Prof. Robert Jensen. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: How do you explain the silence of Western media and governments regarding the massacre of the people of Yemen by the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, strategic ally of the US?
Prof. Robert Jensen: I am not an expert on the war in Yemen, but it is clear that the Saudi-led coalition has used tactics that have caused widespread civilian suffering. The US media have not completely avoided the story but also have not focused on those humanitarian disasters in the same way they would if the forces responsible were US enemies. This is a longstanding pattern, what Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky called the distinction between “worthy” and “unworthy” victims, depending on who is doing the killing. It’s one way we see that an allegedly “objective” US news media tends to fall in line behind US foreign policy. Lire la suite »
In the current historical moment in the United States, the emptying out of language is nourished by the assault on the civic imagination. One example of this can be found in the rise of Donald Trump on the political scene. Trump’s popular appeal speaks to not just the boldness of what he says and the shock it provokes, but the inability to respond to shock with informed judgment rather than titillation. Marie Luise Knott is right in noting, « We live our lives with the help of the concepts we form of the world. They enable an author to make the transition from shock to observation to finally creating space for action – for writing and speaking. Just as laws guarantee a public space for political action, conceptual thought ensures the existence of the four walls within which judgment operates. » (1) The concepts that now guide our understanding of US society are dominated by a corporate-induced linguistic and authoritarian model that brings ruin to language, politics and democracy itself. Lire la suite »