By Rob Kall
It is clear, after seeing the way Bush's third prime time press conference was handled, with a strobing tie pulsing at a an epileptogenic frequency, that drove viewers to turn off the TV, that the Republicans are using the same weapon as the terrorists they claim to be at war with-- asymmetrical tactics. These tactics involve using the media, using language, memes, archetypes, psy-ops, so that the battle is not fought on an even playing field.
Here's a definition of asymmetrical warfare, as defined by the National Defense University in a paper, McNair Paper 62, The Revenge of the Melians: Asymmetric Threats and the next QDR, November 2000
Leveraging inferior tactical or operational strength against American vulnerabilities to achieve disproportionate effect with the aim of undermining American will in order to achieve the asymmetric actor's strategic objectives. The key differences in this proposed definition are the element of disproportionate effect--achieving strategic objectives through application of modest resources-- and the explicit recognition of the importance of the psychological component. These elements are essential to considering how an asymmetric actor can achieve strategic objectives through an operation--even a failed operation--that, from the perspective of the larger power, is only a tactical attack.
"Stay the Course" is the right's latest meme phrase-- a mantra that will resonate through the loyal forty percent of the population that unthinkingly dittos whatever garbage the neocon and other right wing strategists pump into their biased media/echo chamber. But it's not about the "war" in Iraq.
There's no dispute that Iraq must be helped in its rebirth as a democratic nation. Even John Kerry, even Dennis Kucinich want that, albiet, with full UN participation. Yet today, Google-News finds 3700 "hits" referring to Bush's repeated phrase "Stay the Course." Checking by date, there were under 1700 "hits" on the phrase at the beginning of the month.
Yesterday, today, and probably for the near future, right wing media personalities, pundits and spin-meisters were and will be echoing Bush's words again and again.
On "Hardball," Chris Matthews asks "who isn't in favor of 'staying the course?"
Matthews is referring to remaining committed to helping Iraq.
But that's not where the Bush team's idea for staying the course ends. It was no coincidence that the phrase was used so often, by so many.
Between Bush Whitehouse strategist Karl Rove and former far right strategist and current president of FOX news, Roger Ailes, this new meme phrase is all about keeping George W. Bush in office.
When you hear it said, know that it is a symbol, a way of programming the susceptible to think of Bush going all the way, Bush winning the election, Bush continuing as president-- as disgusting and frightening an idea that may be.
It is clear that the disaster that Bush and his Republican colleagues dragged us into in Iraq is not something we can leave in the near future. We must stay there, recruiting the rest of the world, to prevent a total meltdown in middle east. We can expect things to get worst now that Bush has stupidly made foreign policy decisions on the spot, in a press conference, declaring that he is just about 100% behind Sharon's new plans which involve annexing part of the West Bank and declaring that the Palestinians have no right of return.
This election will see cultural battlefields like no other election ever before. The images, symbols and archetypes that will be tapped and energized will seem dirty and ugly, unfair and frightening. Bush's people, claiming to be fighting a war on terrorism, will be terrorizing the USA with the most divisive campaign, the most divisive strategies to engage targeted constituencies since the civil war. Expect guns, bibles, books, education, taxes, dead soldiers, dead 911 victims... to be used and abused in ways you never imagined.
The good news is Bush is looking dumber and dumber, with rumors that he's back on the bottle. He looked like was on an SRI anti-depressant at his evening stupidthon press conference. But his proxies will carry on the battles while he's vacationing on the Ranch.
As the Bush Cheney numbers get worse and worse, it will be more and more likely that Cheney will experience a "cardiac event" that "forces" him to withdraw from his candidacy, probably at the time of the Republican convention in New York. This will change the equations, quantum leap the campaign, and force the Kerry camp to react last minute, with minimal warning. That's the way asymmetric warfare works. If Kerry's smart, he'll save his VP pick so the right wing attack machine won't be able to build momentum on attacking his choice.
Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is editor/founder of OpEdNews.com. This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in web media,print, email, as a column, guest Editorial or Letter to the Editor so long as this credit paragraph is attached.. Over 100 other articles by Rob Kall