"I thought it was the most brazen, cowardly, egregious political act I`d seen in my lifetime," Cusack said in an interview. "Do you think that`s going to stop anything? Do you think if you don`t show the coffins we won`t find out?"
You are a young man, John, and you're an actor. So I'll give you a pass for failing to understand that in the years since World War II -- when news reporters were Americans first and muckraking crusaders second -- media reports accompanied by coffins draped in the Stars and Stripes have progressively (pun intended) conducted a testiculectomy on the armed forces.
It's been a pretty good political move by the big three news organizations to stop showing the images of the World Trade Center getting hit by Islamist terrorists flying jets. How well has that worked? Just yesterday, we've got a guy writing in one of America's biggest newspapers that the nation has 'overreacted' to the killing of 3,000+ civilians in what would under reasonable circumstances would be called "peacetime." Don't think the news honchos don't understand the power of their images; each one of them (save Roger Ailes) was looking for their first opportunity to play Walter Cronkite and stick a dagger in the war effort if they deemed it too bloody for their sensibilities. The White House understood that, and were borne out in 2002 by ABC News' in-your-face use of the coffin photos. They accompanied Ted Koppel's recitation of the names of the War on Terror's fallen and the display of their faces. It also was ABC News' David Westin who was first among the big three TV news chiefs to announce an embargo on showing video of the 9/11 attack.
Think, John -- when was the last time you saw it? (The movies Fahrenheit 9/11 and World Trade Center don't count).
We know of the violence of Sherman's march through the Confederacy through the letters and diaries of the survivors, but if CNN had been around, showing every devastated plantation owner hours after the path of destruction, the CSA would probably still be with us -- who knows when slavery would have been banned. (Don't put that past CNN; remember that we learned after Saddam's fall the full knowledge of his greatest atrocities.) The stakes are higher this time, and it's likely we won't know for many years just how high.
The United States of America as we know it isn't going to last forever -- no empire does, from that of the Egyptian Pharoahs to Alexander's Greece to the Caesars' Rome to the British grip on far-flung nations many times over its size and population. The question every President since the early 20th Century had to ask himself (or in the case of Jimmy Carter, should have) was, "Am I going to be the one that 'lost' America? When history is written a century (or longer) from now, and tourists visit the ruins of Washington, D.C., will my time in the White House be cited as the turning point that ended the American dream once and for all?"
Listening to likes of your pals Tim Robbins and Sean Penn, it seems they think if the USA isn't the benevolent bit-player on the world scene they think it should be, it might as well slip away, faithfully believing its power vacuum filled by people who know how to put a viable one-world co-operative in motion. What they don't seem to realize is that America's biggest enemies aren't revulsed by the sight of their countrymen in flag-draped coffins, they delight in it. They don't avoid confrontation when negotiation is a possibility, they hold out hope of negotiation to provide enough time to reload. They don't whisper among themselves plans for genocide, they announce it loudly, certain in their ability to extinguish a nationality if only they are ruthless enough. And the rest of the world cowers from them even with the United States' opposition.
Remember, Gandhi's victory of nonviolence occurred mostly because of the relative decency of his main enemy, the British Crown. When the UK abandoned India to its own devices, its sole enemy became the restless Muslim minority. Gandhi found out what history later taught people who are paying attention; nonviolence doesn't work against Islamists. So now we have Pakistan, thought by many to be an eventual nuclear power, and the presumed refuge of Osama bin Laden.
To answer your shallow questions, "Do you think that`s going to stop anything? Do you think if you don`t show the coffins we won`t find out?" The answers are "no, they don't," and "no, they didn't." But "they" are the ones charged with doing what it takes to win, on the front lines and at home. "They" understand that in modern times, war is not fought only on the battlefields, it is fought in the media. And now, with the coffins above the fold in the morning MSM rag you read over your toast and coffee in the morning, America is coming ever so close to conceding defeat in Iraq (for all intents and purposes) despite having fought "longer than in World War II" yet having lost fewer soldiers than in some individual battles in Southeast Asia.