Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Since most of my reading is done on the computer, I don't usually speak much about reading books, but this one is a must read for all of us, who wish
to know why our leaders keep finding reasons to go to WAR... If there are no justifications in reality then they MAKE THEM UP!
Thinking Blue

Harsh insight into how we make war
War Made Easy How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to
by Norman Solomon John Wiley & Sons: 320 pp., $24.95

By Russ Baker, Special to The Times
Does the unspooling Iraq saga fill you with a disquieting sense of
déjà vu? Feel like you've been there, done that, been lied to and
spun in this manner somewhere else, at some other point in time?
Well, that's because you have.

Norman Solomon, a longtime media critic, lays out the elaborate
hustle in his new book, "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits
Keep Spinning Us to Death." It's all there — Vietnam, the invasions
of Panama and Grenada, the first Gulf War and more. (Including a
first chapter about the 1965 U.S. invasion of the Dominican
Republic, an unfortunately labored and obscure choice to lead off an
otherwise compelling read.)

The villains are the government and the media: the
government because time and again it remorselessly falsifies the
reality of war, and the media because major press and broadcast
outlets can't seem to wriggle free from self-interest long enough to
speak truth to power.

Solomon offers 16 brutally persuasive chapters, each centered on a
perennial falsehood, such as "If This War Is Wrong, Congress Will Stop It," "This Is About Human Rights" and "This Is Not at All About Oil or Corporate Profits."

One insidious whopper
that American war leaders always yearn for peace — runs counter to
such evidence as the Nixon tapes, in which the president, who
publicly expressed concern about the Indochina carnage, is caught on
the White House recording system discussing with Henry A. Kissinger
an extension of the bombing to new targets in North Vietnam:


: "I still think we ought to take the dikes out…. Will that drown people?"

"About 200,000 people."

: "No, no, no…. I'd rather use the nuclear bomb…. I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christ's sakes."


The belief that the media will remain vigilant to government
misconduct in times of war is belied by an internal MSNBC report
cited by Solomon, which explains why Phil Donahue's show (with which
Solomon was associated) was canceled shortly before the Iraq
invasion. Keeping Donahue on the air, says one MSNBC executive,
would "present a difficult public face for NBC in a time of
war …
[and become] a home for the liberal antiwar
agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at
every opportunity."

This may be a little late but it should be said.
My 2 cents worth:
"Phil Donahue's viewpoint represents over three quarters (in my opinion) of the American people's convictions on matters of War, Peace and Fairness. Taking him off the air, even though his show pulled in a large audience, told us you are not interested in what We The People Of This United States Of America, want to see on our TV's. How dare you use POLICE STATE actions of this sort!!" http://thinkingblue.blogspot.com/


Solomon also notes that less than 1% of the sources featured on
CBS' "Evening News" during the Iraq War's first three weeks could be
considered "antiwar."

For sheer chutzpah, nothing tops the story of U.S.
troops during the 1989 invasion of Panama seizing a huge cache of dictator and
former U.S. ally Manuel Noriega's cocaine. Well after the event,
the military was forced to admit that the reported stash was
actually tamales wrapped in banana leaves.
This was
followed by the military's claim that Noriega had used the stash for
"unspeakable acts of witchcraft and voodoo."

Solomon is most outraged by what he sees as the utter disconnect
between Americans and the true horror of wars carried out in their
name and with their approval. He cites James Baldwin on denial, on
"the fraudulent and expedient nature of the American
innocence which has always been able to persuade itself that it does
not know what it knows too well."


More James Baldwin Quotes:

Americans, unhappily, have the most remarkable ability to alchemize all bitter truths into an innocuous but piquant confection and to transform their moral contradictions, or public discussion of such contradictions, into a proud decoration, such as are given for heroism on the battle field.

He may be a very nice man. But I haven't got the time to figure that out. All I know is, he's got a uniform and a gun and I have to relate to him that way. That's the only way to relate to him because one of us may have to die.

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have. No one is more dangerous than he who imagines
himself pure in heart: for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.

James A. Baldwin


And Solomon adds, "Aren't we at least dimly aware that — no matter
how smooth and easy the news media and elected officials try to make
it for us — in faraway places there are people not so different than
us who are being destroyed by what journalists and politicians
glibly depict as necessary war?"

"War Made Easy" is largely an amalgam of material from others'
books, speeches and articles. But Solomon is a formidable thinker
and activist in his own right. He traveled with Sean Penn to Iraq
shortly before the invasion, and one wishes he had shared more of
his considerable experiences in the media trenches.
Solomon's voice, when he gives it full throat, is appropriately
sardonic. adj. Scornfully or cynically mocking. See Synonyms at
sarcastic. -
A cutting, often ironic remark intended
to wound. - A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic
language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt
or ridicule.

IN OTHER WORDS SOLOMON "TELLS IT LIKE IT IS" and lets the chips fall where they may...We need this from the self- interested, greedy media pundits...but that will never happen, money is their creed, not
truth! Thinking Blue


Here he comments on a USA Today headline from June 2004, about the
incoming Iraqi prime minister's support for the U.S.:
"The banner headline was a classic of occupation puppetry and media gimmicky,"
Solomon writes, noting that Iyad Allawi was long close to
the CIA but a virtual stranger to the Iraqi people.
"All in all, by Washington's lights, the man was eminently qualified
to be Iraq's 'new leader.' And his superb judgment was immediately
apparent: 'New Leader Asks U.S. to Stay'! "


"Withdrawal Would Cripple U.S. Credibility" by Norman Solomon

News Media and "the Madness of Militarism"by Norman Solomon


"War Made Easy" is a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee, or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come.

Solomon cites a 2003 Los Angeles Times article,

(and this is the most chilling...Thinking Blue)

in which top Pentagon officials
"are studying the lessons of Iraq closely — to ensure that the next U.S. takeover of a foreign country goes more smoothly." Says a top assistant to Defense Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld: "We'll get better as we do it more often."

Russ Baker (http://www.russbaker.com/) is a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review and founder of a new nonprofit, the Real News Project, dedicated to investigative journalism.


If wrinkles must be written upon
our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should
never grow old.
John Kenneth Galbraith



Justice Sunday's Derision of Faith
Perfumed Lies
What War Really Looks Like ... From Bushflash
100 Bush Days (seems more like 100 years)
Mother's Day Proclamation
National Religion
Bush Lies Democracy Dies
Deception, Denial, and Demagoguery
War, What War?


WAR By Rohil Bhansali

(From "Poets Against the War")

Hi My Name is Rohil Bhansali and I am in 4th grade. These are my thoughts on "WAR"

It is a terrible thing.
It can silence a town like it is a deserted desert.
It can be as loud as a stampede of bison.
Everyone hates it.
Everyone wants it to be over.

It is as evil as the devil
Even if you think it is, war isn’t fun.
Death is a long sleep.
Life is a precious possession.
War is a horrific thing.

War is confusing and sad.
The victors rejoice while the losers lament.
War is the most dreaded murderer in the world.
War is where most heroes are born.
War is a frightful thing.

War is a sin against mankind.
It makes madmen out of gentlemen.
It corrupts people’s minds.
It makes them bitter and cold.
War is a vile thing.



CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it!

Thinking Blue



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