[Arab News, Saudi Arabia]



Der Standard, Austria

Can Americans Disarm in Thought and Word?


"It's not as if opponents in Washington have stopped and held velvet-gloved hands. But the venomous tone between the parties, the brutal and merciless passion that has characterized political debate in recent years, has ceased for the moment."


By Christopher Prantner


Translated By Jonathan Lobsien


January 9, 2011


Austria - Der Standard - Original Article (German)

Whatever his motives, 22-year-old attacker Jared Loughner didn't differentiate between the parties of his victims. U.S. Federal Judge John Roll, a Republican and friend of Congresswoman Giffords, was one of those killed in the attack.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Assessing the political fallout from the shooting in Arizona, Jan. 9, 00:02:18RealVideo

Very little is clear after the massacre in Tucson. The evidence is thin, but a few facts have been confirmed: Six people are dead and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was, as of Sunday, still fighting for her life. Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged assassin, is in custody and is refusing to give the authorities any information, citing the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens against government abuse of power during legal proceedings. One can only speculate as to the motive of the mentally disturbed 22-year-old.


And in fact, there has been exhaustive speculation. Although it still hasn’t been fully determined whether the gunman had a political motivation, the event is being relentlessly politicized: Those on the left like Paul Krugman of The New York Times place the blame for the bloodshed on the rhetoric of the right. Those on the right are rising up on the Internet to assert that the attack was staged by the Democrats in order to neutralize the Tea Party movement in Washington.


Between these two poles, the political discourse in the United States is being altered - even without the assassinations in Tucson. In this middle ground, one can hear the barely audible voice of reason. There has been little place for it in the ever louder, ever more rabid six-hour news cycles that govern the programming of TV stations.


It's not as if opponents in Washington have stopped and held velvet-gloved hands. But the venomous tone between the parties, the brutal and merciless passion that has characterized political debate in recent years, has ceased for the moment. If Arizona is, as the Sheriff of Pima County phrased it after the attack on Giffords, a “Mecca for prejudice and bigotry,” Washington deserves the title even more.



Le Figaro, France: Explaining the 'Murder and Hatred' in Arizona

Beijing Youth Daily, China: Tucson a 'Footnote in Year of Economic Crisis'

Die Zeit, Germany: Sarah Palin Is No Longer 'Reloading'

Excelsior, Mexico: Mexicans Uniquely Alarmed by Arizona Shooting Attack

El Pais, Spain: Tea Party 'Endangers Health' of American Democracy

Estadao, Brazil: The Massacre in Arizona: Will America Ever Learn?

News Switzerland: The Day Hope was Shot, in America and Europe

Der Spiegel, Germany: Blaming Sarah Palin for Tucson Attack is 'Wrong'

Rheinische Post, Germany: America's 'Intellectual Instigators' of Hatred

Berliner Morganpost: Mutual Respect: What U.S. Owes Itself, World

Polityka, Poland: America in Anger's Clutches

Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria: Massacre in Tucson: 'A Sad Day for U.S.

Guardian, U.K.: Arizona Shootings: Left, Right at Odds Over Effects of Toxic Politics

TLZ, Germany: America's Hate-Filled Rhetoric 'Unworthy of a Democratic Nation'

Telegraph, U.K.: Will Obama Stand Up to Left's Exploitation of National Tragedy?

Guardian, U.K.: Shooting of Giffords Highlights 'Man-Up' Culture in U.S. Politics


Bookmark and Share


Cable networks like Fox News and MSNBC bombard their respective ideologically opposed parties with inane one-sidedness. Cartoonists of late have had to draw with either a red or blue marker, so that newspaper copy editors manage to avoid embarrassment for spreading bad - that is to say, different - ideas. And then there’s Sarah Palin, the trigger-happy governess of the Tea Party who sent out a “hit list” of representatives who ought to be “eliminated” in the midterm elections. Complete with crosshairs on a map of the USA (incidentally, Arizona and Gabrielle Giffords were clearly marked).  



How can anyone there be surprised that such seeds of hatred will once in a while bear fruit? That deranged characters or those disposed to acts of terrorism grab their guns? That some paranoid country folk load up a truck full of explosives and use it to blow up government buildings, as in Oklahoma City?


At that time, President Bill Clinton had to deal with a similar political climate. The attack was one of the turning points of his presidency. Likewise, the attack in Tucson is such an event for the presidency of Barack Obama. And it’s a warning sign for the newly elected Congress in Washington, which at the very least, demands more civilized debate between politicians. If any sense comes out of this attack, it will be that Americans recognize the need to disarm in thought and word.



blog comments powered by Disqus








































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US January 19, 10:17pm]


Bookmark and Share