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imperialism & war | media criticism selection 2004

Kerry, the media and faith

essay!
The main argument this election year should be: "How do we dismantle the war on terror system?" The unprovoked aggression, military posturing, threats against sovereign nations, fear mongering, race baiting, limiting and eliminating of civil liberties is all bundled up into the system of war on terror. Amazingly, both Kerry and Bush are outdoing each other to express how they would uphold this system, and t.v. and newspapers are the biggest cheerleaders of both sides.

The combined efforts of Bush, Kerry, the media, and media spectacles like the 9/11 Commission hearings, are designed to teach us this: 1)war on terror is a fact of everyday life that is unavoidable and will or should last a generation 2)war on terror is also something everyone is actively engaged in, whether we know it or not, whether we accept it or not 3)the final outcome of war on terror is overcoming all perceived dangers that we all face everyday, (though in theory these dangers can never truly be overcome).

The dogma of war on terror is similar to religious piety in many ways, aside from the obvious comparisons to the Crusades in the middle ages. One assumption of war on terror is that there is a right way and wrong way to fight the imaginary threats which are ever-present, much like the devil. The right way involves strength, courage, wisdom, etc...Similarly, there is a right and wrong way to stay in touch with a diety or god, and the wrong way usually involves lax moral behavior, laziness, and the inability to suspend disbelief.

According to the dogma, a lapse in perfect wisdom and fortitude would allow foreigners to penetrate us as a country, and further compromise our pureness and innocence. In earlier generations it was primarily blacks and Mexicans that threatened to undermine our national integrity, with their marijuana and immoral ways, brandishing razors with which to slash women and children in the night. Jews, Italians, the Irish, all have been the objects of racism such as this, and it shouldn't be lost on anyone that the US has to travel overseas to battle tribesmen in their villages in two countries--there simply aren't any left here.

A big danger of the war on terror system is that war crimes committed in the last three years are buried below the heap of rhetoric. Genuine war crimes committed by the US government are reduced to historical footnotes, and are now deemed irrelevant or beside the point. There's more than enough evidence now of these war crimes, for instance the intentional "ignorance" of the White House and DoD to listen to intelligence agencies before launching an attack on Iraq.

These points are lost as the candidates argue over funding for acts of aggression, about levying the immense power of the US against one country, but not the other one (Iraq, but not Iran or North Korea) about the service record of each candidate in the worst military disaster the US has ever created, which caused one of the world's worst ever humanitarian crises. Needless to say, Kerry's strong point is that he had a more active role in it.

No one has offered a solution as to how we get rid of war on terror. The first step would be to vote for Kerry, and then hope that he can mitigate the fallout from it. But Kerry has already amassed a poor record when it comes to supporting war on terror. He wants to be a better war president than Bush, he thinks Iran is unacceptable and that Bush has been too easy on Venezuela, at least those are the kinds of things he's been saying.

Kerry needs to come out and say that there is no god, in other words, there is no war on terror. The mass media has to develop a transition plan, which means it will have to sabotage its own revenue engine. The vacuum that this would create may be even worse than what has transpired so far. People want to believe--in the evilness of Osama or "Zarqawi" or radical clerics, or in the innocence of an apparently dim-witted but overall good guy.
Actually, a blueprint for preventing the need for a war on terror existed 21.Aug.2004 17:15

Hal E. Burton

Our own Federal Government did a study called "Who becomes a terrorist and why." You can get your copy for free:

 http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/frd.html

While the 9/11 commission concluded that the problem was a "lack of imagination," given the 1999 (!) publication date of this report, it looks more like someone didn't do their homework.

Meantime, it was a nice to have civil liberties here for a while. . .