Monday, April 1, 2013

Dirty Wars, A Snapshot Of A Nation

Three things from today that say a lot about who we are as a nation in the eyes of the world and the role media plays in shaping our worldview. Actually there are more than three things from today but these three things are related and give us the big picture. Early this morning five am I was reading the morning news looking for stories to add to my online paper The American Empire Daily. On the British Guardian site I came across a column by anti-war activist and filmmaker Glen Greenwald. He was writing about a powerful new film he saw called Dirty Wars.

It's a documentary film by Richard Rowley where follows reporter Jeremy Scahill's investigation into the innocent victims of America's drone war. He goes into the villages in Pakistan, Yemen and other places where these unmanned killing machines are terrorizing populations and making far too any wrong attacks. For example in Yemen there was an attack where thirty five women and children were killed. The most chilling part of this story is Abdulelah Haider Shaye the journalist in Yemen who broke the story sits in prison today at the insistence of Barack Obama. It was a very sad and riveting story. So I made a mental not to check back after work and finish the story.

So as part of my 9 to 5 sort of job I do a lot of driving and listen to one of two sport talk radio stations or the progressive one. All anybody on all three stations was talking about for most of the morning was a tragic accident in NCAA basketball tournament last night. Kevin Ware, one of the players for Lousiville, had fractured his leg to the point where the bone was sticking out. It sounded like truly horrifying moment.

And every nuance about this moment was under the microscope. Including a large portion of the coverage was surrounding the media's coverage of the moment. It happened live and was shown and then there was one replay and then that was it the actual brake itself wasn't shown again. But all morning it was talked to death. And it was a great tragedy but it pales in comparison to the tragedy we are causing all over the world and the tragedies that will arise in the future when vengeance is sought from us in the name of those who are being wrongly murdered. And yet it's safe to say that this poor kids broken leg will be remembered and thought about and discussed more than a needless war that is shows us at our worst.

So after I got home from work I went back to the site to link the article to my paper and lo and behold the column wasn't where it was eight hours ago it had vanished from the main page. After a couple of minutes I was able to track it down and it seemed curious. At the same time the network news was on and they were running a story about a terrifed population under ariel attack. Only it wasn't about the drone wars this journalist was in Syria was there covering the story from the rebel side. It was like the same story that I'd started the day reading only now it had been turned inside out.

So here we are thirty years after starting a war in Aghanistan by creating an army of terrorists calling them freedom fighters and arming them with shoulder fired rockets. And since them we have been sucked into a huge expensive and costly war that encompasses an ehitire region.We have launched a giant crusade the likes of which the world has never seen. And it's one that we here in America are only dimly aware of different events from this war.

That's because the media is too busy telling us what a tragedy a college kids broken leg is. And how these poor rebels need our shoulder fired rockets to bring down the planes that are terrorizing their people. And so the wheel keeps spinning round and round.

But here's our lead story for today and we have a nice group of other pieces that will open your eyes to what is really going on.

The message sent by America's invisible victims

Glenn Greenwald,

“…...The most propagandistic aspect of the US War on Terror has been, and remains, that its victims are rendered invisible and voiceless. They are almost never named by newspapers. They and their surviving family members are virtually never heard from on television. The Bush and Obama DOJs have collaborated with federal judges to ensure that even those who everyone admits are completely innocent have no access to American courts and thus no means of having their stories heard or their rights vindicated. Radical secrecy theories and escalating attacks on whistleblowers push these victims further into the dark. ….”

And here is a Democracy Now report about the new film Dirty Wars

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