Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

War Made Easy

Journalist Norman Solomon, founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a media and political watchdog group, wrote the excellent book, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.  Now this has been made into a documentary film of the same name, narrated by actor/activist Sean Penn and available on DVD for U.S. $19.95.

This is an important book & film not only for understanding media complicity in government propaganda (which makes the decision to go to war “easy,” counter to the intention of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution–and contrary to good sense, never mind something as radical as, say, the gospel of peace!), but to help the public learn from the process, so that it does not keep repeating.  It also shows, as I have mentioned before, how media reform is not really a separate issue from just peacemaking, but is essential.

June 12, 2007 Posted by | citizenship, foreign policy, just peacemaking, media reform | 1 Comment

Mainstream Media Misses Mark on Peace Issues

John Atcheson writing on CommonDreams.org gives an excellent analysis of how the mainstream media towed the Republican and corparate-Dem. talking points last week on several war & peace related issues, including the foiled terrorist attempt, Israeli/Hezbollah war, and Ned Lamont’s primary victory. A short excerpt on the last point should send you to reading the whole article.

Lesson #2: A Democrat who runs on a platform that 60% of the American people support is either an extremist, an elitist, anti-American or all three and his nomination is a “disaster” for the Democratic Party.
Cokie “clueless” Roberts, David Brooks, David Broder, the rest of the MSM, Cheney and the entire Republican spin machine (with Loserman) repeated this bit of wisdom in response to Lamont’s campaign and victory all last week. So, 60% of Americans are anti-American extremists, or elitists apparently. Who knew.
Of course, this begs a few questions: if a majority of Americans hold a particular set of beliefs (i.e. that the Iraqi war is making terrorism worse, that invading Iraq was a mistake, that it’s making America less safe, and that it’s time to leave) can those beliefs be “unAmerican?” Isn’t it Americans who determine what is and isn’t American? Maybe not. Maybe we’ve relinquished that role to Joe Loserman, Karl Rove and the pack of MSM headbobbers who repeat their discredited mantra.
And aren’t elitists, by definition, a minority? Is it possible for a 60% majority to be elitist? Only if some votes and some opinions are special, and count more than others.

Read the rest of this insightful piece here.

August 14, 2006 Posted by | media reform, peacemaking | Comments Off on Mainstream Media Misses Mark on Peace Issues

Downing Street Memo(s) The Smoking Gun

Have you heard of the Downing Street Memo? It is the notes of the former head of British Intelligence/MI-6 (equivalent of U.S. CIA) after meeting with U.S. counterparts. The notes were used in his briefing of PM Tony Blair and cabinet in July 2002 that Bush was determined to invade Iraq and was fixing intelligence around that policy! Read the memo here: http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/memo.html This past Thursday, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) held hearings on the memo. See the C-Span coverage here: http://www.c-span.org . Look for the video archives under Defense/Security.

You can take action to call for more investigation by Congress, more coverage by mainstream media, and for impeachment of the president for high crimes. Check out these actions and more at http://www.AfterDowningStreet.org

June 18, 2005 Posted by | citizenship, foreign policy, human rights., media reform, peacemaking | Comments Off on Downing Street Memo(s) The Smoking Gun