07/08/2005 10:14 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rewrite Predictions

Arianna wants predictions as to how the Bushites will spin our reasons for being in Iraq now that "fight them there instead of here" line has lost its credibility after the London bombings. Prediction: they won't change the spin—which has been purposely multiple from the beginning, to allow for adaptation to circumstances. Effective propaganda in an age of proliferating media niches has to provide options at the level of explanation and singularity at the level of attitude. "Better there than here" will still work in some contexts. The thing to watch, though, the real barometer, is the "It's time for Iraqies themselves to shoulder the burden" theme. That's already out there among those who want a date certain for withdrawal, as a rational tactic. But it hasn't taken root as a mood. When Bushites start to say, in effect, "Well, we've done everything we can for them and they still won't defend their own country, the ingrates"—that's when we'll know the worm has turned...