Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.

"In May, 2008, Dick Cheney caused an uproar when he told ABC News' Martha Raddatz that public opposition to the war in Iraq was, in essence, irrelevant:
RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.
RADDATZ:  So? You don’t care what the American people think?
CHENEY: No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.

Today, New York Times Editorial Page -- which has become one of the most vehement supporters of the war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan) -- echoed Cheney's sentiment when demanding that European leaders escalate their commitments to the war despite overwhelming and growing opposition among their citizenry:

'Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, and France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, have repeatedly stated that their countries have a stake in the future of Afghanistan and the future of NATO.  But both are wary of pushing their voters too far, too fast. (Both have essentially postponed their decisions on further troop contributions until late next month.) Democratically elected leaders cannot ignore public skepticism, but they should not surrender to it when they know better.""

-->The NY Times stressing the Pentagon point of view over the opinions of Americans? At any escalation of war, the Grey Lady always takes off her gloves and leads the cheer for more US military aggression.

"In what passes for corporate journalism in American, this concept has taken the form of, 'If we don't report on it, it didn't happen.'

That certainly was the case for the emergency protest organized by a coalition of anti-war organizations under the banner, which saw over 1000 people gather on short notice in the bitter cold on Lafayette Park opposite the White House to protest President Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Not a word about this impromptu protest, which included many people who had supported the election of President Obama only a year ago, appeared in the New York Times. Nor did the Washington Post bother to mention the protest in its own back yard, not even in its Metro section pages. The other arguably national newspaper, USA Today, likewise blacked out news of the protest."

-->The NY Times, not given to cover protest rallies (unless they occur in Iran), is playing another of its usual wartime roles, that of omitting any mention of the US peace movement. News fashioned by the Pentagon.

"The more difficult question to answer is many liberals found the speech (in Oslow) so inspiring and agreeable?  Is that what liberals were hoping for when they elected Obama:  someone who would march right into Oslo and proudly announce to the world that we have a unilateral right to wage war when we want and to sing the virtues of war as a key instrument for peace?...

Yesterday's speech and the odd, extremely bipartisan reaction to it underscored one of the real dangers of the Obama presidency:  taking what had been ideas previously discredited as Republican or right-wing dogma and transforming them into bipartisan consensus.  It's not just Republicans but Democrats that are now vested in -- and eager to justify -- the virtues of war, claims of Grave Danger posed by Islamic radicals and the need to use massive military force to combat them, indefinite detention, military commissions, extreme secrecy, full-scale immunity for government lawbreaking, and so many other doctrines once purportedly despised by Democrats but now defended by them because their leader has embraced them.

That's exactly the process that led former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith to giddily explain that Obama has actually done more to legitimize Bush/Cheney 'counter-terrorism' policies than Bush and Cheney themselves -- because he made them bipartisan..."

-->The NY Times always assumes there is a basic difference between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to committing war crimes. Our newspaper of record would never explore the similarities between the Bush and Obama doctrines on preemptive war.

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