Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

War spinner gets honorary degree, graduates protest

card-card.jpgDissent lives in US universities. It gets a good workout when Iraq War salesmen, enablers of more overt war criminals such as Cheney and Bush and their neocon junta, are awarded honorary degrees in, of all things, public service. In this case the awarding institution was the University of Massachusetts Amherst who decided to award Holbrook (Massachusetts)-born Andrew H. Card, White House Chief of Staff from 2001 to 2006 and head of the White House Iraq Group, an honorary degree despite weeks of strong protest from students, faculty and the community.


goebbels-and-hitler.jpg (click on thumbnail for larger image)

Selling War

A former General Motors lobbyist, Card was one of the major coordinating figures for the invasion of Iraq and contributed to the dissemination of bogus evidence and PR to justify the war. When asked about the Bush administration’s timing in making their case for the Iraq war, then Chief of Staff Andrew Card responded that “from a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”

u-mass-andrew-card-booed.jpgRecent congressional testimony also places Card in the middle of failed attempts to bully then Attorney General Ashcroft into supporting the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

Goebbels Gets A Degree

At the May 25, 2007 graduate school commencement ceremony, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff protested the award with boos, catcalls and signs calling him a war criminal. To their credit, protesters included many faculty on stage. As the video shows, it is good to see so many of the graduates wearing the ‘no Card’ card in dignified protest against the farce that has tainted their ceremony.

About 200 protesters had staged a rally and press conference before the commencement; hundreds more protested inside the hall. There is now a campaign petitioning UMass. to rescind the honorary degree.

Video recorded and edited by Charles Jenks; © 2007 Traprock Peace Center. Also see their YouTube page

Card is no bit-player in the manufacturing of lies and spin to launch an illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq and the subsequent mass deaths, displacement and destruction of a whole country whose population was already battered by decade-long sanctions and a previous war.

Card was shrewd enough, apparently, to leave the bumbling Bush administration upon witnessing the unfolding debacle of Vietraq. If we can not expect that Card be put on trial and behind bars (he is already tipped to live a comfortable retirement, with no concerns about being brought to justice), we certainly should repudiate his being lauded with an undeserved honorary degree. UMass students and faculty are wise enough to reject this false honour to Card, even if the executive members who made the decision are not.




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6 comments on “War spinner gets honorary degree, graduates protest

  1. Servant
    4 June, 2007

    Thanks for this vid! Best thing I’ve seen since forever. Woooohoooo! I thought everyone was buying what the Bush Administration has been selling. Apparently not.

  2. punditman
    5 June, 2007

    Great post. I am guessing that this did not get much play in the mainstream media.

  3. Servant
    5 June, 2007

    Nobody who is anybody watches the MSM any more. The MSM are irrelevant. They know it. Their advertisers know it. Their readers know it.

    Even that little kid who will eat anything knows it.

    Now _this_ is the main stream media.

  4. peoplesgeography
    5 June, 2007

    Thanks guys. I think you’re right Wayne, that it didn’t get much of an airing in the corporate media and Andrew H. Card in particular seems to be lying low on the radar as far as this administration goes.

    Servant, I like that observation — we are the majority media.

  5. punditman
    5 June, 2007

    I beg to differ. Show me the numbers, and then show me how this great new majority media is translating into fundamental change at the policy level, anywhere. Just because *we* find the time to write blogs and do research on the internet, not everybody does. Nor does everybody care. For most people, computers are way to forward silly emails to their friends, play games, plan a trip, download music, and that’s about it. Believe it.

    But even if the internet is the new “majority media” there are plenty of nutjob neo con sights out there that make the MSM look like a bastion of leftism. Think of the legions of people who loyally read neo-con or racist blogs.

    Servant, I detect an elitist tone when you say, “Nobody who is anybody watches the MSM any more.”
    Actually, folks everywhere are still glued to CNN (or whatever TV networks) in whichever country. The reasons for this I am sure are complex, but that’s the damn straight truth, and the advertising dollars tell the story.

    It’s not all the same and it is not all bad (I say that as a media critic). Where I live, in Canada, there are some great programs, you just have to sift through the garbage, which as we know, is everywhere (but then that’s the way of the internet now too, perhaps even more so).

  6. Servant
    5 June, 2007

    I don’t know how many keystrokes I have left, so I have to hoard them. Forgive me if I sound rude. I read a lot of Nietzsche, and too much Nietz makes one yearn to be misunderstood by exactly the right people. I’m interested in the revaluation of all values. Sometimes a hammer is a tuning fork . I yammer with a hammer.

    There are more idols than realities in the world: that is my “evil eye” upon this world; that is also my “evil ear.


    Servant, I detect an elitist tone when you say, “Nobody who is anybody watches the MSM any more.”

    Quite right. Thank you for reading well. The care and feeding of the average television viewer is not my concern because the median moves in accordance with extremes. Herds will be herded were they want to go, won’t they.

    “… not everybody does. Nor does everybody care.” Which will make _this_* medium even more important as newspapers undergo mega mergers, as the moguls massage their monolithic messages for the masses, as advertisers find a pig in their poke. Maybe advertisers don’t like media mergers any more than we do. Monopoly is never good for business.

    If there were only two points of separation between the television receiver and the mind of the public, then I would agree that the MSM is the highest pole in the tent. But the public mind is not monolithic and the MSM just seems to be important because it’s on television. There are many other ways into the public conscious and the best ones are free.

    The talking heads don’t even use their own product. They don’t eat their own dog food. They read well. They continue to feed us the O’Rielly and the Limbaugh because someone is buying that, which tells us as much about the target audience as it does about the content provider.

    If people couldn’t get enough of well played drama then a thirty-second ad spot on Shakespeare Survivor would sell very dearly wouldn’t it? Out, damn spot.

    ? Should I look content providers as the fountainhead of the audiences ? Should I think of all my fellow citizens as “average” consumers? Or should I think of them as the epitome of individuals and wait for the rest to follow ?

    Early adapters create the market. The “media” follows wherever and good things find a way to pay for themselves. The “media” will eventually die as something else catches up to them and runs them down. Advertisers will eventually skip the middle man and pay their well qualified customers to consume their advertisements directly. Soon micropayments will get worked out, and the real content providers – the writers – will become valued again and society will feed them directly, quid pro quo, for the quality of their work that they feed us. And the best writers will never eat more than we can feed them.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"