Posted by: Kevin | August 31, 2007

The Green Zone as One Big Potemkin Village

This from today’s Washington Post on the recent visit of several Congressmen/women to Iraq:

“In the soldier’s hand was a thumbnail biography, distributed before each of the congressmen’s meetings in Baghdad, which let meeting participants such as that soldier know where each of the lawmakers stands on the war.”

So each soldier had a cheat sheet on the visiting Congressman.  This isn’t damning in of itself.  What is interesting is how that information was managed.

“For one, the quotations appeared to be selected to divide the visitors into those who are with the war effort and those who are against. For another, they were not exactly accurate. Under “latest Iraq vote,” (Rep Ellen O.)Tauscher’s (D-Calif) bio noted that she had voted in favor of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days of the bill’s enactment.

She did vote that way — in May. On Aug. 2, Tauscher voted in favor of her own bill, which mandates that troops be granted a leave from combat at least as long as their last combat deployment before being shipped back to Iraq. That vote might have been a little too popular with the soldiers she was meeting, Tauscher said.”

So the cheat sheets, which no one will own up to making, seem to have been set up to reinforce the “with the troops or against the troops” meme.  Negative voices were also silenced during this visit to the Green Zone. 

“Brief, choreographed and carefully controlled, the codels (short for congressional delegations) often have showed only what the Pentagon and the Bush administration have wanted the lawmakers to see. At one point, as Moran, Tauscher and Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.) were heading to lunch in the fortified Green Zone, an American urgently tried to get their attention, apparently to voice concerns about the war effort, the participants said. Security whisked the man away before he could make his point.”

I read this and I ask, why should I take anything this administration, or it’s spokesmen in the military, say seriously?  Why should I even bother listening?  The administration has actively politicized every single aspect of the Iraqi occupation.  They’ve spun every piece of data every news report.  Even the Petraeus report, that’s supposed to give an objective view of our progress in Iraq, is actually going to be written by the Whitehouse.  Why does anyone listen to these guys anymore?

via Memeorandom
A link for those unfamiliar with the Potemkin Village reference

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