Saturday, October 15, 2005

Word Travels Fast... and Far

The thing about modern communications is that when the President gives a speech intended for a targeted audience, his words still reach far beyond that intended audience. His recent speech on Iraq, that "major policy speech" that sought to shore up support in America for the misadventure in Iraq, reached far beyond these shores and was picked up by that part of the world most directly affected by the hegemony-driven policies of this regime.

Pakistan, billed by Bush as one of our greatest allies in the Great War On Terror, was listening as well, and here's what TheFrontier Post had to say about the speech.

...President Bush's lament is that after three years of war in Iraq, he has not been able to subjugate a tiny helpless Arab country, despite being the sole superpower of the present era.

A crest-fallen superman with his ratings in the tank and desperately in need of a boost, he fell back last week on what had worked so successfully for him in the past: fostering fear and promoting war.

His oft-repeated speech about the War on Terrorism constituted a sobering showcase, both of his government's desperate political situation and the new threats that it will seek to extricate itself from the present crisis through yet more militarism.

His address to The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was a recap of lies that have so often been delivered with the goal of terrorizing the American people and rallying his radical rightwing base. In remarks that at times bordered on delusion, Bush invoked the unlikely bogeyman of an al-Qaeda terrorist network poised to establish a radical Islamic empire that would reach from Spain to Indonesia.

Opposition to the Bush Government has never been greater, with polls showing barely 37% of the population supporting the administration and majorities believing that the Iraq war was a blunder and that U.S. forces should be withdrawn. Washington was lying when it launched the war, and it is lying now, but under changed political conditions.

The New York Times quoted an unnamed White House official as saying that Bush had given his speech to remind Americans after “a lot of distractions” over recent months, that the country remains under threat and has no choice but to remain in Iraq; a well-tailored ambition but completely without foundation.

...all indications are that the glorious invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq have only managed to increase the threat of terrorism – and not only to the U.S., but the rest of the world. By occupying Iraq, the U.S. has managed to so radicalize the Arab and Muslim world, that many are ready to join the terrorist cause.
[Emphasis added]

Two things struck me about this editorial. First, it's clear that at least some Pakistanis have better critical thinking skills than our regime thinks Americans have. To a certain extent, that may be true, especially since our own vaunted press has largely followed the regime's talking points. Still, poll numbers in this country show that a growing number of Americans just aren't buying the message any longer.

Second, when one of the countries allegedly joined with us in the Great War on Terror starts viewing America as the source of the very terrorism we are purporting to fight, we've already lost. I don't think even Karen Hughes will be able to cure that problem.


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