Monday, September 10, 2007

Pink elephant, Part II

Apropos of the post below, there are many semi-intelligent people who have so much invested in their support for our government's war policies that they are willfully blind to the fact that the government has waged a month-long P.R. campaign to rally support for these policies, and that the star of this campaign has been General David H. Petraeus.

These willful-blinders insist on deluding themselves that the General is a straight-shooter, a paragon of objectivity, an unbiased soldier who just happened to find himself in the middle of a political conflict, and who will do the very best he can to give the most candid, straightforward assessment of the "facts-on-the-ground" regarding the success (or failure!) of the mission he is commanding in Iraq.

The teevee medium generally reinforces this idea, along with talk radio (obviously). The newspapers are somewhat more skeptical, but the willful-blinders can skip over those articles as soon as they begin to take a questioning bent.

And, of course, for those so inclined, left-leaning blogs are easily avoided. Which is a propitious state of affairs for those folks, because if they were to accidentally come across this article (or this one, or this one, for example), they might begin to see that the General, far from being an objective investigator and unbiased reporter of facts, starts to look much more like the Baghdad station chief of the WH Communications Office.

And if, through misfortune, a blissfully ignorant champion of the General were to make a misstep leading to this page, he or she would find there a catalog of the many many previous statements made by the General extolling the wonderful progress of each of the various, different (and failed) occupation strategies employed in Iraq over the last 3 years.

Misclicking onto this page would reveal a link to the General's Washington Post op-ed wherein, shortly before the 2004 presidential election, with his boss, the president, under fire for his war policies and in dire need of positive war news, the General saw "tangible progress" toward the training of Iraqi security forces (a mission he himself, the General, was in charge), "progress in the effort to enable Iraqis to shoulder more of the load for their own security", "reasons for optimism", "highly successful operation[s]". The General predicted lots more progress "within the next 60 days" (soon after the election, if you're counting), since "considerable progress is [now] being made in the reconstruction and refurbishing of infrastructure", and "momentum has gathered in recent months", leading him to believe that "this trend will continue."

Unfortunately, the Great Progress in the training of Iraqi security forces ultimately came to very little, if anything, and certainly not enough to allow U.S. forces to withdraw.


bgirl said...

There I go commenting on one post before reading the next - I guess you have more succinctly written what I was rambling about...the head in the sand theory.

HHL said...

(sorry about that, bgirl. i was confused myself!)