In George Orwell’s classic political sci-fi novel 1984 one of the four ministries that controlled the people of Oceania was the Ministry of Truth. Its sole purpose was to re-write all of history on a daily basis to suit the current political agenda of the Inner Party government that controlled Oceania. Orwell’s hero is Winston Smith who works at ‘Minitrue’ as an editor revising historical records.
In 2013 there is no Ministry of Truth per se but there is Commentary, a political magazine for extreme right-wing neoconservatives who once ruled America and much of the Western world during the Bush/Blair/Howard/Aznar/Berlusconi era of attempting to force the Islamic world into becoming ‘democratic’. Despite being no longer in power, neoconservatives like to pretend they still wield some influence which they do by writing propaganda articles that reflects their current thinking in the hope that people who have real influence in the affairs of government actually read the stuff they put out.
One of Commentary’s most senior propagandists is Jonathan Tobin.
Today Tobin provides a classic example of neoconservative historical revisionism. He writes in one his posts today:
This is… an administration that did a lot to encourage the first round of Arab spring protests in Egypt that took down longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak and ultimately replaced him with a Muslim Brotherhood government that may be far worse than deposed authoritarian.
Tobin infers that Obama should not have encouraged the protests that eventually led to the downfall of “U.S. ally Hosni Murbarak”.
But Tobin is being disingenuous at best here, or downright deceitful at worst, because at the beginning of the Arab Spring revolt in Egypt, the neoconservatives – including Tobin – were encouraging the uprising to get rid of the Murbarak dictatorship to replace it with democracy. It was only when it became obvious that the Muslim Brotherhood was going to win the day at their first taste of ‘democracy’ that Tobin realised that he and his fellow neocons had backed the wrong horse. In December 2012 Tobin wrote:
Many of us had some hope that the Arab Spring would bring democracy to an Arab world where it is largely unknown. But by now only those unwilling to face reality are still pretending the Brotherhood are just a bunch of Muslim democrats.
Tobin has gone from ‘hoping to bring democracy to an Arab world’ to blaming Obama for ‘taking down longtime U.S. ally Hosni Murbarak’ as though Tobin and his fellow travellers had no part in it. The lie is exposed.
Tobin is not a good propagandist. He forgets that Winston Smith was just a fictional character and never did get around to revising Tobin’s past articles.
Clearly the neocons do not have complete control of the Ministry of Truth – at least, not just yet they haven’t.