Fog Free

The independent media -- not beholden to advertising sales, not interlocked with military industrial ownership -- has a responsibility to continue telling the truth about American imperialism even in wartime. Though editorial writers for the New York Times assert that the eve of war is the last opportunity for frankness before the barrage of war boosterism, this is not true: if the war in Iraq is a bad idea today, it will still be a bad idea tomorrow. fog

Bombing for democracy is a fraud. The rhetoric offered by the Bush administration about how hard it has tried to seek diplomatic solutions to the situation in Iraq is false. Pretenses that the war stems from Iraq's collaboration with al Qaeda, or from a stubborn refusal to destroy weapons, have been accepted by a portion of the American public primarily because the news media have failed miserably to respect the lives of non-Americans and to imagine peaceful alternatives. Criticism of French diplomacy is wrong-headed because the French (and Germans, and Russians) were indeed respecting public opinion in their countries. And in any case, who could blame diplomats for believing that the Bush administration intended to have its war regardless of Iraqi compliance? They were right.

To those who see terrorism in all corners, who have taken Bush at his (scripted) word, it is difficult to find a basis for constructive dialogue. There is a chasm of the fundamental sort, something like the one that faced Americans on 9/11. Yet Americans must face up, finally, to their own responsibilities, in the shadow of the awesome power of the U.S. military, to respect all lives, and not only American lives. By cheapening the value of non-American lives, the Bush administration continues down a road toward an ungovernable world; one in which women strap bombs to their bodies and kill civilians -- and not only in Israel. Rather than stem the tide of terrorism, the Bush administration has decided to make military force and big military budgets the centerpiece of American government for years to come.

As protesters have been chanting in large numbers in cities across America: money for schools, not for war; money for jobs, not for war; money for peace, not for war; money for art, not for war; money for kids, not for war.... The American people need not be led by their media, led by advertising. By fear. If war is not the answer, it will not become the answer simply because Bush and his sadistic cronies drop 100,000 tons of bombs on the people of Iraq.