Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Iraq Distract

A president distracted from Bin Laden and al Qaida by Iraq? George W. Bush, right?

Well, as TigerHawk points out, Bill Clinton might rethink declaring Richard Clarke as his go-to "wing man" on terror. In Against All Enemies, Richard Clarke, gave us a glimpse why the Clinton administration didn't pursue Bin Laden in Afghanistan with zest:

Sometimes I heard, "Look, we are bombing Iraq every week. We may have to bomb Serbia. European, Russian, Islamic press are already calling us the Mad Bomber. You want to bomb a third country?"...It was ironic that people had once worried whether Bill Clinton would use force and now there was criticism that he was using it too much. In the Islamic world, there was criticism that Clinton was still bombing Iraq....

Deliberate Distraction?

In the aftermath of ABC's Path to 911 and Bill Clinton's heated reaction to Chris Wallace's interview questions, has there been a effort on the part of Clinton supporters to confuse two opposing concepts in the public mind? First, let's isolate the two concepts subject to conflation:

1.) Scandal and impeachment distracted Clinton from taking military action against al Qaida.

2.) Clinton used military action to distract the country from scandal and impeachment.

The operative distinction between 1 & 2: (1) implies Clinton would have been more effective in his efforts to "kill" Bin Laden & Co., but for the domestic opponents pursuing the scandal that enveloped his administration, culminating in his impeachment; while (2) implies in fact the only time Clinton did order military action against terrorists was when scandal and impeachment were at his door.

Clearly, the "Wag the Dog" speculation, widespread not just among his opponents at the time of impeachment, is aligned with concept (2). Correspondingly, rather than being an impediment, scandal and impeachment were decisive catalysts for Clinton taking military action against al Qaida -- a "sweet spot" when the political risk of taking military action was eclipsed by the political cover it offered.

Why try to confuse point (2) with point (1)? Point (1) puts at least part of any blame for a failure to act on Clinton's opponents.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Oil Down, Propaganda Up?

Headline: Theory that U.S. orchestrated Sept. 11 attacks 'not absurd': Venezuela.

Do you get the impression that the Axis of Weasels might be ramping up its global propaganda war as the price of oil drops?

I assume al Qaida never thought that 9-11 conspiracy claim would pass the laugh test, or during the planning stage they would have tried to come up with ways to make it look more plausible.

Yet, wouldn't that make them look like tools of the Bush administration and Israel?

Anyway, as for those in this country who propagate this nonsense, phony Jefferson quotes about "dissent" notwithstanding: can we question their patriotism yet?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Reason Dems now want 9-11 movie pulled, not edited

Here's a thought about the new media technology and why the Demcrats now want ABC to cancel their 9-11 docu-drama instead of editing-out certain scenes: Think about how perfectly suited those selected scenes will be for broadcast on YouTube.

Cutting certain scenes is more enticing than canceling the entire broadcast. It identifies the forbidden fruit. A greater number of people are likely to invest the time needed to log-in just to see those scenes, rather than watch the entire video on DVD if its pulled from one-time broadcast on ABC. Redacted edits hosted on the Internet will be the most watched excerpts of the program, conveniently available "on demand."

What will the Dems do then? Can they ask ABC to exercise its copyright to enjoin YouTube and other sites posting the video excerpts? At what point will ABC look like it's "taking a cigar" for Clinton?

Plus, since the scenes are relatively brief and of public concern, will "fair use" privilege apply as a defense against copyright?

And who will mount the defense of that privilege? Tune in.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sheehan, set the Wayback Machine to the date...

If Cindy Sheehan's fantasy is to go back in time to commit infanticide, why couldn't she ask Mr. Peabody to set the date on the Wayback Machine to Saddam Hussein's first year on the planet instead of George W. Bush's?


Bad news, your pay went up.

Compare this "bad economic news" story on inflation in the Washington Post, which ominously reports "wages and benefits rose strongly," with the recent drumbeat of "bad economic news" stories on lagging wages.

Notice when the "bad news" is rising costs, the statistic used is "labor compensation, which includes wages and employment benefits," to make it look larger, and when the "bad news" is shrinking paychecks, only real wages are included, to make it look smaller.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Realpols

While I'm loath to exaggerate the importance of Lakoffian "framing" of political language, it seems to me the increasing use of the term "realist" is much more euphemistic than the abbreviated "neocon."

While both terms attempt to describe a foreign policy approach, the word "realist" tends to connote a level of certitude on the part of its proponents that should make most thinkers uncomfortable. Rather than simply identify an agreed upon framework of assumptions about "the way things are" as distinct from "the way we'd like them to be," "realism" connotes a doctrine sans ideology because of its self-reinforcing terminology. One must ask, can realists even disagree with one another?

Hence, in recognition of the true origins of realpolitik, shouldn't its adherents be more accurately described as "realpols" rather than "realists"?

Compared to neocon, realpol is equally abbreviational, colloquial and blessedly dismissive of its adherents' ability, by virtue of their adherence, to tell everyone else what is "real" or "new and improved."