Monday, June 28, 2010


We have a now you see it now you don't military machine, brought out in the media in times of war promotion, retired from view in the long slog of war country occupation campaigns. Our media, the dominant share, is bought and paid for by war investors. They don't want war and preparation for war to end—ever. It makes them too much money.

f one looks back in our own Port Huron Times Herald [controlled by owner Gannett News--so the pattern of local coverage expands through their network across the country], the period of the year and a half between 9-11 in 2001, and our invasion of Iraq in March 2003, featured a daily one page section titled at the top "War on Terrorism." Once the Iraq invasion began there were of course full front page and multipage sections on that war for weeks, and then the title at the top of the ongoing war page became "Disarming Iraq." This was certainly misleading, as the implied nuclear weapons were never present in Iraq, and 7 years later Iraq is far from "conventional weapons" disarmed.

The titled war page on Iraq lasted less than a year, and by 12-24-05 the Times Herald was covering Iraq in its one-paragraph-sized "World News in Brief "mini column. A front page story about a Florida high school student of Iraqi background, "Teen runs off to Iraq to see struggle" did appear on 12-30-05, but substantive Iraq war coverage was disappearing. There have been occasional surges of war stories since, now morphing to Afghanistan, but the pattern of media management of public war effort continues. We are currently in the "Don't pay any attention to that man {those wars} behind the curtain," Wizard of Oz media mode.

It is difficult to focus on the ongoing conduct of these wars, but focus we must, to extricate ourselves completely from these unjust wars. We pray in this way also, for the intercession of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, the Austrian who was executed August 9, 1943 because he would not fight in Hitler's wars. A photo appears below of his three daughters' Easter wish months before he died, "Dear Father come home."

Christ our Lord did not come to bring peace to the world as a kind of spiritual tranquilizer. He brought to his disciples a vocation and a task--to struggle in the world of violence to establish his peace not only in their own hearts but in society itself.

--Thomas Merton

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

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