FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

This is the First Day of the Rest of Your Death

On the propaganda front, it’s been another tough week for Washington’s war makers. But for them, where there’s hope there’s death.

Let’s address the Iraq war directly:

It’s too soon to know whether the Bush administration’s new PR offensive will do anything for you in terms of public opinion. But rest assured that the U.S. military effort in Iraq won’t be curtailed anytime soon. Despite the downward trend of public backing for the war — and in spite of the mass media’s inadequate yet significant widening of debate in recent weeks — a combination of factors is in place to sustain your deadly momentum.

One key dynamic is the U.S. military’s institutional adrenaline for fulfilling its mission of mass destruction. To a large extent, war correspondent Michael Herr’s description of the Vietnam War is an apt summary of the perpetual motion that the Pentagon keeps implementing in Iraq: “We took space back quickly, expensively, with total panic and close to maximum brutality. Our machine was devastating. And versatile. It could do everything but stop.”

On the home front, another pivotal aspect of the Iraq war is that President Bush’s solid-core constituencies are still in his corner. Despite some spin from mainstream and progressive media, the prominent Republicans who are making critical noises about the war are rarely doing more than mumbling their misgivings.

Yes, Sen. Chuck Hagel did say: “The White House is completely disconnected from reality.” But he’s complaining about the efficacy — not the morality — of the war effort. And while the moral basis for this war is hopeless, for many the hope that the U.S. military fortunes in Iraq will improve is apt to spring eternal.

Fortunately for a continuation of the occupation-driven carnage in Iraq, there’s a huge disconnect between the massive problem and the mincing remedies being most widely promoted. While outlets like the New York Times have editorialized their discontent with Bush’s speech Tuesday night, the biggest underlying beef is that the U.S. forces aren’t winning.

So long as enough Americans go along with the phantom goal of “victory,” you get to keep killing in Iraq. To that end, a massive PR operation is underway.

“The White House recently brought onto its staff one of the nation’s top academic experts on public opinion during wartime, whose studies are now helping Bush craft his message two years into a war with no easy end in sight,” the Washington Post reported Thursday. “Behind the president’s speech is a conviction among White House officials that the battle for public opinion on Iraq hinges on their success in convincing Americans that, whatever their views of going to war in the first place, the conflict there must and can be won.”

What about most Democratic critics of the war on Capitol Hill? They keep saying that they want the U.S. military to succeed in Iraq, too. Here’s Sen. Joseph Biden midway through this week, cheering on the war under the guise of critiquing it: “I really do think it’s winnable, but you’ve got to keep the American people following with you. That’s why I urged them to give the speech. He told us the why. He didn’t tell us the how. Business as usual won’t get us there. I think he has to change some policy or alter some policy.”

And what about the Chuck Hagels of the political world? Well, listen to what Hagel had to say after Bush’s much-drumrolled June 28 speech: “I have had differences with the administration over the planning and execution of our postwar policy in Iraq. However, we all are working toward finding a way to succeed in Iraq.”

And what about organizations like MoveOn.org, now featuring Hagel’s purported dissent in a new TV ad? Running to catch up with its antiwar base after many months of absenting itself from the antiwar movement, MoveOn did a poll of its email recipients as summer began — offering them an up-or-down vote on a congressional measure so weak that even if it became law, the U.S. military would be unimpeded from continuing its catalytic role in Iraq’s carnage for a very long time.

Consider the much-hyped and somewhat repentant “Freedom Fries” congressman from North Carolina, Rep. Walter Jones. He’s moving in a good direction, but where’s his ballyhooed congressional measure really at? Jones had this to say at a June 16 news conference: “The resolution I am co-sponsoring will do no more than call on the president to set a plan and a date to begin reducing the number of troops we have in Iraq. It does not in any way, shape or form set a date certain for complete withdrawal.”

Under the terms of the measure, withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would begin no later than October 1, 2006. That’s right. Withdrawal of troops would BEGIN in autumn 2006. On Capitol Hill, that kind of scenario might seem drastic — but for the militarized productivity of the grim reaper, under the circumstances, it’s a pretty good deal.

So, here’s an executive summary of this memo to the Iraq war: As long as the main issues revolve around how you can be won and how you must not be quickly halted, there’s a lot of death left in you.

NORMAN SOLOMON, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, is currently in Tehran. His new book is War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Norman Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, where he coordinates ExposeFacts. Solomon is a co-founder of RootsAction.org.

January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposal Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail