The Iraq War Railroad

Frank Paynter writes,

  Putting the ME in. That’s what this thing is about. So I have my personal secret plan… (not evil, like gapingvoid’s is), but the sustainability piece is missing…. monetizing…. business model… cash… shekels… ducats… does it have to be an advertising magnet? They’re not really talking about that here.
  More seriously they’re talking about the media role in the Iraq war. Amy Goodman, Phil Donahue, Norman Solomon (moderating), Lennox Yearwood (“Make Hiphop, not war”), Naomi Klein, Sonali Kolhatcar… a lot of this is preaching to the choir. The people here already get it. Many of us knew it in 2002. The administration manipulation of media from 2002 forward was a certainty. What we need is for the libertarians like Doc Searls and his ilk to get exposed to this information and find a certainty they’re willing to declaim.

Well, politically I’m a registered independent, though I do have some libertarian sympthies, to the degree that I like business and think we make too many laws and have too many regulations. But I’ve also called myself a “defective pacifist” and have come out squarely for Barack Obama. Also, I’m not aware of having an “ilk”, and I don’t like being accused of having one. But, whatever.

I don’t think I have any areas of disagreement with Frank here. What’s more, I haven’t been silent about it. Look up searls media iraq war and you’ll find plenty.

Among those items is some recent pointage to a talk Forrest Sawyer gave at UCSB last year. I think I reported on it at the time, but I can’t find it. Still, I do appreciate being prodded, because Forrest’s talk is one of the best indictments I’ve yet heard of mainstream media capitulation to the Bush administration’s railroading of the nation, and the world, into a war that was flat-out wrong and dumb to begin with. Forrest also does a great job of stressing the importance of other streams besides the main one. So go watch it. One quote…

  Over the past six years we have seen a failure of the tradiional media to live up to its obligations of oversight and challenging the government, greater than any we have seen in the nation’s history… Those who have not yet come to feel ashamed will feel ashamed of their performance and their letting down of the American people.

(I might be off by a word or two there. Transcibing from YouTube is no bargain.)

Also, for what it’s worth, at we also have some ideas for Frank’s “sustainability piece”. I can’t imagine anything more reforming of media than giving it an easy non-advertising-based business model driven by listeners, viewers and readers — in alliance with journalists and artists on the supply side — rather than ever-more-targeted advertising.

I also recommend hanging at while it’s still going on. Great conference. Wish I were there.

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2 Responses to The Iraq War Railroad

  1. … we make too many laws and have too many regulations. But I’ve also called myself a “defective pacifist”
    I don’t understand why you put the “but” there. Laws need violence to enforce them, thus the only laws a pacifist can support are the ones that reduce violence in excess of the violence needed to enforce them. If you use that as your rule of thumb, then any interventions into the peaceful affairs of men are not legitimate. Since free trade is peaceful (otherwise it would beg the definition of ”free”), a government supported by pacifists should want, just as you say, fewer laws and fewer regulations.

    That said, many Quakers (who are at least nominally pacifists) are leftists. Makes me wonder what most of us are thinking of in the silence…..

  2. fp says:

    A free people enjoy the rule of law cooperatively. I don’t know why one would think that violence was required to enforce the law when good will and cooperation are required for any society to endure.

    That said, how about the Supremes and their stand for habeus corpus today! Little by little, bit by bit, I think we are reassembling the democracy that the lawless plutocrats informed by the Chicago school of economists have tried to destroy.

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