villified is more like it…

Posted on Sunday 6 July 2008

PARIS – Leaders of the Colombian FARC rebel movement were paid millions of dollars to free Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages, Swiss radio said on Friday, quoting ‘a reliable source’. The 15 hostages released on Wednesday by the Colombian army ‘were in reality ransomed for a high price, and the whole operation afterwards was a set-up,’ the radio’s French-language channel said.

Saying the United States, which had three of its citizens among those freed, was behind the deal, it put the price of the ransom at some $20 million. The radio said its source was ‘close to the events, reliable and tested many times in recent years.’

The report added said the wife of one of the hostages’ guards was the go-between, having been arrested by the Colombian army. She was released to return to the guerrillas, where she persuaded her husband to change sides. Switzerland, along with France and Spain, has been mediating with the FARC on behalf of Colombian Presiddoent Alvaro Uribe…
The really sad part is that I didn’t believe the story of the clever fooling of the Guerrillas in the first place – not because I had some inside knowledge, not even because of something "fishy" about the story. I didn’t believe it because I’m so used to distorted "spin" narratives that I expect them, and just keep my eyes open for the later emerging "truth." What used to be "breaking news" is now the "daily spin," followed at some point with the "leaking truth." While it is often stories discolored to cover up a bumble, or just to put things in a better light, this one appears to be to cover up that we do deal with terrorists and kidnappers after all.

Lying around waiting to go to the hospital to get my back back is kind of boring. Sleep comes in bursts, so there’s lots of random television watching at odd times – Olympic Trials, mediocre action flicks, DVR’d things, odd channels. Last night, I watched Bush’s War – that depressing TV Special that we’d saved on the DVR. I’d seen it before. Seeing it a second time, I was struck with the contrast between what was actually happening and what they said in the contemporary television clips. Besides concluding that both Cheney and Rumsfeld should be exiled to a swampy island under constant guard, I was awed at the lies, half-truths, and spin. It was like their public narrative was the "fictionalized" version – sort of like a Romance Novel compared to the truth about a marriage that never should have been.

After dozing for a bit, I awoke to a 1974 movie of Stephen Crane’s novel, The Red Badge of Courage, with "John Boy" playing Henry Fielding, the central character [It’s a book I know well and this movie version was not so good]. It’s the story of a Union Army soldier who "runs" in terror from his first battle. In his wanderings filled with shame at his cowardice, he is hit in the head by a fleeing soldier from his own army. When he returns to his unit, his comrades assume it’s a war wound, and he goes on to fight heroically in a subsequent battle. I think that’s what the Bush people keep waiting for. They just keep making up stories that fit their heroic fantasies, and expect that reality will somehow make it all work out. Ain’t going to happen. There’s no Red Badge of Courage coming out of these years. Just a series if mis-steps, incompetent decisions, lies, and failures – unaltered by their spin games [like the one in the story above]. Bush keeps waiting to be Vindicated by history. Villified is more like it…
    July 11, 2008 | 9:35 PM

    Just a note to see how you are and to tell you that I agree with “Bush keeps waiting to be Vindicated by history.”

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