Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


The 2008 Democratic Party Platform and the Middle East:

"Among the positive aspects of the platform is a commitment to take concrete steps towards nuclear arms control and eventual disarmament. These include ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and recognizing U.S. obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty...

Regarding the greater Middle East, however, the Democrats don't appear to have yet learned the lessons of the past 40 years: that the more the United States militarizes the region, the less secure we become...

The 2008 platform endorses an ongoing U.S. military role in that violent oil-rich nation. It calls for an unspecified number of U.S. troops to remain as a 'residual force' for such 'specific missions' as 'targeting terrorists; protecting our embassy and civil personnel; and advising and supporting Iraq's Security Forces, provided the Iraqis make political progress.'

A troubling aspect to these exceptions is the vagueness of the language. Given that the Bush administration has referred to all Iraqi insurgents fighting U.S. forces as "terrorists," it raises questions as to what degree U.S. military operations and the number of troops to sustain them will actually be reduced. In addition, the U.S. "embassy" - the largest complex of its kind in the world, taking up a bigger area than Vatican City and situated in the heart of Baghdad - requires a substantial military force to adequately defend. And the number of "civil personnel" in the country is in the tens of thousands and would presumably require many thousands of troops to protect them."
Stephen Zunes

--->Most of our mainstream media never presents the presidential candidates as basically agreeing on most aspects of the Iraq conflict. Why not cover this? It might reveal the involvement of both parties in continuing the occupation.


"When John McCain selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate, pundits and reporters saw the move as more proof of McCain's "maverick" nature--despite the fact that Palin's selection would seem in large part to be an attempt to placate the Republican Party base, further undermining his media-sustained reputation as an independent politician who breaks with his party...

For the media, the storyline for McCain seems to be that he's a maverick just because he's John McCain. Weighing McCain's decision to choose either Palin or former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, John Harwood wrote in the New York Times (9/1/08), 'Both choices offered the opportunity to reinforce Mr. McCain's image as a free-wheeling maverick.' For much of the mainstream media, there is no other way to describe John McCain--no matter what reality is telling you."
Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

--->And why might the media be exaggerating McCain's maverick status? To elect another Republican who will continue the policies of George Bush, despite the fact that these policies are deeply unpopular. "Maverick" means change, or so the media tells us. Will Americans be stupid enough to believe it?


Causes of Fannie's Collapse -- and How to Stop the Speculators

WASHINGTON - September 9 -

"JAMES K. GALBRAITH Galbraith's latest book is The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too. He said today: 'The collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is partly the result of their own practices, but it is also part and parcel of the broader collapse of regulation that took hold in the late 1990's with the repeal of Glass-Steagall [banking regulation], which opened the door to massive securitization of subprime mortgages, and then the deliberate fostering of the housing bubble under the Bush administration.'

'This was tied to financialization throughout the economy and the sequence of bubbles and busts that have resulted. The first was in information technology, the second in housing, and now we're seeing it in commodities, especially oil.'

'[Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson's actions face up to reality that government must be involved in housing. Meanwhile, John McCain continues to deny that reality. McCain's economic policy was created, in full, by Phil Gramm -- the architect of the deregulation that brought us this crisis. If John McCain becomes President, we'll likely see the 'solution' now being recommended by Alan Greenspan: breakup and privatization of Fannie and Freddie, leaving the private bankers in charge and taking government out of the housing business. There will be no recovery of the housing sector if that happens, and many more will face foreclosure.'"

--->The NY Times in its exhaustive coverage of the Fannie, Freddie crisis didn't think the Glass-Steagall act even worth mentioning. Deregulation the culprit in the current economic meltdown? Not to the Times whose board is made up of corporate executives.

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