September 1, 2006

"We have always been at war with Iranq!"

In George Orwell's 1984, the Atlantic dictatorship, Oceania, is constantly at war, but its enemy and its ally frequently flip back and forth, due to the exigencies of Realpolitik, between Eastasia and Eurasia. The Ministry of Truth expends much effort getting people to forget that Oceania's eternal enemy of the moment used to be its ever-loyal ally and vice versa: "We have always been at with Eastasia/Eurasia!"

This seems pretty implausible, except for the similarity in names. If the other two other empires were called Russia and China, well, it would be a lot easier to remember the past, but when they are called Eurasia and Eastasia, those little letters between the big "E" and the "asia" part all kind of blend together. I'm reminded of when I had whooping cough in 2002 but I couldn't get doctors to take it seriously because, I fear, they all had this image in their mind of whooping coughs being just about extinct, that scientists had to run around flapping their arms and whooping to get the few remaining whooping coughs excited enough to carry on the species. (Here's a website about how people don't pay much attention to all the letters in a word when reading.)

You might think that the Bush Administration would be embarrassed by its current message that Iran is the world's worst threat considering that Iran was being held in check by Iraq until we overthrew the government of Iraq, but you probably don't understand the public mind as well as Karl Rove.

Like Eastasia/Eurasia and whooping cough/whooping crane, I suspect Karl Rove has done some polls and focus groups on this Iran/Iraq question and discovered that a large fraction of the public can't reliably distinguish between the two. (My wife says that when Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, she was quite confused because she had assumed that Iraq was the capital of Iran, or maybe vice-versa.)

Perhaps a lot of people vaguely assume that "Iran" and "Iraq" are just different spellings for some weirdo Arab word, like how that guy in Libya has three dozen different ways to spell his name, but he's still the same dirtbag. Or how "Muslims" used to be "Moslems" when you were a kid.

I bet Rove's pollsters have found that the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, the 1991 war, the 2003-??? war, the 2003 nuclear bomb scare, the 2006 nuclear bomb scare, Saddam, that used car dealer-looking guy who is in the news all the time, and the Ayatollah's coffin and corpse getting ripped to shreds, all just blend together in the public mind. It's all been the fault of Iranq and we ought to go over to Iranq and kick some Iranqistani butt.

We have always been at war with Iranq!

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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