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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Great post of the day 

Robert Parry writes about the madness of US media and government group-think:
. . . In the news media, there were specials, including a much-touted PBS Frontline two-parter on “Bush’s War” which followed the mainstream line of mostly accepting the Bush administration’s good intentions while blaming the disaster on policy execution – a lack of planning, bureaucratic rivalries, rash decisions and wishful thinking . . .
Remaining outside the frame of mainstream US debate was any serious examination of the war’s fundamental illegality....
The cumulative effect of this willful conformity and this informal censorship has been to engender a form of collective madness at the decision-making levels of the US government -- and within the upper echelons of the news media.
But it is a flexible form of insanity in which reality is alternatively banished – as it was in the early phases of the Iraq War, from WMD "mushroom clouds" through "Mission Accomplished" – and then is brought in for retooling when matters get too far out of control, when the jarring gap between the official line and the truth starts to destabilize the national political consensus.
In listening to the measured tones of the Frontline narration – not to mention the well-dressed ex-government officials and the well-spoken mainstream journalists – I was left with the feeling that a new synthetic “reality” was being lowered in to replace the older discredited version.
It was as if the bloody madness that President Bush inflicted on the people of Iraq – aided and abetted by many witting and unwitting American accomplices – was being drained of its crimson hue and stripped of its human horrors.
Forget the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead and maimed. Forget the innumerable lives destroyed and the millions displaced. Forget the bizarre forms of torture at Abu Ghraib and the widespread mistreatment of detainees at other Iraqi prisons.
After all, we were being told, the war’s architects were honorable and reasonable men and women who were trying to do the right thing, but sadly they were undermined by bureaucratic inertia, back-biting and, yes, incompetence. It was just one big SNAFU.
But, with a few changes here and there – a new general or two, a tweaked counter-insurgency strategy, some more US soldiers and a bit more patience – everything will work out just fine.
No need for national guilt. No need for accountability. No reason to purge the editorial offices of leading newspapers and TV networks. No reason to talk about impeachment or war-crimes tribunals for committing the "supreme" crime against world peace. No need for any of that.
I have seen more and more of this kind of analysis lately, I think, as more people edge toward the truth, as the unthinkable becomes thinkable, as more appear to realize that the invasion of Iraq was simply wrong.

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