Gore on Bush Propaganda
US Bombs Shiite Sadr City
It is no surprise that Al Gore is attacking Bush in his new book, of course. Nor is it a surprise that Gore accuses Bush of ignoring all reasonable evidence in both making the decision to invade Iraq and in deciding to do nothing about global warming.
What is important about what Gore is saying is his focus on how the pollution of America’s information environment by 1) corporate media consolidation (all television news is brought to Americans by five private corporations, the CEOs of which all vote Republican) and 2) government propaganda (i.e. lies purveyed to Americans using the money and resources of Americans).
Polling shows that the percentage of Americans who view Iran as the number one threat to the United States has risen to 27 percent now. I think it was only 20 percent in December 2006. First of all, how in the world can a developing country with about a fourth of the population of the US, about a $2000 per capita income (in real terms, not local purchasing power), with no intercontinental ballistic missiles, with no weapons of mass destruction (and no proof positive it is trying to get them), with a small army and a small military budget– how is such a country a “threat” to the United States of America? Iranian leaders don’t like the US, and they talk dirty about the US, and they do attempt to thwart US interests. The same is true of Venezuela under Chavez. But Tehran is a minor player on the world stage, and trying to build it up to replace the Soviet Union is just the worst sort of fear-mongering, and it is being done on behalf of the US military industrial complex, which wants to do to Iran what it did to Iraq. It is propaganda, and significant numbers of Americans (a 7 percent increase would be like 21 million people!) are buying it.
Why have those poll numbers gone up? Because the Bush administration is trying to hang the Sunni Arab insurgency in Iraq on Iran (and even trying to hang the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan on Iran). The message of administration and military spokesmen is that Iran is deliberately killing US troops and is a major source of insurgency in Iraq. No convincing evidence has ever been presented for either allegation, nor is it reasonable to assume that Iran plays a significant role in funding hyper-Sunni, Shiite-killing death squads to deliberately destabilize its client governments in Baghdad (al-Maliki) and Kabul (Karzai). Yet the New York Times and even the Guardian put this b.s. on the front page, and of course it is all over CNN, Fox Cable News, MSNBC, etc. Are US journalists trapped in the the dictates of the military-industrial complex by virtue of working for these mega corporations? We know that Roger Ailes at Fox Cable News orders his employees how to spin the day’s news (he is a former high Republican Party official). Has any of the journalists counted up how many of the 127 US troops killed in Iraq in May was killed in Sunni Arab areas and how many in Shiite neighborhoods? Has any of them actually read the translated communiques on World News Connection of the Sunni Arab guerrillas and what they say about Iran and Shiites? Has any demanded air tight proof and non-anonymous sources before printing this garbage?
It is this sort of thing that Gore is alarmed about. He is a man of enormous experience in public life, and he is saying that he sees a sea change for the worse in this regard. I concur.
The NYT on the fallout of the bridge bombing between Kirkuk and Irbil on Saturday, and increasing Arab/Kurdish and Turkish/Kurdish tensions.
McClatchy reports civil war violence in Iraq on Saturday. Police found 26 bodies in the streets of the capital, victims of sectarian death squads (most of them in Sunni Arab neighborhoods). 2 bodies were delivered to Diyala morgue (presumably in Baquba). Another 2 were found in the city of Khalis in the same province. Other major incidents:
‘ – 7 civilians were wounded when mortar shells hit Al Fadhil neighborhood [Baghdad]. . .
– A security source said that 5 civilians were killed in insurgencies in different towns of Diyala province yesterday afternoon.
– An Iraqi army soldier was killed in a car bomb explosion targeted a check point south Udhim town north of Baquba on Friday evening. . .
– A source in the 5th Iraqi army division said that an Iraqi army soldier was killed and 4 others wounded in an IED explosion targeted their patrol in Muqdadiyah town north of east Baquba city today afternoon. . .
– 6 civilians were injured when mortar shells hit Al Arasa neighborhood, one of the outskirts of Muqdadiyah town today afternoon. . .
– – 6 members of emergency brigade were injured when an IED exploded targeting their vehicle in Sari Kihya neighborhood downtown Kirkuk city on Friday evening, police said.
The US was engaged in a bombing campaign against the civilian neighborhood of Habibiya in Sadr City (Shiite East Baghdad) on Saturday evening. The strikes probably targeted Mahdi Army militiamen; however, you can’t bomb civilian neighborhoods without killing civilians.