Sunday, December 11, 2005

Don't Be Shy

Frank, say what you really mean. And use really big words with lots of syllables.
It Takes a Potemkin Village - New York Times: "And to no avail. Despite the insistently redundant graphics - and despite the repetition of the word 'victory' 15 times in the speech itself - Americans believed 'Plan for Victory' far less than they once did 'Mission Accomplished.' The first New York Times-CBS News Poll since the Naval Academy pep talk, released last Thursday, found that only 25 percent of Americans say the president has 'a clear plan for victory in Iraq.' Tom Cruise and evolution still have larger constituencies in America than that.

Mr. Bush's 'Plan for Victory' speech was, of course, the usual unadulterated nonsense. Its overarching theme - 'We will never accept anything less than complete victory' - was being contradicted even as he spoke by rampant reports of Pentagon plans for stepped-up troop withdrawals between next week's Iraqi elections and the more important (for endangered Republicans) American Election Day of 2006. The specifics were phony, too: Once again inflating the readiness of Iraqi troops, Mr. Bush claimed that the recent assault on Tal Afar 'was primarily led by Iraqi security forces' - a fairy tale immediately unmasked by Michael Ware, a Time reporter embedded in that battle's front lines, as 'completely wrong.' No less an authority than the office of Iraq's prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, promptly released a 59-page report documenting his own military's inadequate leadership, equipment and training.

But this variety of Bush balderdash is such old news that everyone except that ga-ga 25 percent instantaneously tunes it out. We routinely assume that the subtext (i.e., the omissions and deliberate factual errors) of his speeches and scripted town meetings will be more revealing than the texts themselves. What raised the 'Plan for Victory' show to new heights of disinformation was the subsequent revelation that the administration's main stated motive for the address - the release of a 35-page document laying out a "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" - was as much a theatrical prop as the stunt turkey the president posed with during his one furtive visit to Baghdad two Thanksgivings ago."
Probably the only time that Shrub will ever be compared to Tom Cruise.
"While Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. McClellan valiantly continue their search for "the facts," what we know so far can safely be filed under the general heading of "Lay, DeLay and Abramoff."

The more we learn about such sleaze in the propaganda war, the more we see it's failing for the same reason as the real war: incompetence. Much as the disastrous Bremer regime botched the occupation of Iraq with bad decisions made by its array of administration cronies and relatives (among them Ari Fleischer's brother), so the White House doesn't exactly get the biggest bang for the bucks it shells out to cronies for fake news."
Lay, DeLay and Abramoff sounds like a legal firm, instead they need the legal services of several.
"Though the White House doesn't know that its jig is up, everyone else does. Americans see that New Orleans is in as sorry shape today as it was under Brownie three months ago. The bipartisan 9/11 commissioners confirm that homeland security remains a pork pit. Condi Rice's daily clarifications of her clarifications about American torture policies are contradicted by new reports of horrors before her latest circumlocutions leave her mouth. And the president's latest Iraq speeches - most recently about the "success" stories of Najaf and Mosul - still don't stand up to the most rudimentary fact checking."
Circumlocutions, wow! The administration in going to need a translator for this one.

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