Stop it Now
By Debi Smith
"Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization." --George Bernard Shaw
02/13/07 "ICH " -- -- The news media has been focusing an astounding amount of attention on the death of a former playboy playmate and troubled reality tv star. No offense to the memory of Anna Nicole Smith, or to her friends, family, loved ones, and fans. Truly.
It's understandable that news outlets would report her death. And yes, her death was more than a mere bicycle accident. But on the day after her death was reported, it was still "Breaking News", on every "news" channel, and front page news in hundreds of papers.
……….It went on and on, and is still going on several days later.
Yes, it's tragic that she died, but what about the troops dying in Iraq almost every single day? Do they get the kind of attention that Smith's death, and life, have garnered? Are their lives, and deaths, less meaningful?
…..Let's start with writing The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX (it never hurts to try), asking them to give as much focus and space to the brave men and women in the military who are dying nearly every day, as much time and space as they are giving to Anna Nicole Smith (or whatever celebrity or drivel that is taking up news space at the moment).
And tell them to start asking the difficult questions about this war, and about the escalating talk (all a replay of what came before we invaded Iraq) of war or air attacks against Iran.
Imagine what might happen if hundreds, or thousands, or hundreds of thousands of us demanded this from our news media?
I'd like to personally commit to Molly's old fashioned campaign by posting weekly reports about the people dying in this illegal invasion to different locations on the internet.
I will do so out of respect for the deceased, out of care for the living, and out of hope that in some small way it can help make the unnecessary dying stop. The focus will mostly be on American troop deaths, but will also hopefully begin to include information on coalition and Iraqi deaths as well.
I begin here by recognizing members of the United States Military who died in Iraq--as reported by the Department of Defense--in the first seven days of February 2007.
……Sgt. Randy J. Matheny, 20, of McCook, Neb., died Feb. 4 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
…….Spc. Eric R. Sieger, 18, of Layton, Utah, died Feb. 1 at Buritz, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over.
These men and women--someone else's son or daughter, father or mother, husband or wife, friend or lover--deserve our attention, and the attention of the news media. As do all the other men and women still in Iraq.
To the nineteen men and one woman listed above, who died in the space of a week, and to all those who have died needlessly before you, may your lives and sacrifice be recognized, appreciated, and mourned appropriately.
In your memory, in memory of the estimated 650,000 Iraqi civilians who have died since 2003, and for all those still fighting in, and living amidst, this illegal war, our rally cry will be: STOP IT NOW.
Debi Smith will continue reporting on this issue until it is no longer necessary to do so. If you would like to contribute information about the lives of the men and women needlessly sacrificed in this illegal war, please feel free to contact Debi at firstname.lastname@example.org