Friday, March 13, 2009

I See What You Do There

Let's talk about Ari Fleischer on Chris Matthews' show the other day. Lots of people have been commending (inasmuch as Chris Matthews deserves any kind of cookie) Matthews for taking Fleischer to task. You can watch the video here, courtesy of MSNBC, which seems to have, for once, picked out the salient point from the copious distractor material.

Most of the people in the blogosphere I've read so far are (still) focusing on the oft-debunked claim that Saddam Hussein was involved with the attacks of 11 September 2001. That's an old lie. They've been lying about that one since 2001. Not that I'm willing to just let it go or anything, but I think the focus on this particular revenant lie is distracting from the larger point.

Did nobody else but me notice how Fleischer said, "How dare you say 9/11 happened on our watch?"

That right there is possibly the biggest rewriting of history we've seen yet from the people who sincerely believe they can just create "their own reality," regardless of what the actual facts, documentation, and videotape say.

I can't quite tell what Fleischer was meaning in saying that. It seems to me that either he's been swallowing the Clinton-did-it Koolaid for so long that he really does somehow believe that 11 September 2001 (the 6 August PDB notwithstanding) happened on Clinton's watch, or he really is trying to unhappen Bush from that day's events.

Side note: He seems to be making the rounds on the talking-head shows, lying all the way, so I suspect this is a prong in a systematised campaign of disinformation. More later.

I can understand why most of the left blogosphere is still hung up on the Saddam Hussein-9/11 thing; the Bush people have been banging that drum so hard for eight years they've long since ruptured the head and broken the sticks, and for a while (search down for "Hussein") a majority of people believed it. Frankly, I can see why. If you're an ignorant racist scuttlefish who knows nothing about Islam or Middle Eastern politics, and who's been primed for years to hate Muslims (and to hate Saddam Hussein in particular, since I can remember talking about how the North American media was demonising him as the Hitler Nouveau du Jour back in the 1990s when I was in high school, ferchrissakes), it's pretty easy to believe that a Middle Eastern dictator might have something to do with Islamic terrorism.

On the other hand, the Bush people have spent the last eight years trying to convince everyone how preznitial Bush looked giving speeches on the rubble in NYC, how the response was appropriate and justified (and for the first little while until the idea of going after Osama bin Laden got boring or impractical, working), and how Bush's policies kept everyone safe because there'd been no terrorist attacks on US soil since then*, and how everything they did and were doing was justified because 9/11 shut up, and so on. And here's Bush's former press secretary insisting on national television that the former president wasn't the president on 11 September 2001, despite all evidence to the contrary, and My Pet Goat footage notwithstanding.

That is, frankly, an enormous, mind-blowing lie, to the point where everything Matthews said was utterly inadequate, and to the point where only a Joseph Welch-style rhetorical pile-driver would have been necessary and sufficient. That isn't just conveniently omitting some salient facts to attempt to shore up a lie of convenience by omission, that is blatantly 1984-style historical Memory (ass)Holism.

Frankly, I suspect they're going to continue to lie and lie and lie until they've tinfoiled the radar enough that sufficient numbers of people don't know what to believe anymore. They do this all the time, basically daring people, "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" Authoritarian followers can be duped into believing the authority figures over their own eyes, and I suspect that's Phase II of this operation. First confuse, then consolidate...their planned step three, of course, is a return to power, buoyed by a glib line of patter that convinces the confused rubes that there really is such a thing as (Received) Truth, and they are It.

* Excepting the anthrax attacks and all those various copycat crimes (like Chad Castagena and friends) and the garden variety abortion clinic bombings and shootings and assorted Minute (pronounced "my newt") Man milita-nut-nitwit things perpetrated almost solely by white goodoleboys, of course...


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