Is it NEWS or PROPAGANDA?
by Mark Armstrong
It’s happened before. You can’t watch the news without being steeped in a story you’re sick of. A story which doesn’t warrant the coverage. One which should have never seen the light of day in the first place. And yet you find, it’s the “Big Story.” You attempt to avoid it. Try another outlet. And another, there are lots of them. No luck. The whole of the media seems determined that America must see more! Again and again! Have you noticed that graphic photos tend to play a part in the “silly news” the outlets report with such a tone of grave importance?
The Iraqi “prison abuse” scandal is, as of today, the most prominent story in the media. Will it never go away? Politicians have seized on it opportunistically as an excuse to occupy the spotlight. Media outlets of all descriptions apparently intend to milk this story for all its worth, and then some. I thought, and wrote, a week ago that we’d already heard too much and seen way too much of this ridiculous “story.” But no. A flick through the morning news outlets reveals that it’s going to be wall-to-wall immersion, probably right up to the Presidential election.
Every attempt has been made to hold the Secretary of Defense responsible, and force his resignation! Opponents of the Bush administration would have us believe that torturous atrocities on a par with Saddam’s brutality are encouraged and supervised by America’s high command. And our news outlets obviously are going to rub in that hypothesis while prosecutions of these asinine “photo pranks” proceed.
Oh the posturing, the righteous indignation! It was too much to stomach last week. Now it’s a full blown abomination! Since the hooded Islamic “executioners” murdered the helpless civilian, Nick Berg, in such a mindlessly inhumane fashion, how can our news outlets go back to pretending the “prisoner abuse scandal” even warrants further attention? I realize the “execution” was supposed to be “payback” for the humiliation of Islamic prisoners, according to the butchers. How could anyone give such argument credence? Since when do terrorists need an excuse to kill?
But this wasn’t just a killing. This was a demonstration of evil that’s almost incomprehensible. First of all, the poor guy was just there in Iraq to help, and maybe to help support his family. If he was guilty of something, maybe it was of being naïve. The terrorists repaid him for his good will, with not mere torture or murder. I don’t even want to repeat the description of the gruesome act they committed, surely everyone’s heard by now, except to say that this is a killing for which an American would go to prison if it were perpetrated against an animal. And all while they screeched praises to the name of Allah. Most of us couldn’t bear to watch such a spectacle. The verbal description was enough to invoke some pretty raw emotion. They even put their grisly video on the Internet and on the satellites, no doubt delighting the true believers in their terrorist cause.
In the last Word From commentary my Dad, Garner Ted Armstrong posted before we lost him, made a number of important points. One was the fact that a politically correct surgical strike type war would leave our ground forces vulnerable to continuing guerrilla attacks. He invoked the example of the war with Japan in World War II, how we faced fanatic suicide pilots, and a nation of people who were completely devoted to the Emperor they believed to be a descendant of the “Sun God.” They too had a belief system which led them to sacrifice their own lives killing Americans with the promise of a divine reward.
He wrote, “We did not accept the suicide bombings of US carriers off Okinawa as merely a ‘temporary detour along the road map to peace,’…No, we went after their bases. We bombed their homeland.
“We destroyed their cities. We dropped Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima (from which many of the suicide pilots came) and Nagasaki. We destroyed the Japanese war making industry, and subdued the Japanese people!…What a contrast with Iraq!…This morning, (he wrote last August, 2003) I heard yet another retired top-echelon military man tell Fox News, ‘We must win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.’ Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Democratic Americans ‘winning the hearts and minds’ of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds?…It will never happen.”
He made the point more than once, “ISLAM IS AT WAR WITH AMERICA, but we are NOT at war with Islam!” Dad was mystified that the Bush Administration stuck to the premise that “Islam is a religion of peace,” when that is clearly not the case! The Koran is replete with the punishments to be meted out upon “unbelievers.” Radical Islamic mullahs preach, “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” continually.
It’s hard to overstate the significance of the situation in Iraq, not only fallout throughout the Middle East, but what has become a political propaganda war here in the United States. Europe has already turned against the U. S. in a big way, and now, incongruous as it seems, much of the media and some of our politicians want to turn Americans anti-American.
And now back to those terrible Abu Ghraib prison abuses, and the endless pontifications of pompous politicians. Oh! And by the way, they support our troops.