Dave Cohen on the war protest that apparently did not happen:
As 2010 winds down, I am reminded that there is no Imperial policy more reprehensible and shameful than the war in Afghanistan. This war is constantly presented to Americans as an integral part of the War On Terrorism, but it is no such thing. The Afghan war is a pointless, expensive, destructive exercise in futility whereby American power is projected into southern Asia for God Only Knows what purpose at this point. Those who remember the Vietnam War, which was a much, much bigger senseless, destructive exercise in futility, know what I’m talking about.
Some folks old enough to remember Vietnam chained themselves to the White House fence earlier this month to protest the Afghan war. If you didn’t hear about it, that’s no surprise, as Dave Lindorff reports at the website This Can’t Be Happening—
It’s not that the mainstream media is uninterested in Afghanistan. It’s just that if the event is not wrapped in a package labeled “Pentagon” or “White House,” then it didn’t happen — even if the spin coming out of those places bears little or no resemblance to the reality of the war, or the reality that 60% of Americans now oppose the war:
Clearly, any honest and professional journalist and editor would see a news link between such a poll result and an anti-war protest at the White House led, for the first time in recent memory, by a veterans organization, the group Veterans for Peace, in which veterans of the nation’s wars actually put themselves on the line to be arrested to protest a current war.
Friday was also the day that most news organizations were reporting on the much-touted, but also much over-rated Pentagon report on the “progress” of the American war in Afghanistan–a report prepared for the White House that claimed there was progress, but which was immediately contradicted by a CIA report that said the opposite. Again, any honest and professional journalist and editor would immediately see the publication of such a report as an appropriate occasion to mention the unusual opposition to the war by a group of veterans right outside the president’s office.
And yet, the protest event was completely blacked out by the corporate news media. (Maybe the servile and over-paid White House press corps, ensconced in the press room inside the White House, didn’t want to go out and brave the elements to cover the protest.)
If you wanted to know about this protest, you had to go to the internet and read the Huffington Post or to the Socialist Worker, OpEd News, or to this publication (okay, we’re a day late, but I was stuck in traffic yesterday), or else to Democracy Now! on the alternative airways.
Glenn Greenwald’s piece, “The Merger of Journalists and Government Officials,” addresses just this phenomenon of a news industry in which journalists identify their professional role and purpose with that of the administration in power. Glenn writes about it here in the context of Wikileaks and the demonization of Julian Assange, but it’s true of any other major political issue as well.