Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Down the memory hole

Brilliant post from No More Mister Nice Blog
This is where it gets Orwellian -- not in the sense of systematically rewriting the news archives, but in the sense of subtly trying to rewire our memories ("Four legs good, two legs better"). Here's David Brooks today:
These Iraqis are people who ... have spent their lives in hell and cannot have been unaffected by it. They have touched pitch and witnessed or participated in man's capacity for violence and treachery. They must be both damaged and toughened.

They lived most of their lives under the dense evil of Saddam's regime - the mass graves, the rape rooms, the chemical attacks, the wars against Iran. Totalitarian cruelty on that scale was bound to get into their heads.

As the U.S. toppled the Baath regime, the Iraqi writer Kanan Makiya wrote about one of his countrymen who had lost his brother and been imprisoned by Saddam. "Try to imagine the worst and still you will not come close to the physical pain this man has suffered. ... This is the human raw material you want to build democracy for."

And from the dense evil of Saddam, these people were thrust into the haphazard evil of the terrorists and the occupation. The Zarqawi terrorists commit murder in a mood of spiritual ecstasy, while the old Baathists feed their addiction to sadism and domination. These new monsters brought beheadings to the country, bombs in crowds of children and people with Down syndrome sent off to become unwitting suicide bombers.
Notice what's missing in this catalog of suffering? That's right -- the war. In Brooks's view, the war was apparently not part of the ongoing traumatization of Iraqis.

Brooks invokes the war merely to set up a quote. He uses the word "occupation," but he doesn't mention any of its effects -- Abu Ghraib, the destruction of Fallujah, and so on; he doesn't acknowledge the U.S. failure to prevent anarchy.

This is how the Right wants you to remember the recent history of Iraq: a savage named Saddam gave way seamlessly to a savage named Zarqawi. Nothing else happened until, on January 30, the sun came out.
"Don't mention the war!" You'd think Brooks would be proud of the sacrifice of all those brave American kids from the Red States whose fructifying exurban parents are pumping out more eventual cannon fodder at the expense of their careers. But bringing that up might detract from the man whose triumph this really is - George W. Bush.

It might also remind people that we invaded Iraq not to free the Iraqi people but to keep Saddam from giving weapons of mass destruction he did not possess to terrorists he was not in contact with.

Meanwhile, our ally Pakistan is selling nuclear weapons all over the damn world. As well as not finding the "hiding" Osama Bin Laden.

And our allies Saudi Arabia and Egypt are emphatically not democratizing.

But don't mention the war!
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?