News bytes

– What exactly is the US military doing in Paraguay? Blogger Benjamin Dangle wonders if they’re trying to secure the country’s oil fields.

Beyond Right and Left is a new book by academic David McKnight that looks at Australia’s culture wars and the rise of the Right. The Left gets a justified serve as well.

– Norman Solomon on the mainstream media and its inability to deal with the anti-war movement:

“If ‘journalism is the first draft of history,’ the journalism of corporate media is usually the quickie top-down view of history that’s told from vantage points far removed from progressive movements. Media technologies and styles aside, what we’re experiencing now from major U.S. news outlets is not very different from the coverage of the Vietnam War.

“A persistent myth is that mainstream American news outlets were tough on the war in Vietnam while boosting the antiwar movement. And these days – after a summer of plunging poll numbers for President Bush along with the profoundly important media presence of Cindy Sheehan – many people seem to think that the news media have turned against the war makers in Washington. But overall the media realities are something else. Actual history should make us wary of any assumption that the press is apt to be a counterweight to militarism.”

– Former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke thinks Australia should be a nuclear waste dumping ground. His progressive credentials grow by the day.

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