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8 posts from December 2006

December 24, 2006

Frameshop: Peace on Earth

Frameshop posts will resume next week--after a brief time away from the blogosphere.

In the meantime, we wish all our readers peace and joy--and we send our thoughts out once again to the men and women in the U.S. armed forces. Whether you are in Iraq, Afghanistan, or any other place--our hearts are with you now as always. We wish you a safe and speedy return home.

Happy Holidays!

(This is an open thread...)

December 15, 2006

Frameshop: "Lord" McCain

I have made a decision.

From now on, I will stop calling John McCain "Senator." He is now "Lord McCain," ruler above the people.

McCain (R-AZ), heir apparent to the Republican Party, has just made it very clear that if American voters do not agree with his decision to escalate the war in Iraq--then he will insult us, call us names, and elevate himself above us.

Rather than listening to the American people--the majority of whom want U.S. troops redeployed out of Iraq as soon as possible--the latest framing tactic from McCain was apparent in his recent press conference in Baghdad:

The American people are confused, they're frustrated, they're disappointed by the Iraq war, but they also want us to succeed if there's any way to do that.

Translation: The American public says one thing. John McCain says the opposite. Ergo, the American public must be "confused:

Americans are confused = John McCain ignores will of people

My questions to John McCain is very simple:

- By what evidence do you claim that the American people are confused?
- At what point did you become convinced that your view matters more than the views of those very people who elected you to office for the purpose of carrying out their will?
- By what right do you decide that the only opinion that matters in America is yours?

Americans are confused? No way. If anyone is confused it is John McCain--confused about the meaning of a representative democracy.

Continue reading "Frameshop: "Lord" McCain" »

December 13, 2006

Frameshop: GOP "Smear Gangs" Target Obama

The biggest threat to the American political system is the immoral and often illegal activity of Republican smear gangs. These covert hit squads use private Republican money and sophisticated PR techniques to spread libelous rumors about Americans who threaten the authoritarian status quo in politics. In the 2000 Presidential campaign, John McCain was attacked by these smear gangs when it looked like he was about to beat George W. Bush in the primaries. In 2004, these same smear gangs took down John Kerry when he was ahead in the polls, accusing him of lying about his military service. After speaking out against the Bush White House’s lies on Iraq, Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame were assaulted by these same Republican smear gangs. And there are many more instances where Republican gangs ride into our political system on the backs of millions in shady money to silence dissent with fear and threats.

The more a candidate speaks out against the radical right, the more ferocious these smear gangs campaign against them.

The newest Republican smear gang has already set out to hunt down their next prey: Senator Barack Obama (IL). The basis of the gang attack? Repeat Obama's middle name "Hussein" as a tactic for convincing Americans that Barack Obama is a covert terrorist.

Continue reading "Frameshop: GOP "Smear Gangs" Target Obama" »

December 12, 2006

Frameshop: Obama, McCain Both Stealing Reagan's Frame

One sure sign that the Republican party has taken notice of Barak Obama's fame, is the fact that they have already begun to steal Obama's frame. And to make matters worse, the Republicans are doing a better job with Obama's frame than Obama himself.

That's probably because the "common sense" frame at the heart of much of Barak Obama's and John McCain's rhetoric is actually an old idea from Ronald Reagan.

Continue reading "Frameshop: Obama, McCain Both Stealing Reagan's Frame" »

Frameshop: CSI Baghdad (Framing The ISG - Pt 3)

The one line from the ISG Report that has been most consistently misinterpreted to the American public by the media has been this pithy statement (p. 48):

There is no action the American military can take that, by itself, can bring about success in Iraq.

This line has led most reporterst to conclude that the ISG by and large recommends U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq--in other words: the opposite of what the President is proposing.

In fact, if we actually read the report we find something quite different from a general recommendation of U.S. troop withdrawl.

That is because the ISG is not actually proposing that U.S. forces simply pull back, but that they become more "imbedded" in Iraq, by which they mean: sink deeper.

Shocking? It should not be, as the ISG proposal to put our troops deeper and deeper into harms way while at the same time saying that there is no military solution to Iraq, suggests that the Baker team--despite its strong language--is far less attached to reality than the media has been saying.

But even worse than sinking our troops deeper into Iraq, the ISG proposes that we bring CSI to Baghdad.

Continue reading "Frameshop: CSI Baghdad (Framing The ISG - Pt 3)" »

December 11, 2006

Frameshop: Nation-"Oil"-ism (Framing The ISG - Pt 2)

Déjà Vu "Oil" Over Again
The logic of "oil"--its role in the reconstruction of Iraq and the stability of the region--is one of the most striking framing issues in the ISG Report.

In the past when the Bush administration talked about the transformation of the Middle East, they invoked an ill-defined idea of "democracy." Once established as a "democracy," so the Bush logic goes, Iraq would spread freedom throughout the region like a virus.

In the ISG report, the frame has shifted to the idea of a stable Iraq that must be built. And the key to that stability is a national unity based on oil.

Continue reading "Frameshop: Nation-"Oil"-ism (Framing The ISG - Pt 2)" »

December 10, 2006

Frameshop: Framing The ISG (Pt 1)

Out With "Freedom," In With "Stability"
The first and most noticeable framing issue in the ISG Report is the almost complete absence of the word "freedom."

Whereas "freedom" has been repeated and repeated by President Bush just about every time he talks about his policy in Iraq, the new report from the Iraq Study Group avoids this word.

Instead, they talk about "stability"--a word repeated over 50 times in the new report

Continue reading "Frameshop: Framing The ISG (Pt 1)" »

December 06, 2006

Frameshop: Framing "Forward"


Many Americans might be surprised to learn that the Iraq Study Group (ISG) eport called The Way Forward - A New Approach is now available for purchase on Amazon.com, and it is rising up through the sales rank quickly.

But even before we have have a chance to study the ISG's 160 pages of recommendations, Frameshoppers will notice that the report has thrust the word forward into the debate.

Why is the forward frame so central in the ISG report?

Because it provides President Bush the cover to reframe the debate away from the idea of "failure" as "leaving Iraq" to a new idea of "failure" as "not working together."

Continue reading "Frameshop: Framing "Forward"" »