Spinning the past, threatening the future
Orwell's observation goes a long way towards explaining why -- a full year after Iraq invasion -- the media battles over prewar lies are so ferocious in the US.india Updated: Mar 24, 2004 00:51 IST
Political aphorisms don't get any more cogent: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."
George Orwell's famous observation goes a long way towards explaining why -- a full year after the invasion of Iraq -- the media battles over prewar lies are so ferocious in the United States. Top administration officials are going all out to airbrush yesterday's deceptions on behalf of today's. And tomorrow's.
The future they want most to control starts on Election Day. And with scarcely seven months to go in the presidential campaign, the past that Bush officials are most eager to obscure is their own record. In late 2002 and early last year, whenever the drive to war hit a bump, they maneuvered carefully to keep the war caravan moving steadily forward.
There was no doubt, they were a hard-driving bunch. The most powerful squad of the Bush foreign-policy team ran on the fuel of certitude at such a prodigious rate that even their momentum had momentum -- maybe, in part, because their lives' trajectories seemed to demand it. War had been declared first within themselves.
Perhaps such steeliness has been almost boilerplate in history; excuses for aggressive war have never been hard to come by. In this case, no amount of geopolitical analysis -- from media pundits, academics and other commentators -- could really do more to shed light than the light bulb comprehension that these people in charge had from the outset made the determination that war it would be.
First Published: Mar 24, 2004 00:51 IST