By Zubeida Mustafa
IN the aftermath of the horrendous bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York, the most significant development to have taken place is the war psychosis, which is calculatedly being whipped up. This could spin out of control, bringing devastating consequences not just for the region around Afghanistan, but also for the whole world.
The media, both electronic and print, national and foreign, have played a key role in creating this climate of hatred and fear. They got the cue from the Bush administration’s strong response to the events of Black Tuesday. One could have hardly expected the American president to have reacted differently in the initial moments of the tragedy, given the magnitude of the devastation and the grave implications of the breach of American intelligence.
What comes as a matter of deep concern is the emergence of the media as a new actor in international politics. From a tool to disseminate information (at times also a propaganda weapon), the electronic media are virtually using their newly-acquired power to propel inter-state relations in the 21st century. This is frightening, given their enormous reach and ubiquitous presence in the age of cable and satellite television. Continue reading “A new actor in world politics”