“Thank You Mario! But Our Princess is in another Castle!”

Anyone who remembers playing Super Mario Bros for the original Nintendo would remember this. But my reason for mentioning this is rather due to an annoyed feeling I get when I read the news headlines. “No 2. Al Qaeda commander killed” or “high-ranking leader killed.” I have this feeling that the media partly omits the fact or at least downplays the fact that Al-Qaeda, like many insurgent groups, is a polycephalous organization, and, while technically accurate (Nasir al-Wuhayshi  was “2nd in line” apparently, or merely a branch of the network) Anyone who remembers playing Super Mario Bros for the original Nintendo would remember this. But my reason for mentioning this is rather due to an annoyed feeling I get when I read the news headlines. “No 2. Al Qaeda commander killed” or “high-ranking leader killed.” I have this feeling that the media partly omits the fact or at least downplays the fact that Al-Qaeda, like many insurgent groups, is a polycephalous organization, and while technically accurate, seems to ignore the fact that these headlines have basically been the same headlines that I remember reading about 10-15 years ago and since the War on Terror became a household name. The news is dispensed in an objective and authoritative manner, yet there is a professorial attitude that news articles that almost seem to hint without going into more. The format of scrolling headline news is so short as to be meaningless. It’s not news if a top Al-Qaeda operative has been killed. It’s happened before. It’s a subscription offering for a news narrative that is more sensational and less critical, yet a product that people still buy. It’s an unwillingness to educate the average news reader what the reality of the War on Terror is. And that is a never ending war between two or more worldviews, narrated by one dominant voice, and a secondary, more elaborate explanation, however wrong that is. It a war between having time and not having time. Because if there were more time, would people spend it trying to know the what other people think? No, I think it’s just ignorance. The mentality of the War on Terror is “eradication” of fundamentalist ideology, the practice is “whack-a-mole” and the result is a news headline that is, “Thank You Mario! But our Princess is in another Castle!”

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