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General News    H2'ed 3/30/14

Jingo Journalism: Remember the Maine!!!

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Media Whoop Up Stampede To Cold War, Hot War, Whatever 

By William Boardman -- Reader Supported News 

HISTORY RHYMES
HISTORY RHYMES
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Crimea may be bigger than an archduke, but not more important

If American media seem filled these days with bellicose, jingoistic, uniform perspectives on a new Cold War, that's probably because so many news outlets can't seem to help themselves when it comes to framing new events in the tired terms of the last generation's ingrained propaganda. At a time that needs fresh contemplation, even people like Amy Goodman on Democracy NOW are talking about recent events in and around Ukraine as having "sparked the worst East-West crisis since the end of the Cold War" or words to more extreme effect.  

This construct (a no longer relevant "East-West" divide) reflects an unreflective, outdated group think. This approach is clearly wrong about the "worst crisis," unless one ignores various wars and terrorist attacks and drone strikes of recent years. A difference between Iraq and Crimea is one of scale, certainly, but also of response, as the rest of the world accepted the American view of Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity (just as they passively accept the American view of Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela, and Honduras, as well as all those other places where might makes right irrelevant). 

Any of those other countries might well argue that the "worst crisis" since the end of the Cold War was actually any of the wars visited on them and still not over. This comparison is not made in the sealed mind room of the New Cold Warriors, where the non-violent, legally ambiguous and possibly welcome occupation of Crimea is seen as so much worse than tens of thousands of dead Iraqis (or pick your own odious comparison). It is an expression of mental sterility that will do most of us no good. 

The endlessly parroted mantra of a new Cold War is worse than merely mindless. Such irresponsible repetitive chatter also functions as a self-fulfilling prophecy by heightening a few fairly insignificant events (and omitting others) until the tunnel vision focus on only a part of the whole becomes widely perceived as the totality of a real crisis and reality is discredited. Can anyone say Archduke Franz Ferdinand, 1914? 

Intellectual dishonesty, as illustrated by NBC News

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
 
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