Sunday, December 30, 2007

Editorial: Screw You

A message was sent loud and clear last week; however, you may have missed.

Mike caught it and noted it in "IVAW & Law and Disorder" and how the week more than demonstrated the comments C.I. made in an "Iraq snapshot" as well as last week's "Editorial: Should we pray to Santa?" For those who haven't yet heard, Iraq Veterans Against the War are staging Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan March 13th through 16th in DC and they've requested that no national rallies, demonstrations or marches be held at that time or DC actions.

As Elaine and Wally addressed in last week's "Roundtable," that's already led one organization to grumble about the request being 'unfair.'

Our position before last week was that IVAW put in a great deal time of organizing the investigation, they provided ample notice of when it would take place and they don't pick up and drop the illegal war the way so many other alleged peace groups do.

Last week, the 3900 mark was passed. That's the Defense Department's count of US service members killed in the Iraq War. It's a milestone, it's a marker.

And where was everyone?



There was no time to note it.

People were busy, you understand.

That didn't mean they didn't care about the illegal war, right?

They were just busy and there wasn't time to pick up on the important news that the 3900 mark was passed.

You could believe that lie and miss the "Screw You" delivered only if you were on vacation last week. If you were, you might have missed, for instance, KPFA dropping their planned topic on The Morning Show to 'cover' the assassination of Benazar Bhutto. They gave over a thirty minute block of time. Aileen Alfandary had already led the news breaks (ripping off whom, who knows?) with that item and had no time for the 3900 mark. She had time, in the third newsbreak, to repeat the same Bhutto points she'd made before and to include comments from the 30 minute segment that just preceded her . . .

You read that right. On KPFA, Alfandary judged as "news" to include in a "news" report what the show had just done (a conversation about Bhutto from two men not in Pakistan, lest anyone think they offered a half-hour of reporting from Pakistan). We're not remembering Ann Curry doing breaks on NBC's Today Show with, "As you just heard in Matt Lauer's interview . . ." But, hey, who thought there were any standards in independent media at this late date? Maybe a future news item on a coffee rate hike could include, "And this morning, Philip is drinking freshly brewed Folgers."?

CODEPINK, which has still not noted the 3900 marker, did feel the need to offer an embarrassing tribute to Bhutto and to start a petition. Life is what you make time for.

What you don't sends a message and last week's message was clearly: "Screw you, US service members."

Ted Koppel was conventional, beltway, right-leaning, gas baggery at it's worst and we say that to be clear that, unlike too many, we're fully aware of who was and wasn't invited on Nightline when he hosted the program. (We're also aware that he preferred all guests to be 'hooked up' via camera as opposed to sitting across from them.) Considering his remarks about the Iraq War before it started, after and today, we never assumed the reading of the names of the dead US service members (which he turned two programs over to) as a statement against the war. It was him grasping that something need to be noted because it was news.

And a number of left outlets rushed to applaud it. Koppel left Nightline and all the outlets that applauded those two specials couldn't offer anything similar. It's a bit like an someone commenting, "That's so great that you speak another language. I wish I did." And, yet, never attempting to learn one.

Ted Koppel's Nightline died and, with it, any hope that various outlets might note the markers. They had other things to do, you understand.

Now far be it from us to be total ogres. Those who felt the birth of Jesus required taking two weeks off surprised us (especially the ones of you who either don't believe in any God or aren't Christians), can get a pass. Bad timing, yes, but you were on your vacations.

Those of you who made the time to praise Bhutto (responsible for the murder of her brother, ripped off billions of public money from Pakistan, facing charges in several countries, a puppet of the Bully Boy and so 'democratic' that her husband and son will now 'inherent' her role as leader of an alleged democratic party) are another story.

And not just because you praised a war criminal but also because you made time to do that while failing to make time to cover the 3900 mark.

You sent a message: Screw you.

Well message received.

We hope you receive the message that we're sick of it.

We hope you grasp that no one need every hear from you again on the illegal war because you've dabbled to the point that you're now not even able to weigh in on the milestones.

We get it and we hope you do: America has no reason to give a damn about what you (occasionally) have to say about the Iraq War because you don't give a damn about ending the illegal war.

You drop the topic every chance you get rivaling even the Democratic leadership in Congress for cowardice.

We'd call you "jokes" but, at this late date, no one's laughing.

They're only staring with gaping mouths in shock at your flipping the bird to the dead.

You're not really about ending the illegal war, let's all get honest, you're just about setting your own self up. Maybe grab a little media time and attention. Expressing your attitude from inside the beltway was Gwen Ifill on the most recent Washington Week when she pompously declare "We in Washington" get how important Bhutto is but who knows "how much of trickles down to others."

Has a more smug ass stunk up the public airwaves?

"We in Washington"? "Trickles down to others"?

The Great Gwenie was informed, by Slate's John Dickerson that the media (meaning big media) had overplayed the story and that most Americans were more interested in other things (despite the grandstanding of Republican and Democratic presidential candidates on the topic) such as the economy. Maybe the realities of how miserable the economy is for so many Americans could 'trickle up' to Gwen?

But that's Big Media. We're talking about the alleged alternative media which, especially Pacifica, came off Thursday like Voice of America Radio as it dished out state propaganda, the likes of which must have had Kenneth Tomlinson creaming in his shorts.

How the hell did that happen?

And how did Christian Parenti end up being a very lonely voice of truth on Thursday [see his "US Illusions Die With Benazir Bhutto" (Agence Global via Pacific Free Press)]?

Bhutto died a very violent death? Well, as Elaine noted, it was "karma." You can't support the Taliban, as Bhutto did for her own personal gain, and not take accountability for the destruction of women's rights and the violence many Afghan women lived and died under without expecting fate to slap you upside the head.

But Big Media started a craze and, heaven forbid, independent media really be independent and think for itself. Instead, it was rush in with valentines about a despicable person. Made us all fear how the death of War Criminal Henry Kissinger might play out.

"Screw you"? We heard you. We reply back, "You ought to be ashamed."

Don't even try to step on IVAW's March event. If you do, expect to be crucified here.
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