War Rhetoric: Enforcing Conformity

The rhetoric used to marginalize dissenting opinion and coddle the herd into unity conformity is the same in Libya as it has been in other recent wars. I see two main tactics.

The first is the attempt to detract attention and emphasis away from any potential domestic concern about the war with nonchalant casualness. This was exemplified when Harry Ried last week said that the War Powers Resolution doesn’t apply in Libya because “We have no troops on the ground there, and this thing’s gonna be over before you know it anyways, so…” This is common: Don’t trouble yourselves with keeping your own government in check regarding war; this is no big thing and it will be over too soon to be worth any effort to stop it, so sit quiet. Not only did we hear this at the beginning of the war intervention in Libya (it will last “days, not weeks”), but we heard it in Iraq as well. Dick Cheney and other top Bush administration officials said the Iraq war would “last weeks, not months” while Don Rumsfeld said “It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.” We’re now about 100 days into this conflict with no end in sight. Also under this category of enforcing conformity is the promise of no ground troops we’ve been hearing, despite some quiet admissions that we will in fact need ground troops. The goal is the same: this war is and will be small and insignificant; don’t you dare make a fuss about it.

The other tactic is to hint in some way that if you are against the war you’re supporting the enemy. Classic with-us-or-against-us Bush rhetoric as well as Hillary Clinton’s recent “Whose side are you on?” talk is the most egregious of this sort. But it has less potent forms like this recent piece in the Wall Street Journal (via):

The press corps is claiming that all this reflects “war weariness,” but the war in Libya will only drag on longer if Gadhafi and his bloody-minded sons have reason to believe that the Americans are divided. These resolutions will encourage our enemies to conclude that if they can only hold out for a few more weeks or months, the U.S. and NATO will give up and sue for peace. The House is also undermining the morale of Libya’s rebels, not to mention domestic support for the intervention.

If you are not convinced by the first tactic of enforcing conformity (that the war is no big thing, thus shut up), then you still should not express dissent because it will encourage the enemy or let them know our plans. Do not “undermine domestic support for the war” by telling the truth about it or pressuring officials to follow the law; we need that domestic support so keep the people ignorant and thus passively in support of our war dictates. This was common with Iraq too, as administration and military officials said withdrawals dates could never be discussed because that would tell the insurgents when we were leaving.

It seems clear these are just rhetorical tactics without any validity. The aim is to quell dissent and prevent those who might question war from acting in that regard. Congressional moves to end or limit the war are still ongoing, but we’ll have to see if these tactics are as successful as they have been in the past, or if the Libya adventure’s almost satire-like absurdity will continue to “undermine domestic support.”

6 thoughts on “War Rhetoric: Enforcing Conformity”

  1. Hary Reid as utter poltroon. Reid would do well to STFU and sit his Coyote Springs ass down. Somebody in MSM go ahead and ask Brother Reid about Coyote Springs. I double dogs-of-war dare you…

  2. There are already ground troop in the country. Count on it. It takes ground troops to effectively "paint" targets. Smart bombs are not really all that smart. "painting" a target with a lazer is the only way to really be sure that the target gets hit. The drones fly closer and are more accurate but not the rest of what we use. Even with drones it's very likely that they will miss. How it works is that a member of a SFG goes in with no identification. This gives the government plausable deniability, if you get caught. You are not dressed like a joe or groom yourself like a joe. You look like a civilian and act like one, or a journalist, diplomat, etc. Also if you call in a C130 spector gunship you ware this nifty little patch called glint tape. The targeting system on spooky picks up the glint tape and misses you but hits everything else around you. Looking though your nods (night vision) you can see the grid come down as it targets everything. But, you have to turn them off before the strike.

    anti-war vet. 7th SFG.

  3. WAIT A MINUTE – if we talk about people talking about the war, doesn't that tell The Enemy ™ that people are talking about the war? Maybe it would be better if the press didn't talk about people talking about the war, and just let the President's hit squad go ahead and take out the ones who are doing the talking- you know, The Collaborators ™ who are informing The Enemy ™ of our plans.

    Your papers, please.

  4. When NATO or US Government demand a regime change or arguing about Nation Building is a crime against democracy by itself.., Although US and NATO arguments is based on their assumption that EU and USA demands on social political change or nation building is instructed in democratical terms; however, that needs to be proven in social terms where there is no homeless in US and or in England or France and governments are not serving the big corporation buy starting wars but rather emphasizing their effort to build a better life for their people.., US and EU infrastructural system are not based on democracy because there is no political negotiating terms ever been on the table before or after they have started a war on falsified document or just a hypocritical symbolic expression that this or that is better then this or that…, having said that: one can look at US and its war allies from Vietnam to present Libyan war.., whom they have helped out and what these people turned out to be.., most of these regime change and those who been helped by EU or US turned out to have some kind of connections to Mafia or a dictatorial religious figure head.., beside.., the groups or a change of a political system that favored by US/NATO-EU never been a democratic and its been proven from Vietnam war to present war in Libya…, Hashim Taci was the leader of Balkan Mafia which was helped by US and especially Richard Holbrook and Madeline Albright to establish the KLA (Kosovo Libration Army) so as Ahmad Chalabi in Iraq who turned out to be the thieve of Jordan.., so how could they demand regime change or nation building by not being a democratic system themselves.., democracy is not a one way street.., it needs to function otherwise no matter who is the leader and as long the system is not functioning it can not be called democratic.

    Simply for Cameron or Sarkozi and Obama or the Italian Mafiosi Berlusconi demanding such change is not their business but it is the majority of people vote regarding any of changes.., that is to say if such opportunity is ever given to a country or a government to defend itself; however, Libyan war is not about democracy nor those who oppose Qaddafi regime are from US democratic party nor they are in any social political position to implement such matter in Libya.., this also been proven by verity of reports which indicate the facts that US accusations regarding Kaddafi abusing its people is as false as WMD in Iraq.., and that every institutions based on their integrity have pointed in the opposite direction in what US and EU been saying about Libyan government.., and now this…! I mean the matter shows that US and EU acting as if the world of Mafiosi is back and in charge of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and rest of this world has become part of New York or Chicago or Beijing gangs from US-EU-China are fighting for making their territories bigger by paying off ICC.

  5. I read the War Rhetoric: Enforcing Conformity and I found it amazing .Your thought process is wonderful. The way you express yourself is awesome.

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