Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cut and walk - when is reduction not a staged withdrawal? When it gets spun by spin meisters!

The media waves are full of the UK decision to 'withdraw' troops from Iraq. On ABC radio Brendan Nelson was out there slithering around to have us believe that the Brits are leaving Basra because everything there is now hunky dory. Nelson has gone on today to state there is no such thing as 'victory' in Iraq. So, Dubbya's victory fantasy (how can we ever forget his staged music hall number on the aircraft carrier?) is just that, a fantasy. Well golly gosh! Howard, Nelson & Downer are making it up as they go - the song and dance routines alone will be worth the price of admission.

Ten minutes after Nelson's foray on ABC an American expert on Iraq matters indicated his line was bull dust spin that the likes of Vice-Pres Cheney have turned into an art form. This analyst believes Basra remains a seething mess of violence and insecurity under the surface, but our Government is never much interested in what is under the rug. I suspect the truth is that the foreign troop presence has acted like a lightening rod for violence, whether instigated by Sunni, Shiite or criminal groups.

Dr Rosemary Hollis, Director of Research at Chatham House told the ABC's World Today that the UK withdrawal is in response to growing unease by commanders in the field that the troop presence was doing more harm than good, and growing domestic anger at the ongoing commitment to Iraq. The quagmire will continue to drag down the coalition partners, and their national security will be put at further risk by an irresponsible leadership.

The spin meisters are painting the troop pull out as a positive signal of success in Iraq. Black is white, up is down, and keep reading our lips. It has got to the stage when the only way you can tell whether these dudes are lying is whether their lips are moving. Official propaganda machines have a key role in wartime to keep up spirits on the home front, and to demoralize the enemy. However, being lied to constantly by political leaders and compromised media players has a toxic affect on the health of a country's body politic and leads to distrust of the political process and of a leadership that has betrayed its duty of trusteeship.

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