By The Progressive on November 23, 2005
Bush Targets Al Jazeera? CNN Head Should Get Job Back
By Matthew Rothschild

November 23, 2005

Remember Eason Jordan, the CNN news chief who was forced to resign back in February because he dared to say, at a private conference, that the United States had killed about a dozen journalists in Iraq?

Well, he’s looking a lot better today, one day after the Daily Mirror reported that George W. Bush wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera headquarters in Doha, the capital city of Qatar. “He was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair,” the Daily Mirror said.

The paper said it had a new “top secret” Downing Street Memo that contains a transcript of the Bush-Blair conversation of April 16, 2004.

It has the ring of truth to it.

After all, Donald Rumsfeld has harped on Al Jazeera in none too subtle ways. “We are dealing with people who are willing to lie to the world to make their case," Rumsfeld said. (He’s one to talk.) And he said Al Jazeera is “Johnny-on-the-spot a little too often for my taste.”

The Daily Mirror story also has the ring of truth to it because the United States bombarded Al Jazeera’s Baghdad office when the war started. Al Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayyoub died in that assault.

“Journalists with Al Jazeera have complained of harassment and detention since their first unembedded encounters with U.S. troops,” writes David Enders in the September issue of The Progressive. His article, “Reporters in the Cross Hairs,” notes that Al Jazeera reporters have been detained at Abu Ghraib and “subjected to hooding, forced to stand naked, and abused with water.”

That the U.S. has killed journalists in Iraq is undeniable. The Committee to Protect Journalists notes that 13 journalists have fallen under U.S. fire.

These facts don’t get Eason Jordan his job back.

And they don’t get us a President with any sort of moral compass.

That Bush would even contemplate bombing a news organization because he doesn’t like its coverage shows just how maniacal this man has become.

Who is going to stop him the next time he comes up with another harebrained idea like that?

Hold on to your cowboy hats.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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