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American discourse on Islam and VOA

Reader comment on item: The Voice of America, Silenced on Radical Islam

Submitted by David Butz (United States), Mar 15, 2009 at 12:58

Since I have no special interest group or religious cause to form a network or a think tank, my opinion as a regular American is not displayed on VOA. Perhaps it should be called Voice Of Special Interests Paid for by Americans. It seems only the radicals with a special interest are going to be heard.

If you compare the relative levels of influence in Washington, I am as much afraid of the power of Israel as I am of Islamists. I believe that the term "terrorism" has been used as a political tool to gain influence in America. If I lived in the middle east, I would be way more "terrified" of a helicopter with million dollar weapons systems chasing me than of a 16 year old girl with a crude bomb strapped to her belly. If I lived in Afghanistan, I suspect I would fear Predator drones as much as I feared my neighbors in the next valley. Having never been to the middle east and having no desire to go, I can only regret that vast sums of our money as US taxpayers have gone there at the behest of special interests in Washington. I believe that if it were not for these special interest groups in Washington our money would not have gone there and 9/11 would never have happened.

Look at the collection of think tanks surrounding Washington and regularly appearing on CSPAN if you want to see the real threat to American democracy. I applaud the right of these folks to free speech but am dismayed by the lack of alternative discourse in the major media. Where can the average American say no to special interests demanding that America support their cause? Special interests like Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and AIPAC will continue to have influence because billions of dollars flow out from Washington. (Do the math-- spend millions, get billions!) I cannot fund an AIPAC equivalent, nor do I desire one. I just wish the ones we have would go away. I recall a while back America got in a trade dispute with the EU over bananas. Just what state do we grow bananas in? What was the VOA's position on that one?

I suppose if I knew I could get billions of dollars I might find a new fruit or religious fervor, but right now I don't have one.


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