dinsdag, juli 20, 2004

Do you feel a draft in here?

The New York Times > National > Governors Tell of War's Impact on Local Needs

Okay. Burson-Marsteller's paw prints are all over this one.

Just as the PR incubi in the lead up to Gulf War II prepped the
US and international public for the upcoming invasion with carefully managed leaks, trial balloon stories, and what the White House itself termed a 'product launch', so they are prepping us again. I think if we read between the lines, as none other than godfather of the neo-cons, Leo Strauss, has taught us to do, we can see that this might just be part of a campaign easing the US public into support for a return of the draft.

The New York Times, home of Judith 'Chalabi' Miller, is reporting that at the four-day US governors' conference in Seattle, governors Republican and Democrat alike were complaining loudly that the war had taken away so many of their National Guardsmen, police, firefighters and even in one case a mayor, that they are facing severe manpower shortages in guarding prisoners, fighting wildfires, preparing for hurricanes and floods and policing the streets.

'The governor of Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat, said in an interview after meetings here Monday that the troop deployment had left his National Guard with half the usual number of firefighters because about 400 of them were overseas while a hot, dry summer was already producing significant fires in his state.

'"We're praying a lot that a major fire does not break out," he said. "It has been dry out here, the snow pack's gone because of an extremely warm May and June and the fire season came earlier."'

Oh please. Could it be any more scripted? Let’s have a peak behind the curtain:



[MIKE, a PR with BM, a handful of other flaks and lawyers and TED KULONGOSKI, GOVERNOR OF OREGON are sat around a formica table. Some are standing. Everyone is anxious but no one is smoking because all the flaks know exactly what really goes into the frickin’ things cuz they sell them to two-year-olds in Thailand for a living.]

So, Governor, what would be really good is if you could, like, mention God or something. You Christian?

Jesus, I’m a politician for fuck’s sake, of course I have to be a fucking Christian.

Riiight, well, if when you speak to the New York Times, you could do the God thing when you mention the forest fires that’d be, like, supremo.

How about: ‘I hope to God that a major fire doesn’t break out’?

Yeah. That’s pretty good...but everybody says ‘I hope to God’, you know? How about ‘I’m praying that a major fire doesn’t break out’? Then it’s really, like, you’re invoking God here.

Well, how about: ‘WE’re praying A LOT that a major fire doesn’t break out’?

[MIKE catches his breath and looks knowingly at the other flaks.]

Oh yes, Governor.

[MIKE trills his tongue like HANNIBAL LECTOR does in Silence of the Lambs when he’s talking about eating someone’s liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti.]

That’s perfect. I think this one’s gonna be a slam dunk.


Fire! Floods! Crime! How will we put out the fires? Who will save little Timmy caught down the mineshaft? Think of the children!

'Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, a Republican of Idaho and departing chairman of the National Governors Association, also said through a spokesman that he was worried about the deployment of 2,000 members, or 62 percent of his National Guard, who are now training in Texas for a mission in Iraq.

'"In the past we've been able to call on the National Guard," said Mark Snider, a spokesman for the governor. "We may not be able to call on these soldiers for firefighting capabilities."'


'Roger Schnell, Alaska's deputy commissioner for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, said in a telephone interview that wildfires raging through central Alaska were especially worrisome.

'"It has the potential to get much worse than it is," he said. "It's already bad. That could put us in a bind."'

Is this an attack on the White House and the war? Far from it. While many of the governors complaining are Democrats, Republicans are complaining too. Watch the White House pull some political jujitsu and turn this into a demand that the draft be reintroduced. And if you disagree: “Come on, be reasonable. How are we going to put out the fires?