Friday, August 11, 2006

Other Items

Martha's other highlight is Michael A. Fletcher's "The New Camp Casey: Protest Without the A-List" (Washington Post):

James Fain stood guard Thursday under the broiling sun at Camp Casey, the five-acre tract that antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan recently bought on the edge of town as a base for her protests.
Mostly, it was a lonely job. Fain, 21, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, came out from under his tent whenever a car turned in from the two-lane highway that runs past the encampment -- which was not often.

"The protests were originally supposed to start next week," Fain explained. "But the president's vacation is shorter this year. The protesters, these aren't people who have no jobs." So not everyone could make it, he said.
Not that they would see much here at Camp Casey: just a newly laid gravel road, some tents, an American flag, a few volunteers and row after row of small, white crosses representing the U.S. troops who have died in Iraq.
Last weekend, Sheehan, 49, led a small group of protesters here on a march along the narrow, winding road leading to President Bush's 1,600-acre ranch, about seven miles from Camp Casey. And Tuesday, she joined a small group of protesters just outside the Secret Service checkpoint.
But, so far, the demonstrations have been modest, and the news coverage and the reaction have been muted -- which is far different from the reaction Sheehan engendered last year during her 26-day peace vigil here.

In addition to Martha, two members wrote complaining about the article. Martha didn't complain about the writing. I'm not going to do a blow by blow on the Post. I take a pass on that and members know that and why. (And if you don't, you really don't matter here. We're not recruitng.) This isn't the only article or coverage being prepared on this topic. Fletcher's not taking pot shots at Cindy Sheehan or the peace movement. If you're offended by the article, you better be prepared to get a lot more offended because some are planning pot shots.

Some are sharpening their knives with delight and the only thing that might prevent those stories from airing and being printed is that most editors and producers don't think Cindy Sheehan is news.

Why is that? That's really the more important question.

Because indymedia dropped the ball. Dropped the ball on all things Iraq. Cindy Sheehan has been doing the Troops Home Fast (with others), she went to Jordan (with others) to meet with Iraqis and discuss peace, she came back to reopen Camp Casey.

And where's the coverage?

A peace meeting with Iraqis (including five serving in the parliament), an ongoing fast, Camp Casey and where's the coverage?

If you're offended by the article (you shouldn't be, my opinion) or by future coverage, put the blame where it belongs: on the doorstep of independent media which has ignored Iraq day after day, week after week to cover Israel.

Israel's actions were a story, no question. But it was never the only story in the world. Nor was it the only important one. Look What Israel's Doing Now has offered day after day, week after week coverage of Israel. They dropped the ball on Iraq.

That has consquences. You're going to see those consquences play out now. When I started noting that here, the point was to sound the alarm because I was hearing about it when I asked, "Where are the stories?" Indy wasn't covering it, big media felt no pressure to.

If you're offended by the coverage of Camp Casey (or the turnout which has been low due to the lack of sustained coverage and support from indymedia), don't blame big media. They covered it. AP covered it. The Times covered it. Most of you, regardless of where you live, saw it on your TV screens Sunday. Who didn't treat it seriously? Indymedia.

You can pick whatever form you follow, but it's true. (With few exceptions.) I can think of my favorite show, a two hour broadcast. It can provide Lebanaon (and has) each day. There's not been a day that's gone by that they haven't provided a discussion on Lebanon. When they finally do a segment on Iraq, they're not focused on a damn thing that happened this year. They're discussing WMDs.

It doesn't cut it and that kind of coverage hurts.

Ehren Watada goes before the military for his Article 32 hearing on August 17th. The lack of coverage, the lack of support from indymedia is hurting him too. It's hurting the rallies scheduled for September.

There are consquences for the silence being imposed. We see them with Camp Casey III. If you're bothered by it, if you're offended, take it up with indymedia. They haven't covered Abeer. They haven't done anything but Israel. That's not good enough and it doesn't cut it. Someone took issue with Rebecca for noting that Democracy Now! hadn't covered Iraq all month (elections in the US doesn't count as covering Iraq). He just had to insist that the July 26th segment be noted. Rebecca was writing about the August coverage. You drop back to July 26th and kid yourself that somehow that's doing a job. In the real world, it's not. The war didn't stop, just the coverage (from indymedia as a whole). That has conquences and we're seeing them play out now.

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