21 October 2003

The Poor Man: "The Stovepipe"

Fans of cheap irony may wish to read Pollack's "The Threatening Storm", particularly those bits (pgs. 248-280) which discuss how Saddam's unwillingness to accept intelligence he doesn't want to hear, and the willingness of his operatives to furnish him with only the stories he wants to hear, make him a particular danger. Hard-core irony fanatics should focus on page 255, where mention is made of punishments handed out to the bearers of unwanted news, and wonder aloud if these punishments ever included jeapardizing the safety of said bearer's wives by outing them as undercover agents. Those of a more serious mind should content themselves with noting the rather dismissive attitude towards the idea of objective reality implied by such an approach, and, weaving together (oh, for example) the 2001 demotion of the position of national science advisor, and the editing of EPA reports on the scientific consensus on climate change by political officials, and wonder if it wouldn't just save everyone a lot of needless aggrevation by skipping the middleman and just having Ralph Reed and Fred Barnes dictate to everyone how the world works. Most people think conservatives long for the 1950's; some radicals think they may secretly be pining for the days before the New Deal; I'm becoming convinced that their real ideal may be even a bit earlier.

Personally, I love cheap irony. I'd say the Kay report is fast turning into a third example of editing by political officials.

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