con-man makes up a few non-facts, invents some quotes,
off his minor lies as legitimate news over a period of
some 18 months. Result:
editor and the managing
editor of America's newspaper of record resign
in disgrace. On the other hand, U.S. and British
government officials, over roughly
the same time period, concoct
a series of cock-and-bull
stories about Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction,"
lie to the American people in order to bamboozle
them into an
unnecessary war. Result: nobody resigns, or is asked to
resign. Meanwhile, the
same people hailing the downfall of Howell Raines are
busy making excuses for George W. Bush and the neoconservative
cabal who lied
us into war.
now supposed to ignore the media because they're unreliable.
Listen to the government: they know what's best. That's
the whole point of the current campaign to debunk not only
the Times but the supposedly "liberal" media.
story about Wolfowitz saying that the Iraq war was really
all about oil is somehow supposed to make us forget what
he said to Vanity Fair. Even if Wolfowitz had
said the war was all about oil, it still would've been a lie
– because the truth is a whole lot worse.
War Party, faced with the debunking of this administration's
fabrications, is counterattacking by debunking the debunkers.
It's their signature modus operandi: exaggerate, besmirch,
smear, and drag everyone down to their level, where we can
all roll around in the mud. If caught in a lie, get the goods
on your accuser. Plant stories and then debunk them, discrediting
your enemies: I have no proof that's what happened in the
case of the Guardian, but I wouldn't put it past the
War Party. The neoconservative scum who disfigure the public
face of this administration like a bad case of acne, and their
allies abroad, are capable of almost anything.
the neocons are now posing as champions of objective truth,
and the mortal enemies of context-dropping, has got to be
the grossest inversion of reality on record: their
hero, Leo Strauss, believed in lying as
a high principle. The masses, you see, are too stupid
to comprehend the bitter realities of the truth, and must
be fed "necessary
up by the intellectual elite – i.e. the neocons, in government
and the media but it's all for the
have to hand it to the neocons for their boldness. Now they're
saying: so we lied, or were lied to, but what does it matter?
The end of Saddam is an end worthy of lying, or, as
Andrew Sullivan put it:
reason I find some of the grand-standing over WMDs increasingly
preposterous is that it comes from people who really want
to avoid the obvious: more and more it's clear that the liberation
of Iraq was a moral obligation under any circumstances."
the joys of "liberation" – thousands
of deaths, ruined and looted
of the Iranian-influenced mullahs, the slide
into constant guerrilla warfare, widespread fear
and uncertainty, the crippling
of the economy, and the
end of civil society. What more could the Iraqis want?
all of that's just temporary, you see, an unfortunate stage
in the transition to "democracy" and complete "liberation,"
two words that fall from the lips of administration officials
and their media amen corner like
overripe fruit in a summer storm. The President, in his
"vision" speech to the American Enterprise Institute that
neocon echo chamber where the
ideology of Democratism has incubated lo these many years inveighed
against the idea that the soil of the Middle East is too harsh
for the tender sprout of democracy:
is presumptuous and insulting to suggest that a whole region
of the world or the one-fifth of humanity that is Muslim is
somehow untouched by the most basic aspirations of life. Human
cultures can be vastly different. Yet the human heart desires
the same good things, everywhere on Earth. In our desire to
be safe from brutal and bullying oppression, human beings
are the same. In our desire to care for our children and give
them a better life, we are the same. For these fundamental
reasons, freedom and democracy will always and everywhere
have greater appeal than the slogans of hatred and the tactics
of presumptuous, the "interim" occupation government
of Iraq has decreed
that a "code of conduct" shall govern the "liberated"
media of Iraq. Associated Press reports:
officials say the code is not intended to censor the media,
only to stifle intemperate speech that could incite violence
and hinder efforts to build a civil society. The country is
just too fragile for a journalistic free-for-all, they say."
those Ay-rabs, they're so damned fragile, a free press might
shatter them. I especially like the way Mike
Furlong, described as "a senior advisor to the Coalition
Provisional Authority," put it:
no room for hateful and destabilizing messages that will destroy
the emerging Iraqi democracy. All media outlets must be responsible."
if "freedom and democracy will always and everywhere
have greater appeal than the slogans of hatred" then
why bother with censorship? Oh, but this isn't censorship,
according to a media "advisor"
who runs the seized Iraqi government television
done some pretty critical stories on U.S. authorities,' said
Don North, an Arlington, Va.-based adviser to the station
who has helped launch independent media in the Balkans and
eastern Europe. 'The journalists ask, 'It is it all right
to criticize the U.S. in our story?' North said. 'Yes, of
course if you can substantiate the charges.'"
whose satisfaction is left unsaid, but the answer is clear:
in Bosnia and Kosovo, U.S. government media "advisors"
have the final say.
reports on an international shindig
of "legal and media experts" meeting in Greece this
week to draw up a "regulation book" for Iraqi journalists
(but not Western journalists working in Iraq?), and lists
media law with penalties, ranging from public apologies to
closure, for defamation, incitement to violence, hate speech.
up council to help draw up code of conduct for journalists,
resolve complaints against media.
commission to regulate media, with authority to allocate radio
and TV frequencies, monitor content, hear complaints. Separate
board would hear appeals."
the apparatus of censorship securely in place, the overlords
of Iraq can safely proclaim that, from this day henceforth,
the Iraqi government will "not require licenses for newspapers,
magazines, individual journalists." Isn't that great?
Furthermore, they'll "grant public and press access to
all documents and decisions of U.S.-led interim governing
authority" – as long as this material is utilized in
a "responsible" manner, and doesn't get Iraqi journalists
hauled up before the Media Commission on charges of "hate
speech." Sure, why not "allow private Internet
service providers to operate," as long as American "advisors"
like Commissar North are around to "monitor content"?
By all means let us "transform state-owned radio and
TV into [a] public broadcasting system with editorial independence"
– it's all good, as long as Americans are paying the bills
and holding the reins.
the ultimate solution, of course, is to "turn government
newspapers over to independent, private owners," as the
Athens conclave put it. Yeah! That's it! Why not just
"deregulate" the Iraqi media and save the U.S. taxpayers
some small change by turning it all over to Rupert Murdoch?
After all, it seems to have worked in the U.S. …
War Party smugly cites a
poll that avers the people don't care if they were lied
to, but that's nonsense. As long as they are blithely unaware
of the consequences and costs of the Iraq war, it doesn't
matter to most people one way or the other. But at the first
sign of trouble, or when the bill comes due – whichever comes
first Americans will suddenly recover their moral sense
and recall, albeit dimly, the virtue of honesty.
rulers lied about the real reasons for this war, they lied
about their war aims, and they are lying, now, about their
future plans for a wider and even more destructive war. But
their day of reckoning will come, and a lot sooner – by the
– than anyone now imagines.
IN THE MARGIN
got to check out LewRockwell.com's new blog – it's LRC, but
with a whole lotta brio! It's a colorful dash of political
incorrectness in the bland cyber-soup of post-9/11 neocon
orthodoxy. And, best of all, it's David Frum's worst nightmare!
In a cyber-universe where truly witty writers are as few and
far between as the hairs on Jonah Goldberg's chest, the LRC-blog
is an oasis of talented and engaging paleos of the libertarian
persuasion. LewRockwell.com is my first stop every morning:
I mean, what better way to start your day than with Murray
N. Rothbard on "Fusionism
and Libertarianism" in the thought of Frank S. Meyer?
As an extra, added bonus: we
now have the Mises blog – where you can read the latest
about the issues that really matter, written by scholars
and students associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute,
from a pure free-market perspective.
a darkly evil era, one of the few bright spots to emerge has
been the revival of what we now call the Old Right. Anti-imperialist,
radically decentralist, and implacably opposed to the rise
of the American Welfare-Warfare State, the Old Right – which
went out of fashion somewhere around the early 1950s
stood defiantly blocking the road to empire, and bitterly
decried the death of our old republic. Today, the Old Right
is back, and The American Conservative is its champion
and standard-bearer. Look, I'm not just promoting a cause:
I mean it when I say that I am bowled over by each and every
issue of TAC, and this latest one – with John
Laughland's eye-opening piece on how the U.S. installed a
gangster regime in defeated Serbia is really the
jewel in the crown. Peter Hitchens – yes, the
good Hitchens, as opposed to the
Other One – on Tony Blair's transformation of Britain
into an Orwellian "Airstrip
One" is not to be missed. (It's not online, however,
so if you don't rush down to your local news stand, you will
miss it. That's why it's
useful to subscribe.)
my own personal favorite is Taki's philippic
against the "Uriah
Heep-like Frum," the neocon version of Stephen
Glass, who claims that Taki, on meeting Frum and his wife,
Crittenden, remarked "That is why I am an anti-Semite
– the Jews take all the most
beautiful women." Taki replies:
the time I had never heard of Frum and took him for Mr. Crittenden.
Is it credible that I would say I was anti-Semitic to a man
I did not know and had no idea what religion he was? Was he
wearing a yarmulke?"
Commissar Frum ought to be wearing is a placard, or a tatoo
emblazoned across his beetled brow, proclaiming "I am
a liar." Never mind Jayson
Blair and Rick Bragg, or the hapless
reporters at The Guardian: I'm wondering when someone
is going to bust Frum for lying through his teeth, taking
quotes out of context as
he did in his
completely linkless and footnote-less screed against "unpatriotic"
antiwar conservatives and libertarians and making up
stories out of whole cloth, as he clearly did with Taki. Never
mind the alleged sins of Howell Raines – bring me the
head of Rich Lowry!
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