August 11, 2003
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
It's all marketing, image, and entertainment to the Bush Cartel.
Like an Arnold Schwarzenegger film, the Bush Cartel doesn't see any need for the truth to enter into the equation. The question they ask when "rolling out a new product" is how can "we entertain, distract, lie and frighten the American public to allow us to achieve our self-serving goals?" Their goal is really the title of one of Schwarzenegger's more popular films: "True Lies."
Except that there are no "true lies" that can explain the death of a soldier to his/her grieving family and friends. They are just cynically crafted lies that end up in deaths: 260 American soldiers dead in Iraq since the war started, with more than 1,000 wounded (estimate). [LINK]
And lies may be a form of entertainment on the big screen, but, as a matter of national governmental policy, they are the centerpieces of a morally corrupt executive branch.
But the Bush administration is skilled at what it does best. It stores up spare lies to buttress up its original lies. As BuzzFlash predicted before the Iraqi war, if Bush couldn't find WMDs, he would plant them or plant evidence of them. Right now, David Kay is the Bush Cartel's Johnny Appleseed, trying to stitch together a report that will reveal that the Bush Cartel wasn't lying about the reasons it went to war with Iraq, instead of, let's say the real "mother of all terrorist nurturers," Saudi Arabia. Kay's job is to patch together "true lies" that will "prove" that the first fusillade of Bush Cartel mistruths weren't lies. In short, Kay's mission for the Bush Cartel is to produce "credible lies" to firm up disproved lies. [LINK]
Bush even, inadvertently, said in a news conference with Tony Blair: "But we will bring the weapons and, of course -- we will bring the information forward on the weapons when they find them. And that will end up -- end all this speculation." [LINK] Was it a Bushism or a "True Lie"? Who knows. It's hard to figure out when a liar is telling the truth.
Robert Novak, the conservative journalist who assisted the Bush administration in outing a CIA operative specializing in tracking in the trafficking of WMDs [LINK], recently revealed (from a Bush Cartel source, of course) [LINK] that the Bush Cartel (read: Karl Rove) will roll out the new "credibility enhanced" WMD allegations in September. Does anyone remember last summer when Andrew Card announced that Bush was vacationing for a month in August because the summer was no time to roll out a "new product" such as the propaganda campaign for the war with Iraq? That would have to wait until September, which it did.
Yes, it is indeed all marketing, product packaging, and entertainment to the Bush Cartel. What more glorious tribute to their success is there than the just released KBtoys "Elite Force" figure of Bush. [LINK]
Indeed, KBtoys molds Bush into heroic proportions, with a breathless description of the figure that could no doubt subdue Al-Qaida in one fell swoop of his jet: "BBI proudly introduces the latest issue in its Elite Force series of authentic military 12-inch figures, President George W. Bush in naval aviator flight uniform. Exacting in detail and fully equipped with authentic gear, this limited-edition action figure is a meticulous 1:6 scale recreation of the Commander-in-Chief's appearance during his historic Aircraft Carrier landing." An AWOL Vietnam Chickenhawk has been transformed, through the world of toys, entertainment and showmanship into a fearsome "aviator" warrior.
We shouldn't be surprised. In 1980, America elected an actor as president, who often referred, teary-eyed, to sentimental moments in American history that only had occurred in Hollywood films. We had eight years of a man acting the role of president.
Karl Rove has groomed Bush well. Have him say as little as possible, make sure it is all scripted and choreographed, and build the image of competence around him through visual cues.
After all Bush's landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln was hardly criticized in the mainstream media for its extravagant cost, poor taste, inappropriateness and irony, considering Bush's cowardly record of service. The media, and particularly cable television, judged Bush almost solely on his "performance." Did he fulfill the image of someone who could pull off a stunt like that? In fact, Bush got many points for appearing to be a brave aviator, despite his shameful AWOL Vietnam-evading history. In short he was praised for his ability to appear to be something he wasn't. This led to Sunday morning pundits and brain dead columnists speculating on how no Democrat could beat Bush because of his acting ability, in essence.
Of course, Bush stood below an enormous banner draped across the aircraft carrier that proclaimed, "Mission Accomplished." Since Bush pulled off his stunt, 121 American soldiers have died in Iraq and hundreds have been injured (as of August 10). [LINK] The number of U.S. troops who have died since the "Mission Accomplished" PR extravaganza will shortly exceed the number of those who died prior to the event.
It's not about good government or good policy, it's all about performance and image. It's not even about what Bush says, because most of the time he can't talk his way out of a paper bag. The media daily overlooks what he says and publishes or airs the intended Karl Rove image of Bush. He isn't held accountable for his words or actions, only his image.
This is a paradox. This is a conundrum. But it is the story of Bush.
He has been a failure at almost everything he has ever attempted as an adult, but he has been a success at his "image" of being a Bush. He gets full credit for his pedigree, without being held accountable for his actions or words.
The media is almost like the owner of the offspring of a "Best of Show" prize winning poodle. The only problem is that the son of the poodle, so to speak, has chewed up and destroyed all the furniture in the house. When a neighbor comes and asks in astonishment, "Your poodle did all this damage?" the owner responds, "Of course not, he would never be so destructive. He is the son of a prize winning pedigree poodle. It's not in his genes to do such a thing."
Well, George W. Bush is the son of a poodle, and this isn't just entertainment.
If Gray Davis is recalled and Arnold Schwarzenegger wins the governorship, it won't be entertainment either. The problems of California are representative of the problems of the nation -- and those are the problems caused by Bush Incorporated looting this country to oil the "cash and carry government/campaign finance operation" that is its business.
The only campaign that works against the Republicans is chipping away at their carefully crafted image of "honesty and trust." We know they are the antithesis of this, but the majority of Americans don't.
Democrats too quickly let up when they have Bush caught in his own vice of dishonesty and deceit. Rove and the Rumsfeld helpers at the Pentagon are Houdinis at distracting attention when the true shamelessness, cynicism and deceit of the Bush Cartel is exposed. Count on a phantom sighting of Saddam or terrorist alert to come out of the woodwork when Bush is on the ropes.
Even knee-jerk middle class Republicans were starting to question Bush's honesty, but the White House once again rerouted the train that was starting to derail Bush's credibility. Once again, they are waiting until September to begin their offensive. The momentum of criticism from the media and the Democrats already has begun to wilt in the dog days of August. The middle class Republicans and the Independents aren't hearing the drumbeat of questions being raised about Bush's lies much anymore. The White House sees the canvas has been wiped clean again, and they will begin to paint their latest image enhancement of Bush in September.
The 2004 presidential election will not be won or lost on issues.
It will be simply this: If Bush goes into the November, 2004, election with his version of "True Lies" accepted by the majority of Americans, he will win.
If the Democrats and the media expose Bush's lies as a betrayal of America, if most Americans see Bush as a man with shaky credibility, who broke his bond of trust with the American people and the American military, Bush loses.
Readers of BuzzFlash know that the latter scenario would mark the path of truth, not politically scripted "true lies," but it remains to be seen, given the avalanche of deception that this administration drops upon the American public, whether the Democrats have the stamina to keep up the battle -- and whether the media will decide its obligation is to the American public, not a deceptive administration that values serial lying as an art from.
Those of us who value our democracy and our Constitution can only work to expose one lie at a time, despite the stress of keeping up with them. It's like trying to fight off one of those locust invasions you see in the movies that devastated crops in the Midwest during the depression.
You see, it all comes back to entertainment. Is anything real anymore? Are we living in a parallel universe where "true lies" have replaced our Constitutional form of government?
Or are we just a passive audience watching a film scripted by Karl Rove and some "neo-con whiz kids" at the Pentagon?
But those deaths of our soldiers in Iraq are real, aren't they?
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original