Sunday, July 22, 2007

the credibility of war supporters

So, perhaps, you, Dear Reader, think I have gone a bit over the top, in deriding the remaining leadership of the Republican Party and its pundit allies.

Let's consider, Glenn Greenwald of Salon on "the credibility of war supporters"

At its core, the history of the Iraq War has been authored by an indescribably deceitful and very intellectually limited political and media elite, perfectly symbolized by Kit Bond. These are people who spent four years hailing the Great Progress the Leader was making in Iraq, claiming we were "clearing and holding" neighborhoods of all the Terrorists, that Freedom was on the March, that anyone who questioned any of this was either brainwashed by the war-hating media or a Friend of The Terrorists.

And now, four years later, with the War plainly having been a failure, and their assurances all exposed as false, what are they doing? Hailing the Great Progress the Leader is making in Iraq, claiming we are "clearing and holding" neighborhoods of all the Terrorists, that Freedom is on the March, that anyone who questions any of this is either brainwashed by the war-hating media or a Friend of The Terrorists. Nothing ever changes. It just plods along with the same idiot slogans and the same people spouting them. And they do it with no shame, no acknowledgment of their own past behavior, and no loss of credibility.

A political storm is a theatrical event, an event in social chemistry. The wind and rain are rhetorical and the landscape affected, philosophical. In the present political storm, it is not just politicians, who are subject to revolutionary pressure, it is the Media establishment. Increasingly, the problem -- The Problem -- is being defined, within the progressive blogosphere as well as the country at large, as an inexplicable and inexcusable conspiracy of mendacious stupidity between politicians and pundits, reporters and political operatives.
The increasingly threadbare narrative of "successful" war in Iraq has lost its political potency. In a political storm, events support adoption by the Public of an alternative narrative, which is not at all flattering to the powers that be. Of such transitions, revolutions are made. The alternative narrative to the detached-from-reality narrative of Bush and the "serious" establishment of foreign policy and media figures has become more and more sharply critical of those, who supported the war and supported Bush. The alternative narrative is revolutionary in its implications, not just because it offers no room for "bi-partisanship" but because it does not acknowledge any legitimacy whatsoever to the opinions of politicians or pundits of the Right.
Matthew Yglesias comments rather sardonically on the contrast between performance and reputation among figures of the political right:

"Michael Gerson, in his role as White House speechwriter, helped outline a foreign policy approach that, whether you liked it or not, was certainly audacious and new -- taking some strands that had long existed in US political culture and taking them much further than they'd ever gone before. If all this had gone well, Gerson could have left his government job and become a pillar of the Washington Establishment. Since it turned out to be a tremendous failure, instead he got a Council on Foreign Relations fellowship and a Washington Post column."

This kind of matter-of-fact acknowledgement carries the seeds of Revolution.

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