Thursday, December 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.


"No less than in Vietnam several decades ago, the prospects for a military victory in Afghanistan are extremely slim. Far more likely is a protracted version of what CBS anchor Walter Cronkite famously called 'a bloody stalemate' in February 1968. But, in 2008, more important than whether the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan can bring 'victory' is the question of whether it should continue.

Right now, the basic ingredients of further Afghan disasters are in place -- including, pivotally, a dire lack of wide-ranging debate over Washington's options. In an atmosphere reminiscent of 1965, when almost all of the esteemed public voices concurred with the decision by newly elected President Lyndon Johnson to deploy more troops to Vietnam, the tenet that the United States must send additional troops to Afghanistan is axiomatic in U.S. news media, on Capitol Hill and -- as far as can be discerned -- at the top of the incoming administration.

But the problem with such a foreign-policy 'no brainer' is that the parameters of thinking have already been put in the rough equivalent of a lockbox. Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara and Lyndon Johnson approached Vietnam policy options no more rigidly than Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and Barack Obama appear poised to pursue Afghanistan policy options. Such destructive group-think, including wonkish faith in the efficacy of massive violence, caused Martin Luther King Jr. to denounce what he called 'the madness of militarism'."
Norman Solomon

-->The lack of debate in the US media about Afghanistan is deafening. We are told about military problems, but there is hardly a voice questioning why we continue to occupy a country that does not want us there.


"Israel's leading civil rights organization yesterday broke a taboo by describing Israeli policies in the occupied West Bank as being “reminiscent of apartheid” in South Africa.

Alleging an intensification of human rights abuses against Palestinians, the respected Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) made the comparison in an annual report that described the existence of separate legal, planning and transportation systems for Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank..."

-->The NY Times recently printed a story about the West Bank and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The word "apartheid" was nowhere to be found.


"Why didn't Jimmy Carter speak from the podium at the Democratic National Convention? Alan Dershowitz said he had something to do with it.

In an interview with Shalom TV, the Harvard Law School professor says he "pushed" Barack Obama "very hard to make that decision," Dershowitz said in an interview with Shalom TV. "Barack Obama had to make a choice between his Jewish supporters and his anti-Israel supporters like Jimmy Carter, and he did not choose Jimmy Carter. And that was an embarrassment for Jimmy Carter and a show of disrespect."
JTA, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

-->No news service in the US besides Democracy Now has ever covered the story behind former President Jimmy Carter being taken off the speakers' list for the Democratic National Convention. The story is still very newsworthy, of course. But letting the American people know about the power of the Zionist lobby would just raise too many questions. Meanwhile the starving of 1.5 million in Gaza is routinely hidden from US citizens.

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