20 November 2003
“Coercive Democratisation”. Wonderful description isn’t it. It’s from the mouth of a former White House advisor now fucking up students’ heads at Oxford University, as heard on the BBC’s 10pm news (19/11/03) on Radio 4. It must be a first, where invading a sovereign state and occupying it, and then going on to kill around a 1000 people a month has been described in this way. And the speaker (whose name thankfully I’ve forgotten) went on to use this phrase to justify the use of this double-speak as the imperium proceeds apace in its attempt to conquer the planet.
And talking of double-speak, one headline in the Independent (20/11/03) shows just how much self-deception goes on in the media. Titled, “Where was the tongue-tied Texan? This was fluent and funny” referring to Bush the smaller’s speech at the Banqueting Hall in London on 19/11/03. We then read in the body of the text:
“Whoever has been coaching George Bush in oratory deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom”.
Well excuse me but what has the headline got to do with the body text? Whether Bush is an oratory genius or dunce is not the issue. The writer (Mary Dejevsky) surely knows that an army of writers writes the speech with every word vetted and considered.
But I do Ms Dejevsky a disservice, for later in the piece she tells us:
“The writer, or writers, deserve bouquets, too, for a 45-minute oration that switched easily between registers,”
Oh the writer/s deserve it too? I would never have guessed unless Ms Dejevsky had told me. What I find outrageous is the comfortable blurring of the lines that journalists make between one reality and another, so that in the same breath Ms Dejevsky acknowledges the smoke and mirrors but for her, it’s an acceptable replacement for the other reality, the one we actually live in. I’m reminded of the brilliant line from a long-standing “Saturday Night Live” skit repeated ad nauseum, “It’s only acting,” the difference being that Bush, by reading the damn script without fluffing it, becomes the author.
The Independent’s editorial continues in the same vein (just in case we didn’t get Dejevesky’s message). After generally damning Bush and his “three pillars of peace” it goes on to praise him with the following outrageous statements:
“For all the familiar elements in Mr Bush’s speech yesterday, there were two categorical restatements of his administrations policy that deserve to be hailed without reserve. The first was Mr Bush’s insistence that the US was in Iraq for the duration – even if he gave the undertaking rather more lurid expression than was strictly necessary.” [My emph. WB]
“The second was his call to Israel to stop “the daily humiliation of Palestinians”, freeze settlements and not prejudice final peace talks by erecting “walls and fences…. [My emph. WB]
“They are welcome for all that, as promises on the record against which Mr Bush’s good faith can be judged in the future.”
Once again, the ‘liberal press’ is quite happy to accept words as a replacement for deeds. It even says it will hold his words as a measure of his “good faith”. Ah, if only it would apply the same measure of judgement against all his previous lies eg; WMDs et al. Is this self-deception? Far from it. This is the conspiracy that the media engages in collusion with the state, whereby the act of stating something is so, makes it so. This is the arrogance of the intelligentsia, trained monkeys that they are, so self-assured of their role as mediators between the state and the people, that they assume their illusions are also our illusions.
But in concrete terms, if we unpack the words of this smug and infuriating editorial, the raw truth is revealed when it says that the final peace talks not be prejudiced. What final peace talks? There are no peace talks final or otherwise, and Sharon is on record of having no intention of going along with even the most ‘liberal’ interpretation of the so-called road map and he’s doing it with the US’s blessing!
“Freeze settlements”? Sharon continues to build settlements and has stated publicly that he has no intention of dismantling any of those that already exist and he continues to build an Apartheid Palestinian Bantustan.
An occupied Iraq “for the duration”? What does this mean? Duration of what, the rest of the century? Such mealy-mouthed words are worse than those of Bush’s scriptwriters who at least, state their objectives even if they are couched in what appears to be an acceptable form, acceptable that is, to the intended audience.
Elsewhere in today’s Independent we had endless columns indeed pages, of precisely nothing except tedious descriptions of the Bushette/Blah/Queenie pageant, hedged in by a cordon sanitaire of police, snipers, helicopters, sniffer dogs, the entire panoply of the security state, barely mentioned by the way. I’m amazed and impressed by the skill of the writer (Deputy Political Editor, Paul Waugh) to stretch out such emptiness over so many columns. I looked in vain for any politics in the coverage. Even Waugh’s coverage of Bushette’s speech was described simply as “an excellently crafted lecture”. Much of Waugh’s coverage was given over to stuff that would not have been out of place in “OK” or “People” magazine such as Bushette’s choice of footwear and his apparent boredom as he was ushered through the Royal collection of loot amassed over the ages.
Well I gotta go, I’m off to the demo.