Monday, June 04, 2007

Gone with the wind

Journalists used to question the reasons for war and expose abuse of power. Now, like toothless babies, they suckle on the sugary teat of misinformation and poop it into the diaper we call the six o'clock news.
Three days after the single most important public statement George Bush made regarding the real agenda for Iraq, another manufactured "terror plot" was revealed by the Justice Department FBI, this one involving another small group of loons who have proved nowhere near capable of executing their devilish scheme of blowing up JFK airport. Naturally, this sucked attentions away from Bush indicating that the United States should and/or would stay in Iraq for a long haul based on the model of occupation in South Korea.

Most hearing Bush's "vision" for Iraq acted as though this was perhaps just a notion that had popped out of his mouth after recent consideration, something he had perhaps dreamt up that morning. But long term occupation of Iraq has been the goal of the invasion all along. US forces have been building at least fourteen permanent bases in Iraq since shortly after the invasion and even at the beginning of the latest "surge," General Petraeus' plan called for US forces to be in Iraq for ten years or more. These facts have generally been ignored by media mavens but Bush's statement was the first public acknowledgment that, indeed, permanent occupation would be considered a viable, and vital, strategy for US Middle East foreign policy. In other words, the "or more" part of the Petraeus plan is now operative. But then, it always has been.

But the administration's pronouncement, subsequently affirmed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, that a long term occupation of Iraq was "on the table" was not playing well at all. For two days, critics pounded on the clueless analogy made by Bush that a South Korean style occupation would suit the mayhem in Iraq. With the "long term occupation" message taking a beating, suddenly, self-styled "terrorists," an admixture of disgruntled tools egged on by an FBI "informant," were arrested for planning to blow up JFK airport, a "chilling plot" that would cause "unthinkable devastation."

It was all dreadfully familiar, of course, and like all such previously revealed plots, it didn't take too long before experts indicated that the so-called plot wouldn't have done much at all. This after it also came out that there really was no plot other than the fevered imaginings of a small group of disaffected souls with no money, no plan, no explosives and no backing and no idea of just what the hell it was they thought they were going to do.

Hilariously, former federal prosecutor Neal Sonnett evoked a certain charming innocence as to the import of the foiled plot story when he said,
There unfortunately has been a tendency to shout too loudly about such cases. To the extent that you over-hype a case, you create fear and paranoia.
Well, yes. That is the point. One wonders just where Mr. Sonnett has been spending his time these last few years.

Coming conveniently on the heels of this latest dose of fear and paranoia, the DoJ cranked out another distraction in the form of the indictment of the Democrat William Jefferson. This wasn't all that distracting since almost no one disputes that it should have happened and that Dollar Bill should just please, please go away. Nonetheless, Jefferson's indictment served some small purpose, just as the sentencing of Lewis Libby has served to cause further widespread and mostly disingenuous media conversation about how wronged Libby has been by the whole sordid affair, an affair Dick Cheney called a "tragedy."

And so it is that discussion of the single most important policy statement regarding the future of United States in the Middle East has been effectively shut down, ignominiously tossed aside before too many could pay too much attention to it. Years long commitment of troops in Iraq can now be expected to be the de facto policy of this administration and the next. And the next. And probably the next after that. Little or no discussion of this will be forthcoming in the media, bumped as the issue has been by half-baked terror plots and presidential debates that studiously avoid any mention of a long term US occupation of Iraq.

For his part and after quickly being advised that public debate about a decades-long occupation of Iraq at this troubled time was not a winner, Bush moved on to talk about Russian agitation toward a new "cold war" and Putin's troubling lack of democratic reform. This after all the revelations of the Bush administration's own troubling reformation of the Justice Department into an arm of the Republican party, with Karl Rove "hip-deep" in roasting Democrats using GOP operatives installed throughout the DoJ, which also happens to be a story that the mainstream media will continue to ignore, while smearing Bush's poopy flourishes about democracy and freedom across the screens and pages of our "liberal media." And Iraq? Get ready for the long haul. After all, how else are western oil interests going to exploit all that light sweet crude once the Iraq Oil Law is passed?


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