PEACE ACTION AGAINST 'WAR WITHOUT END'
Peace Action in conjunction with its largest state affiliate, California Peace Action, launched a Metro ad campaign in Washington, D.C., aimed at challenging the Bush administration's policy of "war without end" and the targeting of nations for pre-emptive attack.
The ad features the image from the "I want you for U.S. Army" Uncle Sam recruiting poster from World War I. However this poster's text reads: "Members of Congress: I Want You To Promote a Foreign Policy Built on Democratic Values." The ad lists a four-point program to enhance American security while maintaining core values:
-- Promote human rights and democracy,
-- End the nuclear threat,
-- Cooperate with the world,
-- Alleviate extreme poverty
The Metro ads are designed to communicate a growing public concern directly to members of Congress by demanding a foreign policy based on core democratic values, according to Peace Action, which calls itself the nation's largest disarmament organization.
A two-week door-to-door mobilization in 25 congressional districts in California occurred last month. California Peace action says it wants to reach 350,000 households by the end of the year.
"Congressional representatives are failing in the most profound sense if they don't aggressively challenge the madness of targeting nations for pre-emptive nuclear attack," says Peter Ferenbach, executive director of California Peace Action.
The Metro ads complement a newspaper ad campaign and nationwide grassroots mobilization to challenge the Bush Administration's policy of "war without end."
The effort, in coalition with 58 other peace, justice and faith-based groups, has included newspaper ads in 10 key California congressional districts urging people to contact Congress and register their desire for a true, lasting security.
A similar ad in The New York Times is planned.
"Using highly subjective criteria, President Bush is claiming the right to
pre-emptively attack any country he labels 'terrorist,'" Ferenbach says.
-- Should Americans support the "war without end?"
-- Have members of Congress been too complacent about the Bush administration's foreign policy and war on terror?
ARE WE READY TO CONFRONT?
With six years of access to highly classified CIA information about Osama bin Laden, Rep. Porter J. Goss, a Republican from Florida, has come to some bold conclusions about the Sept. 11 attacks, The Washington Post reports.
"Should we have known? Yes, we should have. Could we have known? Yes, I believe we could have because of the hard targets" CIA operatives were tracking, Goss says.
Those two assertions might be taken as a stark condemnation of the $30 billion U.S. intelligence community, which includes the CIA, the FBI and a host of other top-secret agencies.
But Goss, a 10-year CIA veteran well-respected by the agency, the Bush administration and his colleagues on the House and Senate intelligence committees, doesn't mean it that way.
After all, he said, no one else -- not himself, not Congress, not successive administrations, not the American public -- was willing to do what was required to confront the threat. "You read the file and you say, 'Why didn't we listen?'" Goss says.
Yesterday, the committee in a closed-door session, heard from its first outside witness, Richard A. Clarke, who was President Bill Clinton's anti-terrorism coordinator and is President Bush's cyberspace security adviser. During the Clinton years, Clarke had warned repeatedly about al Qaida's plans to attack U.S. targets.
Clarke gave committee members a timeline of events and information about al Qaida and other terrorist groups, and he juxtaposed all of that with the U.S. government's response to the information, according to panel members, the Post reports.
He went into detail about "planes as weapons," says Rep. Timothy J. Roemer, a Democrat from Indiana.
Although there will no doubt be revelations about intelligence failures along the way no bombshells or clear smoking guns have been discovered among the hundreds of thousands of pages of documents the committee staff has culled from a half-dozen intelligence agencies, according to Goss.
-- Were Americans willing to do what was required to confront the threat before Sept. 11?
-- Are Americans willing to do what's required to confront the threat and pay for it since Sept. 11?
SHOULD THE NEWS GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT?
At a commencement address to at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, Pat Mitchell, the president and chief executive officer of the Public Broadcasting Service, said, "We haven't fought for freedom, advanced democracy and sent satellites into space simply to sell products or beam images worldwide of Americans eating bugs."
"If my friends in commercial television are to be believed, these graduates -- the best young communicators America has to offer, are why Julia Roberts' love life is more important than Vladimir Putin's reforms," Mitchell wrote in USA Today.
According to Mitchell, the graduates are already members of the fabled
18-to-34-year-old demographic -- "the masters of the TV universe."
"They are why contestants who are kicked off CBS's "Survivor" one night are interviewed on the next day's morning shows in the time slot usually reserved for newsmakers and world events, the reason for NBC's "Fear Factor," and why my friend Ted Koppel nearly got dumped for David Letterman," Mitchell said.
The giant companies that own the networks covet these viewers because advertisers want them, hoping to court young adults before they develop strong brand loyalties.
So advertisers will pay far more to reach those 18 to 34 than to target, say, those older than 55.
Mitchell said that this demographic doesn't care much about government, politics, foreign countries or serious journalism. Instead, their interests include stories about places to go and things to do; health and fitness; career and workplace issues; computers, the Internet and celebrity news.
For Mitchell, this trend reached its apex when CNN's "TalkBack Live" did a feature in March about the 51 journalists who died in the line of duty in 2001. To discuss this tragedy and the reasons journalism is so much more dangerous today, "TalkBack Live" had a special guest: actress Andie MacDowell.
"Why? Because in a new movie, "Harrison's Flowers," MacDowell plays the wife of a photojournalist missing in Yugoslavia," Mitchell said. "She's thoughtful and engaging but far from an expert on the subject."
-- Should the media give the audience what it wants or what it needs to know?
-- Is the marketing theory that people create brand loyalty when young and maintain it throughout life outdated?