Sunday, May 26, 2013

What We Don't Talk About on Memorial Day

Norman Solomon says we should challenge the 'methodical deception' that mythologizes war brutality on all sides

WAR MADE EASY. Norman Solomon points out, in an article titled "The Silent Curse of Memorial Day," that, amid the patriotism of this holiday, no one dares mention the downside or duplicity of decisions that often lead America into the wars where its young people die. Solomon is author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits are Spinning Us to Death. A few excerpts from Solomon's article:

IS GOD MADE TO BLESS DEATH? "In the truncated media universe of Memorial Day, the act of remembering bypasses any history that indicates an American war was not inevitable and unavoidable. The populace is made to understand that God and nature must be death dealers. We are encouraged to extol those who bravely gave their lives and took the lives of others -- but not confront those, high in the U.S. government's executive and legislative branches, who cravenly gave their fervent blessings to gratuitous carnage..."

FALSE PRETENSES, REPEATED DECEIT. "But during the last half century -- when, for days or months or many years, U.S. troops and planes assaulted the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq again -- the rationales from the White House were always based on major falsehoods, avidly promoted by the U.S. mass media. In the light of real history, the U.S. soldiers who are honored each Memorial Day were pawns of methodical deception. Media spin and the edicts of authorities induced them to kill "enemy" combatants and civilians, for whom Pentagon buglers have never played a single mournful note..."

MEMORY WITH INTEGRITY. "Memory with integrity should inform our understanding, on Memorial Day and every day. If we remember the Americans who were killed but forget the people they killed -- if we remain silent while media scripts exclude crucial aspects of history that demolish Washington's claims of high moral ground -- the propaganda system for war can remain intact. When journalists defer to that silence, they're part of the deadly problem."

John Franklin Hay 
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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