Thursday, February 01, 2007

Greasing the Skids

In Oliver Sacks book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat there is the compelling story of a man who has no short term memory. The author describes walking into the man's room, receiving a polite and cordial "Hello", "How are you?", "Who are you?" etc. - then leaving the room, only to return and be greeted as a complete stranger yet again.

I kept thinking of this poor soul as I listened to this morning's interview that Steve Inskeep performs with Nicholas Burns of the State Department. Given the track record of the US government in lying (e.g. WMDs, torture of detainees, progress in Iraq, secret prisons, etc.) and especially the propaganda used to launch the Iraq War Product, you might expect Inskeep to challenge Nicholas Burns' allegations against Iran. Au contraire! Inskeep actually takes the lead in delivering misinformation: "Now lets look at the effort to stop what the US regards as interference inside Iraq. According to a top State Department official, the interference comes from nearby Iran." A rationale individual might wonder how you can have an "effort to stop" something that doesn't even exist!

As the interview proceeds Burns says, "There's been increased evidence…that Iran has given this kind of assistance [sophisticated explosive technology] to the Shia insurgency groups." The obvious follow-up is, "So Mr. Burns, where is the evidence?"

Instead Inskeep's next question tries to tie Iran to the ambush and death of 5 US soldiers in Karbala a few days ago, "There's been much interest in a particular incident in recent days near the city of Karbala, where a number of insurgents in U.S. military uniforms, or what looked like them anyway, got past a number of checkpoints and were involved in a gunfight in which a number of Americans were killed. Do you believe Iran had a role in that specific incident?" Burns answers this with a noncommittal statement of outrage at the act, but Inskeep keeps pushing, "Are you looking at Iran?"

Given that the neocons are probably maneuvering for a war with Iran, this kind of sympathetic interview is unacceptable. Whatever Inskeep's perverse desire for war with Iran is, NPR owes it to its listeners to question and challenge those in power to put up the evidence or shut up.


Porter Melmoth said...

Nicholas Burns! Have you followed him through the years? Precisely the type of prissy, condescending, tiresome and clueless individual we DON'T need in the State Dept., Condi or no Condi. Through no elective process or any other certifiable system, we are burdened with such types as Nicholas Burns, simply because they rise from within the system, like puke-making rising damp. Perfect for Steve Inskeep to suck up to, in his smokescreen of National Public Radiation.

Anonymous said...

Also, did you catch the Limbaugh-like sneer Inskeep did when speaking of France's Jacque Chirac?

Inskeep said blah, blah, blah, and "...Jacques Chirac, president of France, or 'France' if you prefer..." pretending in the second instance to use a French accent, in imitation of some effete liberal snob...

Inskeep is straight outta FreeRepublic!

Porter Melmoth said...

Yes indeed, Burns, Inskeep, whomever, all seem to be the same type of person: superficially accomplished, yet pathetically lacking in depth. In just this one example of dealing with things French, these media types betray a certain jealousy - yes, they are jealous of French confidence, French style, French anything. It's because they have so little of those things themselves, so they resort to mockery. Smugness, superiority and mediocrity thrive in such a climate.This is part of the reason why American culture and attitudes today, especially in regard to the rest of the world, is such a dud, a wet firecracker. This is why we have such forgettable minds as Burns and Inskeep in relatively important positions, dictating policy and publicizing that policy. It's such a bitter disappointment.