Here's a story that hasn't gotten covered in the U.S. press: As the USA prepares for a war against Iraq, it is being sued by Iran for its previous close relationship to Saddam Hussein. At the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ), Teheran is accusing the United States of delivering dangerous chemicals and deadly viruses to Baghdad during the 1980s.
"After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, listeners denounced
many radio stations for playing songs insensitive to a
nation in mourning. Now, program directors are planning to
adjust their playlists if the United States goes to war
with Iraq. Expect to hear more patriotic tunes, and songs that appear right for the moment. ... Music stations will also increase their news reports if war
breaks out. Because radio has become so segmented in the
last 15 years, news had vanished from many music stations.
"The political battle over the Bush administration's planned war in Iraq is filtering down to impact the U.S. media and advertising industry. A growing number of groups opposed to the war allege cable networks are censoring citizens' political views by refusing to accept placements of their anti-war TV ads. Some peace groups are thwarting the networks' rejection by buying local time in major cities for the same anti-war ads.
"Did the media stumble on Iraq, downplaying opposition to war with Saddam Hussein until the USA's recent confrontation with Germany and France in the United Nations and worldwide protests gave them no choice?" asks Peter Johnson. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes, "For months both major U.S. cable news networks have acted as if the decision to invade Iraq has already been made, and have in effect seen it as their job to prepare the American public for the coming war."
The threat of war in Iraq is driving increasing numbers of Americans to international news websites in search of the broader picture.
"Shia Muslims of southern Iraq will mount an uprising against Saddam Hussein as soon as US and British troops invade," reports Patrick Cockburn. "A rebellion by the Shia would complicate plans by the US for an orderly occupation of Iraq. Earlier in the month, American officials angered representatives of the Iraqi opposition, much of which is Shia and Kurdish, at a meeting in Ankara, Turkey by revealing that America planned a military government for Iraq but would keep in place most of the Sunni establishment that had served President Hussein. ...
PR Watch has previously written about the origins of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) as a PR front group created by the Rendon Group, which has nevertheless become the Bush administration's preferred source for "intelligence" about Iraq. Now an internal fight is bubbling over INC's plan to actually become the government of Iraq after a U.S. invasion.
As the nation marches toward war in the Middle East, millions of Americans believe in Biblical prophecies of Armageddon that predict war and mass slaughters of Jews and Muslims. "Genocide, in short, becomes the ultimate means of prophetic fulfillment," writes historian Paul Boyer. "Without close attention to the prophetic scenario embraced by millions of American citizens, the current political climate in the United States cannot be fully understood. ...
"You have got to admit that Rupert Murdoch is one canny press tycoon because he has an unerring ability to choose editors across the world who think just like him," writes Roy Greenslade. "How else can we explain the extraordinary unity of thought in his newspaper empire about the need to make war on Iraq?" Murdoch publishes 40 million papers a week and dominates the newspaper markets in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, and none "has dared to croon the anti-war tune.