portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

government

An example of propaganda

David Brooks recent New York Times editorial makes use of many common tricks.
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: June 23, 2005

"There's a reason George Washington didn't take a poll at Valley Forge. There are times in the course of war when the outcome is simply unknowable. Victory is clearly not imminent, yet people haven't really thought through the consequences of defeat. Everybody just wants the miserable present to go away."

(George Washingon would be for the war and you would too if you were a deep thinker like George Bush. George Bush = George Washington)

"We're at one of those moments in the war against the insurgency in Iraq. The polls show rising disenchantment with the war. Sixty percent of Americans say they want to withdraw some or all troops."

(If weenies like you were at Valley Forge, we won't have a country. Don't you feel ashamed and want to get in line? Valley Forge = Iraq)

"Yet I can't believe majorities of Americans really want to pull out and accept defeat. I can't believe they want to abandon to the Zarqawis and the Baathists those 8.5 million Iraqis who held up purple fingers on Election Day. I can't believe they are yet ready to accept a terrorist-run state in the heart of the Middle East, a civil war in Iraq, the crushing of democratic hopes in places like Egypt and Iran, and the ruinous consequences for American power and prestige."

(Iraqi Resistance = Terrorists, not freedom fighters)

"What they want to do, more likely, is somehow escape the current moment, which is discouraging and uncertain. One of the many problems with fighting an insurgency is that it is nearly impossible to know if we are winning or losing. It's like watching a football game with no goal lines and chaotic action all over the field."

(David Brooks sounds like a man of experience, an old hand at fighting resistance. I mean insurgency)

"On the one hand, there are signs of progress. U.S. forces have completed a series of successful operations, among them Operation Spear in western Iraq, where at least 60 insurgents were killed and 100 captured, and Operation Lightning in Baghdad, with over 500 arrests. American forces now hold at least 14,000 suspected insurgents, and have captured about two dozen lieutenants of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. There were reports this week of insurgents fighting each other, foreign against domestic."

(We're supposed to believe the problem is foreign freedom haters from places like Syria and Iran. Maybe we should go there next.)

"There is also the crawling political progress that is crucial to success. Sunni leaders now regret not taking part in the elections and Sunnis are helping to draft the constitution. These tactical victories, however, have not added up to improvement over all. Insurgent attacks are up. Casualties are up. Few Iraqi security forces can operate independently, so far. There aren't enough U.S. troops to hold the ground they conquer. The insurgents are adaptable, organized and still learning."

(It might sound like a big problem to us, but we don't have Bush's vision. He gets that from God you know.)

"Still, one thing is for sure: since we don't have the evidence upon which to pass judgment on the overall trajectory of this war, it's important we don't pass judgment prematurely. It's too soon to accept the defeatism that seems to have gripped so many."

(We should wait a few more years before accepting defeatism. That way there would be no doubt we got soundly thrashed.)

"If governments surrendered to insurgencies after just a couple of years, then insurgents would win every time. But they don't because insurgencies have weaknesses, exposed over time, especially when they oppose the will of the majority."

(Rest assured that an old insurgency fighter like David Brooks can back this up with many examples from history and from his own personal experience.)

"It's just wrong to seek withdrawal now, when the outcome of the war is unknowable and when the consequences of defeat are so vast. Some of you will respond that this is easy for me to say, since I'm not over there. All I'd say is that we live in a democracy, where decisions are made by all. Besides, the vast majority of those serving in Iraq, and their families, said they voted to re-elect President Bush. They seem to want to finish the job."

(A vote for Bush = a vote for war. Call it a job, that makes it sound like you're doing something good and constructive, like putting a roof on a house. You wouldn't want to leave that half finished)

"Others will say we shouldn't be there in the first place. You may be right. Time will tell. But right now, this isn't about your personal vindication. It's about victory for the forces of decency and defeating those, like Zarqawi, who would be attacking us in any case."

(Put aside your pettiness and think about the good of others for a change.)

"On Tuesday, Senator Joe Biden gave a speech in Washington on Iraq, after his most recent visit. It was, in some ways, a model of what the president needs to tell the country in the weeks ahead. It was scathing about the lack of progress in many areas. But it was also constructive. "I believe we can still succeed in Iraq," he said. Biden talked about building the coalition at home that is necessary if we are to get through the 2006 election cycle without a rush to the exits."

(Defeatism is OK after the 2006 election cycle)

"Biden's speech brought to mind something Franklin Roosevelt told the country on Feb. 23, 1942: "Your government has unmistakable confidence in your ability to hear the worst, without flinching or losing heart. You must, in turn, have complete confidence that your government is keeping nothing from you except information that will help the enemy in his attempt to destroy us."

That's how democracies should fight, even in the age of polling."

(If people didn't back FDR, Hitler would have won. WWII = Iraq War)

So SHUT UP!
David Brooks is just one... 23.Jun.2005 14:34

Tony Blair's dog

in the stable of neocon counterintelligence operatives
that the New York Times employ.

Don't Shut-Up- Speak up even louder than usual 23.Jun.2005 21:58

tree

Thanks for posting this. These puppets and fascists want us to take our eyes off the prize of hammering Bush and bringing the troops home. Keep up the pressure on Congress and whichever way you like to fight the good fight.

if we weren't so incredibly ignorant 23.Jun.2005 22:50

.

Brookes couldn't feed us this shit
we wouldn't eat it

how long does it take 25.Jun.2005 00:21

until you can say an old war was pointless

Let's see -- if George Washington had frozen to death at Valley Forge, we'd be living in one big Commonwealth of North America, along with what is now Canada ...

... under a multi-party parliamentary democracy ...

... that recognized international law ...

... and that would be BAD?

Majority? Decency? 25.Jun.2005 03:37

George Bender

""If governments surrendered to insurgencies after just a couple of years, then insurgents would win every time. But they don't because insurgencies have weaknesses, exposed over time, especially when they oppose the will of the majority." "It's about victory for the forces of decency...."

How does Brooks know that the "insurgents" are not the majority in Iraq? In what sense does the puppet government we've set up in Iraq represent "decency?" Or our troops for that matter? Killing people is generally considered indecent, and our troops are doing most of the killing. Most of the killed are noncombatants.

This is the same crap we heard during the war in Vietnam: "We can't just get out!" Yes we can. We should go to public meetings held by our senators and reps and demand that they stop voting for appropriations for the war. Or we won't vote for them, next time around. But you've got to mean it.


correction 26.Jun.2005 20:14

anonymous

I dislike Brooks as much as the next guy, but that was an Op-Ed piece, not an editorial, as you presented it.

Then Tell The American People The Truth And Let Them Decide 27.Jun.2005 14:58

Anarchy-nonymous

What if Bush went on TV and told the nation that the real reason we went to war was to seize control of Iraq's oil, establish a military presense in the Middle East, put in an Afghanistan government subservient to Western oil interests, etc. He would have to say that the neocons were wrong, he was wrong, and now that he's made such a mess of things we can't leave, because it would probably mean that the U.S. would lose control of Iraqi oil, the Middle East would be more hostile than ever to the U.S., oil prices might skyrocket over $100 a barrel, the U.S. dollar may very well lose the oil standard (which replaced the gold standard) and global economic recession could result.

Would the American people then support staying in Iraq, rather than sacrificing their standards of living? Well, since about 50% of Americans aren't exactly living the good life these days, probably not. What would be certain is that the Neocon sub-party would crumble and the Republican Party would probably slip to about 30% support, at best. Somebody would have to take the blame. Zbig Brezinski tore up Bush in an editorial last week. The situation in Iraq has become so bad, even the Council of Foreign (energy) Relations is beginning to eat its own. Impeachment may not be far off. The CFR's world order is being decimated, the Federalist Society isn't exactly running the table with The PATRIOT Act, and the Heritage Foundation has never fully recovered from the Gingrich debacle (something Tom Delay seems certain to upstage).

one out of three aint bad, I guess 27.Jun.2005 21:21

cubs fan

Hey, you got one out of three correct

Iraq=Valley Forge
Iraqi insurgent leader(s)=George Washington
England (1700s)=US (2000s)