INTELLECTUAL LAZINESS AND THE 'AL QAEDA' SHORTHAND

About a year ago, it became painfully obvious that the president started lying about al Qaeda in Iraq as part of a cynical approach to bolstering support for the war. While that was hardly unexpected, the more noticeable problem was that the media started playing along with the White House's scheme, and began characterizing everyone who commits an act of violence in Iraq as an al Qaeda terrorist.

The New York Times' public editor, Clark Hoyt, eventually tackled the subject head on in a terrific column; the paper took steps to make amends; and news outlets have generally been more responsible about not equating all Iraqi violence with AQI.

Now, if only John McCain had been paying attention at the time.

As he campaigns with the weight of a deeply unpopular war on his shoulders, Senator John McCain of Arizona frequently uses the shorthand "Al Qaeda" to describe the enemy in Iraq in pressing to stay the course in the war there.

"Al Qaeda is on the run, but they're not defeated" is his standard line on how things are going in Iraq. When chiding the Democrats for wanting to withdraw troops, he has been known to warn that "Al Qaeda will then have won." In an attack this winter on Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the Democratic front-runner, Mr. McCain went further, warning that if American forces withdrew, Al Qaeda would be "taking a country."

Critics say that in framing the war that way at rallies or in sound bites, Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is oversimplifying the hydra-headed nature of the insurgency in Iraq in a way that exploits the emotions that have been aroused by the name "Al Qaeda" since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Well, yes, critics do say that, but only because it's true.

RLCC Comment: Bush started lying about it long before about a year ago. He was lying about it in the lead-up to the invasion. Also, John McCain has been paying attention. He's been paying attention to his neocon advisers he has around so he can be sure to get the rich, Jewish, hawk vote (false Zionists — false, because Jesus was the real Zionist) and campaign funding help. He may be taking Federal funding, but he knows how much money is spent in the soft way. He knows very well. He knows who can get him tons of media coverage, all of it spun just so — ever so craftily so the casual observers just fall into line being uninformed and without thinking.

Link to source-webpage by Steve Benen, obtained via: Crooks and Liars, April 21, 2008, 5:30am

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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