FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Something’s Happened

 

It’s not just Cindy Sheehan.

Something has happened in the country in the last few weeks.

Suddenly the deaths of Americans in Iraq are being recognized and talked about.

You could tell here in Philadelphia when the local TV news programs featured lengthy stories on the funeral plans of the half dozen National Guard troops who were killed recently.

You could tell too by a new attitude among the local reporters themselves.

All four of the broadcast network affiliates, including the local Fox station, sent reporters out to cover the August 17 candlelight vigil in support of Sheehan. All chose to send their crews to a church in Philadelphia’s integrated Germantown section, where a Methodist church had announced a vigil as part of the MoveOn/True Majority-organized nationwide event.

Hosting that gathering was Celeste Zappala, who lost a foster son in Iraq in April, 2004 (the same month Sheehan’s son Casey was killed), and who is a co-founder with Sheehan of Gold Star Mothers.

When the reporters from the network affiliates interviewed her, and heard her speak movingly about the losses being suffered because of a war based upon lies for which so many reasons have been given and then debunked or rejected, there were tears in some of their eyes.

There were no hard-edged, cynical questions about motives or politics.

Something has happened.

The stories that ran late that evening, juxtaposed appropriately next to reports on the funerals and on the latest devastating bombing of a bus depot and a hospital in Baghdad that killed 43, were sober and respectful. No references to “’60s graybeards.” No effort to scare up some small bunch of counterdemonstrators for “balance.”

The national media may still be more timid about stories critical of the administration. The N.Y. Times buried its story on the nationwide vigil on an inside page, as did the Philadelphia Inquirer locally, leaving it to USA Today to give the story the page one prominence it deserved based upon simple news value.

That was why the local coverage was so important all around the country. Closer to the ground, away from the self-important editors of the national media, who seem to have trouble realizing they aren’t part of the government, editors and reporters are picking up the groundswell of opposition to the war that is building with every new coffin unloaded at Ft. Dix.

You could see it in the street-hardened white Philly cop who, as he drove slowly down the cobblestoned Germantown Avenue pathway between the two rows of hundreds of candle-holding vigil-goers, made a peace sign with his fingers.

Something has happened.

N.Y. Times columnist Frank Rich may have jumped the gun and oversimplified when he wrote last week that someone needs to tell the president the war is over. It’s certainly far from over. But its days are clearly numbered.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 24, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
A Letter From Iowa
Jim Kavanagh
Aftermath: The Iran War After the Soleimani Assassination
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Camp by the Lake
Chuck Churchill
The Long History of Elite Rule: What Will It Take To End It?
Robert Hunziker
A Climate Time Bomb With Trump’s Name Inscribed
Andrew Levine
Trump: The King
James Graham
From Paris, With Tear Gas…
Rob Urie
Why the Primaries Matter
Dan Bacher
Will the Extinction of Delta Smelt Be Governor Gavin Newsom’s Environmental Legacy?
Ramzy Baroud
In the Name of “Israel’s Security”: Retreating US Gives Israel Billions More in Military Funding
Vijay Prashad
What the Right Wing in Latin America Means by Democracy Is Violence
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Biden’s Shameful Foreign Policy Record Extends Well Beyond Iraq
Louis Proyect
Isabel dos Santos and Africa’s Lumpen-Bourgeoisie
Nick Pemberton
AK-46: The Case Against Amy Klobuchar
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Promtheus’ Fire: Climate Change in the Time of Willful Ignorance
Linn Washington Jr.
Waiting for Justice in New Jersey
Ralph Nader
Pelosi’s Choice: Enough for Trump’s Impeachment but not going All Out for Removal
Ted Rall
If This is a Democracy, Why Don’t We Vote for the Vice President Too?
Mike Garrity – Jason Christensen
Don’t Kill 72 Grizzly Bears So Cattle Can Graze on Public Lands
Joseph Natoli
Who’s Speaking?
Kavaljit Singh
The US-China Trade Deal is Mostly Symbolic
Cesar Chelala
The Coronavirus Serious Public Health Threat in China
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Must Remain Vigilant and on Guard Against US Hybrid Warfare
Robert Fantina
Impeachment as a Distraction
Courtney Bourgoin
What We Lose When We Lose Wildlife
Mark Ashwill
Why Constructive Criticism of the US is Not Anti-American
Daniel Warner
Charlie Chaplin and Truly Modern Times
Manuel Perez-Rocha
How NAFTA 2.0 Boosts Fossil Fuel Polluters, Particularly in Mexico
Dean Baker
What Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace With Productivity
Mel Gurtov
India’s Failed Democracy
Thomas Knapp
US v. Sineneng-Smith: Does Immigration Law Trump Free Speech?
Winslow Myers
Turning Point: The new documentary “Coup 53”
Jeff Mackler
U.S. vs. Iran: Which Side are You On?
Sam Pizzigati
Braggadocio in the White House, Carcinogens in Our Neighborhoods
Christopher Brauchli
The Company Trump Keeps
Julian Vigo
Why Student Debt is a Human Rights Issue
Ramzy Baroud
These Chains Will Be Broken
Chris Wright
A Modest Proposal for Socialist Revolution
Thomas Barker
The Slow Death of European Social Democracy: How Corbynism Bucked the Trend
Nicky Reid
It’s Time to Bring the War Home Again
Michelle Valadez
Amy Klobuchar isn’t Green
David Swanson
CNN Poll: Sanders Is The Most Electable
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Our Dire Need for “Creative Extremists”—MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Robert Koehler
FBI, King and the Tremors of History
Jill Richardson
‘Little Women’ and the American Attitude Toward Poverty
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail