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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11 24 “secular-minded,” “pro-Western” Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf and his “fanaticized,” Islamic nation. The fourth thematic point constructed Musharraf as the only warranty of peace in the region by forming a binary solution: either Musharraf will stay in power or the “Islamic fundamentalists” will take over the country. The “Islamic threat” was described as dangerous not only to the U.S. interests in South Asia but to the global community in general because of the potential threat of nuclear weapons. Conclusions The findings of this study lead to the conclusion that in the recent U.S. media coverage of the Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf, the Cold War frame that was used in the 1980s merged with the West versus Islam frame. The U.S. government rhetoric on the War on Terror divided the world into “allies” and “enemies,” in a way similar to the earlier division of the “communist” versus “democratic” regimes. In the recent division, greatly defined through the speeches of the American President George W. Bush, most of the countries that are considered to be “terrorist” and “enemies” are Muslim societies. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was framed in a way similar to the U.S. media coverage of the United States’ undemocratic allies in South America in the 1980s (Parenti, 1993; Bailey, 2000.) The negative features of his dictatorship were soothed through the usage of justifications and patterns of omission. He was framed as a firm leader who protects the interests of the United States in the region. At the same time, many issues of importance for his own country, such as human rights or the restoration of democracy, were omitted from the frame.

Authors: Obad, Orlanda.
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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani
President Musharraf After 9/11
24
“secular-minded,” “pro-Western” Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf and his
“fanaticized,” Islamic nation.
The fourth thematic point constructed Musharraf as the only warranty of peace in
the region by forming a binary solution: either Musharraf will stay in power or the
“Islamic fundamentalists” will take over the country. The “Islamic threat” was described
as dangerous not only to the U.S. interests in South Asia but to the global community in
general because of the potential threat of nuclear weapons.
Conclusions
The findings of this study lead to the conclusion that in the recent U.S. media
coverage of the Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf, the Cold War frame that was used in
the 1980s merged with the West versus Islam frame. The U.S. government rhetoric on
the War on Terror divided the world into “allies” and “enemies,” in a way similar to the
earlier division of the “communist” versus “democratic” regimes. In the recent division,
greatly defined through the speeches of the American President George W. Bush, most of
the countries that are considered to be “terrorist” and “enemies” are Muslim societies.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was framed in a way similar to the U.S.
media coverage of the United States’ undemocratic allies in South America in the 1980s
(Parenti, 1993; Bailey, 2000.) The negative features of his dictatorship were soothed
through the usage of justifications and patterns of omission. He was framed as a firm
leader who protects the interests of the United States in the region. At the same time,
many issues of importance for his own country, such as human rights or the restoration of
democracy, were omitted from the frame.


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