by Deck Deckert
(Swans - July 18, 2005) What if terrorism in Iraq were treated the same way as terrorism in London?
What if every newspaper in the country splashed pictures and stories of the latest suicide bombing in Iraq all across page one, and reported the carnage to the same degree as they have in London?
What if the indignation, horror, and empathy extended to innocent civilians to our British ally by TV talking heads were equally extended to innocent civilians in Iraq?
What if the death of as many as 100,000 Iraqis, and the wounding of scores of thousands more, was covered the same way as the toll in London?
What if the story of the criminal destruction of the Iraqi city of Fallujah by US forces was covered in the same detail -- the bombing of hospitals, the horrendous civilian death toll, the illegal use of napalm and white phosphorus shells, the dead in the streets being eaten by dogs?
What if the radio talk shows endlessly discussed the war crimes being committed daily by US, no, excuse me, "coalition" forces -- the devastation of Fallujah, the use of depleted uranium, the random shooting of civilians, including children, at checkpoints?
What if the analysts discussed the certainty that US and British actions in Iraq, in particular, and the Mideast in general were the direct cause of the latest bombings in London?
What if the Downing Street memos demonstrating White House duplicity in the march for war were covered to the same degree as the London bombings -- or a missing teenager?
What if the horrors of day to day life in Iraq were as familiar to Americans as the trial and tribulations of Michael Jackson?
What if the chance of impeachment of President Bush was at least brought up for discussion, even if it is a political and practical impossibility?
If that happened, you can be sure that the already slipping support for the war would drop even more precipitously and the declining popularity of Bush would tank.
And that, of course, is why that kind of coverage will never happen. The media, that is the mainstream corporate media, have been willing and often enthusiastic supporters of the Bush push for the misnamed war on terrorism -- as if you could really have a war on a tactic.
The Downing Street memos remained almost totally uncovered in the corporate media. US war crimes in Iraq go unreported, or are categorically denied. The Iraq civilian death toll remains essentially a secret.
The one-story-at-a-time media is at least currently focused on an important story. But in a couple of days it will be back to covering meaningless celebrity stories, runaway brides, or feel-good pieces about lottery winners.
And the horror of Iraq will continue to be ignored, and democracy in the U.S. will continue to shrivel.