advocates of war in the Middle East, now in panic mode, have resorted
to concocting third-rate fiction to support the occupation of
Iraq. Consider this email that National Review stalwart
Cliff May claimed to have gotten from a real live Iraqi [who presumably
reads NR for the stories and not the salacious pin-up stuff
that I really don't want to mention in mixed company].
thanksgiving," the message begins, letting us know the writer
is sincere [because people with inadequate written English skills
are the prima facie salt of the earth, desirous above all else
of Americans to sanction their very lives], alive, and breathing.
It's as if the reader needs reassurance; a cynic might claim that
Cliff May wouldn't be averse to fabricating documents to retroactively
justify his advocacy of a war that is both unwinnable and unprofitable,
thereby calling the document's authenticity into question. But
there's no question here on that front.
am very proud for the great great visit of Mr. President to Iraq.
It was very brief visit. The reaction from Iraq people is very
very great," writes this young lady, who instinctively seems to
realize that Americans simply repeat adjectives and use the word
very as much as possible to denote sincere emotion. According
to May who just might have a GPS targeted on her Jordaches
as verification of the planks of her identity his correspondent
is a Chaldean Christian who lives near Mosul.
a chatty Chaldean Christian this emailer seems to be! "They feel
it is good support and insure American are going to stay until
the job is done. Iraqi people they worry about American election.
They love very much Mr. Bush to be elected again a lot of people
ask from Iraq what they can be a part of the campaign."
assume that this is a real email, sent by someone in a war zone
to a think tank jock at an American neoconservative magazine.
She doesn't really have the command of English to understand Jonah
Goldberg's paeans to Matt Groening, or even Larry Kudlow's prescriptions
for the economy. But no matter! She soldiers on, reading the work
of Cliff May and being so moved by it [Quick: name one quotable
thing Cliff May has ever said.] that she overcomes her shyness
about English to write this cat from the Foundation for the Defense
of Democracies [Slogan: "Sharon Calls, We Respond"] and inquire
about working on Bush's campaign. Utterly unreal aren't
these Iraqis supposed to be unsure about how democracy works?
If that is the case, what would make them en masse, mind
you express longings to each other to help Bush get reelected?
at in isolation from the current action in the Middle East, such
a fabrication as this email seems to be might be framed as horseplay.
But May is not too far removed from the folks who shoved yellowcake
down the collective Anglo-American gullet. Nor is he very far
from the clamor
of the Case Closed cabal some weeks back. And therein lies the
problem: this action in the Middle East is founded on mendacity,
deceit, and moral bankruptcy to a degree so significant that the
real motivations for and modes of war cannot be discussed in the
are the elites to do, when the truth [in the case of Iraq, an
occupation that only a shill can frame as a Good Thing] is inconvenient
to the carefully forged "National Greatness" brand of conservatism?
In the grand tradition of Leo Strauss, they construct a noble
lie. And then, when that lie becomes threadbare, they construct
Lopez, who oversees operations at National Review Online's
communal blog "The Corner," referred her readers to the blog
of a purported Iraqi by simply declaiming
"It's Not All About Oil."
it's not about oil, then it must be about something else. But
does it really matter what that might be? Lopez's blogger doesn't
seem to think so, conveniently preferring instead to reference
the familiar tropes of the nattering nabobs of neoconservatism.
"The blood was never for oil...There had been a perspective that
is widely spread among Arabs and the anti war, even some Iraqis,
that America came to Iraq to steal the oil and other natural resources
from Iraq (I don't know if anyone supports this idea in the USA)
and I've got sick of seeing this ridiculous idea written on the
walls in Baghdad or on signs held by the supposed peace activists
or even being spoken in interviews on al-Jazeera or other Arab
media by those who pretend that they care for the interests of
the Iraqi people. I wonder how their brilliant, clear thinking
got to that nonnegotiable conclusion!!?"
few questions come up. First, why would this resident of Iraq
be so conversant with the "no blood for oil" slogan used by left-liberal,
western opponents of the Iraqi action? Secondly, why would the
blogger use essentially Anglo-American jargon ["Arab Media"]?
The incredulous three-way tryst between the two exclamation points
and the question mark how can such things be seen as anything
but a glaring seam in the characterization that practically begs
to be called out as fabrication?
blogger exposes the grisly business of fabrication in many ways.
Because we are to believe that he is in fact Iraqi, we readers
are treated to imbecilic jokes ["the answer is so simple that
even a blind man can see, heh"] as a framework for familiar,
long-discredited arguments ["the war was never for oil itself,
the aims of the war were freeing the Iraqi people, destroying
Saddam's WMD's, fighting international terrorism and the spread
of freedom and democracy in the M.E."]
can anyone much less an editor at what once was the country's
greatest conservative magazine push such cheap fiction
as legitimate reportage? Do real Iraqis refer to the "M.E."? "Saddam's
WMD's," "international terrorism," and the "spread of freedom
and democracy"? Does anyone talk that way who isn't angling for
career advancement inside the Beltway?
in the blog, the writer sees the sunny side of the Coalition incursion
onto his homeland: "Oil is needed continuously all over the world,
and the oil supplies should be maintained to every country, no
crazy tyrant like Saddam should be controlling one of the largest
reserves of oil in the world, imagine the mess if Saddam, Gaddafy
and the mullahs of Iran decided to cease the production of oil,
as some Arab countries did in 1973 when Saddam held the slogan
'oil is a weapon in the battle.' Anyway I think that even
this side effect was not in the interest of the USA alone.
Oil, like water; is essential to everyone, and no one should hold
it off from the others."
the mess indeed! You'll have to, because the prospect of all three
of them getting together long enough to cartelize an embargo is
and was pure fiction. In the weeks leading up to the invasion,
reports were that Iran and Iraq were finally wrapping up their
POW exchanges from their war during the Reagan Presidency.
may collapse any week now from the weight of accumulated debt,
but that shouldn't matter so much. "A wonderful sunny day in Baghdad,
I couldn't sleep last night, I was anxious. The day is my day.
I've stayed awake late watching the news channels broadcasting
the news about president bush's visit to Baghdad. I tried to figure
out the meanings behind this visit. I shared the tears with him,
tears of joy, anxiety, and care for the future of his country
men. I was also afraid for the future of my people and I felt
some kind of unity of feelings with all the good on earth. I expressed
that today as I marched with my brothers in the demo. That fights
the terrorism and defends freedom and democracy."
"Defends freedom and democracy"? "All the good on earth"? Utterly
absurd Winston Smith on a mescaline jag. The image of this
blogger waiting for Bush like Snoopy waiting for the Great Pumpkin
likewise is priceless, leading this reader to wonder if the neocons
really think people are so stupid and insensitive to nuance as
to buy any unsupported assertion they dream up.
could go on for much longer, noting the slangy use of "demo" as
convenient shorthand for demonstration, the curious discursion
on the subject of "the people's id," the chiding of Baathist bitter
enders for having "such a negative attitude," and the blogger's
argument that "the M.E. and the 3rd World Nations"
don't need standing armies to maintain "the regional equilibrium
of forces." Likewise, I could call attention to the blogger's
excoriation of London protesters in November pulling a statue
of Bush down for not understanding that "Iraq and Afghanistan"
needed liberation and that said protesters needed to be more considerate
to the "feelings" of the American people. But what's the point?
This blog is a sham, like so much else offered up by the post
9.11.01 advocates of global Democratic revolution. It is up to
those who know better than to believe this bilge to call it for
what it is, and to force those who authored and promulgated it
to answer for their base deception.
recent column by Anthony Gancarski
Amidst the Palms
Tale of Two Americas
Lynch, Hot Property
a Good Ol' Boy?
Noam Chomsky Hate America?
Into Putin's Soul
Uncertainty: The Price of Losing the Terror War Is Unthinkable
Ledeen, 'Man Of Peace'
the War on Terror and the Prostitution of Faith
on the Run
Tale of Two Democrats
of the Congressional Black Caucus
Bloviations in Washington
Iraq Hell on Earth?
Historians, Then and Now
Revolution It's What's for Dinner
Evening with Ann Coulter
Team AIPAC's 2002 Season
the author of Unfortunate
Incidents, writes for The American Conservative, CounterPunch,
and LewRockwell.com. His web journalism was recognized by
Utne Reader Online as "Best of the Web." A writer for the
local Folio Weekly, he lives in Jacksonville, Florida.