Saturday, December 25, 2004

A Christmas Carol


The shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable-shed
Where the Virgin-Mother lay:
And now they checked their eager tread,
For to the Babe, that at her bosom clung,
A Mother's song the Virgin-Mother sung.


They told her how a glorious light,
Streaming from a heavenly throng.
Around them shone, suspending night!
While sweeter than a mother's song,
Blest Angels heralded the Savior's birth,
Glory to God on high! and Peace on Earth.


She listened to the tale divine,
And closer still the Babe she pressed:
And while she cried, the Babe is mine!
The milk rushed faster to her breast:
Joy rose within her, like a summer's morn;
Peace, Peace on Earth! The Prince of Peace is born.


Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace,
Poor, simple, and of low estate!
That strife should vanish, battle cease,
O why should this thy soul elate?
Sweet Music's loudest note, the Poet's story,
Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?


And is not War a youthful king,
A stately Hero clad in mail?
Beneath his footsteps laurels spring;
Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail
Their friends, their playmate! and his bold bright eye
Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.


Tell this in some more courtly scene,
To maids and youths in robes of state!
I am a woman poor and mean,
And wherefore is my soul elate.
War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled,
That from the aged father tears his child!


A murderous fiend, by fiends adored,
He kills the sire and starves the son;
The husband kills, and from her board
Steals all his widow's toil had won;
Plunders God's world of beauty; rends away
All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.


Then wisely is my soul elate,
That strife should vanish, battle cease:
I'm poor and of low estate,
The Mother of the Prince of Peace.
Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn:
Peace, Peace on Earth! The Prince of Peace is born!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Lie To Us

From Fafblog, the best political reporting in America:

After years of losing the the battle for hearts and minds to the Islamist menace, leaders in the Pentagon are finally planning to fight back with a plan sure to win the trust and confidence of the Arab street: a massive propaganda campaign.

The notion of seeding foreign nations - enemy, neutral and allied alike - with misleading information and outright lies may appear unseemly, immoral, and unwise, especially given the possibility that such false information will be picked up by credulous American news outlets to misinform the domestic populace. But one must consider the vast forces arrayed against the United States: in Iraq alone, America faces electricity, oil, food, and medical shortages, overstretched and overworn troops, a population incensed at ongoing and systematic torture and abuse at the hands of American occupiers, an escalating insurgency energized rather than deflated by recent counterstrikes, and the inescapable tug of civil war. With the facts solidly turned against the war effort, the war effort's last option is to officially declare war on the facts.

Facts - and the transmission of facts - have consistently proven to be a deadly opponent in the global war on terror. When the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, it was photographic proof - indisputable, hard evidence - that outraged the Arab world and forced a stunned America to ask the question, "Why did they take those photos?" When a missile crashes into a marketplace in Baghdad, or a child picks up a cluster bomb, it is television cameras - often from the despicable al-Jazeera network - that record the aftermath. And it was evidence of weapons of mass destruction - more hard facts - that failed to show up when most desperately needed, that deserted the proud coalition as quickly and as fiercely as Jacques Chirac.

The solution is obvious: if facts will not join the fight in the war on terror, then America must supply its own facts. If reality will not aid the United States, then lies will. New, friendly, manufactured news will counteract old, natural news of brutal slaughter and human rights abuses, overtake them with superior counterfactual force, and terminate them with extreme prejudice to win the hearts and minds of Muslims everywhere.

A lesser nation would consider changing its more hideous policies to win over the rest of the world, but the Pentagon realizes that the better response is to simply lie to it. The Bush Administration has successfully used this policy on America for the last four years, and the country, the Medium Lobster is told, is safer than ever.