Thursday, August 21, 2003

Bobblehead Rhetoric

The Bush administration is all about disinformation. Take the comments of Paul Bremer in Baghdad today. He said two things that jumped out at me:

First, that we are engaged in a war that was declared against us on 9/11/01. Really? I thought we declared war on terrorism. And what about the USS Cole, the US embassies bombed in 2000, etc., etc. What were they, pre-war skirmishes? It might be argued that Bremer’s comment didn’t mean anything literal, that it was just rhetoric. Right. And another opportunity to use “9/11” in public comments, just to keep the public disfocused on the disissues.

Second, he said that if we don’t succeed in fighting the terrorists over there, by which I presume he meant in Iraq, then we’ll have to fight them here, in US cities. Whoa, Nellie. The Bush administration, to and including the President, has not missed an opportunity to remind us that Al Queda is already here, that the threat of attacks in the US is “very real.” They want to use planes against us, and trains, and … what was it? Ferry boats? What kind of vacuous, bobblehead rhetoric is this?

I am aware that Mr. Bremer was perhaps speaking under some duress, in the shadow of the attack on the UN headquarters. I imagine he lost friends or colleagues there. It would be beneath me not to acknowledge this cause for grief. It was another tragic waste of life in a rising tide of such tragedies, which US foreign policy seems hopelessly impotent to stem.


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