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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Lyin', the Which? and the War Drove Him on Tour

Marketing is the best way to get people to shell out bucks for inferior goods. Examples abound of products that are heavily marketed but really not worth the investment: Budweiser (not really beer), McDonalds (not really food), the War in Iraq (not really well-managed). It comes as no surprise then that our first-ever CEO president has been engaged in what is, in essence, a marketing tour to support the War in Iraq. Rather than improving the product (competent civilian administration of the military), Bush has instead chosen the cheaper and easier route, which is to change the public's perception so that we will accept his Plan for Victory in Iraq in the same way that we happily buy substandard food and beverages. It seems to be working.

For the past few years, we've willingly consumed bogus and shifting arguments (WMD? 9/11? Democracy? Which was it?) as to why we needed to go into Iraq, so I'm sure it seems logical to administration strategists that we'll probably go for one more attempt (want fries with that?) to justify this mess and show that this time the administration really does have a plan, a strategy, or even a clue. In the real world where accountability matters, people are regularly fired and replaced for mismanagement and incompetence. It's ironic that our MBA president is so unwilling to make these necessary corrections. Instead, the war just drove him out on a marketing tour.

I guess I'm feeling a bit cynical, but I'm not sure we can market our way to victory. Perhaps I should go buy something to make myself feel better.



Blogger Jessica said...

In the middle of a lecture about how the War of 1812 really didn't accomplish much of anything, a seventh grader blurts out, "Why are we in a war with Iraq?" I paused. I shrugged. "That's a good question; let's talk about it later." The boy next to him said simply, "Oil." We did come back to it later, mentioned the bogus and shifting arguments, but I don't think I answered his question. At least, I wasn't satisfied with the answer.

9:22 PM  
Blogger James said...

I had many discussions with my debate classes about this (mostly 11th and 12th graders). They quickly recognized that, at least under the rules of HS debate, it is highly abusive for a policy advocate to change his assertion of the inherent harms in the status quo (in this case Bush's shifting assertion of the dangers posed by Iraq). Debaters who do this almost always lose the round because their opponents will correctly argue that an abusive strategy is being run and that debate breaks down when one side shifts the assertions on which they base their case. Of course in the real world we don't mind being abused, and it's okay for debate to break down. At this time, I think the best answer is: Because the president wanted to. That's the only thing we really can say for certain.

8:04 AM  

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