WHAT PRICE APATHY?
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MEDIA INDIFFERENCE TO IRAQI DEATHS
Eight marines were killed this morning in Iraq. The report came between a clip about the candidates’ schedules and the weather report. Nine marines were wounded. And, oh yes, there’ll be a Red Sox parade in Boston.
We’ve grown accustomed to the war. Cities are bombed, soldiers die, hostages are executed, chaos increases, but war news is no longer the big story. No more fanfare, no more flags waving, no more banners that celebrate Operation Iraqi Freedom. No totals of war dead. No photos of returning coffins, no funerals no images of grief.
And all the while, in every stump speech, George Bush raves about progress. Dick Cheney calls Iraq is a remarkable success story. Oh, yes, - that bit about missing explosives. They’ll check it out after the election. Yawn.
Uh, by the way, - did you hear that report about Iraqi deaths in the war? What was that number? Oh yes, - 100,000!!! ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND IRAQIS MAY HAVE BEEN KILLED AS A RESULT OF THE BUSH/PNAC INVASION. Not too important, considering that the Scott Peterson trial was winding up. And, oh yes – that lip-synch episode on SNL had to be aired over and over. Imagine it: 100,000 people would just about fill Fenway Park three times over. 100,000 people are dead because of an illegal, immoral and ill-planned war waged by this administration. 100,000 people - who remain ignored, forgotten, and irrelevant on the eve of this historic election.
The study was conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. Those are our guys, not some politically motivated propaganda group. They did their work because the US government does not keep records of Iraqi deaths. The number is apparently unimportant.
The study, however, concluded that violence accounted for most of the extra deaths seen since the invasion, and air strikes from coalition forces caused most of the violent deaths.
The survey said that most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. Women and children are not the bad guys. Women and children are George Bush’s collateral damage, his flotsam and jetsam. Iraqi blood is cheap; it requires no recognition, no concern, and no sentiment.
The media agree. They cited the report on some networks, - and let it go. There was no follow up. There were no interviews, no repeated coverage, no photos, no videos, no witnesses, and no comments. That makes sense; the study group had no connection to the Swift Boat Vets. Why bother?
On September 11th, 2001 three thousand people were killed in a terrorist attack in the United States. Those deaths will forever remain in our memories, as they should. On that same day, we rightly demanded that the murderers who perpetrated those attacks be brought to justice. The nation and the world expressed their horror and their outrage at the barbaric acts that resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians. As they should.
But where is the outrage at the indifferent and wanton slaughter of 100,000 people who were in no way involved in 9/11? Where is the horror that the Bush/PNAC warmongers are responsible for more than 30 times the lives lost on 9/11? There is never any mention in the media of the maimed or the horribly wounded Iraqis, either. No surprise, - we get no truth, no facts and no images of the horror that is Iraq. It makes George Bush look bad.
Nor do we get any facts and figures about the wounded servicemen and women who are being sacrificed each day as a result of this botched and failing war. Then why report the Iraqi casualties? The subliminal message to the American people is that Iraq has been a surgically precise war with a minimal loss of life. We’ve used smart bombs that fall far from populated areas and destroy only the enemy, whoever that is. That’s not so, none of it. We are lied to on a daily basis, by commission and by omission. What else is new?
The media have failed us, and in a few days the American public will go to the polls uninformed and unarmed. Somewhere, the Houdini transformation of George Bush is alive and well in the American psyche. George Bush sells himself as the leader who can save us from terrorists. Terrorists, after all, kill innocent people to further their cause. Of course, if the shoe fits…..George Bush should consider wearing it.
In the end, - Iraqis will continue to die. Americans and coalition troops will continue to die. They will all have died for nothing. They will all have died in the most disastrous miscalculation by any administration since Vietnam. As we honor our brave men and women in the military who truly believe they are fighting for our freedom, let’s also acknowledge the 100,000 Iraqi lives that have been so violently taken by the liars and plotters in the White House.
The apathy of the media regarding these deaths is unforgivable. Apathy here is akin to complicity. It really is.
In just days, Americans will elect a leader for the nation. Tragically, the people have been lied to and misled beyond belief for the past four years, - and the media have sworn to the deceptions. Restoring George Bush to the presidency would by a travesty. Giving George Bush four more years in the White House would be sanctioning his wars and ignoring his victims.
It must not happen.