LTE re: protest and media

I just sent this off to The Olympian after some considerable wrangling with the word count. I like it. Except for the part in paragraph two, which is kind of confusing. I was trying to pack too many ideas into 250 words.

I intended to communicate that embedded reports have become the norm in the mainstream media. This allows untoward influence over the quality, context and content of journalistic reports.

Separately, though similarly, I intended to draw attention to the fact that the media reprints - as truth - with little to no question about the veracity of the statements, or the integrity of what are virtually anonymous sources, stories that originate from military communications personnel (who have incentive to portray the stories under a favorable, and hence oftentimes false, light.) A good example of this is the media reporting of what happened in and around Fallujah, Iraq soon after the opening days of the invasion/occupation in 2003. Dahr Jamail has compiled good reports about the discrepancy between on the ground reality and reports that the media was being fed by military sources and subsequently presenting as truth in a regurgitated form.

So here's my decidedly imperfect letter:
December 11th, 2007

To the Editor,

Certain prominent officials within the Bush Administration continue to perpetrate and to get away with a wrongful, aggressive and illegal war of occupation in Iraq. There are many factors which enable the Bush Administration's imperial aspirations; not least among them are the politics of fear and division, the leverage of a compliant Congress, and an apathetic Public.

But the Bush Administration may be most enabled in its pursuit of global dominance by a compliant and cooperative mainstream media. For example, embedded military reports are taken at face value with little to no question about the veracity of what are oftentimes virtually anonymous sources. In its compliance with the Bush Administration politics of fear and division, the mainstream media do the USA harm.

Iraq did not pose a threat to the USA prior to invasion.

Our nation's military and military personnel are being misused, and abused, in the service of an unjust and aggressive occupation.

The port blockades were an attempt to stop an unlawful occupation; one that is hurting the people of Iraq and the uniformed service personnel of the USA. To speak against the blockades is comparable to saying that a police officer should not drive in excess of the speed limit in order to apprehend a suspect.

Millions of people in Iraq suffer on a daily basis because of the war. Their suffering goes unreported or glossed over. Where are their voices in our media? Why don't we hear from those who are most impacted by this 'war?'

Thank you and sincerely,

Robert Whitlock

[edit added Dec. 12:] Yes - the blockades were an attempt to hold the Bush Administration accountable for the wrongful making of war. They were, for me, an attempt to confine the military vehicles on port property until the commencement of a responsible, safe and complete withdrawal from Iraq.

The blockades were, for me, an attempt to serve the interests of justice by shutting down an intolerable and immoral crusade for control over the petroleum resource of Iraq, a crusade for geopolitical and economic dominance.

I think there is a valid argument to be made that the protests were legal because they were an attempt to hold an Executive Administration that has run riot with the military resources of the USA to account for its wrongdoing. Congress is delinquent. There is abundant evidence to reasonable conclude that prominent members of the Bush Administration have committed heinous and grievous wrongdoings in their respective quests for global dominance and personal power.

1 comment:

  1. Now I wish that I would have looked it over a couple of more times before sending it to the editors of the newspaper!


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