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Missing the Forest for the Uprooted Floating Trees


By David Swanson

The trillion dollar question has long been: How do we get the major media outlets in this country to notice that the White House is run by oil barons who launch illegal wars based on lies, defund everything else, and destroy the environment at every opportunity – and that this is a single, connected story?

In June we garnered a bit of interest in the Downing Street Memos story, which then dried up and went away. Then there was the Karl Rove scandal, which dried up and went away. It's not that the actual events went away. More evidence continued to come out, protests continued to grow, congressional action by progressive Dems and brave Republicans accelerated. But the media lost interest.

Next came the Cindy Sheehan story. This one was such a big splash that the media announced the birth of an anti-war movement (which was born simply because the media had, after all these years, decided to acknowledge its existence – at least briefly). And now we have the Katrina story.

But when will we ever have the one story that includes it all? When will we have the secret energy policy meetings connected to the defunding of flood protection connected to the removal of the National Guard to guard a different nation? When will the media dare to say that war and domestic poverty are one and the same issue?

When will pundits acknowledge that we cannot pour everything into the Pentagon without the result being wars, that we cannot rely entirely on oil without the result being wars, that massive investment in our economy in the form of renewable energy and mass transit programs could slow down the wars, save lives, save cities and towns, and shift resources out of the Pentagon?

The obvious answer is, of course, when Hell freezes over. But what about when New Orleans drowns? Is that enough to shake even media barons to life and decency?

We'll see.

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All of the topics you mention are connected to each other through Bush and his wealthy corporate supporters. It all starts with the elite manipulating the citizens' vote in 2000...Now, look where it has led. Yet all of the crimes seem to roll off of them...Like you said, the 'story' of the moment is allowed by the media to fade away for the next big story. But, if the dots could be connected, what a story it is. I keep waiting for this generation's Woodward and Bernstein to bring the big picture to light. The real Woodward and Bernstein are still with us, but appear to have given in to the other side...Scary stuff....

David Swanson's latest contribution is a magnificent, concise statement of the problem and the compelling urgency for the People of the U.S. to take back Its Government, now in the hands of despicable robber barons. Unfortunately, it's not just the media not paying attention; it's a terribly smug, complacent, somnolent population which is permitting the usurpation of the Common Good by those unscrupulous characters in and around the Bush Administration.
David, can this Website start a broad-based grass-roots movement to awaken the sleeping masses? All the best to you, David, in finding others to become strong activists dedicated to that effort!

If you really believe that "awaken(ing) the sleeping masses" will somehow create a groundswell of support for a liberal, dare I say "socialist", agenda why are demonstrably liberal leaders posturing themselves for nationwide election by moving to the right? Simply put, because they know that's where the majority of Americans are and there's no way they would win a national election if they showed their true colors. (I know, you REALLY won in 2000 and 2004 except for the intevention of the Supreme Court and election fraud. In fact, the only reason you even came close was because of the courts and election fraud)

McCollum, you allege that the only reason Gore and Kerry came close in "00 and "04 is because of the courts and election fraud. Many of us would appreciate some form of evidence to substantiate this rather bold proclamation.

Have you watched the video of the Curtis Clinton testimony which was made available on this site Thursday September 1st. What similar and contrary evidence to Mr. Curtis Clinton's testimony can you post which supports your claim?

What Mr. Swanson and the rest of we "liberal lefties" seek is a simple investigation of the facts as the facts have been developed to this point. Even you must recognize the inconsistencies of the justifications promoted by the Bush administration. Any failure to grant such recognition basically acts to render your "contributions" to this website as nothing more than cheerleading for your favorite fascist dictator.

Sounds like you're becoming as cynical as I.

I wish I could be more optimistic, if only to encourage others to keep trying. But all those interconnected issues indicate such a deep-rooted problem at the core of the current "American way of life" (TM) itself, that I have grave difficulty seeing any peaceful solution in the offing.

Bush now says that what he really meant about the response being "unacceptable" is that they need more troops.

I'm surprised that he isn't walking around slinging Saddam's trophy gun on his hip. All those poor people "looting" food for survival is totally unacceptable.

The basic tenant is sound. We spend as much on "defense" as the rest of the world combined. One has to eventually ask-are we buying defense, or are we buying imperialism? It seems the military-industrial complex has gotten the better of us. It is time for the population to stand up and reclaim our government.

Instead of Changing What Is...

Help Create Something New In the World...

A Global Network of People and Community Centers...

In Every Community... All Connected Together...

All Around Planet Earth...

_________

" You never change things by fighting the existing reality…

To change something...

Build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. "

Buckminster Fuller

more & C how 2 take action at...

http://www.OneGlobalCommunity.com

Thank U, Roger@OneGlobalCommunity.com
.

David thank you for a great article. Thank you for all your work.
This website is a model for activists. Its incredibly useful, well run, fair. I recommend it to eveyone. When Cindy took her stand this is where i went I have been coming here ever since. We used it to organize our vigil. Its where i will direct people who will be going to our demonstration and congressional wake up call in dc (along with the peace and justice site). i direct everyone here to begin the process of education required for an informed electorate. Along with AmyGoodmans DemocracyNow.org

I think a lot of us are beginning to realize that we are not alone anymore. We have to get bush out of office as soon as possible.What is happening in New Orleans has to be a wake up call for America. Bushco is a great danger to our country, our people and the world.By the way do you think the new national intelligence agency is monitoring this site? If so can they trace back any writings to our home computers? Im really afraid to write what I write (sedition) but it’s as true as I can see it. I love this country.
I believe in education. Citizen G

Never be afraid to "write what you write"!!!! This is your right as an American...thousands and thousands have died for you to have that right.
This administration is destroying our Constitution. They want to silence you !
Please take a look at the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights..it is easy to find on a search. Also look at ACLU.org

Sure. They monitor absolutely everything. If it involves any kind of electronic communication, they've got it. The real trick is sorting the kernels of wheat from the overwhelming bulk of chaff. But they have massive computing power for flagging items of interest.

Don't worry too much about it. Every now and then, when I'm feeling especially devilish, I send myself an email message containing a lot of pure gibberish with a few key words in close proximity, but doubly encrypted just to give them a little extra exercise.

If you want to dig into some spooky stuff, AboveTopSecret.com is an interesting site. Google on "Echelon System" for lots more.

You really shouldn't have skipped that last appointment with your doctor. I'm sure he'll recommend upping your meds.
Ask your mom if you can leave the basement. Don't worry; she'll take care of the tinfoil hat that keeps the aliens from planting thoughts in your brain.

Aliens? I'll agree that a few of those NSA/CIA folks are a little bit strange, but AFAIK even the strangest are homegrown wierdos.

There's one recent news article about SIGINT here if you can't find your own: "The essence of the agreement, the famed Echelon procedures, is that each member takes responsibility for signals intelligence -- that is, intercepting millions of electronic communications -- for a specific part of the Earth."

P.S.: In case you lack a sense of humor, don't take that bit about sending myself mischievious emails too seriously. It was mostly just a tongue-in-cheek comment about not worrying too much about SIGINT as a personal issue. Although its total scope is virtually unlimited, its main focus is global intelligence and international activities.

Babylon System

We refuse to be
What you wanted us to be;
We are what we are:
That's the way (way) it's going to be. You don't know!
You can't educate I
For no equal opportunity:
(Talkin' 'bout my freedom) Talkin' 'bout my freedom,
People freedom (freedom) and liberty!
Yeah, we've been trodding on the winepress much too long:
Rebel, rebel!
Yes, we've been trodding on the winepress much too long:
Rebel, rebel!

Babylon system is the vampire, yea! (vampire)
Suckin' the children day by day, yeah!
Me say: de Babylon system is the vampire, falling empire,
Suckin' the blood of the sufferers, yea-ea-ea-ea-e-ah!
Building church and university, wo-o-ooh, yeah! -
Deceiving the people continually, yea-ea!
Me say them graduatin' thieves and murderers;
Look out now: they suckin' the blood of the sufferers (sufferers).
Yea-ea-ea! (sufferers)

Tell the children the truth;
Tell the children the truth;
Tell the children the truth right now!
Come on and tell the children the truth;
Tell the children the truth;
Tell the children the truth;
Tell the children the truth;
Come on and tell the children the truth.

'Cause - 'cause we've been trodding on ya winepress much too long:
Rebel, rebel!
And we've been taken for granted much too long:
Rebel, rebel now!

(Trodding on the winepress) Trodding on the winepress (rebel):
got to rebel, y'all (rebel)!
We've been trodding on the winepress much too long - ye-e-ah! (rebel)
Yea-e-ah! (rebel) Yeah! Yeah!

From the very day we left the shores (trodding on the winepress)
Of our Father's land (rebel),
We've been trampled on (rebel),
Oh now! (we've been oppressed, yeah!) Lord, Lord, go to ...

(lyrics by Bob Marley)

Well, the Flood-boy-Bush regime clowns have managed to create another third world hell-hole in the Big Easy, aka the City of New Orleans, with his over-development of the surrounding wetlands and his severe slashing the federal budgets for Lousiana levee strengthening. Even the corporate clone media reporters and right wing commentators are getting an object lesson in how the incompetent Bush regime operates. This is the end for the Bush war on Iraq. This is the end for the Bush regime. Watch for coming Big Easy Bush Impeachment by the GOP House. Just say President Cindy Sheehan.
Cheers,
James K. Sayre

The media is taking notice of the incompetence of this disaster...So, is the world. If this government cannot handle the after effects of a hurricane they knew about 3 days before it hit...our country is not secure. Security is the Washington buzzword for oil wars...war on terrorism... New Orleans was not secure. If New Orleans is not secure with all those oil refineries, who is secure in this country. These oil barons understand oil...and oil security.. They understand the importance of oil for the economy. Now, they may not dismiss the enviromentalists as spotted owl saviors...since the diversion of funds was used to secure the oil in Iraq and not at home. A hurricane has exposed the underbelly of their energy policy as a farce...The moving of too many troops to Iraq and around the world to fight terror has left us vulnerable to attacks at home...where we live. Even this media can connect the dots now...even the oil barons can connect the dots...the 'leftys' have been warning the US is vulnerable. They may even wake up to the fact that appointees to Homeland Security and FEMA should have qualifications for the job and not just party loyalists. New Orleans is a mirror image of the disaster in Iraq. These unqualified party loyalists have taken us down a slippery slope...the qualified experts that were fired or left their positions were necessary... Have you ever seen this country make mistake after mistake after mistake? The media has to ask could this happen in my city, town etc...Politics is local...imperialistic illusions of making the world kow tow to US needs...is not going to make good sound bites after Katrina. The cost of gas has aleady started to sound alarm bells...now, the full force of the misguided policys are going to fall on their heads. As Cindy asks: What did my son die for? will have more meaning... oil...Why didn't you send him to help raise the levy in New Orleans...it would have served the US oil interests and US security much better than putting down an uprising in Iraq. Government priorities do effect the interests of US citizens. We have to get our priorities right...Bush has proven time and time again he can't do it.
So, far all he has accomplished successfully is tax cuts for the rich...and a small amount for the rest of us. He got his Iraq War at the expense of homeland security....and the oil industry a mess.

The Bush energy policy has destroyed the oil infastructue in Iraq and the US. Bush's security policy has created anarchy in Iraq and New Orleans. Can anyone really trust an administration that uses oil barons to give us an energy policy that benefits society as a whole over their economic interestsS? Can anyone trust an administration that appoints party loyalists over experts in security to protect us? Even the media has to wake up we are not secure at home.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
So the US president honoured the people of New Orleans by descending to the depth (height mind you)of 1700 ft (510 metres)to recce the damage of the city of New orleans.What more you to expect? Don't you realise that as president I(Katrina Bush)I am on duty 24/7 and am entitled to a little rec(ce)reation? Please do not send your indidious emails critizising US Policy against the floods/plundering etc.
This is a wake-up call US; don't you know you have plundered the free world for the last 100 years? Who cares weather the US economy survives or not? In the Free world No-one! And neither do I!

What I do very much care about is the US Govt. shows compassion towards the afflicted of the 'deep south'and are less concerned about the antics about "the Project for the New American Century" and their Gurus in the US Govt. (i.e. Chenney, Powell, Rice and Wolfowitz Etc).Instead of seeking world domination why not try world co-opeation? Ach Gott! I am an idealist! Pigs will fly sonner than K Bush will by doing the most wonderful thing he can ever do! " Fall on his own sword". I am a dreamer and guess what? He might read this and do the hounourable thing.........

Thank you David, both for a well-written post, and for organizing this useful and informative site.

I'm sorry to say, however, that your trillion-dollar question misses the point. The so-called "mainstream media" is thoroughly corrupt. The MSM are subsidaries of huge conglomorations, part of the military-industrial complex, and entangled in this one connected story that you write about. Of course they won't touch these issues; they don't want to rock the boat. That's not to say they won't provide oppositional viewpoints, but they're always sanitized, superficial stories.

Can you possibly imagine the Americans' reactions, if the MSM reported that "Shock and Awe" was really a terrorist campaign levelled against Iraqi citizens in our name?

Can you believe that the MSM provided virtually zero coverage of why it's a ridiculously bad idea for our votes to be counted in secrecy by corporations with a decided interest in the outcome, and with no means for citizens to verify the count?

And these are just two of many many issues.

There is no hope for the corporate controlled corrupt media. It is important to understand this point. Any strategy that involves "waking" the MSM, or hoping they grow spines, is delusional optimism.

A better idea is to build alternative media from the ground up, carefully avoiding corrupting influences. The good news is that most Americans are not as dumb as FOX would like to believe. I believe there is a real hunger for legitimate, in-depth investigative news, and we should tap that market. Imagine the reaction of CNN executives when they learn that viewers are turning them off, and tuning in to a real news medium!

Independent World Television

is one such undertaking. I'd be very happy to hear about other projects.

They are very effective at projecting illusions and dividing the population. And since the media (broadcast media especially) is overwhelmingly in sync with the agenda of the neocons in power, the neocons have been able to get away with literally everything.

Also, there are just SO MANY fronts that they are attacking on, it is hard to stay focused, I think.

In my opinion, the media IS the most important issue. Ownership rules must be changed, the fairness doctrine must be reinstated, and the media monopolies broken into little pieces. No entities associated in any way with MILITARY CONTRACTING should ever be allowed to own any media either. Course, anyone acceding to or in power suggesting this will get creamed (look at Howard Dean - it was his downfall). Because he was pro-war, he was the media's democratic darling, until he answered the question of the media in the wrong way.

It's a tough situation. Most people realize the system is pretty fucked up, but because of the influence of the MSM, many of them tend to point the finger in the wrong direction. Overcoming this brainwashing is not going to be easy. Without sufficient numbers of people being aware and taking action, they'll continue to get away with this BS. Chicken and egg syndrome, perhaps?

As for IWT - it is a great idea. I personally don't think the model is sustainable though. While there is a lot of interest, so far their fundraising efforts appear to be lacking, even though they have a most impressive list of board members and contributors. And unless they can have a robust enough schedule and proper carriage on the cable systems, almost assuredly will fail. They are talking now about PPV to just make it available on cable - I just don't see where that can possibly work.

I wish I had some great ideas on how to make this stuff happen. When you have such entrenched interests running the show with a large percentage of the population not even aware of who the real criminals and propagandists are, it is gonna be awfully difficult to make any significant changes to the system.

Perhaps the internet is the answer, but we all know the direction that is heading. What happens when they decide to pull the plug on websites they find that "has a terrorist bent" (terrorism is loosely defined if at all in the USA Patriot act., don't forget.) All this great organizing being done on it will vanish. We are in a race against time which I don't think we are going to win folks. I know I must sound awfully pessimistic, but I calls em as I sees em.

If I sound like I'm rambling it's cause I've had a long day. Time to go and get some z's.

Sounds quite coherent to me. Like you, however, I'm very low on optimism recently.

Much as I hate to say so, I tend to agree with David's "when Hell freezes over" scenario unless there's some radical change in the prevailing winds that I just can't foresee no matter how hard I try.

After getting some sleep and feeling a bit more rested, I realized that I did forget a very important possibility. I don't know who said it, and I guess I am paraphrasing here, that we must become the media or we are the media, or something like that.

Word of mouth is effective. Plus, there are hundreds of great books and DVD's we could all be sharing with everyone we know. Buy extras and pass them around. This would not only get the information out there but it would also support those great people who spend so much time trying to make the world a better place by sharing their analyses and what they know. Videos could be shown on public access channels, (while we still have them), or groups could get together to organize afternoon showings for larger audiences. We could also spread informative flyers all over.

A major concerted effort on the part of a coalition of progressive groups united under a single banner for an intensive, long lasting, well orchestrated campaign to spread the word could have a huge impact. Since the corrupt dickheads in power are not about to give it up without a fight, there is very little hope for serious media reform befitting a real democracy. Approaching this from the micro level may seem to be our best if not only hope.

If you all think the U.S. corporate/military/oil complex and the PNAC stooges who give it vision and direction are going to change the imbalances of power and wealth in this country..... think again! Great minds through the centuries all agree that those who seek, gain and monopolize power and wealth do not volunteer to stop their "just us" (neo-con understanding of justice!) ways of doing business and share their powers to the very masses they abuse in the first place in order to get it! "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" is what we are witnessing in today's well entrenched political power structure. For the most part they control both sides of Congress, the White House, the Military Forces and the Mainstream Media! Making it worse is the backing of the mindless, fearful "evangelical christians" who, like Patty Robertson of 700 Club, are willing to murder first, ask questions, if at all, later!

In short, there is no "check and balance" in our government! NONE! They intimidate, ignore, revise history at a moments notice, slant, smear, verbally attack and ridicule any who oppose them or attempt to expose their arrogant dictatorial ways! And these are their good points!!!

My mother (81 years young) shared today that "in all her life, through the Great Depression, World War 2, Korea, Viet Nam, JFK and Martin Luther King Jr.'s murders, Watergate, etc, etc, did she ever thought she would see this wonderful country fall into the hands of such corrupt, deceitful, mean-spirited and arrogant people such as Bush and his administration!"

Only a peaceful social/political revolution of "We The People" on a massive scale will change anything! It means awakening the 60% of the silent majority of this country who have given up on democracy and no longer vote believing (and rightly so) that the rich rulers don't care about them! If there is no action, if there is no reform and redistribution of wealth, not only in N. America but globally, if there is no attempt to reconnect with our global family and the alienated nations of the world, then we, as a "country" are already good as dead!

If you all think the U.S. corporate/military/oil complex and the PNAC stooges who give it vision and direction are going to change the imbalances of power and wealth in this country..... think again! Great minds through the centuries all agree that those who seek, gain and monopolize power and wealth do not volunteer to stop their "just us" (neo-con understanding of justice!) ways of doing business and share their powers to the very masses they abuse in the first place in order to get it! "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" is what we are witnessing in today's well entrenched political power structure. For the most part they control both sides of Congress, the White House, the Military Forces and the Mainstream Media! Making it worse is the backing of the mindless, fearful "evangelical christians" who, like Patty Robertson of 700 Club, are willing to murder first, ask questions, if at all, later!

In short, there is no "check and balance" in our government! NONE! They intimidate, ignore, revise history at a moments notice, slant, smear, verbally attack and ridicule any who oppose them or attempt to expose their arrogant dictatorial ways! And these are their good points!!!

My mother (81 years young) shared today that "in all her life, through the Great Depression, World War 2, Korea, Viet Nam, JFK and Martin Luther King Jr.'s murders, Watergate, etc, etc, did she ever thought she would see this wonderful country fall into the hands of such corrupt, deceitful, mean-spirited and arrogant people such as Bush and his administration!"

Only a peaceful social/political revolution of "We The People" on a massive scale will change anything! It means awakening the 60% of the silent majority of this country who have given up on democracy and no longer vote believing (and rightly so) that the rich rulers don't care about them! If there is no action, if there is no reform and redistribution of wealth, not only in N. America but globally, if there is no attempt to reconnect with our global family and the alienated nations of the world, then we, as a "country" are already good as dead!

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