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Ask the Candidates Real Questions -- Like These

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Pity the pundits. It must be hard to pretend to be a journalist and live in constant fear of being one question or comment away from joining the jobless.

This Thanksgiving holiday weekend we can be thankful for the obscene transparency of the "mainstream" pundits' efforts to avoid at all cost offending the corporations that own and use them.

Rather, media personalities who wish to be around for a while must do what they can to promote the notion of American exceptionalism and the need to sacrifice at home in order to defend and expand the Empire -- "so that we don't have to fight them here."

From a global perspective looking back a few decades, it is hard to believe that major powers like China and Russia were fiercely competing with each other for improved relations with the U.S., and that we were able to play one off against the other to advance America's interests.

They are now laughing at us -- smiling at how far we have outreached ourselves in our attempts to project power and corner the world market.


It is, actually, hard to believe: Marines now stationed in Australia, which our national security experts apparently believe is near China (well, kind of near); U.S. troops now in Africa where there's still a lot of untapped oil; U.S threats to use a "military option" against Iran.

And the coup de grace: the feckless effort to build anti-ballistic missile defense systems that can defeat all counter-measures -- the U.S. defense-industrial project that has long been one of the most expensive and lucrative corporate welfare programs.

Check out the breaking story, which brings still more good news for the military-industrial complex: Russia is threatening to defeat American missile defense systems in Europe, absent a bilateral agreement regulating them. And so, it's back to the drawing board and then the production line in the quixotic search for technical systems that cannot be countered. Is this a great country for weapons researchers and manufacturers, or what?

The pundits will explain, and our diplomats will try to convince others, particularly incredulous Europeans, that such defense systems are needed to defend against an eventual missile threat from Iran, which our national security gurus believe to be near Europe (well, kind of near).

All this at a time when one out of three children in America lives in poverty. Our Fawning Corporate Media (FCM), substantially owned and operated by the arms makers, war profiteers and their friends, does what it can to disguise this, as well as other grim statistics.

Be thankful, say the One Percent. Relax already. After all, even poor children -- or most of them, anyhow -- can watch football on TV and be enticed by heroic advertisements to join the military or some other part of the national security apparatus. Thus, maybe they can qualify for a credit card that enables them to shop like crazy on Black Friday and on future Black Fridays.

To further buck up national morale, our TV networks can be counted on to carry the usual orgy of flag-waving "God-bless-America" renditions -- accompanied by those explicit and implicit tutorials on American exceptionalism, expressed with jet-fighter flyovers and cutaways to U.S. troops "defending our freedoms" in Afghanistan and other faraway places.

The message from the One Percent -- the ultra-wealthy whom Republican lawmakers are fond of lauding as the "job creators" -- was that ALL of you must be grateful this Thanksgiving holiday, including the ungrateful Ninety-Nine Percent, some of whom are grumbling about inequities at "Occupy" protests around the country.

Ask Real Questions

Is there a medicine for this infection of militarism, consumerism and mindless politics? I think there is, but only if we all do our part. We need to find ways to raise the kinds of questions that FCM pundits and journalists avoid like the plague. Go to the rallies, the press conferences, the campaign speeches; press for cogent answers to the real questions.

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)
 

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 Mr. McGovern,  I read your article... by Ad Du on Friday, Nov 25, 2011 at 3:22:43 PM
Brilliant questions, delivered by a superior intel... by Paul Sedkowski on Friday, Nov 25, 2011 at 3:37:39 PM
It is not difficult to think that if such pertin... by Marika on Saturday, Nov 26, 2011 at 2:53:03 AM
It should be common knowledge that the next presid... by aberamsay on Saturday, Nov 26, 2011 at 4:31:18 AM
May he get elected and stay alive long enough for ... by Bruce on Saturday, Nov 26, 2011 at 6:57:11 AM
You can ask all the correct questions in your arse... by Nicholas Galindo on Saturday, Nov 26, 2011 at 1:01:03 PM
The GOP reminds me of someone who, to get his job ... by Donnie McLeod on Saturday, Nov 26, 2011 at 4:19:33 PM
The Dems are just as good at lying as the GOP. The... by Nick van Nes on Saturday, Nov 26, 2011 at 7:16:05 PM
It's all about control. Controlling the agenda, co... by Nick van Nes on Saturday, Nov 26, 2011 at 7:03:22 PM
Of course the Federal Reserve... by Lance Ciepiela on Saturday, Nov 26, 2011 at 9:10:31 PM
The so-called Federal Reserve, a private bank set ... by aberamsay on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 5:28:20 AM
David Gregory on "Meet the Press" should have intr... by Alan MacDonald on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 4:03:19 PM
The very most important question that the American... by Alan MacDonald on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 4:24:45 PM
Found Guilty - Genocide, Crimes Against Peace,Crim... by Lance Ciepiela on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 6:38:40 AM
The emperor of the USofA is His Majesty The Federa... by aberamsay on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 11:50:03 AM