Friday, July 28, 2006

On Being

And That's The Truth!

It is amazing that what turns out to be the truth and proper analysis of the Mideast situation are STILL called America haters and traitors etc. Glenn Greenwald points out the obvious.

With more and more prominent administration supporters now admitting that our invasion of Iraq has turned out to be a disaster, and acknowledging that a vicious and tragic religious civil war is rapidly unfolding, it is worth recalling what Howard Dean was saying prior to the invasion about why he thought it was ill-advised based on the evidence that we knew then.....

The Administration has not explained how a lasting peace, and lasting security, will be achieved in Iraq once Saddam Hussein is toppled. I, for one, am not ready to abandon the search for better answers.As a doctor, I was trained to treat illness, and to examine a variety of options before deciding which to prescribe. I worried about side effects and took the time to see what else might work before proceeding to high-risk measures. . . .We have been told over and over again what the risks will be if we do not go to war.We have been told little about what the risks will be if we do go to war. ......There are other risks. Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms. Iran and Turkey each have interests in Iraq they will be tempted to protect with or without our approval. . . .

Greenwald notes:
But it sure was fun to ridicule Howard Dean and all the pacifistic, American-hating losers who supported him. Apparently, the fun of doing that hasn't subsided one bit, despite the fact that Dean was not just right, but prescient in almost everything he said about Iraq.The real geniuses in the national media and both political parties back then knew that Saddam had WMD's, that it would be so very easy for us to invade and get rid of the weapons and set up the country we wanted. Anyone who said otherwise was just an appeasing hysteric. All that depressing talk about civil wars and insurgencies was just the defeatist paranoia of weaklings who were the new Neville Chamberlains.And this went on even after the invasion. In December, 2003, Dean's questioning of whether the capture of Saddam really made American safer subjected him to great ridicule from most corners. And when Dean, in December 2005, compared Iraq to Vietnam by pointing out that there was no reason to stay any longer if we couldn't fulfill our objectives, he was again widely ridiculed and attacked, and labelled a coward and a traitor.This is worth noting not because all of that was conventional wisdom back then, but because -- unfathomably -- it is still the conventional wisdom. Howard Dean is still considered a far left extremist who is completely "unserious" about national security and whose party -- all together now -- can't be trusted with national security.........But whatever you do, just don't listen to Howard Dean or anyone of his ilk, no matter how right he might have been about Iraq.

I'm 51 years old and interested in politics since the age of 15. Never in my life have I seen such bizzaro, (Bizarro is perhaps best described as an "imperfect duplicate" of Superman: Often, Bizarro simply uses opposite reactions to words, such as Save=Kill, Good=Bad, and Love=Hate) contrarian thinking. This is extremely dangerous thinking and scares the dickens out of me as to the fate of our nation. I have noticed that the ones that most often get their wool in the air, the ones that most often think that any different idea is just the "liberals" trying to sheer them are the 25-40 year olds. They have been subjected to right wing rhetoric their entire life with almost no strong opposing view so I guess it stands to reason. The respect we give the young people that are able to remember what America is suppose to be about and are able to think critically in achieving it deserve our respect that much more for what they have come through with their standards still intact.

I love to read comments in blogs, even more than the posts many times cuz there is such insight. Here are a few of the great ones from Greenwalds post:

In an increasingly, agressively faith-based rhetorical environment, being "right" has little significance. In fact, maintaining one's belief system despite contradictory objective evidence is becoming some kind of perverse badge of honor; we're a nation of Tom Hagens, encouraged to demonstrate unthinking, unscrupulous loyalty to those who tell us what to think and do.

Just look at who they hate the most, and you'll get a good idea of who they actually fear the most. For example, t's incredible how right Al Gore was in 2000--if you go back and
read the debates now, he was absolutely prescient about what George W. Bush was going to do to our country. Meanwhile, so much of what Bush said about what he was going to do in office has turned out to be an utter lie--to find out what he was really going to do, all you had to do was reverse his statements. So yes, they are deathly afraid of the truth, and those who will speak it. That's also why they waste so much time shrilly and personally attacking you, Glenn. You speak the truth, and they fear it, and hate you for daring utter it.

The entire "tough guy" establishment was--it seems to me--motivated partly by ersatz bravado that was directly linked to deliberately ignoring the hard-won lessons of Vietnam.First, they avoided serving in Vietnam. Then they ignored the lessons paid for with other men's lives. And then they got really mad at Howard Dean, in part because he insisted on reminding them--indirectly, obliquely, but unavoidably--of the utter hollowness of their bravado.

People say they want straight-talking politicians; but when politicians talk straight, they get punished.

Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender ones self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.

people can be wrong. I do not think you should have ot blame them for it. But when they are in error of judgement and that error matters (and is costly) then they must accept responsibility. the problem is accountability, not being wrong.

Why? Simple, really. The media exists to repeat Republican talking points such as "Republican = Tough" and "Democrat = Sissy." (This despite, you know "Bush = avoided Vietnam" and Kerry = served his country.") Pesky little things like truth will not get in their way, whether Republican or "newsman." With that handy mechanism in place, it's just a question of endless repetition. I know otherwise intelligent people who believe that Iraq was behind 9/11, not because of any valid proofs, but because there is "no smoke without fire" and "we wouldn't have gone in without a good reason." Throw in "I heard this ..Fox News item.." or "I heard that ..Fox News item.." and you have a winning combination for mass media brainwashing. Goebbels did much the same thing, albeit more crudely and on a smaller scale.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron, Clicked on 25 to 40 year olds. Did not see what you referenced. But may have missed it as there was too much fascist market-worship to go through.

Larry in Roswell

12:55 AM, July 30, 2006  
Blogger Ron said...

The person that runs the blog and many of the rightie commenters are in that age group..actually at the lower end of it so you saw exactly what you were intended to see..way too much fascist market worship.

7:31 AM, July 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron, thanks for the directive. On something unrelated, you might find the following of interest: They charge a nominal fee now to listen but thought you might like it. Its interesting how view points on the AM have changed.

Larry in Roswell

12:06 PM, July 30, 2006  

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