Northern Valley Beacon

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005


When America died

The Washington Post/ABC News poll indicates that 55 percent of Americans think they were deliberately misled into the war on Iraq by the Bush administration. Actually that is no change from what other polls indicated during the months following our invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In a summary of a CBS News poll in, over the fall months of 2003, 40 percent of the people believed that the Bush administration hid elements of the information presented to the people and 15 percent thought it was outright lying. That is 55 percent of the people who believed they were not receiving the full truth right after the invasion, the same as those who currently believe the Bush administration was fooling them.

On the question of whether the people believed the administration line on weapons of mass destruction in 2003, 67 percent did. But 31 percent believed they were misled about WMDs. From the outset of the war and the propaganda blitz leading up to it, there has been a very sizable group of skeptics.

The big question is why the skeptics among us did not receive more acknowledgment in Congress. Terry Neal in the Washington Post reviews that situation today.

"After issuing a string of confusing comments about where he stood on his vote to authorize war in Iraq, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), has finally taken a stand -- albeit a year too late for his political aspirations.

"Several other high-profile Democrats, including Sens. Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Diane Feinstein (Calif.), Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Christopher Dodd (Conn.) are stepping up as well and expressing regret for voting for the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq.

"As a majority of the American public has reached the conclusion that they have been, as Malcolm X might have once put it, "hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, and run amok," some Democratic leaders in Washington are finding it comfortable to publicly renounce their votes in favor of the war resolution."

In a report from the Press Project on the way the media handled propaganda during the 2004 campaign, some of the analysts have suggested that we are, indeed, in the age of George Orwell's Oceania in which the citizens are kept in a state of cowering obeisance by the use of media that monitors everything they do and washes their brains with a constant stream of what they are to perceive and what they are to think. For many of us Democrats, we feel betrayed by representatives who did not give more credence to that 55 percent of citizens who had serious doubts about the veracity of what they were being told in 2003. We thought we were being fooled then and we think so now. (We love the slogan of a South Dakota blog that says, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, and that's enough.")

The Press Project does analysis of the kind of rhetoric and style used in the campaign, particularly about the war on Iraq. The analysis points out that the rhetoric of the American right is almost all based on ad hominem attacks--defamation, character assassination, false accusations--and upon a bullying belligerence that has little concern about what is true and what is not.

The discomfiting aspect is that a majority of Americans were ignored by a politicians who were cowed into submission for fear that they would be called unpatriotic and traitorous if they questioned the information that was used to justify the war on Iraq. Their cowering tremors turned into violent quaking when they saw what the administration did to its critics Hans Blix, Paul O'Neill, and Richard Clarke.

But that 55 percent of Americans who doubted the Bush line did not push on their representatives to challenge that information--until the Bush administration had crumbled into such a state of pathetic disarray that it had no credibility, and the Senate found courage to throw itself into closed session to prosecute the search for the lies about Iraq.

In the face of Bush's corporate autocracy, there were few legislators and few citizens who dared to defy Big Brother Bush. The America that produced the Greatest Generation is fast dying--if it isn't dead already.

You know, being an obstructionist is a good thing. I'm glad to see the democratic senators are finally getting a back bone.
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