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February 13, 2007



A few takes:

1.  Like BushCo. needs egging on?

2.  Why is The Economist visually arguing for still one more reset in the GWOT?  How ’bout the title, “The New Dawn.”

3.  The anonymity is thoroughly toxic.  This is just what we need in the media space right now: a complete disconnect with political debate, human consequences or anything tied to the ground.

4.  A related point.  This piece cleverly puts into play a verbal metaphor.  Looking at the pic, many of us will instantly intone the word: “stealth.”  Defined as surreptitious; secret; not openly acknowledged, stealth is the manner in which BushCo. is working overtime to draw Iran into conflict.  The subliminal effect is for us to register it big time, but to also keep quiet.  Although not as elegant, notice how the latest Newsweek cover is caught up in the same thing/meme.  The title? “The Hidden War With Iran.”  The subliminal message: Don’t forget everyone, its hidden.

5.  This reminds me of the illustration accompanying Sy Hirsh’s piece about U.S. bombing in Iraq in the 12/5/06 New Yorker. (Link to both.) The color scheme is remarkably similar, although here, it’s the sunrise that cues the desert.  What an outrage that the media can’t help but visualize “the Iran war.”  But then, the preamble is so romantic!

(image: unattributed. The Economist. February 10, 2007. Cover)

  • mugatea

    It’s a W.

  • Neal

    Squint, then I see the blackened nuclear glass of Iran viewed from the desert of Iraq.
    Two members of the axis of evil have dealt with in a firm and decisive manner. On to the third-yeeehawww….

  • Bruce O

    If this bomber’s next STOP is in Iran, that means they are going to get shot down there.
    (I think what they really meant was “next visit” or “next mission”…)

  • ummabdulla

    This image put the old Batman TV show theme song into my head, and now I can’t get rid of it.
    The picture is quite antiseptic – just an air strike and we fly away untouched? I don’t think so…
    As for that last link… just a week and a half ago, I was on a boat ride in the Gulf of Oman. Beautiful place!

  • ummabdulla

    That Newsweek cover is pretty interesting… the two half-faces of Ahmadinejad and Bush, the cross effect, and, of course, Anna Nicole at the top.

  • margaret

    Brilliant analysis, Bag. Of course, the Economist has ana agenda….it represents multi-national corporate-type thinking which celebrates the big bucks to be made from war materiale. We are only observers of something which is out of our control. Look at Congress! Ralph Nader is right…both parties lie in the same bed…with the people who bring you (sponsor) the covers and illustrations on magazine covers.

  • Darryl Pearce

    …hmm, in my past comments, your pictures make me think of movies. I shall continue in the strain (showing my United States culture of being unable to filter ANYthing except through the lens of entertainment). So, today’s viewing reminds me of the “airmen” in HGWell’s Things to Come. So high above the fray… We own the sky, the sea… and space. But street-to-street?
    …oh, if only we had the “gas of peace“.

  • jtfromBC

    The Stealth Bomber and The Economist share many behavioral traits.
    Neal, some stretching exercises for your brain, they may loosen you up for analytical thinking or enlightened humour, if wit is what you after:
    “In examining and criticizing political language, journalists (and those who “Squint”) would do well to read George Orwell’s analytical essay, “Politics and the English Language,” in which Orwell defines and illustrates a number of abuses of political language. Imagine what Orwell would say about George Bush’s phrase “the axis of evil.” The phrase doesn’t really make sense in describing the relationship existing among Iraq, Iran and North Korea. If we use a definition from “The American Heritage Dictionary,” those countries do not fit the metaphorical political definition of an “axis,” that is “an alliance of powers … to promote mutual interests and policies.” Iraq and Iran were, not so long ago, enemies in a protracted war, and North Korea has remained politically isolated, without a strong alliance with any other nation.”
    “The phrase “axis of evil” is what Orwell in his essay would have called “meaningless words,” words that don’t make any logical sense, though they may have emotional power.”

  • MonsieurGonzo

    WAY cool plane, the B2 wing thing.
    perhaps the only thing cooler is the way-cool wicked-fast SR-71 Blackbird ~ from about a quarter century ago. Hands down, we make the most wicked lookin’ f__ing weapons on the planet! Better than the Germans ever did!!
    2 B2 or not 2 Be Too…?
    It’s a men thing. Oh, women have their thing ~ you know, about what ~ 12, 13 or so ~ they become aware of the look, you know; then they look around and see for themselves: oh my! so this is how it is, with that look and all; Cet obscur objet du désir.
    being a man, i never got “the look,” rather, i was never aware of it ~ until i went to San Francisco, and then i thought, “Wow! so THIS is what it must be like for them. jeez!”
    “Are you bragging, or complaining?” the Queen replied. But, i digress…
    …they say young women mature before men, but hey, they start with the B2 B.S. men thing a heluva lot earlier, in my opinion. “I always wanted to join The Marines. I… liked the way they looked, you know : the uniform; that camaraderie; those weapons!”
    if we ever succeed in fully liberating women, then perhaps we can begin to liberate men, you know ~ from this kinda B2 B.S. kinda stuff.
    anyhoo, margaret has pretty much nailed it: it’s the War Economy Economist, stupid!” The Democratic Party leaders, they know this : “Peace? Mind you do not get what you ask for, you fully-employed fat folks” (wink-wink)
    THAT, and without War Powers, Dubya reverts back to his pre-9/11 caricature self, you know ~ the Yankee carpetbagger, all dressed up in his Cowboy costume, making complete fools out of angry, frustrated working class men, preying on their anxious masculinity.
    Women are BombShells ~ they’ll never understand bombing : it’s a men thing (He said)

  • Rafael

    New Dawn? What about Red Dawn?

  • Keir

    The aircraft the Economist cover depicts is designed and constructed to facilitate the use of nuclear and “convetional” means of state-conducted mass murder and associated environmental devastation. The dishonesty of the Economist in presenting the image as it has is enormous.
    Incidentally, this is the way I read the cover:
    Next: Stop Iran.

  • Paul

    Apparently nobody here bothered to read the editorial in this issue:
    They’re arguing AGAINST attacking Iran.

  • gmoke

    Read the headlines above the picture:
    The risk of private equity
    Bush’s budget frustrations
    TV on the Internet
    Bangladesh’s soldiers get tough
    Making geniuses
    An image of dawn or sundown?

  • LandsurveyorK

    Image appears to be a skull with wings. Death comes to your door, every month, with glossy cover.

  • readytoblowagasket

    I think the cover is supposed to be menacing, not *encouraging* as The BAG reads it, and not *sexy* as M. Gonzo suggests. The color gradation is the (overly subtle) clue: pure blue skies lead to a flat desert horizon line lead to . . . black. The ground should not be black when the sky is so light. So black means smoke, death, total annihilation with a fast-rising mushroom cloud which will soon swallow the B2 bomber as well. . . .
    Compare these images:

  • Keir

    Paul, fair enough point about reading the editorial, although after reading it I have the impression that the Economist editors might be subtly arguing for the violence to be done later (perhaps by whatever AIPAC poodle lands in the White House in 2009 . . . ?). The editorial ignores the illegality and immorality of a possible attack, as though US violence has ever been clinical.

  • lytom

    Surgically humans are left out from the picture.
    Just sands, peaks and in between steals in the alien robot.
    The irony: Menace is the US!

  • Paul

    Keir, my point was about what the editorial said, not what you or I wish it said. I don’t read the Economist for moral guidance, bur for insight into the concerns of the global business community. This editorial makes a straightforward, pragmatic case against attacking Iran. This is what many influential people listen to, not appeals to morality, the overheated rhetoric of the right or rehashed Marxist analysis from the left.
    The value of BAGnewsNotes is that it provides the context of an image that corporate media leaves out. Without the context of the editorial, the cover image becomes little more than a Rorschach inkblot test.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    Without the context of the editorial, the cover image becomes little more than a Rorschach inkblot test.”
    i love it when you talk dirty !

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