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Media, Murder & American Morality




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Read the stories that TV news networks forget to report!




When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail….

    Do they ever mention that in all of history only a handful of men have ever started a war, yet millions of people have died has a result?

THOU SHALT NOT KILL! So reads the moral precept that supposedly underscores the morality of a civilized society. So reads the Commandment embraced by those who believe in the guidance of a Supreme Being.  And so reads the warning to those who would forget that killing is evil.

And yet, in the name of liberty and freedom, we kill.  We kill those whose ideologies we oppose and those whose intentions we suspect.  We defend the right kill when our leaders claim, even without validation, that it is necessary.  We kill with glory and we kill with honor.  We kill with shock and we kill with awe. And we call it war.

As a nation, we are the greatest killing machine the world has ever known. Our unsurpassed killing technology has been sold to the American public as a symbol of pride and superiority. Killing an enemy, real or conceived, is sold to Americans as a positive experience. Through the auspices of a media well versed in hype and promotion, a relentless campaign has been waged in this country to make us comfortable with the killing game that is war.

In the three years since the media helped George Bush & PNAC unleash his invasion on Iraq, half the nation seems to have no problem with the moral questions that are implicit in waging a war for no clear reason. In fact, they seem to have no problem at all with the continuing carnage.  On the contrary, there is still an inexplicable pride in watching America at War as staged on the nightly news.  One has to wonder if half the nation has any clue at all that killing for an unjustifiable reason is murder.

It’s not surprising that some of the most overwhelming weapons used against the Iraqis have such inoffensive names. Most Americans hardly suspect that daisy cutters, bunker busters, javelins and tomahawks can snuff out so many lives so mercilessly. American WMD’s such as depleted uranium shells that sound a bit more ominous, are never mentioned by the media, despite their long term killing ability. Neither has there been any outcry against the use of outlawed weapons such as napalm, an old friend from another time.  The news networks did, however, hype those 500 pound bombs that flattened Fallujah – now there was a weapon to admire !

Of course, there never were any photos of the dead and dismembered women, children and old people who fell victim to the bombs. There were never even photos of our dead and dismembered troops who fell victim to the war itself.  For many Americans, there continues to be an illusion of a bloodless war, with minimal collateral damage, with limited civilian casualties, and with surgical, smart weapons that miraculously know whom to kill. If only they knew.

There has to be a way to awaken decent and honorable Americans to the reality of war. There has to be a way to examine the methods that have been used to shape the way in which we accept the morality of weapons of war, and of war itself. We appeal to all good people to think about the media, about weapons of murder, and about the manipulation that has taken place regarding American morality.

Just listen closely to the TV performers who pose as journalists. Think about their persistent, nonstop message about war and its weaponry. As Americans, we are being conditioned, on a minute by minute basis, to take pride in America’s ability to destroy life on a massive scale. Our ability to kill in great numbers is broadcast as an achievement of American skill and might.  The use of killing as a primary foreign policy tool is no longer a moral issue. The only questions that seem to matter are when and where Americans should kill, and how adept we must become at using more and more devastating weapons of war.

Take note of the way in which the tools of killing are sold to the public. Every new weapon technology is packaged by the news networks in a red white and blue wrapper. The messages imply that weapons, by their very existence, make us safer, not that these weapons kill in great numbers. The messages assure us that some mystical correlation exists between the destructive power of a weapon and our liberty.

The media marinate their messages in words such as freedom, national security and patriotism.  They assure us American troops are the best fighting force in the world because they are best equipped to kill.  They leave us with the conclusion that all who die at our hands are our enemies. But, in fact, there is no reality in the tools of war they sell. In fact, there is no humanity in the weapons they praise. And, after all is said and done, there is not a whit of morality in supporting a meaningless war or the weapons needed to wage it.

Are Americans really supposed to be proud and happy about the fact that we human beings are creating an endless array of devices designed to destroy life, to destroy this planet…and ultimately to destroy the very people who are proud and happy to know that they exist?

When our news media package a story about a new technology of death, do they ever remind us of the many innocent people die as a result of such weaponry? Do they ever stress that most people who die in war have nothing at all to do with starting the wars that kill them? Do they ever mention that in all of history only a handful of men have ever started a war, yet millions of people have died has a result?

When our news media reports on the defense budget of our government, do they ever ask why there is no budget for improving the technology of diplomacy? On a similar note, do the media ever present a conflict avoided in a manner that is meant to have to take pride in that?

The media have relentlessly brainwashed the American people to believe that the only way a real patriot can be proud of this country is if Americans are better able to kill (or defeat, as in sports), non-Americans.

We are also encouraged to enjoy killing on a small scale. When politicians hope to appear truly American, there is an obligation for them to be seen on the TV screen on a hunt. Hunting and killing animals for sport is considered all-American. This is a horrific statement about our humanity and our values. This is totally unrelated to killing animals for food. While there are surely some moral questions about the very act of eating meat, it pales in comparison to taking children in their formative years on a hunting trip to enjoy the kill. And yet, this is so typically an American family-values pursuit.

Think about that. The message is clear: it is anti-American to even question whether there is something wrong when people enjoy killing living animals. However, the fact that people are not horrified and remorseful after blowing a hole in a deer or a duck is a frightening prospect.  But it may explain why so many Americans have become desensitized to some forms of death.  It may also explain why so many Americans have no problem with war.

As a nation, we are subtly, if not directly being brainwashed to enjoy, appreciate and take pride in killing.  Is this what America is really all about?

Today, we are witness to a war of choice, - planned and waged by a handful of men. The corporate news media promoted, supported, and benefited greatly from coverage of the war. They have, however, failed to question the morality of this or any war in which such terrifying weapons are celebrated as they kill so many people with who did not start the war in which they died .

Our news media very deftly created and now maintain a war mentality as they purport to report the news with some neutrality. Those who support war are portrayed as strong, unyielding and patriotic. Those who advocate other methods of problem solving between nations are accused of being weak, appeasing, and traitorous.

The groundwork has been laid for future wars, for greater weapons, and for more deaths of untold numbers of people who once again will have had no part in starting the wars in which they will die. The moral issues of war and killing have been swept aside in the frenzy that erupted after the attacks September 11th.  They will not be revitalized by the media, nor will they be raised by our leaders in Washington. War is hell, and Americans have to confront its morality and its effectiveness in this world.

The alternative is to travel along the path that has been paved by the present administration and promoted at every step by the corporate media. The alternative is to abandon the morality that denounces murder and to embrace the falsehood that might makes right.  The alternative will also lead this nation into the oblivion that awaits us, should we choose it.

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