At Least the Lies Have Improved

Pundit Andrew Sullivan, who supported the war in Iraq but has lately begun to notice that he may have been mistaken, is nevertheless clinging to hope that the debacle can be salvaged. Yesterday he posted the following observations, from "a source of mine whom I've learned to trust as an honest observer," about the recent killing of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi:

I am impressed with Casey, Khalilzad and the new Iraqi PM. ... As for Zarqawi, they all recognize the essential silliness of portraying him as the embodiment of the opposition, but given the resources the US has poured into this massive psyops, their feeling is: why not get a little boost out of it themselves? Hence the claim that it's the end of al Qaeda in Iraq, and the out-of-perspective presentation of al Qaeda's role in the insurgency. ... So: misleading, but very sound politics.

Sullivan takes this as evidence that "we seem to have turned a little corner, in as much as the administration is now dealing with reality, rather than fantasy."

Actually, it sounds to me like they're simply offering another fantasy. Interesting, isn't it, that Sullivan chooses to "trust as an honest observer" someone who thinks "misleading" is "very sound politics"?

As John and I pointed out in Weapons of Mass Deception and in our new book that's coming out this fall, the mess in Iraq began because some clever propagandists realized that misleading (about alleged weapons of mass destruction, and about fabricated links between Iraq and 9/11) could be "sound politics" for the Republican party. They used war rhetoric in 2002 as an election-year wedge issue to win solid majorities in both houses of Congress. The new "essential silliness" isn't much different from the old silliness, except that it comes at a time when the bloom is off the rose, and even supporters of the war like Sullivan can barely bring themselves to believe it. Instead of accepting it outright, therefore, he argues that the new propaganda demonstrates some sort of newfound sophistication in the war effort.

Comments Without Reservation by Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., Lt. Col. USAF (ret.) posted 12 Jun 06 The Rise and Fall of a Great Leader A freakishly successful character – a man no one, not family, or friend, or peer, or supervisor, ever expected to make much of himself – is again in the news. He appears boyish in his photographs, and in many ways seems younger than he is. In spite of his apparent success as a powerful leader of men, he is plagued by stories of a misspent youth and early adult years. His success has been marred by repeated anecdotes, many of them ugly, some less than honorable, often insulting. He purports to be a religious man, yet has lives and acts in such a way that gentle clergy, preaching to thousands of their religious faithful demure, and turn their heads away. Many of the faithful weep at his public piety, asking God, "Why?" An icon of a grand and glorious human battlefield, he believes deeply in the righteousness of his cause. No, I am not speaking of the American President. Instead, lying peacefully deceased for the final time, we hope, is Jordanian-born Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi Much has been written about the forsaken Zarqawi. While the 500-pound bombs found their target on June 7th, the jig was up a few months ago, when the mainstream American press began seriously questioning the Zarqawi myth. It was a good myth, and it died a suitable death, just before being completely politically discredited back home in America. George W. Bush is happy that this tattooed Muslim miscreant has been delivered head-on-a-platter-style, as are we all. Bush said this means, "the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders." This interesting statement comes on the heels of another, even larger, explosion – that of American interest in what Marines and Army troops are doing in places like Haditha Indeed, one might logically ask what is an "ideology of terror" and who best demonstrates it? Of course, President Bush and his administration, and the genuflecting American Congress will not ask this question. The problem of culpability will be left to local, military and international courtrooms years from now, and only after the leaders of the Bush administration have been pardoned in advance and cozily ensconced within new compounds in St Michaels, Maryland and old ranches in Wyoming, New Mexico, and Texas. Are there lessons in the Zarqawi case? As Bush himself has said, no decrease in violence in Iraq is expected. As the 24-hour curfew in Iraq cities on Friday after Zarqawi’s death illustrated, even more violence was, and is, expected. Now that Al Qaeda’s numero uno in Iraq is dead, will American troops come home, and cease the occupation of Iraq? Actually, more American troops are on their way to Iraq, as Iraq soldiers desert in droves,. and the coalition of the willing evaporates completely. Analyses of the impact of Zarqawi’s death on the future of Iraq are generally pessimistic But there is something to be learned from the violent end of Zarqawi. This man, both in truth and in myth, had become a distinct liability for his many fathers. He was increasingly at odds with al Qaeda for his lack of strict Islamic creed and his ineffectiveness. He had been steadily losing support of average Iraqis as they try to determine how best to retake their country from American military and economic domination. Lastly, he was a growing political liability for the American and British media campaign promoting the idea that failures of occupation were just because of Iraqi dead-enders and foreign agents, like those Zarqawi supposedly led. In practical terms, the death of Zarqawi means little to the Iraqis, or to Iraq. It does not seriously alter the path that country is on, whether towards more tyranny and chaos, or towards some distant peace and prosperity. However, the lessons that American politicians and leaders may take from the death of Zarqawi could be far more significant. What are these lessons for political leaders? I can think of three. First, political propaganda is designed for a purpose, and when it no longer works efficiently towards that purpose, it is adapted, altered and modified. Emotional attachment to outdated, counterproductive propaganda has no place in the cold rational world of political power. Second, myths may be created, and they may be destroyed. Along these lines, there has been some debate over who will receive the $25 million bounty for the head of Zarqawi. Would it be seemly to award this bounty to our own people, whether American intelligence or Iraqi puppets? What would the published identity of the "finder" of Zarqawi say about our long-term use of this Jordanian thug in the past several years? Myths, unlike diamonds, are not forever. A final lesson from the life and death of Zarqawi is that decisions will, at some point, be made. Like 500-pound laser-guided bombs, these decisions can rain down on their unsuspecting targets with deadly and destructive results. George W. Bush is today, by his own characterization, the leader of the "free" world, and the "decider." The American Congress, by its own characterization, is a constitutionally constrained legislative and deliberative body, owning the sole authority in America to declare war, and honorably bound to the service and interests of average Americans – some 65% of whom believe invading Iraq was the wrong thing to do, and oppose the continued occupation. These fanciful tales – Bush as Freedom Fighter and the republican nobility of the American Congress – like all political myths, have a limited useful lifespan. Like the Zarqari fairy tale, they become vulnerable and unprotected when Americans themselves begin to look at the evidence. © 2006 Karen Kwiatkowski

archives of the first of this radio show for MAY14 With Doug Herman she says its the policy of gov. to control us with disasters and crisis management