Monday, September 27, 2004

The media-mandarin-monster complex

Weird title, huh? Well, perhaps you've come across the phrase 'military-industrial complex', a fairly old-hat saying, but nonetheless revived by anti-war types for the purpose of bashing the Halliburton-Cheney relationship.

I have a new phrase to talk about. It is the media-mandarin-monster complex, and I will explain it with the aid of a couple of links.

Powerline has a couple of fascinating posts on US foreign policy; focussing on the President and his attitude to the Jewish people, in one, and in the other focussing on the CIA's attempts to undermine the President.

Melanie Phillips meanwhile delivers magnificently in this piece entitled 'The Media War against the West.' She begins by dealing with the atitude of a mandarin at the Foreign office, who in the particular instance she cites comes across as unbelievably crude and almost, well, sleazy, in his rubbishing of Bush as 'conditioned' by the Jews.

She then goes on to lambast Justin Webb of the BBC (much as I have done) for his stupid and venal caricature that Bush 'would be displaying the appeal of the cowboy down the ages and a cowboy philosophy; that what he did well was stand his ground outside the saloon bar, but he didn’t react well when the shooting started'

How to make sense of all these strands? We have the CIA, the FCO, the BBC, and a thousand and one freelancers, all talking the language of parody and mockery to make points that are simply too obvious to command anyone's attention.

We often say that people have lost faith in democracy, that they no longer care who wins elections. Why is that? Isn't it more likely that the institutions by which we live have let us down than that the figures at the top of the pyramid of power have betrayed our trust? Everyone 'knows' GWB to some extent, and he is openly judged by self-proclaimed people. Who judges Mr Mandarin, Mr Media, or come to that, the monsters outside the 'West' who have been kept at arms length by the luck and sophistry of our media-mandarin complex?

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Doom, gloom and the facts of the matter

I didn't mention Iyad Allawi's speech the other day. I already knew he was a very effective speaker so the impact he made wasn't a surprise.

Paul Reynolds' response is interesting. Unlike the US media, he had something to say about Allawi:

'There have been those who predicted that out of the chaos in Iraq, a strongman would emerge. History demonstrates that as well. Edmund Burke predicted the rise of a Napoleon Bonaparte when the French Revolution descended into anarchy.

In Iraq, it is not supposed to happen.'

Yeah, so Allawi makes an inspiring speech, an optimistic speech, and the next thing you know the BBC is mentioning him in the same breath as Napoleon (not a compliment- I'm just surprised they didn't mention Hitler).

Meanwhile Mark Steyn brilliantly castigated the US media for having nothing to say to Allawi- basically a complete lack of curiousity about the man who more than any perhaps holds the future of Iraq in the success of his Ministry.

Kerry, meanwhile, merely questioned Allawi's judgement as though he were the next big thing in Iraqi blogging.

Is a theme emerging here? Lack of curiosity, absurd analyses that seem wildly generalised, and a US presidential candidate happy to lecture his ally from the great height of his liberal judgement. Sounds like the liberal establishment right enough to me.

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