“Stars Earn Stripes” Earns Scorn

Posted: August 14, 2012 in "Real" Monsters


RootsAction.org, Just Foreign Policy, Veterans For Peace, and Military Families Speak Out have launched a campaign at http://StarsEarnStripes.org targeting NBC’s new program, “Stars Earn Stripes,” which debuted on Monday.

RootsAction’s Campaign Coordinator David Swanson said, “Kicking in doors is a big focus of the mission on Stars Earn Stripes.  This ought to inform thoughtful viewers about what ‘battlefields’ look like in ‘counter insurgencies.’  Our wars are fought in people’s homes.  But when these celebrities and the tough guys they worship kick in doors there are no screaming children behind them.  This act of terrorism is transformed into an act of athletic accomplishment.  Blowing up a poor person’s house is transformed into an act of special effects, creating a gigantic explosion with the push of a button while being lifted on a rope tied to a helicopter.  When, at the end of the show, it is time to eliminate the worst warrior from future programs, the two worst warmakers thus far pair off in a contest that involves kicking in a door, entering a room, and shooting a bunch of humanoid targets in the head.  I wonder which missions that is reminiscent of.”
David Swanson david@davidswanson.org 202-329-7847.

StarsEarnStripes.org  is asking NBC to stop treating war as a sport, and to air an in-depth segment showing the reality of civilian victims of recent U.S. wars, on any program, any time in the coming months.  RootsAction has provided some resources to help NBC research and show the reality of war, at http://StarsEarnStripes.org

A protest was held on Monday at NBC headquarters in New York City. Participating were Military Families Speak Out, Veterans For Peace, the Granny Peace Brigade, Peace Action, and other peace groups.  Participants delivered a petition and the names of thousands who have signed it at http://StarsEarnStripes.org.  They chanted “Shame! Shame! War is not a game!”  Contact: Joan Wile, 917-441-0651.

“This is particularly offensive given that six soldiers were killed in Afghanistan last week,” said Joan Wile, leader of Grandmothers Against the War. “To feature the hazards of war as a game completely glosses over the reality of its horrors and is a slap in the face of our armed forces being killed and maimed on a regular basis in real wars.” Contact: Joan Wile, 917-441-0651.

Veterans For Peace President Leah Bolger said, “Retired General Wesley Clark should be ashamed of himself for his role in promoting this ‘reality’ show.  He knows better than most that war is not a game played by contestants.  In a promotion for the show, he tries to impress us with its realism ‘…live ammo, real explosions and real danger….’ How ironic that PFC Bradley Manning has been in jail for more than two years for letting the public see the real truth of war, while NBC makes a profit out of making it into entertainment.”
Leah Bolger leahbolger@comcast.net 541-207-7761.

Military Families Speak Out Board Member Sarah Fuhro said, “Having my son return from two REAL wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the cost of war carried in his body and heart, I find this deeply offensive. Having met wounded children and refugees from these and other wars, I find this disgusting. I hope NBC will reconsider this form of entertainment.”
Sarah Fuhro sarahbeagl@aol.com 508-652-9880, cell 508-740-7039.

Military Families Speak Out Member Anna Berlinrut said, “As the mother of a Marine about to deploy to Afghanistan for his 6th mission in harm’s way, I find trivializing war to be horrendous and profit making from war to be a crime.”
Contact via Sarah Fuhro sarahbeagl@aol.com 508-652-9880, cell 508-740-7039.

Just Foreign Policy’s Robert Naiman said, “It’s breathtakingly bizarre that NBC is promoting a ‘reality TV series’ glamorizing war at a time when 87,000 American soldiers are fighting in a real war in Afghanistan that lost the support of the majority of Americans a long time ago. If NBC wants to show Americans what war is really like, they should take their TV cameras to a military hospital, and ask the people they meet there what they think about keeping tens of thousands of American soldiers in Afghanistan indefinitely, or what they think of the plans of some people in Washington to start a new war with Iran.”
Robert Naiman naiman@justforeignpolicy.org 217-979-2857.

The words “War Is Fun!” were added by the campaign into a promotional photo sent out by NBC.

RootsAction is an online initiative dedicated to galvanizing Americans who are committed to economic fairness, equal rights, civil liberties, environmental protection — and defunding endless wars. http://rootsaction.org


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