War is not a product. A new gizmo that is fun to play with. It is an understatement to say that it is serious business and should be undertaken only as all other remedies have been pursued, and the nation enter into them with something that approaches absolute certainty that the gains outweigh the loses. If there is such a thing as a good war you can always tell because lies, half truths and manipulations are not required. Conservatives do not see it that way. No they see war as a souped up beater to take for a spin. If the beater breaks down don’t worry, if people are injured or killed, well hey it was a joy ride anyway. Remember the infamous statement from White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr, “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.” They say everything is politics. Maybe with politicians and Republicans in particular all politics is advertising or as many of them have called it message management. Bush was and still is the perverse Orville Redenbacher of War-Pop Incorporated,
It was then that the White House propaganda drive began in earnest, with the appearance before television cameras of George Bush and Tony Blair at Camp David. Between them, the two politicians cited a “new” report from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency that allegedly stated that Iraq was “six months away” from building a nuclear weapon. “I don’t know what more evidence we need,” declared the president.
Only there was no such report from the IAEA. That politicians lie is a given. That people in modern society are prone to exaggeration at times, another given. Here on the other hand the richest most powerful country in the world has an executive who doesn’t go out of his way to explain every detail, every qualification, dot every i on every word in what some argue is the most important decision that faces any nation, especially one with ideals as high as ours and Bush is flaunting evidence that did not exist to convince America to buy his war. It clearly wasn’t an emergency, we were not remotely in imminent danger from Iraq. Like most despots Saddam was good at bullying his own people, but he was lousy at being a great military leader. Saddam Hussein was a sociopath, but that wasn’t enough the Bushies pumped him into something resembling Freddie Kruegger, some kind of superhuman entity that slip though the space under your locked doorway and kill you in your sleep. They hyped this new product with a fear the likes of which you’ve never known and which only they could handle, From the Desk of Donald Rumsfeld
Under siege in April 2006, when a series of retired generals denounced him and called for is resignation in newspaper op-ed pieces, Rumsfeld produced a memo after a conference call with military analysts. “Talk about Somalia, the Philippines, etc. Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists,” he wrote.
People will “rally” to sacrifice, he noted after the meeting. “They are looking for leadership. Sacrifice = Victory.”
The meeting also led Rumsfeld to write that he needed a team to help him “go out and push people back, rather than simply defending” Iraq policy and strategy. “I am always on the defense. They say I do it well, but you can’t win on the defense,” he wrote. “We can’t just keep taking hits.”
The new improved fear. The effects of this advertising blitz has lost much of its power, but like some herbal snake oil it is something about which one can easily get plenty of testimonials for. That is why the art of the con, the grift, the power of advertising continues to exist. For some, Like Andrew card, George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld they have been doing it for so long that don’t know how to stop. Bush tells Dems war denial is dangerous
President Bush compared Congress’ Democratic leaders Thursday to people who ignored the rise of Lenin and Hitler early in the last century, saying “the world paid a terrible price” then and risks similar consequences for inaction today.
If you don’t know squat about history you’re doomed to repeat it as they say. Let’s grant that Bush is clever in a dangerously manipulative sought of way, as are many of his supporters. But smart? Knowledgeable? The answer is simple. No. The historical analogy that Bush and quasi-historians like Victor David Hanson keep trying to make with WW II are childish and inaccurate, but that certainly hasn’t kept them from continuing to sell their product,
One of the essential appeals of Nazism was, in the eyes of many Germans, that it was seen as a bulwark against Communism. Yes, there are essential lessons to be learned from the appeasement over Czechoslovakia. But there’s this other important lesson to learn, one that Bush apparently doesn’t know: Hitler stupidly invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, ostensibly to deal with the threat of Communism. The end result? In 1945, Germany was totally defeated, the Soviet flag was flying over Berlin, and for over 40 years Eastern and Central Europe—almost all of which was controlled in 1941 by fascist governments—was under the control of communists governments which were, in turn, under the control of the Soviet Union.
Would somewhere around a thousand al-Queda members in Iraq be remotely comparable to the the military threat of the former Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. The Myth of AQI
The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), which arguably has the best track record for producing accurate intelligence assessments, last year estimated that AQI’s membership was in a range of “more than 1,000.” When compared with the military’s estimate for the total size of the insurgency—between 20,000 and 30,000 full-time fighters—this figure puts AQI forces at around 5 percent. When compared with Iraqi intelligence’s much larger estimates of the insurgency—200,000 fighters—INR’s estimate would putthan 1 perc AQI forces at less then one percent This year, the State Department dropped even its base-level estimate, because, as an official explained, “the information is too disparate to come up with a consensus number.”
How big, then, is AQI? The most persuasive estimate I’ve heard comes from Malcolm Nance, the author of The Terrorists of Iraq and a twenty-year intelligence veteran and Arabic speaker who has worked with military and intelligence units tracking al-Qaeda inside Iraq. He believes AQI includes about 850 full-time fighters, comprising 2 percent to 5 percent of the Sunni insurgency. “Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” according to Nance, “is a microscopic terrorist organization.”
Bush wants us to believe despite the facts that Iraq is the front in the so-called terror war and that front is as threatening to the future of civilization as Hitler was in WW II. Which makes about as much sense as the people on infomercials that say all you have to do is wear this belt while you watch TV and you’ll have rock hard abs. Most people know better then to buy the ab belt, why are so many people so dead set on buying Bush’s foreign policy version of a cheesy product that doesn’t work. Bush and his cult go even further, if you don’t buy their merchandise you’re going to die. By all means let’s not treat al-Queda as a gang of violent zealots and keep the nature of their threat in perspective. If we do that the Neocon Discount Warhouse Club goes out of business.