side admirably.

A couple of highlights came form the DVD extras.

One was a cuddly loveable journalist Hassan Ibrahim



.....with a mind like a steel trap; arguing his point about the definition of "terrorism" with another arab journo. The other guy defined terrorism as violence against a civilian population with a political aim......war against soldiers could not be considered terrorism.

Ibrahim argued the point that unless a new bomb was invented that distinguished between a civilian and a soldier then such bombing was "terrorism". Shrapnel from a ten tonne bomb makes no such ethical distinctions. This is the West's problem with the definition of "terrorism".

Ibrahim summed it up, the abhorence of all forms of violence should be the goal; whether they be government sanctioned "liberations" or religous nut attacks upon civilians. I tend to agree.

There were a couple of exchanges between Lt. Rushing and Ibrahim. The older wiser Ibrahim keeping the younger Rushing on his toes. Rushing described it in a later 2004 interview "It’s like a nightmare where you are on ‘Jeopardy.’ You don’t know the answer, but your buzzer keeps going off."



Another interview on the DVD extras with Rushing stood out for me.(They pretty well all did, his thoughts flowed freely with no umms or errs). He was describing how the USA saw the world, he came up with a one word definition and the changed it. I thought he would say "apathy" but he said "ambivalence", I had to look this up.

" Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow."

Which is sort of how I feel in these changing times.

2 Comments:

  • i have wondered about this movie, now i think i need to go rent it at least. thanks for the bang-up review!

    By Blogger sleepybomb, at 11:09 am  

  • Speaking as a N'Murikkan, our attitude is summed up less by ambivalence, which implies a weighing of merits, than a search for the moral certainty that will make the things we do emotionally bearable. There are lamentably few hard-headed people here, at least not in the sense of being able to make real, long term, cost benefit analyses.

    By Anonymous Sammy, at 1:21 pm  

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