Monday, February 26, 2007

Better Than a Talking Humvee

"The US is also trying to find solutions in Iraq" according to Steve Inskeep as he brings on the inimitable Tom Bowman, journalist-spokesperson for the US military effort in Iraq . Tom is on to tell us that "many other teenagers and even children much younger have joined or were forced to join the insurgency..."

It is a really mind-boggling piece, in which a kindly US Army major explains the psychological motivations of these alleged child-soldiers. His comments are based on interrogations of a sixteen year old captive who was sent to the infamous Camp Cropper.

There is a brief mention that some children may join the insurgency to avenge killed family members--but nothing about the obvious reasons that young people would have for resisting an invading military that has seized, hooded, tortured, raped, bombed and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis--fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins, etc.

And then tonight on ATC Bowman accompanies the crew of the murderous AC-130 gunship as it patrols the skies over Baghdad (!) surveilling the US surge as it breaks into Iraqi homes at night and waits to kill any who dare resist. Of course Bowman is on to explain how professional the crew is and how carefully this flying deathship is used so as to avoid any unintended civilian causalities.

The point of view in both these reports is one of complete acceptance of the US project in Iraq. There is never any questioning that the US has the best of intentions and that any excesses are but mistakes that the military is working very hard to correct.


bluetaco said...

Is NPR even aware that to bomb a city which one is militarily occupying is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions (I know, "quaint").

I keep telling my vanpool partners that I think NPR is abominable, and they just don't get it. They think it's just soooo intelligent and "objective". I have directed them to your organ, but I just think many liberals are simply too culturally wedded to NPR to really see it for what it is.

Any ideas?

Kevan Smith said...

Bluetaco wrote, "...many liberals are simply too culturally wedded to NPR to really see it for what it is."

Yep. Their very own naked emperor. I get poohed, too, for suggesting that NPR has a conservative bias.

lapsedlawyer said...

I call this stuff "war porn" -- though I can't take credit for coining the term. You can almost hear Inskeep drool and moan with ecstasy.

And what was really horrific about the AC-130 piece is it was billed as an expose of the plane -- that it's a sledgehammer in pursuit of flies, so that innocent civilians are likely to be the largest number of those killed and maimed by it's murderous firepower.

lapsedlawyer said...

Sorry, meant "Bowman" not "Inskeep." My bad.

But, when you think about it, it really doesn't make any difference, does it?

Porter Melmoth said...

Interestingly, as I've said before, I've encountered a surprising number of people who are now suspicious of NPR's motives. On the other hand, NPR is probably gaining in popularity, attracting those who are burned out on the mainstream media, who look to NPR, with its lack of ads (though, as we know, it is riddled with its 'own' type of ads...), and its supposedly 'thoughtful' approach, as a reasonable alternative. You know the drill. With so many people spending more radio-prone time in cars and during longer commutes, NPR is primed to be tapped, mostly by white folks escaping to and from their suburbs. As an aside, in my exchanges involving a wide range of topics with persons of color, I can't recall a single reference to NPR. No wonder, there's hardly anything there for them except token efforts. I can't quote any studies, but it's a pretty good bet that NPR's perfect listener tends to be white, educated, middle to upper class (or aspiring to all these elements), mostly baby boomers, mostly with self-interest agendas. What's wrong with that? Well, that's largely the composition of the current administration and the corporate structure now in power in this country.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt in my mind that NPR is a propaganda arm of the US government. The glorification of the war effort/illegal invasion is sufficient proof--if anybody needed any.

Now I hope people are catching on and switching to Amy Goodman's 'Democracy Now,' as well as other, more honest outlets.

I listen to Wisconsin Public Radio--possibly the oldest in the country. It also features many more divergent views.

May I also recommend WBAI, Pacifica's station out of New York, and KPFK out of Houston, Texas, as also very good sources of news.

Finally, even though NPR has been flying solo without an ombudsman, people should call the ombudsman's line (202) 513-3245 or the assistant's line(202) 513-3248 and voice their objections to the war pornography. You can also write to Let them know we're not fooled.