They just make it up. That always seems to be the most convenient way to deal with a quagmire that simply won’t go away. I refer of course to the Bush administration (although Bill “I did not have sex with that woman” Clinton had his moments too, but that, leaguewise, was something else, substantially more minor), and all who sail in her.
Like the road to war itself…they simply made it all up.
Powell lied to the UN, Bush knowingly lied to the elected US Congress and to his constituency dozens of times. Even in the face of buckets of publicly available and minutely scrutinized evidence, Cheney was able to appear before the media, on TV and in public and blatantly lie. He was able to say something and, knowing it’s completely without foundation, repeat it.
And others do it….unless you are screamingly gullible and /or able to dismiss the obvious, John Howard is a proven liar over both the Tampa issue and the Australian Wheat Board thing. He didn’t tell the truth, and he did it in the full knowledge that he was lying to those who had elected him to serve.
But bigger than all the lies is the terrifying fact that Howard, like Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld and so many others, got away with it.
And got away with it time and time again. So it works. You say something, no matter how outrageously or demonstrably incorrect, and stand by it in the face of all and any evidence to the contrary. It’s a tactic long used by the hard right and the hard left. Hitler did it, so did Stalin, so did Nixon, so did Muldoon in NZ, and Bush and his posse (because John Howard is his sheriff after all), do it to.
Glenn Greenwald is magnificent in pulling up the media for rolling with, and wallowing in, the bullshit, but his is very much a lonely voice.
He pulled up the media the month before last when a couple of long time neo-con fellow travellers were able to present themselves as anti-war analysts who had seen the light via an editorial in a major US paper (which in itself does a very good job as portraying itself as liberal thinking when it was pro-war, so much so the right wing loonies rail against it with some vitriol). And he pulled up the claim that the so called surge was working when there was a claimed drop in casualties in July…a claim trumpeted by simply not telling the truth…by making things up and letting a very gullible middle America read them in their less than questioning regional papers (who s often as not simply print the disinformation and skewered media releases verbatim as Greenwald pointed out).
And here we go again. It’s clearly a policy decision with the surge report to the US Congress, by Gen. David H. Petraeus, the policy being, it really doesn’t matter what the truth is we will say whatever we want to say, and then repeat it ad nausuem as the truth. The media will, as they always do, roll with it and repeat whatever we want to them to say. Sure there will be a few prickly columns, and blogs, and maybe an editorial or three in the “left wing” press, but overwhelmingly people will buy it.
And they will…they bought the lies about the threat from Iraq, they’re buying the lies about Iran, they bought the lies about the Australian Wheat Board, they buy the lies about Saddam and 9/11 (am I right in thinking most American still believe this..18 months ago 80 % of US troops in Iraq still believed there was a link…I guess it’s easier than believing that your buddy died to make Cheney and his friends a little bit richer).
So, make it up, tell lies..the surge really is starting to work….the 300,000 US troops (it bemuses me how the US taxpayer paid private mercenaries are never included in the troop total) have stemmed the violence and things are slowly looking just a little bit rosier..so much so that we might…sometime in the future, be able to pull out..ahhh…3500 troops. It doesn’t matter how many times they’ve said troops out soon in the past this time they will, and a massive 3,500 too.
Except its crap…all the independent analysis says it’s crap. I’m not going to repeat exactly why its bullshit, all made up to sell to Bubba in Wisconsin, for that you can go here, here, here, here, and here.
Suffice to say, that in some bizarre the all powerful Bush camp and their accommodating General seem, amongst a raft over other over / under and convenient misstatements to have found a way to redefine what dead actually means when you are an Iraqi civilian. Now you are only dead as a result of the ongoing mayhem, and countable by the good General if you are shot in the back of the head. In the front does not count…you are really not as dead and worth counting as if the slug came from the back.
Oh and the 500 killed by bombs in northern Iraq don’t count….
I don’t know how it’s possible to twist the truth anymore than that..maybe the body counts in Vietnam are slightly more statistically warped…but this whole war has been a litany of bullshit, from grand Coalition counts of the numbers of classrooms repaired back in 2003..that much touted good news, to the Al Qaeda crap.
They make this stuff up, they twist and warp to produce any result that want…and the USA will buy it.
And all it takes is Fox and a complacent media to sell the wining now bullshit to the masses, which they will do, and the poll numbers will rise…after all, Bush is only unpopular because a rag tag bunch of, to use Vietnam analogies again, gooks, is substantially kicking the butt of the “greatest army the world has ever seen”…again…nothing to do with any moral objection to half a million dead Iraqis.
With that in mind, this is worth watching:
Update: This poll seems to, hopefully, indicate that mom and pop apple pie might no longer be as gullible as they were leading up to March 2003. You can but hope, but once again the mood seems to be against Iraq only because they've had their arses well and truly whooped.