Sunday, January 3, 2010

What Distinguishes MAMZ from other Retired Military Propagandists?

MAMZ,Markos Moulitsas,Kos,DailyKos

I'm recovering from a near-fatal bike crash, so I'll make this short and quick, leaving out supporting links because of my accident and because they can be found elsewhere in this blog by using key words in the search bar above, or simply referring to the links in the right sidebar.

A lot of what I learn comes from watching my Site Meter and researching the issues in which my readers express interest, i.e. readers search at Google and find their way to this blog looking for specific information about its subject. Today, I believe one of my readers was asking himself, "What distinguishes ex-military, CIA-trainee Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga (MAMZ) from others right-wingers who have left paid jobs with the military to accept paid jobs as media talking heads?

In an April 20, 2008 New York Times article entitled, "Message Machine: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand, Times writer David Barstow tells us how retired military (like MAMZ) have been used by the White House and the Pentagon to covertly shape our views of reality with respect to the Iraq War (and probably quite a lot of other issues):

In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

How the Pentagon Spread Its Message

Audio, video and documents that show how the military’s talking points were disseminated.

Talk to the Newsroom

Q & A on Pentagon’s ‘Message Machine’

Message Machine David Barstow answers questions on his article about the Pentagon’s use of military analysts to create favorable news coverage.

Dining with Donald H. Rumsfeld, second from left, during his final week as secretary of defense were the retired officers Donald W. Shepperd, left, Thomas G. McInerney and Steven J. Greer, right.

“Meet the Press”

Appearing with Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” in 2005 were Wesley K. Clark, center; Wayne A. Downing; Montgomery Meigs, right; and Barry R. McCaffrey, foreground.

The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo.

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Of course, the New York Times is unlikely to be blameless in this farce. They may well have known about it in real time and only divulged the information when President Bush had already achieved his strategic goals.

The objective of this program was to covertly use ex-military people who were, in fact, still working for the Government, to influence US public opinion. Isn't that the MAMZ story? He's ex-military, ex-CIA-trainee, and then he's in the media telling us what to think about the Iraq War (don't resort to civil disobedience); Democratic candidates (ex-military like himself are the best candidates, says MAMZ) and myriad other issues.

What does the Government gain by this. First of all, there is no need to invite real leftists to represent the progressive opinion on television when you can present an ex-military, CIA-trained fake leftist instead. The public believes it is hearing a range of views when all it is hearing is the gamut of Pentagon propaganda.

Why should they invite the US Ambassador from Cuba or Venezuela to represent leftist views when they have an in-house "leftist" who will reliably not say anything illuminating?

Of course some of the public, right and left, was convinced that MAMZ is a wild leftist because he said he didn't give a damn about US contractors who were burned on a bridge in Iraq. But that head-fake was merely for the purpose of gaining street credibility as a "leftist".

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd prefer to hear from the leftist view from Ambassador of Venezuela or Cuba rather than from an ex-military CIA-trained propagandist. MAMZ says that he doesn't care about issues and only about electing Democratic candidates. With the Republican and Democratic parties in basic agreement to pursue control of Iraq as well as war in Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Yemen, how much difference does it really make to Pentagon military-industrial goals whether the Democrats or Republicans are in office? The paradigm is the same regardless of its spokesmen.

Has "leftist" MAMZ ever presented and argued for an alternative paradigm about anything? Is he a socialist? No! Does he advocate for the Venezuelan view of Latin America? Of course not! By claims not to care about issues. How can the Left of any nation be led by someone who doesn't care about political issues and is only interested in political parties? If you don't care about political issues, then how do you choose between political parties?

MAMZ says he left the Republican Party because of its position on "states' rights". States' rights is an issue and a relatively obscure one, except to those who know that it's a code word for anti-gay, anti-Black, anti-women and anti-disabled. States rights was and remains the rallying cry of the Klu Klux Klan and the most conservative members of the US Supreme Court.

All this is to say that the only thing that distinguishes MAMZ from the Pentagon generals above is that MAMZ claims to be a leftist while being a-political enables him to support the status quo and be acclaimed by the mainstream media as a radical. It must be fun to be a radical who never has to actually say or do anything radical.

I don't read DailyKos, but I read the New York Times and the Washington Post. I've seen MAMZ attack Hillary Clinton in the Washington Post, but I've never heard him attack the expansion of US wars to from Iraq to Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Yemen. If he's really a leftist, then why doesn't he join forces with Hugo Chavez or at least President Lula Ignacio Lula da Silva of Brazil. In fact, most of Latin America has heard nothing at all about MAMZ, except perhaps that he is the wealthiest and most influential blogger leftists in a country that has no other wealthy and influential ex-military, ex-CIA (?) leftists.

The truth is that leftists don't get much play in America, if they are real leftists. When was the last time you saw Congressman Bernie Sanders or Kucinich on Meet the Press? MAMZ never 'crashed any gates'. He was born and bred within the gates of the Salvadoran oligarchy, his brother went to that great bastion of leftism called Yale University; MAMZ supported Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, as well as arch right-wing Henry Hyde; he trained at the CIA and then crashed the gates of the Establishment with the most right-wing credentials of any leftist in the history of American politics.

MAMZ never was outside the gates. He pretended to be so, between the end of his training at the CIA (2003) and his first article attacking Hillary Clinton for the Washington Post (2006). He crashed the gates of a warm and wet vagina, which was yearning for an already familiar penis.

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