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Democracy edited in Iraq

Matt Zalaznick

When WMDs and Iraq’s links to Osama vanished in Mesopotamia’s dust storms, W. decided OK let’s see if the American people fall for this one: “We’re in Iraq to bring democracy to the desert!”Behind that sham, is another of the Great Deceiver’s doozies: W. wants Iraqis to enjoy the same no-dissent, one-party form of phony freedom he endorses for he homeland. He’ll put his Shiite stooges in charge and damn the dissidents. Or better yet, let the naysayers and nattering nabobs be tortured in the dungeons of democracy. Those Shiite sons of liberty have spent their newfound freedom violated the civil rights of their old enemies. Next, he’ll ship Karl Rove over to teach the Desert Democrats how to launch smear campaigns. Most importantly in a Bushian democracy is hiding any and all moral travesties from the media, whether it’s the Washington Post or a fledgling Baghdad daily. Our Shiite friends may be ready for democracy, but Rummy says they’re not quite ready to handle the First Amendment, so we better plant some propaganda in their newspapers. I guess in W.’s world view, the Iraqis aren’t quite ready for freedom of the press. In W.’s worldview, neither are Americans, unless they’re Americans who have been bribed to use that freedom to say what great ideas W. has. W. doesn’t want his people of faith in the heartland to know what’s happening at Guantanamo Bay or any of the top secret Guantanamo Bays behind the old Iron Curtain. He doesn’t even want the prescreened puppets he invites to his speeches to know what environmentally ruinous deals he cut with the energy industry. Well, W.’s using this war to dodge democracy just like he used his daddy’s friends to dodge the Viet Cong in the last war. Un-Diclosed Dicky likes to call critics of the war corrupt and reprehensible. I wonder what pejoratives he spits out when governments take control of the media. The story about the Pentagon anonymously preparing “news” stories for Iraqi media should make Americans shudder. Speeches full of misleading information are one thing. But in disguising that dishonesty as the work of independent journalists, W. joins the world’s other great defenders of freedom of the press – Kim Jong-Il, Iran’s ayatollahs and Vladimir Putin. Saddam also controlled the Iraqi media. And now, so do we. As the administration barks about remaking the Middle East, W.’s evil flying monkeys in the Pentagon, according to The New York Times, are delivering positive “news” stories to Iraqi papers. Not only that, but the stories are being funneled through a public relations firm in order to hide their origin. The stories, the Times reports, put smiley-faced spins on Iraq’s dubious political future, foundering economy, deadly insurgency and even its lack of security. Boy has W. pulled the wool over the eyes of the dumb and unsophisticated Iraqi editors! But wait, he’s tricked America’s own media, too. Remember Armstrong Williams, the shill who was paid to say how wonderful W.’s ideas for America’s education were? And pretend they were his was his own, unadulterated opinions? Remember the male prostitute the administration planted at White House press conferences (under an alias) to ask softball questions that slighted other members of the media?Remember, as The New York Times reported, that the administration was found to have broken the law when it sent dozens and dozens of what the Times called “pseudo news reports” to American media outlets? Remember, as the Times also reported, those phony stories were actually broadcast by TV and radio stations as if they were the eyewitness news teams’ own work? Well, any other nations to which W. tries to bring democracy should be warned. He hates it when former aides like Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson or that pesky Gen. Shinseki make him look stupid. W. spreads democracy only as far as it props up his self-serving agenda or helps Halliburton. And W. loves freedom of the press as long as it’s his cable news lapdogs Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly trying to out-revere each other. W. almost blushes when they call him Our Dear Leader. So maybe he can finally put one check on the woefully unblemished “Mission Accomplished” chart Uncle Dicky made for him to doodle on. The Iraq media’s been reined in. They’re headed toward theocracy. The ministries are learning to torture. Why, W.’s remade the country in his own image. City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14620, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado


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