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Thursday, February 27, 2003

From Naomi Klein in the Toronto Globe and Mail (thanks to Allan in Ottawa for the link):
At the Pentagon, they call it the Voilą Moment.

That's when Iraqi soldiers and civilians, with bombs raining down on Baghdad, suddenly scratch their heads and say to themselves: "These bombs aren't really meant to kill me and my family, they are meant to free us from an evil dictator!" At that point, they thank Uncle Sam, lower their weapons, abandon their posts, and rise up against Saddam Hussein. Voilą!

Or at least that's how it is supposed to work, according to the experts in "psychological operations" who are already waging a fierce information war in Iraq. The Voilą Moment made its first foray into the language of war last Monday, when a New York Times reporter quoted an unnamed senior U.S. military official using the term.
Of course, there should be more marches, but it should also be clear by now that there is no protest too big for our politicians to ignore. They know that public opinion in most of the world is against the war.

What our politicians are carefully assessing before the bombs start falling, is whether the antiwar sentiment is "hard" or "soft." The question is not "do people care about war?" but how much do they care? Is it a mild consumer preference against war, one that will evaporate by the next election? Or is it something deeper and more lasting -- a, shall we say, Voilą kind of care?

On one end of the caring spectrum, Levi's Europe has decided to cash in on the antiwar fad by releasing a limited-edition teddy bear with a peace symbol attached to its ear. You can clutch and hug it while watching the scary terror alerts on CNN.

Or you could turn off CNN, refuse to be a soft and cuddly peacenik, get out there and stop the war.
-- Read the rest.