It’s funny how many of us were kinda caught off guard when it was announced that we were pulling our ‘combat troops’ out of Iraq. We would no longer be engaged in day to day fighting, instead the 50 thousand troops left behind would be in an ‘advisory and consultant’ role. So in short, things are being framed as the War in Iraq has ended and everyone is happy but scratching their heads asking ‘How did we not know this’? “Why did we not see this coming?’
By now we all know that the mainstream media and those who have access to controlling or influencing its inner workings have perfected the art of distraction. Maybe it’s a Tiger Woods scandal to overshadow our increasing troops and funding for the War in Afghanistan. Maybe its Lebron James and his big decision to leave Cleveland overshadowing the beg decision made by an LA jury to hand down a light sentence to a murderous cop. (Oscar Grant/ Johannes Mehserle).
In any case most of us know by now that when corporate backed news outlets start over saturating us with an issue, then something else is going on. That something else is usually something we should be paying attention to.
So what have we been talking about over the past couple of weeks? The main topics that have gotten us heated center around race and religion. They include: Anchor babies, Terror babies, Changing the 14th Amendment, Dr Laura using the N word and the dust-up over building a Mosque/Community center near Ground Zero.
I’ll be the first to say discussions about race and politics are always important but only if we are 1-equal participants in framing the discussion and 2-If we have a desired goal we wish to reach. The above mentioned topics seem to have come out of left field with the end result being a lot of folks being put on the defensive and reacting to a script and a narrative already laid out. Many of us have spent hours debating these issues with groups of people who have decided that no matter what is said or how much logic is used they’re still gonna push the issue and stick to the main talking points.
We’ve seen this play out around the issue of terror babies. We saw political figures like Texas Congressmen Lou Gohmert and Texas State Rep Debbie Riddle riding this issue hard only to find that once questioned they had absolutely no proof and had their stories were categorically refuted by the FBI’s terror experts. Nevertheless these advocates stuck to their guns and kept fanning the flames of a Non-Issue.
We seen this play out with the Mosque/Community Center near Ground Zero debate . For the past two weeks our TV screens and radio dials were filled with whining voices of people who aren’t even from New York declaring folks as un-American for being insensitive to 9-11 victims. They claimed that the land around Ground Zero was sacred ground and we all need to show respect. All that was coupled with over the top pejorative remarks about the ‘Evils of Islam‘. Of course pointing that the initial proposals to make Ground Zero a building free memorial park were rejected by developers who wanted commercial buildings on this ‘sacred ground’ was done without one word from many of the people talking that hallowed ground stuff today, has fallen on deaf ears.
The ‘deaf ear’ treatment continued when pointing out that there was a huge silence when right-wing pundit Ann Coulter accused 9-11 widows of ‘enjoying their husbands deaths‘. We didn’t see all these pundits running around demanding she show sensitivity. She wasn’t banned nor were her books removed from bookstores near Ground Zero.
The main point here is while we been going in on these topics, we missed the run up to our troops leaving Iraq and in doing so, we never got to ask all the hard questions like:
1-Did Iraq’s oil reserves really pay for the War? This was one of the strong selling points or us going to Iraq. Are getting reimbursed by them?
2-Suicide rates are at all-time highs with many of our troops having served 4 and 5 tours of duty. Are we equipped to absorb them back into society? Are they gonna be able to cope? Did we provide enough money in our budget to take care of their needs?
3-Will they have jobs waiting or will the returning soldiers join the ranks of under employed and un-employed?
4-What is Iraq to us now? Is it a sovereign nation free to do as she sees fit? Is it a colony of the US?
5-People who have been against the Mosque have talked about how allowing it to be built will send a strong negative message of us ‘giving in’ if we allow it to be built. What signal (positive or negative) is being suggested when we pull out of Iraq? Are we seen as winners or a super power that couldn’t get the job done?
6-Does a pullout in Iraq mean we are gearing up for the war in Iran?
7-Us pulling out of Iraq today overshadows the premier of the Pat Tilman movie where its pointed that the military brass deliberately lied and deceived the American public not only about the circumstances around his death but lots of other issues related to drawing us into war. One of the more damning facets highlighted in this movie is the role of former general Stanley McChrystal played in all this? Why was he kept on to run operations? Was the Tilman coverup an isolated incident or widespread?
Forget a proposed Mosque being built on private property lets talk about the wars we been fighting and what’s behind them. Forget the Mosque, lets talk about the plight of those returning to college. last year we saw massive strikes from New York to Cali as students protested fee hikes that ranged from 30-38% percent. With the economy in shambles, what’s happened to all those who couldn’t afford high fee hikes?
We can go on and on with questions and pointing out issues we really need to be focusing on. We could be talking about the rise in private prisons like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and how they are connected to the push for tougher immigration laws like SB 1070.
We have the situation with the Gulf and the BP Oil spill. In spite of all the assurances that everything is ok, there has been recent citings of an oil plume 22 miles long. How much damage has been really been done? How much is being covered up? Should we be discussing this or the Ground Zero Mosque/ Culture Center?
We can talk about the Jerrymandering and Redistricting efforts that will take place after the 2010 elections-Perhaps we should be talking about the secret Shadow RNC that has been formed by former Bush advisor Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. They have raised close to 130 million dollars and will be taking advantage of the new supreme court rulings that allow corporations to spend whatever they want during elections. What will that mean?
Many of us have been remarking about how Sarah Palin has been defending Dr Laura and her using the N word. We definitely should shut that down, but we should also be paying attention to her Mama Grizzly campaign. She’s been stomping for a number of women to get into office where they can carry out her policies. Who are we stomping for?
Remember a distracted population is a dumbed down population. A dumbed down population is a population that’s easily manipulated and pimped.
something to ponder