Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

April 21, 2008

Selling the War: The Unending Endeavor

Filed under: film, media, politics — Tags: , , , — codesmithy @ 8:11 am

The New York Times ran an article exposing the complicity and collusion of “objective” military experts in the pre- and post-invasion coverage of the Iraq War. Glenn Greenwald has some additional commentary that is worth reading.

To bring this into perspective, there was a belief among certain segments of the military and hawkish politicians that it was the news coverage that eroded the popular support and eventually forced the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. There was a concerted effort by the Pentagon to ensure this did not happen to this conflict. This is but one facet of the larger effort.

Was the coverage slanted in the run-up to the war? Yes. This is not surprising. What is surprising is that nothing has changed. The media still trots out pro-war advocates like Kenneth M. Pollack as one-time critics, sober, serious, independent evaluators of Bush’s foreign policy. As Pollack tellingly reveals:

Some other analysts do not object to Mr. McCain’s portraying the insurgency (or multiple insurgencies) in Iraq as that of Al Qaeda. They say he is using a “perfectly reasonable catchall phrase” that, although it may be out of place in an academic setting, is acceptable on the campaign trail, a place that “does not lend itself to long-winded explanations of what we really are facing,” said Kenneth M. Pollack, research director at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

Pollack, a man who sees no problem conflating threats. He who has no problem with politicians over simplifying the situation in Iraq and just group everyone who is attacking our troops in a country that we invaded with the people who attacked us on 9/11. In other words, Pollack has no problem with politicians manipulating and lying to the American public which he deems too stupid or ignorant to understand the complexity of the situation to support the position that he has always supported: we go and we stay.  These are the experts the “liberal” news media consults as the independent observers.  These voices are never culled and there is never any indication to suggest how consistently wrong they have been.  It is just denial after denial from the news organizations until confronted with incontrovertible evidence which is then met with uniform and deafening silence.

As for the overall political climate such coverage helps create, it is important to realize there are four classes of people in this conflict: hawkish soldiers, dutiful soldiers, doves and chicken hawks. When compared to past wars, the group which has seen the largest growth are the chicken hawks. To the degree that this war continues, the 9/11 generation is increasingly the chicken hawk generation.  Maybe this should be no surprise considering that it was led by a president who used family connections to serve in the National Guard and a vice-president who received multiple deferments and is similarly cheered on by a cast of similarly chicken hawk personalities such as Rush Limbaugh, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson (which is documented along with others in Greenwald’s book “Great American Hypocrites.”)

It would be bad enough if this were just some academic debate.  Something where we could disagree and get a beer afterwards.  But people are dying and people are being horrendously injured.  This occupation needs to end.  If you don’t listen to me, a dove.   How about a dutiful soldier.


1 Comment »

  1. […] military analyst story. Ok, that is a bit convoluted, so let me try to clear this up. First of all, the New York Times on April 20th ran a story exposing the complicity of the “independent&#8221…. It is very likely that the Pentagon program was illegal. Not only that, but these military […]

    Pingback by NBC and the Myth of the Liberal Media « Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind — May 1, 2008 @ 7:46 am

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