Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The budget proposal from the Pentagon released this week includes considerably more funding for "psychological warfare" as part of what is portrayed by the administration as modernization of our Defense Department. At the same time, less money was requested for reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

This policy choice is emblematic of this administration's consistent belief that what is said matters more than what is done, that impression management trumps reality and that any means are justified for what they determine are appropriate ends.

As a means to improve the image of the United States, the process of democratization and self-determination in Iraq, the term itself (and the actions that make it real) are inconceivably wrong-headed. Disinformation, deception and distraction are hardly consistent with the principles of democracy.

At least the administration doesn't discriminate...they are doing the same back home. But, ultimately, it won't work there and it won't work here. There, people will continue to suffer and die and the reality of the occupation will not be able to be covered by some cute curtain of planted stories and public relations campaigns. Here, the ugly nature and underbelly of this administration is already spilling out and they seem unable to even conceive of how to conceal it, so pervasive and essential to their idea of themselves it seems to be.


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