The Free Associator

The Philadelphia Syndicate is a collection of writers, businesses, artists, musicians, and activists based in Philadelphia, with connections to associates around the world via the internet. This publication is produced by members of the Syndicate's private online discussion forum for the purpose of giving exposure to the organization's thinkers to the public.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Supporting the Troops


Some of the worst propaganda I have had the extreme displeasure of being exposed to in my relatively short life has come from my local newsrag, The Oregonian, in the years since the Iraq invasion began.

Today is no exception. In fact, it may be the epitome of this propaganda.

On the front page is the story "Cast stone collides with Guard goals," along with a picture of a rather ugly Oregon Army National Guard Sgt., one Brian Allender bloodied at the mouth and lacking a few teeth. Below this picture is another, this one of 2 U.S. soldiers escorting a handcuffed Iraqi teenager. It is not hard to read this story simply by looking at the pictures. No doubt, this was fully The Oregonian's intention.

The story begins, "A teenager's decision to lash out at Oregon Army National Guard soldiers shows just how fine a line there is, in some Iraqi minds, between liberation and oppression." The dependent clause here speaks volumes, no? As if, in some Iraqi minds, liberation and oppression were the same thing. But never mind that Orwellian turn of phrase.

The story continues, "The rock the teen threw may have derailed a budding partnership between Iraqis and the U.S. military as surely as a hammer smashing an eggshell." Ok, so now a teenager "may have derailed a budding partnership between Iraqis and the U.S. military..." That, my friends, is PROPAGANDA. And I for one, despise it. The Oregonian, and this article's author, Mike Francis, will be hearing from me today. But to continue...

Mr. Francis, the responsible party for this atrocity of print journalism, frames the rest of the article in stages: Council Meeting, The Rock is Thrown, The Teen's Denial. When an elderly woman prostrates herself before the Humvee taking the teenager into custody, there is no pity in Francis' words. Judging from the Al Sus, IRAQ byline, I'd say Francis was present for some of the incident. Maybe the old lady frightened him. One thing's for sure, Francis wouldn't last 5 minutes in Iraq without military protection.

Cpt. Dominic Kotz, also of Oregon, is quoted thus, "We came to this village because we're helping to rebuild the school. (I wonder what happened to the school.) This is the response we get. This village threw a rock at us. That's unacceptable." In case you can't tell, I added the bit in parentheses, and the italics. Punish the village for the sin of the uppity youngster, eh? That is exactly what happens.

Of the arrest and detention of the rock-throwing terrorist (a word which I'm certain Francis feels like a traitor for not being able to use to refer to a minor), Kotz says "It might seem like an overreaction, but if you let it happen, pretty soon the entire village thinks they're a bunch of punks and start taking advantage of you." So, Kotz, the occupier, is afraid of being taken advantage of. Imperialism never ceases to amaze me.

Kotz, the hero of the article, is also quoted as saying of the teen, "What a little jackass."

Cpt. Kotz, there is no boulder big enough that I sincerely wish would be thrown at YOU.

Go ahead, accuse me of not supporting the troops. I pay taxes; I don't have a choice; I support the troops. I provide their weapons and their handcuffs and their Humvees.

I hope the little jackasses look pretty in their fatigues, and that they appreciate my support.

By the way, Allender will receive the Purple Heart for his teenager-inflicted rock wound. And the Guard won't be back to Al Sus until the village apologizes. I'm serious.


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