Bush’s “secret blueprint” meme misleading hysteria
This post was written by MJ on 16th Sep, 2002
It plays to all our darkest fears about the gang in the White House, but the currently-circulating meme about a Bush/Cheney secret blueprint for global domination is another example of a journalist not letting the facts get in the way of a good headline.
As headlines go, it ‘aint bad: “Bush planned Iraq ‘Regime Change’ Before Becoming President” is now making the rounds from its source in 9.15’s Scotland Sunday Herald to so-called progressive news sites to #16 on one ranking of what’s being talked about on the web.
The article, written by Neil Mackay, is classic tabloid. It says “a secret blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure ‘regime change’ even before he took power in January 2001”.
The so-called secret document (“uncovered by the Sunday Herald”!) calls for “global Pax Americana” drawn up for President Dubya’s top advisors by the ominous-sounding “Project for the New American Century.”
And now, in a related story, the truth:
The Project for the New American Century is one of countless lobby-groups with august websites, headed by a brand-name Washington insider and staffed by policy wonks. The report (available to download here; so much for the “secret blueprint”) is a 90-page blue-sky escapade, where a lobby-group gets like-minded pols and bureaucrats together to spin up their fantasy-du-jour. All of the things Mackay purports to uncover, like Saddam removed, have been on the wish-list of hawkish Republicans for ages.
And is it really any surprise that all the guys who brought us Gulf War I would want a sequel when they climbed back into power?
Most importantly, just because a well-known Conservative lobby group spitballs their Christmas list does not mean the report had any impact or influence. Quite evidently, some of the report was ignored, if it was ever read by anyone in Bush/Cheney or the Bush White House. For example, Mackay’s article says UN peacekeeping operations should be under American political control; however, Bush said — in a Presidential debate — that he would pull US troops out of peacekeeping operations.
Hell, if drawing up your fondest desires and sending it off to someone in power did anything, M Chretien would have helped me out with that Celine Dion passport revocation thing.
Mackay’s bad journalism could be safely ignored if it was inconsequential; but its quick transmission along the internet’s rumour telegraph reveals not what is true but what we want to believe. While we watch for any wag of the dog from the cowboy-in-chief, we must condemn any misinformation.