Re: Is the media responsible for the war in Iraq?

In some aspects, yes, most of the media weren't giving the opposition to the war any credence.  The McClatchy Newspaper Group did have reports that contrasted the official line about Iraq being linked with al-Qaeda, but that get a lot of attention.  Many people in the news media were basically cheerleaders - we'd been attacked and Saddam Hussein was a bad man who hated America.  Since these are two different and unrelated statements, the Bush Administration did much to connect the two.  Much of the media paid little attention to the people protesting our going into Iraq prior to the war.  It didn't take someone with a lot of foreign policy experience to realize that there wasn't a tie between Hussein and al-Qaeda.  The Bush administration took advantage of the post 9/11 sentiments of most Americans, cherry-picking intelligence, and the claims that it would take very little time to overrun the Iraqi army (plus all those flowers that the Iraqis were supposed to throw at our troops).


The lesson that media should learn from the run-up to Iraq is that they need to be skeptical and to check with multiple sources.  If the media acts like the majority of reporters did during the run-up to Iraq, we will once again, act impulsively.

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

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  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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