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Thursday, November 16, 2006


Withdrawal from Iraq: the role of the media

Norman Solomon, in an article on today's CounterPunch, discusses the fact that, despite the widespread interpretation of the recent election results as a rejection of the occupation of Iraq, things still haven't changed not only in Washington, but also in punditville and in newsrooms all over the country. And he reminds us of both the history and the consequences:
Contrary to myths about media coverage of the Vietnam War, the American press lagged way behind grassroots antiwar sentiment in seriously contemplating a U.S. pullout from Vietnam. The lag time amounted to several years -- and meant the additional deaths of tens of thousands of Americans and perhaps 1 million more Vietnamese people.

A survey by the Boston Globe, conducted in February 1968, found that out of 39 major daily newspapers in the United States, not one had editorialized for withdrawing American troops from Vietnam. Today -- despite the antiwar tilt of national opinion polls and the recent election -- advocacy of a U.S. pullout from Iraq seems almost as scarce among modern-day media elites.
Not one more death. Not one more dollar. Out now! Not "in six months." Now.

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