Saturday, June 23, 2018
Rock music is better than unquestioning coverage of the US military by NPR
By SJ Otto
My wife Cam got me into listening to NPR. They do have some good informative articles. They are a little less biased than the other main stream news media outlets. But their are times when I switch the channel to the hard rock station at 95.1. Yes I do like rock music. But more than that I get tired of their many interview with military leaders. They talk about the efficiency of our military, the quality of our troops and how the military maintains itself. But there are questions missing. Why do we need these troops in Yemen, Afganistan or Iraq. These questions are never asked. Aparently NPR seems to think we all agree with what our military does. As Geoff Dutton said recently in CounterPunch:
"Like other major news organizations, NPR doesn’t seem to sense just how polluted the water it swims in is. Example: Recently (6/10/18), it aired a segment on the tribulations immigrants face to join the military, specifically the Marine Corps. We learn that Hispanics, 18% of the US population, make up 25% of active duty Marines. We also learn that the Trump Administration has put up arbitrary bureaucratic barriers to immigrants who apply to serve in our military. That’s due to the fact that one must be a citizen to enlist, a process that the Obama administration simplified that has now become more complex.
Tennessee resident Arturo Solomon, 24, is a DACA recipient and martial arts expert. The gung-ho Hispanic Marine hopeful told NPR correspondent Julieta Martinelli of his frustration from being sent hither and yon to qualify for citizenship. First, NPR Defense correspondent Tom Bowman (always a reliable source for what the Pentagon says it’s thinking) opines that Hispanics such as Solomon are overrepresented in the military due to their “being courageous.”.....
....That cultural value is also known as “machismo,” an attitude many Hispanic Mister Solomon wants to fight, perhaps to die, for his country for reasons NPR chose not to ask. Is it for glory, to serve the empire, or to demonstrate his manhood to impress someone? Either Ms. Martinelli forgot to inquire or her interrogation was edited. That’s too bad, because it would be great to get into those weeds. Her next interviewee, Margaret Stock (US Army Reserve, ret.), underscored that by making it onerous for immigrants to enter military service the Trump Administration is making the military “miss out on a lot of high-quality troops.” All that wasted talent. Such a shame.
Quite probably, Lt. Col. Stock, but to what ends? When was the last time the US Marines were called upon to defend the homeland, inthe homeland? Perhaps in the War of 1812 and arguably in the Civil War, but otherwise deployed abroad ever since. Missions include toppling reformist governments in this hemisphere and confronting Middle Eastern towelheads who supposedly hate our freedoms, presumably including our constitutional right to mow down fellow Americans with licensed large-caliber weaponry, just as our implacable Islamic enemies license themselves to do. Does Solomon want a piece of that? NPR could have asked."
As with me, I believe the substance of these interviews should focus on why the US needs so many people in its military? Do these soldiers realize they are fighting mainly for an empire and not as we are told, "to defend this country." Dutton scholds NPR for avoiding the truth, just has its corporate media oligarchs it competes with.
"Being nonprofit and mostly listener-supported, NPR should have an easier time telling truth to power than corporate media oligarchs do. But tell truth to NPR at your hazard. It used to solicit comments from listeners via email and on its website but gave it up several years ago, saying their comment rolls had become a troll haven that was too tedious and expensive to moderate."
As with me he has problems with the way they cover the military:
"Perhaps I’m being unnecessarily harsh, but couldn’t NPR just sometimes question what all this preparedness, both domestic and foreign, is about? On the nearer hand, we have countless numbers of our countrymen telling the government, “Don’t tread on me,” and on the farther one, our guardians aim to keep the homeland free of terrorists (of which 95% or more must be home-grown). So it goes."
And so our military leaders are given no serious questions. We spend Billions on defense world wide. Our military budget is the highest in the world and military spending dwarfs nearly all other US budgets. As Dutton said:
"Were he able to enlist, depending on his specialty and mission, Mr. Solomon might find himself billeted to any of the estimated 1000 or so US military bases scattered throughout 156 countries. Nick Turse wrote in 2009:
There are more than 1,000 U.S. military bases dotting the globe. To be specific, the most accurate count is 1,077. Unless it’s 1,088. Or, if you count differently, 1,169. Or even 1,180. Actually, the number might even be higher. Nobody knows for sure.
More than half of these “sites,” as DoD prefers to call them, are in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus 10 more currently squatting in Syria, unauthorized. The count excludes sites of less than 10 acres or worth less than $10M (many are likely intelligence and counterinsurgency outposts), chicken feed by DoD reckoning (even though ten million is more than enough to build a decent public school). There have been ups and downs in base construction and foreign deployments since the end of the Cold War, but the trend is decidedly upward and shows no sign of tapering off."
So it is time to hold NPR's feet to the fire. They are constantly raising money and asking people to take part in events they promote. They need to be asked why there is no debate on what our military does. As for that article click here for the rest of it. And I will feel to turn to rock music when they chose to glamorise the military.
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