Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Hate The War

An e-mailer wonders, "If the Iraq War had ended November 1st would you be as critical of the coverage?" If the coverage since were the same? Yes.

In fact, one of the greatest problems with the coverage is something I've had to keep hitting the 'sleep' button on over and over.

Remember that the illegal war is sold on the lie of helping Iraq. If the war were over, considering the lie told and the number of US service members who have been killed in the war, it would seem there'd be an obligation for the US press to cover legislative developments. There are a number of measures being discussed, some being passed, by the Parliament currently. For example, there are things that may just seem routine -- such as this proposal on legal challenges to MPs. The claims of 'democracy' and 'liberation' (lies) would appear to necessitate that the press follow up and that would require someone who reported on the legislation that the Parliament passes (instead, the US press has shown real interest only in legislation relating to oil). And there are the basic stories like the Ministry of Electricity's Undersecretary just declaring that Iraq's energy problem won't be solved until 2014 at the earliest.

There's a great deal going on and, no, I don't think a great job's being done covering it. I think it's appalling that we had rah-rah coverage of any leader (it was Moqtada day-after-day last week) without anyone noting the conditions under which the people are still living.

In fairness to the limited number of reporters working in Iraq for US outlets, they have to cover the violence and they have to do more than just "bomb blew up" -- they have to attempt to provide a context for it or see if it connects to a pattern. When things slow down a little, they have to do the human interest stories -- "have to" for a variety of reasons.

So we get the extreme violence and then we get the fluff and all these problems with electricity and sanitation and housing continue and get little coverage as does what the Parliament is doing.

What could change that? Outlets investing in coverage. The missed stories I'm talking about are important but they're not going to make broadcast television. In their limited time for news (whether during the evening broadcasts or squeezed into a few seconds of the multi-houred mornings of infotainment), they're not going to do these stories. CNN could (and often does, to their credit) and the print publications can. But coverage should have been increased and it hasn't been. And it's really shameful and embarrassing that, all this time later, The Nation, et al has been unable to have a reporter in Iraq. Just one. That's disgusting. During Vietnam, for example, Pacifica filed regular reports, on the ground coverage. They can claim that the economic crunch today is hurting them, but the Iraq War hits 8 years in March and they made money off the Iraq War -- Pacifica, The Nation, et al -- and they never managed to have a correspondent. Now the alternative print press, during Vietnam, often provided real coverage via foreign reporters and that could be done today as well. But, for example, the National Guardian (as it was then known) offered dispatches from Wilfred Burchett

So there's a great deal that's not being done and that's all the worse when the Iraq War hasn't ended.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last week, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4435. Tonight it is [PDF format warning] 4435.

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