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Thursday, December 01, 2005


propaganda: iraq

matt welch takes on the apologists for american government propaganda in iraq, exposed in this los angeles times article.

i would submit that most iraqis probably know, just as most americans know about fox news, just what they're being fed and by whom. but this is not a catchall forgiveness -- clearly, just as many americans really do feel fox is telling them some "hidden truth" long covered up by a conspiracy of some kind, many iraqis well choose to believe what they would prefer to be true rather than what is true -- or, at least, use such propaganda as excuses to publicly mitigate acts that were conceived with ulterior aims in mind.

but more disturbing is the revelation that the american government had hopes that such propaganda would be repeated in the united states -- where the veracity of the sourcing is much murkier by virtue of being at a distance -- as "evidence" for american public consumption that things really are getting better in iraq when they are not. such propaganda quickly can become fuel for those who would seek to perpetuate american militarism in any case.

this of course isn't the first episode of propaganda to emit from this administration. policy propaganda directed at the american domestic population has previously been exposed; the jeff gannon scandal followed the armstrong williams scandal. all of that, as well as the expressed intention to attack reporting channels beyond its control, be it newsweek or al-jazeera.

such is the pattern of behavior than one might expect of an administration whose defenders are admirers of machiavelli and the cause of the italianate humanists to resuscitate spartanism. but the evil of that path should not be doubted -- nor should the futility it must encounter nor the damage it can do to the united states itself.

I don't think the news on Fox is much different than other channels. The difference is all in the talking head opinion shows. If some people can't figure out the bullshit, I hope they don't vote.

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You and I have markedly different qualification for "scandal" - do more than one in a hundred remember either Williams or Gannon?

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Oh please, spare me the indignation. FDR not only piped in pro-American propaganda and wiretapped the press, he called NBC into the Oval Office and told them they'd either toe the line or be taken over, and yet the republic survived.

But the Pentagon under Bush prints a few positive stories in the Iraqi press and a functionary gives a single grant to an admin-friendly voice, and suddenly our perspective-deficient wannabe-philosopher host instantly begins spouting about "resuscitating spartanism." Maybe you should think about resuscitating your prescription for antipsychotics.

I don't recall anyone getting upset with PBS' taxpayer-funded left-wing advocacy, or for that matter the taxpayer-funded leftist lunacy that emits from our educational system.

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