Today an article was published in the NZ Herald (a low rent tabloid) which refers to Mikeys’s article. The columnist had obviously not seen the film starring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman ‘Wag The Dog’ (1998)
This article below is republished for her benefit:
(a comment posted as part of a discussion on https://dailykos.com)
…Clintons cruise missile attack on Bin Ladens Afghani training camps as an attempt to divert attention from the Lewinski stuff.
Lets go back to 1998 itself and some of the existing website commentary.
Hindsight from The New Gun Week September 10, 1998
Tools of Terrorism Big and Small by Joseph P. Tartaro Executive Editor
A number of Americans, including many newspaper and broadcast commentators, could not help comparing President Clinton’s strikes against suspected terrorist installations in The Sudan and Afghanistan on Aug. 20, following his admission of lying in the Monica Lewinski matter three days earlier with the plot of the recent movie “Wag the Dog.”
They saw the close proximity of the events as a parallel to that movie president’s attempt to deflect public attention from his own sexual peccadillos.
Whatever the underlying reasons for the missile attacks in Africa and Asia, this Administration and other governments seem genuinely concerned about the dangers posed by the growing threat of free-lance and government-sponsored terrorism.
It is worth noting that a major target of the government’s recent anti-terrorism strikes, Saudi millionaire and alleged terrorism sponsor Osama bin Laden, is probably not amused by the “Wag the Dog” analogy. He responded to the US strikes by saying he had not yet begun to fight and that his war against the United States and its interests was just getting started.
Clinton’s “Wag the Dog” Maneuver
…I am a US Navy veteran. I served for 10-1/2 years. I served on USS Detroit during the strikes against Libya in 1985 (one defensive when the Libyan Navy attacked the USS America battle group, and one retaliatory as a ‘pay-back’ for the earlier attack). I missed the Gulf War because I was teaching at Great Lakes when it happened. I was on board the USS Spartanburg County off of the coast of Somalia from the end of January 1994 to May of 1994 covering the pull-out of the UN peacekeeping forces. Marines from my ship were the last American troops to leave Mogadishu, Somalia. I was also on board the USS Spartanburg County when, as the duty MARG we went to Haiti for reasons that are still unclear to me. I have always loved my country, and feel privileged to have been able to serve it to the best of my abilities.
Osama bin Laden
Nevertheless, over and over again I have watched my country take no effective action to combat terrorism. Even as our troops, businessmen, and tourists are increasingly the target of every yahoo with a gripe, our government responds with meaningless UN resolutions and strongly worded press releases. Time and time again we sit on our hands and ask our police or the police of other nations to respond for us. The terrorists count on our lack of action, they plan on it.
I know, it sounds like I should be cheering our recent military strikes. I do think that they are a step in the right direction and I hope that the trend continues. I am a little saddened at the loss of the moral high ground that we have tried over and over again to take, but terrorists don’t seem to respond well to talking. However, I find it very difficult to believe that the same Clinton that seems to bend over backwards to try to achieve a ‘peaceful’ solution would adopt a military response to terrorist activity.
The strikes are out of character for Clinton and for the US. It’s natural to ask what is different about this terrorist activity at a pair of US embassies as opposed to the car-bombing of the US embassy in Beirut or the siege of the US embassy in Iran. It can’t be just the fact that we now have undetectable tomahawk cruise missiles – they have been around screwing up disarmament attempts since the ’70s (it’s one of our many nuke/conventional weapons systems that makes verification nearly impossible). President Clinton admitted to a lapse of judgment that is incredible in a politician as experienced as he is. If his judgment is (or can be) that impaired, then how can we place our faith in that judgment now?
Clinton’s dirty little war
© 1999 WorldNetDaily.com
Bill Clinton says there was no justification for the Serbs to “abduct” three U.S. servicemen wearing United Nations colors in Macedonia.
This statement, so Clintonesque in its phony authoritativeness, isn’t even flying in the United States, let alone Belgrade. What are the Serbs supposed to do — sit there while U.S. bombs fall on their cities and vital infrastructure and not fight back? Is that what Bill Clinton honestly expected?
Never has this sociopathic president been so obviously out of touch with reality than in this dirty little Serbian war of his. This is a new low — even for a president who has diminished the office he holds beyond our nation’s wildest imagination…
This wag-the-dog-and-pony show of Clinton’s is a disgrace. This war is immoral. It is illegal. There are no vital U.S. interests at stake in the region. There is no battle plan. There is no exit strategy. There is only death and destruction in this war — no higher calling, no noble purpose, no lofty goal.
It’s time to stop looking for an honorable way out for Clinton. The only way out for him is via the rear entrance at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and a free ride back to Arkansas where he can devote his full attention to the only kind of “domestic affairs” for which he is renowned.
Pull the troops out of the Balkans. Stop the bombing today. Relieve the draft-dodging commander-in-chief from further responsibilities.
(SHADES OF CINDY SHEEHAN…PULL OUT THR TROOPS NOW??????????????????????)
Media in Cruise Control
By Jeff Cohen and Seth Ackerman
In the wake of U.S. military strikes abroad, mainstream media coverage tends to follow a traditional script. International law, if mentioned at all, is treated as mere platitude, not as a specific body of precedent. After the recent cruise missile attacks on a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant and Afghan paramilitary camps, for example, few reporters inquired into what “self-defense” actually means in international law. (See “Inalienable Right,” below.)
Civilian casualties of U.S. attacks–if shown at all in the mainstream media–appear briefly and after warnings that the footage is likely part of a propaganda campaign. In contrast to U.S. victims of foreign terrorists, we rarely learn the names of civilian victims or hear their families’ reactions to the attack. True to script, Sudanese civilian victims made only cameo appearances in American media.
And only because of the media-hyped sex scandal raging around Bill Clinton did some mainstream reporters diverge from the traditional script to question the President’s political motives (a la Wag the Dog). It’s refreshing to see Washington reporters finally asking such questions–queries rarely raised when past presidents capitalized politically on military adventures.
Another departure from script, though slow in coming in U.S. media, was the questioning of the Clinton administration’s evidence for targeting the Sudan factory. Within two days of the attack, the European press was quoting factory managers, among others, to puncture the initial U.S. claim that the Sudan plant was a terrorist-funded nerve gas factory with no civilian purpose. In fact, terror suspect Osama bin Laden had no discernable link to the plant, which produced much of Sudan’s medicine. Perhaps slowed by the U.S. media mantra that Sudanese openness to plant inspection was a propaganda ploy, it took the New York Times more than a week to clearly report that U.S. justifications had been “inaccurate, misleading or open to question.”
More telling was the relative lack of emotion about White House deception. In the days prior to the missile attack, editorials and commentaries in top U.S. outlets marshaled unprecedented fury in castigating Clinton for not telling the whole truth about his sex life. There was almost no mainstream outrage at Clinton for not telling the whole truth about an illegal bombing that killed and wounded civilians.
Here’s a chronology of the first days of mainstream news coverage of the missile attacks.
Bill Press, the “left” on CNN’s Crossfire, seeks Pat Buchanan’s approval: “You know, Pat, I think this Wag the Dog talk is nonsense. I think the president did the right thing and I know you agree. I mean it was positively Reaganesque, what he did today. I just hope, since Osama bin Laden is still alive, that we have a few cruise missiles left and use them.”
I know, I know, “Pat Buchanan”, I cant help it but Sometimes I just like that right wing fascist. Anyone arrsted for punching out a cop can’t be all bad.
MOST DANGEROUS PRESIDENCY Weapons of Mass Distraction
By Christopher Hitchens
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 22, 1999
THIS IS AN ESSAY ABOUT CANINES. It concerns, first, the President of the United States and commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces, whose character was once memorably caught by a commentator in his native Arkansas who called him “a hard dog to keep on the porch.” It concerns, second, the dog or dogs which did not bark in the nighttime. (In the Sherlock Holmes tale Silver Blaze, the failure of such a beast to give tongue–you should pardon the expression–was the giveaway that exposed his master as the intruder.) And it concerns, third, the most famous dog of 1998: the dog that was wagged by its own tail. Finally, it concerns the dogs of war, and the circumstances of their unleashing.
Not once but three times last year, Bill Clinton ordered the use of cruise missiles against remote and unpopular countries. On each occasion, the dispatch of the missiles coincided with bad moments in the calendar of his long and unsuccessful struggle to avoid impeachment. Just before the Lewinsky affair became public in January 1998, there was a New York prescreening party for Barry Levinson’s movie Wag the Dog, written by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet. By depicting a phony president starting a phony war in order to distract attention from his filthy lunge at a beret-wearing cupcake, this film became the political and celluloid equivalent of a Clintonian roman à clef. Thrown by Jane Rosenthal and Robert DeNiro, whose Tribeca Productions produced the movie, the party featured Dick Morris and an especially pleased and excited Richard Butler, who was described by an eyewitness as “glistening.” Mr. Morris is Mr. Clinton’s fabled and unscrupulous adviser on matters of public opinion. Mr. Butler is the supervisor of United Nations efforts to disarm Saddam Hussein’s despotism. In February 1998, faced with a threatened bombing attack that never came, Iraqi state TV prophylactically played a pirated copy of Wag the Dog in prime time. By Christmastime 1998, Washington police officers were giving the shove to demonstrators outside the White House who protested the December 16-19 bombing of Iraq with chants of “Killing children’s what they teach–that’s the crime they should impeach” and a “No blood for blow jobs” placard.
As far as Hitchens goes, the should deport him as a verbal terrorist.
PROVIDING “POLITICAL COVER”
In fact, Cohen proved invaluable to the president in the wake of two questionable military strikes that critics contend were ordered by Clinton to draw attention away from embarrassing news stories at home.
The first “Wag the Dog” episode occurred in August 1998 when President Clinton had the military fire missiles at terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Most of the million-dollar cruise missiles missed their mark, but they did demolish a so-called “poison gas” facility in the Sudan, which later turned out to be, according to independent observers, a pharmaceutical plant and no threat to anyone.
Of course it was just a “coincidence” that Clinton “playmate” Monica Lewinsky was set to give her first testimony in the White House sex scandal the very next day. Nothing like the expenditure of millions of dollars worth of ordnance and waving the flag to divert attention and headlines from such embarrassing news.
Like the good “team player” he had become, the “man of principle” Bill Cohen explained away the curious timing of the air strikes as “necessary” and having “nothing to do with politics.”
It got even stickier for Cohen a few months later.
In December, on the eve of the House vote to impeach the president, Clinton ordered his military into action again. Lives of American pilots were put in jeopardy by the command to bomb targets in Iraq.
I had to highlight that one. Bill Clinton accused of “WAGGING THE DOG” for increasing the bombing raids on Saddam after the inspectors left because of Saddams making it difficult fot them to do their jobs
More Bitchin’ Hitchins:
Christopher Hitchens: The House couldn’t face the-the House couldn’t face the evidence then. They weren’t strong-one-the one line disproof of the right wing conspiracy; there were several one-line disproofs. But the strongest one is the-faced with the strongest evidence in the cover up, which was the use of cruise missiles in Sudan, promiscuous, private use by the President, ordering the-of a military strike overruling his commanders, he wanted to-he wanted to…
Let wag the dogs of war
If yesterday’s American airstrike on Iraq was not the act of a desperate man, it indisputably looked like one. Of all the 365 days of the year, President Clinton chose the eve of the impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, the event that would likely make him the second president in U.S. history to endure this humiliation, to take on Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after an entire year of hesitation. Coincidence? Not a chance. Anyone arguing that Mr. Clinton took action to head off impeachment has a pretty convincing case. The president’s craven act was rightly met with widespread skepticism among congressional leaders and demonstrates not only Mr. Clinton’s personal recklessness, but also his inability to lead the country any longer.
Whether removed from office by the Senate or not, this president has lost whatever credibility he ever had; everything Mr. Clinton does from now till the end of his sorry presidency will be seen through this lens. We even had the spectacle of British Prime Minister Tony Blair being sent out as the vanguard to give the first official announcement of the attack, a role that clearly belongs to the president of the United States, as the leader of the coalition against Iraq — such as it is, consisting mainly of Great Britain and the United States by now.
While Americans tend to rally around the flag in times of military action overseas, and Republicans traditionally so, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott took the extraordinary step of issuing a statement in advance of the strikes, withholding his support. “I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time,” Mr. Lott said, “Both the timing and the policy are subject to question.” They are indeed. While the White House claims that the attack was prompted by the report on Iraqi obstructionism by U.N. Special Commission Chairman Richard Butler delivered on Monday, in actual fact, as reported by The Washington Times on its front page this morning, the Pentagon had been told to prepare the attack as early as Sunday.
What makes Mr. Clinton’s action particularly appalling is that it fits a pattern we have come to recognize over the past year, known in popular short-hand as the “wag the dog” scenario. The year’s first confrontation between the United States and Iraq came in January/February following the eruption of the Monica Lewinsky scandal on Jan. 22. In August, it was another set of suspects who had to take the pounding after Mr. Clinton’s Aug. 17 televised “apology” to the American people; cruise missiles pounded a pharmaceutical facility in Sudan and a few huts in Afghanistan supposedly belonging to Saudi terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden. In November, as impeachment hearings geared up in the House of Representatives, the president began another build-up against Saddam, which culminated in the charade of Nov. 11, when the president called back U.S. planes already in the air. The reason given was that the Iraqi government had promised total compliance in a letter urgently delivered to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. The timing was said to be pure coincidence.
In actual fact, as reported by Newsweek magazine, it was the Clinton administration itself that had warned the Iraqis through the British that the attack would be coming. In his televised address last night, Mr. Clinton tried to justify his timing by citing the coming of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan this weekend. What was to prevent him from taking action last week? Or last month? Saddam Hussein’s non-compliance has been clear as day for quite a while.
Washington Times Huh?
Anyway, plenty of evidence that Clinton would heve been ruthlessly SKEWERED if he advocated an all out attempt to get Osama as fat back as 1996, and certinly they would have blocked any efforts at fungding the attempts, just as their refusal to fund additional armored personnel vehicles resulted in the Blackhawk down incident, needless deaths, which have become part of a Wagnerian right wing mythology after the fact.
The complaints about Clinton are just another attempt of the Right to blame Clinton’s penis, while attempting to portray liberals as terrorist lovers who want to “understand” them.
If anything, the members of congress “need a blowjob, more than any white man in history” (paraphrase)
Perhaps if they had, they would have been more succesful in prosecuting their attempted military ventures as Clinton was in Haiti and the Balkans, where it was harder for those right wing sissies to intervene.
by Uncle Ho on Thu Aug 18th, 2005 at 10:10:32 PDT
nzherald / side swipe
In a move commonly known as career suicide Mikey Havoc has teamed up with the guy who wanted to film the birth of a baby for a porno, to bring you a new magazine called Uncensored. Yes, Steve Crow is publishing a low-rent version of Investigate magazine, to be launched with heavy symbolism on September 11. As a contributing editor Havoc has written a rant suggesting the Jacko trial was a deliberate move to distract the world from the Iraq war. Somehow he sees lies everywhere, but has complete faith in Jacko’s innocence. However, the truly excruciating parts of his rambling opinion piece are when he goes all evangelical. “I can only imagine how much time I would have had for thinking about other things in my life, if I had never had to worry about what stupid selfish thing George Bush was up to each day. Unfortunately I cannot do that because I happen to have developed a great zest for life and living. I care about the preservation of our species and the planet we live on”.