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Mon

15

Jan

2007

The media will report on Bush's posture, tone of voice, tie color, and attitude - The trivial will be made into the gargantuan
Monday, 15 January 2007 15:26
by Edward Strong

We know who they are We must do something about them - turn them off, tune them out, and build an oppositional media that we can support and learn from Are we ready to realize that the mass media are part of the war and has to be taken to task? Bush just claimed he was making Americans more safe with his occupation of Iraq. The media will not contrast this claim with any studies of the actual effects of the Iraq War.

Bush just claimed he cared about U.S. service men and women. The media will not ask our troops what they think. Veteran and military family organizations opposing the war will not be asked to comment for the morning headlines.

The media WILL report on Bush's posture, tone of voice, tie color, and attitude. The trivial will be made into the gargantuan.

The important will be slipped in sideways, quietly, in the form of an unstated assumption that the "surge" is already underway and out of Congress's hands to stop--an action that would be indecent anyway.

The media will not ask or try to answer what Bush means when he says "victory." The media will not raise the question of what this war is being fought for.

The media will depict the anti-war movement as striving ultimately only for a rejection of the "surge."

No mention will be made of efforts to de-escalate and end the war. And the media will continue to call the "surge" a surge, gradually dropping the quotation marks.

The media will not show us the Iraqi people killed and injured by our war. [1]

BUSH PROPAGANDA!


Bushaganda again! We are in the year 2007 in a war that has lasted longer than World War 2. This outrage has been underway since 2002--before the first cruise missiles were fired--when the Congress shamefully rubberstamped Bush's demand for authority to make war. And yet, there is almost no context offered.

Everyone in the media knows its not working, that we are losing, that its implementation has been, in the words of the title of Washington Post military writer Tom Ricks book “a fiasco.”

Everyone knows that the contractors are ripping us off, and that men and women are dying for nothing. Everyone knows that this war is shaming America from the torture chambers of Abu Ghraib to the despicable lynching of Saddam Hussein.

There is no sense of decency this war does not offend.

The public has defected. The world has turned against us. The Iraqis want us gone. All the wisest policy wonks who have studied it agree that the only sensible recourse is to get out fast as we can.

And yet two institutions seem stuck in this big muddy. One is the White House, desperate to hang on and achieve something, anything, it can use to justify the most mismanaged war in history and call it "victory." George Bush increasingly resembles Captain Ahab in this drama.

The other party to the bloodletting to come is the media, which can’t and won’t learn from its mistakes, which can’t and won’t refuse to stop reinforcing this crime against our constitution and humanity.

It is the media which collectively lacks the guts and gumption to refuse to carry more White House propaganda, to scrutinize the options and give more air time to the critics.

It is stuck in the business of legitimizing institutions that have lost all credibility. In Britian, in contrast, Channel 4 will be airing a program on the crimes of Tony Blair.

I wrote two books about these media crimes and made the film WMD about the fusion of news and propaganda. Unfortunately, they remain all too relevant.

I continue to add what thoughts and little passion I have to rail against the media war, what my former colleague David Degraw now labels the “Art of Mental Warfare” in a bold new book vivisecting the ways public opinion is moulded by invisible rulers.

The problem is that many of those rulers and their operatives are well known to us, well “branded” in our brains, recognized by their logos and mediagenic personalities.

We know who they are, but are we ready to do what we have to do about them--turn them off, tune them out, and build an oppositional media word that we can support and learn from? Are we ready to realize that the media is part of the war and has to be taken to task. [2]

THE IDIOT IN CHARGE

What to say about the Idiot-in-Chief’s big war speech - the urge to surge propaganda piece?

About two or three minutes into Big Brother's Newspeak, I started taking notes. I was picking up a lot of Orwellian absurdity. Here are some of my real-time speech reflections:

* repeated use of the terms “democracy” and “democratic” to describe administration goals and a broader invasion that are actually opposed by the majority of Americans and Iraqis and indeed by most of the world.

* He’s denouncing “terrorists” and “foreign fighters” and claiming to support “the territorial integrity” of Iraq as he continues to prosecute a state-terrorist war of occupation in which imperial “foreign fighters” (US and UK troops) violate the “territorial integrity” of Iraq. He talks like we’ve annexed Iraq...like it U.S. territory, like we aren’t foreign invaders.

* Deepening the crime; deepening the terror; deepening the oil occupation...he’s like an abuser who tells his victims he cares for them and respects them while he beats on them…violates them.

* He denounces “extremists” but what are he and his team and supporters but an out-of-control bunch of radically reactionary, regressive and repressive extremists – not “conservatives” at all - of Empire and Inequality at home and abroad?

* There's one (indirect) reference to the main reason for the U.S. invasion of Iraq - super-strategic Iraq/ME oil – when he says that Islamic extremists could “use oil revenues to fund their ambitions.”

Well shucks, what does Uncle Sam want to do more than to control Iraq’s simply stupendous oil reserves in order to further his (officially noble and benevolent) Imperial Ambitions? (This is widely understood outside the U.S.).

* The Idiot almost claims to be proposing his “surge” to the American people when we know damn well that the escalation is already well underway (verified after the speech by ABC anchor Charles Gibson, who noted that “vanguard” U.S. forces are already on the move).

* The Idiot claims to be advancing “human rights” and “the rule of law” in deepening a monumentally (and elementarily) illegal invasion that has violated the Geneva conventions through mass torture practices he approved while conducting illegal wiretaps on U.S. citizens. [3] Collage by Jo Swift

[1] David Swanson [2]Danny Schechter [3] Paul Street
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