I’ll tell you something that I find pretty amazing; I am in no way, shape, or form any kind of journalist. I write mostly my opinion (backed up with some facts) for my own pleasure and have an average readership of about 20 people per day. However, when the Strait of Hormuz incident was first reported, my initial reaction was to question it; not to dismiss it – per se – but not to accept it blindly either. Most of the mainstream media – the real reporters who get paid to filter out what is really news and report it to us – simply repeated everything the government told them as if it were fact. Here we are now, less than a week later, and more and more information is coming out that things did not happen as originally reported; not only does the supposed Iranian voice on the tape sound nothing like an Iranian accent (it turns out that the channel used by the US Navy is pretty accessible to private parties), but the people on the ship are saying that they were never close to firing at the speedboats as previously reported. I have asked this question hundreds of times, both in this blog and in actual conversations, but still haven’t gotten an answer- when is the US media going to start doing their jobs and stop being lazy mouthpieces for the administration? One would think that they would have learned their lessons after being led around by their pens in the months leading up to the US occupation of Iraq. When is the US public going to stop taking reporters and pundit’s words as absolute truth and not doing any research for themselves? We have to learn how to ask questions; when we sit down and read an article about something of this magnitude – something that could potentially lead to another war – we have to take it with a grain of salt (no one anywhere should ever blindly trust authority) and do at least a little bit of independent research.
It seems as though the reporting on Iraq has gone down – both on TV news shows as well as in print – steadily over the past few months. Have we been there for so long that people are losing interest or accepting it? When you woke up in your warm bed this morning did you think about how many Iraqis are waking up freezing today, or waking up thinking about their dead relatives, or waking up not knowing if they will still be alive when the time comes to go back to sleep? When we hear the word ‘surge’ what do we think of? Do we think about the consequences? According to Tom Hayden, the number of Iraqis in prison has doubled, the number of US air strikes has increased by 700%, and the number of US soldiers who died last year was almost 1,000 (the highest since the occupation began); and for what? Does anyone know why we really went in there or what we hoped/hope to accomplish? None of the presidential candidates have any real plan to get troops out. The Republicans would like to continue the occupation for an infinite amount of time, while the Democrats say they would like to pull to most troops sometime in the next year to three. However, all the major candidates would keep “advisors” and counter-terrorism forces (countering terrorism that they helped create) in the Middle East for as long as there’s money to be made. It never ceases to amaze me how well we have been trained to blindly go along with whatever is being done in our name, as long as we aren’t being directly affected. We really need to shake off the cobwebs and realize that it does affect us; our tax dollars are being used to kill innocent people. Our youth is being used and brainwashed in order to make billionaires even richer. And the majority of us sit around and either accept it or make the occasional complaint and then go back to whatever distraction is working for us that day.
The death count in Kenya is nearing 500 as the opposition – led by Raila Odinga – has failed to reach an agreement with the current president, Mwai Kibaki. Talks have broken down before they even started, and Kofi Annan is expected to try to revive them sometime next week. While Kibaki has agreed to talk about some kind of power sharing, Odinga has said that he will accept nothing less than a new election with outside supervision. Clashes between both groups continued and Odinga has said that he plans a new round of protests and civil disobedience. Meanwhile, over 250,000 people have become displaced because of this fighting and aid workers say there is serious risk of starvation and disease among the makeshift camps that have been set up. Yet, as is the case everywhere, the rich remain rich; while people who normally enjoy somewhat comfortable lives sit in their own shit, the well off lay back in their guarded compounds, not being affected in the slightest by all the violence. When are the poor going to realize that it doesn’t matter who wins; both sides are pretty much fighting to determine which rich person gets to have power. When the poor people in the free countries start to realize that they have more in common with the poor people in other countries than they do with the rich people in their own, we have a chance of real change. Rich people from all over already have ties to one another, and they work their hardest to divide the poor in order to keep them down. This is just as true in the United States as it is in Kenya, even if it is not as obvious.
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