3.19.2007

bad intelligence

From Frank Rich, courtesy of truthout:
In the broad sweep of history, four years is a nanosecond, but in America, where memories are congenitally short, it's an eternity. That's why a revisionist history of the White House's rush to war, much of it written by its initial cheerleaders, has already taken hold. In this exonerating fictionalization of the story, nearly every politician and pundit in Washington was duped by the same "bad intelligence" before the war, and few imagined that the administration would so botch the invasion's aftermath or that the occupation would go on so long. "If only I had known then what I know now ..." has been the persistent refrain of the war supporters who subsequently disowned the fiasco. But the embarrassing reality is that much of the damning truth about the administration's case for war and its hubristic expectations for a cakewalk were publicly available before the war, hiding in plain sight, to be seen by anyone who wanted to look.

By the time the ides of March arrived in March 2003, these warning signs were visible on a nearly daily basis. So were the signs that Americans were completely ill prepared for the costs ahead. Iraq was largely anticipated as a distant, mildly disruptive geopolitical video game that would be over in a flash.

Now many of the same leaders who sold the war argue that escalation should be given a chance. This time they're peddling the new doomsday scenario that any withdrawal timetable will lead to the next 9/11. The question we must ask is: Has history taught us anything in four years?

Here is a chronology of some of the high and low points in the days leading up to the national train wreck whose anniversary we mourn this week [with occasional "where are they now" updates].

Read it here.

2 comments:

James said...

I often think that the real problem with rampant capitalistic consumerism isn't the usual exploitation of the working class stuff, it's the way consumerism trains people to believe advertisers. Once you've got people conditioned to accept whatever "facts" you care to spoon-feed them, you've got it made.

Not really a new thought, I know -- that's what Minitru was all about, after all -- but it's one that doesn't seem to arouse as much protest as I think it ought. People are far too willing to dismiss lies as, "Oh, you have to expect that from advertisers/politicians/etc". What? No, you don't. There's absolutely no reason to put up with being lied to by people you elected, other than you've been convinced that you have no choice. Which is just another example of the advertising in action.

L-girl said...

it's the way consumerism trains people to believe advertisers. Once you've got people conditioned to accept whatever "facts" you care to spoon-feed them, you've got it made.

I agree with this completely, although it's not an either/or proposition. This is definitely a big part of what consumerism does to people.

But I think that's a separate issue from why people expect their elected officials to lie to them. That, I would say, is from prior experience. The constant lies from government create more and more apathy - which is just what governments need to get away with all the lies.