Archive for February 26th, 2012
John F. Kenndy discusses the importance of the press in a speech he gave at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on April 27, 1961:
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution–not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.
Are the people who live in Aghanistan taking their protests to the streets because they resent our “freedom”? Are they angry merely because of isolated infractions by American soliders? Glenn Greenwald says no.
[J]ust imagine what would happen if a Muslim army invaded the U.S., violently occupied the country for more than a decade, in the process continuously killing American children and innocent adults, and then, outside of a prison camp it maintained where thousands of Americans were detained for years without charges and tortured, that Muslim army burned American flags — or a stack of bibles — in a garbage dump. Might we see some extremely angry protests breaking out from Americans against them? Would American pundits be denouncing those protesters as blinkered, primitive fanatics?
We are spending $2 Billion dollars every week doing more of the same in Afghanistan, while claiming ten years of success in a campaign that lacks any discernible objectives other than serving as a make-work program for American military personnel and their high-priced private contractors. BTW, more than 400 of these American contractors died on the job last year. And then consider that the U.S. is propping up a massively corrupt regime in Afghanistan, we are (whether we like it or not) part of a system that distributes record amounts of opium and our own “infrastructure” money for Afghanistan has been largely wasted. To facilitate this unimaginably large waste of American taxpayer money, the U.S. military has fed Congress and the public an unceasing stream of lies that things are going well over there.
When one also considers that dollars are fungible, and that these warmongering dollars could have been used to house, educate and feed Americans, the military occupation of Afghanistan ranks as one of the most immoral enterprises in the history of the United States.