You’ve probably all read Glenn Greenwald’s withering dissection of a mock scandal ginned up by right-wing bloggers. If you haven’t, you should—the short story is that the fact of a war falling into ignominious failure is driving the apologists to desperate acts of rationalization, and the latest effort to save face involved a fairly inconsequential memo from Iraq that mentioned some temporary difficulties. That memo had to be discredited—I don’t quite see why, even if we were winning I’d expect occasional setbacks—and they turned to their usual tactic of peering at the profane text intently until they could find something that would justify their suspicions—in this case it was the discovery that the logo looked like a picture of a Hummel figurine found on the internet.
Like an entire cast of Keystone Kops, some of the loudest voices on the right-wing side of the blogosphere stumbled all over themselves to crow triumphantly over this ‘victory’…and then the U.S. Embassy in Iraq cheerfully revealed that the memo was authentic. It would be embarrassing for them if they had any shame.
Personally, I wouldn’t give a damn if that piece of paper were real or fake. The reality of the war does not hinge on the words in one memo or a thousand — the military produces memos like a blizzard produces snowflakes — but on the fact that people are dying. The dead do not walk nor are the wounded made whole if only some far right cheerleader for destruction can find vindication in a scrap of paper. It’s as if they hope their myopia gets even more severe, so the blood in the background will blur out of focus and text on a screen becomes the only reality.