Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Have You Heard the News?

Have you heard the news? The US and Iraq removed over 550 metric tons of “yellow cake” (a concentrated form of natural uranium considered the “seed material” for making a nuclear weapon) from Iraq. As the AP’s “exclusive report” said, “in a symbolic way, the mission linked the current attempts to stabilize Iraq with some of the high-profile claims about Saddam's weapons capabilities in the buildup to the 2003 invasion.” Is that a way of saying that maybe President Bush didn’t lie? Other than the AP’s report, I sure don’t see the major media, or for that matter several politicians who claim they were lied to about the basis for the invasion of Iraq, reporting on or talking about this major story. While yellow cake uranium may not be an actual weapon of mass destruction, it is essential to creating a nuke. Why the big silence on this topic?

Have you heard the news? There’s been a substantial decrease in US members of the armed forces killed in Iraq over the last couple of months. According to figures published by GlobalSecurity.org, 30 service members lost their lives in June 2008 (2 of the service members died in non-combat related accidents) compared to 111 members who died in June 2007. In May 2008, there were only 20 casualties. While even one American death is too many, the decrease in casualties is substantial evidence that the surge is working and that the war can be won. But have you heard any of this reported in the mainstream media? No. It would be counterproductive to their political agenda.

Have you heard the news? The US and Iraqi forces will bring to a successful conclusion “one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror.” It hasn’t been in the mainstream press or on mainstream television. The report is from a London newspaper, who reports that the end of al-Qaeda in Iraq is approaching its end. According to the Times of London, "The Iraqis and the Americans have got Al-Qaeda on the run." The Times attributes the success of the operation to remove Al-Qaeda from Mosul "to the “surge” strategy of General David Petraeus, the commander of US forces, who targeted Al-Qaeda in Iraq above all else after securing an extra 30,000 troops last year." So why haven’t we heard from US media about this stunning victory? Why haven’t we heard about the destruction of the terrorist forces in Iraq? Why haven’t we heard about this important victory in Mosul? Because reporting success in Iraq, and the possibility that we just may be winning this war under President Bush’s “finish the job” strategy, doesn’t meet their political agenda. Americans like a winner, and to show President Bush and those (like Senator McCain) who did not declare the Iraq war was lost and tried to “cut and run” as winners could just possibly sway voters.

Am I too much of an idealist to believe that news outlets should report the news of interest to the public; whether that news is good or bad? Am I too naïve to think that it is important for people to make their own judgments, based on facts presented without “spin?” Am I too independent because I don’t want some pundit or political hack to tell me what I should think? I started reading blogs and independent internet reporters in the first place because I realized that I couldn’t trust the mainstream media to report the facts, without focusing the facts through the lens of an agenda. Thankfully, we don’t have to trust in just one source for the news. We do have alternatives, and we should test, question, and make our own judgments. Hopefully, those with an agenda won’t be able to shut down the alternative media under the guise of the “fairness doctrine.” But that’s another post. . . .


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