Sunday, April 11, 2010

Secrecy unveiled by the almighty internet

A week ago the world was surprised by a scandal caused by the US military during the war in Iraq. Accompanied by deciphered footage of the US army, recorded from an Apache helicopter, and published by Wikileaks.org, it showed us the ease at which the army used (and most probably still uses) force against innocent people in combat zones.

After publication of this footage the entire media corps spent time on analyzing and criticizing the role of the US army, especially at missions that aren't globally supported. Let me be clear, this is not a plea in favor of the US army (or whatever army in these situations), but I want to take a better look at the sources that reveal news like this. It strikes me that the serious media is being lead by websites that can proclaim anything in order to put others in a negative spotlight. And yes, it is of course a good thing that the 'good guys' will be corrected where needed, so unnecessary harm will be prevented in the future.

Websites like Wikileaks publish topics on their pages which seem products of journalism, but contain lots of subjectivity, including 'text balloons' and subtitles in the video, pointing out what the persons in the picture were carrying or doing. It enforces the assumption that what happened was utterly wrong, that's for sure. On the other hand, the serious media instantly followed the statements, because the pictures spoke for themselves. Well, I question that. Couldn't the picture have been cut and edited? Couldn't the voices been put in afterward, just to exaggerate the story? During a moment of extreme stress, sometimes wrong decisions are taken, which unfortunately lead to innocent casualties. This event has only been one of the many shootings which took place in Baghdad and in Iraq, but just because it had been a doubtful context it is food for the masses.

I am a fan of people like Michael Moore, but I do not absorb the information unconditionally. It is valuable that there are people and media that stand up against the establishment, but let's not assume that initiatives like Wikileaks tell us the objective truth and nothing but the truth.

Halal or not Halal: how to kill animals on the right way...

Britain’s second biggest fast food chain hoped to woo the Islamic market by opening 86 trial outlets selling halal-only meat – that’s from animals slaughtered under strict religious guidelines.

But KFC’s target diners insist the chickens are not being killed in the right way and say they will stay away.
And furious non-Muslim customers have set up Facebook groups protesting that the trial branches, which also ban pork, have dropped their favourite bacon-topped Big Daddy burger from menus.
Groups with names such as “Against the KFC Halal Trial” and “No Halal at Colne KFC” – referring to a branch in the Lancs town – are rapidly attracting members. For meat to be halal, the animal must be alive when its throat is cut as a verse from the Koran is recited.
KFC insists their methods meet the approval of the Halal Food Society. But Islamic leaders disagree, saying the pre-stunning of animals in the chain’s mechanical process means a third are already dead at the point of slaughter.
And the fact the prayer is played over a speaker means each bird it not blessed individually as it is killed.
They have now threatened to warn the UK’s 2.4million Muslims not to eat KFC meat, and will meet with the fast food giant on Wednesday to question how it is killing chickens sold as halal.
I am happy that we have in the Netherlands the PvdD, Party of Animals.

Day Opening - April 11

Thinking in beauty!