Four covers of the 20 September 2010 issue of TIME magazine, showing the Pakistan flood story removed from the cover of the US edition. Joe Romm

By Juan Cole
September 9, 2010

The Great Deluge in Pakistan passed almost unnoticed in the United States despite President Obama’s repeated assertions that the country is central to American security.  Now, with new evacuations and flooding afflicting Sindh Province and the long-term crisis only beginning in Pakistan, it has washed almost completely off American television and out of popular consciousness. …

Few Americans were shown -- by the media conglomerates of their choice -- the heartbreaking scenes of eight million Pakistanis displaced into tent cities, of the submerging of a string of mid-sized cities (each nearly the size of New Orleans), of vast areas of crops ruined, of infrastructure swept away, damaged, or devastated at an almost unimaginable level, of futures destroyed, and opportunistic Taliban bombings continuing.  The boiling disgust of the Pakistani public with the incompetence, insouciance, and cupidity of their corrupt ruling class is little appreciated. 

The likely tie-in of these floods (of a sort no one in Pakistan had ever experienced) with global warming was seldom mentioned.  Unlike, say, BBC Radio, corporate television did not tell the small stories -- of, for instance, the female sharecropper who typically has no rights to the now-flooded land on which she grew now-ruined crops thanks to a loan from an estate-owner, and who is now penniless, deeply in debt, and perhaps permanently excluded from the land.  That one of the biggest stories of the past decade could have been mostly blown off by television news and studiously ignored by the American public is a further demonstration that there is something profoundly wrong with corporate news-for-profit.  (The print press was better at covering the crisis, as was publically-supported radio, including the BBC and National Public Radio.) …

The Great Pakistani Deluge Never Happened via Climate Progress

3 comments :

  1. Anonymous said...

    Meanwhile in Pakistan, Obama's Predator drones keep attacking people.  

  2. Anonymous said...

    They're Obama's now?  

  3. The Catalyst Collective said...

    President = Commander in Chief of armed forces. Unless the drones are being run by some entity other than the military, yes, "they're Obama's now."  

 

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