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Swimming Against the Mainstream

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The Bush Administration celebrated the third anniversary of the Iraq War by saturating the airwaves with rosy assessments about how well things are going over there. Vice President Cheney appeared on Face the Nation, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld wrote a piece for The Washington Post, and President Bush worked overtime --appearing before a hand-picked audience in Cleveland and having a press conference. Mr. Bush used both opportunities to reaffirm his steadfast determination to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people --even if he has to kill every last one of them and bankrupt the United States in the process. The common theme of the Bush Administration 's message was that things are going great in Iraq, but the media is spending too much time reporting on all the death and destruction, instead of the good things about the war, like high oil prices and Halliburton profits.

The Bush Administration 's attack on the media is surprising --after all the media has done for them. Without the media 's help, there would have been no President George W. Bush and no Iraq War.

• " ...I could run for governor but I 'm basically a media creation. I 've never done anything. I 've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that 's not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office. " --George W. Bush, 1989

Evidently, a media creation is all you need, if you have the mainstream media on your side. The media 's support of Bush paid off when Florida 's legitimate election process was halted, and the Supreme Court selected George W. Bush to be President of the United States (A day that will live in infamy).

The Bush Administration soon repaid big media by allowing them to swallow up their competitors until all US media is now controlled by less than a dozen corporations. In return, the media didn 't bother to question the Bush Administration 's motives or evidence when it started to sell the Iraq War in September 2002. Instead, the media came up with "Showdown With Saddam " and "Countdown to Iraq " themes --complete with flashy graphics and butt-kicking music. The premeditated war with Iraq became television 's number-one coming attraction. When MSNBC 's Phil Donahue attempted to present the "anti-war " side of the issue, his show was cancelled --despite having the network 's highest primetime ratings.

• "The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent. " -- Gore Vidal, novelist, 1991

Now the Bush Administration and the mainstream media are teaming up on a new business venture --the Iran War. A recent article by Mike Whitney on OpEdNews.com (3/11/06) described the media blitz:

• Vice President Cheney warned of "meaningful consequences " if Iran refused to comply with international demands to stop its nuclear program.
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• Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice claimed, "We face no greater challenge from a single country than Iran. "

• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, "[Iran is] currently putting people into Iraq to do things that are harmful to the future of Iraq. We know it, and it is something that they, I think, will look back on as having been an error in judgment "

• UN Ambassador "Mad Dog " Bolton advocated a "vigorous response " to Iran 's nuclear ambition.

• President Bush stated, "Iran must not have a nuclear weapon. The most destabilizing thing that can happen in this region and in the world is for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. "

All these statements were made within a 48-hour period, then repeated by the mainstream media and amplified through the right-wing 's giant propaganda megaphone --talk radio. What they don 't say is:
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• [An IAEA inspection team] rummaged through Iran 's nuclear sites for the past two years in the most thorough examination of any country in the history of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

• [Iran has permitted] 'go anywhere, see anything ' inspections that allowed officials from the IAEA to investigate any location or facility they felt was suspicious.

• The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) predicted that it would take 10 years for Iran to build a nuclear weapon [even if they wanted one].

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Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.

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