Learning How to Play the Game

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Learning How to Play the Game

Unlike the Republicans who apparently showed up for class when they took PR 101-- "The Importance of Talking Points"-- one of the many reasons that the Democrats are failing to get any worthwhile attention focused on the Downing Street Memo is a lack of coherent talking points. Something simple, straight-forward. Something that might get the public's attention away from, say, the Michael Jackson trial.

Thanks to the New York Review of Books, we now have any idea of what Downing Street Memo talking points should sound like.
1. By mid-July 2002, eight months before the war began, President Bush had decided to invade and occupy Iraq.
2. Bush had decided to "justify" the war "by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD."
3. Already "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
4. Many at the top of the administration did not want to seek approval from the United Nations (going "the UN route").
5. Few in Washington seemed much interested in the aftermath of the war.

The other day in a joint press conference both Blair and Bush tried to cast doubt on the memo's accuracy and authenticity. Curiously, back in mid-May, Britain's Chief of Defense Staff actually addressed what the memo said and spent a little time defending Britain's actions at the time. Hmmmm. Apparently it didn't occur to him to question its origins or cast doubt on its authenticity. So why did Bush and Blair wait until five weeks later? If someone were to assert a big, public lie about me I'd be pretty quick to deny it and find ways to discredit it. However, when people choose the "just ignore it and it'll go away" tactic, their silence is a signal that something is a little fishy.

If the content of the memo alone won't grab the America MSM's attention, maybe the fact that what Blair and Bush said they other day contradicts what other British officials have said previously is a ratings winner? Doesn't the MSM love scandals like these?

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