Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 29-Nov-06
News as theatre: NBC announces it will call Iraq war a "civil war"

Web Log - November, 2006

News as theatre: NBC announces it will call Iraq war a "civil war"

On Monday morning on the "Today Show," Matt Lauer announced, "NBC News has decided a change in terminology is warranted -- that the situation in Iraq with armed militarized factions fighting for their own political agendas -- can now be characterized as a civil war."

Once again, we're dealing with a situation that's so bizarre that it's laughable. Remember the caliber of people we're dealing with: On Sunday's This Week With George Stephanopoulos, King Abdullah II of Jordan explained FIVE TIMES to Stephanopoulos that the "core problem" in the Mideast was the Israeli/Palestinian problem, and Stephanopoulos and an assortment of reporters, pundits and US Senators simply had no idea what he was talking about. These people are have dived so deep into the sewer of ideology that they have no idea what's going on in the world.

We want to consider two questions: Why did NBC made this announcement at this time, and why does NBC believe that the Administration dir NOT call it a civil war.

Taking the second question first, the MSNBC story says: "Bush administration officials fear that when most Americans hear the term civil war, they associate it with out own war between the states 140 years ago. That was a conflict between the Union North and the Confederate South that produced 650,000 casualties, or one out of every 50 Americans at the time. To this day, the U.S. Civil War remains a force in America's historical identity and psyche."

Well, this is a joke. Most Americans are aware that there was a civil war at some time in the past (they're not sure when), and they know that "Lincoln freed the slaves" (they have no idea how). Other than that, few Americans will make any connection between the current Iraq war and the American civil war.

No, that's not it. Here's the real reason that the NBC people believe that the Bush administration doesn't want to "admit" that the Iraq war is a civil war -- and I've heard this reason given a couple of times by NBC reporters speaking on MSNBC: The reason that the Bush administration doesn't want to "admit" it's a civil war is because, according to MSNBC, admitting it will "erode support" for the war.

Why do they believe that? To answer that, let's go back to the first question above: Why did NBC make this announcement at this time?

And this is truly remarkable.

The first hint came soon after the Today show announcement on the Don Imus show (which, ironically, airs on MSNBC opposite Today): On Monday, Don Imus said: "He and Brian Williams and all those other nitwits and Griffin, they all sit around and they make this command decision.... Do these nitwits at NBC News think this is going to have the impact of when Walter Cronkite came back in Vietnam and said we can't win, and Lyndon Johnson famously said 'well if we've lost Walter Cronkite, we've lost the country?'"

Now, Boomers know what this means, but probably few people younger than Boomers do. This refers to the Vietnam war Tet Offensive, which was a huge military victory for the American forces, but was nonetheless a major political victory for the North Vietnamese because of Walter Cronkite's statement.

In other words, NBC News is making this announcement at this time because they hope to repeat Walter Cronkite's success in giving a huge political victory to our enemy today.

Could that really be true? Are the people at NBC News really that stupid? Yes, Virginia, they really are that stupid.

It was confirmed on Monday's flagship news show, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, when star reporter Andrea Mitchell said: "Today the administration objected strongly to news organizations calling it a civil war. Many experts say that the White House has a huge incentive to avoid that term because it could further erode public support for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq."

It was supported by Tom McPhail, a journalism professor at the University of Missouri/St. Louis, who says NBC's move is "a defining and negative moment" in the war in Iraq, "like when Walter Cronkite said on air that the Vietnam War was lost."

The whole thing was confirmed by MSNBC's chief anti-American moonbat, Keith Olbermann, when he gave a lengthy talk comparing the NBC decision to Cronkite's announcement. Calling this a "Walter Cronkite Moment," he said, "[A]fter years of erring on the side of caution about Vietnam, Walter Cronkite, on February 27, 1968, truly matched his signoff 'And that's the way it is,' and America never saw that war the same way."

So NBC News believes that it can repeat Walter Cronkite's coup, and they believe that their announcement will erode public support of the war, and they believe that that's the reason why the Administration refuses to call it a civil war.

This is wrong on so many levels that it's hard to sort them all out.

First, NBC News is consciously making it a goal to give a victory to America's enemies. This is the standard to which many news organizations have fallen, as illustrated by the New York Times taking every opportunity it can publish information useful to the terrorists. (I'm alluding here to the Times' gloating publication of top secret information about such things as methods for tracking terrorists' financial transactions.)

Second, NBC News is purposely trying to make itself into the news story, rather than reporting on the news.

Third, they're completely wrong in their belief that their huge announcement will "erode support" or have any other effect on the American public.

This is the same as their wishful thinking about an "antiwar movement." For five years now, the mainstream media has been predicting an imminent return to the massive antiwar riots and demonstrations against the war. They're too stupid to learn that it isn't going to happen, and they're completely baffled as to why it isn't happening. (The airheads have apparently settled on the reason that college students aren't rioting against the war because there's no draft. That's one reason you're hearing so much about a draft these days from the likes of Charley Rangel.)

So now the people at NBC News believe that their pathetic announcement will "erode support" in the same way, stimulating an antiwar movement.

At this point, anyone can see that isn't going to happen. The young college generation doesn't even care about the Iraq war in general, and in particularly couldn't care less what the dinosaurs at NBC News announce. Most Generation-Xers are the same.

The Boomer generation is fully invested in this battle, but all minds have already been made up, so NBC News isn't going to change any minds. So no support is going to be "eroded" by NBC's dimwit move.

Fourth, and finally, there is no civil war in Iraq. I've discussed this so many times that I'll just mention a couple of new things.

I'll point out again that Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr himself does not blame the Sunnis for the five car bombs last week that killed some 200 of al-Sadr's supporters; instead he blames al-Qaeda, as indicated by his press conference that I quoted a couple of days ago.

One of the major mistakes made by all these politicians and journalists who insist that the Iraq war is a civil war is that they expect it to "spiral out of control." The words "out of control" occur all the time in these statements. Interestingly, one reporter on MSNBC on Monday said she was surprised this weekend because she had expected al-Sadr to respond to the car bombings with a much more massive attack on the Sunnis. This is what these reporters have in mind when they talk about a civil war.

But it's exactly this "spiral out of control" reaction that Generational Dynamics says CAN'T happen. Iraq is in a "generational awakening era," meaning that most of today's population lived through and survived the horrors of the genocidal Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s, and will do anything to keep it from happening again. They've seen what happens when a population "spirals out of control" into genocidal war, and as long as they're alive, they'll keep it from happening again.

This "spiraling out of control" is precisely the defining characteristic of a generational crisis war, and it can't happen in a generational Awakening era.

Now you can call anything you want a "civil war," but if you're expecting to see Iraq "spiral out of control" into a war between Sunnis and Shiites, it's just not going to happen.

I also want to call the reader's attention to a report that appeared in Sunday's New York Times.

Remember that I wrote several months ago that the Iraqi insurgency was funded by hundreds of millions of dollars per year from al-Qaeda and Iran, supplemented by organized crime activities within Iraq itself. Quoting an online correspondent involved in Army intelligence, kidnappings generate an enormous amount of revenue for MSC. "Some of [the ransom rings] targeted foreigners at first, but they quickly found that targeting Iraqi contractors was lucrative as well. Kidnapping for profit quickly became a daily reality -- just as in the rest of the third world. Almost every segment of the insurgency engages in kidnapping for profit, including Al-Qaeda." Other kinds of organized crime involves automobiles, alcohol, black market gasoline sales, theft and protection rackets. "In fact, the one thing that I was amazed by was the extent to which terrorist organizations (including Al-Qaeda) were involved in these activities. Once again, it's ultimately a matter of volume -- just like the mafia."

The New York Times confirms this analysis, and says that now the hundreds of millions of dollars being derived from organized crime activities is, by itself, enough to sustain the insurgency.

"The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, connivance by corrupt Islamic charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded," according to the Times article.

It says that "groups responsible for many insurgent and terrorist attacks are raising $70 million to $200 million a year from illegal activities. It says $25 million to $100 million of that comes from oil smuggling and other criminal activity involving the state-owned oil industry, aided by 'corrupt and complicit' Iraqi officials. As much as $36 million a year comes from ransoms paid for hundreds of kidnap victims, the report says. It estimates that unnamed foreign governments — previously identified by American officials as including France and Italy — paid $30 million in ransom last year."

In other words, what's going on in Iraq is not a civil war, but a large organized crime movement. This is similar to organized crime organizations in the United States, such as the Mafia, Hells Angels, Juárez Cartel, Medellín Cartel, Cali Cartel, and so forth.

Wikipedia provides a similar list of Iraqi insurgency organizations:

"Mujahideen Shura Council, Mahdi Army, Badr Organization, Fedayeen Saddam, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Jaish Ansar al-Sunna, Mohammad's Army, Islamic Army in Iraq, Iraqi National Islamic Resistance, Islamic Resistance Movement, Islamic Front for the Iraqi Resistance, Jaish al-Mujahideen, Jaish al-Rashideen, Asaeb Ahl el-Iraq, Black Banner Organization, The Return, Nasserites, Wakefulness and Holy War, Mujahideen Battalions of the Salafi Group of Iraq, Liberating Iraq's Army, Abu Theeb's group, Jaish Abi Baker's group, Islamic Salafist Boy Scout Battalions"

and describes U.S. organized crime as follows:

"Criminal organizations keep illicit actions secret, and members communicate by word of mouth, telephone, or Internet. Many organized crime operations have substantial legitimate businesses, such as licensed gambling, building construction, trash hauling, or dock loading enterprises, which operate in parallel with and provide cover for drug trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, extortion, hijacking, fraud, and insider trading, among many other possible criminal activities.

In order for a criminal organization to prosper, some degree of support is required from the society in which it lives. Thus, it is often necessary to corrupt some of its respected members, most commonly achieved through bribery, blackmail, and the establishment of symbiotic relationships with legitimate businesses. Judicial and police officers and legislators are especially targeted for control by organized crime via bribes, threats, or a combination.

Financing is made easier by the development of a customer base inside or outside the local population, as occurs for instance in the case of drug trafficking.

In addition, criminal organizations also benefit if there is social distrust of the government or the police. As a consequence, criminal organizations sometimes arise in closely-knit immigrant groups who do not trust the local police. Conversely, as an immigrant group begins to integrate into the wider society, this generally causes the organized crime group to weaken.

Lacking much of the paperwork that is common to legitimate organizations, criminal organizations can usually evolve and reorganize much more quickly when the need arises. They are quick to capitalize on newly-opened markets, and quick to rebuild themselves under another guise when caught by authorities.

Globalization occurs in crime as much as it does in business. Criminal organizations easily cross boundaries between countries. This is especially true of organized groups that engage in human trafficking."

If you adapt this description to the climate in Iraq, it makes a lot of sense to describe the insurgence as this kind of organized crime situation. And the New York Times article appears to confirm it.

Not surprisingly, I haven't heard a single pundit, journalist or politician comment on the New York Times article since it appeared. These dimwits are buried in ideology, and the Times article doesn't fit their ideology, so they ignore it.

Just like Stephanopolous and crew are ignorant of the importance of the Israeli/Palestine issue, even after Jordan's King Abdullah tried to explain it to them FIVE TIMES.

Even if you, dear reader, believe that I'm wrong and that Iraq is in a "civil war," then you would still have to agree to the following: The mainstream media isn't even debating the organized crime interpretation, and they completely ignore it, including the Times article, just as they ignore the Israeli/Palestine issue. As I said, these guys appear to me to be a bunch of ideological morons, but you can believe whom you want.

At any rate, the NBC News announcement will not have anything like the huge impact that they're fantasizing about and, in fact, will probably be forgotten by next week.

As I said a couple of days ago, I can understand ordinary citizens not understanding the details of what's going on in the world (though it would be nice if they did), but these journalists, analysts, Senators and other politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, are all supposed to be experts. It's pathetic and frightening that all our lives are in the hands of these self-aggrandizing idiots. (29-Nov-06) Permanent Link
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