One of the most vicious and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim programs on television was Homeland. It replaced the equally anti-Arab hateful program 24, which returned to television last week. Both had one thing in common: The fictional heroes in Homeland (on the notorious anti-Arab cable channel Showtime) and 24 (on the equally notorious anti-Arab cable channel FOX) mainlined into the warped love affair that Americans have with the ugly truth of their wars like crack cocaine.
Americans paint over the horrors that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan created with sanitized fictionalized narratives. They bury the war crimes and play themselves up as victims, always exploiting the fact that 19 terrorists killed nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001 — some of those Americans were Arab and Muslim. Tens of thousands of Muslims and Arabs who had nothing to do with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were killed, murdered and tortured in order to satiate the American hunger for vengeance. Nothing justified the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism. But nothing justified the invasion of Iraq and the killing of hundreds and thousands of innocent Arabs and Muslims during the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld campaign of vengeance and greed.
The unjustified wars were pretty sad to watch in real life. But to justify the real life hatred that fuels public support of those unjustified wars, television and the movies had to step up to the plate and provide “cover,” justifying the atrocities against innocent victims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, all places where the official American wars and the secret American wars continue to be prosecuted. Homeland and 24 were two of the most notorious, but not the only ones, for sure.
Being an American military veteran of the Vietnam war, I recognize how hatred drives the anger and hunger for revenge among Americans who served int he U.S. Military but more so the Americans who did not serve in the military but seem to enjoy cheering for war and conflict more than many others.
The latest addition to this Hate the Arabs and Hate the Muslim TV programming is a series called Tyrant which will premiere on the FX TV Network on Tuesday June 24.
I haven’t been able to get FX to provide a screener copy so I can precisely evaluate the content of the new series, but from what I have seen so far in the teasers, the emphasis is on hating Arabs, hating Muslims, and especially hating Palestinians. The anti-Palestinian narrative comes from the anti-Arab producer Gideon Raff, the Israeli writer and producer of the anti-Arab hate program Homeland who was born in occupied Jerusalem in 1973.
Knowing how the Israelis love to always play the victim, while pretending that they have never done worse to the Palestinians, Raff has done a great job of spinning the truth through TV fiction to make the Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians appear to be the bad guys, while glorifying the Israelis and Americans, a clever strategy to create a bond with American audiences. There is nothing like fan the flames of hatred against someone else to build a close and tight bond with someone like an American. The Israelis as masters of the PR spin.
What are the Arabs doing to counter this “entertainment” garbage? Absolutely nothing, of course. The one truthful narrative of all of these programs is that the Arab World is run by tyrants and dictators and autocrats and monarchs who care more about the profits they get from the Western countries for their oil production (Saudi Arabia, Iraq) and for their military support (Jordan, Egypt, Yemen). But while these hate programs on American TV portray all Arabs are murderers and blood thirty anti-Semites and terrorist killers of babies, the truth is that the majority of Arabs are more moral and principled than even the most honorable American.
The Arab World doesn’t produce this kind of hate entertainment because they don’t embrace hatred as easily as do Americans and Israelis.
Here are some trailers from Tyrant, published on YouTube:
Tyrant offers the creative talents of David Yates, the director of the “true-to-life” (sarcasm, of course) Harry Potter series. Yates knows more about embellishing and fabricating narrative and making it compelling to the gullible American audiences better than anyone.
It’s a fascinating American world we live in.
On the one hand, many Americans argue that the violence on video games and on television seen by children, teenagers and young people may in fact be a major cause of why so many young Americans pick up guns and then go to their local schools where they try to murder and massacre other American school mates. It happens more often in American schools than it does in schools in any other foreign country.
Yet, if you argued that the television-hate broadcast on Showtime, FOX and FX has the same kind of impact on Americans but even more destructive and threatening, Americans laugh at you. They just refuse to believe that they somehow are capable of being worse than the terrorists who attacked this country on Sept. 11, 2001.
But clearly, the American TV hate programs are a narcotic that fuels that anger, hatred, stereotypes, racism, discrimination and bigotry against Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians. And that must make Raff very happy.
He has done his job to help Israel. I’m sure that maybe next year, Jay Leno will present him the $1 million Genesis Prize in Israeli occupied Jerusalem, which once was the capitol of Christianity but today is a battle ground between Jews and Muslims. (I doubt any TV producer will make a movie about that reality, or that the Arab dictators in the Middle East and the Islamic World would ever think that putting a few million into the movie industry instead of on the Baccarat tables at the world’s most lavish casinos — the “Arab Hypocritical Houses of Haram.”)
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist and managing editor of The Arab Daily News www.TheArabDailyNews.com. Selections of his columns are also distributed by Creators Syndicate.)