....LMB: "Random War Thoughts 2"....

March 27, 2003

1) I was completely right about the journalist "embedding" process. The reporters out in the field with their new U.S. military comrades are telling the tale from the point of view of the soldiers, just as the Pentagon surely wants them to. They self-censor, they use goofy military jargon, and in the end, they actually do a pretty good job of telling you what it's like to be a U.S. soldier fighting this war. What they don't do is tell you anything resembling NEWS.

2) It seems clear that the Iraq war is being reported on so differently in the U.S. and abroad that each presentation would probably be unrecognizable to the other.

3) Anyone who can't easily understand that I can oppose the war and not be an evil human hell-bent on the deaths of all Americans, is probably not worth arguing with.

4) My current fear is that Americans have bought into the myth that the U.S. invaded Iraq to liberate the people, and that is going to lead to trouble. As more and more average Iraqis are revealed to be against the U.S. "liberation," these Americans are going to start being angry at how "ungrateful" the Iraqis are being. "Our troops risked their lives to free you, and this is the thanks they get?!" I can easily see an anti-Iraqi backlash for their ungrateful response. And in the resulting backlash, Americans won't care so much if the new Iraqi regime is a democracy or a junta.

5) "Support our troops" can mean many different things, and you will generally have no idea which meaning a person is using when they speak the words:

The term has come to mean so many things that it is essentially meaningless. If you want to ask me something about my feelings on the troops, you'll have to choose different words, because I'm no longer going to respond to the phrase above.

Posted by Jake at 01:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

Here's a possible response. "Yes, I support our troops. I pay taxes, Mr. Bush's friends, the multi-millionaires he's trying to make tax-free."

Posted by: Lurch at March 27, 2003 04:07 AM

That would be "unlike Mr Bush's, etc."

(memo to self: Must carefully check for grammar and spelling)

Posted by: Lurch at March 27, 2003 04:08 AM

Typical spin PR slogan, you can't not support them therefore you must be infavour of a war, "you're either with us or against us" idiot mentality.

The question should be "do our troops support us?", by us i mean the public, well obviously not, as public opinion (in the UK) was against the war. This raises the point of who's troops they are exactly, you guessed it, the government's. We seem to have forgotten that both the US and UK have used the army to kill its own citizens within the last 30 years (Bloody Sunday and Vietnam student protests). I understand that obviously the army isn't a debating society but disregard of personal responsibility and ignorance should be no excuse.

Tony Baloney Blair has been saying we should support the war because we can't stop it, well how about supporting crime as well, after all we've tried to stop that and failed. Maybe the police should be ashamed of their anti-crime stance and support our criminals instead!

I know all this stuff sounds really bad and i'm all for getting rid of Sadam, but i realize that ridding the world of evil is a PR joke (unfortunately). Maybe i'm cynical and plain wrong and next month we'll kick the Israeli's out of Palistine, the Chinese out of Tibet, the Russians out of Chetchnya, sort out Mugabe in Zimbabwe and then go after the evil bastards who put me through the Malaysian prison system. I know i'll be there waving the flag cheering them on every step of the way. Make no mistake I know that my British passport is THE most important posession I own, that's why it makes me so angry to see how my country's government and military has been highjacked and its citizens ignored and lied to.

Posted by: Diom at March 27, 2003 04:51 AM

Diom, you misrepresent what happened @ Kent State. There were a number of unfortunate circumstances that led to the National Guard having Live ammo on campus. And there is no evidence to even suggest the firing of weapons was anything more than the reaction of the people holding them to what they perceived to be a threat.

The Federal Gov't played no role in the deaths. It is not fair to use that as evidence of the US using the military to kill it's own students.

A minor point, as I agree with the bulk of your statement.

Posted by: Dan Isaacs at March 27, 2003 07:30 AM

'Lying Media' is right. I live in Canada, and the local CBC and BBC news I get is somewhere in between Al-Jazeera and Fox. I also catch good old Fox, CNN and MSNBC and if I switch from an American station to a Canadian station, it's like switch from American Idol to Survivor. (sorry, best analogy i can think of).

I don't know how you 'real' patriot Yanks do it, putting up with big brother propaganda on TV. I pity you, honestly. At least there's the internet, before Bush and co censor THAT too. Yesterday morning, I watched CBC. They showed the market seen for a good hour. Shows Iraqi anger and tears are the slaughter in the mornig market. They started jumping up on burned out cars, angry at US and Bush for this. They said they heard the plane that dropped it.

I switch to CNN.

They're talking to 'analysts' (without showing the mayhem) and they speculate that because US bombs are so precise, it's probably an Iraqi propaganda and they blew it up themselves.

come to your own conclusions. i know i have. CBC showed me quite visibly what war does to innocent people. CNN made me despise the Bush Regime even more.

Posted by: Johnny at March 27, 2003 12:25 PM

I am sure if an errant US missile was to blame for the destruction in the Iraqi market, the US would own up to it once the evidence has been examined. We've done it many times in the past, where our missiles hit the wrong target. we apologize, and then we move on(ie: chinese embassy, syrian bus etc). i think in this particular case...the preliminary evidence shows the crater size is too small for a US missile. in fact, i think if i was a US missile there'd be a helluva lot more people dead than just 15.

now obviously our news coverage is biased, but so is the news in other countries including yours in canada. everyone's got their own agendas. doesn't make it right in anyway but that's the way it goes. life's always a struggle.

Posted by: art at March 27, 2003 01:40 PM

You have no idea how much I relate to all of this. In particular 3).

Posted by: Maggie at March 27, 2003 04:02 PM

The media is made up of a whole bunch of real live humans so guess what..your going to get a whole bunch of biases and opinions. I think it's pretty telling that both liberals and conservatives view the media as biased. Seems the minute anyone reads/sees/hears anything that challenges their world view then the media must be biased one way or the other.
Fact is you are not going to see the media saying just the things YOU think are correct. You will always see both sides so learn to live with it.
Everyone posting here seems to find out what is going on so STFU about the press not covering it EXACTLY the way YOU would like to see it covered. I watch CNN and FOX and still manage to come to the conclusion that the war in Iraq is a totally useless waste. Oh my god, how can that be!

Posted by: Jman at March 30, 2003 02:07 PM

As I watch and listen to the events of this conflict play out in the media here in Canada I think back to an old ww1 soldier talking about why he risked his life for the cause back in 1914-18. He said that at the time it seemed like the right thing to do but looking back on it now ( the 1980's) it seemed to be an awful waste of lives and property and if he had to do it again he probably wouldn't. The reasons and resolve of the US and Britain seemed so unflinching prior to the conflict yet now as the fighting intensifies those who were soft supporters of the war are certainly questioning the need for this at all. Personally I think our government did the right thing in not supporting this invasion. Many Canadians who support the war do so out of fear of more punitive trade action against us by the Bush administration.

Posted by: brent at March 30, 2003 05:11 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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