Don’t question Bush’s newest “Plan” for Iraq

July 5, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More

Bush’s newest “Iraq” plan is to continue bashing those who question this costly war.  There’s still no metric and no projection of how many more Iraqi and American deaths will occur or what might be accomplished by those deaths.  Only more rhetoric.

As reported by Media Matters,  the Bush Administration’s Iraq strategy is truly bizarre.  It is not a war strategy at all. It is only a PR strategy and, with very few exceptions, it has been gobbled up by the official stenographer for the Bush Administration: the mainstream media.  Here are the official talking points for the “new” Iraq strategy:

  • Republicans are “pro-military” and “support the troops,” while Democrats are “anti-military” and “attack the troops.”
  • Democrats want to “cut and run.”
  • Iraq is the central front in the war on terror.
  • Democrats are “divided” or “weak” on national security.
  • The Republicans will always win debates on national security.
  • The Republicans won the Iraq debate.
  • What’s especially curious about this “war” strategy” is that it could never have served to justify invading Iraq. Not even neocons could have bought this, could they?  It would have been transpararent for all to see back in 2003. 

    For those who are so currently so numbed to evidence-based reasoning, though, it’s interesting to note that this “Iraq” strategy could actually serve to justify any military endeaver anywhere in the world (just substitute any other country for “Iraq” in the third point).   Notice the absence of facts in this strategy–it is actually a highly crafted name-calling session.  Here . . . I can make an even shorter version . . . “Hey Democrats,  PFSSSSFFFFTTT!!”  Hey mainstreatm media, report that! (zombie-like answer: “We must report this.”).

    Of course, we already know what happens to any large news organization that might dare to question this strategy–it will get publicly vilified by neocons everywhere, their attacks quickly scooped up and published by most of the mainstream media.  And what about support for media organizations that dare to (occasionally) step out of line (e.g. the New York Times)?  Mostly silence.  Here’s a post by Media Matters that elaborates on the kinds of attacks the administration is now making on media organizations that dare to question it:

    Following June 23 articles by The New York Times and other newspapers describing a Treasury Department program designed to track the financial activity of terrorist organizations, the Bush White House and its supporters in the media decried the leakers for divulging classified information and attacked the press — for the most part singling out the Times — for publishing details of the program. As Media Matters for America noted, numerous conservative media figures advanced the administration’s baseless argument that the story tipped off the terrorists to the government’s tactics and put Americans at greater risk — some even going so far as to accuse the Times of “treason.”

    As Media Matters indicates, the entire conservative movement — from the White House to Republicans in Congress to Fox News to right-wing talk radio to conservative magazines–declared war “on the very idea of an independent press” this week:

    They declared war on the idea that journalists have not just the right but the obligation to hold those in power accountable for their actions. They declared war on the idea that journalists, not the government and not a political party, get to decide what appears in the press. They declared war on the idea that the public has a right to know what the government is doing in our name. 

    I know that this post is meandering, but I’m trying keep up with the Bush administrations justifications for the war.  As for as the real reason for our continued occupation of Iraq (it’s not really a war), we are still waiting for the mainstream media give real coverage to some tantalizing clues, including those 14 permanent military bases the U.S. is building in Iraq and that sparkling new highly fortified billion dollar U.S. embassy in Bagdad.


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    Category: Iraq, Media, Politics

    About the Author ()

    Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

    Comments (1)

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    1. grumpypilgrim says:

      Wow, this post raises many important issues, so this comment will deal with just the main topic: Bush's lack of a plan. Bush's only "plan" for Iraq seems to be milking it for opportunities to grab presidential power. It certainly doesn't seem to care much about what happens to Iraqis.

      Like so many dictators before him, Bush (and his neocon buddies) has realized that lies, when repeated often enough, can be believed by large numbers of people. Perhaps Bush is merely taking a page from the playbook of his evangelical Fundamentalist friends, but lies and repetition of lies (and ad hominem attacks on those who disagree) are obviously central themes of Bush's presidency. "An autocrat who lies to the public to grab power for himself and to enrich his friends," would have been a criticism directed at Saddam Hussein not long ago.

      Indeed, when Bush hired Fox News talking-head Tony Snow to be his press secretary, could the message have been any clearer: the Whitehouse doesn't believe it has a policy problem, it believes it has a spin problem, so it hired a TV personality to spin its press conferences the way it wants…and who better to spin the "news" the way the Bushies want than a guy who's been doing it for years?

      So, what is Bush's "plan?" We don't know, and we're never going to find out — not just because there is no plan but because, according to Bush, "We can't talk about our plans, because we don't want to tip our hand to the terrorists."

      The so-called "war on terrorism" is such a convenient war for the neocons. Unlike the Cold War or the Viet Nam war, the "war on terrorism" has no clearly defined enemies, so "the enemy" becomes whomever you can convince the public (and Congress) is the enemy. In other words, the "war on terrorism" is entirely a PR war. That's why the neocons keep saying this "war" is unlike any other war. It's not because terrorism is new — heck, terrorism is as old as mankind — indeed, it was central to the Americans winning the Revolutionary War. No, what makes this war new is that it requires massive and highly choreographed PR. That's why the Bushies spend so much effort attacking the press: the main battles in this "war" don't happen on the front lines; they happen on the front page.

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