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Monday, October 15, 2007


Yeah, we the American people knew there were no WMD in Iraq - at least anybody who was paying attention. Indeed, Hans Blix and the UN inspectors were in Iraq since November, 2002 until several weeks prior to the invasion when they were withdrawn antecedent to the invasion, and had found exactly nothing. We however didn't have the power of the MSM [yes, I'll use the term] to stop the war, which rather led the drumbeats for it. Aside, I prefer to refer to Chomsky as The Genius.

The phrase "look in the mirror" is eerily appropriate -- never, ever, ever, underestimate the raw power of people's ability to rewrite history in their own minds in order to make themselves look better. If you had talked to Ricks about this (in person, not in print) in June of 2003, he probably would have admitted to a lot more personal wrongdoing... but by summer 2005, well, he had probably convinced himself that he and his colleagues did a "bang-up job" but the black-and-white transcripts don't really tell the story. I've done that sort of thing myself, of course... "Ya gotta read between the lines and get a sense of the zeitgeist, man," etcetera, projecting 2005+ rationalizations onto his performance in 2003.

Probably 99% of the remaining war supporters who live _outside_ Washington have long since convinced themselves that WMD was an insignificant detail in their lives in 2002; that they _and_ President Bush (and Colin Powell) had always, always intended to go there in order to liberate the Iraqi people from a dictator. So what's all this crap about Bush Lied, anyway? He never lied for a minute about this...

I realize you're no fan of the Democrats, but simply as another example, I have to point out: nobody could possibly stomach voting for the same Democrat twice, without this ability to rewrite and re-rationalize history. Progressives vote for Democrats in order to do some good in the world... (presumably many Republicans do so as well, with about the same result)... the Democrats utterly fail to live up to any slight portion of the highminded ideals they were elected for... and then the progressive voter rewrites history, improving the Democrat's performance in his or her own mind, just so that the voter doesn't feel like such a schmuck and a dupe for voting for the candidate and believing their campaign speeches.

Oh, it should go without saying, but just in case: I launched into this chain of thought because it's obvious that Thomas Ricks simply re-wrote the transcript of the radio show, in his own mind, in order to cast himself as a fierce, proud media warrior who stood up to the despicable Noam Chomsky who is always saying such nasty stuff about his friends in the 'Biz. In fact, Ricks was probably so busy re-writing history in his own mind, _right there in the radio booth_, that Ricks was probably not even paying much attention to what Chomsky was saying and thus completely missed the fact that Chomsky agreed with him.

Ooops, now _I_ just skipped over the concluding sentence of your article, which makes a lot of my comment redundant... sorry!

Tracy: You're exactly right about people who were paying attention (and who weren't ideologically inclined to ignore the facts); in fact I was maddened by it, as I'm sure you were. It's just cynical posturing on Ricks' part to blame the American people as a whole, though, since he knows full well that the necessary information was downplayed, marginalized, and in some cases outright suppressed.

Thomas: Yeah, there's definitely some self-delusion going on. I think even among progressives who say they're holding their noses when they vote for Democrats, there's an irresistible urge to root for your team--even if it's the one you've chosen only out of expediency (witness Michael Moore's pathetic praise of Kerry in 2004).

I just listened to the radio show, and I was surprised, after reading your post, by how many things they agreed on.

And I'm glad because I like both of them.

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