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The Political Airbrush
November 4, 2003
By Bridget Gibson

There is a new term that has been coined by the Pentagon: Transfer Tubes. It has been spent quietly into the background of the war on Iraq (a.k.a. "The War on Terrorism," "Operation Iraqi Liberation [OIL]," or "The Cakewalk and Flowers Campaign.")

The effectiveness of this administration's control on the national media is unprecedented in its scope. In ways, large and small, the view that is seen by most of the American population has been so controlled and sanitized that it is unrecognizable as reality.

In April, we were shown a film of the statue of Saddam being pulled down. The sanitized view was a narrow lens version - a full version would have shown that there were no joyous crowds cheering and no support for the U.S. army tank and troops that produced this manufactured image of the moment of triumph.

The national news media has been trying to show the "happy happy joy joy" version of events in Iraq. We are told to focus on the "progress" of new currency and landscaping around the square.

Our view is constantly shuttered and there are many things that we are not allowed to see. The propaganda machine is in full swing so as to corrupt the opinion of the American public into supporting our administration's abuse of power.

The corporate media machine, through shows such as "Survivor," "Joe Millionaire" and "Extreme Makeover," willingly shows people eating worms, having casual sex, and extols the virtues of discarding and discounting our physical appearance.

It is amazing that people can watch a plastic surgeon take a chisel and break someone's facial bones, but not be allowed to view the returning caskets of our military personnel that have made the greatest personal sacrifices for their country.

Cameras are not allowed at The Walter Reed Army Hospital to show the maimed and injured soldiers. Cameras are not allowed to show the returning caskets of our honorable fallen heroes. The media is not allowed to show the conditions at Fort Stewart, where military personnel wait for treatment that is scarce to nonexistent.

It is taking an act of Congress to stop the Pentagon from charging our wounded military $8.10 a day for their meals while they are hospitalized. Will it take another to supply the toilet paper that must be bought during their incapacitation also?

Although these are grave injustices to our service men and women, perhaps the most horrendous lack is that of protective body armor. Nearly 32,500 troops have not been issued appropriate equipment that would prevent their deaths.

This shoddy treatment is disgraceful and must be rectified.

While our best and bravest put their lives daily in the line of fire after George W. Bush's bizarre declaration of "Mission Accomplished," our country continues to hand up corporate welfare to the tune of $142 Billion in tax cuts for Halliburton and Bechtel.

George W. Bush's shallow campaign to politicize his war on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln was topped last week by his denial of the White House's involvement in the banner that flew in the staged background. Although the Washington Post editorial on May 4 stated "Aides say the slogan was chosen in part to mark a presidential turn toward domestic affairs as his campaign for reelection approaches," the White House confession only emerged after his denial and the shifting of blame to the troops that had to wait an additional day to return to their homes for his photo-op appearance.

While our troops are threatened by incompetent and self-serving bureaucrats that have failed to formulate a post-victory plan in Iraq, George W. Bush has begun his $2000-a-plate whistlestop fund-raising campaign across the heartland.

We need a change of leadership in Washington. We need politicians who are committed to the principle of liberty and peace. We need politicians who share the moral courage of our military personnel and our citizenry - A reform in Washington to prosperity for all, not just the few and chosen greedy and ideologically driven that wrap themselves in our flag and distort the vision of peace into the crusade of war.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

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