Sunday :: Apr 6, 2003

Keeping Our Eyes on the Ball


by Steve

With a possible victory over Saddam Hussein in sight, and a Secretary of Defense threatening new countries without the knowledge of the Secretary of State, but with the full support of the president if for no other reason than it will scare other countries, the United States faces the prospect of several wars back to back over the next half-decade. Against this backdrop, we are encumbered by an Administration that has no desire to fix domestic needs, and in fact appears to want to drain the federal treasury of the revenues necessary to meet the inadequate campaign promises of this president a short two and a half years ago. And with a double-dip recession on the horizon, the president’s political “brain” is field-testing the argument for next year’s campaign that this administration was dealt a bad economic hand by its predecessor, a bad hand that generated 22 million new jobs and surpluses into the next decade.

We have a populace notorious for its lack of inquisitiveness and knowledge of world affairs, a population rife for manipulation by an eager administration in cahoots with a tightly controlled media, both of whom are only too willing to steer war coverage away from awful truths on the ground in Iraq and the Arab world and towards a “hear no evil, see no evil, and don’t speak no evil” mantra. The end result are poll results that reveal large majorities believing a lie regarding a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda; and support for additional military action against other neighboring countries. This sad state of affairs only reinforces the notion that a tightly controlled media combined with a lying president can lead a country to short-term ruin time and time again.

The high poll numbers and rah-rah attitude towards destruction in an Arab world that already was rightly hostile to us will continue for a while longer, simply because the truth of collateral damage and fallout from impending wars against Islamic countries will not hit home with our citizens. They won’t see the truth on their nightly dose of hockey-goal coverage of today’s bombings in Iraq by CNN or Fox, and our media will shield them from things that the administration doesn’t want said or heard. Regrettably, there is not much any of us can do about this until the domestic media sees the shame in their coverage, which isn’t likely right away. When CNN spends thirty-five minutes of prime time coverage on the flight of a US drone over Baghdad instead of reporting on the numbers of dead Iraqi civilians that day, you know pretty much the state of a nation.

Our only hope for truth and candor frankly doesn’t rest in foreign news, but in fact from domestic concerns. It is difficult for even Karl Rove to shield the average citizen from the fact that their neighbor has lost a job or is losing hope in finding another. He can’t spin the declining consumer confidence numbers by telling people that they will feel better by giving rich senior citizens a dividend tax cut. He has nothing to say to those working poor who have no health insurance. He can’t explain why there isn’t enough money to fund basic benefits to our soldiers and their families, or to veterans who have already made their sacrifice to this country. He can’t spin to the Northeast the “Clean Skies Initiative” or to Nevadans why Bush lied about Yucca Mountain. He can’t spin why your neighbor’s family is being ripped apart by a reservist being yanked away from their job and family for at least a year to fight a war that never stops. He can’t paper over the fact that people like you are hurting while the best off are getting more tax cuts. Rove and Bush can only do so much to keep bad domestic information from us since we see it and can feel it every day, unlike the tragedy unfolding and long-term harm facing us in the Arab world.

Our focus between now and the election is not to get discouraged about the silly poll numbers right now, and what they reflect about the detachment and ignorance of the average voter. Our focus must remain on educating those we can about the truth out there beyond cable news and Karl Rove. Our focus must remain on supporting candidates in next year’s election who can take the worst chickenhawk slime dished out by the cowardly likes of Tom DeLay, Rove, Hastert, Perle, Cheney, Bush and others who dodged war zones and manage to throw it right back in their faces with an unrelenting fire. Our focus must remain on selecting candidates who can effectively convince voters of their commitment and preparedness to deal with national security and the world overseas we face today, but with a true compassion and enlightenment never to be found in the Likud/messianic neanderthalism that permeates the current regime.

As long as we can focus on these real challenges and not become discouraged by the current ignorance, manipulation, and imminent self-made catastrophes, we will prevail next year.

Steve :: 11:57 PM :: Comments (19) :: Digg It!