A Rant with a Moral

17 Aug
After returning from a very quick trip to Montana to visit the family, I read some things that made me very angry. I think that in most cases the headlines make the case for me:US says it doesn't know how many detainees in Cuba: The US government said today it had neither an exact count nor all the names of hundreds of people captured in Afghanistan over a year ago and now detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. (Reuters , Aug 12)Democracy might be impossible, US was told: US intelligence officials cautioned the National Security Council before the Iraq war that the American plan to build democracy on the ashes of Saddam Hussein's regime — as a model for the rest of the region — was so audacious that, in the words of one CIA report in March, it could ultimately prove "impossible." (Boston Globe, Aug 14)Pentagon reverses course, won't cut troops' pay: The White House quickly backpedaled Thursday on Pentagon plans to cut the combat pay of the 157,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan after disclosure of the idea quickly became a political embarrassment. (San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 15)All three of these stories ought to cause produce a similar sense of outrage in you no matter what your political stripes. These were not the only things to get me riled up. One particular story got me so annoyed I am expanding my boycott of CNN from just its online service to its main network as well. (Headline News is still allowed, but if I get cable again I bet it will go too). Although the headline reads simply The unfortunate poster boy, the story reveals just how far the media is willing to go when dealing with uncomfortable truths it doesn't want to reveal to its audience. The opinion piece by Joan Walsh discusses the US media's discovery of Ali Abbas, a twelve year old boy who suffered incredibly during the US invasion of Iraq. Walsh notes:"Ali's suffering is almost surreal: He lost 15 relatives, including his parents and three siblings, as well as both of his arms, in an errant missile strike on a Baghdad suburb in the early days of the war. His mother was five months pregnant with a fourth child. He's got burns all over his body, some of them are infected, he's in constant pain, and he's had to be moved from hospital to hospital thanks to looters."Although Ali has been big news outside the US (a fact I can attest to have seen extensive coverage of him during my stay in Europe), he was only "discovered" by the American media after the US military flew him to Kuwait for treatment. This singular humanitarian act however reveals a troubling truth. Ali blames us for his plight. His is angry at America for killing his family, even though we are treating him for his injuries. How does the media report a story of US benevolence when the recipient is angry with us for creating the need for that benevolence? Most media sources simply choose to ignore the issues, but CNN hit bottom when anchor Kyra Phillips asked Ali's physician, "Doctor, does he understand why this war took place? Has he talked about Operation Iraqi Freedom and the meaning? Does he understand it?" The boy's poor doctor was left to essentially explain that he was more interested in treating the boy than indoctrinating him with US propaganda. CNN essentially dismissed the boy's feelings by implying that only if he was made to understand the US position he would no longer feel anger towards us even though we killed most of his family and took away his arms. This is what brings my wrath upon CNN and reveals the major point of this rant: IF THE BUSHIES THINK THEY CAN GET A 12 YEAR OLD BOY TO STOP HATING US BY SIMPLY EXPlAINING THEIR POSITION TO HIM, WE WIlL NEVER WIN THE WAR ON TERRORISM.

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