Tag Archives: Iraq War

Third Time’s a Harm

Out of all the news in the world to report right now (the Bill Richardson investigation, conflict in Palestine, the economy etc.), the two biggest stories to break over the weekend was the death of John Travolta’s son and George H.W.’s pitch for another Bush White House. We ask the public this: What’s more alarming? The fact an ineffective one-term president and father of a son with approval ratings spriraling to historic lows has the audacity to suggest the family deserves a third try in getting it right. Or the mindless media, which feels that it is within their perview to report such a mundane, trivial and outrageous suggestion. From the family who brought you the failed policies of trickle-down economics, Desert Storm, ‘compassionate’ conservatism, Homeland Security, No Child Left Behind, deregulation, the Iraq War, voter tampering in Florida and a bevy of mispronounced words, we unenthusiastically present to the American people our 45th President: Jeb Bush. George, READ OUR LIPS: “No New Bush.”

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St. Elmo’s Fire

Elmo and his pals from Sesame Street have teamed up with the U.S. military for its latest video, “Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes,” which teaches children with parents deployed in Iraq how to cope with the changes at home. Naturally, the Pentagon has provided input into the video’s development. As if the video gaming industry and sports sponsorships weren’t enough, now we have the military’s messages reaching our youth just after passing the teething stage. Is anyone else ashamed we live in a country that has resorted to puppets in order to justify war and violence? I’d like to ask the producers of Sesame Street how handsomly the military is rewarding them for lending the likeness of Elmo and Rosita for, essentially, free propaganda. If there’s bucks to be made, perhaps we’ll see Barney or Blues Clues follow suit. Or Spongebob can release a commemorative video covering the fifth year anniversary of the Iraq War. Let’s limit the puppets to ABCs, 123s, and leave parenting to the parents — not the Pentagon.

The Death Of The Fourth Estate

For those of you, like myself, who have been skeptical of the soft Iraq war coverage of the last few years have had their worst fears confirmed. This week The New York Times revealed an extensive covert plot from the Pentagon that involved deploying close to 100 pseudo political ‘pundits’ with scripted pro-war propaganda aimed at controlling public opinion. And we’re not just talking about Fox News. The Times reports that these ‘pundits,’ or as the White House calls them, “message force multipliers,” infiltrated Fox, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC and MSNBC news programs. These pundits were recruited by the Bush Administration to disseminate misleading war information and false praises of the U.S. war effort. The result is Bush’s most duplicitous breach of public trust since taking office. Gone is the watchdog role of the media, the Fourth Estate designed to safeguard our democratic virtues and keep public officials honest. If this violation of federal law, which prohibits government sanctioned covert propaganda, doesn’t warrant impeachment, then clearly the system is broken. If you care about safeguarding the integrity of information flow, act now and tell Congress that this is unacceptable.

Wait, What War?

Remember when the War in Iraq used to be a hot topic in the media? Yeah, me neither. Five years after invading Iraq under the guise of ‘terrorism,’ the military is no closer to an exit strategy or to winning the war, for that matter. And mainstream media can’t be bothered. More U.S. soldiers succumbed to roadside bombs last week, bringing the total troop fatality close to 4,000; meanwhile a suicide bomber took the lives of 40 plus civilians and injured 60 others. According to Newsweek, Republican presidential nominee John McCain has vowed to stay in Iraq another 100 years, if that’s what it takes to ensure victory. The hubris isn’t much better on the Democratic side; during her victory speech after the Ohio and Texas primaries, Hillary Clinton promised to ‘win’ the war. First, somebody needs to define ‘win.’ Secondly, Clinton began her campaign with the false promise of implementing an exit strategy within 60 days of taking office. But my frustration with the lack of Iraq dialogue subsided, momentarily, when I caught this sketch (below) on MADtv. At least the comedians got it right.