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Selling The War on Iraq.

by this thing here
“From a marketing point of view,” said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, “you don’t introduce new products in August.”
From <The New York Times> Saturday, September 7, 2002 Pg. A1, A6

By Elizabeth Bumiller

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 – White House officials said today that the administration was following a meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein.

The rollout of the strategy this week, they said, was planned long before President Bush’s vacation in Texas last month. It as not hastily concocted, they insisted, after some prominent Republicans began to raise doubts about moving against Mr. Hussein and administration officials made contradictory statements about the need for weapons inspectors in Iraq.

The White House decided, they said, that even with the appearance of disarray it was still more advantageous to wait until after Labor Day to launch their plan.

“From a marketing point of view,” said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, “you don’t introduce new products in August.”

A centerpiece of the strategy, White House officials said, is to use Mr. Bush’s speech on Sept. 11 to help move Americans toward support of action against Iraq, which could come early next year.

“Everybody felt that was a moment that Americans wanted to hear from him,” said Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political advisor. Sept. 11 will also be a time, Mr. Rove said, “to seize the moment to make clear what lies ahead.”

Toward that end, in June the White House picked Ellis Island in New York Harbor, not Governors Island, as the place where President Bush is to deliver his Sept. 11 address to the nation. Both spots were considered, White House advisors said, but the television camera angles were more spectacular from Ellis Island, where the Statue of Liberty will be seen aglow behind Mr. Bush.

“We had made a decision to that this would be a compelling story either place,” said Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director. “We sent a team out to go look and they said, ‘This is a better shot,’ and we said O.K.”

In the same way, Mr. Bush’s Sept. 11 remarks, about 10 minutes in length, are to serve as the emotional precursor for a tougher speech about Iraq that the president is to deliver to the United Nations General Assembly the following day.

“The fact is, there’s a pretty abysmal relationship between Saddam Hussein and the United Nations,” said Mr. Bartlett, who added that Mr. Hussein had flouted “everything the U.N. has stood for.”

“The president is going to be very direct and articulate a history of defiance,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Both speeches are in final drafts, although Mr. Bush spent time reviewing the United Nations speech on Thursday night on Air Force One as he returned to Washington from a political trip to Indiana. “He’s trimming it up so it’s in his cadence,” Mr. Rove said.

The Sept. 12 speech, a half hour or less in length, was written by a team that included Mr. Bush’s chief speechwriter, Michael Gerson; Condoleezza Rice, the national security advisor; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. The Sept. 11 speech was written by Mr. Gerson and Karen P. Hughes, the former counselor to the president who still closely advises Mr. Bush from Texas.

On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, the administration has begun a full-scale lobbying campaign. On the day after Labor Day, the opening of Washington’s political new year, Mr. Bush summoned a skeptical Congressional leadership to the White House to enlist their support for action against Iraq. The next day two dozen senators from both parties were invited to the Pentagon to discuss Iraqi policy with Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld and George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence.

Later in the day, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Tenet gave evidence of Iraqi military capability to the top four Congressional leaders, some of whom have said the administration has provided no proof that the threat from Mr. Hussein is imminent.

“That was thought of as a necessary step, as was having the leadership down, as was the necessity of providing a higher level of intelligence,” Mr. Rove said.

Another senior administration official said the White House lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill would include not-so-subtle mentions of the regrets experienced by those lawmakers, like former Senator Sam Nunn, who did not vote for the 1991 “use of force” resolution before the Persian Gulf War.

The White House wants a resolution approving the use of force in Iraq to approved in the next four to five weeks.

“In the end it will be difficult for someone to vote against it,” the administration official said.

White House officials said they began planning more intensively for the Iraq rollout in July, even as Mr. Bush was busy responding to the summer’s corporate scandals. Advisors consulted the Congressional calendar to figure out the best time for Iraq hearings while Ms. Hughes, even as she was driving back to Texas, discussed with Mr. Bush the outlines of his Sept. 11 speech.

By August, with Congress out of town and the United Nations not convening until September, White House officials decided to wait out the month, even as final planning continued by phone between advisors in Washington and at Mr. Bush’s ranch in Texas.

“There was a deliberate sense that this was not the time to engage in his process,” Mr. Rove said. “The thought was in August the president is sort of on vacation.”

White House officials refused to say today whether Mr. Bush would build on his United Nations speech and directly address the nation about his planned course in Iraq. “Stay tuned,” Mr. Bartlett said.

But some Republicans said that a speech to the nation was inevitable and necessary.

“At some time, they’re going to have to talk directly to the people,” said Michael K. Deaver, who was former President Ronald Reagan’s longtime communications strategist. “Because I think that people expect to hear from their commander in chief.”

But Mr. Deaver, who helped create the stage for Mr. Reagan’s 1980 presidential announcement speech in Battery Park, with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, said the White House had done well in setting the agenda after a chaotic August.

“They have a history of doing it their way, and doing very well from a communications standpoint,” Mr. Deaver said. “Once they get started, and once it is clearly part of a strategic plan, it moves well.”
by this thing here
what a scoop. these comments are not directed at the article or the journalist. only the thinking it illustrates.

the more i read this, the sicker i get. it's distressing.

>On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, the administration has begun a full-scale lobbying campaign<

a LOBBYING EFFORT for war? what the FUCK...

truth is dead in america. facts are dead in america. these are seen as simply "high ideals", "eliteist intellectual fodder". no, it's not about truth or fact. it's about selling. its about persuasion.

how does selling work? do you tell the truth, the whole story, the good and the bad, when you're selling something. no. it's not about honesty. its about moving product.

you talk only about the positives. you stress the good things only. if you want to move the product (a fucking WAR, in this case), you put all the conditions, the possible down sides, the tough questions you can't answer, in small print. or you make jokes about them, shrug them off. or you launch an advertising campaign (public relations campaign) to bury the problems under layers of beautiful images which don't mean anything and speak to nothing. or, you let your customers deal with it. they'll discover the problems alright, but you'll have their money (their support) by that time, so what's the big deal, right...

but we're not talking about a fucking plastic stereo. we're talking about a WAR.

they searched around for a beautiful site to film the president delivering propaganda, delivering his "compelling story" (key word: story), and instead of talking about the symbolic significance of ellis island as the chosen site, they talk about the fucking "camera angles" and the good "shots". it's all about "the look". that's all that matters to these men and the administration they work for.

this mindset is also illustrated by the administrations attempt to reach out to the arabic world. how? by hiring an advertising agency to lauch advertisements in arab nations about the "beauty" of america. as if, they seem to think, beautiful images can cover and erase any problem, any historical event, any hatred. but what's idiotic is that the hatred is based on events on the ground in many of these countries. is based on actual happenings. is based on the dirty work of american intelligence agencies. so to try to cover up the dirty work with happy, pretty pictures is fucking amazingly arrogant.

this is twisted. these men, these "officials", are psychopaths, are sick puppies. that sounds far fetched, but how else to describe it? they are intelligent professionals, highly educated, well paid, but they are so detached from what they do that they seem unconcerned that they are launching an ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN FOR WAR. it's nothing to them. no sweat off their backs. wars, stereos, death, insurance plans, same thing.

is it a real war if it has to be sold to us?

is it a real threat if we have to be persuaded to feel afraid?

if the american people don't hate iraq or its people, and are not clamoring for an offensive war, why does the american government?

the only reality in this entire production will be the american soldiers in body bags and the dead iraqis, BOTH of whom were in the wrong place at the wrong time. EVERYTHING else is a prop on a set. is complete bullshit.

what a ridiculous, broken, fucked age we live in... our leaders hate us. they seem to believe we are stupid children and should be treated as such. plastic dolls in their games.

"It is not for you to question why, it is for you to do and die" - phrase from WW1.

here's to all who are trying to make the world a better place, who never get any thanks, who get thrown in jail for what they believe.
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