Monday, September 11, 2006

RABINOWITZ TRIES TO SINK RADIO PROGRAM'S OBJECTIVE: Calling BBC and NPR --- 9-11 Memories and Discussion

In the run-up to the 5th anniversary commemorations of the 9-11-01 commemorations in the United States and around the world, on Saturday evening September 9, 2006, both National Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S.A. and the BBC in London ran a combined program interviewing so-called experts and callers from around the world.

This was done with cooperation of a radio talk program out of Massachusetts called ON-POINT. The two hours of world-wide radio discussion were intended to promote good dialogue, but through their selection of one so-called expert, Dorothy Rabinowitz, the program certainly left a bad taste in the mouth of most listeners who were expecting a more balanced set of discussants.

As most callers from the U.S. and other nationals stated that they have been concerned with the hysteria and direction of America in the world in the post 9-11 era, Rabinowitz replied in opposition to their real concerns about human rights and foreign policies by saying: “Some people think the world is flat, too.”

Rabinowitz, who has written for and has been on the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, went out of the way to not promote real introspection on events in the world leading up to the biggest attack on a singularly civilian population in American history. Further, she seemed to promote a W. Bush and Israeli perspective on how to interpret the globe after 9-11.

Rabinowitz claimed that it was illogical for any American, particularly Leftist Academics, to even raise the questions: “Why were we attacked?” or “What might have Americans have done to have caused us to hate our institutions or peoples so much?”

Rewriting history, as conservatives have been far too successful in doing in recent decades, Rabinowitz claims that both the American and world-wide peace movement which united after 9-11 to create phrases like NOT-IN-OUR NAME are unprecedented and dangerous. Rabinowitz was asserting: “How could anyone even think that America, the American government, the military, or American businesses did anything AT ALL to make someone hate what America stands for enough to attack the American people?”

When I heard this, I felt I needed to call in and join the world-wide dialogue. Grabbing my cell-phone, I dialed collect London at 442-08-7495353. To my surprise, I was able to leave my message, but I my message was never shared on air that evening.

All I said was basically:

(1) Rabinowitz’s pro-Mossad line of describing America practices, the Middle East and Islam in general were not productive to good international dialogue. [As a matter of fact, neither BBC nor NPR allowed any callers on the air with a countering view who spoke as virulently or as derogatory and reactionary in stating their opinion as Rabinowitz was.]

(2) Some 40 million Americans living and working abroad—as I do now in Kuwait—definitely feel, as a whole, that we Americans need to get to know “the others” outside our own country better. [Rabinowitz had “poo-pooed” this cry for introspection and cross-cultural learning advocated by other discussants and many Americans in the post 9-11 era.]


As one later caller stated, 9-11 events made the world recall the common element of humanity. This is why in the days after 9-11 there was such a great support for America from around the world. It is this sense of common humanity which was present in the world’s response to the Great Tsunami of Christmas 2004. America again felt this warm embrace after the Katrina catastrophe last year.

Alas, humanity was not on the table for Rabinowitz who wanted to paint the whole world in an Us-versus-Them manner throughout her one-hour stint on the longer ON-POINT program broadcast around the world that date.

She should have been criticized directly by one caller—but on September 9 neither the BBC nor NPR sought to have her put in her place—which is in the fundamentalist reactionary corner of world news analysis.

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