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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:40 PM

"USA worships military--How Our Country is Warped"

First military worship is the central religion of America's political and media culture. The military is by far the most respected and beloved institution among the US population - a dangerous fact in any democracy - and, even assuming they wanted to (which they don't), our brave denizens of establishment journalism are petrified of running afoul of that kind of popular sentiment.


Second, it is truly remarkable what ends people's careers in Washington - and what does not end them. As Hastings detailed in that interview, Petraeus has left a string of failures and even scandals behind him: a disastrous Iraqi training program, a worsening of the war in Afghanistan since he ran it, the attempt to convert the CIA into principally a para-military force, the series of misleading statements about the Benghazi attack and the revealed large CIA presence in Libya. To that one could add the constant killing of innocent people in the Muslim world without a whiff of due process, transparency or oversight.

Third, there is something deeply symbolic and revealing about this whole episode. Broadwell ended up spending substantial time with Petraeus when she, in essence, embedded with him and followed him around Afghanistan in order to write her biography. What ended up being produced was not only the type of propagandistic hagiography such arrangements typically produce, but also deeply personal affection as well.

This is access journalism and the embedding dynamic in its classic form, just a bit more vividly expressed. The very close and inter-dependent relationship between media figures and the political and military officials they cover often produces exactly these same sentiments even if they do not find the full-scale expression as they did in this case. In that regard, the relationship between the now-former CIA Director and his fawning hagiographer should be studied in journalism schools to see the results reliably produced by access journalism and the embedding process. Whatever Broadwell did for Petraeus is what US media figures are routinely doing for political and especially military officials with their "journalism".

MORE at......

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/10/petraeus-scandal-media-military





http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/10/petraeus-scandal-media-military

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Reply "USA worships military--How Our Country is Warped" (Original post)
KoKo Nov 2012 OP
melody Nov 2012 #1
cprise Nov 2012 #3
JoeyT Nov 2012 #4
melody Nov 2012 #5
JoeyT Nov 2012 #7
think Nov 2012 #2
melody Nov 2012 #6

Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:56 PM

1. It is? I didn't know a country could have a single opinion about anything

We don't all worship the military. I think what the Guardian is misinterpreting is our common regard for public service. How is it the minority of this country (the GOP rightwing) still defines us in European journalism? They need to wake up and realize the change that has happened.

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Response to melody (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:12 AM

3. I would offer you an umbrella

...for that Koolaid cocktail, but a little plastic drone would be more fitting.

The "change" that has occurred is merely that America doesn't plummet into insane medieval-ism just yet. The overall culture is still obsessed with wealth and power, which manifests in everything from gun-love to girdling the globe with American military bases.

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Response to melody (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:07 PM

4. Are you kidding?

Anti-war sentiment has to be carefully phrased even on left wing websites lest it draw "WHY DO YOU HATE TEH TROOPS???!!!!" responses.

What common regard for public service? Teachers are universally loathed on the right and a good portion of third wayers hate them too. (e.g. Duncan) Hell half the country hates firefighters and EMTs for chrissake. There is no common regard for public service. Though to be fair, they'd hate the military too if the military was allowed to unionize, which just further proves the point that we don't give a damn about public service.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:06 PM

5. One extreme doesn't permit another extreme

If you want to march out all the actual regard our people have in any great quantities of any kind, I'd be happy to compare them. The simple fact of the matter is, we do not live in one country. To blame the masses for the misdeeds of the minority of the population is something we'd never do to another culture. I'm as against anti-American bias as I am anti-French or any other kind. It's irrational and unfair.

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Response to melody (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:07 AM

7. That's certainly fair enough.

I can't argue with that.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:30 AM

2. America outspends the entire world on it's military and has been at war for as long as I've lived

War is a Racket by Major General Smedley Butler is a great read to understand the long term American love affair with our Military & war

This is a remake of a Smedley Butler speech:

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Response to think (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:07 PM

6. America's love affair?

We can't have one emotion about anything. We're a metaphor. Until we stop thinking of all people of a certain type as any one thing, we'll never get past bigotry. We'll just dress it up in other forms.

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