|A small circle: 54%|
17 comments28 Apr 2004 @ 07:10 by shawa : Yeah...
3 May 2004 @ 14:44 by E_Johnson @22.214.171.124 : They want it
Half of America doesthey just don't want to know about it!
There is little anyone can do when an entire mass of people lies to itself. I do not believe that it has as much to do with either ignorance of the facts or denial, as some have been arguing, as it has to do with deliberate and willing self-deception. More likely, what we have here is a mass of "eyes wide-shut" people who knowingly support the ideology of their leaders (I think people know more than they are given credit for) and agree silently (without any overt or noticeable agreement) that they are going to go along with the rationalization and misrepresentations presented to them, and lie en masse! We are talking about people who are sold on the concept of a strong "whatever it takes" militarist imperialistic America, but they don't want to see it as such, nor do they want to know about the dirty side of it (the lies, the price tag that comes with it, the meaning and consequences of such a drive for power or what such ambitions say about them,) in other words, they WANT to be deceived.
It is easy to deceive people who want to be deceived. You don't even have to be good at it.
The University of Michigan historian-blogger Juan Cole calls this a case of "cognitive dissonance": The true believers, faced with pesky evidence that counters their faith, wish it away the evidence, that is. If they notice irritating counterevidence in the newspaper, they skim. If they hear the words on TV, they forget them.
Todd Gitlin ("The faith-based superpower") considers that possibly more than half of America is bending its second-hand ideas of reality in order to make them conform to their allegiance to George W. Bush:
"A March poll conducted by the University of Maryland's reliable Program in International Policy Attitudes discloses that 57% of Americans think that Saddam Hussein, while in power, gave substantial support to al-Qaida. Forty-five percent think that clear evidence found in Iraq buttresses this position. The same percentage, 45 %, believe that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction before the war. This is, of course, fantasy. There is no such "clear evidence." Close to half of America is living in fantasy. This happens to be the near half that is represented by George W. Bush and his government."
As Juan Cole points out: "If it were accepted that Saddam had virtually nothing to do with al-Qaeda, that he had no weapons of mass destruction (nor any significant programs for producing them), and that no evidence for such things has been uncovered after the US and its allies have had a year to comb through Baath documents if all that is accepted, then President Bush's credibility would suffer. For his partisans, it is absolutely crucial that the president retain his credibility. Therefore, rather than face reality, they re-jigger it to create a fantasy world in which Saddam and Usama (Osama bin Laden) are buddies...and in which David Kay (of whom respondents say they've never heard) never recanted his earlier belief that the WMD was there somewhere."
4 May 2004 @ 10:55 by Aiden @126.96.36.199 : "There's a home place
under fire tonight in the Heartland"
I learned in school that the Heartland was a significant and spiritual part of the country. But I am not so sure anymore what the heartland is or whats so spiritual about it. I cant help but think about my neighbor. His wife calls him a loser, and sometimes he beats her up, sometimes she calls the police on him, and then they make up, and then it starts all over again. The only thing that has changed is that now, ever since September 11, he's not a loser anymorehe is a hero. He voted Bush, you know, and he's an American Herowe all are, the prez said soand he is displaying a big American Flag on his porch that proves it. No, he was nowhere near the twin towers on 911, nor does he know anyone who was, heck, he has never ever been to New York, but he's a hero and he flies the flag on his car. He doesn't care whether Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 911 or not. What kind of a dumb ass question is that? Does it matter? It's all the same to him. If you ask him, he'll tell you that Bush Sr. should have kicked Saddam's ass when he had a chance and that it's about time that we show "them" who's the boss. He thinks, one day, China will be next. Hes not a "loser" anymore, he's proud to be an American and his life has meaning and he has the flag to prove it. He supports our troops and if you ask him, he'll tell you that he wished he could be there himself. He says that if the prez thinks more troops are needed to do what needs to be done, then thats what needs to be done and he supports the draft, if thats what it will take, but it wont. No, there arent anything wrong with other people's children being sent to Iraq. Dont be a fool, boy. It is sad that they have to go, but someone has to, and they should be proud, like he is, that they are serving their country. This is what it means to be an American. This is the price of freedom. No, he doesnt have any children himself.
My neighbor, I try not to let it bother me, he doesnt speak for America, he only speaks for a part of it. So I go to the coffee shop down the street and try to forget about it. But then theres that girl, Shirley, behind the counter. Shirley, shes very much into meditation, the yoga thing and everything New Age (she doesn't vote, she doesnt care about politics, as long as shes being left alone and no one drafts her son) and, so I reckoned that she would be more enlightened than my neighbor as such things go. But that girl, Shirley, behind the counter, she tells me that the Arabs, they are not as "spiritually evolved" as we arewhatever that means.
My American dream
Fell apart at the seams.
You tell me what it means,
You tell me what it means.
4 May 2004 @ 17:19 by E_johnson @188.8.131.52 : Hubris to a tragic point
The coups in Iraq in 1963 and 1968, which led to the consolidation of power by Saddam Hussein in the 1970s, were heavily subsidized by the CIA. Americans thought back then that they could manage regime-change so that it would serve the interests of the United States and of regional stability, of course. But then there was an Islamic revolution in Iran a reaction in part to a previous America-engineered exercise in regime-change and that led to the U.S. supplying Saddam with various awful weapons and turning a blind eye while he used them on Kurds and Iranians. And now they think they know how to engineer yet another regime-change without having any dire effects. Truly the hubris involved is a marvelous thing to behold.
The simplistic polemic over "islamofascism" and the laughable unnuanced theory of "islamoterrorism" (i.e. the "terror masters" are "tyrants" who loathe America simply because of its mere "existence" as a symbol of freedom) downplays serious social problems and political complexities and ignores America's tarnished record in the Middle East. So does the ideological oversimplification that we must give up our "misguided" faith in (I quote :-) "radical egalitarianism" and "the perfectibility of man" in favor of "proven" Machiavellian principles (you know, "The only important thing is winning", "It is better to be feared than loved", etc.)
Terrorism is a social, economic, and political issue with security consequences. Addressing one dimension of one of the causes (political) with the simplistic and ineffective notion of regime change is farcical.
5 May 2004 @ 10:40 by Emily Vonnessa @184.108.40.206 : We have met the enemy, and he is us
Supremacism reasing its ugly head? (At least they don't call us niggers anymorenot to my face anyway.)
Who turns a blind eye?
Who knows better?
Who cares? Who doesn't?
Who doesn't want to know? (good point, E_Johnson)
Who goes to church with you and stabs you in the back at the voting booth?
Or as Amiri Baraka so eloquantly put it:
"Who and Who and WHO (+) who who ^
Whoooo and Whooooooooooooooooooooo! "
"Who is them paying
Who tell the lies
Who in disguise
Who had the slaves
Who got the bux out the Bucks
Who got fat from plantations
Who genocided Indians
Tried to waste the Black nation
Who live on Wall Street
The first plantation
Who cut your nuts off
Who rape your ma
Who lynched your pa
Who got the tar, who got the feathers
Who had the match, who set the fires
Who killed and hired
Who say they God & still be the Devil
Who the biggest only
Who the most goodest
Who do Jesus resemble
Who created everything
Who the smartest
Who the greatest
Who the richest
Who say you ugly and they the goodlookingest
Who define art
Who define science
Who made the bombs
Who made the guns
Who bought the slaves, who sold them
Who called you them names
Who say Dahmer wasn't insane
Who/ Who / Who/
Who stole Puerto Rico
Who stole the Indies, the Philipines, Manhattan
Australia & The Hebrides
Who forced opium on the Chinese
Who own them buildings
Who got the money
Who think you funny
Who locked you up
Who own the papers
Who owned the slave ship
Who run the army
Who the fake president
Who the ruler
Who the banker
Who/ Who/ Who/
Who own the mine
Who twist your mind
Who got bread
Who need peace
Who you think need war
Who own the oil
Who do no toil
Who own the soil
Who is not a nigger
Who is so great ain't nobody bigger
Who own this city
Who own the air
Who own the water
Who own your crib
Who rob and steal and cheat and murder
and make lies the truth
Who call you uncouth
Who live in the biggest house
Who do the biggest crime
Who go on vacation anytime
Who killed the most niggers
Who killed the most Jews
Who killed the most Italians
Who killed the most Irish
Who killed the most Africans
Who killed the most Japanese
Who killed the most Latinos
Who own the ocean
Who own the airplanes
Who own the malls
Who own television
Who own radio
Who own what ain't even known to be owned
Who own the owners that ain't the real owners
Who own the suburbs
Who suck the cities
Who make the laws
Who made Bush president
Who believe the confederate flag need to be flying
Who talk about democracy and be lying
WHO/ WHO/ WHOWHO/ "
[Amiri Baraka from "Somebody blew up America"]
8 May 2004 @ 14:12 by James Weems @220.127.116.11 : Which America will emerge?
The actions of these few people do not reflect the hearts of the American people."
-George W. Bush
And which people is that, George?
The christianofascists whose leaders preach that the descendants of northern Europeans are "God's chosen people," and that African Americans and other people of color are by nature dumb and immoral? Is that the people you are talking about, George? Hate groups like the Aryan Nation, the skinheads, the Ku Klux Klan, and assorted militias piling up arms for what they say is a coming race war in America that will precede the return of Christ?
This is what you want. This is what you get.
Sophisticated hatemongers are in their heyday in the American media as Rush Limbaugh, and others like him, have manipulated public opinion and the "angry white man" biases and prejudices in dangerous ways, typically casting poor people like bums, environmentalists like "wackos," and decent-minded people like enemies of democracy.
In his State of the Union address in January 1994, President Clinton exhorted the nation to "remember that even as we say no to crime, we must give people, especially our young people, something to say yes to." He said, "We must take the guns out of their hands and give them books."
But white denial makes good steps difficult to achieve. Racism is covert. There are only a few white people---the skinheads, assorted Klansmen---who will openly say they are racists. But corporate boardrooms, local governments, education districts, are full of powerful men and women who are virulent bigots in hiding. So racism thrives, safe behind a curtain of politically correct language.
What constructive things has president George W. Bush actually given to the millions of underclass youth that they can say yes to and whatever happened to the bridge to the 21st century?
PHOTOS FROM IRAQ PRISON SHOW WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY
By Philip Kennicott Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
"An Army investigative report reveals that we have stripped young men (whom we purported to liberate) of their clothing and their dignity; we have forced them to make pyramids of flesh, as if they were children; we have made them masturbate in front of their captors and cameras; forced them to simulate sexual acts; threatened prisoners with rape and sodomized at least one; beaten them; and turned dogs upon them.
There are now images of men in the Muslim world looking at these images. On the streets of Cairo, men pore over a newspaper. An icon appears on the front page: a hooded man, in a rug-like poncho, standing with his arms out like Christ, wires attached to the hands. He is faceless. This is now "the image" of the war...
These photos, we insist, are not us."
"But these photos ARE us. Yes, they are the acts of individuals (though the scandal widens, as scandals almost inevitably do, and the military's own internal report calls the abuse "systemic"). But armies are made of individuals. Nations are made up of individuals. Great national crimes begin with the acts of misguided individuals; and no matter how many people are held directly accountable for these crimes, WE ARE, COLLECTIVELY, RESPONSIBLE for what these individuals have done. Every errant smart bomb, every dead civilian, every abused prisoner, is ours.
[These photos] open up to the hard facts of human nature, the lessons of the past...
[These images are not jut] the random accidents of war, or the strange, inexplicable perversity of a few bad seeds. First of all, they exist. Soldiers who allow themselves to be photographed humiliating prisoners clearly don't believe this behavior is unpalatable. Second, the soldiers didn't just reach into a grab bag of things they thought would humiliate young Iraqi men. They chose sexual humiliation, which may recall to outsiders the rape scandal at the Air Force Academy, Tailhook and past killings of gay sailors and soldiers.
Is it an accident that the man in the hood, arms held out as if on a cross, looks so uncannily like something out of the Spanish Inquisition? That they have the feel of history in them, a long, buried, ugly history of religious aggression and discrimination?
Not quite 50 years ago, Aime Cesaire, a poet and writer from Martinique, wrote in his "Discourse on Colonialism": "First we must study how colonization works to "decivilize" the colonizer, to "brutalize" him in the true sense of the word, to degrade him, to awaken him to buried instincts, to covetousness, violence, race hatred, and moral relativism."
10 May 2004 @ 10:56 by i2i : More %
Percent of Americans who agree that...
- The first Amendment "goes too far":................................................ ..................................34%
- There is too much press freedom:............................................................ . .........................46%
- The Ten Commandments should be allowed in government buildings:....................... . ...............62%
- Newspapers should not be allowed to publish freely without government approval:...... ................................28%
- Public protest of war should not be allowed during active military combat:...................... .....................31%
- The US press has been too aggressive in asking government officials for information regarding the war on terror:.......50% (!!!)
- Americans have too much freedom to speak freely: ...... ...... 12%
Survey (pdf file) conducted by the Center for Survey Research & Analysis at the University of Connecticut .
11 May 2004 @ 11:14 by E_Johnson @18.104.22.168 : Double Standards
Salama Shaquana (Celtic Spirit) asks:
Why the Double Standard?
"...let us be frank here, what has happened to these prisoners pales into insignificance in comparison to the treatment that has been handed out to thousands and thousands who were locked up for no reason and tortured during the reign of Saddam Hussein. Why are people not speaking out about this???"
I find that comment so interesting as it illustrates some of the troubling strands that Emily and James had been talking about in their comments, above.
- Iraqi's use of Torture = bad
- US soldiers' use of Torture = good (or, as Salama put it, not so bad compared to Iraqi Torture)
THAT, my friends, is a double standard!
There are no "good" tortures and I am glad to see that Salama herself (much to her credit) has conceded the point and made it clear in her follow-up comment that she "does not condone these actions [US torture]." As far as the contention about people and the press being silent about the use of torture under the Saddam regime is concerned you must be kidding (???) that's all we have been hearing on and on and on for months, on CNN, on Fox News, on ABC Eyewitness News and many more, and from the president himself. (The Double Standard here is that no one could care less about any of that, or about the Iraqi people, until very recently when it conveniently became part of the president's rhetoric to rationalize our invasion of Iraq.)
If you want to talk about Double Standard, consider this instead:
The US advocated and funded Islamist opposition to the "godless Communists" in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan in the 80's and to the Serbs in Yugoslavia a decade later. These groups evolved into both the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Back in 1953, the US overthrew Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadeg and inserted Mohammed Reza Pahlavi as Shahthe Shah's repressive regime fertilized the field for Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic doctrine.
The West, particularly Britain, has had its colonial hands in the Middle East for centuries, and in the 20th Century the United States got its chance. We've joined the fray, intervening, either militarily or through covert action, in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Libya and Iranand that's just a partial list.
We've vetoed virtually every U.N. resolution condemning Israel for its barbarous treatment of indigenous Palestinians, and yet the United States subsidizes Israel in its expansionist policies and generously provides weapons systems that facilitate continued abuse of the Palestinian people.
What's more, the United States provides protection and aid for oil-rich regimes that stifle all attempts at democratic expressions, even as our rhetoric drips with pieties of democracy.
14 May 2004 @ 21:44 by Emily Vonnessa @22.214.171.124 : Iraqi women
Even as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was talking recently about America's focus on gains for Iraqi women, the United States' handpicked Iraqi governing council was passing measures to deprive women of many of the rights they had enjoyed under Saddam.
Kimila Hyat (she heads up the Lahore branch of Pakistan's Human Rights Commission) has been working for years to expand Muslim women's legal rights beyond those given in Islamic law. She says that since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, even the kind of elite, Western educated, women who stand to lose most under an islamist regime are beginning to feel that they must side with their own people. "People like me would normally have no sympathy for the religious parties. But now I'm starting to think, Thank God someone is standing up to America," she said. "There is such a great sense of injustice in the Muslim world. People feel there's no alternative." A friend of hers, a university graduate, wanted to name her new baby boy after Osama bin Laden. Nothing special in that. It's said that Osama, once an unusual name, is now the most popular name for boys in Pakistan.
15 May 2004 @ 21:37 by E_Johnson @126.96.36.199 : Making the world a safer place?
Are we, now?
Al Quaeda was not much present in Iraq before the war, but it is now.
Even more frightening is nuclear Pakistan where Osama bin Laden's supporters would stand a good chance of winning any free election (one can expect that none will be permited any time soon.) Ironically, a United States that preaches democracy must hope that Pakistan's President Musharraf, who only narrowly escaped two recent assassination attempts, can maintain his military junta in power. For the same reason, the Bush administration must hope its "democratization drive" won't soon lead to free elections in Saudi Arabia, and, of course, this is also the reason why the Bush administration doesn't really want a democratic Iraq (with a directly elected Assembly), because there is little doubt that a democratic Iraq would quickly become a Shiite fundamentalist Iraq allied with the Shiite fundamentalist nation of Iran.
18 May 2004 @ 15:54 by James Weems @188.8.131.52 : It takes two to lie...
...one to tell the lie and one to listen.
And there is a lot of listening being done. And hate radio aplenty, catering to those who want to listen. An estimated 20 million listeners nationwide hear Rush Limbaughs daily talk show every week on more than 600 stations. And his imitators are legions. In 1990, there were 200 all-talk stations nationwide. Today, there are more than 1,300.
Is it unchallenged Demagoguery? No doubt about it.
Is it disinformation as some have charged? I dont know.
Disinformation implies the intent to mislead. Is it still disinformation when the deceit is consensual and people listen to the lies they want to hear?
It takes two to lie, one to tell the lie and one to listen.
26 May 2004 @ 11:41 by E_johnson @184.108.40.206 : It takes two to lie...
Mr Bush's advisers must have known, and they very probably told him, that, although there was no direct cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden (who have always shown deep hatred for one another), an attack on Iraq (with its vast Muslim majority) committed under the banner of Mr Bush's foolishly announced "Crusade" would give excuses to such groups as Al-Qa'eda to focus their activity on "defending" Islam. His careless and revealing use of this emotive word gave a boost to the recruitment (to swell the ranks of Islamist terrorists) of ignorant and easily misled masses all around our planet who were informed (quite correctly) that the President of the most powerful country in the world had so openly, and so specifically, declared war on Islam.
If the broad thrust of Mr Richard Clarke's accusations is correct, we have to assume that the Bush regime was willing to overlook facts which got in the way of its fundamental (perhaps fundamentalist) aims.
What is more worrying for us all is that, despite the clear evidence already in the public domain of his administration's extraordinary manipulation of untruths, a large portion of the electorate across the U.S.A. seems still to be willing to trust Mr George W. Bush.
19 Jul 2004 @ 16:11 by James Weems @220.127.116.11 : The Silent Majority
"Theres that girl, Shirley, behind the counter. Shirley, shes very much into meditation, the yoga thing and everything New Age (she doesn't vote, she doesnt care about politics, as long as shes being left alone and no one drafts her son)"Aiden
The passionate activists from the Age of Aquarius have grown up to be the new Silent Majority.
If religion is the opiate of the masses, then the New Age philosophies are a better drug, a better "high." But like all ego-emotional "highs" they are really just new lows, in a spiral of evasion, willful ignorance, and passivity.
Why would anyone want you to accept everything as it is? To stop questioning, to give up awareness of social and environmental issues (frowned upon as "perpetuating negative energies"), to renounce activism (derided as "the old ways"), to imagine that everything is right (projecting "positive energies"), that everything is going as "planned" (in accordance with a "greater order") and that everything is wonderful and perfect and that problems will go away without people getting involved in the "outer world" in any way?
Aren't what some trends of the New Age movement are saying suspiciously similar to what Pat Robertson and other religious fundamentalists have been promoting in their own way with their own religious followers?
"Be rich and be happy"
"All that happens to man is a result of his state of consciousness"
"What suffering? What inequities?"
"Other people's suffering is their own doing"
"You create reality"
"Materialism is spirituality"
19 Jul 2004 @ 21:38 by i2i : Wake up call
Thank you for the heads-up, James. I might be quoting you on some of this if that's OK with you.
22 Jul 2004 @ 18:20 by quinty : This insane war
When we marched up San Francisco's Market Street in October, 2002, to protest this insane war the media almost ignored us. They wanted to. But they couldn't ignore more than a hundred thousand people on the street protesting the upcoming war. They could lie about it instead, and brush us off. They said we were only a few thousand. I expected less, actuallly, when I arrived for the march, and coming up onto Market Street from the the BART station (the local subway) hoped I hadn't missed the march, a few hundred people perhaps, walking along the sidewalk. Instead I came upon more than a hundred thousand chanting, tamborine slapping, singing and dancing people, filling one side of Market Street to the other. The line of march was perhaps two miles, from San Francisco's Embarcadero up to City Hall. And they kept coming and coming. It took at least a couple of hours for everyone to arrive.
When we listen to the mass media report upon the way the war is developing here at home, in the US, you would think it was only yesterday that we, the American people, grasped the folly of this war. No! We saw it long ago, and it is a lie, among many lies, to tell the people that our leaders were misinformed, that the CIA was incompetent, that had our intelligence been better this folly would have been avoided. No! That is not true. They wanted this war. They sought out intelligence which would support them to go to war. We knew it back then, in October, 2002, and we should know it now.
22 Jul 2004 @ 18:25 by spiritseek : right on Paul
I read where they discounted how many people were marching. I saw the picture too and it was amazing how many people showed up to march for peace. I knew in the beginning,why can't others see the truth it was so obvious even back then.
23 Oct 2004 @ 03:28 by astrid : James. Dianne, Paul
THANK YOU ALL!!! James, you hit the head of the nail right hereAren't what some trends of the New Age movement are saying suspiciously similar to what Pat Robertson and other religious fundamentalists have been promoting in their own way with their own religious followers?
"Be rich and be happy"
"All that happens to man is a result of his state of consciousness"
"What suffering? What inequities?"
"Other people's suffering is their own doing"
"You create reality"
"Materialism is spirituality"
and there's MUCH MORE of this shit!....of which the most "interesting" must Comlipicity as a sure fire sign and expression of "Brotherly Love"! ??????
Other entries in Diary
13 Jun 2006 @ 23:54: The Final Frontier?
4 Mar 2006 @ 07:17: The Age of disinformation
20 Feb 2006 @ 08:21: Political Fiction---or is it?
10 Nov 2004 @ 03:22: "Family Values"
18 Oct 2004 @ 21:58: One Nation Under God
23 Aug 2004 @ 01:24: The Planet is Fine...
24 Apr 2004 @ 14:32: The Schmürz
5 Apr 2004 @ 16:54: Does the end justify the means?
20 Sep 2003 @ 15:42: The American Way
18 Sep 2002 @ 12:52: Where is Away?