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Buying the War, Again?

Four months since our original broadcast of Buying the War and more than four years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, has the media's coverage of the Iraq war changed?

As President Bush continues to declare that Iraq has become the main battleground in the war on terror, NEW YORK TIMES public editor Clark Hoyt recently wrote a column criticizing the coverage of his paper, that it has not delved far enough into the intricacies of the enemy in Iraq:

Why Bush and the military are emphasizing al Qaeda to the virtual exclusion of other sources of violence in Iraq is an important story. So is the question of how well their version of events squares with the facts of a murky and rapidly changing situation on the ground.

But these are stories you haven’t been reading in THE TIMES in recent weeks as the newspaper has slipped into a routine of quoting the president and the military uncritically about al Qaeda’s role in Iraq - and sometimes citing the group itself without attribution.

And in using the language of the administration, the newspaper has also failed at times to distinguish between al Qaeda, the group that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, and al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, an Iraqi group that didn’t even exist until after the American invasion.

Oliver North, who has made 8 trips to Iraq with FOX News, agrees that most media outlets are not reporting the Iraq war accurately, but in a different way:

For nearly two years, the potentates of the press have been slavishly following liberal dogma and telling us that the war in Iraq is all but lost; that the region will never embrace democracy and that young Americans serving there are dying needlessly. Even before the “troop surge” was underway, they were telling us that it wouldn’t work. And since the final contingent of 28,500 additional troops arrived in theater two months ago most members of the Fourth Estate have tried to convince us that it has failed. Some of them may even believe it, but that doesn’t make it true.

What do you think?

-Is the media sufficiently reporting the truth about the war on the ground?
-Where do you turn for the latest information and analysis about the Iraq War?

Want to read the original blog discussion that helped to merit this rebroadcast? Click here.


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I wanted to comment how much I enjoy your show and most recently the exceptional interview with Ms. Nancy Youssef. As a retired Army Officer, I especially found her analysis and perspectives outstanding and correctly placed. Thank you for your superb analysis and informative programs.

as usual, history repeats itself.

democrats lose wars and republicans win wars.
how sad.

afghanistan can still be won... but it wont be.

again how ironic and sad.

Dear Mr. Moyers,
I have noticed that there has been a significant increase in the number of T.V. "news" programs, documentaries, books, magazine articles etc... discussing the illegitimacy of the war and the absurdity of the present government. It dawned on me that this much needed mirror for the people is having a possible unintended reaction. Apathy! I think that people have become so overwhelmed by the tragedies and the consequences of the actions of this administration that the majority simply don’t care.
My wife and I have been staunch opponents of the present government and its actions especially in the Middle East. As has been shown in countless ways, the present Republican administration, and in some respects parts of the media, have manipulated the American public who were already apathetic enough, to allow the atrocities to occur.
I remember that you had called for discussion on impeaching Mr. Bush and his administration a while ago. Why are people skirting this topic?
Back in the seventies, Mr. Nixon was taken out with less information than what we have now about Mr.’s’ Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their entire ilk.
It makes me ill just thinking about how this injustice is occurring and we let it go on.

I recently watched two similar movies by coincidence, “Blue State” and Lions for Lambs”. They made me hopeful, but I remain sceptical about our desire to better ourselves as a people.

I must admit that even here in Canada, our government is not too dissimilar to that in the U.S.A. What is it that makes power corrupt?

As an aside, I have always enjoyed your broadcasts and documentaries to which I was introduced when you interviewed Joseph Campbell for the “Power of Myth”. I thank you for your inspiration, wisdom, humanity and humility.


I. Cohen and L. Johnson
Salt Spring Island, BC

Having Vietnam ending before my educational deferment, I feel pretty confident in saying that choosing between the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines, The Air Force or Navy wins big time. In our current situation we have an unrivaled Air Force and Navy. They are capable of writing checks that the Army and Marines cannot cover.
Iraq is a perfect example we quickly defeated their Army but lacked the assets to occupy the country and keep law and order. As I recall this is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. We are simply keeping the lid on a boiling pot. I have no respect for Oliver North, he represents the people who profit from this War.
The Bush Administration has extended the "War on Terror" by his misguided military adventures. Israel has not been entirely successful in their efforts and we should take advice from them carefully. The British where entirely successful in dealing with the IRA. They made mistakes but learned from them, adapted and prevailed. We have made mistakes but Bush refuses to admit them. He should be impeached for the illegal ones. He broke laws that where laws for good reason, learned over hundreds of years of experience (torture). A Congress and Supreme Court (Scalia) that recognizes this would be a good start.
In Afganistan the Taliban is selling Heroine(Poppies) to support their effort against our Army and AQI has a safe haven in a country with a suspect history of securing their Nuclear Technology (Pakistan). Patereus has yet to prove his greatness our naivete, he will be tested running CENTCOM. Can we really afford to keep our Army tied up in Iraq.
Seems we have 2 choices. One, build our Army (double its size) to cover the checks our Air Force and Navy writes. Our decrease the size of Air Force and Navy to more closely a downsized Army can cover. This would of course mean that would need to mind our own business and not control the entire world. Would a Chinese Navy be tolerated patrolling our coast in International Waters like we patrol the Chinese Coast, I think not. Perhaps then we could afford Universal Single Payer Health Care, thereby better defending the American people. There is a lot of room to decrease defense spending.
I perfer the later, drop the Carrier Force to 4-5 rather the 11 and reduce the Air Force. Seems like we need to build fewer fighters more often rather more fighters less often. Our Jets are very old and landing on Carriers is hard.
I enjoyed the PBS Carrier show, I did not see it was pro Iraq War. The pilots seemed to have 2 attitudes: either shut and do your job or their assets are being wrongly used. Seemed the Admirals are starting to recognize dropping bombs is counter productive. It would be nice if Israel would recognize that. A bomb can hit a target precisely and it still kills innocent people. I was appalled when they used a Helicopter to kill a man in a wheelchair, this is a problem.

Dear Mr. Moyers,

Speaking of Democracy Now! (see Lou Thomas' post below), I heard your interview by Amy Goodman this morning on that show, and thought it was excellent. Among other things, it was interesting to hear how you view yourself as a journalist in relation to others. It was great hearing your speech Amy played that addressed integrity in the media - some of your critics here would benefit from a listen to it. I disagree with Lou Thomas, whose post I referenced above in that I don't think you should run away from PBS but rather stay and keep holding their feet to the fire. WE need to hold them accountable as well, and demand they broadcast Democracy Now! on PBS - after all, they're OUR airwaves.

That said, I admit to giving greater support to WPFW radio on the Pacifica network because they have no corporate or gov't sponsers, and it's disturbing that PBS gets support from corporations like Boeing. By the way, thanks for helping to pitch for WPFW's fund drive this morning!

It would be great if you would do a Journal with Amy Goodman. People need to know that there are alternatives and, as you know, she is a tireless and fearless, "un-imbedded", as she calls herself, reporter. Also, besides Noam Chomsky, who seems to be about the only person who speaks about the Iraqis' point of view and their rights, it would be great if you had a Journal about protest of the war. I know you did a segment on it, but it gets NO coverage other than C-SPAN, to the point that most people don't know what has gone on and continues here and around the world. From the big protests to on-going civil disobedience to small groups like here where I live who gather each week in the square for a peace vigil, voices are speaking out. But most of America doesn't know.

Thanks, Mr. Moyers, for all your work. I'm looking forward to reading your new book.

Vote for Peace!

While Bill Moyers is covering the buying of the war, PBS is SELLING the war through its new series "Carrier."

This is a mendacious recruitment ad for sucking young bodies into the military meat grinder. It makes military life look like a big vacation in exotic places throughout the world, rather than a one-way ticket to Iraq to kill and be killed for no other reason than some hypothetical geopolitical advantage for elites who do not give a damn about these young soldiers or anybody else.

PBS is broke, but that is no excuse for luring young people to their deaths. PBS should have been willing to shut down all PBS stations rather than airing a lying program like this.

The military gave unprecedented access to Mel Gibson's Icon productions to shoot this documentary, and they have not been disappointed. I'll quote from the Los Angeles Times:

The PBS series lands during an especially challenging time for military recruiters. As the unpopular Iraq war drags on, all branches of the military are finding it increasingly difficult to attract new volunteers. Although the Navy met its recruiting goals last year of approximately 37,000 and is on track to do so again this year, it's spending more money to achieve those figures. The Navy spent $169 million in advertising last year, compared to $117 million in the previous year.

But the series provides the Navy with a new and welcome platform to reach what Pentagon officials call the "influencers" -- the parents, relatives, teachers, coaches and other adults who help determine whether a young person ultimately signs up for the services. Several years ago, the Army developed a series of successful ads that specifically targeted adults who had no military experience -- not unlike PBS' audience pool.

Bill Moyers, you are too good to be involved with PBS any longer. I would urge you to run an expose on how PBS came to push this deadly military propaganda, and then to resign and continue your career on truly alternative media, like Democracy Now!

Republican college student Christina Provenzano (Jan. 6 @ 6:29pm) supports anything George W. Bush wants to do. She is sorry for our war dead
(4,000 acknowledged) in Iraq but is glad for those who "died for freedom." I would ask Christina if she is ready to die herself for the sort of erstatz freedom the Bush administration espouses. Is she ready for her brother or her boyfriend (if she is same sex oriented, her lover)to bleed to death or burn alive in mangled metal thousands of miles from home. Is she ready even to have her heart die for freedom on this Valentine's Day.
I wonder what sort of woman Christina could be. Is she a freshman away from home only 5 months, or a marketing major about to graduate and go looking for a career to pay her education loans? I wonder because it would not be an unusual letter from a naive girl from a conservative home. If so, she will probably wise up. What really worries me is if she is older and has received no critical thinking education in college, does not understand how profitable war is for certain interest groups, does not understand that their are Iraqi girls her age with all the passion and same emotional and material needs she has.
I rather think she is the kind of girl easily brainwashed in an economics class, who confuses history with a Ken Burns documentary, and denies the economic and ecological malaise our country faces. If I had to refer her to an authority to refute her rosie view of the surge I'd say seek out the analysis of retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a level headed and conservative soldier. If Christina perceives our media as balanced between liberal and conservative I feel sorry for her. My analysis is that Bill Moyers falls right in the logical middle of the political spectrum, but that moneyed interests (advertisers and underwriters) skew both access and the truth. Hardly anyone in the media gets closer to objective truth than Bill, but he's too careful to ever reach it.
Contrast immature and self-deceiving Christina with the mature awareness of Houston attorney Kathryn Kelber (Feb. 13 @ 7:39 pm).
I don't know Kathryn, but she may have been an insulated and conservative girl at one time. What makes a person care about their country and its people, about strangers overseas caught in the violence and chaos of an unnecessary war? I'm sure Kathryn could make a fine living pretending nothing was amiss. She succeeded in getting a premium education and that might have been enough to secure a materially rich existence and a comfortable retirement. She could have attracted a mate worthy of her station and had a rewarding personal life without these painful doubts and distractions. Somehow she got caught in a helping profession or an issue that tore the lid off what many would prefer never to see, and now she must campaign for justice and democracy.
Christina, I tell you with a great deal of caring love that there is more to patriotism than believing a slimy addicted President's lies, than volunteering to die for the promise of a green card or inadequate educational benefits, that real journalists are shot, killed and ruined everyday trying to bring you the truth that the National Association of Broadcasters, the Bush Administration and Blackwater USA don't want you to hear. I feel like good shepherd Jesus going off after a lost lamb here, but Christina, you will not enjoy the nightmare world you are creating with your artificial innocence. Mark my words, Christina Provenzano!
Sincerely, Grady Lee Howard

The wars, unreported or misrepoerted by the press in many instances, are but the fruits of 9/11, the essential casus belli which the press adamantly refuses to examine, supinely accepting the Administration's conspiracy theory. No analysis of the misreporting of the wars will serve to stop them, or stop our headlong course into what seems to be fascism, unless the impetus and excuse for the wars is thoroughly investigated and reported by the press. In fact, the press has from the outset been terrified of the issue for which there is now substanital credible evidence: that 9/11-- like the Gulf of Tonkin incident that provided the impetus for the Vietnam War-- is in fact another "false flag" incident. Credible evidence exists for those who take the time to examine the facts without preconceptions. (Red herrings, false leads, abd falsehoods also abound and must be carefully scrutinized, of course.) David Ray Griffin, In "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions" -- along with other critics-- has provided ample information and analysis as to the 9/11 Commission Report that is the basis of the Administration's conspiracy theory--and on examination it proves to be a politicized, disgraceful compendium of lies. Given that the need for a thorough, credible, and fearless reinvestigation of 9/11 is now a major controversy, and the mainstream media are adamant is refusing to present any of the responsible, reespectable, credentialed spokesmen who have provided scientific evidence, for example, of the falsity of the Bush Administration's own conspiracy theory as to the collapses of the THREE World Trade Towers, can this purported democracy still say that it has a "free press"?

The wars, unreported or misrepoerted by the press in many instances, are but the fruits of 9/11, the essential casus belli which the press adamantly refuses to examine, supinely accepting the Administration's conspiracy theory. No analysis of the misreporting of the wars will serve to stop them, or stop our headlong course into what seems to be fascism, unless the impetus and excuse for the wars is thoroughly investigated and reported by the press. In fact, the press has from the outset been terrified of the issue for which there is now substanital credible evidence: that 9/11-- like the Gulf of Tonkin incident that provided the impetus for the Vietnam War-- is in fact another "false flag" incident. Credible evidence exists for those who take the time to examine the facts without preconceptions. (Red herrings, false leads, abd falsehoods also abound and must be carefully scrutinized, of course.) David Ray Griffin, In "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions" -- along with other critics-- has provided ample information and analysis as to the 9/11 Commission Report that is the basis of the Administration's conspiracy theory--and on examination it proves to be a politicized, disgraceful compendium of lies. Given that the need for a thorough, credible, and fearless reinvestigation of 9/11 is now a major controversy, and the mainstream media are adamant is refusing to present any of the responsible, reespectable, credentialed spokesmen who have provided scientific evidence, for example, of the falsity of the Bush Administration's own conspiracy theory as to the collapses of the THREE World Trade Towers, can this purported democracy still say that it has a "free press"?

I think that it was good that you approached the subject that things may not be what they seem. However, I do not think I agree with you. Yes, I agree that the media can be influenced one way or another to propogate their own agenda. But the fact that you said they were so supportive of Bush from the beginning is hard for me to agree with. I am a Republican college student and I support President Bush. I feel as if he has been criticized from the moment that 9/11 happened. There were rumors that he caused it and he could have stopped it. When they showed the press conference that Bush had right after 9/11, they said that the administration had chose certain reporters to answer certain questions. I ask, what press conference doesn't have at least some set schedule to follow? I understand that he had written responses to the questions already planned out, but who wouldn't if you had the chance?

It seems as if the media continues to exploit whatever shred of “evidence” that they can find to trash the President of the United States/Administration. However, I do not know if they would treat any other President different. It seems like the media uses anything possible to promote their own agenda.

I do agree with the notion that the media is either a “carrier of administration's statements or critics of administration's statements.” However, I think ultimately, the media makes their own decision on what they promote. We have right wing television and left wing television. Both of them are promoting different agendas, and the agenda is whatever the media wants it to be. Any piece of information can be distorted to fit whatever belief they want it to. You can see the same news story on both channels and have the outcome and propogated information be completely different.

One last idea. I am completely saddened by the amount of lives that have been lost in this war. However, we cannot forget what a war is all about. A war in almost every case takes lives for its own. There is not a war where a life hasn't been lost. I feel deeply sympathetic for the families that lost sons, daughters, brothers, sisters in the war. But, I feel so proud to be a part of this country where men and women sacrifice their lives for freedom.

Mr. Moyer, although I appreciate your ideas and opinions, I feel that they are just that, opinions. It is obvious that you are against the war, and so obviously whether you like it or not, your information is automatically geared towards that belief. If I was speaking, I know that it would be the same situation reversed. Therefore, I leave you with this thought: When does the media ever really give you the whole story?

Billions of people around the world trying with all their actions and voices to change their leaders' policies.

Billions of people around the world not living the lives they could live.

billions of people around the world denying themselves peace, cooperation and humanity because their leaders say no.

Billions of people around the world dying to hear a yes from their leaders.

Dying because they are told no by their leaders.

Billions of people around the world who know how to cooperate, love, create peace and live their humanity are being told they can't by their leaders.

The billions of people around the world listen to their leaders.

The billions of people around the world do as they are told by their leaders.

They have to listen and do what their leaders say or what good would the leaders be?

What good are leaders that no one follows?

What good are the billions of people that don't follow their hearts and minds when they want cooperation, love, peace and humanity?

The absence of nuclear weapons
and the absence of a linkage between Saddam and al Qaeda was essentially a problem with our intelligence services. The
question is whether we should
have removed Hussein. First of
all, he and his likely successors were brutal, vicious, responsible for enormous violations of human rights and sitting atop an enormous supply of oil in a pivotal area of one of the least stable areas on the face of this earth. Democrats, when Saddam began to break the sanctions and frustrate these penalties for not allowing inspections and not following the letter of the peace treaty arrangements in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, said such things as "Why didn't we remove him when we had the troops over
there in the first place?" The program certainly didn't convince me that the Administration was mistaken when it tried to follow the 1998 resolution, endorsed by Congress and the Clinton Administration, in favor of regime change in Iraq. Once there we certainly should have begun with the right strategy once it was evident that an insurgency was underway. However, Bush and the Administration eventually found the right man for the job in General Petraeus. One reason that it took so long to change generals and strategy was, perhaps, that Bush was loath to micromanage the war in the same fashion as Mr. Moyer's former employer, LBJ, did in Vietnam. As the latter country is perpetually cited as the example of the type of quagmire into which we were stumbling in Iraq, we should recall that Vietnam had nothing to do with American vital interests; the conflict was responsible for the death of 50,000 troops instead of 3,000; and the ignominious withdrawal of troops from Vietnam was the result of a political decision made by the party representatives of the Democrats in Congress to cut off the funding to our troops. That decision has had a pernicious effect on American policy for more than four decades.

If Mr. Moyers has appointed himself to describe how we
were pushed into war by an
unscrupulous Administration, perhaps he should be recalling how Lyndon Johnson used the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in Vietnam. Did Mr Moyers
support Johnson's
predecessor when he articulated the noble goal of "bearing any burden, paying any price" to promote the cause of liberty? True, there has sadly been destruction and the loss of life in Iraq, but when everything is currently improving in Iraq
isn't it rather passe to have a rebroadcast of this

After having just seen "Buying the War" I am dismayed by several things. The first is that the MSM people interviewed really seem to be giving themselves a mild pat on the wrist while they proclaim their "mea culpas." However, what I did not see was why they have not applied this valuable lesson of being too lax in their investigative reporting to the current events. For example, on this 6th anniversary of 9/11, I have yet to see any real reporting on what this administration knew about al Qaeda's intentions before 9/11. I have yet to see any real discussion as to why such things like the "Downing Street memo" were not reported with any vigor.

While the MSM criticizes itself for its "group think" mentality before the war, it still engages in the same vapid journalistic behaviors. You would think that the MSM would realize how it's been played like a dog chasing a flashlight beam by the conservative press after the many factual errors that it engaged in during the "Whitewater" and Lewinsky witch hunts.

Another thing that greatly disappointed me was that there was no mention of people like Rachel Maddow, Al Franken, Sam Seder, Keith Olberman or any of the people that long before the war with Iraq were vigorously pointing to the many fallacies of this prewar propaganda blitz.

Lastly, I did not see any real discussion regarding the amount of sway that corporate ownership has had on both the news that is reported and the way that it is reported. Real news shows do not exist, but in their place outlets like CNN and MSNBC have substituted infotainment for news since that brings in revenue.

There is PEACE in Viet-Nam today because those innocent rice farmers are NOT listening to OUR LIES.
WE TOLD THEM that ''capitolism'' was ''good'' and ''communism'' was ''bad'' and we TOLD THEM to pick up OUR GUNS and MURDER each other for OUR POLITICS, or else WE would shoot them for ''Treason''.

Millions were murdered for OUR GREED to build missile silos.

WE were the EVIL in Viet-Nam... as WE are now in Iraq.

Forgive your children, they know not what they do.... just following orders.... like I was fool enough to do when I was too young to know that I had been LIED TO by the industrial military regime occupying Washington.

The MSM not only failed in the run up to the war in Iraq and subsequent events there, they are failing again in the run up to what looks like another war - Iran.

It would be very helpful if Bill Moyers Journal could do a segment on what would happen if the US provokes a war with Iran. BEFORE IT HAPPENS! The following article posted today reveals the interaction and alliances between China and Russia and how that connects to Iran. It's very scary stuff when viewed through the lens of the sabor rattling that this administration is doing.

Thank you a former? man of the cloth, you ought to know that attacks ad hominem are lacking in charity and do nothing to resolve issues that divide us.

Mr. Moyers, my 1965 high journalism class was a regret till I saw your "Buying the War" broadcast. Woodward and Bernstein live!!! I was using my 1968 Navy Aviation Electronics education in a 1976 Union Carbide "STAR WARS ROBOTICS" Physics Lab. DuPont now owns Union Carbide because of preventable Bhpol. I was one of those "nose to the grindstone" security clearance paycheck collectors at Union Carbide -- bigger than all but 7 countries in 1976 !!! When the Pentagon can put you in Federal Prison for violating the National Security Act, you pray that Karl Rove Type perpetrators ain't running the Pentagon. I thank GOD that Mr. Moyers knows how to be a journalist!!!
(1967 Military ID#
replaced by
Social Security #'s)

I believe all conspirators and war profiteers must take a war culture relic exanimation from last century.

That is let them live in those underground tunnels alone eating three meals of only tree roots in Vietnam while writing their reasoning to go to war. I believe that this essay should be put on the World Wide Web to conduct an open worldwide discussion. Let the citizens have a real say to decide what is good for them.

I believe we all live on one and only earth. The only earthen interest is to cultivate friendship with each other. The best method is using open knowledge to bridge difference. So how about let those war deciders to take reality exam then we watch their behaviours as “big brothers”.

The media has become a farce, with FOX leading the crew.

Know what is surprising, if anything anymore? It's that GWB's numbers are as high as they are, not that they are only circa 30% favourable. Now, of course, there are some comments on these various blogs which do point to the fact that they are not zero. Mind you, it is correct that GWB should not be compared to Hitler. Hitler he is not. Such comparisons, in fact, belittle the seriousness of the matter. Does one have to degenerate to the extent of becoming Hitler-like before the danger and insidiousness is recognized? It is precisely because GWB and his "Constitution be damned" ilk are definitely not Hitler-like that this whole thing is so insidious. Yes he still has as much as circa 30% support and the Democrats in congress (in charge to boot) are cowering ---- they say they don't have enough votes. Indeed, Clyburn has intimated that if Petraeus presents a positive report then the Democrats are in even bigger trouble due to the 47 so called blue dog democrats.

Remember: While Nero fiddled Rome burned. Now, no doubt, the U.S. Empire is modern ancient Rome. The mindless, superficial, titillating content that typifies so much of television is akin to Nero fiddling, as is the docility and acquiescence of the populace and thus the catatonic state of the congress.

Maybe Orwell is not so far fetched given the Bush/Cheney or should I say Cheney/Bush (at the least in foreign policy)administration's success in using fear, intimidation, the non-patriotic boogie-man and downright prevarication to commit real high crimes and misdemeanors without consequence. The performance of the media since 9/11, with specific regard to Iraq and things attendant, only heightens the cause for concern.

Nothing has changed. I've never seen so many closed minds. Want to hear about the war? Why have you adhered to only liberal/left sources? Many denigrate FoxNews, but they have more Democrat analysts than all the other news sources combined have Republican sources. Many worry about Civil Rights, while Liberals continue to be the major source of removing/restraining Civil Rights. You accuse the 95 percent liberal media of siding with Bush. You should see it from the other side. Impeachment? I agree, there should be impeachment proceedings, but of Congress, not the administration. Moyers throws in a small comment from Oliver North and considers that fair and balanced. Why did PBS refuse to show a documentary about Muslims that more accurately showed their agenda? Since PBS now airs commercials, there is no longer any reason to subsidize it. PBS fund raises half the time they are on the air. Where does all that money go? To the liberal/far left point of view and 40 year old Britcoms, and to unknown cooks/chefs. Time to let them make it on their own instead of spreading the liberal agenda without reasoned response or criticism. Enough.

Re these questions on press coverage of Iraq, and re this entity that's reportedly scheduled for opening in Iraq next month being referred to as the U.S. Embassy, what's the story? It seems more like a fortress. Is Iraq slated for a permanent Middle East outpost? Two words come to mind: Oil, Israel.

A series of unlikely (and seemingly Providential) circumstances occurred which allowed me to see the rerun of the impeachment program. I watched it with the same avid interest as the first time. It is an extremely rare occasion when I respond to the opportunity to comment regarding a TV pruduction, as I have now done with both programs.
This particular presentation strikes me as such an astonishingly well-presented (reasoned, shared-responsibility, well-spoken, adequately balanced emotional and intellectual responses)discussion that I kept thinking it should go on the road as a theatrical/educational production. I trust your opportunities to carry this dialogue, as is, to a much wider audience than PBS can provide, will occur soon and abundantly.

There was one other important piece of war propaganda that made me especially angry because it was on my beloved PBS. You may not have remembered so I've enclosed the transcript link:

Back in July 2002, the Wide Angle series aired here in Arizona for the first time, offering a show far more deadly than anything I had seen on Fox or in print justifying war with Iraq.
It was an outrageous 'documentary' called Sadaam's Ultimate Solution by Gwynne Roberts, hosted by James Rubin and ..guess who ..Richard Perle.

Aside from the fact that was all b.s., I hope you will look into how and why PBS aired that video. Especially in light of the fact that Roberts' had a past history of fabricating facts.

And who chose Perle to 'review' the film?

When PBS aired that I actually stopped supporting my local station because I felt it pushed the Bush Administration propaganda before checking its facts. I never believed for a second that Iraq had anything at all to do with 9-11.
How could PBS broadcast that on nationwide TV at such a sensitive time??

I was ashamed of PBS.

I listen to BBC, Democracy Now, Counterspin,Freespeech Radio, al Jazeera English, and most of all, our own local independent community radio. PBS's News Hour is now no better than the commercial networks.....everyone they interview is a beltway insider with an interest in the status quo. It is paid for by ATT, Chevron, etc.

To me, the worst part of the press' horrendous coverage of the Iraq occupation is its refusal to show the war from the perspective of Iraqi civilians and its "ethical" stance against showing explicit images of bloodshed on the grounds it would be "insensitive." Where was this "sensitivity" when they overtly incited mass industrialized slaughter?

With the purchase of The Wall Street Journal by Murdoch, I am terrified of how much more disturbing the state of our anemic democracy can get.

I so appreciate this discourse, but I am once again left asking WHAT CAN I DO???
I vote, I give to my limit if financial support, but I feel powerless. What we are living is so wrong but PLEASE what can I do????

Every time i view the Bill Moyers Journal i always learn something. Today I learned that as a citizen of the United States I am not well informed about my civil liberties. I am not even close to understanding how the politics work in our society. There is so much i should learn. where do i begin. Our system is so complicated;so many laws and rules. It can be very confusing. I was not able to understand some of the conversation because most of it was alien to me. But, i do know this. Something is very wrong! I do believe that president Bush should get impeached. So that he can then accept his mistakes and move on with correcting what can be corrected. Thank you so much for your program. I love it.

"On Buying The War?" Actually, Bill, the title of your journal and book should be "On Journalist Hiding From The War," Come on, fashionable isn't it for you to discuss how the electonic and print media were suckered into believing the Bush Administrations lack of evidence leading to the invasion of Iraq. I'm sure there was at least one, two or more credible sources that you personally could have consulted for reliable information in 2001 and thereafter. You would have stood out among the crowded herd of journalist for your investigative independent journalism. I see, suddenly, a light went on in your head that you should question the reliability of so called Iraqi experts. Why didn't you come forward after September 9/11 about the unwillingness of the so called journalist to check the White House version of events in Iraq before US troops invaded Iraq in the first and second Gulf War. Does this comment sting Bill? Then realize the sting my sister received after learning her son died in Afghanistan. You and your fellow journalist who sit in the comfort of their office and home writing books and capitalizing financially on how journalist failed to check the White House version of events in Iraq. How do I know the version of events in your PBS journal and book is accurate?
You personally will never know the sting of death from a US lead war in Iraq which could've have been avoided.

- Is the media sufficiently reporting the truth about the war on the ground?

I really don't know, Bill. I still peruse the NY Times, SF Chronicle, Truthdig, dailykos and watch the Bill Moyers journal to help me discern the "truth" but I believe I'm not getting sufficient, accurate information to help me decipher what exactly is going on in Iraq. In short order I feel our nation's media has failed and continues to do so on getting out the truth on many of the most important issues of the day. Our culture has been poisoned by FOX and Rupert Murdoch who've injected their own political beliefs into the reporting of news. It's terrifying.

- Where do you turn for the latest information and analysis about the Iraq War?

I turn to the outlets I already listed in the first question. But I deem it insufficient. I feel for the first time that I don't know which outlets are the best to learn the "truth" about Iraq and am forced to stick with a political perspective that fits my feelings.

How sad that anyone believes anything that comes from a president who was appointed not elected. Where were all those who believed in democracy on that awful day. Why wasn't there a revolt?

Now, after damage to the economy, integrity and the ability of Americans, to say nothing to the creation of a terrifying new world, nobody is asking for the promised benefits to the end of the cold war. In fact, the cold war will seem a calm interlude.

All this so Blackwater could pay a fortune to its recruits and the American government pays peanuts to its. Halliburton, KRB and Exxon are rich beyond their wildest dreams and America is so far in debt it can't see the sky. It isn't sad. It isn't tragic. It is simply beyond belief.

August 7, 2007
Dear Mr. Moyers:
After watching "Buying the War" tonight, I still find it incredible that so many journalists and other sophisticated people were taken in by the Bush Administration propaganda.
By the way, I was one of those 200,000 anti-war demonstrators in Washington, DC, just weeks before "shock and awe" began. Through the streets of Washington I carried a placard with the slogan "Mr. Bush, just listen." This message had been supplied by a Pakistani lawyer and old friend whom I had e-mailed in Karachi for a suggestion. Unfortunately neither Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney nor other government officials have listened to the American people about this senseless, cruel war.
It is little comfort that they may have eavesdropped on my calls
and e-mails to Pakistan, Canada, and other countries. This snooping is a blatant violation of my constitutional rights, which alas! our newly elected Democratic Congressmen appear too timid to protect. Are they afraid to be called "soft" on terrorism? (cf. the McCarthy era fear of being labeled "soft on communism"). Why are so many elected officials willing to diminish our constitutional rights whenever the word "terrorist" is uttered? Maybe this would be a productive avenue to explore.
Ann Barcher, Esq.

The mainstream media has been rubberstamping this Administation's b.s. about the war since before it began, and I don't expect anything to change. I get my news on the web -,, TruthOut, Alternet,, and this blog are the places to start. The only journalists I trust are Sy Hersh, Greg Palast, Keith Olbermann and you, Mr. Moyers - but I keep my eye on all of you, ha ha! I'd add Jon Stewart and Michael Moore if they were journalists instead of artists.

I'm trying to joke about a serious situation, and it IS serious. Since Judith Miller was allowed to destroy The Times and everyone on network and cable news has sold out to the owners of the Republican party, it's up to the people to scrape up our own information and post it on blogs. Even outlets like PBS and NPR have been affected, as you well know. Every now and then an editor or a columnist will show signs of consciousness (Man, do I miss Molly Ivins) or publish a book that tells the truth about George W.'s Mess-opotamia, but then something happens like the AFL-CIO debate tonight and I lose hope.

Tonight's debate was clearly won by Dennis Kucinich. Is anyone saying that? No. Will anyone acknowledge him as the first candidate to have a universal health care policy? No. Will any of the commentators talk about the Dept. of Peace? Use of hemp for fuel, clothing, paper and medicine? No. Did anyone say "Impeach" even once? I didn't hear it. If I have to watch Chris Matthews breathlessly displaying his boy-crush on George Bush on his reddened face while criticizing Hillary for having a female voice, I'll scream.

We don't just lack information, we lack common sense. The analysis of the news is pathetic. The essential nature of the press is that when a politician lies to us, the reporter is supposed to tell us what the real deal is. That's not partisanship - it's stating facts. Yet the only time they pretend to do this is when they're doing a hit-piece about someone who has opposed the Administration.

We have become a fascist state, but everyone is afraid to say it lest they be labeled an "extremist." I submit that the extremists are already in power and it will take extreme action to undo the damage being done to us all right now.

Should we be in Iraq? Let's think about this - should we have invaded a sovereign state that posed no threat to us, killed nearly a million people and set up what may be a permanent occupation? NO. We violated American and International law by going in there, and every minute we stay we are in the wrong. Sooner or later, we'll pay dearly for this, so I say let's get out and start doing what we can to get the rest of the world to clean up our mess. Move those troops home, send fresh troops to Darfur and ask the UN to send troops to help the Iraqis. We broke that country and we can't fix it - we can only cut our losses and get out of the way.

The real story you should all be shouting about is election reform. The Republicans stole the last two presidential elections - AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL Elections! The magnitude of that is awesome, but everyone thinks it "can't happen here." It did happen and it will again. They're going to steal another one if we don't act now. Karl Rove is laughing at the Democrats who think they can beat rigged machines. They let Congress go in 2006 because they knew the Dem Congress would still be too weak to stop them. It was a strategic loss to make us believe we could defeat them when it counts. We can't.

When is your next story on election fraud?

You should release this as a documentary and run it in theaters across the country. The limited scope (and airings) of loyal PBS viewers limits the viewing of this show.

This is remarkable reporting and a message that deserves a broader audience than fund-raisers for PBS.

Like IFC, HBO and Sundance, you really have an opportunity to appeal to a broad audience with a powerful message beyond the scope of your current reach.

Thank you PBS.

Where would I go for news about the war? Real news? I'd have a more accurate awareness if I could read the wind. There is no news and now that Rupert Murdock purchased Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, he will, IMHO, manipulate uninformed Americans and influence their investments; sending them to BuchCo war profiteers who will feed the Global War-Machine, and at the same time, Murdock & friends will take advantage of the real-time profits to be had. "Buyer-beware" was never more true than in these times.

We won the war in a couple weeks, we've been losing a hostile occupation ever since. The puppet government we established will fall as soon as we leave regardless of any surges and the length of our occupation.

The administration lied about the threat posed by Iraq and they've lied non-stop since their invasion, "last throes", "a few deadenders", "they'll follow us home".

The administration latches on to a simple scary theme and keeps pounding it home and they've intimidated the press and Democrats - most of whom are still afraid to confront them and call them the liars they are. Remember the swiftboating of Kerry and the vilification of Murtha, both of whom served this nation in combat - and both of them trashed for criticizing the hypocritical lying chickenhawks who created this disaster.

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