By Robert Parry
July 30, 2007
No need to wait until September. It’s already obvious how George W. Bush and his still-influential supporters in Washington will sell an open-ended U.S. military occupation of Iraq – just the way they always have: the war finally has turned the corner and withdrawal now would betray the troops by snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
At one time, the Iraq story line was how many schoolrooms had been painted or how well the government security forces were doing. Now there are new silver linings being detected that will justify a positive progress report in September – and the U.S. news media is again ready to play its credulous part.
President Bush signaled the happy-news judgment of his hand-picked commander, Gen. David Petraeus, in a round of confident public appearances over the past two weeks. With his effusive praise of “David,” as Bush called the general at a White House news conference, the President acted like a smug student arriving for a test with the answers tucked in his pocket.
Another key element of the coming propaganda campaign was previewed on the op-ed page of the New York Times on July 30 as Michael E. O’Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack of the Brookings Institution portrayed themselves as tough critics of the Bush administration who, after a visit to Iraq, now must face the facts: Bush’s “surge” is working.
“As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily ‘victory’ but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with,” O’Hanlon and Pollack wrote in an article entitled “A War We Just Might Win.”
Yet the authors – and the New York Times – failed to tell readers the full story about these supposed skeptics: far from grizzled peaceniks, O’Hanlon and Pollack have been longtime cheerleaders for a larger U.S. military occupying force in Iraq.
Indeed, Pollack, a former CIA analyst, was a leading advocate for invading Iraq in the first place. He published The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq in September 2002, just as the Bush administration was gearing up its marketing push for going to war.
British journalist Robert Fisk called Pollack’s book the “most meretricious contribution to this utterly fraudulent [war] ‘debate’ in the United States.” (Meretricious, by the way, refers to something that is based on pretense, deception or insincerity.)
Neocon ‘Full Monte’
Pollack’s influential book offered the “full monte” neoconservative vision for remaking the Middle East, with the Iraq invasion as only the first step in the transformation. Ousting Saddam Hussein “would sever the ‘linkage’ between the Iraq issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Pollack wrote. “It would remove an important source of anti-Americanism.”
But Pollack was wrong in his predictions. If anything, the Iraq War has deepened Arab-Israeli animosities while enflaming the region’s anti-Americanism.
Also, in Fisk’s view, “Pollack’s argument for war was breathtakingly amoral. War would be the right decision, it seemed, not because it was morally necessary but because we would win. War was now a viable and potentially successful policy option.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.
(Owned Big Time) Author: A War We Just Might Win
July 30, 2007 Hardball MSNBC
Michael O’Hanlen, guest