Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Really Big Show

Victory. That's what the sign says: Victory; in big, bold, angular, "moving forward" lettering. Like most words the White House has perverted in service of itself, the word "victory" now apparently means very little. Say that word several times, and like all such repetitions, it becomes gibberish. We have heard this word from Bush enough now, that "victory" has attained this quality. But it is not simply through repetition that the word has morphed into drivel. The word, as used in this context by George Bush, actually is garbage; senseless tripe.

But one can see what the war in Iraq really means to George Bush and the White House. At least, one can see what it means for the White House here in America, if not Iraq. It is one big, glitzy show designed to make Bush and his acolytes look victorious; a circus maximus of meaningless bullshit that flies in the face of the thousands of dead. In fact, as the image plainly reveals, it doesn't even matter what that "victory" actually is about, although we know plainly that it is about them and not Iraq. That is not really what matters to them. What matters to them is that they look great. One can half expect that cheerleaders must have been shimmying across the stage. And note how Bush looks more the part of a side-show barker, imploring passer-by voters to "step right this way." Welcome to a funhouse of smoke and mirrors.

The sign is rather more revealing than the White House probably meant it to be. Because what that sign shows is that Iraq is not their concern. The victory will not be Iraq's, it will be theirs, if their efforts to ignore reality are likewise heeding by America. The White House's concern is themselves. The victory sought is theirs, and over all the bad press, it will happen if only the message can "get through."

Baghdad continues to slide into mindless mayhem and disarray. Sixteen more Iraqis are now dead, blown up right across the street from the "Green Zone," while scores more were killed in a dozen different bombings and shootings around the city. All this, of course, transpired the day after gunmen rampaged through Sunni districts of Baghdad, killing 50 or more people. And now comes an apparent admission by The Mujahedeen Shura Counci that the two soldiers who were kidnapped and killed were targeted as revenge for the rape-murder of an Iraqi woman/child (she was 14) and the execution of her family. The soldiers were from the same unit as those now charged in the case. Meanwhile, Iraqi police, a faction of those forces that are supposed to "stand up" before US forces can stand down, have all the appearances of being as bad or worse than the insurgents. Gangland violence? In spades.

But Bush has a "plan for victory." No one, repeat, no one has any idea just what this plan is. Because the Bush administration don't have one. They never have. And while the press strokes Bush's ego and indulges his mugging for the camera, they neither seem terribly concerned with nor bother to ask about this putative plan. Every time a Democrat suggests a withdrawal, the press happily broadcasts GOP vehemence while, at the same time, the Pentagon quietly considers plans for withdrawal.

The disconnect between reality and US media coverage is now so vast, one would really have no idea what is actually going most everywhere. This is especially true of Iraq. Are Americans aware of the fact that the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been invited to Baghdad to discuss "bilateral ties" with Tehran? Not if they get their news of the world from the US mainstream.

But what we can see, even under the halting eye of the mainstream press, is death and destruction every single day. And it is likely that we only know 10% of what is really going on. While common scenes of violence force themselves upon us, despite the trepidation of the press, we are conjoinly treated to the wretched sight of George Bush triumphantly boasting of his grand plan. It is a plan devoutly to be wished. That is about all it is. And that is all it will ever be.

The White House has long since realised and promoted the fact that their maintaince of power is not based on reality, has nothing to do with how well or poorly things actually are. They know they have no ability to actually comport themselves within any normative realm of government. In fact, their effort has been geared toward doing things in the extreme, far outside the bounds of nominal operations. Their efforts to control the message, which they have done masterfully, have paid off because it seems no one bothers ever to ask them how their message relates to the real world. Diong so almost immediately confers the label "treason," yet another word bastardized and blunted by this White House and its enablers. Oh, occasionally, in rare moments of impertinence, some reporter might actually ask an uncomfortable question, but these moments are quickly shut down or shunted from attention.

It is clear that the White House has little or no relation to this real world, especially as it regards Iraq. And when the White House does recognise this world, it is only to tell us that we're wrong for noticing. And to see that, all you need to do is look at the picture of George Bush, standing on that impressive set, lording over the glorious word "victory" while bombs explode next to the Green Zone and the lives of thousands of Iraqis continue to enjoy the chaos George Bush has wrought for them.

[p.s If you really want to see what is going on every day in Iraq check out Today in Iraq. This is mind-numbing litany of the multifarious and inglorious activities in this war-torn land. via Cut to the Chase.]


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