You Say Iraqi, I Say Al Qaeda

Glenn Greenwald and Joshua Micah Marshall are calling out the mainstream media for uncritically parroting the Bush administration's new strategy of referring to Iraqi insurgents as "Al Qaeda." Greenwald writes, "What is so amazing about this new rhetorical development — not only from our military, but also from our 'journalists' — is that, for years, it was too shameless and false even for the Bush administration to use. Even at the height of their propaganda offensives about the war, the furthest Bush officials were willing to go was to use the generic term 'terrorists' for everyone we are fighting in Iraq. ... Even the President acknowledged that 'Al Qaeda' was the smallest component of the "enemies" we are fighting in Iraq." In a follow-up post, he adds: "This sudden shift in describing the 'enemy' in Iraq as 'Al Qaeda' is the by-product of a very familiar information-producing system: namely, the administration formulates narratives, the President announces them, his top officials and military commanders recite them endlessly, and then establishment 'journalists' not only write them down, but rely exclusively — and uncritically — on those narratives to report events."