Sunday, September 09, 2007

Read Frank Rich Today

Those who refuse to pay a ransom fee to the New York Times in order to unlock Frank Rich’s Op/Ed articles can read them on BuzzFlash or Welcome to Pottersville. But in brief, Rich said the following in his “As the Iraqis Stand Down, We’ll Stand Up” column today: 1. The Bush administration is going to do a 24-7 hype all next week linking 9/11 to the war in Iraq, which link, of course does not exist. 2. Instead of focusing on 9/11/2001, Rich says to focus on 9/8/2002. That’s when “The four horsemen of the apocalypse — Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Rice — were dispatched en masse to the Washington talk shows.” It was on that day these warmongers began their pitch for war in Iraq, invoking Iraq nuclear weapons and Condoleezza Rice said (thanks to a White House speechwriter), "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." 3. Much of the ensuing “epic propaganda onslaught of distorted intelligence, fake news, credulous and erroneous reporting by bona fide journalists, presidential playacting and Congressional fecklessness” was concocted by WHIG “a small task force of administration brass charged with the Iraq con job.” The White House Iraq Group was composed of Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Andrew Card, James R. Wilkinson, Nicholas E. Calio, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby and Michael Gerson (Bush’s born-again speech writer). 4. “Today,” Rich says, “the spirit of WHIG lives. In the stay-the-surge propaganda offensive that crests with this week's Congressional testimony of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, history is repeating itself in almost every particular. Even the specter of imminent "nuclear holocaust" has been rebooted in President Bush's arsenal of rhetorical scare tactics.” The old WHIG has been replaced by a “war room” which was put in place at the end of the “Rumsfeld regime” and which is “run by a former ABC News producer”. 5. “Exhibit A was last weekend's precisely timed ‘surprise’ presidential junket: Mr. Bush took the measure of success ‘on the ground here in Anbar’ (as he put it) without ever leaving a heavily fortified American base,” Rich says. And John McCain’s bogus visit to Baghdad was “a more elaborate example of administration Disneyland.” The Washington Post found out that at least one of the markets that McCain visited--the Dora market—“is a Potemkin village, open only a few hours a day and produced by $2,500 grants (aka bribes) bestowed on the shopkeepers.” Staff Sgt. Josh Campbell told WaPo, "This is General Petraeus's baby...personally, I think it's a false impression." 6. More Frank Rich: “No doubt General Petraeus, like Dick Cheney before him, will say that his own data is ‘pretty well confirmed’ by classified intelligence that can't be divulged without endangering national security. Meanwhile, the White House will ruthlessly undermine any reality-based information that contradicts its propaganda, much as it dismissed the accurate W.M.D. findings of the United Nations weapon experts Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei before the war. General Petraeus intervened to soften last month's harsh National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Last week the administration and its ideological surrogates were tireless in trashing the nonpartisan G.A.O. report card that found the Iraqi government flunking most of its benchmarks.” 7. Rich goes on to say, “What's surprising is not that this White House makes stuff up, but that even after all the journalistic embarrassments in the run-up to the war its fictions can still infiltrate the real news”. Last week, perky (gullible and stupid) Katie Couric was in Iraq disseminating false news and using Pentagon-speak, like, "Al Qaeda in Iraq”, while never differentiating between the Bush administration’s “Al Qaeda in Iraq” and the Al Qaeda that attacked America on 9/11. We all know we’ve been lied to. We all know that Petraeus and Crocker are flacks for the Bush administration. And even though some of us really don’t want to believe it, we all really do know that the only reason 3,761 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq and that we are still in Iraq is to validate the Bush administration neocons’ wrong-headed decision to attack Iraq. So, what are we going to do about it? For us to know that the Bush administration and its generals and flacks are making up all the statistics they throw at us about Iraq, and for us to do nothing is immoral and unethical. What is our recourse? What are our options? We really have to focus on that, not on the bullshit coming out of Washington during the next week. The week of September 11th was carefully calculated as the week the corrupt and slimy Petraeus/Crocker team would hype the Iraq war even though 9/11 had nothing whatsoever to do with the US attacking Iraq. Other than, of course, serving as a convenient excuse for a war the White House had decided to wage no matter what. HOW DO WE STOP THIS?

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