March 31, 2003
[Author's note: I wrote this early on 17th March before the before became the after.]
I've been had, duped, faked out, conned, flim-flammed and f...ed over! For more than two years now, I've let myself be decoyed, diverted, dodged by the Bush coup, then Afghanistan and now Iraq.
Under cover of darkness, controlled media and full-court-press propagandizing the Bush forces have dismantled generations of work on almost more issues than can be counted.
The crashing twin towers are symbolic of much more than a terrorist attack. The structures of world order, humanitarian concerns, environment, civil rights, health care, anti-poverty and so on and so forth are being brought down daily. Body counts go exponential.
The Bush Friday night massacres go on and on and on. Releases concerning each week's executive roll-backs are routinely put out Friday evenings to catch the media asleep on weekend low staff points. Congress doesn't even get a chance to grovel and kowtow, business is now conducted by Executive Orders. To keep up requires heavy work. Little reaches public notice.
John Birch Society triumphs! Senator McCarthy chortles in his grave. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson toast their successes with grape juice. Buchanan is a freaking moderate. Reagan looks liberal. Rush can't think up ugliness to spew forth fast enough. Lingle stars on O'Reilly.
I won't run the lists. Others are doing a fine job although barely able to keep up.
A recent article in the Financial Times reviewed an American research project which surveyed polls related to questions of war dating from the 1930s when polling first became a political obsession.
Over that lengthy period, patterns emerged. A consistent third of respondents tended to favor whatever war issue was involved. A consistent tenth opposed. Politicians can easily conclude that it is much easier to get from a third to a majority than from a tenth to a majority.
A key factor which shouts for attention is that a significant percentage of the pro-war third not only votes regularly and routinely but also contributes strongly to political campaigns.
A significant majority of the anti-war tenth sometimes votes and rarely contributes to political campaigns.
Easy choice on that one, too.
Richard Lambert, former editor of the Financial Times, writing in the March/April 2003 Foreign Affairs p. 62 ff., gives key insights into American media perspectives seen from British and European viewpoints.
"Anti-Americanism has been a feature of the European news media for years."
". . . More recently, however, this hostility has been matched on the other side of the Atlantic. The past couple of years have seen a marked change in tone in the reporting and commentary on Western Europe in the U. S. print media. From the right of the political spectrum comes a sense of deep distrust and icy contempt. And even more moderate publications often convey a mixture of irritation and bemusement, portraying a group of inefficient and eccentric nations with troubled pasts and a doubtful future."
". . . In today's uneasy political climate, skewed media representation further shapes and entrenches negative attitudes. The question is whether there is anything that policy makers on either continent can do to restore the balance."
Can do or will do?
At least we can observe that some people in the anti-war tenth are getting worked up on macro-issues like war. Meanwhile, erosion digs at local schools, libraries, healthcare, etc.
Our next national opportunity will be on Tuesday, November 4th, 2004.
Pay attention to local issues in the meantime.
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Iraq on Swans
Milo Clark on Swans (with bio).
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