The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Our humble foreign policy fails to impress

Ponder this quote for a minute:

"[H]ow do you lose a P.R. war with Saddam Hussein? I mean, how could you be so inept that this lying thug dope addict serial killer is beating the head out of us in the court of world opinion. How could you be that inept?" --James Carville, Feb 18th, 2003 Crossfire

The Crossfire transcribers are pretty lame. They usually seem to use phonetic spelling, and I doubt that Carville actually said Saddam is "beating the head" out of us. But the idea is an important one. Bush is the leader of the World's Richest Democracy(TM), America, which is the shining beacon of hope for millions and perhaps billions of people around the world. We lift our lamp beside the golden door everyday. Citizens of other countries and immigrants look to us as a place to start a new life, a country built on the rule of law, which uses its might to oppose tyranny, not empower it. American culture and ideals are consumed around the world, and our nation received an outpouring of goodwill from the four corners of the earth after the September 11th attacks.

Yet, in a lopsided majority rarely seen for political questions, the Bush administration has been told to cool it by the world's people. In every nation across the globe, the people smell a rat. They know that inspections have a much greater chance of a good outcome for everyone on the planet than does invasion, war, and death. Even people in this country, bathed in their soothing electronic certainty that the US is always right on every issue (and that Bush has been chosen by God to guide our country through this dangerous time) are against this war.

It raises two interesting points. The first is that the Bush administration, or the powers which are pulling its strings, is more interested in having this war take place than in being re-elected. Every lie they've told, every captain of industry they've bribed (and been bribed by), every line of Democratic invective and Republican opprobrium spilled out of every compromised journalist's mouth, every bit of power they've managed to beg, borrow, and steal from the legislative and judicial branches, and the people themselves - it is all on the line with this war. What could be the payoff for them if they successfully get us into this war, which by many accounts could go badly wrong in a million ways, and for which they have no clear exit strategy (at least which they are sharing with the rest of the world), and then lose the election in 2004? The fact that they are pouring huge amounts of political capital into this effort suggests that the payoff is big indeed for them. Certainly the payoff doesn't involve bringing "democracy to the Iraqi people". That is to laugh. Could it just be the money that Poppy Bush and Carlyle will gain through war profits, and Halliburton will gain through control of the oil? What is the big prize in this invasion?

The second interesting point is that although this war is clearly so important to them that they will break international law to start it, with the whole world watching them and against them, they are doing a terrible job of selling it. Karl Rove, who is supposedly a master of political propaganda, can't get this dog to hunt. It is such a terrible plan that on its face, everyone else opposes it. Yet, people love America, they grieved with us on 9/11, we have (or rather had) an enormous amount of political capital with which to persuade our allies and make our case.

And we blew it. Colin Powell, in particular, has squandered his remarkable stash of auctoritas, and still the people see right through the thin tissue of lies used to paper over the gaping holes in the rationale for this invasion. It does raise Carville's question, and also another: Is this administration just incredibly inept, or is there some latent evil behind their plans? And what could that evil be that they would risk seeming so inept?

Our Humble Foreign Policy Watch

Bush spent a great deal of time talking about how we needed a "humble" foreign policy at the beginning of his term. Now that Germany wants to stop us from killing a bunch of mostly innocent people, our policy towards them is turning less humble. We (at least the defense department) are now engaged in "punishing German treachery". Way to keep our alliances strong, guys!

Media Watch

Ted Rall writes an excellent essay on how our amazing, self-censoring media can, and often does, deceive us by leaving out one crucial detail.

Bush Watch

Alan Bisbort has issued a rather humorous/depressing report card for the Bush administration. They fail, of course. By almost any credible measure, this country is heading in the wrong direction.

Who's Hitler? Watch

This thread begins with an interesing discussion forum post which you can show someone when they start talking about Saddam being "like Hitler". The important historical parallels actually seem to fall between Herr Schicklegruber and another appointed dictator who you may be familiar with.

Humor Watch

More on the "Bush or Chimp" theme, combined with some neat java technology. Enjoy!

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