Amidst all that’s been written about Newsweak’s agreement to now let the Bushies vet its reporting in the wake of the magazine’s article about Guantanamo Bay interrogators’ rather rude treatment of the Quran, a particular by Terence Hunt of the Associated Press about the whole unholy affair caught my widened orb. After carefully unsnagging it, I focused it as well as I could on a few quotes that were real eye-poppers (as if that’s what I needed at the moment). To (nit)wit:
Hunt quotes Scott McClellan, White House press secretary, thusly:
“The report had real consequences. People [in Afghanistan] have lost their lives. Our image abroad has been damaged. There are some who are opposed to the United States and what we stand for who have sought to exploit this allegation. It will take work to undo what can be undone.”
You know, I think McClellan is the only guy almost alive who could make me miss Ari Fleischer. Each is a bald-faced liar, but watching Scotty-boy dissemble for the administration makes it all the more evident that Fleischer actually had a natural-born talent for prevarication. It was even somewhat entertaining at times, in a guilty pleasure sort of way, watching Ari lie through his teeth. With McClellan, I just want to punch him in them. Having said that (thank you for listening), the sickly laughable hypocrisy saturating snotty Scotty’s admonishment of the wayward Newsmeek is so obvious, we’ll just move on here to our next gem, as reported by Hunt:
“McClellan said a retraction was only ‘a good first step’ and said Newsweek should try to set the record straight by ‘clearly explaining what happened and how they got it wrong, particularly to the Muslim world, and pointing out the policies and practices of our military.’”
So let me get this straight: the main function of American media is not to report facts, but rather to promote the gory glory of America’s globe-straddling, imperialistic death machine, otherwise know as the United States military?
Just so long as we’re clear.
This actually might be a good place to pause and ask: did Newspeak get the story wrong? Well, yeah, obviously they did. I mean, come on: Who other than an America-hating commie gay-lover would believe that a member of the honorable U.S. military could even consider throwing a Quran into a toilet? Yes, we all know America has gone to war under false pretenses, killed tens of thousands, wounded countless others, destroyed a country, tortured prisoners, murdered civilians outright (in addition to killing them, all in good faith, of course, as “collateral damage”), infuriated Muslims all over the globe, intentionally alienated longtime allies, precipitated a spike in terrorism worldwide, and ripped off millions of dollars from the Iraqis while purportedly helping them, but, really, now … desecrate the Quran?
Please! That would be over the line.
Moving backward, er, sideways, uh, forward, here’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to Hunt: “It’s appalling that this story got out there.”
“Appalling” is not the first word that comes to mind; “miraculous,” maybe.
Per Hunt, Rice again: “I do think [the article has] done a lot of harm. Of course, 16 people died…”
So Condi weeps for 16 dead Afghanis. Touching. However, since the U.S. has slaughtered at least 100,000 Iraqis in its imperial land/oil grab on her watch and I don’t remember ever hearing her express similar concern for those poor souls, I do believe that if world domination were a poker game [and some would say it is], I bet her bet would go something like this: “I call your 6250 dead Iraqis with my one dear, departed Afghani.” (At least we now know the approximate rate of exchange.)
Lastly, Rice out-Rices herself: “[B]ut it’s also done a lot of harm to America’s efforts to demonstrate tolerance and breed goodwill in the Muslim world.”
I’m sorry. I must’ve missed our noble efforts at selflessly helping our Muslim friends these last couple of years while I was busy being preoccupied with occupied Iraq.
On second thought, though, maybe ol’ Bird’s Nest Hair actually has a point here. Perhaps it’s not so strange, after all, to wonder why Iraqis (the ones who haven’t yet died from bombs, bullets, cholera, or depleted uranium poisoning) aren’t just a little more grateful for America’s big-hearted attempt to rid their country once and for all of weapons of mass destruction, er, smash Al-Qaeda with whom Saddam Hussein was working closely, uh, bring democracy, yeah, that’s it, bring democracy to their now rubble-strewn and cluster bomb-blanketed land. After all, if the Chinese someday invade and occupy our country for our own good after pulling the financial rug out from underneath us by suddenly calling in the mountains of U.S. Treasury bills we continually sell them to prop up our bankrupt economy, I’m sure we’ll all be in the streets singing their praises to high heaven.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I see that folks like Rice and McClellan are just naturally doing and saying what representatives of any fascistic regime would say and do. In a weird sort of way, they’re actually being up front about how today’s American press really operates.
All Americans know the traditional media in this country are owned, in classic fascistic fashion, damn near lock, stock, and barrel by the extreme right wing. Well, all Americans, that is, except for the millions who don’t know it (which would be pretty much the same ones who still believe their ballots count; ah, yes, fixed elections: another hallmark of fascism).
But here’s the thing: Look at how happy the ostrich people are! Compared to us, that is. Yes, us: the folks who continuously fret and fume about the incessant government propaganda emanating from America’s TV stations, radio channels, newspapers, and the like. When was the last time you can remember not having that sick little twist in your stomach or hearing the doom-laden thought in your head that goes: “Man, I can’t believe how much my country has gone to utter hell”?
What I’m saying is that when Rice tells you it’s appalling that Newssqueak published a factual story or McClellan says it’s the media’s duty to instruct the world to worship America’s big, hard guns, they’re actually being honest about the current state of the state in spite of their naturally dishonest little selves. Isn’t it time, then, to call off the whole charade, call a spade a spade, and get on with living in totalitarianism’s shade? (A poet I’m not, but that’s OK; fascism disdains the arts and intellectualism, anyway.)
Just think how freeing it would be to finally quit expending all of that energy trying to pump air into the decidedly dead duck that once was our dear democracy. I haven’t admitted this before, but it’s not easy constantly coming up with new, clever names for the loonies in charge. I often revert to “Bushies,” but that has always seemed far too cutesy to convey the sheer evil it represents. “Busheviks,” which is popular lately, is excellent, but I didn’t think of it, so no dice there. What’s left? Bush pigs, Bush dogs, Bush monsters, Bushwhackers, Bushitters … ? See what I mean? My well of creativity, she does not runneth over.
What it relief it would be just to watch WWF instead.
I’m tellin’ ya, this fascism thing has got a lot going for it. No more sleepless nights worrying about things like: “nuclear options,” insolvent pension plans, the problems facing organized labor (no unions, no problem!), who to vote for, destructive nationalism, what religion the new addition to the family will be (‘cause, under fascism, there’s basically only one; one guess), whether corporations will always stick it to the populace (they will, thus serving another basic tenet of fascism: the indistinguishable co-mingling of corrupt corporate and government interests), etc. Short of us going all Founding Fathers-like and whippin’ up a second American R-word (unlikely), all of that stuff -- and more! -- has either happened, is happening, or is gonna happen.
So why the heck stew over it?
Can you imagine all the time we would save if we just figured it was a lost cause and quit fighting -- you know, like the Democrats in Congress? I get giddy just thinking about it. For instance, how many hours a day now do you figure you spend on the Internet or are otherwise similarly engaged, trying to ferret out just a few more kernels of truth? Under fascism, you can throw such cares away and watch the hours return to you like magic, thus making it possible for you to drive to your third job without worrying about being late or take that Mandarin class in anticipation of our eventual joyful liberation.
Oh, the advantages of fascism! What in the U.S. military-dominated world took me so long to see them?
Mark Drolette is a political satirist/commentator who lives in Sacramento, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright © 2005 Mark Drolette. All rights reserved.
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