Thursday, June 21, 2007

simply put 

Paul Street sums up nicely why it's nearly impossible to read 'mainstream' news anymore, or for that matter liberal blogs:

Dominant (“mainstream”) U.S. media coverage and commentary on Iraq continues to be hopelessly crippled by doctrinal observance of taboos against discussing five basic and intimately interrelated aspects of so-called “Operation Iraqi Freedom”:

1. The monumentally criminal nature of the invasion, which involved (in the words of the 2005 Istanbul Declaration) “planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles.”

2. The brazenly imperialist and colonial nature of the occupation, which is richly continuous with earlier U.S. behavior within the beyond the Middle East and provides critical context for understanding why U.S. soldiers die on a regular basis in Iraq (where Americans are understandably seen as unlawful invaders).

3. The racist nature of the occupation, expressed in the false conflation between al Qaeda and a small group of predominantly Saudi hijackers on one hand and the broad Arab and Muslim worlds on the other hand. This racism has found expression also in U.S. ground forces’ recurrent description of Iraqi civilians and resistance fighters as “hajis” and “towel heads”(among other terrible designations) and in many Americans’ insistence on describing the entire Middle East as a den of primitive, barbarian and enemies of modern “civilization.”

4. The full and overwhelming extent of Iraqi civilian casualties, including more than 700,000 dead by now. The Iraqi body count dwarfs the U.S. death toll in Iraq , but dominant U.S. media remains primarily and narcissistically obsessed with U.S. fatalities in Mesopotamia . The mostly civilian Arab victims of U.S. imperial violence (a lovely expression of America ’s noble commitment to “civilization”) are unworthy victims of the Iraq War as far as dominant U.S. media is concerned.

5. The critical role of the American Empire Project’s longstanding core concern with the control of Middle Eastern oil in shaping the decision to invade Iraq and in ensuring that the U.S. will not completely or truly withdraw from that illegally occupied nation or indeed the region anytime soon, whichever corporate-imperial party happens to hold power in Washington.


As a result, dominant coverage and commentary on the war is childish, chaotic and nonsensical. Reading the leading papers and watching the corporate talking heads speak about “Operation Iraqi Freedom” is like listening to a deranged psychotic talking gibberish. The assumption of benevolent intention, the denial of criminal and imperial intent, the inability to grasp the role of petroleum, and the denial of racist and mass-murderous realities makes taking in “mainstream” war/occupation coverage and commentary like hearing a baseball game being called by a blind man.

Good things to keep in mind in case you get caught up in the endless nattering about 'withdrawal' or the depressingly gullible outrage of those who were 'shocked, shocked!' to find out that the US is now funding Sunni militants. Even Needlenose, who I usually find palatable, characterized this news item as an example of US being "hoodwinked" into supporting Iraqi sectarians. Please, wake the fuck up.

Occasionally the Times will let the truth slip through, as in this editorial by a Hamas spokesman. But out of context, and coming from an official enemy, this little bit of truth will either be ignored in the deluge of bullshit or ironically dismissed as propaganda.


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