Friday, September 17, 2010

The Kuleshov Effect

Eric Martin, some yahoo named Gulliver whom Martin quotes approvingly, the New York Times article they are both responding to, and thirty Helens agree: the United States is militarily involved (if you know what I mean) in Yemen in response to the terrifying incident of the underpants bomber.

Which is funny because didn't that happen on Christmas day? And don't I have here an MSNBC article dated December 18 fessing up to U.S. missile strikes in Yemen? (That earlier article, incidentally, is a marvel of propaganda, but then I'm sure you knew that without even having to read it.)

Eric and Gulliver are innocent little babies here, repeating fiction as truth because they specialize in being uncritical of the narratives they're spoon-fed, so long as the one holding the spoon is both liberal and reputable. Which of course the New York Times is. Let's look at that reputable liberalism in action, shall we?
The debate is unfolding as the administration reassesses how and when to use American missiles against suspected terrorists in Yemen following a botched strike in May. That attack, the fourth since December by the American military, killed a provincial deputy governor and set off tribal unrest.

The Yemen quandary reflects the uncertainty the administration faces as it tries to prevent a repeat of the Dec. 25 attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner by a Nigerian man trained in Yemen.
Isn't that clever? End one paragraph with the accurate*-yet-vague "since December" timeline, start the next paragraph with the accurate-and-specific "Dec. 25" event, and let the reader assume from there. Faulty memory and the (terribly convenient!) closeness of the events will do the rest.

*Yes, I'm sure we were in Yemen earlier than the MSNBC article admits, but for now I'm gonna give it to them for convenience sake. (Convenience's sake?)


BDR said...

Involved in Yemen?

It's a fact:

Ethan said...


Anonymous said...

convenience' sake

JM said...

So was the Underpants bomber an inside job or was he just responding to the U.S. Attacks in Yemen?

Soj said...

Clearly someone didn't get the memo that we've ALWAYS been at war with East Asia!

Randal Graves said...

Yemen always makes me think of that X-Files episode with Jim Rose and his gang guest starring.

Which is strangely appropriate to American foreign policy.

zencomix said...

Nothing says Anti-Colonial like "As many as 75 American Special Forces troops now train Yemeni forces, and some proponents of the plan envision these advisers also accompanying Yemeni troops on helicopter missions as logistical advisers."

Ethan said...

anonymous--ugh, really?

Jenny--I'm sure your reason for asking that is to spring one of your patented gotchas, but assuming it isn't, the short answer is that it doesn't matter. The long answer is a whole separate post I've been mentally composing for a bit now and hope to actually write soon.

Randal--OK, I'm thinking really hard, but honestly I can't figure out why Yemen makes you think of that. Something about sideshows? Murderous malformed half-consumed independently mobile twins?

zencomix--I think the problem is that Obama is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together what we're doing to Yemen.

Anonymous said...

JM/Jenny in a "gotcha" troll? NOFUCKINGWAYRAY!



The CIA has been fucking around in Yemen for at least 30 years. Proximity to oil, donchaknow? Because the Yemeni are more pliable, we never had to attack/invade them like we've "had to" attack Iraq and are preparing to attack (us, or our wetwork boys in Eretz Yisroel) Iran.

Randal Graves said...

Jim Rose's character claimed he learned his skills in his homeland of Yemen.

Vote The Conundrum 2012.

Ethan said...

Oh, duh.