The White House’s Selective Perceptions

and Narcissistic Tendencies

Protests make Ari Speak

by Josh Frank

Dissident Voice
February 20, 2003

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer on Tuesday morning came out on the defensive- saying that the past weekend’s worldwide protests were virtually meaningless. Claiming that the United States is standing by principle, and “often the message of protesters is contradicted by history.” Ari’s selective perception reflects the arrogance this narcissistic administration has toward dissenters at home and abroad.


Using examples such as the protests against the US involvement in WWII, Ari provided us with an episode where protests did not deter what ended in a supposed-- “Just War.” Although one could argue WWII was in no way a “Just War,” (how could Churchill’s and the US purposeful bombings of civilian populations be just?)we can just stick to one blatant “Unjust War”, where protests did matter.


The Gulf of Tonkin incident, fabricated by Lydon Johnson’s cronies to justify an attack on Vietnam in ‘64, led to some of the first protests against the that War. Ari’s defensive nature regarding Iraq protesters, prior to any US attack, shows us that the White House is getting a bit anxious. The unity and drive against the Vietnam War wasn’t this strong until 1970, when veterans were coming back in droves opposing the bloody mess in Vietnam. Literally millions across America filled the streets this past weekend opposing US military action against Iraq. A million in London has to shake the administration’s knees just a little-- it seems that the US often follows quickly after the UK populous on many international issues.


By attempting to downplay worldwide protests Fleschier proves that marching in the streets really does matter; he is actually talking about them without being prompted for crying out loud! I guess it takes millions in the streets to acknowledge dissent exists. These massive demonstrations also have a huge effect on countries that are already opposing an attack on Iraq-- NATO countries are up in arms, reluctant to even give Turkey assistance, and the UN is split on a new War Resolution--it should be more than clear these protests have great meaning.


In defense of the White House’s stance on Iraq, and downplaying recent protests, President Bush stated earlier that, “you know.. size of protest… it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group. The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security -- in this case, the security of the people.” Bush obviously will not decide foreign policy issues based on democratic principles. But I believe this will eventually inflame even more anti-war sentiment in the United States. And once some of those 70,000 body bags start making their way back to the US full of our young men and women- we’ll see even a greater presence marching across America.


The White House’s selective perceptions and narcissistic tendencies will not last forever. We’ve already got Ari talkin about it. That's a start. They really cannot ignore us now.

Josh Frank is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at:


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