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Kelly O'Donnell (NBC Reporter) Tells Us with a Smile that They're Lying

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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:21 AM
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Kelly O'Donnell (NBC Reporter) Tells Us with a Smile that They're Lying
The American propaganda apparatus had a particularly thorny issue to deal with this morning. To wit, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's proclamation that Iraq will be fine without US troops, that the Iraqi people can - gasp! - govern themselves without foreign intervention. This was a remarkable statement, of course, in the midst of the latest US effort to portray our continued presence in Iraq as utterly crucial from a human rights perspective, a rhetorical gambit we've all seen before (the so-called bloodbath that would invariably happen should the Republic of Vietnam fall to the communists), but that we don't seem to learn from. Many people on this very board have invoked said Projected Iraqi Bloodbath(tm) as justification for the continued neo-colonial occupation of Iraq, behaving, as we well know, in the highest-minded liberal fashion: to save even one life from the "inevitable" bloodbath is all the justification we need. Fine. We will not get into these matters. From my perspective, it's the same old grafting of imperial objectives to human rights discourse, a particularly effective rhetorical trick for roping liberals of good character into the most noxious forms of imperial power.

But al-Maliki gave us an interesting little shrug on that, so the media apparatus revved up to turn his statement into something useful, however directly it contradicts the Latest Administration Rhetoric (tm). So here's what Kelly O'Donnell says (paraphrased), and with a straight face:

We have to understand that some of Maliki's comments are designed for a domestic Iraqi audience and not for the domestic US audience.

Oh, OK. I feel better now. (screeeeeeeeeech) Wait a second. What? Back it up come rewind. We have to understand that some of Maliki's comments are designed for a domestic Iraqi audience and not for the domestic US audience. Let us analyze. Maliki makes a series of statements that are designed for "domestic" consumption, that is, by Iraqis. So, when Maliki is talking to the Iraqis, he can say something very patriotic like, say, "we are perfectly capable of self-determination." But, of course, Maliki's just a magnificent joker! He doesn't really mean what he says to the Iraqis about that little matter of self-determination, so we in the United States should really NOT take it all that seriously. Presumably, when Maliki speaks to us, we get the straight dope: leaving will cause a blodbath! Bloodbath, I say! Now, we've all seen the court shows that feature a defendant testifying who has been caught in ONE lie, and so has a prosecutor question his credibility tout court. If you lied about X, how can we trust you not to be lying about Y? If you cheated ojn your wife, doesn't it also follow that you murdered her, etc. In this case, we have what is explictly an open admission that Maliki is lying to his own people! Or, perhaps he is lying to us? Who can tell?

OK. I'm not a child or a purist. I understand that different audiences require different rhetorical strategies. I'm all growns up, as it were. What bothered me more was the feckless manner in which Ms. O'Donnell "reported" this information, as if it didn't constitute any contradiction at all. Yes, yes, good viewers of the Today show. Mr. al-Maliki said this thing, but it's just a little white lie for the Iraqis. We - we Americans, that is to say - know better...
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:24 AM
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1. I must say though, this morning, NBC was debunking Shrub's claims about Al Qaeda in
Iraq. It showed Shrub's and Haddley's recent comments, and then came up with experts and quotes from military that Shrub was wrong. I was surprised.
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DU9598 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:45 AM
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2. Iraq v. Vietnam
I certainly think that there are numerous parallels, but you too easily dismiss the argument that it is going to be a blood bath after we pull out. The problem is we cannot stay forever (sorry George and Dick). We saw the blood bath in Basra after the Gulf War. Vietnam was not divided by the type of religous hatred that envelops all of Iraq. We must have in place some UN presence or other force to prevent whole-sale genocide following our pull out. It would be immoral to not have a plan in place to stop a genocide. Of course, like I yelled at Lindsey Graham on the tv yesterday ... "nobody listened to us 4-5 years ago when we predicted a quick fall of Saddam, but a horrible blood bath to follow". We took the baseball bat to the beehive ... it's terribly hard to get the bees back into the nest.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I do not dismiss the possibility of violence after we leave
Nor do I suggest that no plan (involving third parties) be formed.

What I suggest is that the discourse of human rights and genocide is inherently suspicious, and we should be suspicious of our own adherence to it. Before everyone gets riled up, I am not, of course, suggesting that concerns about human rights and genocide are irrelevant or anything so asinine. What I'm concerned about is the way this discourse is grafted on to imperial projects in order to enlist good "liberals" into despicable actions. We saw this in full bloom at the opening of the war (rape rooms, you know), and we're seeing it very clearly again now (bloodbath, which can only be prevented by F-16 strikes and battalion sweeps, or so we're told). Before we can make good judgments about "saving the Iraqi people," we must examine and disentangle such notions from military/occupation rhetoric, if only to evaluate them as arguments and policies.

Once again, I am not a purist. Military intervention has often stopped the most outrageous human rights abuses and genocides. Of course. And the failure to deploy has often allowed such outrages to go unchecked (see Rwanda, for example). But past experience should not be instantly applied to current circumstances. The "lesson" of history is primarily that events have singular contours. And so again, with Iraq. But, and I repeat to emphasize, the first order of business is disentangling the human rights discourse from the military solutions discourse. After that, perhaps we can evaluate policy without the muddle and confusion.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:48 AM
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3. LMAO...amazing
and yet still, there will be people all too willing to choke down that shit sandwich
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