Monday, April 21, 2008

Catapultin' with surrogates

By now you've probably read or heard at least something about this weekend's revelation that - surprise, surprise - the Pentagon ran a major propaganda program right here in the good old U S of A using a raft of military analysts. The "presumably objective" analysts were carefully groomed, briefed, trained, and made to understand they if they voiced doubts they might lose "access." They channeled the "rah, rah, rah, sis boom bah, war in Iraq is a fabulous idea with no significant consequences" bullshit via the media to the consumer, aka the American populace.

The New York Times did a major piece yesterday documenting all this ("Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand").

This had so many advantages: The Pentagon would theoretically be at arm's length from the propaganda and thus maintain plausible deniability (until the NYT piece hit the internet and the newsstands). The "analysts" would both maintain their phony aura of independent credibility based on experience AND keep in the steady flow of income and prestige that went with appearing all over the place, highly sought-after experts with valuable perspective. The White House war machine would obtain and maintain Bush's so-fervently-desired war in Iraq. Iran would gain influence in Iraq and in the region once the Sunni Ba'ath party and Saddam were no longer in power and Iraq (their arch enemy) thoroughly weakened. And by keeping the American people confused, misled, and distracted there would be something to think about while our liberties and laws got trashed.

The only losers were the US military, with its dead, wounded, and exhausted; the Iraqi people thrust into civil war with no adequate policing to enforce a peace, no functioning government, perhaps hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, and still short of water and electricity after all these years; regional stability; and US prestige and moral authority in the world (utterly lost under Bush).

What's not to like?

Well, a lot. You may read the entire article at the link above. BarbinMD thinks the term "traitor" might not be too harsh for those who knew better and still spewed the Pentagon talking points. This leads me to think the entire Bush era might well be called "the Betrayal Years." We, the American people, and the world have been betrayed repeatedly on so many levels that it will take decades to restore integrity to our nation.

If you don't have time for the NYT article, I recommend BarbinMD's highlights.

--the BB

No comments: