Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A propagandist lives, a giant falls

Crispin Hawes peddles his propaganda at Foreign Policy. His piece on Iraq is sort of like one of those really bad Lifetime movies that an announcer swears was based on a true story. Hawes assumes one of those women-in-jeopardy poses in his piece in an attempt to shore up Nouri's prowes.

Hawes tries to declare Nouri popular by citing "limited opinion surveys." Popularity has only been shown in the US propaganda survey we called out before it's release. The survey was a joke in the US Senate and that's why we knew about it. Hawes hopes you don't know about it.

He also hopes you don't stop to think. Six long years Nouri has been prime minister. Not only are things not getting better, they are getting worse. The Parliament's gearing up to hear testimony about what's going on with public services (worsening public services) in Basra. Monday, they explored why Iraq had less potable water. Less.

Hawes doesn't mention that and hopes you don't know about it because, if you do, you'll grasp how impossible it would be for Nouri to be honestly 'popular.' (Equally true, a survey of Nouri's leadership within Iraq would not result in honest results. You're dealing with a people who lived under the "tyrant" Saddam Hussein. In less than ten years, are they all going to be comfortable speaking their minds?)

He wants you to know that Nouri's "preparing the ground for elections." And he means early elections, parliamentary elections. It's hard to determine whether Hawes is intentionally stupid or playing people for fools. Provincial elections, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler noted last month, need to take plae in 2013. The proposed law is still stalled in Parliament (among the sticking points is whether the commissioners should be representative on a quota basis).

Now Nouri attempted to curry favor ahead of the 2009 provincial elections and he's been accused of taking certain measures (such as bringing military officers from Saddam's era back into the fold) recently to curry favor in next year's planned provincial elections.

Hawes repeatedly insists Nouri would win an early election.  And you wonder what the hell he hopes you were smoking?  Don't give me your mythical polls.  Those 'polls' said State of Law would come in first in 2010 by a healthy margin.  It didn't.

What we know from 2009 and 2010's elections is that Iraqis have, up to now, been seeking a national identity.  But let's not ever talk about something that can actually be demonstrated -- facts would only trip up Hawes.  By all means, stick to baseless conjecture and that way you can pass off any fantasy as reality, right?

Hawes is a joke.  And he seems not to grasp how things work in Iraq.  He seems to think that another election would see Nouri in charge as prime minister.  He ignores the (false) promise by Nouri in 2011 that he wouldn't seek a third term, Moqtada al-Sadr's opposition to Nouri having a third term, other Shi'ite leaders opposing Nouri having a third term and just how difficult it was for Nouri to get a second term.

Gore Vidal has passed away.  See who notes he was gay (he was not "bi-sexual").  See who notes his most infamous feud with another person (Anais Nin).  See which sexists can handle reality and which can't.

Gore was 86-years-old.  After serving in the military during WWII, he found his voice as a writer with the best seller Williwaw.  He followed this with The City and the Pillar which would become one of his most praised novels over time but was considered controversial for featuring at least one gay male lead. (Is Bob, the object of Jim's affection gay, bi, bored, experimenting?  Read the book and form your own opinion.)  The book would result in his being banned from the New York Times.  It would be years before his name was ever mentioned in that paper.

He excelled as an essayist and that's where he made his biggest mark (my opinion).  He will wrongly be called "liberal" in the obits.  (He saw himself as "conservative" in the true meaning of the term.  He was left-wing.)

I knew Gore for several decades.  He loved to argue -- including with himself.  He was as surprised as many by his late life popularity.  Though popular in the 90s due to his essays in Vanity Fair, he really wasn't prepared for the huge popularity he experienced in the '00s.  This went beyond his novels -- though it would bring in new readers for his novels as well as his earlier essays and his plays.  2002's Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta were massive baset sellers appearing on the charts for weeks and weeks and doing so at a time when political books on the non-fiction lists were generally written by conservatives.  (Those sold via bulk buys, as the dagger next to the titles usually indicated.  Gore Vidal's two collections really sold.)  This took Gore to a rock star level he'd not really experienced before.  It was something beyond fame and beyond recognition.

By 2008, things were changing and he grasped that quickly when a bastard attempted to destroy him.  (I don't generally use that term but it's accepted here -- work safe -- so I'll use it and you can fill in something weightier.)  The ass interviewed Gore and distorted him.  Gore said he lied about him and he may very well have.  I'm more inclined, knowing Gore, to believe what took place was less a lie and more of an omission -- meaning the author participated in some jokes or 'jokes' and Gore attempted to top it.  This exchange was later (and I agree with Gore on this part) deliberately distorted to portray Gore as a racist.


It was a year later when Gore was able to admit what most of us told him: He needed to be silenced.  In an era of propaganda, he needed to be silenced.   That's not saying it was a conspiracy -- some believed it was, I didn't.  I believed you had a Cult of St. Barack-er who knew Gore wouldn't stand outside the airport in a bed sheet so he decided to discredit Gore in an attempt to silence him.  I believe the ass was acting on his own accord and practicing his own beliefs.  That's my opinion, I do understand those who saw it more as a group-effort and a plot.  They may be right and I may be wrong.  (It would not be the first time I was wrong.)

Gore started a lot of pieces but didn't finish much in the last four years.  The ass had succeeded in silencing him.  I'll always consider Gore one of the victims of the Cult of St. Barack.   The embrace of self-deception by the left depressed Gore and he probably would have been less depressed (he was very depressed at the end though some may not want to talk about that) if he'd gotten on the road (his health at the end didn't allow it and 2009 was really the last period of major travel to interact with the public).  He would have realized that outside the gate keepers (many of whom he embraced prior to 2008), there was still a hunger for the kind of honesty and discussion his essays encouraged.

He should always be remembered for his truth telling on the Iraq War and his vocal opposition to it at a time when so many went along with it.  He made a difference and impacted many.

The following community sites -- plus Adam Kokesh, Cindy Sheehan, On The Wilder Side, Reporters Without Border,, Susan's On the Edge, the Guardian and At War  -- updated this morning and last night:

The e-mail address for this site is