I was going to post some excerpts here from this interview with former NBC reporter Arthur Kent. I found that I couldn't just choose a few excerpts and do the piece justice. It's a superb read, where he describes his experiences with network news censorship, and gives an intelligent analysis of the Iraqi situation.
For those of you who aren't going to click through and read the whole thing - at least read this one excerpt, which succinctly sums up one of my major issues with this war
"We've known Saddam Hussein's character for decades. Mr. Rumsfeld, in particular, worked with and supported Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war as a member of the Reagan administration. Saddam Hussein was an ally. We've known what Saddam has been up to since the Gulf War. He takes our economic sanctions, distorts them, redirects their worst impact on his own domestic enemies, cheats the embargo, and enriches himself to invest in his weapons program. The West has known this for years. Why suddenly do we have the right to announce, no, the deadline's today It's disarmament, or war, and the deaths of thousands of people? It's rash amateurism, a doctrinaire, hard, right-wing attitude on the part of the Bush administration and its advisors."
Okay, I lied - one more excerpt
" I'm still trying to shake from my mind the disbelief that a modern American administration can be as clumsy, as brusque and as crude as this one. Think back to Sept. 12, 2001 Kids in Paris were wearing American flags out of solidarity with the American people. Countries were lining up, tripping over one another, to come and touch the hem of the cloak of power in Washington D.C. The Bush administration had allies and support and emotional empathy from people around the world. It's gone. Where has it gone? It hasn't disappeared by Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein pouring a potion over people. It's gone because the administration has so offended the sensibilities of peace-loving, democracy-loving people that they simply have to take to the streets, or demand of their leaders to tell the Bush administration to stop and to think.
Americans should ask themselves_ Whose agenda, besides the Bush administration's, is served by a rush to war? The answer is Osama bin Laden's and those of the people like him. They don't care about the Iraqi people, or Saddam Hussein, but they are confident a deployment of raw, American military power in the Middle East will create more anti-American sentiment, which will help them. If you're falling into your enemy's trap, what's the hurry? Why aren't there smarter solutions? As journalists, these are the questions that we should be prompting the public to ask. Instead, I see coverage about the inevitability of war and the deployment. "