awesome maratelethon has invaded the nation's households as Manifest
Destiny on the march, a political spectacle in which the
military are props and the civilian announcers are inspired by the
most grotesque delusions of racial triumphalism.
Iraqi Freedom," the embedded multi-media experience, is neither
news nor military propaganda. Rather, it is an imperial work in
progress, an attempted re-orchestration of the (white) American
anthem and saga. Like the musical national anthem, it is an ugly
song, and one that a rapidly diminishing number of people want to
it may appear that the U.S. military has permanently occupied telecommunications,
this is an illusion. In reality, the American military and the corporate
media have been totally subordinated to the political project and
vision of the Pirates who took control of the U.S. government January
20, 2001. As the announcer on the old Sci-fi TV series "The
Outer Limits" used to informed the audience: "Do not attempt
to adjust your television set. We are in complete control...!"
are the political representatives of a Pirate class that profits
directly from war and "reconstruction" in the wake of
war. (See "Rule
of the Pirates: the $200 billion payday,"
December 5.) The Bush men seek nothing less than free rein to pillage
the globe in a "marketplace" of brute force, a distinctly
American hegemonic heaven.
military is their servant, junior partners even at the Pentagon,
which is the toy of corporate think tanks, weapons systems marketers
and for-profit war scenario-conjurors like Defense
Group Inc., the people who sold "Shock and Awe" to
the Defense Department. The "brass" are routinely overridden
at every strategic and tactical stage of military decision-making,
most dramatically in the current Iraq invasion. Donald Rumsfeld,
Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of the Pirate cabal arbitrarily
rewrite the military battle plan and the official script
to enhance the political images. They cut and paste a virtual reality
that bears little relationship to the material exigencies on the
ground, or to the political sensibilities of the globe. In a sense,
this is a private showing of a national infomercial for the Bush-branded
New American Century.
military was drafted into the virtual aspects of this production.
Working soldiers want nothing to do with media flakes and flacks
flitting around the field of battle. (Nor would managers at nuclear
power plants or munitions factories.) The "embeds" of
the virtual "Operation Iraqi Freedom" were imposed
on the military by Bush's corporate public relations experts. Militaries
seek victory, then parades. Political spin masters are predators
of the mind. Media manipulators keep the audience in thrall for
the longest possible period of time - no duration is beyond their
TV show and the coterminous military assault are equally the actual
beginnings of Permanent War. The war is real, willed into existence
and sustained by the delusions of a racist American public. The
virtual rendition is deemed a success to the extent that (white)
America believes it. Or, more accurately, believes in it.
Pirates know their fellow Americans well,"
wrote in our commentary, Racism
and War: Perfect Together," March 13. "White America
sees the world through the eyes of the mass murderer and slaveholder.
Were it not so, there would not exist the grotesque disconnect between
white American public opinion and the opinions of mankind, shared
generally by Black America. Bush would not be possible."
Bush men were confident that a public deluded enough to believe,
in the absence of any evidence, that Saddam Hussein "had something
to do with" the events of September 11 is a population eager
to commit any outrage against a non-white people. Corporate Republicans
rule because they have divined the mass white psyche. The Bush men
also know that the corporate media are no different than their next-door
neighbors. "The hundreds thousands of human cogs in the corporate
media machine are made up of "normal," mostly white, middle
class Americans," wrote .
"They share a common, white American worldview, shot through
with native racism. (A worldview that many non-whites in corporate
media attempt mightily to assimilate.)"
a war-hungry corporate media were thrust upon an unwilling officer
corps. The embedded press have performed beyond the Pirate's wildest
expectations, embellishing the administration's lies for
the pleasure of a (white) public that has "lived in a warped
and artificial bubble of their own self-serving creation since they
killed their first 'red savage' and whipped their first 'nigger
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting assigned itself the near impossible
task of tracking a Niagara of media untruths. On March
25, the beleaguered FAIR watchdogs reported on broadcast lies
by network household names about Iraqi use of Scud missiles - disinformation
that the media made up all by themselves:
Ted Koppel, "embedded" with an infantry division, reported
matter-of-factly that "there were two Scud missiles that
came in. One was intercepted by a patriot missile." ABC anchor
Derek McGinty had earlier explained that "there was a Scud
attack, one Scud fired from Basra into Kuwait. It was intercepted
by an American patriot battery, and apparently knocked out of
the sky. There is still no word exactly what was on that Scud,
whether or not there might have been any sort of unconventional
News Channel's William La Jeunesse was not only asserting that
a Scud had been launched, but was drawing conclusions about its
significance: "Now, Iraq is not supposed to have Scuds because
they have a range of 175 up to 400 miles. The limit by the U.N.,
of course, is like 95 miles. So, we already know they have something
they're not supposed to have."
military later announced "that U.S. forces searching airfields
in the far western desert of Iraq have uncovered no missiles or
launchers." In fact, the Iraqis had not launched any Scuds
since the beginning of the invasion.
with General Tommy Franks' assurances that the U.S. will "certainly"
find evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, the embeds
hyped every desert stopover by WMD searchers, "breathless"
to confirm the existence of a "smoking gun" that would
justify all the smoke, fire and death of Shock and Awe. FAIR reported:
John McWethy promoted the story with this report: "Amidst
all the fighting, one important new discovery: U.S. officials
say, up the road
from Nasarijah, in a town called Najaf, they believe that they
have captured a chemical weapons plant and perhaps more important,
the commanding general of that facility. One U.S. official said
he is a potential 'gold mine' about the weapons Saddam Hussein
says he doesn't have."
Tom Brokaw described the story thusly: "Word tonight that
U.S. forces may have found what U.N. inspectors spent months searching
for, a facility suspected to be a chemical weapons plant, uncovered
by ground troops on the way north to Baghdad." NBC Pentagon
correspondent Jim Miklaszewski added what seemed to be corroborating
details: "This huge chemical complex... was constructed of
sand-casted walls, in other words, meant to camouflage its appearance
to blend in with the desert. Once inside, the soldiers found huge
amounts of chemicals, stored chemicals.
no chemical weapons were found. The Pentagon said it could
not "determine exactly what these chemicals are or how they
could have been used in weapons."
the WDMs are finally "discovered" the event will be anti-climatic
as well as probably staged, due to the impatience of the triumphalist
media to justify America's crimes.
urge readers to check in regularly with FAIR: http://www.fair.org/
embedded, American reporters utterly self-destructed as professionals
with the full blessing of their government and corporate superiors.
"We at no time want to provide any information that can be
of aid to the enemy," said the vampirish Paula Zahn - a signal
to any sane viewer that everything issuing from her mouth for the
duration of the war is as false as her face. "Very good point,
Paula," Wolf Blitzer replied, knowing well that his professional
career rests on the enthusiasm of his contribution to the war effort.
Blitzer and his colleagues have no ethical problems with the arrangement,
however, since they are as delusional as their (white) American
audience. Their country and cause are just. "Facts" are
those things - real or invented - that conform to this assumption.
Betrayal of the assumption is a betrayal of the nation: aid to the
corporate media hinder public understanding of unfolding
events in an occupied or contested Iraq. Their presence is more
destructive of truth than if they had been barred from the scene,
entirely, because they are infinitely capable of retailing and manufacturing
lies - which they themselves believe.
around 2 a.m. Eastern Time, Sunday morning, a CNN reporter gained
access to newly captured Iraqi prisoners who were squatting or lying
on the ground outside a command tent, handcuffed. The embed shined
his camera light in the faces of the unhappy young men - clearly
soldiers - moving among the group looking for all the world like
a plantation owner shopping for slaves. "Here's another one,"
the embed told his crew, directing the camera's glare to an Iraqi
who covered his face, feigning sleep.
is what is known under the Geneva Conventions as subjecting prisoners
to humiliation as "public curiosities." The abuse was
casual, totally gratuitous, achieving nothing in the way of "news,"
but revealing the identity of young men who might have good reason
to fear the consequences of having surrendered to the "enemy,"
unscathed. Embedded crews throughout the advancing U.S. columns
thought themselves lucky to showcase human prizes for the curiosity
and scorn of the American audience.
Sunday morning, Tim Russert and his panel of high ranking, objectively
embedded stateside corporate media friends were found in full roar
over Iraqi "executions" of American POWs - speculation
that they treated as fact for an entire network half-hour.
Had "sand nigger" hating Americans been fully tuned to
NBC's "Meet the Press," they would have doubtless demanded
the immediate nuking of Baghdad.
noon, the Pentagon and the White House had distanced themselves
from the execution allegation. In the end, the official complaint
was that U.S. POWs had been subjected to "public curiosity"
by Iraqi and Al Jazeera television crews - a horrible violation
of international law, said the President and the U.S. press, revealing
the savagery of the Iraqi regime.
one of the thousands of media workers involved in virtual
"Operation Iraqi Freedom" was aware of the American embeds'
many close up displays of Iraqi prisoners. (All of the networks
can and do monitor each others' feeds.) Yet FOX and CNN - both guilty
- continued for days to rant incessantly about Baghdad's and Al
Jazeera's crimes, while pretending they had not done the same.
submits that these "normal" American men and women do
not believe that international law or any universal code of conduct
applies to themselves, and that a fundamental, psychotic, shared
racism binds them together in this core belief. Americans cannot
be guilty of anything, except "mistakes" of worldly innocence
or misplaced kindness.
"colored" embedded contingent is doubly delusional, twice
afflicted, and thoroughly insane. CNN's ridiculous Leon Harris is
the worst. No matter the weightiness of the subject, Harris appears
like a weatherman, bouncing, smiling, flirting, flippant. He is
one happily embedded Atlanta-based Negro. No script - no problem.
Harris just spouts the Bush men's line as if that is his job:
"The mission of the U.S. troops is a bi-fold mission, not just
freeing the Iraqi people, but bringing democracy to the Iraqi people,"
said Harris the weatherman, making career points with his skills
at unqualified propaganda. Turning his attention to an American
officer in a remote location, Harris asks, "This town has been
liberated, right? Can I use that term?" Yes, you can, says
the military guy.
military analyst doesn't look as much like a weatherman as Harris,
but he points a mean wand at an electronic map showing arrows pointing
to Baghdad. It is impossible to not conclude that, at some point
in his career, he was a weatherman - and gave more reliable
corporate parent Time Magazine's Tim Lacey was unlucky enough to
be working the nightshift when a 101st Airborne Division sergeant
reportedly fragged three officers' tents. Negativity threatened
to spoil the show. The pudgy-faced, forty-something Lacy, who sounds
exactly like a New York City beat cop and is limited to the same
vocabulary, immediately attempted to clean up the image of his
troops, his embedded buddies. "I can't say this enough,"
said Lacey, for the third time. "This is about one disgruntled
soldier, but everyone else here on this camp is doing just what
everyone expects of an American soldier." Absolutely.
Mintier justified the impending bombardment of Basra with words
that can only sound logical to the most impaired denizens of a pathological
society. "Basra is a key humanitarian distribution point,"
said the CNN embed. "This is why it has been made a strategic
army has "infiltrated" into Iraq's second largest city,
Mintier explained, his face idiotic but, nevertheless, straight.
renders most white Americans incompetent to deal with people and
facts that appear to threaten the edifice of white supremacy, which
they have internalized as a core worldview. Since white supremacy
exists only in their minds - and can be confirmed only through brute
coercion - white violence seems arbitrary to sane human beings.
We understand racist behavior largely through the repetitive patterns
of the pathology - how "white folks act." To venture into
the emotional depths of the delusion, we imagine, must be like a
visit to hell. It is safer to watch from a distance as the racist
reacts to invisible threats, lashes out at inoffensive people, or
celebrates victories against imagined adversaries - in a way, like
trying to figure out what a very aggressive mime "sees."
Shock and Awe serves notice that no people on the globe are out
of reach of the raging Pirates. But that does not mean the Bush
men are skilled at global piracy. After all, it's never been attempted
under 21st Century conditions.
is bringing the whole civilian media gang along for the rampage,
embedded for the benefit of several hundred million homebound delusionals.
Once summoned to the Coliseum, the mob must be entertained. The
mood of the continental crowd swings from trembling fear to mean-as-a-snake,
and must be accommodated - rationality be damned!
delusional behavior is also incompetent behavior, and collective
delusion can wreck an adventure. The real "Operation
Iraqi Freedom," the military action, began days and
perhaps weeks too soon for the military planners, jump started for
the sake of the dynamic of the conversation within the Bush crowd
and their dialogue with white America. Bush delivered his 48-hour
ultimatum to Saddam Hussein and the world on Monday, March 17. Premature
ultimatum. Suddenly, on Wednesday the 19th, Saddam was spotted (maybe)
within reach. Swoosh. Premature projectile ejaculation. The armored
columns then had to move forward across the Kuwaiti border,
so that the internal momentum, willed by Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld,
could be maintained, and the expectations of the public and the
embedded press - Where's our Shock and Awe!? - satisfied. Delay
would be... unimperial, a letdown - dead air on the television.
and Awe deferred
reported by UPI
on Tuesday, March 18, the northern U.S. invasion force, barred
from using Turkish territory, would require weeks to pass through
the Suez Canal, round the Arabian Peninsula, and steam up the Persian
Gulf to Kuwait. As of Ultimatum Day, Monday the 17th, the crucial
101st Airborne Division's helicopters were still being unloaded
from ships. The unpacking was not yet finished on Wednesday, March
19, when Bush tried to swat Saddam Hussein. Instead of the meticulously
calibrated, rolling advance under and through the smoke and hellfire
of Shock and Awe, the Americans and Brits lurched into war, like
a driver who can't handle a stick shift.
Pirate's allowed the logic of their own imperial pronouncements
to hobble the war plan. An invincible America and its strong willed
Leader must triumph over Third Worlders with ease and under any
circumstances, they assumed, believing that they personify the manifestation
of American Destiny. So it is written, somewhere, and preached in
vast, air-conditioned suburban sunbelt churches. The Bush men acted
on their own hype, waving off the advice of commanders who have
long sworn by a doctrine, associated with Colin Powell, of decisive,
swift, overwhelming, minutely coordinated force. Instead, the Bush
men listened to their political and public relations voices, calibrating
military movements to the perceived appetite of the crowd. Strategic
necessity was subordinated to the emotional demands of the Bush
men's racist constituency, people who, like the Pirates themselves,
do not live in synch with the rest of the planet, and who believe
actual facts on the ground are subject to proclamation and ultimatum.
Bush thought Americans craved quick blood. We know he did.
analytical ranks among the embedded press were certainly aware that
the much advertised Plan had been mangled by impetuous, snap decisions
from the very top. But, what's an embed to do? Now part soldier,
more than ever a propagandist, and collectively infused to the marrow
of their Indian-killer bones with the prospect of white glory, the
corporate media failed to call effective attention to the incomplete
U.S. force array. Instead, they dutifully delivered the improvised
Pentagon-White House cover stories.
initial bombardment and assault had been comparatively desultory
when measured against The Plan because... Saddam's generals were
negotiating mass surrender. (Yeah, that's the ticket.) No, the Americans
were waiting to see if Saddam were dead or alive. If dead, why,
this whole Shock and Awe thing might just be called off. (Sure,
and forego putting the world in terror of The Superpower. Wasn't
that the point?) In the interest of sparing the common foot soldiers
of the Iraqi army, the U.S. would deign to pause. (Even the embeds
rolled their eyes at that one.)
is not engaged in giving armchair advice to the War Party. In fact,
if we thought they were capable of comprehending us, we would shut
up. We want them to halt their aggression against the world, not
we are warning that the behavior of the Bush men and their
constituency - a majority of white Americans - is bizarre and inherently
unstable, based as it is on shared illusions of white supremacy.
(Black CNN "weatherman" Leon Harris' idea of himself is
also somehow reified by these delusions.) White America is not rational.
Its behavior must be anticipated through a disciplined mental practice
that was painfully learned by the slave and her children. At these
perilous times for the planet, and for those who are thought of
as domestic enemies, we must never forget that the adversary is
not only powerful, he is crazy.
this regard, the embedded media are useful indicators of the way
the racist wind is blowing. They are acting out collective white
fantasies, unconstrained by any pretense of professional ethics,
purposely placing no distance between themselves and the "national
interest" as defined by their Leader. They have been deputized,
and are grinning like Barney Fife of Mayberry. The Pirates play
them like a piano, but it's a song they enjoy as much as the Bush
men do - for now.
20 years ago during the U.S. invasion of Grenada, the corporate
media demonstrated that their heart's true wish is to prove their
fealty to the state - that they have The White Stuff. An internal
split in the ruling New Jewel Movement followed by a military coup
and the assassination of the island nation's popular leader, Maurice
Bishop, providing the pretext for Ronald Reagan's air and sea assault.
The well-rehearsed armada arrived in Grenadan waters in October,
1983, on what was billed as a mission to "rescue" American
students at the island's medical school. Soon it was announced that
the action was necessary to "liberate" the 70,000 or so
inhabitants from the tyranny of a few hundred Cuban construction
workers and embassy-assigned soldiers.
U.S. military preferred that the media not get in the way of the
mission. The outraged press were placed on shipboard lockdown for
the first 48 hours of the invasion, forced to watch impotently from
the railings as Navy Seals and Army paratroopers landed without
benefit of corporate media benediction. The shipboard scribblers
howled, while their stateside editors produced negative ink on the
wisdom of the invasion.
co-publisher Glen Ford wrote a small book on the subject for the
International Organization of Journalists, titled, "The Big
Lie: Analysis of U.S. Press Coverage of the Grenada Invasion"
(1985, IOJ, now out of print). As soon as the military saw fit to
allow the corporate media on Grenada, Ford wrote, American newspapers
and broadcast networks morphed into cheerleaders for the invasion.
Washington Post had no real complaints about the invasion anymore,
except for wounded feelings over the initial news blackout:
was troublesome and a bad precedent for Mr. Reagan to yield so
much authority over the actual operation to the uniformed military,
which created an unnecessary crisis of political confidence by
barring the press and by too often seeming blind to the operation's
Washington Post appears to be saying, as boldly as its mumbling
style permits, that not only did the paper approve of the invasion
but that, if the press had been allowed its usual privileges the
operation would have been smoother, diplomatically and domestically.
The Washington Post and its counterparts would have helped explain
the invasion and avert "an unnecessary crisis."
corporate media are full partners in the invasion of Iraq, and may
be effectively embedded in one form or another for the remainder
of Permanent War. They have become trustees of the state, pampered
passengers on the road to Baghdad, Tehran....