Friday, October 14, 2005

All The War's A Stage

It seems like in a futile effort to sell the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, that increasingly pathetic means are being used to sell the war. Thursday morning, Mr. Bush had what was supposed to be a question and answer session with some soldiers in Iraq and one Iraqi soldier. However, a satellite feed before this event involved a Pentagon person using the term "scripted", and the entire question and answer event was a staged event with scripted questions intended to serve as solely propaganda for the war effort. Even pauses in speech by the soldiers were scripted by the Pentagon before the question and answer event. Almost everything, except eye blinks were scripted by the Pentagon it appears.

This scripting of military interaction with the press is nothing new. The military has already warned soldiers they will face discipline or demotion in rank if they are critical of the war with reporters. Only positive and scripted approval of the war is approved by the military, other unscripted talk by soldiers with reporters is officially prohibited.

With all the attempts to stage events to sell the unpopular war by the military, the Pentagon has also lied about some aspects of the Iraq War in a manner that is more befitting of "Baghdad Bob" and not an open and honest republic. The Pentagon has denied the use of a modern napalm type bomb in Iraq. Yet from the beginning of the first Gulf War and again in 2003, a modern version of napalm, a fuel gel bomb, the 750 lb. Mark 77, were used. A total of 530 of these fuel gel bombs have now been dropped in Iraq, despite official denials by the Pentagon, contradicted by pilots who reported the loading and dropping of such bombs. These fuel gel bombs have been outlawed by a U.N. treaty where all of 191 U.N member nations but the U.S. and Russia signed the U.N. treaty and do not use such terrible conventional weapons. It is no wonder that the Pentagon lies to the American public and officially denies the use of such terrible weapons.

But the Bush Administration has made other use of scripted or staged events.

Two well dressed women who drove to the disaster area after the hurricane Katrina disaster simply to loot clothing from damaged homes were used in photo-opt by Bush handlers and presented as disaster victims to the media. This may not have entirely been the fault of Bush handlers, but was certainly yet another outrageous event surrounding this administration in which a photo-opt was constructed solely for political propaganda purposes.

Before the 2004 election, the "granddaddy" of staged photo-opt events by the Bush Administration was the use of an empty warehouse as a "Hollywood" style set for a staged event for an economic address propaganda event by Bush. Bush handlers contracted to have a gaint painted canvas made to be hung in the empty warehouse that appeared to the television cameras as a factory full of American made goods about to be shipped. This is an old Hollywood visual trick, where painted hills or valleys are often a painted canvas on an indoor set. And empty boxes of goods made in China, had phony "Made in USA" labels pasted on. And White House staffers and other Bush workers put on factory worker costumes with hardhats to appear as cheering factory workers against a scripted speech. Never mind that over 30 million American jobs have been lost to China, the event was used to falsely portray the strength of the American economy and factories. It was deeply sad that a real American factory of cheering workers could not be found within the borders of the U.S. This was the real tragedy.

This administration like no other has made use of phony staged events, costumes, scripts, props, painted sets, and rigged photo-opts. Just the other day, Bush was part of a photo-opt in which he donned a hardhat to put a few nails on a Habitat For Humanity home. He certainly did not build the home as many who spent many days, weeks, months or years working for Habitat For Humanity have done. This administration relies on far more smoke and mirrors and illusions than magician David Copperfield it seems, in it's absurdly staged attempts to sell it's unpopular views to an increasingly wary public.


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