If they are not losing we are not winning

A Department of Defense spokesman was asked the other day if the insurgents in Iraq are winning. He has Donald Rumsfeld’s speech writer.
 
“If the insurgents are not losing, they are winning.
If we are not winning, we are losing.”

Is that statement deep or is it obtuse? Perhaps that’s our military complaining that the insurgents win if there’s a draw. Unless our victory is decisive, we don’t get credit for it. But that’s obfuscating the real answer because there can be no stalemate with counterinsurgency. Ask the British in Ireland. You’re splitting hairs on a toupee. In Iraq the insurgents are winning.

The news charade doesn’t involve asking real questions. In this case, for example, the reporter could have followed up by repeating the unanswered question. You’d do it if you wanted to know something and instead of an answer you’d received a riddle.

I cannot remember if this man was military or think tank. Does it matter really any more who he was? The military is taken at its word, even as previous proclamations are disproved. We don’t torture. Oh, well, we don’t use that word, but yes we do. We don’t use Napalm. Oh, did you say Napalm? Yes we do. Think tank specialists are consulted without questioning who is funding the particular opinion they are spinning.

Anymore, the interview format includes two media people, the one with questions and the one with answers, both of whom have the same agenda. This has replaced investigative reporting. Want to know how France feels? Rather, how someone wants us to think the nation of France is feeling? Consult a specialist, a PR spokesman to make the pitch. France is fine, thank you, and how are you?

Perhaps the next step will be just one news-person, a trusted father figure, who will convey intellect and wisdom enough to sooth us. He’ll be able to report the current events, ask whatever questions come to mind, and answer them himself because who needs a middleman? The way we are heading, he’ll also answer in riddles.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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