Thursday, May 15, 2008

  • Thursday, May 15, 2008
  • Elder of Ziyon
AFP has an interesting, inconsistent policy of when it puts scare quotes around the word "terror."

When performed against Israel, of course, terror is the ambiguous "terror":
Bush vows to support Israel against 'terror'

Visiting US President George W. Bush vowed on Thursday to support Israel in battling "terror" groups as the nation marks its 60th anniversary still struggling to find peace with Arab neighbours.
And against India, terror is also in the eye of the beholder:
Some 216 people were wounded in what police said was the first "terror" attack in the Rajasthan state capital.
But attacks against the US - which probably pays much of AFP's bills - are definitely terror:
Since 1970, Las Vegas saw gambling revenues fall only once -- in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, when gaming revenues in 2002 were less than 1 percent lower than 2001.
The United States has poured nearly 40 billion dollars in aid to South Asia since the September 11 attacks but the terror threat from the region remains a top problem, a congressional hearing was told Wednesday.
The trial is the first in Europe over the CIA's so-called "extraordinary rendition" programme under which it has secretly transferred terror suspects to third countries known to practise torture.
Colombian paramilitaries to be tried by US for terror, drugs
Obama has disowned Wright, denounced the terror campaign of Weather Underground, and says that his not wearing a flag lapel pin does not make him any less patriotic.
The UK definition of terror is also OK by AFP, as the scare quotes are nowhere to be found:
Ditching the 10 percent lowest tax bracket infuriated Labour backbenchers, while Brown faces further clashes with them over plans to let police hold terror suspects for 42 days without charge.
China also gets to define terror its own way without challenge from AFP:
The reports came a day after a top Olympic security official said the military would be involved in anti-terror efforts, and government confirmation earlier this week that China had introduce more stringent visa requirements.
So does Zimbabwe's critics:
Pressure mounted on Zimbabwe Thursday to admit foreign observers to oversee a presidential election run-off amid fresh claims that pro-government militias were deliberately instilling terror.
As does the UN:
Canada has asked the United Nations to take one of its nationals off a list of terror suspects, a Sudanese-Canadian who has been blocked in Sudan for five years, his lawyer said Friday.
It appears that most countries have the right to call terror terror without the AFP's editorializing scare quotes, but attacks against medical clinics in Israel or simultaneous bombs in India don't make the cut.

But there is one other case where AFP uses the scare quotes as it does against Israel and India: Vietnam.
Three pro-democracy activists including an American were handed jail terms of up to nine months on "terrorism" charges in a trial held under tight security Tuesday.

The three, all linked to a US-based party banned in Vietnam, were accused of "inciting riots threatening the national security" of the communist country by distributing leaflets.

Yes, AFP considers Israel and India uses of the word "terror" to be as ambiguous as that of Vietnam's.

When a policy is applied inconsistently in different situations, but consistently against Israel and India, what does that say about AFP's editorial policies?

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