Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Washington Rules

I just finished Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War, by Andrew J. Bacevich. I feel dazed every time I read something like this. The conceit and self-aggrandizement that lead to decisions resulting in the slaughter of millions of people, the casual acceptance of the death and destruction of others in the pursuit of political gain, the knowing--that's just it, the knowing--that the "reasons" for military aggression are spurious, but doing it anyway--! It's horrifying and one of the most horrifying thing is that for years--centuries, even--the warmongers have had little difficulty in persuading huge numbers of citizens that their enemies are the Germans, the Japanese, the Communists, the "terrorists", rather than the ruling classes who profit from the wars.
I was struck in particular, with the language used to inflame so-easily-inflamed Americans against Communism. It's virtually identical to what's used now against terrorists, of course. Naturally, then as now, the media picks up on it and the populace falls, hook, line, and sinker, into belief in the lies. Why? Well, because the ones vomiting them out are our leaders and they must know better than we do.
There's nothing so dangerous as respect for one's "leaders." It seems to me incredible that they're cheered and applauded as they spout their lies, and are treated with such deference, even reverence. They should be spat on in the streets, then run out of town on a rail, but where will that lead us? To more of the same in this benighted country, I'm afraid.
Sometimes, the idea of tuning out and giving up holds a lot of appeal.



At September 07, 2010 9:51 AM, Blogger rob payne said...

I was just reading that 57 percent of Americans now believe that invading Iraq was a good idea. Overlooking the incredible astonishing and amazing stupidity not to mention gullibility of Americans I think it is because Obama has recently praised Bush for the invasion of Iraq and the news media went along with it. But then on the other hand Obama’s ratings went from 65 percent approval to 45 percent so people are clearly unhappy with him. Unfortunately as always the voters will just switch to the Republican Party and after they are angry with the Republicans they will return to the Democrats, so on and so forth etc. and on into the unforeseeable future. If there is one.

At September 07, 2010 8:09 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Mimi n' Rob,

I don't know. 57 percent approving in 2010 sounds kind of high to me.


At September 07, 2010 8:59 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

You are right Jonathan it does sound high never-the-less here you go…


There is somewhat less partisan difference on this issue, as 58 percent of Democrats agree Iraqis are better off after U.S. involvement. Both Republicans (91 percent) and independents (65 percent), express higher levels of agreement.

When the scope is widened to broader security concerns, about six in 10 voters (58 percent) agree the action made the United States and the world safer. Again, more than one-third (37 percent) takes the opposing view.

So really it is higher than 57 percent but then I wouldn’t be surprised if different polls showed different results.

At September 07, 2010 9:38 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Rob, thanks for the link. The numbers are discouraging, but if anything, I am even more discouraged by the numbers who say that Iraq is better off now. It reminds me of how Arthur Silber often says he is against armed rebellion even against a fascist state because of all the death and suffering that violent rebellion inevitably entails. Even Bush acknowledged that "tens of thousands" of Iraqis died in the conflict.

I'm guessing most Americans are unaware of the millions of Iraqis who are living as refugees, whether in Iraq herself, Jordan, Syria, or somewhere else.

At September 07, 2010 10:06 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Jonathan, it certainly is disappointing and discouraging. Obama and his administration keep lying to the public and the news media keeps repeating it like parrots. It wouldn’t surprise me if many people are unaware of the refugee situation for millions of Iraqi citizens. You know sometimes the public just floors me, they really do and it’s not like I’m some kind of genius, it’s really rather frightening.

At September 07, 2010 10:18 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

I also agree with Arthur Silber on revolution. Also consider that what takes the place of the present clowns would likely only be worse and the bloodshed and destruction would be awful.


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