Saturday, March 03, 2018
"The Post" movie is a reminder—our leaders lie to us about war
By SJ Otto
Remember a time when our elected leaders lied to us about the war? Remember when the pentagon just ignored common sense and let our you men and women die for no real reason. Sure that happens now, but back in the 1970s the news media actually covered those things and let us know about them from time to time.
Tonight I watched the movie The Post and it was a breath of fresh air and badly needed. The movie shows us what it was like before The Washington Post decided to publish the Pentagon Papers. I remember that time well. Suddenly a whole edition of that paper let the American people know that our leaders, going back for decades, knew the Vietnam war was unwinnable and yet kept it going. They lied about the war. As I watched the movie, it appears these revelations almost never made it to print. There were legal battles that could have ended with reporters going to jail. There were threats from government officials. Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, had concerns that The Washington Post would lose its financial backers and go out of business if it printed the Pentagon Papers. Many of the newspapers editorial staff tried to talk her out of it. But in the end, these papers, about 4,000 pages, made it into the news and it affected the Vietnam War.
What I like most about this movie is its timing. Right now there is virtually no opposition to the wars this nation is fighting in, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere. The press is not covering the details of our military actions, and the popular culture just glamorizes the war with such TV shows as Seal Team, Valor and The Brave. Stores and sporting events also promote the military without any questioning. Polls show a lot of young people are pro-military. So this is a good time to remind people that military leaders and presidents lie to us about the wars we fight.
That was true in the 1970s and it is true today. Let's hope this film reminds people of that.