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O'reilly...on point as usual

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By Bill O'Reilly

We promised you that The Factor's coverage of the war would be the most honest in the country, and we hope we're living up to that. If not, let us know via e-mail. As a journalist for almost 30 years, I am angry and saddened by some of the newspaper coverage in the USA. In fact, this is some of the worst stuff I have ever seen.

If you read The New York Times Thursday, you will be confronted with once again with fierce fighting all across its front page. One problem with all that ferocity -- it's not being backed up by the stats. Eight days into the war, the U.S. military reports just 14 Americans killed in combat -- dead from Iraq fire -- 12 others killed in other circumstances. And the allies control three quarters of the country.

Now we grieve for everyone killed in this war. But the truth is that the allies are fighting a gang of thugs, not organized combat divisions yet. The thugs are dressed in civilian clothes, even U.S. uniforms. They hide in mosques. They hide behind women and children. They execute prisoners. Forget fierce, cowardly resistance is more like it.

Then there's The L.A. Times. On its front page Thursday is the headline: "Every Day Gets Worse and Worse". The sub-headline reads: "Along a busy Baghdad street struck by missiles, shocked residents mourn and curse the United States". The article was written by John Daniszewski and the third paragraph tells the story:

"'Every day gets worse and worse,' Sahar, a 23-year-old with a birdlike voice, said with a sigh Wednesday. 'I can't imagine what will be next week.' Sahar, who did not want to give her last name, had been assigned by the Information Ministry to guide, translate and keep an eye on foreign journalists."

Can you believe it? This L.A. Times reporter is quoting a woman who works for Saddam about conditions inside Baghdad, and her quote is a page one headline! Unbelievable. Why don't you just put Saddam's latest press release on the front page, L.A. Times!

As we explained yesterday, some American newspapers are trying to bolster their editorial opinions about the war by shading their hard news coverage. Absolutely awful.

Then there's the BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation. One of its own war correspondents has written a letter to the brass accusing his own company of dishonest reporting. We'll have this story is coming up.

Millions of people all over the world are getting distorted war coverage and this, of course, hurts America. As far as The Factor is concerned, I have made one mistake so far. I failed to anticipate that the Pentagon would fight a political war in Iraq. I understand why they're doing it, I should have foreseen it. I did not. I apologize for the mistake, but at least it was an honest mistake.

And that's the memo.

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Originally posted by spragga25

..but his smack is as real and true as it comes.

if you believe anything that he says then for you its true. i take it with a grain of salt and read up on as different opinions as i can, i dont blindly believe anything that is said by any quack just because he's on tv. :D

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Originally posted by vicman

if you believe anything that he says then for you its true. i take it with a grain of salt and read up on as different opinions as i can, i dont blindly believe anything that is said by any quack just because he's on tv. :D

Well said. Seems there's alot of that going around.:aright:

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Originally posted by magellanmax

Well said. Seems there's alot of that going around.:aright:

What's going around?

Quacks or too many people that don't want to fight for the freedom that we have here in the USA?? :confused: :confused: :confused:

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Originally posted by spragga25

What's going around?

Quacks or too many people that don't want to fight for the freedom that we have here in the USA?? :confused: :confused: :confused:

quacks on tv.

one thing is supporting the troops and another is supporting the war. i dont support the war, but i do support the troops there.

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http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/top/features/documents/02781802.htm

Studying antiwar

Opposition to the war on Iraq is truly grassroots, which means it’s diverse, it has no one leader, and it speaks varied messages in differing styles. No wonder the media can’t get a handle on it.

BY KRISTEN LOMBARDI

FOR A WAR THAT began only last week, it’s remarkable how fast and furiously the roar of protest has traveled the globe. This past weekend, antiwar demonstrations in London drew an estimated 200,000. Barcelona saw twice that number. Tens of thousands of Australians clogged the streets of Sydney and Melbourne, while at least 11,000 Japanese came out to oppose the war in their own island nation. Protesters have condemned the US invasion of Iraq from Italy and Bangladesh to Mexico and Chile. Throughout the Middle East, angry demonstrators have gathered before US embassies, burned American flags, and beat up effigies of President George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, dozens of antiwar protests, sit-ins, and rallies have sprouted up across the United States. In New York City, more than 125,000 people flooded through half of midtown Manhattan on Saturday for a five-hour peaceful procession. In Washington, DC, on the same day, thousands of people circled the White House. They chanted, " This is what democracy looks like. " Then, gesturing toward the president’s residence, they shouted, " This is what hypocrisy looks like. " In Chicago, 50,000 protesters marched down Lake Shore Drive, effectively shutting down the Windy City. Dozens in San Francisco blocked entrances to buildings in the city’s financial district. And countless similar actions have taken hold, on a much smaller scale, from Augusta, Maine, to Yucca Valley, California.

The messages expressed at the worldwide protests vary considerably — which shouldn’t be surprising given that they are part of a grassroots movement led by no one person or group. They range from the extreme claim that Bush is a terrorist and war criminal to expressing more-mainstream fears over the breakdown of international diplomacy and the rise of the Bush doctrine of pre-emption. And for all the movement’s seriousness, there’s room for the occasional snarky observation, voiced at this weekend’s protests in New York, for example, that we should be engaged in " foreplay not war play " and that " fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity. " If there’s one theme to the global protests, however, it’s this: the US war against Iraq is illegal.

JUST AS PROTESTS have sprouted up across the country, antiwar sentiment has flourished in Boston, too — in spite of Mayor Tom Menino’s stern warning to protesters last Thursday not to " take over this city. " The March 20 antiwar demonstration, dubbed " Day X, " hadn’t even begun when thousands of people spilled into downtown streets from across the Mass Ave bridge, singing and stomping, exhilarated by their own numbers. Small, yet equally impassioned, pockets of activism in and around Boston have kept the message alive ever since.

As usual, the numbers have been hard to pin down. The Boston police estimated some 4000 at the March 20 rally, while United for Justice with Peace, its organizer (along with Boston city councilors Chuck Turner, Charles Yancey, and Felix Arroyo, and the local chapter of ANSWER — Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), claimed up to 7000. What seems clear is that far more people turned out in the chill than authorities anticipated. Officials approved permits for a march scheduled to kick off at Government Center Plaza, outside City Hall, at 5 p.m. As it happened, the crowd of college students, senior citizens, and all those in between arrived two hours in advance and proceeded down Boylston, Charles, and Beacon Streets, filling broad swaths of the roadways, effectively halting business-as-usual in the Hub.

Last Thursday’s protest projected a vibe of hope and optimism, a sense that power-in-numbers still matters — a surprisingly hardy sentiment given that the US had launched its attack on Iraq just 24 hours earlier. Marchers literally danced in the streets while unleashing a cacophony of sound — people whistled, hooted, hollered, shouted, clashed symbols, blew foghorns, rang bicycle bells, shook bean-filled jars, and pounded on plastic jugs. Packs of high-school kids from Cambridge and Belmont wrapped themselves in giant cloth banners that read war is not the answer and chanted the now-familiar refrain: " This is what democracy looks like. " Others raised their arms toward the sky as if to include their fellow Bostonians gazing down upon the crowd from office buildings along Boylston Street, many with their faces pressed against windows, as if mesmerized. Spectators waved. Some gave peace signs. Some wore puzzled, irritated, or enraged expressions. Yet when the Trinity Church bells clanged to the tune of " Give Peace a Chance, " it only heightened the enthusiasm.

This is not to say that contempt for President George W. Bush and his hawkish advisers didn’t come across at the march. There were numerous signs, scrawled in thick, black letters, that quipped stop the mad cowboy disease; bush, cheney, powell: asses of evil; and i hate the f&$! president. But in seven hours, there were few, if any, images likening Bush to Hitler, a favorite of the Washington, DC, protests. Only one sign featured a swastika cut out of the American flag. For the most part, Bostonians — with their long tradition of showing intellectual mettle — made the case that substantial numbers of reasonable people are outraged by the direction in which their country has been yanked. Typical signs extolled the virtues of multilateralism and world diplomacy — i am with kofi and cut through the propaganda: this war is illegal.

All in all, the sense of last week’s event was one of democracy reclaimed. This was manifest in the myriad images of the American flag — the Stars and Stripes emblazoned pins, arm bands, capes, and hats. Protesters, it seems, were telling the rest of the country that its ultimate symbol of patriotism doesn’t have to amount to blind support for the Bush administration’s military action. This sense was manifest, too, in the thousands of marchers who hunkered down on the Mass Ave bridge after Boston police stymied their sooner-than-expected procession for about 30 minutes. Rather than retreat, people plopped down on the ground and sang out, " These are our streets. " And it was evident at the rally itself, where hundreds of protesters took over Government Center. There, they staged spontaneous skits about war from the perspective of innocent Iraqi civilians (portrayed by puppets resembling Edvard Munch’s The Scream), and lay, stiff as boards, on the cold, wet pavement to represent the soldiers and citizens who are sure to die in a long, protracted US invasion.

Not even the hecklers could dampen the marchers’ spirit of democratic resolve. In Cambridge’s Central Square, for instance, four men dressed in blue moving-company uniforms gave the thumbs down while booing and hissing at the crowd. " If you don’t like the war, " one of them spat out, " then move. Get out of here! " — to which a Harvard student, with deadpan delivery, responded: " You have a right to your opinion, sirs. " He and his fellow demonstrators then carried themselves and their message onward, unfazed.

DESPITE THE antiwar movement’s show of strength around the world, news reports and commentary have managed to distort its message. On the one hand, the movement gained such momentum that it retained the media spotlight even as missiles began to fly and frontline troops advanced into Iraq. On the other hand, the media’s desire to highlight any tussle between antiwar protesters and police or pro-war supporters sought to diminish the moral weight of protesters’ efforts by casting them in a belligerent and violent light. Since the " Shock and Awe " of US bombing in Iraq was first unleashed, for instance, a LexisNexis search reveals that major newspapers have published 104 headline articles on the antiwar movement. Of that number, more than 25 percent — or 29 — have homed in on arrests, civil disobedience, and turmoil.

To be sure, antiwar protesters don’t do themselves any favors by shutting down roadways, bridges, and building entrances. In San Francisco, police have arrested as many as 1600 people since the city erupted in chaos during demonstrations last Thursday. Some demonstrators set fire to hay bales, unscrewed hydrants, and smashed cop-car windows. Though the SF police took an aggressive stance by trapping peaceful protesters — and even some unsuspecting bystanders — it’s especially hard to feel sympathy for those rabble-rousers who reportedly vomited and urinated on sidewalks in front of the city’s federal buildings.

But even when an antiwar protest proves to be overwhelmingly peaceful, the media find a way to hype hostility. The Boston Globe led its March 21 story on Day X by reporting the " scattered skirmishes " that occurred. Not only did the article play up the day’s three arrests — out of 4000-plus participants — but it failed to mention some telling details up front. One of the arrested happened to be a spectator who, unprovoked, dove into the crowd and punched out a marcher. Local TV outlets, too, broadcast scenes of protesters reportedly " clashing with police. " Boston cops were seen holding back a mass of people trying to storm the Mass Pike ramp, near Copley Square. Tension lasted but minutes in the daylong affair, yet it took center stage on the TV screen nevertheless.

At the same time, the media have presented those who oppose this war as simple-minded, flaky peaceniks who just cannot understand the practical need for military action. Even progressive outlets have taken this position. Salon, the online magazine, published a March 19 analysis by senior news editor Edward Lempinen, who argued that the antiwar left has ignored Saddam Hussein’s human-rights depravities to such an extent that it " leaves one to wonder whether this highly visible bloc of the left has weighed these issues. " His argument might make sense were it not for the fact that the US invasion of Iraq has little to do with " liberating " its civilians. After all, it wasn’t until the other justifications for this war — Saddam’s military threat, his alleged link to Al Qaeda, his flouting of UN treaties — failed to resonate that President Bush began to speak about Saddam’s cruelty to his own people.

William Saletan, of the online journal Slate, sounded a similar note in a March 21 item, in which he contended that, because the humanitarian catastrophe predicted by antiwar protesters has yet to materialize, they should shut up. Indeed, as far as he’s concerned, protests have only aided the bad guys: " Your efforts to generate resistance to the war before there is any evidence of killing, much less atrocities, contribute to the political strength of the enemy regime, " Saletan wrote. Yet this notion that the antiwar movement has strengthened Saddam is so hypocritical, it borders on the absurd. If anyone had a hand in boosting the dictator, it’s those administration officials, such as Vice-President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell — respectively the defense secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff chair under President George H.W. Bush — who helped wage the first Gulf War. They turned their backs on the democratic factions struggling to rise up against Saddam after the battles ended. Why aren’t they being held responsible?

What the media have forgotten is the debate over this war’s legality. They have glossed over the Bush administration’s stark move toward unilateralism and strong-arm tactics — a profound and potentially dangerous break from a half-century of international law and order. Those in the antiwar movement, however, have not forgotten. In a March 23 article in the New York Times, reporter John Leland examined how the latest movement, " unlike its socially seismic 1960s predecessor, " encompasses mainstream America, rather than a countercultural fringe. Unlike the protests of the 1960s, which focused on remaking society, he reported, today’s protesters have united around one thing: this war’s consequences. In other words, today’s protesters are more soccer mom and office-park dad than ’60s-hippie-wanna-be or anti-globalization anarchist.

Last Thursday’s protest brought out scores of college students who clearly want to do more than recreate the glory of the ’60s. Students like 21-year-old Flood, of Harvard, come across as informed, thoughtful, and genuine in their beliefs. His foray into the antiwar movement dates back to February, when he noticed the build-up of US troops in the Persian Gulf. The looming reality hit. " I knew it was time to do something, " he says. He signed on to an e-mail list for the Harvard Initiative for Peace and Justice, a student-run group. Within days, he was organizing campus actions. Flood, like many of his peers, remains skeptical of the Bush administration’s motive for this war. Is it disarmament? Regime change? Liberation? But now that the war is under way, he is redefining his objectives as an antiwar activist. " My main goal, " he explains, " is to push the administration when it comes to providing humanitarian aid and rebuilding Iraq. I’m scared to death we’ll be in Iraq for a while [and] then just head out, as we’ve done in Afghanistan. That’s a real concern. "

Thursday’s event also attracted almost as many seniors as students, people like John Packard, a slightly frail yet spry 72-year-old lawyer from Lexington. After hearing about the rally on the radio that morning, Packard opted to skip work for the cause. " This is one of those experiences that don’t come along too often, " he says, " and I wanted to be part of it. " Packard, who’s participated in weekly candlelight vigils in his hometown, doesn’t believe that the war will end quickly, with relatively few casualties — as he suspects most Americans expect. " This move has brought consequences already, " he says, referring to what he calls the " dangerous " rift with our allies. " Sooner or later, " he concludes, " this kind of arrogance leads to disaster. We’ll have to deal with the long-term fallout. "

That concern could explain why so many " normal " Bostonians — those who’d never attended an antiwar rally before — turned out on Day X as well. Criticisms of the administration’s bellicosity spoke to people like Eric Mibuari, a 19-year-old student from MIT. A bright-eyed man with a beaming smile, Mibuari felt compelled to join in the march while watching it pass by his school because, he says, " Bush has overstepped his bounds. " He adds, " I don’t want Saddam Hussein to be the Iraqi president. But I feel that Bush thumbed his nose at the United Nations and the world. " A fortysomething Cambridge engineer named Richard shared the sentiment. Surveying the mass of people from his office desk, he says, " tears came to my eyes. I got up and walked out. " Perhaps because of his newfound activism, Richard was full of optimism that protesters could still make a difference. " Today won’t stop the war, " he says. " But if we keep up pressure, maybe we can change decisions in the long run. "

That the media would snub such convictions seems puzzling, all the more so given the movement’s main accomplishment. Indeed, it has inspired Americans to take not only to the streets, but also to their phones and computers, where they’ve flooded their congressional representatives with calls and e-mails about their opposition to this war. Millions have signed up to one of the largest, most middle-of-the-road peace groups, MoveOn.org (www.moveon.org), which is currently organizing a massive e-mail drive to enlist signatures for a citizens’ declaration. In part, the petition reads: " As we grieve for the victims of this war, we pledge to redouble our efforts to put an end to the Bush administration’s doctrine of pre-emptive attack and the reckless use of military power. " Put simply, the antiwar movement has sparked debate on an issue our elected officials hadn’t bothered to consider. By doing so, it’s busted through the silence imposed by Bush’s " with us or against us " post-9/11 rhetoric.

Of course, the antiwar movement’s future depends largely on the war’s outcome. A swift end to the incursion, with relatively little death and destruction, may derail its momentum. An intense, prolonged battle — at which Bush hinted last Sunday when he warned the public of the " tough road ahead " — will only propel the movement forward. But either way, antiwar protesters see a role for themselves in the future — in monitoring the administration’s humanitarian-aid and Iraqi-reconstruction efforts, as well as its commitment to international fence-mending. For them, the question isn’t whether they’ll survive, but how.

In Boston, the upcoming March 29 rally is meant to mark what organizers describe as an " important show " : that the war won’t muzzle those who oppose it. Veteran peace activist Joseph Gerson, of United for Peace with Justice, figures that most Americans have forgotten what they disliked about the administration’s conduct up to this point. As he puts it, " George Orwell’s memory hole is alive and well. " But count on the antiwar movement to remind the rest of us. Adds Gerson, " This movement will not die down. "

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