Originally published January 8, 2020
In the days since the killing of Iranian terrorist-in-chief Qassem Soleimani
, the media and Democrats have bent over backwards trying to show that Soleimani was anything other than a piece of human garbage who deserved his fate. While they do this out of a greater hatred for President Trump than hatred for the killer of hundreds of Americans and countless others, they also display yet another instance of low American expectations for the Middle East.
A recent example is the selective use of the term “cultural sites.” In response to the death of Soleimani, the Iranians raised a red flag
over a significant cultural site, Jamkarān Mosque in Qom, Iran. According to Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, “This red flag is a call for the deaths of anyone who opposes Shiite Islam.” When President Trump, deterring the Iranians on Twitter
, mentioned cultural sites as potential targets in retaliation for terrorist action, he was referring to the cultural sites that the Iranians themselves are desecrating by turning them into military targets. Instead of reporting on how Iran uses and misappropriates cultural sites as threats to the West, outlets like NBC News
and The Washington Post
ignore that aspect of the story to attack President Trump.
This shouldn’t be surprising. The very same media that now fawn
over the crowd size at Soleimani’s funeral downplayed the large-scale protests against the Iranian regime just a few weeks earlier. They worked hard to ignore the mass slaughter of those very protesters, likely on the order of Soleimani himself. Under normal circumstances, a bevy of op-eds would have been written, but expectations are so low for the behavior of the Iranian government that it was swept under the rug. The 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square is part of the history books, but the victims of Iran will be forgotten because nobody cared to talk about them.
This trend also isn’t limited to Iran. When President Trump moved the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, media members like Peter Beinart referred to the move
as a “deadly provocation.” Beinart used a thousand words to describe how it would be Trump’s fault if Palestinians were to commit terrorism in Israel because of the embassy move, and fewer than 50 words to pay lip service to the fact that such action obviously isn’t justified. In a world with reasonable expectations for the actions of a moral people, those numbers would be reversed. There are no expectations for reasonable, civil action from the Palestinian side — only for the Israeli side.
In Syria, where Obama’s “red line” was conveniently ignored when Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his people, the media praised Obama’s “restraint.” Was it restraint on Obama’s part that allowed Assad to be let off the hook, or was it the notion that such behavior has a level of acceptability in that part of the world? Nobody will ever expressly say that it is acceptable, but the lack of action spoke louder than any words.
Now that Iran has launched missiles against a U.S. base in Iraq, the media will defend that action, claiming that it was Trump’s killing of Soleimani that instigated this round of escalation. They readily ignore the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, the attacks on numerous ships in the Persian Gulf, the shooting down of an American drone back in June, and the arming of terrorist organizations like Hezbollah to the tune of tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of precision-guided missiles. The media have such low expectations of Iran that those actions are completely forgiven and forgotten — brushed aside as just something else that the Iranians have done.
Iran should be held to the same standard of accountability as that of any other nation. They are not, though, because the media do not expect them to act rationally. That is the bigotry that the media hold: The soft bigotry of low expectations.
Moshe Hill is a political analyst who has written for The Daily Wire, The Queens Jewish Link, The Jewish Link of New Jersey and JNS.org. He is regularly featured on ‘The Josh M Show’ podcast. Subscribe to aHillwithaview.com for more content from Moshe Hill. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/ahillwithaview and follow on Twitter @TheMoHill.