Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Benghazi Boredom Story, E-mail Edition

Hillary Clinton 2016: The 15 Benghazi emails you need to read - POLITICO:

After over a century of expert mass media/advertising manipulation you would think that Americans would be the most sophisticated and cautious information consumers.

But we are clearly not.

We love a "story". We ought to know by now that we love a story, and given our weakness for such, advertisers and media people work very hard to give us what we want. Naturally, with the content that THEY want!

Story of the Iraq War -- "Bush lied, people died" ... everything else from the MSM fits on that theme and supports it. Information that doesn't fit that theme -- and may make people think that it isn't that simple at all, or the theme is far from correct, is simply not reported, or reported in a way that seems to support the theme. (eg, WMD found in Iraq or Syria today are "just there")

Story of Watergate -- "Nixon broke the law in coverup, courageous media defeated evil liar". On NPR, this story gets trotted out a couple of times a year as bigger than WWII. For the left, it was -- it was at least as good as the Berlin Wall falling was for people of the right. Again, a strong theme ... reported often over decades becomes a simple established fact.

Nobody is going to tell you to go off and read 15 e-mails on Bush going to Iraq or the Watergate story -- my God, in a nation of where "Hope and Change" works, 15 emails is beyond "War and Peace"!

Libya could easily be done as Iraq and Watergate (and many other things have been).

"Obama and Hillary broke Libya and thousands of lives, including the US Ambassador were lost". I'm not a marketer ... the "Dardanelles Disaster" was often called "Churchill's Folly" ... the double D's work well. Rhyming is very good.  Get the "hook" right and the narrative fits neatly ... like a popular song.

As one of the e-mails referenced shows, Hillary was big in the Libyan "strategy". BO and Hillary, with no congressional vote, destabilized Libya and took down Gaddafi who had become remarkably well behaved after he saw what happened to Saddam. Gaddafi had unilaterally gave up his WMD programs and opened for inspection.  That tidbit was of course one of the little facts that did not fit well with "Bush lied, people died", so there was not a lot of coverage for it.

"O-Hillary broke Lib - I -yah, now they own it!" ... in which case things like thousands of refugees dying in trying to escape via the Mediterranean, Christians beheaded in Libya, the death of the Ambassador and Navy Seals, etc would be seen as an ever growing "bill for damages"  for breaking a nation for reasons that nobody seems interested in even asking -- to the extent that the BO administration has had an answer it is something like "Arab Spring". "Get rid of the dictator and good things will happen".

The other e-mails in the list that would fit a narrative very well (if there was one) are the ones about that relate to Sidney Blumenthal "Sid Vicious" every evil one has to have "henchmen". Bush - Cheney - Rove for example. Blumenthal fits such a role exceedingly well -- if anyone cared even slightly about the story of Libya and Benghazi. But, since any hint of a narrative has been scrupulously avoided, there is no story. 

Which is really the eternal question. To create a story or not? There can easily be a story built on nothing -- The "outing" of Valerie Plame was a story with no real basis, yet it occupied a Grand Jury and much media time from 2003 - 2006. There was no "outing" because she wasn't a secret agent -- but if she had been, it was confirmed it would have been Richard Armitage that outed her, and he was considered one of the "good guys" against the Iraq war, so nobody would care if he accidentally did.

ALL stories from the real world are over-simplifications of facts. "Kennedy got us to the moon" and "Reagan ended the USSR" are both simplifications, but stories with significant basis in the real world. None of our stories are completely true -- no human has access to anything even close to all the facts, and even if we did, without significant moulding of the picture of reality it is impossible for us to process.

The DEFINITION of human understanding is very close to "having a narrative". Can I give you an "elevator pitch" on what happened in Vietnam, how I met my wife, how the Internet works, why I think Obama is a bad president ... and on and on to infinity. For things we truly understand at a deep level, we have non-story subconscious "core truth", but we can't communicate that -- that is why the super smart programmer often comes across as "not having a clue", because he can't make a "story" out of his understanding, it is too detailed and deep.

So "The Story" of Libya and Benghazi is a boring non-story. "A bunch of Republicans trying to pin something on Hillary or BO". Most of this is just due to the big capable story telling guns in the MSM not being on the job telling the tale, some of it is due to the decline of America.

In 1979, when Iranians took the US Embassy in Tehran, the nation was riveted. Some of this was no doubt due to the fact of hostages being held, but a good deal of it was due to A UNITED STATES EMBASSY having been overrun. Even after Vietnam, many Americans still saw this nation as the top Superpower -- ahead of our nearest competitor the USSR. Seeing us unable to defend our Embassy in what we saw as a small backwater nation was something that hurt the pride of people proud to be Americans.

That is probably the real basic story here. We are no longer the nation we were in 1979. Seeing an Embassy destroyed, the US Ambassador killed and body desecrated, brave Navy Seals calling for support with no response from our leadership has no effect on 80% of Americans today. We are not a nation that believes that we are exceptional. We believe that it is possible to care only for our ease in the manner of cows chewing our cuds.

Today we like stories that make us feel good. It is too much trouble to test their truth or consider their dark sides.

'via Blog this'

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