KPFA’s Antiwar Voice

When people ask me why I joined the Marine Corps (at age 18, back in 1959), I tell them, “Because where I grew up there was no KPFA or Pacifica Radio affiliate.” There was just the constant corporate drumbeat of anti-Communism which took many forms, often pretending to advocate world peace, but always in one way or another campaigning against China and Russia.

I’m told that KPFA bravely exposed Cold War propaganda during the McCarthy era. But in recent years our station has been backsliding, subtly but increasingly echoing the corporate media’s calls for “humanitarian” interventions around the world. Some KPFA hosts feature guests from NGOs aligned with the U.S. State Department, giving them airtime, presenting them as though they were doing good work abroad, and not asking them hard questions or revealing where they get their funding.

Since Trump’s election, KPFA has taken a sharp turn for the worse, presenting itself as a voice of “resistance” — a resistance that does not resist war. While vigorously bashing Trump (who does deserve bashing), the station often functions as a pseudo-progressive voice of the Deep State, echoing the mainstream media and the neoliberals and neocons.

Children and impressionable teenage listeners (potential future military recruits such as I once was) could get the perception from some KPFA programs that America’s proper mission in today’s world should be to sally forth to find and slay monsters.

Once upon a time it was KPFA’s mission to expose such propaganda, and that’s what KPFA needs to get back to doing, to find its soul and once again become an antiwar voice.

Daniel Borgström is an ex-Marine against the war, a veteran occupier. He writes about progressive actions. He can be reached at: danielfortyone@gmail.com.

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