Up Front, for May 28, 2012 - 7:00am
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Wow, what an amazingly bad show. Kolhatkar and Armoudian spend the hour ostensibly discussing the ways media can be used to misinform and propagandize…by misinforming and propagandizing.
The discussion of Rwanda could have been a Dept of State presentation pitched to 10 year olds along the lines of Kony 2012: using the Rwandan genocide as one of her case studies, Armoudian says, “before the media came you didn’t have the mass killing.” She doesn’t once mention that Rwanda was then in the 4th year of an invasion from neighboring Uganda led by Paul Kagame’s RPF or that Rwanda President Habyarimana was assassinated, many believe by Kagame; or that there’s ample documentary evidence that Kagame’s RPF were responsible for a large number of Hutu deaths during the genocide and that he went on to systematically kill Hutu refugees after consolidating power in 1994; or that Kagame received military training in the US and that his dictatorship (he allows elections but arrests any candidate who questions the dominant narrative that he is the hero who stopped the genocide of Tutsis by Hutus, replicated in essence by Up Front) serves as a US client state, etc.
Armoudian piously talks about how media in Rwanda, Nazi Germany and the former Yugoslavia selectively frame in order to distort or lie about reality. What monumental hypocracy! I guess the Western media’s role in facilitating genocide in Iraq through sanctions (an estimated 500,00 children died) or invasion (over a million Iraqis died) isn’t worth mentioning, or the “silent genocide” taking place right now in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which an estimated 6 million Congolese have died in a resource war waged by the US and other western nations using Uganda and Rwanda as their proxies.
Maria Armoudian is a fellow at USC’s Center for International Studies, which in 2008 co-hosted a conference called “AFRICOM: America’s Public Dipomacy and Miitary Strategy in Africa,” so it’s not that surprising that she would be pumping out US government propoganda. But it is sickening that she hosts a show on KPFK that regularly reinforces such false narratives (see her 1/12/12 interview with Romeo Dallaire, for example) which are used to justify “humanitarian” but, in reality, resource-driven military interventions. It’s truly revolting that this level of propaganda now goes out over KPFA’s airwaves thanks to Up Front. Having heard this, I really have to question the reliability of the producers and hosts of this program.
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