April 28, 2003
How is it that the American people see black as white?
How have they concluded that crushing a defenseless country, destroying its 7,000-year-old culture, stealing its natural resources, and slaughtering thousands of people who have done us no harm was a wise, moral and courageous thing to do?
Why do they believe that the ugly and dangerous cabal that has seized control of the US government is exercising wise and moral leadership?
Why are they unconcerned about the increasing militarization of America? Unconcerned about the loss of the liberties on which our country was founded? Unconcerned about the destruction of the social contract between government and citizens? Uninterested in the catastrophic effects of assaults on the environment, global warming -- and globalization?
Why do they think giving huge tax cuts to the extremely wealthy makes economic sense and is the fair thing to do?
The answer is simple: it's what the oligarchic corporate media tells them.
Internet junkies can spend hours a week -- or hours a day -- searching out alternative sources for news. But the average individual doesn't have the time or resources for such a search. They are captives of the corporate media, which during the build up to the war on Iraq and the war itself gave up all pretense of being anything other than a shill for the White House and the military/industrial complex.
The media is smug and self congratulatory about its coverage of the Gulf War 2, The Sequel, brimming with self confidence that it did a superb job.
It did, of course -- for the smirking pretender to the throne in the White House, for the Pentagon, for the bomb makers feeding at the inexhaustible war trough.
It gave them and us a sanitized war, a pretty war. The corporate media asked no awkward questions, hid the sights and sounds of dissent before and during after the rape of Iraq, resolutely refused to show the reality of war.
The media gave us a bloodless war. It deliberately chose to hide the carnage. There were no pictures of exploded babies, armless children, dismembered adults, rotting bodies of soldiers and civilians alike. It was just a matter of taste, the happy talk warriors in TV studios assured us. They were offering us a tasteful war.
There was no visible dissent to this glorious war, not if you got your information from the mainstream media. The millions who protested in the U.S. and across the world were either ignored, or treated as simpletons who just didn't understand the valid reasons for the war -- Iraq's dissing UN resolutions, its link to terrorism and 911, or those mysteriously missing weapons of mass destruction, or what was it? Oh, yeah, liberation.
The irony of the U.S. ignoring the UN by launching an illegal war on Iraq for ignoring the UN seems totally to have escaped all the media pundits. The fact that no evidence was ever produced linking Iraq to 9/11 was ignored; the missing weapons of mass destruction are yesterday's news, and no one in the media is interested in even trying to count the Iraqi dead, soldiers and civilians alike.
The corporate media can't be bothered to visit the overwhelmed Iraqi hospitals trying desperately to care for the wounded children blinded by cluster bombs, made armless by Cruise missiles, paralyzed by 2,000-lb bombs, hideously burned by tank fire. They aren't Americans, they don't count, they don't matter. Uninteresting and unimportant collateral damage in a glorious war.
The media's transformation into the propaganda arm of the White House and Pentagon is now accepted as the norm. The principles that newspeople used to aspire to -- objectivity, fairness, a search for the truth wherever it lay -- are now seen as quaint, disreputable and possibly even treasonous.
With the Supreme Court in the hands of those who violated their oaths to give Bush the election, with the craven Democrats not even offering token resistance to the emperor and his plans for eternal war, and the media turned from watchdog to lapdog, it can no longer be taken for granted that democracy can survive in America.
· · · · · ·
They Kill Reporters, Don't They? - by Deck Deckert
Main Media & Propaganda on Swans
Iraq on Swans
Deck Deckert has spent nearly two decades as copy editor, wire editor and news editor at several metropolitan newspapers, including the Miami Herald and Miami News, before becoming a freelance writer. His articles and stories on everything from alligator farming to UFOs have appeared in numerous U.S. publications. He has written two young adult novels under a pen name, and co-authored a novel about the NATO war on Yugoslavia, Letters from the Fire, with Alma Hromic.
Do you wish to share your opinion? We invite your comments. E-mail the Editor. Please include your full name, address and phone number. If we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country.
Please, feel free to insert a link to this article on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work without the expressed written authorization of Swans. This material is copyrighted, © Deck Deckert 2003. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
This Week's Internal Links
Responding To A Criminal War - by John Bart Gerald
From Vietnam To Iraq - by Edward S. Herman
They Kill Reporters, Don't They? - by Deck Deckert
The Cuba Petitions - by Louis Proyect
Conscious Destruction Of A Human Construct - by Milo Clark
Art Influences Life Influences Art... - by Scott Orlovsky
Keep Protesting - by Philip Greenspan
War: The Lure, the Madness, the Way Through - Book Review by Mac Lawrence
Morons And Madness - Poem by Richard Macintosh
Self- [de] termination - Poem by Gerard Donnelly Smith
Cuisine Américaine - Poem by Sabina C. Becker
Letters to the Editor