Mike Rhodes

From the Editor

Last month, president Barack Obama and the corporate media cheerfully announced the end of the war in Iraq. The progressive and antiwar movement rejects this declaration and has concerns about the 50,000 U.S. troops still in that country, the increasing numbers of privatized soldiers being used (we used to call them mercenaries) and the ongoing drain on our economy as we continue to pump billions of dollars into this endless war. This month’s Community Alliance has several articles about war-related issues starting on page 4, including information about Peace Fresno’s community dialog about how to end the war. Peace is a core progressive value, and I hope to see you on September 11 at this important Peace Fresno event.

The supposed end of the war in Iraq is a reminder about how the corporate media is used to manipulate and distort the truth; some would even say that they have become a propaganda arm of the U.S. military and corporate interests. I was amazed at the local coverage about the WikiLeaks (http://wikileaks.org/) revelations, which was probably the biggest release of classified documents since Daniel Ellsberg gave us the Pentagon Papers. The WikiLeaks information tells us the real story about what has been happening in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, information that our government does not want us to know about, for example, how common the killing of civilians is, that U.S. money is paid to “the enemy” to secure safe passage for convoys to pass through dangerous territory, that US forces participate in death squads and how U.S. dollars sent to Pakistan end up helping the Taliban.

Although some U.S. papers published these revelations, our local daily paper chose to run articles about how WikiLeaks is endangering national security and printing a story about how government officials are suggesting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be tracked down and killed as an enemy combatant. The Community Alliance encourages you to go to the Wikileaks Web site (http://wikileaks.org/) to read for yourself what your government doesn’t want you to know. Also, on page 5 is an article by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! about the significance of these revelations.

Because the progressive movement is about more than peace and ending the seemingly endless wars in the Middle East, we have articles about a wide range of issues. Our front page article about development issues in southwest Fresno gives three members of Southwest Fresno H.E.A.T. the opportunity to say, in their own words, their concerns about the injustice taking place in their community.

Throughout the paper are articles written about or by activists who are working for peace, social and economic justice. Our goal is to build a progressive movement by linking you with these individuals and groups and giving our writers the opportunity to tell their side of the story, without it being filtered through the corporate media.

If you have an idea for an article or would like to help in some other way, let me know. The best way to reach me is by e-mail at editor@fresnoalliance.com, but you can also call me at 559-978-4502. We need writers, people to distribute this newspaper and more subscribers.

I also want to remind and encourage readers to support our advertisers. I just installed solar panels on my house and naturally had Offline Solar do the work. Don Loweburg of Offline Solar has been an advertiser of this paper for years, and I was happy that I could support his business when I was finally able to go solar.

Community Alliance advertisers deserve your support because they are helping to keep this newspaper alive, and in doing so are helping to build a movement for peace, social and economic justice. If you support those goals, then please patronize our advertisers. If you own a business and would like to advertise with us, call Dan Yaseen, our advertising director, at 559-251-3361.

  • Mike Rhodes is the executive director of theCommunity Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. www.mikerhodes.us is his website. Contact him at mikerhodes@comcast.net.

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