Your caveat about
Tim Russert is well taken, painful as it is in a time of grieving. But the problem
goes much deeper than a self-congratulatory press corps. The problem, it seems
to me, is that our so-called free press is in fact a commercially censored press
that receives advertising revenue from the very enterprises that have already
benefited so handsomely from the war.
Let me turn from
the war, for the purposes of making a point, to the housing boom/bubble/bust.
The press should have been asking whether an economy based on buying and selling
houses to each other with Chinese money was a sound economy. The press should
have been challenging the presumption that all development is good – witness
the California water debacle. The press should have been challenging such an
easy credit environment. Why didn't it? The press was a major beneficiary of
developers, lenders, realtors, and suppliers through advertising. The press'
silence was bought and paid for. Not just the Washington press, but the local
press, which is now largely owned by absentee conglomerates that don't give
a damn about community. All over the country developers have corrupted local
government, pushing environmentally unsound projects, and the press has worn
its muzzle to the bank.
So the problem
is not just the pathetically tame talking heads and the inane anchors, the
problem is their corporate overlords. The public, while not trusting the press,
has nonetheless bought the lie that it is a free press. It has also bought
the press' lie that it is giving the public what it wants, namely trivia, celebrity
misbehavior, he-said, she-said journalism. This is not what the public wants,
as Pew researchers have shown, but trivia is cheap to serve up, while thoughtful,
investigative journalism is costly. Hence the Fourth Estate, granted certain
privileges by the First Amendment, shortchanges the electorate out of corporate
late Mr. Russert certainly deserved the criticism for letting himself be used
by the administration and being a neocon enabler during the run up to the Iraq
War. However, I listened to the whole Ron Paul interview and do not believe
that it was disgraceful. Russert was his usual aggressive self, as a questioner,
and in no way was easy on Paul. However, Paul was quite up to the challenge,
laid out his position and philosophy very well, and benefited enormously from
the exposure. I am sure that Paul came off better from an interview that was
tough than he would have from one that pulled punches.
~ Joel Parshall
Would Jesus Kill?
Doug, for your article. This unjust war and has broken my heart. The sight
of Iraqi men women and children constantly being killed and permanently maimed
is detestable and totally opposite to the teachings and values of Christ. The
very fact that some church leaders have been advocates of this so-called intervention
(a term commonly used here by a number of our political masters) is beyond
belief. Don't these people know anything about history and people with vested
interests? And more importantly, don't they have any understanding of Jesus'
have heard it said… but I say unto you."
continue to be a voice and educator!
~ Ian Docker
Zunes' commentary is helpful but misses the key issue – that Hezbollah now
is in a position to launch 600 missiles, by Israeli estimate, as far south
as Tel Aviv in the event of an Israeli/American attack upon Iran. This may
well give the hawks pause. See my "Letter
from Beirut: Hezbollah Holds the Balance of Power."
~ James Houle
point. This is why the Bush administration has been pushing Israel so hard to
go after Hezbollah, as it did in 2006. See my article: "Sometimes
the Dog Wags the Tail."
Ackermans, the Bermans the Liebermans, etc., will always use the U.S. government
to protect the state of Israel at any cost. When will Americans wake up to the
fact that the Iraq war, the threat of war with Iran, the policy of non-engagement
with Hamas and Hezbollah, etc., only benefits Israel and places the USA against
the legitimate rights of several Middle Easterners? And to think that all this
policy is implemented with the dollars of our children and grandchildren (added
to the current debt) is shameful. AIPAC is laughing all the way to the bank.
~ Don Bev
reality, "the Iraq War, the threat of war with Iran, and the policy of non-engagement
with Hamas and Hezbollah" have actually hurt Israel.
In terms of U.S.
taxpayer-funded military aid to Israel, almost all of it goes to U.S. arms
manufacturers, and for every dollar of military aid earmarked for Israel, the
Israelis have to spend two to three additional dollars on personnel, training,
and spare parts. Furthermore, the total annual amount of U.S. economic aid
annually given to Israel by the United States is about what Israel owes U.S.
banks in interest on loans for the earlier purchases of U.S. weapons.
So, such policies
aren't exactly doing Israel a favor.
Did AIPAC play
a role in getting that non-binding resolution on Lebanon through? Probably.
Does that mean
that Israel controls U.S. policy in the Middle East? No.
The Bush administration
has its own twisted reasons to pursue such policies.