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After Madeleine Bunting; The Guardian Weekly, 11 Nov 2007
and Lakshnmi Chaudhry; The Nation,3 Dec 2007

It may be that terrorists are morally flawed. It may also be that such morality is seen as martyrdom in the lands of Islam. Where is the truth? In 1994, Mark Saltveit offered a salient comment:

"Today's press corps is largely worthless--a pack of shallow conformists so easily manipulated that it's a joke....Maybe the [boomer] Pepsi Generation is doomed to shallow group thought and trend-mongering through years of training by MCA, CBS, and Time. New technology for cable TV, desktop publishing, and cheap recording studios arrived just in time for slackers."

The malaise in the press has now become the malaise of the American people. For example, the Israel-Palestine issue is the foremost contentious issue, yet it is now under the rug. In contrast, the rest of the world is actively debating what needs t be done. From its inception Zionists have succeeded in painting themselves as a lost people deserving a homeland, on lands that were not their homeland for some two millenniums. With the help of the League of Nations, and one Adolph Hitler, they achieved UN approval and a state of their own. As one of the original Zionists predicted, the Palestinians did not take this lying down. Yet the American public, led by the press, prefers denial over enlightenment.

Below we do a take off on our sources along with some thoughts of our own.

Bunting asks:

  • "Can we in the West claim innocence of the chaotic violence of Iraq that has been normalized into our lives? Suicide bombs have long since become routine radio noise. We're numbed to the atrocities; except for some stalwarts, the initial anti-war activism has been crowded out by other responsibilities. Life goes on even if in Baghdad it frequently doesn't."

Good question: To think about it, we need some answers? Our takeoff:

  • Were the Iraqis exploiting our oil fields?
  • Were they pressuring our leadership to resign?
  • Were they afraid we would make nuclear weapons even when we weren't?
  • Did they invade Texas without provocation?

Given those actual events, would we be justified in resisting:

  • Iraqi occupation of the Alamo?
  • Pin-point bombing of our fighters, but not so pin point in that their wives, children and neighbors are often also killed?
  • The wholesale destruction they visit on the country side and infrastructure?
  • High unemployment rate?
  • Long lines at the gas pump?
  • Non-representative local government?

Now, how does it feel to have their shoe on our foot? Once upon a time that was the case. Who once said?

"I regret that I have but one life
to give for my country?"

If this seems confusing, that is because it is. It seems, moreover that "unitary-president" Bush has succeeded King George III as the leader of the world's foremost empire. If that isn't high irony. George III was known for two things, losing the States and going mad. The later George may have looted the States, but he will not go mad, though some might claim he already is.

American media has forgotten our roots. We are in the economic driver's seat; we have the only military on earth that can do whatever it wishes; and we have a "war president" commanding them. Shades of 1776, but in reverse; there is now shadow where once there was light. We also have a media that is beholden to special interests or to the White House incumbent out of fear. And this is a most serious problem, for the public can only rely upon the media for information. Accuracy and completeness come second to political correctness. And since when has political correctness cured anything; it just keeps the pots boiling.

How bad does it have to get before the media begins to notice? Except for a few small players, it took 72 months. And then only a few. The second mid-term election brought out Bush's back-up defense mechanism. Who can forget how good-natured he seems when confessing n TV thaT he got a "thumping." That was not the real Bush.

We and many others thought he had changed. Fat chance. And the media was and still is complicit. The Bush disconnect from reality is so wide and deep it screams out bloody murder for coverage. Yet only a few media voices are out there responding after some 84 months.

Why is the media not reporting on the biggest human displacement crises since WWII? Instead the Congressional hearings were covered where the Iraqi political problems took second place to military success in quieting neighborhoods actively patrolled. In other words the media not only acquiesced, but was sure to give the official version full coverage in the form of a canned reprot on how goo it is in Iraq.

So why do 60,000 people now leave Iraq each month? Why do most Iraqis now live in one of the three enclaves populated by only one of the groups? This will never be a formula for democracy, rather, it looks more like an already-partitioned country. That too gets scant reporting. Partly that may due to Iraqi mistrust of journalists. It is true also that Bush conducts operations in secret, so the media are locked out. Nevertheless, the media itself could do a better job of reporting and protesting those very facts. At least 124 journalists, and 19 media workers of all nationalities have died in Iraq. This compares with 68 during WWII, 17 during the Korean war, 66/71 in Vietnam, depending on the source. Journalism has become more dangerous than ever.

If this is not enough, compare Bosnia with Iraq. The media made a difference, a big one, in Bosnia. In Iraq it is as if they aren't there for all the influence they have on the US government.

Any way we slice it, non-transparent operations are the works of tyranny,
not democracy.

Where is the press?

Can we take a clue from Europe? Of course we can, but the larger question is: Will we? Neither the press nor any of the candidates for president from either party are seriously addressing the most pressing issues:

  • The Israel/Palestine problem
  • The Unitary Presidency
  • The roots of terrorism; finding fixes
  • Environmental, energy, and economic budgets
  • Developing statesmanship for the sake of all humanity
  • World-wide nuclear controls
  • Corruption and special interests
  • Military-Industrial Complex

Instead, each candidate is pandering to America's national denial. This is a first order hang-up. Chaudhry quotes Gary Ruskin on this point:

"Republicans and Democrats have become one and the same--they are both corrupt at the core and behave like children who are more interested in fighting with each other than in getting anything accomplished." [This is a first order hang-up.]


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