I’m told that Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” is one of the most popular places younger viewers get their news. More popular than late night chat shows and corporate news outlets, not that either of those shows make better choices. I watched the 2007 January 25 show with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) to see what ideas this show brought to its viewers. I was disappointed but not surprised to learn that this show frames a pro-war stance where getting out of Iraq is quickly ruled out as something people don’t want.
This is odd to me because polls indicate strong disapproval with President George W. Bush, and the 2006 shuffling of the deck chairs in Congress was largely interpreted as Americans expressing disagreement with continuing the occupation of Iraq. This is a golden time to get mainstream press for the Out Of Iraq Now message so that it can be debated honestly and thoroughly.
Jon Stewart said that leaving Iraq immediately was outside the allowable range of debate
I think people do believe, though, that we can’t leave—just in a—like some sort of Dante’s Inferno and kind of walk away and be like ‘Wow, who started that fire!’. You know. I think most people believe that there’s something very serious to be done there.
Schumer replied that “the rational way to do it” means:
- “stop policing a civil war; no one bargained for that”, which is shockingly stupid in itself (how dare this immoral and illegal invasion and occupation turn into something ugly!). Schumer’s point here is chiefly convenient in its admission that Iraq is in civil war. Until recently, reps of both major corporate political parties told the US to stay in Iraq to prevent civil war. According to Seymour Hersh on Democracy Now!, Iraq was in a civil war in mid-2005. No matter when it began, it all happened on our watch and our continued presence apparently makes things worse.
- “just focus on anti-terrorism; you know, the small groups of al-Qaida”, which means we still define terrorism so that it doesn’t include our actions abroad: invasion and occupation, selling wars to the American people based on lies, and ignoring how this war fits a brutal pattern of US involvement around the world.
- using “many fewer troops; they don’t have to be in harms way” again defies the obvious (there’s a safe place for an occupying force to reside in a country they made hostile to their presence?) and reaffirms that we’ll continue occupying Iraq.
The Out Of Iraq Now message based on the immorality of war goes unrepresented on either side of this discussion, much like what one finds in corporate “news”. Apparently, it’s still too radical to criticize continuing to do what we shouldn’t have done in the first place and were warned against before the invasion began.
I have little reason to believe that Americans will stop the Iran war before it begins.