August 11, 2003

Americans Pay Price for Speaking Out

Register to vote, share the LNS with others,
contribute to those organizations that resist the Bush
cabal and as Mark Crispin Miller says, "Pick a fight!"
Who else will protect the US GIs speaking out from the
quagmire in Iraq? The "US mainstream news media"? Not
bloodly likely if their kid glove treatment (to date)
of the Terminator is any indication. I saw his face on
the cover of USA TooLate the other day, I saw a
political profile of him in the WASHPs the other day.
But to get to the truth about the Terminator (at least
in this last week) you had to go to America's best
newspaper, the U.K. Guardian, which reported that his
father was a Nazi (literally) and that he "loves" Kurt
Waldheim disgraced and exposed as being involved in
Nazi war crimes. It also quoted some of his numerous
sexist remarks degrading women, in particular from a
Playboy interview. I wonder if anyone in the "US
mainstream news media" will ask the Terminator about
steriod drug use? Will they push him for his medical
records? (I am not insinuating anything, it just seems
to me like a worthy question from an aggressive press
to any body builder running for high office.)
Meanwhile, distinguished military officers are being
slimed for opposing the _resident's foolish and
unnecessary military adventure in Iraq...and, of course, here is the story from the Toronto Star via one of the leading sites in the Information Rebellion:

GW Bush's America: Americans Pay Price for Speaking Out
Dissenters Face Job Loss, Arrest, Threats But
Activists not Stopped by Backlash

by Kathleen Kenna

He's a Vietnam War hero from a proud lineage of
warriors who served the United States, so he never
expected to be called a traitor. After 39 years in the
Marines, including commands in Somalia and Iraq, Gen.
Anthony Zinni never imagined he would be tagged

The epithets are not from the uniforms but the suits
"senior officers at the Pentagon," the now-retired
general says from his home in Williamsburg, Va.

"They want to question my patriotism?" he demands

To question the Iraq war in the U.S. and individuals
from Main St. merchants to Hollywood stars do is to
be branded un-American.

Dissent, once an ideal cherished in the U.S.
Constitution's First Amendment, now invites media
attacks, hate Web sites, threats and job loss.

After Zinni challenged the administration's rationale
for the Iraq war last fall, he lost his job as
President George W. Bush's Middle East peace envoy
after 18 months.

"I've been told I will never be used by the White
House again."

Across the United States, hundreds of Americans have
been arrested for protesting the war. The American
Civil Liberties Union has documented more than 300
allegations of wrongful arrest and police brutality
from demonstrators at anti-war rallies in Washington
and New York.

Even the silent, peaceful vigils of Women in Black
held regularly in almost every state have prompted
threats of arrest by American police.

Actors and spouses Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon have
publicly denounced the backlash against them for their
anti-war activism.

Robbins said they were called "traitors" and
"supporters of Saddam" and their public appearances at
a United Way luncheon in Florida and the Baseball Hall
of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., this spring were
cancelled in reaction to their anti-war stance.

Actor/comedian Janeane Garofalo was stalked and
received death threats for opposing the war in
high-profile media appearances.

MSNBC hosts asked viewers to urge MCI to fire actor
and anti-war activist Danny Glover as a spokesperson
the long-distance telephone giant refused to fire him
despite the ensuing hate-mail campaign and one host,
former politician Joe Scarborough, urged that anti-war
protesters be arrested and charged with sedition.

"There's no official blacklisting," says Kate McArdle,
executive director of Artists United, a new group of
120 actors devoted to progressive causes.

"This is Hollywood, so there are always rumours
starting up. Mostly it was producers saying, `We know
your position do you have to be so vocal?'"

Internet chat rooms have spouted "tons and tons of
vitriol aimed at us," says McArdle, a former network
TV executive.

"Things like, `Tell me where Tim Robbins lives and
I'll go bash out his brains,'" she says.

"Or, `If you don't like America, why don't you move to
Iraq? Why don't you move to Canada?'

"The real backlash comes from the right wing, from
America's talk radio guys when their ratings are
down not from the industry," McArdle says. "We get
the `You're either with us or agin' us.'"

Comes with the territory, she adds.

"We're a nation of dissenters."

The Dixie Chicks country pop group won worldwide
attention for their anti-Bush comments, which were met
with widespread radio station bans against playing
their music. Their fans have responded by circulating
petitions on the Internet objecting to the "chill"
that has tried to silence free speech in the U.S.

And opposition to the war has spawned many new songs
some remixes of old Vietnam protest songs and Web
sites devoted to anti-war lyrics.

Dozens of fans walked out of a Pearl Jam concert in
Denver, Colo., last spring when lead singer Eddie
Vedder hoisted a Bush mask on a microphone stand and
sang, "He's not a leader, he's a Texas leaguer."

But musician Carlos Santana was cheered in Australia
a key U.S. ally in the Iraq war and recent proponent
of the "Bush doctrine" of intervention in smaller
states' affairs when he spoke against the war and
American foreign policy.
Copyright 1996-2003. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited


Posted by richard at August 11, 2003 08:03 AM