These days, believing anything other than the status quo -- let alone saying so -- will instantly brand you as suspicious, unpatriotic, or, worse yet, in bed with the enemy. If you oppose the so-called "War on Terrorism," you're likely to be considered a turncoat, or a communist, or a terrorist yourself. That's why a new newspaper in America called the War Times is such a welcome change of pace.
Perhaps, given the cost of opposing the status quo these days, it's not surprising that people want -- and are largely limited to getting -- only the information that supports the popular way of looking at things. Read the major newspapers in America (and many in Europe) and you'll hear about the war in Afghanistan almost entirely as told by Donald Rumsfeld, et al.
My friends and I hunger for something different: information that nourishes critical and reflective thinking. I've given up on finding it in the old standards. The people behind War Times clearly think I'm not alone.
War Times is a bi-weekly newspaper based in California that's due to publish its first regular issue today, April 12. So popular was its pilot issue in February -- which featured a remarkable interview with actor and activist Danny Glover -- that its print run was boosted from 7,500 to 100,000.
The newspaper -- really more of a pamphlet -- is published in both Spanish and English. Its tag line: "The First Casualty of War is Truth." If the mainstream media are any indication, the truth about the "War on Terrorism" is, at best, missing in action.
The editors and financial supporters of War Times promise that this new newspaper will tell the truth about the human costs of George W. Bush's "permanent war," from civilian casualties to the implications of the war's expansion beyond Afghanistan.
Among the impressive raft of endorsers of this timely project are Noam Chomsky, Phyllis Bennis, Winona LaDuke, Adrienne Rich, and Howard Zinn.
If information is truly power, War Times may just spark a significant shift in the struggle of ideas: a popular reconsideration of the flawed notion that violence can solve the world's biggest problems.
Download your copy at the War Times website.