The following is my response to an unsolicited email I received via my website. I was actually in the midst of writing something about the war when I received it. The writer simply gave me a body to mold my writings around.
This is the first part of what will be a many part essay, backed up with factual information readily available to anyone in the world. Because of this, I have dubbed my essay
The Truth About The War in Iraq.
To be perfectly honest, I welcome your input and your viewpoint from Canada. However, you should be prepared for my response as a proud American. Just as my country, I’m not one to allow others to tell me what is best for me, especially when I feel they are not completely aware of the entire situation. I will address your unsolicited (yet welcomed) letter with my views as a proud American who loves his country.
To address your comments, do I believe Hollywood’s masters of deceit (otherwise known as actors) are entitled to speak their opinions? Yes. Do I believe celebrities should be allowed to use their fame to manipulate the views of others by portraying false pretense that they are the representing the views of the whole country in which they reside? Politicians are elected by a vote of the entire populous of the area in which they are presiding. Funny, thinking back to the last time I voted, I don’t recall seeing Martin Sheen on the ballet. And last time I checked, none of the celebrities in question had a degree in political science, let alone a bachelor’s Bachelors Degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School like President Bush. In fact, very few anti-war celebs have even attended a college. It’s obvious the anti-war celebrities have a self centered agenda of profit maximization, especially since the most outspoken among them refuse to debate their opinions in a public forum (a very good article dealing with Saddam’s cruelty, btw).
Furthermore, the fact their opinion is being given any more weight than a normal citizen, or better yet, a citizen with friends/family/loved ones currently overseas, or a member of the American Armed Forces is absolutely ludicrous. If starring in a movie qualifies you to be a politician, then as an athlete regularly televised on ABC, Outdoor Life, and ESPN, I am qualified to run the next Summer Olympics. It’s a formula that doesn’t compute in any country, let alone mine. Personally, I think the gas guzzling SUV driving, primped and padded, anti-war celebrity population should be sent to Iraq for a while to see examples of Saddam’s cruelty firsthand. Maybe after they view some examples of the electric shock, rapes, beatings, and psychological pain inflicted to people on a daily basis, they will actually stop to think for two seconds. These anti-war celebrities, whose morals are based on maximizing their own profits, not to mention “trying to be hip” (Janeane Garofalo’s exact words) and simply displaying their hatred for President Bush, do not represent a majority of the U.S. population. Other celebrities will tell you the same. Enough about the anti-war celebrities, they and their self-centered agendas disgust me.
I have a hunch that while reading the previous paragraphs, you thought or said aloud to yourself, “he’s using all biased, U.S. media to make his point.” Let’s analyze what you wrote to me for a moment. You are Canadian (that’s my presumption anyway). You attend a Canadian University. You said our media (CNN, USA Today, etc.) is “horribly one-sided”. Of course you’re going to say it’s our media that is one sided. After all, how could it be your country whose media is one sided?
Just to get an idea of the media you talk of (or at least I believe you’re talking of) I tuned in to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation a few nights.
On March 28, at 8 PM Central Standard Time, the CBC was being shown on C-SPAN. Judging from the rhetoric used during the entire broadcast, its easy to see why you think it is only the American Media that is biased. The broadcast started by stating that the U.S. is not prepared for the “thousands of casualties” we will endure. On the topic of psychological warfare (Psyops), their so-called “expert” stated that the “U.S. ploy to not harm Iraqis is all lies.” I found it very humorous that your so-called expert on Psyops used the movie Apocalypse Now (ironically starring Martin Sheen, a blatant anti-war celebrity) as an example of how Psyops doesn’t work (despite thousands of Iraqis surrendering in the first war with pamphlets found on them). Your “expert” went on to further denounce American efforts to avoid casualties. “It is not an effort to save lives. It is not an effort by the Americans as “good people”. It is not that at all. It is simply used to win the war faster.”
I could go on and on about the CBC, and what I viewed. True, this is the only Canadian T.V. Station I viewed, since it is the only one available. I must say, if this is the similar to the rest of Canadian Media, I’ve seen enough. It was so incredibly biased, attempting to undermine U.S. actions at every opportunity, I swore for a minute I was watching an English version of Al Jazeera.
I actually do my best to view other media from around the world to attempt to understand how we are perceived. The language barrier prevents a bit of a challenge at times, but thanks to Google’s helpful toolbar with a built in translator, I can translate Germany’s Speigel, and other media outlets from around the world. Thankfully, France Daily and the BBC are in English, so I have no trouble reading about what “war criminals” my countrymen are. You actually don’t have to read the BBC to know where they stand on the war. Mark Damazer, the deputy director of BBC News stated in a recent interview, “Although it’s unquestionably true that we make mistakes, and on a daily basis, we don’t only make them in [a pro-war] direction,”. Of course, this statement was made during Guardian Unlimited interview during a meeting of Media Workers Against the War that he was attending. Media is all perception, with everyone trying to blur the line between fact vs. fiction, and what they want others to believe.