Sunday, May 9
Live by the Spin, Die by the Spin
by Christopher Deliso, balkanalysis.com, 10 May, 2004
What a difference a year makes! The same government that was cashing in from the constant screening of "Saving Private Jessica" last April is one year later reeling from one of the latest release – the equally riveting "Secrets of Abu Ghraib," which is already becoming one of the ugliest photo-documented scandals in American military history.
Last year's PR coup was anchored on the harrowing (and bogus) tales of abuses carried out on the attractive girl-next-door, Private Jessica Lynch. What made the story of abuse and valiant rescue all the more appealing was the barrage of photos that came out soon thereafter: a photogenic, sprightly 19 year-old who somehow defied the odds and survived the assault of those evil Ay-rabs of Iraq. Of course, that there was something fishy about the whole tale was unimportant; what was to be treasured was the feel-good sentiment that, like good old apple pie, Americans could indulge in patriotically.
Yet there is nothing photogenic about the leering faces of Americans indulging in abuse of Iraqis at the prison of Abu Ghraib. There are no feel-good moments, either (unless you're an ignorant hillbilly or depraved apologist for American empire, that is). Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's admission that still more shocking photos and even worse, video are yet to come in the days and weeks ahead means that those who live by the spin may die by it, too.
Rummy Turns "Responsible" – Whatever That Means
Once Donald Rumsfeld took "full responsibility" for the misdeeds of his troops in the field, one could sense the end approaching. In his perhaps fatal hubris, however, the defense security refuses to countenance the idea of stepping down. Said a top Bush official, decrying Rumsfeld's "destructive arrogance" to Time: "…you have no idea what it's like to deal with the United States of Rumsfeld."
Yet with increasing cries for Rummy's head, a dejected Colin Powell possibly planning to retire come November 2, and devious Dick Cheney remaining as unpopular as ever, one can expect that Karl Rove is now scratching off names on his checklist of potential new fall guys for Bush Regime 2. Dubya's ratings are in the toilet bowl, and if the Iraqi torture scandal worsens – as looks very likely – this willfully stupid little dictator may have to remove even himself from the ticket. [...more]