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Stepping up the rhetoric

by Jerome a Paris Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 07:47:17 AM EST

From a former Securitate spy who defected to the West in the 70s:

I spent decades scrutinizing the U.S. from Europe, and I learned that international respect for America is directly proportional to America's own respect for its president.

Western Europe was still grateful to the U.S. for having restored its freedom, but it had strong leftist movements that we [the Warsaw pact secret services] secretly financed. They were like putty in our hands.

The European leftists, like any totalitarians, needed a tangible enemy, and we gave them one [: US Presidents].

It is America's leader that counts. Let's return to the traditions of presidents who accepted nothing short of unconditional surrender from our deadly enemies. Let's vote next year for people who believe in America's future, not for the ones who live in the Cold War past.

This appeal "to help keep our beloved America united and honorable" just leaves me ... weary. Which is how it works, of course. We're drowning in this ugly, inflammatory, shameless rhetoric, and we lose the terms of the debate. How do we fight back?


Display:
... of reacting to another in the long line of propaganda editorials pissed by the Wall Street Urinal?  You can't fight reality-challenged people, and to attempt to do is to invite fatigue over the long haul.  How could people who write

"I have a hard time understanding why some of our top political leaders can dare in a time of war to call our commander in chief a "liar," a "deceiver" and a "fraud.""

be taken seriously?  Do you think the writer would entertain the correct answer, that we call him liar, deceiver and fraud because he is one?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 08:09:32 AM EST
is that people that do not spend their time obsessively reading news like us need to get an alternative. Otherwise, all they get is this.

Throw enough shit and some will stick - that's the stragety of the WSJ. We need to send it back.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 08:38:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I tend to agree with Crazy Horse. Who is this delirium aimed at? What constituency will it influence? I'd suspect a shrinking one. At the very least, this is preaching to the choir.

So it's meant to edify and firm up the base? Probably. So let them spend their time doing that. They won't be making new converts with this nonsense, anyway.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 08:18:39 AM EST
of course, but the fact remains that quotes like the above are the only thing that the business/political elites that read the WSJ will get, and, just like advertising, this shapes their underlying beliefs.

Leftists = communists = totalitarian
US = WWII victor
WoT = WWIII

Maybe those that read this don't agree that the president cannot be criticized, but in the meantime, they won't challenge the underlying assumption that the War on Terra needs to be fought, and they absorb that the parties of the left were financed by totalitarian communist regimes and thus can never really be trusted.

A lot of people read this. Many won't read it as critically as we do.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 08:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering the kind of retards who are likely to read the WSJ and take it at face value, I think it's more likely that the WSJ is being paid to say what they already think, rather than trying to shape their opinions.

It's an interesting insight into Bubble World and the mindset of the perpetually shrinking twenty-x-percent.

This is as clear an admission as you'll find that the US values fantasy - especially warrrr porn fantasy - over reality.

It's only in comic books and Dan Brown novels that the president is all knowing and wise and must be supported at all costs, lest the Other get in.

Oh - and the WSJ, apparently.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 09:23:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The WSJ is the main daily newspaper of the business world. Not of the FoxNews watching dittoheads (although some may belong to both groups).

As such, its influence goes much farther, as it is part of the echo chamber of financial analysts and pundits that spout the conventional wisdom that gets regurgitated mindlessly by the markets and all its cheerleaders.

That tripe gets processed and repeated endlessly (in slightly toned down versions), allowing the process to be repeated a while later with, each time, slightly more outrageous stuff.

The WSJ Op-Ed pages are one of the early sources of the talking points of the hard right (in their legitimized version) and, as such, need to be fought.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 09:50:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...is the rather complete disconnect between the Op-Ed pages and the journalistic part of the WSJ.  Most people at the level of business leaders already recognize that news staff (until now anyway) operates independently, and that the decently reported "news" is often completely at odds with the wacked-out editorials.  i venture to say that even many conservatives accept that.

It's our task to focus on the alternative views within the forums we can influence.  Why dignify the wack-jobs with trying to refute all the propaganda?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 11:24:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I was a young man working in New York most people who read the WS Journal also read the NY Times. I'm not sure it's the case today but I doubt that many people who read the Journal do it for its editorials. They are about the dumbest around-almost like a joke. Who knows, its editorial page might improve when Murdoch takes over.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 11:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome,

The GWoT is considered WWIV by the neo-conservatives. If you are wondering what happened to WWIII: They consider The Cold War to be WWIII.

They also believe that the President should never be criticised. Dick Cheney has a long history of voicing this view both when he was Nixon's chief of staff and when he was a Congressman. The GWoT is just their best excuse.

Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying

by RogueTrooper on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 09:43:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I notice how they applied this with Clinton.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 11:37:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is this delirium aimed at?  

This question is key in considering a response.  

But first, consider how bogus this all is:  The real, inside dope from a defector spy!  Listen up!  And if he is telling you to obey your leaders like sheep . . . you should smell a fish--if appearing in the WSJ weren't warning enough.  But who IS this guy?  Does he even exist?  Or is he, maybe, the creation of an ad copy-writer's imagination?  

So who is it aimed at?  

Well, firstly, people who will buy the whole Cold War thing.  With Putin resisting the US claim to ownership of the world's remaining oil, will you buy the New Cold War?  With the Iraq war gone bad, the US desperately needs a new war--preferably one it hasn't lost yet.  Iran is out--the Army and Navy have as much as refused it.  But a New Cold War against the Russians might fill the bill.  Plenty of cost-plus contracts for new weapons systems, the Air-Force is happy, plenty of thrills (and fear) but no real action--at least for a while.  

Who better to kick off the New Cold War than a player in the old one--a defector spy!  

Why did people fall for the old Cold War?  Answer that  and you know who will fall for the New one.  

The essential problem is the US needs war the way a junkie needs dope.  Without war, reality begins to set in, and that is very, very bad.  

(The unfolding implosion of the US economy--promising to include the best features of the Great Depression and the Wiemar hyper-inflation--just adds to the urgency.)  

Reality setting in.  Almost unthinkable.  Desperation is only beginning.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 11:02:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The essential problem is the US needs war the way a junkie needs dope.  Without war, reality begins to set in, and that is very, very bad.

To make it global, I would trade US for neoconlib.


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Wed Aug 8th, 2007 at 12:07:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and NOT believe they were written by an American--and Republican?  NOBODY else writes like this.  

Romanian--hah!  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 11:12:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The part I do agree with is that America's image is directly tied in with its President. The world view of the United States correlates with the confidence it shows in its President. The United States must elect a President who not only has broad based appeal among the electorate but can communicate. If Bush had an irrefutable strategy, he certainly never was abe to communicate it (or much of anything else either). But that can be said of all world leaders. Will our enemies be inspired by our dissension? Probably, but that is the price we pay for having a democracy and freedom of speech.
by BJ Lange (langebj@gmail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 08:33:42 AM EST
Will our enemies be inspired by our dissension?
Who are 'your' enemies, and why? And who are the 'our' in your statement?
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 08:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ask the author of the article. The point was not who the enemies are. The point is that democracies don't march in lock step.
by BJ Lange (langebj@gmail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 09:52:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point was that we ought to always examine who and why someone is designated an 'enemy', and whom it is claimed this 'enemy' opposes. Statements such as:
Will our enemies be inspired by our dissension? Probably, but that is the price we pay for having a democracy and freedom of speech.
already gives too much ground and credit to those doing the enemy designation and definition.

For example, of the many waring factions in Iraq, who do we think are in fact enemies of 'the United States', rather than a 'reaction against the occupation' or 'engaged in a power-struggle against other factions' or some other such thing. Whom among them actually give a damn of US domestic dissension considering the very real, local hell in which they are more immediately entangled?

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 10:20:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Point taken.
by BJ Lange (langebj@gmail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 11:59:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know my enemy and it is not you- as long as you have blindingly red hair.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 11:41:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn´t see it red at all.  It was a light being!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 11:59:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And quite bearable.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 12:11:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The world view of the United States correlates with the confidence it shows in its President

Hero worship of the worst kind.

 

If Bush had an irrefutable strategy,

Bush was pretty explicate from the beginning with his irrefutable strategy; corporate socialism of the worst kind. The corporate socialist knew it, and it didn't take a seer to know what kind of asshats he would eventually put into his cabinet.

The same cannot be said of all world leaders.

Such a generalization is wrong on so many levels. The unfortunate worst of which is that there are so few leaders. Perhaps that is what you meant - "...that can be said of all conniving bastard politicians who, while shilling for the corporate socialists, try to skim any lucre that falls out of their pockets". Yes; that must have been what you meant.

Will our enemies be inspired by our dissension? Probably, but that is the price we pay for having a democracy and freedom of speech.

In a few hundred years, when some large group actually has a democracy, they will look back on this era and be sick...as I am now. Until then, comments like that presume that there is actually dissension, and that it has gotten above the level of noise, that it will grow into something other than dissension and that whatever it grows into will be effective in making a real change in the system.

Similar comments about the insipid freedom of speech concepts - they sound so much like the Bushite line about how they hate us for...etc.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 04:45:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Hero worship of the worst kind."

I honestly have no idea what are you talking about other than complaining? If you review past Presidents with their popularity there will be a corrolation of how good or bad we are viewed. What does that have to do with hero worship?

"Bush was pretty explicite."

First of all he was not that explicit about anything - ever. Second my comment had to do with the ability to communicate and persuade people. Bush has never had the ability to communicate effectively to anyone (except maybe you).

"that it will grow into something other than dissension and that whatever it grows into will be effective in making a real change in the system."

This is a remake of the '60s. The minute the U.S. cut out of Vietnam the so called "movement" vanished into thin air.

First how do you define "the system?" And then what do you consider "real change in the system?"

"Similar comments about the insipid freedom of speech concepts - they sound so much like the Bushite line about how they hate us for...etc."

To quote one of the cavemen in the GEICO commercial, "What?"

by BJ Lange (langebj@gmail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 08:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Re: hero worship, your not getting my point, and whether I am just complaining...

And if I am complaining, so what? Is there some bylaw that I violated?

But I wasn't. I was making a statement. But if you want to get into the issue, let's. Because it is not only an indicator of the culture's banal immaturity, but the correlation argument (american's feeling about their president=the rest of the world's feeling about america) is dead wrong.

Bush was viewed rather highly when he took the mandate for war. If I remember, nearly or over 80% of the country thought he and Biggus Dickus Cheney were the swellest guys around. The American media couldn't slobber more about how the big american war machine was going the be the ultimate emollient for easing the insertion of democracy into the never been democratized towelheads, uh, excuse me, unmodernized religious zealots.

Yet, I was in China when their Sec State said that they weren't going to go along with that. I talked to people in 4 cities who were very confused as to why the country that they had at one time looked up to was going more and more crazy. I was in Germany when they and the Russians met with Chirac to say that the line was going to be drawn in the UN. The citizens of all three countries were holding the US in pretty low regard by then. They had long thought Bush was the wrong person for the job and wondered how the US voter didn't see it. By then they  thought that the people were dead gone crazy for wanting to get into that war. (I don't remember if that was before or after Powell humiliated himself in the UN.)

I was doing a lot of work in Italy then and I know that it was not the same as in England. The people in England were being pummeled with BS'd and FUD'd into believing that they were going to be attacked any and everyday lest they go to war in a big way. The Italians were being pummeled by Burlesconi's press, but they were adamant about how banal their government was lapdogging the US.

Bottom line is that the premise is wrong. The American's view of their president has little to do with how the rest of the world sees him or them.

As far as Bush being a transparent tool of big business, you only need look at the history of who put money into his campaign and the history of how the media played the game. Just because you didn't know about it doesn't mean that Jack Welch didn't know about it. His statements to his employees about how the press he controlled (NBC, MSNBC, among others) and the people he swayed (famously Disney/ABC) were to treat the election are well documented.

The energy companies knew, the drug companies knew. They were well rewarded for their largess in getting him elected as well, first with cabinet slots and then with sweet juicy war contracts.

The rest of your remarks just prove the point that I was making. Unless your speech is able to get above the noise and then actually able the gain the attention of enough politicians who are not paid off, what is the use in calling it free speech?

Interesting that you among all people would be quoting an insurance company commercial. Notwithstanding, my allusion was meant to point out that your comments sound a lot like Bushes when he says that they hate us for our freedoms.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2007 at 05:15:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What you said here I would agree with, particularly regarding Bush Jr.

Regarding "hero worship" that goes on with politicians, entertainers and sports figures. But with the U.S. Americans want to believe in their President and place them on a level of royalty, since we don't have it. I'm not sure where the idea of the American President being called "leader of the free world" came from but it placed American Presidents on a level the founders of this country never intended. It implies imperialism and national building -  both were never considered by the country's founders.

by BJ Lange (langebj@gmail.com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2007 at 10:55:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has a book to sell in November. I think this piece was item number one on the publisher's marketing startegy list. Selected appearances on Fox to follow.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 09:35:01 AM EST
Indeed.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 09:46:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't fight back you have surrendered Unconditionally, like Viet-Nam, N. Korea, China and Russia did-at least according to the inferences drawn from the article.  The last US president to preside over an "unconditional" surrender, was FDR/Truman, the great leftist president vilified by the rich right wing like the WSJ represents.

The way to deal with this type of article is to denounce it, get y our denunciations on the tube, in the letters to the editor and fight back.

Nobody would like to see America united and honorable better than me, but you don't get that by just following... well, you all know this as well or better than me, I just say don't ignore this type of trash, respond and debunk.  Its pretty easy actually, its wrong on its face.



"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 03:52:32 PM EST
Maybe you're right; we've got to go for the jugular on everything today-can't give an inch.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 04:16:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How do we fight back?

ummm, translate it into German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, etc. and compare side by side with famous jingoist speeches by now-discredited demagogues?

sigh.

how is it that we (collectively) do get fooled again by the same old carny barkers in new clothes?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 05:26:03 PM EST
As a long-standing practicing leftist, could someone tell me where I can queue up for payment?
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Aug 8th, 2007 at 12:01:31 PM EST
Ion Mihai Pacepa at Wiki. I see he works in the spin business.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Aug 8th, 2007 at 12:23:59 PM EST


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