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      Wednesday
      May302012

      NBC Know-Nothings Trash Chris Hayes

      Chris HayesI have always sensed that Chris Hayes was more centrist than a typical Nation progressive, and marveled at his ascendancy within mainstream media’s punditry. Looks like Chris crossed the secret but official line, however, when he spoke up for the freedom to voice anti-war views on NBC’s Memorial Day broadcast.

      Like snarling little whippets, NBC’s so-called “liberal pundits” Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Nancy Snyderman called Hayes a “weenie” and forced him to apologize.

      The awful truth is that the mainstream media, including NBC, misled the American public into supporting the Iraq War and hired numerous military and intelligence experts to give the nightly narration to anxious Americans. To my knowledge, not a single organ of the mainstream media ever had the guts to advocate getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan, where 6,469 Americans troops and an additional 2,852 contractors have lost their lives.

      I hope there is an enormous guilt in the mainstream media and among our leading policy-makers for this moral and analytical default, which has led to so many needless deaths. If there is no way to remember that as part of Memorial Day, we are bound to continue our blindness. As Cindy Sheehan tried to ask President Bush almost a decade ago, “What noble purpose did my son Casey die for?” We still await an answer.

      Demonizing someone like Chris Hayes suggests a cowardly fear among some of being held accountable for their silence.

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      Reader Comments (2)

      It's a shame that the rich people in this country continue to use the blood and suffering of young Americans as a campaign slogan. There is nothing good about war. No war should ever be started, because wars of aggression are by definition an international war crime. The same people who loudly insist that everyone in the military must be called a "hero" themselves ducked service in the military, and would never think of allowing their kids to sign up. Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich. Five-Deferment Dick Cheney. Champagne national guard George W. Bush who "elected" to sit out the war in Texas. And of course neither Mitt Romney nor any of his five strapping sons served in our military. Mitt Romney ducked service and spent his time in Paris on a "mission." Presumably in search of the best brie.
      I know lots of military people. I know people who came from poor families and joined the military to escape a life without opportunity. They joined the military, got training, got a career, and could not be happier. I know people who joined the military and got sent through college, medical, dental, and/or law school. So it does offer a great opportunity. There is also a strong community that develops among military families, something that no longer exists in most of the country. That too has great value.
      Some military people suffer from alcohol and drug addiction, domestic violence, despair, depression, and suicide. It is a violent culture, macho, and it can cause people great distress if they do not have a moral ground to keep them from falling into that pit. By calling everyone a hero, it probably increases the stress on those who know that much of what is done by our nation in occupying these foreign countries is far from heroic.
      So Chris Hayes was right. Not everyone in the military is a hero. But the blame for our wars of aggression does not lie with the military. It sits firmly in D.C., with the politicians who start, fund, support these wars of aggression and are paid enormous kick-backs from the defense industry as a thank you. Apparently the politicians don't have PTSD, and don't care how many people are maimed or die. Are they all sociopaths?
      As far as Chris Hayes' meteoric rise: his wife is or was counsel inside the Obama administration, so I suspect those connections might explain his sudden success. He does a good job, and I like his work, but he's also getting a much bigger salary than he would writing for publications like the Nation and In These Times. Along with the big bucks comes the obligation to do as he is told. I'm sure he's learned the lesson.
      It's too bad that our politicians have so little respect for the military, for the lives they have destroyed by the insanity of these wars. There is nothing in our law which authorizes the government to start a war of aggression. The constitution refers to providing for the common defense -- not offense. Any war of choice, including pursuant to all these treaties like Nato, should be submitted to voter approval before one bullet is sent to another nation. We need strict limits to prevent the government from continuing to loot our nation, crush our people into poverty, and plunder the world's resources on behalf of the multinational corporations.

      June 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNABNYC

      an insuperable, redoubtable post, NABNYC. thank you for affording us the pleasure of reading such a concise and eloquent blog.

      June 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjeanie mceachern

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