"Orwellian" was a popular description of the Bush administration's tendency to name policies in ways diametrically opposite to their results. There were the "clear skies," and "healthy forests" initiatives of the Interior Dept. which resulted in increased pollution, weakened regulation, and stepped up logging of public and private lands. The administration named military missions and labor reforms in similar ways, ramming through rapacious and belligerent directives under the guise of happy, democratic, and sustainable sounding monikers.
Many voters hoped for a change under the Obama administration. It seems, however, that the Obama White House subscribes to a similar political philosophy - say one thing, do the other. The recent troop surge announced for the war and occupation of Afghanistan is a case in point; the antiwar president who was elected largely because of the antiwar movement, who has talked a good talk about ending the war in Iraq, closing Guantanamo, banning torture, and other horrors of the "war on terror," is turning into quite the war president. The mission in Iraq is moving ahead par course with the Bush team's original goals, Guantanamo is still open (as are the dozens of other secret prisons in the CIA's network, even though we've been told they're closing), and now Obama is sending 30,000 Marines and GIs to Central Asia. And yet Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize and continues to project an image of peaceful intent. "War is peace."
Nowhere is this Orwellian modus —"ignorance is strength"— more refined than in the formulation of US nuclear weapons policies. Whether with respect to Sec. Clinton's maneuverings against Iran, N. Korea and other states, or current US nuclear weapons complex schemes to boost funding and build billion dollar infrastructure for weapons research, design and production far into the future, the message is, following Obama and a litany of big-whigs, "a world free of nuclear weapons," but the substance is money and authorization for "nukes forever."
In this month's Z Magazine Will Parrish, Nick Robinson and I have written up a small part of this story.