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Republicans for Humility
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“Country before Party”

"....It really depends upon how our nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us.....but if we're a humble nation they'll respect us."
 
- George W. Bush, October 11, 2000















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John Quincy Adams  "Monsters to Destoy "  Address - July 4, 1821>

Eisenhower's Farewell Address













"I think the president ought to meet with this mother." 

Sen. George Allen (R-Va)




"I think the wise course of action, the compassionate course of action, the better course of action would have been to immediately invite her in to the ranch. It should have been done when this whole thing started. Listen to her."

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb)






"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. "

James Madison






"For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead."

Thomas Jefferson






The Tragedy of a Complicit Media


A Servile Press Is an Indispensable Enabler of Administration Duplicity



by  William Frey, M. D.


Standing before a German cameraman in Biloxi, Mississippi, Christine Adelhardt, speaks to her countrymen,

"2 minutes ago the President drove past in his convoy. But what has happened in Biloxi all day long is truly unbelievable. Suddenly recovery units appeared, suddenly bulldozers were there, those hadn't been seen here all the days before, and this in an area, in which it really wouldn't be necessary to do a big clean up, because far and wide nobody lives here anymore, the people are more inland in the city. The President travels with a press baggage [big crew]. This press baggage got very beautiful pictures which are supposed to say, that the President was here and help is on the way, too. The extent of the natural disaster shocked me, but the extent of the staging is shocking me at least the same way. With that back to Hamburg."     transcription and translation     video


But this German report contrasts sharply with press coverage in America, where a complicit media routinely assesses such image manipulation to be less than newsworthy. It is, as Yogi Berra would say, "déjà vu all over again."

Flashback to 9 April 2003:     Saddam's statue topples in Fardus Square, Baghdad.   Hours of American television time are devoted to showing purportedly spontaneous celebrations by masses of jubilant and enthusiastic Iraqis. Donald Rumsfeld pronounces the scene "breathtaking." The press agrees. CNN labels a highly cropped photograph, "Crowds cheer as statue of Saddam Hussein falls."

What is not shown by mainstream media is the uncropped photograph of Fardus Square, which reveals the notably dissimilar scene of a staged-managed media event.  It remains for alternative media both to release the photo, and to report that the staged event features, rather than indigenous Baghdad residents (as mainstream media reports), members of Ahmed Chalabi's Free Iraqi Forces Militia who have been flown into Iraq by the Pentagon. (Chalabi was the scandal-plagued London banker favored by Washington to head the new Iraqi government until he was discredited as both a major source of false WMD "intelligence" as well as a spy for Iran.)

.     .     .     .     .

Day in and day out, as in both of these staged photo ops, members of the allegedly "liberal media establishment" in America dutifully dispense manipulated and misleading images to a believing public. At Fardus Square, this occurred despite the fact that most American journalists were staying in the Palestine Hotel, directly across the square from Saddam's statue, with a clear view of the proceedings. If the average American is to see these exploited events for what they are, he must rely on information sources other than the mainstream American media.

Notwithstanding incessant protestations of "Liberal Media Bias" by Bush supporters, the American media has been an indispensable ally in disseminating the Administration's public relations narrative.  The reality of the (much maligned) New York Times and Washington Post faithfully propagating Administration pre-war claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and the detested “Liberal Media” dutifully beating the drums of war, much less mocking valiant Congressional efforts to expose the "fixing" of pre-war "intelligence", has yet failed to register with the Bush faithful.

The remarkable aspect of the misleading photo ops described above is not, in fact, the Administration's duplicity. Rather, it is the casual, business-as-usual state of acquiescence, and indisputable collaboration with the powers that be, to which in America the so-called “Liberal Media” has descended.  It is no coincidence that we only know of the stage managed events in Biloxi because of the serendipitous presence of an incredulous German TV crew.

.     .     .     .     .

Of what consequence is such an unquestioning and complicit American media?

One could, of course, complain of the diversion of scarce resources to public relations purposes during a time of crisis, but the damage to our republic is much more fundamental than the inefficient utilization of a few bulldozers in Mississippi.

Media complicity is a necessary daily component of the Karl Rove/Frank Luntz spin machine. This most effective of modern political hegemonies does not control the framing of public discourse only through the efforts of unabashed Administration partisans in talk radio, Fox News, and the endless stream of commentators and wannabe empire-builders hatched at incestuous neoconservative think tanks.

Control of the framing of the issues of public discourse is only possible if aided by the silence and the active complicity of an intimidated and fearful media.

In Iraq, misrepresentation by the media of the staged celebrations at the toppling of Saddam's statue reinforced the unrealistic pre-war "They'll welcome us with flowers" mind-set. This in turn reinforced a misinformed American bullishness that was oblivious to the extent of Iraqi ambivalence about a foreign military presence.  Unquestionably, most Iraqis were delighted to be rid of Saddam. But this gratitude was, in fact, tempered by the fear that America coveted her resources, desired a controlling presence in the Middle East, and that American forces would be in Iraq permanently.

With America thus disconnected from Iraqi sentiments, the opportunity for the Bush Administration to allay Iraqi fears was squandered in subsequent months.  By not moving quickly to transfer power to Iraqis, and by not disclaiming the intent for a permanent military presence in Iraq, Administration actions unfortunately confirmed rather than allayed Iraqi fears.

Iraqi public opinion polls give clear confirmation of this squandered opportunity. Gallup reports that while 43% of Iraqis said they had viewed Americans as "liberators" at the time of the invasion, by 1 year later this number had declined to 19%. Polls commissioned by the US backed Coalition Provisional Authority were even more grim: By May, 2004, only 2% of Iraqis identified Americans as "liberators". 41% favored immediate withdrawal, 45% withdrawal after election of a permanent government, and 6% favored our staying as long as coalition forces think necessary for stability.

Permanent Occupation, Endless War, and a Compliant Press

Despite the President's repeated promises of "no occupation", "no territorial ambitions", "no desire to dominate", statements that "the occupation will end", and beguiling talk of "bringing home our troops", the undeniable reality of the unabated construction of untold millions of dollars worth of permanent bases is the proverbial "elephant in the living room."

With the overwhelming majority of both Sunnis and Shiites opposed to a permanent American military presence, and with the fear of an unending occupation fueling an intractable insurgency, W. Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic studies institute - and the top Iraq expert there - summarizes our plight,

"I don't think that you can kill the insurgency.....We have a growing, maturing insurgency group.....We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are x number of insurgents, and that when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."

In the face of the dissonance between the President's "no occupation" rhetoric and the reality of continued construction of permanent bases, burdened with an intractable insurgency with no discernable end, we must progress with the additional encumbrance of an intimidated and compliant press which will not challenge these Presidential contradictions.

A press which will not cease to collaborate in routine daily Administration image manipulation and disingenuous photo ops is scarcely a press which will demand answers to grave discrepancies between rhetoric and actions.

Our second President, John Adams, warned,

"Liberty can not be preserved without a general knowledge among the people."

And our fourth, James Madison, advised,

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."


An American public detached from reality is not a public that compels a necessary correction of our national course.

And an American public detached from reality is the most damaging consequence of our servile and complicit media.



















"The New American Militarism"
How Americans Are Seduced by War

by  Andrew Bacevich,

Prof. of International Relations, Boston University
Graduate of the United States Military Academy
Retired Colonel, U. S. Army






"Why This Soldier Can't Support This War"

Justin Gordon,
1999 Graduate of United States Military Academy,
Iraq Veteran




"The Logic of Suicide Terrorism"
in
"The American Conservative"
Robert Pape
University of Chicago,
former instructor in air power strategy at the USAF's School of Advanced Air Power Studies



"The central motive for anti-American terrorism, suicide terrorism, and catastrophic terrorism is response to foreign occupation, the presence of our troops. The longer our forces stay on the ground in the Arabian Peninsula, the greater the risk of the next 9/11, whether that is a suicide attack, a nuclear attack, or a biological attack."

Robert Pape,
"The Logic of Suicide Terrorism"





"But (America) goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force....

She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit...."

John Quincy Adams

















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Rhetoric & Reality: The Bush Natl Security Strategy & the War in Iraq
Reconsidering Iraq: Conservative, Republican & Military Dissent
The Conservative Case Against George W. Bush
The Case for Divided Government
Military Leaders, Conservatives, Republicans Rejecting Bush/Cheney
Statement of Principles
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Republicans for Humility

"Country Before Party"


George W. Bush"....It really depends upon how our nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us.....but if we're a humble nation they'll respect us."
George W. Bush, October 11, 2000


"Stand with anybody that stands right.  Stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong."   
Abraham Lincoln, October 16, 1854




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