Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Flat Earth Types

Maybe you've already seen this--Atrios had a link--but if you haven't:

The television commercials are attention-grabbing: Newly found Iraqi documents show that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, including anthrax and mustard gas, and had "extensive ties" to al Qaeda. The discoveries are being covered up by those "willing to undermine support for the war on terrorism to selfishly advance their shameless political ambitions."

The hard-hitting spots are part of a recent public-relations barrage aimed at reversing a decline in public support for President Bush's handling of Iraq. But these advertisements aren't paid for by the Republican National Committee or other established White House allies. Instead, they are sponsored by Move America Forward, a media-savvy outside advocacy group that has become one of the loudest -- and most controversial -- voices in the Iraq debate.

While even Mr. Bush now publicly acknowledges the mistakes his administration made in judging the threat posed by Mr. Hussein, the organization is taking to the airwaves to insist that the White House was right all along.

Similar to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- the advocacy group that helped derail John Kerry's presidential campaign -- Move America Forward has magnified its reach by making small television and radio ad buys and then relying on cable- and local-television news outlets to give the commercials heavy coverage. Move America Forward has no discernible formal ties to the White House or the Republican National Committee, and the group says it operates independently from the Republican Party establishment. Still, the organization provides a clear benefit to the administration by spreading a pro-war message that goes beyond what administration officials can say publicly.

Well, ignorance is both bliss and boundless, I guess. On the one hand, perhaps these people are just vocal versions of the minions mentioned in The Grand Inquisitor: too afraid of freedom to actually embrace it, so they allow the Church to hold it in trust. But maybe that's giving them too much credit. Perhaps they're more like the "Man in Crowd III" (John Cleese) from Life of Brian: "I say you are [the messiah], Lord, and I should know; I've followed a few!"

Regardless, they're pathetic.

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