Monday, April 23, 2018

Groundhog Day in Gaza no comedy

Every Friday, Gazans wake up to a call to march to the Israeli border which circumscribes the world's largest open air prison two million of them inhabit. They are marching for the right to return to the lands they were cleansed from 70 years ago, and an end to the catastrophic blockade that subjects them to unrelenting poverty and near starvation. And every week 10,000 or more can't get there because Israeli soldiers, acting under Likud government orders, shoot them down like dogs in the desert. Last Friday, though they got 300 meters closer than previously, 4 were killed and 729 wounded or injured by bullets or tear gas inhalation. So far 39 have died, including a press photographer, and over 4,000 injured. This Friday they will again awake to the call to march for their freedom and dignity, again facing murderous gun fire of that revulses most of the civilized world, but not the US, which vetoed a UN resolution to condemn the atrocities. Twenty-five years ago, Bill Murray woke up daily to 'I Got You Babe' to face another endless day chasing Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day. Murray's suffering provoked our laughter in one of the best comedies ever. A film about the Gazans' Groundhog Day would only produce horror and tears, forcing us to look away at mans' inhumanity to man...and disgust that our country enables it.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

US newspapers bow to war party as if US a totalitarian state.

On April 7, 2017, the US bombed Syria over an unsubstantiated Syrian gas attack on opposition rebels 3 days earlier. No evidence ever
‚Äč supported the allegation and no effort was made to seek approval of the strike. One year and 7 days later the US repeated the action over an unsubstantiated Syrian gas attack a week earlier. Only one of the hundred top US newspapers, the Houston Chronicle, opposed the 2017 strike. The results this year were worse -- not one opposed it. Twenty supported the strike. Six were ambiguous on the issue. Seventy-four offered no opinion at all, including the Houston Chronicle. Seven of the top ten papers supported the strike, including Wall Street Journal, NY Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and our own Chicago Tribune.
In a democracy we rely on a free press to tell the truth and push back against illegal, immoral and criminal war. Alas, that never happens
in America where virtually our entire mainstream media is in the tank for the war party. If this were Nazi Germany, or any number of totalitarian states, that would be understandable. Life in a concentration camp or premature death by the state would account for such an editorial policy. In America it's explained at best by professional self interest. At worst, cowardice.