For Broadcast Media, Patriotism Pays.

Now, apparently, is the time for all good radio and TV stations to come to the aid of their country’s war.

That is the message pushed by broadcast news consultants, who’ve been advising news and talk stations across the nation to wave the flag and downplay protest against the war.

“Get the following production pieces in the studio NOW: . . . Patriotic music that makes you cry, salute, get cold chills! Go for the emotion,” advised McVay Media, a Cleveland-based consultant, in a “War Manual” memo to its station clients. “. . . Air the National Anthem at a specified time each day as long as the USA is at war.”

The company, which describes itself as the largest radio consultant in the world, also has been counseling talk show stations to “Make sure your hosts aren’t ‘over the top.’ Polarizing discussions are shaky ground. This is not the time to take cheap shots to get reaction . . . not when our young men and women are ‘in harm’s way.’ “
Washington Post

Post-Traumatic Bush Syndrome,

A Suggested Addendum for the DSM IV: “Editor’s Note: The following diagnostic regimen has NOT been approved by, or for that matter even submitted to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as such, but considering the press of world events and the headlong expansion of the American military presence in the Middle East and elsewhere, we felt it behooved us to help our readers get ahead of the global game…”

" stirring dull roots with spring rain …"

Thank you, Mark, for welcoming me back from my vacation. I have to point to your compilation of pointers to George Lakoff resources, including the “Metaphor” series, essential reading on how to think about the war (scroll down). And, on the same day, Mark observes the sixth anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s death, reverently.

‘I Love My Country But…’

One Woman Enrages War Rally with Her Heartfelt Message. They have come carrying flags, wearing patriotic caps and jackets and sweatshirts — one family in a minivan plastered with praise for President George W. Bush and a bumper sticker that says “If 90% of you are for military strikes, the other 10% should be tried for treason.”

Angelica Amaya carries a simple homemade sign that says “I love my country but . . . ”

She has pasted a photograph of a young Iraqi woman on the sign and written below: “Are you willing to kill her to get to Saddam? “
If it is not already clear, I love the abstraction my country, but there’s much that sickens me about my countrymates, the jingoist boosters of the war, at this point. Dubya’s disingenuousness as to the reasons for the war aside, how is support for the au courant justification, that we are trying to liberate the Iraqi people, compatible with the “kill the gooks” sentiment that has overtaken the population as it does in all American wars? It appears that only the most cursory capacity for discriminating levels of abstraction exists in the common thought process. That Iraq is ‘the enemy’ maps inexorably to demonization of Iraqis.

William Rivers Pitt’s New Book Now Available:

truthout‘s senior writer William Rivers Pitt has just come out with his second book, The Greatest Sedition is Silence. The book details the last four years of politics in America, and delves into topics of discussion that have been left aside by the mainstream media. The mysteries and morality surrounding the 9/11 attacks, Enron and the economic meltdown, the 2000 Election, the media and a myriad of other important issues are discussed. Through it all, Mr. Pitt exhorts his readers to get involved in the workings of their country, and to not remain silent in the face of so many calamities.

Civilization’s Obscene Ghost:

America’s war with Iraq in the tender years of the 21st century comes as a shock to many of us. Like Europeans in 1914, we had come to believe that our country had to a large extent renounced war as an instrument of national policy.

This may be a short and efficient war. But already there has been death, in limited numbers among our own troops, doubtless in far greater numbers among those we call our enemies. Homes, buildings and infrastructure have been destroyed and will continue to be, however precisely aimed our bombs; there will be hunger and disease; there will be the misery of refugee camps and orphanages.

What one misses in most talk about the current war is any sense of its human cost. What is wholly lacking in current political discourse is any recognition of the obscenity of war. It’s as if we’d reverted smoothly to that primitivist thinking about death identified by Freud: We must be heroes, and the death of our enemies is greatly to be wished. I don’t doubt our leaders’ desire to minimize casualties and to control, to the extent possible, “collateral damage” — our nice euphemism for the inevitable killing of civilians by mistake. But it would be more honest if our death-dealing were discussed openly and fully.

War may be a failure of conflict resolution by peaceful means. It is also a kind of failure of civilization.

— Peter Brooks, Sterling professor of comparative literature and French at Yale University and author of several books, including Reading for the Plot and Troubling Confessions, LA Times [via CommonDreams]

Still no WMD:

“Smoking gun” site in Iraq turns out to contain pesticide. A facility near Baghdad that a US officer had claimed might finally be “smoking gun” evidence of Iraqi chemical weapons production turned out to contain pesticide, not sarin gas as originally thought.

A military intelligence officer for the US 101st Airborne Division’s aviation brigade, Captain Adam Mastrianni, told AFP that comprehensive tests Monday determined the presence of the pesticide compounds.
Agence France Presse [via Yahoo]