Thursday, May 04, 2006

Declaring War on the Sound Bite Insurgency

Summary: Our sound-bite society believes anything it sees or hears in short-length bursts. Some Americans are so sure that ‘sound-bite equals reality’ that when confronted with the much-more detailed truth they are not sure how to react. Maybe they get it from the French. Nothing illustrates more clearly the strategic success of the Sound Bite Insurgency than what does not get reported about Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A couple of days ago, on the third anniversary of President Bush’s appearance on the USS Abraham Lincoln declaring the end of major combat operations in Iraq, sound bites galore were spewed to the four winds, accusing the president of all manner of lies, deceptions, and failures on that occasion and in the interval since then. The trouble is that often sound bites are inimical to the truth, especially when they come from the Sound Bite Insurgency (SBI).

A major sound bite that has completely baffled liberals surrounds the fact that President Bush used as a backdrop for his historic speech a banner that stated “Mission Accomplished.” Beside the fact that the recent “Thunder Run” into Baghdad had been an unmitigated success, that the Iraqi military had melted away, and that Saddam and his henchmen were on the run, the reason for the banner was that the USS Abraham Lincoln had indeed accomplished its mission—with no loss of life—and was on its way home. Being in the military, and having carefully avoided SBI outlets (mostly by listening to reputable talk shows and reading reputable news sites) I found it very clear that President Bush was not promising on that day that America would bring its troops home anytime soon.

Here are a couple of the ‘deceptions’ George Bush ‘sneaked through’ on board the Lincoln that SBI almost managed to throw down the memory hole, and that ‘confused’ a lot of liberals who didn’t want liberty in the Middle East to be successful in the first place.
  1. The Iraqi regime no longer has the ability to deliver or use weapons of mass destruction.
  2. Our coalition is now engaged in securing and reconstructing Iraq
  3. Major combat operations are over. (This is true by the way, as there is no longer the threat of chemical warfare or the ability on the part of the insurgency to mount anything resembling a large-scale attack.)
  4. We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We are bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous.
  5. Leaders of the old regime are being pursued and will be held liable for their crimes.
  6. Hundreds of possible chemical weapons sites need to be investigated
  7. We will build up Iraq where Saddam used to build palaces for himself.
  8. We will stand by Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the people.
If you were not already swooning to the siren call of SBI, none of this led you to believe we would be coming home any time soon, let alone being completely finished with Operation Iraqi Freedom on that day three years ago.

Last week, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice spent a few days in Iraq visiting with the new government, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The only thing MSNBC could say about that productive visit was that Iraq had become a victim of a “Rummy-Condi double team”. What they didn’t think you had time to hear, however, was:
  1. The new Prime Minister is anti-Iran, whereas the former was pro-Iran
  2. The newly emerging free press in Iraq is a wonderful sight to behold
  3. We are making great strides in turning over the security of Iraq to its own police and military forces
  4. The parliament is beginning to form and work together as Sunni, Shia’, and Kurd in a positive way most people would never have imagined.
No--these important thinking-person facts didn’t make it through the filters of SBI either. SBI, with its affiliates (CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, New York Times, Washington Post, et naseum) is as an emperor and his entourage who are wearing no clothes. It’s time we bring this fact to their attention in hopes of embarrassing them into telling us the truth.

I suggest to all thinking Americans and their potential converts that there is a whole new war being waged over Iraq that we have scarcely considered a war. It involves the titillation by SBI of the ‘got-to-have-it-now’ ‘got-to-have-it-short-and-sweet’ segment of the American public that can’t wait for the next episode of One Tree Hill, Survivor, WWF, or the Family Guy to come on.

SBI, while pandering to the mindless minority, is an insult to the majority of Americans who actually can think with the organ intended to be thought with. We are engaged in a war of ideologies between those who think with their brains versus those who think with their eyes, ears, and organs in the more nether regions of their bodies. The only way to dismantle the Sound Bite Insurgency is for those of us—whose thinking penetrates deeper than the thin film of our High Definition television screen—to make one more “Thunder Run”, this time into the redoubts of academia, superficial news organizations, and Hollywood.

Let us decry and destroy the simple mindedness of the Sound Bite Insurgency, and maybe then it will be ‘Mission Accomplished’ indeed.


Thunderstixmil said...

Great post young soldier. From an old Nam Era Vet.

Frank Staheli said...


Thank you, sir. And I salute you as well. Your service to our country makes you great in my eyes. God bless you.

Matt said...

" It involves the titillation by SBI of the ‘got-to-have-it-now’ ‘got-to-have-it-short-and-sweet’ segment of the American public that can’t wait for the next episode of One Tree Hill, Survivor, WWF, or the Family Guy to come on." Frank, I describe people like that on occasion so often, it's scary! I agree bascially with everything you said. People in the country want it right now, minimal amount of work as possible. I fear that many (including those in my generation) have forgotten what hard work means and when it is required.