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Bush and the Media: Playing Us for Fools

by Dave Lindorff
U.S. mainstream media plays along with the fantasy that the administration is trying its best to conclude the occupation of Iraq and to negotiate stopping Iran's nuclear development program.
The idiot American media are giving Bush another free pass, running stories now that the U.S. is “willing” to talk with Iran, but only about how to calm down the Iraq conflict.

What a pathetic joke!

How can anybody take this claim from the White House that it is trying to negotiate with Iran about Iraq seriously, when the U.S. is simultaneously threatening Iran with a catastrophic attack?

While the State Department is claiming it wants to negotiate with Iran on the narrow issue of settling the Shia-Sunni conflict inside Iraq, Vice President Cheney stands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Stennis in the Persian Gulf, F-18 Hornets arrayed carefully behind him for maximum belligerent effect, and threatens to attack Iran if it tries to obtain nuclear weapons or tries to close down shipping in the Persian Gulf.

This is not the way to get Iran to agree to accept a role as peacemaker in Iraq and to rescue America from a military disaster in that benighted country.

If the White House truly wanted to settle the conflict in Iraq, Bush would call for broad talks with Iran on settling differences between the two countries on a whole range of issues, from nuclear proliferation and nuclear power to trade and including a regional solution to the crises in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But of course, the White House has no interest in any of that.

Bush and Cheney, indeed, have been pushing ahead with their goal of attacking Iran, which is basically their ace in the hole for defending a collapsing presidency from imploding entirely before the scheduled end of Bush’s second term of office. That’s why they’ve moved three powerful aircraft carrier battle groups into position in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea—an armada big enough to launch a massive air assault on Iran on a moment’s notice.

The last thing the Bush gang want to do is end the conflict in Iraq, which would mean surrendering to the insurgency. Better, from their perspective, to let American troops continue killing and dying until the January, 2009, when a new president will be left with the thankless job of cleaning up the mess.

Endless war has become the modus operandi of this administration.

But obvious as it all is, the complicit U.S. media won’t admit this. They play along instead with the fantasy that the administration is trying its best to bring it all to an end. They report on administration claims to be interested in narrow negotiations with Iran on Iraq, as though they are making serious efforts towards peace, when in fact it is all are nothing but propaganda meant for American consumption.

Nobody in the rest of the world takes this nonsense seriously.

Nobody in America should either.

About the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and due out in paperback later this month). His work is available at

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This story was published on May 14, 2007.