Made Easy" a documentary film from the Media Education Foundation,
featuring Norman Solomon.
||Want to start a war? "War
Made Easy," a documentary film based on media critic Normon Solomon's
book of the same title, explains how media handmaidens of the military/industrial
complex are able to incite the country to war using strategies that
continue to deceive people from one war to the next. Shown at the
Crest Theater in Sacramento on July 17th, 2007, the film was followed
by a Q & A session with Norman Solomon and CA Assemblymembers
Loni Hancock (East Bay) and Mark Leno (S.F.). The session was moderated
by Talk Radio (1240 AM) progressive radio personality, Christine Craft.
On the same night, the U.S. Senate was debating whether to withdraw
troops from Iraq....and didn't.
CA Assemblymember Loni
Hancock is notable for (among other things) carrying AJR36, the
resolution to bring California's National Guard home from Iraq.
In answer to the audience question "What can we do to make
our representatives get us out of Iraq?" Loni said "Your
representatives will be as "there" on this issue as we
make it safe for them to be."
Mark Leno spoke of the consolidation of corporate media and its
negative effect on the public's ability to hear a range of viewpoints.
On the bright side, the existence of the internet allows free communication
on all subjects from all perspectives.
"We live in a warfare
state. There is an enormous gap between the elites and the grassroots.
We must change the social dynamic so that political opportunists
choose to do what the grassroots want! --Norman Solomon, progressive
pundit and media critic, speaking after the showing of "War
The documentary has an inspiring clip from 1964, showing Senator
Wayne Morse, Senior Senator from Oregon, opposing President Johnson's
policy in Viet Nam. (Morse was one of two senators who voted against
the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that accelerated the Viet Nam war).
In the clip, Morse responds to a T.V. interviewer who claims that
foreign policy belongs to the President. "You couldn't be more
wrong!" Morse exclaims, adding that under the U.S. Constitution,
the President is only the administrator of the People's foreign
policy."I have complete faith in the American people to follow
the facts if you'll give them! My charge against my government is
we're not giving the American people the facts!" A stirring
statement when heard in total, and one we need to hear from our
current Congressional leaders.
The showing of "War
Made Easy" sponsored by Sacramento for Democracy, drew a large
audience of Sacramento progressives. During Q & A, someone asked
us to turn and look at the person next to us. I thought we would
next be shaking hands and saying "Peace be with you,"
but no, we were supposed to observe that the neighboring seat was
filled by "An Old Person." "Where are the youths?"
the questioner decried.
A teacher from a school with a largely immigrant population answered
that the youths at his school were trying hard to get through school
and their parents were trying hard to put food on the table. A semi-youth
(in her 30's) responded that the Youths of Today were graduating
from school and getting jobs with no pensions and no health care,
and thus could not easily take on issues beyond immediate survival.
Another questioner opined that our generation (Old Persons) had
dropped the ball by not remembering the lessons of Viet Nam and
immediately stopping the Iraq occupation. Norman Solomon objected
to the "We" in "We dropped the ball," noting
that there are many of our generation who protest U.S. policy in
The outrages of Bush & Cheney are such that everyone should
be out in the streets protesting, and yet most people are not. What
will it take?
Karen, E-Board representative
with Progressive Democrats of America, reported on the issues passed
at a recent convention.
1) Bring home the troops.
2) Ban Blackwater Private Security Contracting Corp from CA.
3) De-fund the occupation in Iraq.
Her report inspired hope that the Democrats might finally rise
to the occasion on the Iraq Occupation issue. Also, she appears
to be a Young Person, which should reassure those who are concerned...
||An inspiring and educational
evening at the Crest. Now we have to get out there and "make
it politically safe" for politicians to end the Occupation in
Iraq and start on a more progressive agenda. Does that mean wearing
orange on "Impeach Bush and Cheney" day?" Does it mean
joining Progressive Democrats of America? You decide...