Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pot. Kettle. Black.

My apologies (again!) for the lack of regular updates - it's been a pretty hectic time these last few days.

I want to comment quickly on the unbelievable crap that the US government seems to keep churning out. Three things in particular: The US Vice-President shooting a man in the face with a shotgun, US ‘lawmakers’ criticising some Internet firms on their dealings in China, and the US government complaining about an Australian show that found and broadcast previously unseen images of the abuse inflicted upon the inmates at Abu Ghraib.

On the first thing, you’d think with an idiot like Bush as President, the White House communications people would be used to handling PR disasters – but apparently not. Cheney has (to date) refused to comment publicly about the hunting accident, despite the fact that the man has been in hospital since Sunday and has suffered a subsequent heart attack. They were slow in releasing the news, slow in reacting to question, and why on Earth hasn’t the Vice-President of the most powerful nation in the world got the guts to stand up and apologise when he’s made a bobo?

On the second thing, this really does smack of hypocrisy. The US government continues to invade the privacy of its own citizens by trying to force companies such as Google to give up their records of individuals’ search patterns and illegally monitoring the activities of its own citizens, but has the gall to make a song and dance about companies doing legal business in China. The fact of the matter is that the situation in China is far from ideal, but you have to start somewhere – and this is very much a start. And I believe that China is better off with these countries in than out. Some of the rhetoric coming out of Washington is unbelievable. The cynic in me says its more about the US fearing political liberation in China than trying to encourage it.

On the third thing (watch out - this links to graphic images) – oh dear, really, where do you start? The strategy the US government is trying to pull here is pretty clear. Come out hard, don’t deny that the pictures are truly horrific, but be unapologetic in condemning their further publication. Say it will make things harder for our troops, and cause needless violence, because people know we're not about violence. The problem with that line of thought is that anybody with half a brain will think to themselves “Hold on a minute. This is your fault – don’t go crying about it now”. They’ve made their bed, now they must lie in it. The thing that gets me the most, though, is that we only find out about the incidents where soldiers are stupid enough to record their actions (really makes you wonder about the calibre of people they’re sending out there). I’ve not seen a single media source question how much of this disgusting, low-life abuse goes on unrecorded, unchecked and unheard of. I get the distinct feeling that the recorded stuff is only the tip of the iceberg, yet no-one seems willing to dig deeper.

Least of all the conniving American government. Three PR disasters in one week from the world's only superpower! The geek in me says, "OMG uberROFLLMAO LOL!!!!11!1!"


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