Monday, April 10, 2006

Leverage xenophobia response

You’ve probably all read the WaPo piece about the Pentagon’s propaganda campaign to build up Zarqawi as Villain of the Week, because while Bush may talk about foreign policy being based on principles, he can’t function without demonizing someone. My favorite bit is the quote from a briefing: “Villainize Zarqawi/leverage xenophobia response.” Leverage xenophobia response. Just charming. So the idea was to get Iraqis to equate the insurgency with a foreigner and forget that there was also this rather large occupying army in Iraq which was also made up of, you know, foreigners.

The Pentagon has responded to the article by saying that Zarqawi really is a great big scary villain. Gen. Rick Lynch, who I am officially awarding Mark Kimmitt’s old title of Military Moron for his many stupid comments and for not knowing the meaning of the word insidious, insists that Z. & those he recruits, trains and equips are responsible for 90% of the “insidious suicide attacks” in Iraq.

Bush pooh-poohs the notion that he plans to attack Iran militarily, calling it “wild speculation”: “I know we’re here in Washington [where] prevention means force. It doesn’t mean force necessarily. In this case it means diplomacy.” In Washington prevention means force? Is that a regional dialect thing like hoagies & grinders, o lexicographer in chief?

One of the students at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins (a first-year) asked Bush what, if any, legal authority governs the actions of private contractors in Iraq. He didn’t know. Boy, didn’t he know. You must, must, must watch the video. Bush has become a parody of Jon Stewart’s parody of him.

Much of the speech portion was spent scolding Iraqi politicians for failing to form a government “that unifies all Iraqis.” Really, his language is getting dangerously insulting, ordering them to “put aside their personal agendas,” thus reducing the political problems of Iraq to issues of ego.

He also belittled American foreign policy before the arrival of his enlightened rule: “And our foreign policy prior to my arrival was ‘if it seems okay, leave it alone.’ In other words, if it’s nice and placid out there on the surface, it’s okay, just let it sit.” He makes it sound like an unflushed toilet.

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