Saturday :: Oct 1, 2005

Al-Jazeera Marine

by pessimist

In a comment thread yesterday, I was accused of taking the side of a country declared by Owwer Leedur to be an enemy. Just for the record, nowhere in my presentation did I state that it was my position that said country was right.

Now as a self-professed former military man, critic, one would think (I know - thinking is a painful stretch for those who blindly support King George) that one would not go into combat with faulty or bogus intelligence. But as these wrong-wingers prefer Bu$hCo propaganda to factual information, it is no wonder to me that the grandiose plans of King George and the BFEE/PNAC Petroleum Pirate Posse are coming to naught.

Now it it is implied that I am disloyal to America because I merely point out news stories on issues that will affect this nation in an adverse manner (for you wrong-wingers that means bad things are going to happen to you), just what will they say about a Marine Corps officer who has taken a position with Al-Jazeera???

Media glare is on former Marine as he joins ranks of Al-Jazeera
Rushing expects criticism in new career after Corps

Marine officers are taught to think ahead. So Josh Rushing, a captain in the Corps until last October, anticipated the unpleasant questions. Rushing, 33, has taken a job reporting for a new channel for Al-Jazeera. That's the Qatar-based network that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said is “perfectly willing to lie to the world” and has “a pattern of playing propaganda over and over and over again” for its 50 million viewers, most of them in the Arab world.

Sounds like our own media!

But I digress.

Is he a modern-day Tokyo Rose, the nickname GIs in World War II gave to the women they heard on Japanese radio trying to turn them against America? Is he a propagandist set to tear down the country he once served? A collaborator aiding the enemy?
“Al-Jazeera has been judged already and found guilty already in the eyes of most Americans and particularly the (Bush) administration,” says Hugh Miles, a British freelance journalist and the author of Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel That Is Challenging the West. “Many people will see Josh Rushing as collaborating with an enemy propaganda outfit.”

I'm sure that our wrong-wing friends will pontificate further for our benefit! I'll have something else for them to pontificate after this article. First, we'll let Rushing speak for himself.

Rushing's response to such criticism: “I believe in America so dearly and the values that it stands for that I'm in no way threatened by the kind of information this station's going to put out.

“Besides,” he explains, “once a Marine, always a Marine.”

Rushing, who will appear on a global, English-language news channel the network hopes to start by spring, considers his decision to work for Al-Jazeera noble, not seditious. “I've given my entire adult life to the health and well-being of this nation,” Rushing says. “I wouldn't do anything to threaten that.

“What the Marines trained me to do was to represent the best of what America stands for to a foreign audience. That's exactly what I'm going to do.”

Rushing views Al-Jazeera's English-language channel as a forum for reaching millions of Muslims, many of whom may not understand the America he knows, and for reaching millions who he thinks know little about the Muslim world, including Americans. “The gravity of it sets in all the time,” he says during an interview in the dining room at the private Army and Navy Club, two blocks from the White House. “It puts me where the good fight is — at a station that's going to bridge America and the rest of the world.”

Semper Fie On You, Rushing!

Not everyone agrees with his reasoning. “I don't see how in good conscience he can work for Al-Jazeera,” says Cliff Kincaid, editor of the conservative Accuracy in Media Report. “It incites Arabs and Muslims to kill Americans.”

Another former Marine also is concerned. “I wish I could count on him to further our efforts” in the war on terrorism “rather than hinder them,” says Keith Delp of Louisville. He spent five years in the Marines, leaving as a corporal in March 2004 after a seven-month tour in Iraq. Delp writes the weblog Kadnine.

In an e-mail, Delp says he will “be watching Josh closely.”

Maybe these 'patriots' should be watching their own government. As Abrahan Lincoln once said:

All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.

The best defense against this destruction from within is a free press:

"Paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."
- Justice Hugo Black

Instead, our wrong-winger friends and their ilk believe this:

"You hear about constitutional rights, free speech and the free press. Every time I hear these words I say to myself, 'That man is a Red, that man is a Communist!' You never hear a real American talk like that."
- Frank Hague (1876-1956, American Mayor of Jersey City 1917-1947)

This attitude explains why our wrong-winger friends are willing to tolerate the most egregious activities of the Republican Party in an effort to eliminate any possibility that those deemed 'not real Americans' could use to overturn the progress toward authoritarian fascism and the destruction of our nation from within. That is why there will be little-to-no coverage of this story:

Buying of News by Bush's Aides Is Ruled Illegal

Federal auditors said on Friday that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush's education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and by hiring a public relations company to analyze media perceptions of the Republican Party.
In a blistering report, the investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, said the administration had disseminated "covert propaganda" in the United States, in violation of a statutory ban.

Remember Rumsfeld's comments about Al-Jazeera cited above: “perfectly willing to lie to the world” and has “a pattern of playing propaganda over and over and over again”.

I dare any of our wrong-winger friends to deny that our country resembles this with something resembling real evidence.

In addition, Owwer Leedur has been caught in a tight net of his own words proving that he is a liar:

"We will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda. Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet."

The GAO auditors beg to differ, Yore Hindni$$:

The auditors declared: "We see no use for such information except for partisan political purposes. Engaging in a purely political activity such as this is not a proper use of appropriated funds."
The G.A.O. said the Education Department had no money or authority to "procure favorable commentary in violation of the publicity or propaganda prohibition" in federal law.

There is, however, nothing for Der Kriegsfuehrer to fear:

The ruling comes with no penalty, but under federal law the department is supposed to report the violations to the White House and Congress.

Gee, haven't we seen this 'Investigate Thyself' thing somewhere recently? Unfortunately for the nation, neither the White House nor the Congres is likely to violate Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment and proscecute brother Republicans for violations of the law! This is the best that they could do even before this scandal broke:

Congress tried to clarify the ban on "covert propaganda" in a bill signed by Mr. Bush in May. The law says that no federal money may be used to produce or distribute a news story unless the government's role is openly acknowledged.

As long as there is no penatly for a foul there is nothing a republic can do to such perpe-traitors except vote them out, and we already know how tightly the GOP controls vote counting in this nation. I find it incredible that those who spout loudly about spreading freedom and liberty around the globe would fail to acknowledge that their own country is rapidly reaching a point where it has neither.

Almost two hundred years ago, a Frenchman came to the United States seeking to understand us as a nation. His resulting book, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, is still considered the best source of understanding the American people and our traditional values.

Author Alexis de Toqueville once wrote about the power of a free press: "Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic." We have had, instead, the exact opposite since the rise of Ronald Reagan - inequal division of inheritances and a fettered press. We can clearly see where following this path has taken us.

Those of us who believe in the values expressed in Democracy in America are the real Americans. Those who support King George are not.

If you disagree, tell it to the Al-Jazeera Marine, Mac.

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