Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Where's Waldo's Oil?
While I still think the non-stop chatter about a television miniseries is ludicrous and moralmajorityish, it's always distressing to find out what the kids are learning.
Media Matters takes ABC and Scholastic Books to task for "teaching materials" produced to advertise the docudrama "The Path to 9/11."
It's a shame that the article contains kind of a misleading over-the-top title -- ABC-Sponsored teaching materials falsely suggest Iraq had WMD, link War in Iraq to 9/11 -- but that doesn't distract from the fact that these "teaching materials" are, quite simply, scary.
A Scholastic/ABC document titled "Student Resource Sheet 1" says of Iraq, "The dictatorial government of Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003, following an invasion led by the United States. The U.S. government believed that Hussein had been developing weapons of mass destruction that he planned to use against American and other targets."
The "Student Resource Sheet" omits any mention of two crucial facts: We now know Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, and there is a voluminous and growing body of evidence that indicates that the Bush administration knew its claims about weapons of mass destruction were unsupported, as Media Matters has documented here, here, and here.
I criticize the headline because Media Matters ignores the use of the word "believe." While the "teaching material" doesn't explicitly say it, using "believed" instead of "said" more than "suggests" that there weren't any WMD found in Iraq.
But get a load of this...
From the "Overview" to that same Student Resource Sheet 1:
Understanding the events of September 11, 2001, is an important challenge. The information below will help you become familiar with the people, places, and organizations that played a role in the events of 9/11 and those that led up to that tragic day. In addition, there is a list of resources you may find helpful in furthering your knowledge of the topics covered in The Path to 9/11.
The effects of 9/11 were felt beyond the United States. In countries throughout the world, the events had major repercussions. Following are short descriptions of some of the countries and groups that were involved in some way with the terrorist attacks.
Nine countries are included: Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, Syria, the United States and Yemen.
For some reason, ABC and Scholastic don't think the country that -- according to the 9/11 Commission -- 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers originated from merits a shout-out (but Israel does? go figure...maybe it's a Mel Gibson thing).
Only one line on the entire sheet mentions the Saudis at all: "Osama bin Laden is the son of a wealthy Yemeni businessman who moved to Saudi Arabia and started a private construction company in 1930."
Perhaps it's because the docudrama relies -- partly -- on the 9/11 Commission Report which, according to Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan, "confirmed what we have been saying all along."
Caps for what they "been saying all along" just in case you only wanted to speed read the 2004 press release: "THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF SAUDI GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF AL-QAEDA" and "SAUDI FLIGHTS WERE INVESTIGATED AND HANDLED PROFESSIONALLY."
Perhaps ABC and Scholastic thought that including Saudi Arabia might be perceived as "politically incorrect" by the right since Osama has repeatedly cited the 5,000 troops that were stationed there from 1991 to 2003 as a reason for the 9/11 terror attacks, and it's wrong to talk about motive.
And...hang on...get a load of this:
The word "oil" doesn't appear once on the whole goddamned Student Resource Sheet.
But that's really no surprise...is it?
One thing liberals should keep in mind is that the very same Democrats that are crying like Don Wildmons about inaccuracies in a freaking mini-series stood by and let all this shit happen in the first place, and they're also the same ones that are too timid to ever talk about the role that oil plays in the global war on terror.
The day a Democrat suggests an alternative, viable place for our troops to be stationed in the Middle East in order to protect our nation's addiction to oil is the day when a real plan for redeployment can be taken seriously.
Come on, people, repeat after me that famous tagline from Wes Craven's brilliant -- sort-of remake of Ingmar Bergman's Virgin Spring -- Last House on the Left: "To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'"