Monday, March 31, 2003

NEWSPEAK: Empire Appreciation Month

Military Genius on Parade

There was fierce competition among Bush Administration officials to see who could most accurately predict the length of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Here are the nominees: 1. "Support for Saddam... will collapse after the first whiff of gunpowder," -- Pentagon advisor Richard Perle 2. "An explosion of joy will greet our soldiers." -- US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul
Wolfowitz. 3. "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk." -- Pentagon advisor Kenneth Adelman. 4. "I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators I think the regular army will not fight." V-P Dick Cheney. We can't emphasize enough the dangers of abusing hallucinogenic drugs.

Communication Breakdown

As people "embedded" in American culture, it's difficult to comprehend how Iraqis could possibly resist their own liberation. The answer may lie in a few overlooked cultural differences. For example, when American soldiers tore down the Iraqi flag and hoisted the Stars and Stripes over the port of Umm Qasr, many Iraqis failed to appreciate that this was our way of saying, "We've come to liberate you." A similar misunderstanding may have occurred when the 101st Airborne Division named two of its main outposts in the desert "Forward Operating Base Exxon" and "Forward Operating Base Shell."
Fortunately, neither name implies we are there at the behest of our oil companies, says the Pentagon . (See the Guardian 3/28/03)

Who Let Bush off the Leash Dept.?

While scolding the UN, President Bush pointed to the example of the UN's inaction in the face of the genocide that claimed 800,000 lives in Rwanda in the 1990s. "The UN," he said, "must mean something. Remember Rwanda or Kosovo. The UN didn't do its job." Advisors reportedly had to draw straws to see who would tell the President that it was the U.S who had led the opposition to intervention and that Bush himself was on record as opposed to intervening where US "vital interests" were not at stake.

"All Power to the Imagination"

While our nation campaigned against weapons of mass destruction in the hands of others, the Pentagon asked for the lifting of the ban on our development of small nuclear weapons. These weapons may be needed because of the existence of small countries. (We don't want to take out adjacent nations when making those surgical strikes.) Linton Brooks, head of the
National Nuclear Security Administration, defended the move with these words of wisdom: "Anything that inhibits thinking about the future, should be looked at skeptically." And if you can't think outside the box, blow it up.

Benchmarks in Diversity

All the major networks have refused to air anti-war ads. Our award for the best explanation for banning such non-commercial views goes to CBS. Their spokesperson, vice-president Martin Franks put it succinctly: "On the CBS television network," he said, "we think that informed discussion comes from our news programming." Why confuse people with too many points of view?

Soundbites

The Bush Administration was pleased to announce that both Eritrea and the Solomon Islands had joined the "Coalition of the willing." The question on everybody's mind: "When will Liechtenstein join the cause?... A rumor had it that Iraqi army officers trained for possible surrenders by watching videotapes of U.S. Democratic party leaders. This was not true...The U.S.Air Force furthered the cause of freedom in Iraq by dropping leaflets on its citizens. It's also been suggested they drop copies of the USA Patriot Act. Give them a dose of reality.
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Wayne Grytting is the author of American Newspeak:The Mangling of Meaning for Power and Profit. Subscribe our say nice things about the author by e-mailing wgrytt@scn.org. More Newspeak can be found at http:www.scn.org/newspeak

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