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In an absolutely stunning about-face, the Pentagon recently announced that it would not be going ahead with the proposed Office of Strategic Influence. Now for those of you not fluent in the Newspeak of the Bush administration, The Office of Strategic Influence is an embarrassingly Orwellian euphemism for a recently proposed Defense Department program, designed to distort and manipulate the press at home and abroad. The early demise of the program, is attributable to many factors. The foremost among these, being the sheer folly of thinking that the Pentagon can put a positive spin on it's unsavory activities. The American people may be effectively cowed, but the rest of the world, not subject to the limitations of the stringently controlled American media, aren't buying what Bush is selling. Those who witness and experience firsthand the atrocities of the United States will not be easily sold on the kind-hearted benevolence of Uncle Sam
Nevermind making an effort to understand why America might be having PR problems, or worse yet, reversing some of the abysmally callous and short-sighted policies that might be responsible for them. The Pentagon seemed to think that a few pro-America puff pieces could solve our little image crisis. But let's be serious here. This isn't some hamburger and soft drink were dealing with. We're talking about a behemoth, imperialist military machine that is responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent, men, women, and children throughout the world. I don't think that there are enough ad agencies on Madison Ave., to slap a big old happy face on what America has done to the rest of the world. Let's face it. There comes a point when murdering innocent men, women, and children simply cannot be spun into anything other than what it is.
Here's an example of a Pentagon rathole if ever there was one. Selling some BS line about how great America is, to the people effected firsthand by American greed and brutality, is such a lost cause, it almost makes the Stars Wars Program look practical. So not only is this a lost cause, but isn't the Defense Department always lying through their teeth as it is anyway? Establishing an office of propaganda in the Pentagon is like carrying coal to Newcastle. Aren't the Republicans always preaching the gospel of bureacratic efficiency? Well, exactly how many agencies do we need to distort the news and spread disinformation to the public? Ultimately I think the administration nixed this program because they just couldn't pay anyone enough to do the job. I highly doubt that it had anything to do with ethics or democratic values. In fact I don't think those concepts could be more foreign to the Bush administration. But then again, I could be completely wrong. Perhaps the Office of Strategic Influence is alive and well. After all, what better way to kick off a govermental program designed to decieve the public then to claim it doesn't exist?