You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

August 21, 2006

Memory Hole Still Working At 100% Efficiency

Both the Washington Post and New York Times have big stories today about the Anfal campaign against the Kurds and the beginning of Saddam Hussein's prosecution for it.

I was particularly concerned about the Post story, because it's 1,500 words long and on the front page. This meant there was a terrible danger the Post—an American paper in the capital of the United States—might accidentally include information about the U.S. government.

For instance, they could have mentioned that in 1988 the Senate passed the Prevention of Genocide Act, cutting off aid to Iraq, but the Reagan administration successfully killed it. Or that U.S. helicopters were used in the chemical weapons attacks on the Kurds. Or that in 1989, the George H.W. Bush transition team prepared a document on U.S.-Iraq policy which said:

It is up to the new Administration to decide whether to treat Iraq as distasteful dictatorship to be shunned where possible, or to recognize Iraq's present and potential power in the region and accord it relatively high priority. We strongly urge the later no way should we associate ourselves with the 60 year Kurdish rebellion in Iraq or oppose Iraq's legitimate attempts to suppress it.

Fortunately, however, the Washington Post recognized that it must never provide any information about things which happen in Washington. All traces of actual U.S. policy toward Iraq were successfully expunged, leaving only our profound yearning for Iraqi democracy.

Posted at August 21, 2006 11:10 AM | TrackBack

9/11 changed everything.

Posted by: abb1 at August 21, 2006 11:17 AM

The document you quote is only missing the word "opportunity."

Posted by: Alexis S at August 21, 2006 11:19 AM

Orwell would be proud.

"We have always been at war with Eurasia"

Or is it Europa, I can never remember?

Posted by: Scott at August 21, 2006 11:40 AM

when did that fool Blankley start writing for that equally foolish rag?

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at August 21, 2006 12:34 PM

The Times was greatly at risk as well -- especially since they sent reporters into the affected communities, where poorly trained news sources could have slipped and mentioned geopolitical facts of which they are likely quite aware. Thankfully, they stuck to excellent sound bites (tee-hee) about wanting to eat Saddam Hussein and wanting to drag him by the neck through the Kurdish villages.

Posted by: hedgehog at August 21, 2006 02:17 PM

The rule of thumb on writing history used to be that that honor went to the victors but apparently we have eschewed that tradition for a more practical approach of writing our own version of history win, lose or draw.

Saddam, he bad man, we good people, we eat hamburger not falafel.

And now for the news. Billy Bob Buldger cut off his ear today while shaving but is now in stable condition.

Posted by: rob payne at August 21, 2006 02:45 PM

Gosh, does this mean that when the NYT and WaPo write about Iran they won't mention Operation Ajax? That's a relief! I was worried this little historical detail might mess up the "bringing democracy to the Middle East/Central Asia" narrative.

Anyway, Iran was the bad guy in the Iran-Iraq war. Which makes Saddam Hussein the, uh, good guy? But wait, that doesn't support the "the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power" talking point.

International relations is just too complicated a subject for the average American brain. Good thing, too. Makes it easier for the rulers and deciders.

Posted by: Jean at August 21, 2006 04:16 PM

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. (until his back is turned) And when I pat my friend on the back, I ALWAYS look for the third rib down. (so I know where to stick the knife)
Did they mention our dear, dear old friend, (best buddy to the Kurds also)HENRY (son of satan) KISSENGER? He's ONLY sold them out 2 or3 times. Surely the Post would mention HENRY and his hillarious practical jokes. I'll bet the Kurds remember all the good times and entertainment HENRY shared with them. Ah, the stories he could tell.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at August 21, 2006 06:32 PM

This New Era of 21st Century MSM means that every day is a slow news day. This is a time when all wars are good ones and there is no need to mention any gory details, please! Fearless Leader dictated the terms quite well prior to the 'incursion' into Afghanistan when he stated: "This is the first War of the 21st Century!"

Who knows how many wars he has planned for the world in his Thousand Year Reich? Why, God knows, of course! Der Fuhrer has the All Highest advising him, softly whispering words of wisdom directly into his ears so that he may shout it out to his minnions! Bush reports, MSM decides! Sounds fair AND balanced to me.

Posted by: JLaR at August 22, 2006 05:52 AM