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.