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[casi] Fwd: [iac-disc.] NOW they Care about the Lies. . . . . . .

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Roger Stroope
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff USA

During the war crimes trials at Nuremberg, psychologist Gustave Gilbert
visited Nazi Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering in his prison cell. "We got around to
the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not
think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war
and destruction," Gilbert wrote in his journal, Nuremberg Diary.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would
some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can
get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? ... That is
understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy
and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a
democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parliament or a communist dictatorship
... That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and
denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to
danger. It works the same way in any country."

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Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 12:26:43 -0700
Subject: [iac-disc.] NOW they Care about the Lies. . . . . . .

Now They Care

One day early this year, as war loomed, I began to wonder why I cared so
much about so many things. Too many. Others around me seemed  less disturbed
by it all, less tense. I envied their equanimity. In my quest for Peace, had
I abandoned Inner Peace? As I considered the vast list of things I seem to
care too much about -  trying to decide  whether I should weed it out, or
throw it out,  another  student  in the library checkout line  ­ crushed ­
broke the horrible news to me:  the Lakers had LOST. He was so young (the
proper age for college, unlike myself) and so sad,  I felt it necessary to
feign commiseration. "That's awful," I said with feeling, and looked as
somber as I could.

But I was relieved, even elated, because this guy had obviously been sent by
a mischievous Higher Power to remind me there were indeed things I don't
care about.

There was much hope in that prewar period, as Bush snarled and bluffed  and
bullied us into war. There was the lovely leaven of the newly wakened peace
movement. While Bush wriggled in anticipation of the carnage ahead, millions
were turning out to challenge the  impending slaughter; millions all over
the world. That better, more peaceful, just and loving society so many have
sought so long seemed tantalizingly near.

But those for whom the bombing of cities equals profits, those who suffer
under some national or personal inferiority complex that goads them always
to "stand tall,"  those for whom the humiliation of a nation and its people
is deeply gratifying ­ and  those others ­ those Shadowy Powers whose real
motives are not spoken­ won the day.


Militarily of course, they won in Iraq as well. How could the richest, most
obscenely armed nation on earth possibly lose?  And despite the inferno our
leaders were willing to loose on cities, neighborhoods, markets, and tv
stations, the all-important Oil Ministry and the oil fields themselves, were
unmiraculously unharmed, that the "spice" might flow - Under New Management.

The Big Lies were spectacularly successful here in the U.S., if nowhere
else. Polls taken during the war indicated most Americans believed Saddam
Hussein was behind the 9/11 ­ just as they'd once believed that Iraq's
non-ally, Afghanistan, was behind it while we bombed and killed THERE. A
large percentage believed  Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden (when his name
was remembered at all) conspired  in  the destruction of the World Trade
Center. (Their only real link, ironically, is that each of them had once
been favored, funded, and encouraged by the CIA ­ like  other long-forgotten

After we took Iraq, most Americans remained under the erroneous impression
that Saddam Hussein had possessed  Weapons of Mass Destruction, and that
they'd been found ­ perhaps because corrections don't get the big, flashy
headlines. A  puzzling percentage thought  he'd used them during the
conflict! But in fact, there WERE no WMDs in Iraq, and though there have
been dark hints that Saddam Hussein smuggled them to a NEW enemy nation (
location and Villain-in-Chief To Be Announced) it defies belief that the
Beast Saddam would scruple to inflict mass destruction on our forces, even
in the defense of the capital, and of his own regime, perhaps of his life.

In the end, all we found were balsa wood airplanes, hydrogen balloon labs,
dismantled nuclear sites, and other non-weapons.  The prewar "evidence" is a
disreputable crazy quilt of plagiarism, slander, forgery, innuendo and
exaggeration; stitched with care into One Big Lie.

It looks very much as if we first bullied Iraq into divesting itself of all
meaningful weaponry, and then moved in for the kill. It doesn't seem
unreasonable to suppose that ordinary citizens of Iraq have drawn similar

After the Victory, things took a downturn.  The Iraqis, who were supposed to
turn out to greet our young heroes with flowers (and, no doubt, lots of
girls willing to take 'em on for chocolate or stockings, α la World Wars One
and Two) were skeptical, frightened, even hostile. Demonstrating - in their
new-found liberty - against our occupation, got them shot. The soldiers,
drawn from our own most desperate classes, trashed the airport for fun. The
conquerors staged phony triumphal events like the pulling down of Saddam's
statue, and - most tactlessly - the planting of Old Glory. The palaces were
filled with new - but foreign - dictators. For the remedy of everyday
problems, citizens must present their issues to young soldiers who neither
speak their language, nor have any power to solve them. Deadly new rules,
checkpoints, frightened, trigger-happy young soldiers unskilled in  police
methods fired on them, their children, their homes - they just didn't Feel
the Freedom.

Now Iraqis on the street cheer when one of our soldiers is killed - a
depressingly frequent occurrence. They don't want us there. We finally
bought the world a Coke and all they seem to want is water! They say that
after the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein's regime had the electricity and
water systems repaired within a month. But if we lack the monster's cruel
intentions, we also lack his efficiency, and apparently, his talent for
smoothly running the society he ruled. We are so efficient in slaughter, so
ingenious in the device of cluster bombs which still menace civilian homes
and streets, so tenderly careful of their precious oil. So heroic! How can
we be so CLUMSY in running Iraq?

How many Americans does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Are we  incapable
of making power stations work? Too incompetent to fix the plumbing? Where
are the Sea Bees - or their landlubbing equivalents? How hard can it be to
guard a museum? I know a few security guards, not unintelligent fellows by
any means, but not nuclear scientists ­ or even oil engineers, for that

They speculate that we want to keep them poor. We say we want to help - but
that "help" will come in the form of  loans, which they will be forced to
pay back for who knows how long - an old story. I have known many a poor
family who were "helped" out of house and home by such loans ­ the main
difference being that the lenders did not, in the first place cause the
damage that made the loans desirable.  We boast of bringing them freedom ­
but what we mean by freedom is the privatization of their once-admirable
health and education systems. They are suffering, close to the edge of
hunger, and destitute ­ for some reason the prospect of all their
nationalized services being up for sale doesn't seem to please them. If they
ever held any great hopes for our conquest, most  have been lost; they want
us to leave.

We probably won't leave, though, because we almost never do - especially
under pressure or threat. We are Conquerors, and the more they resist us,
the more we must assert our dominance. That is the thinking that kept us in
mired in Vietnam and cost 50,000 American lives - and millions of Vietnamese
lives (but we don't count those).  Bush will stay in Iraq, however many poor
young soldiers must be sacrificed! We will impose Freedom on Iraq (a strange
new sort of freedom, with censored newspapers, handpicked leaders, and
banned political parties) whether they want it or not. If it looks like a
war, we must stay, because something in our national character, refuses to
lose, however foolish, bloody, and hopeless the cause.

And now the lies that drew us into this trap are scuttling out into the
light. Sneaky little lies. Ugly lies. Lies big enough to drive an honorable
man to suicide, to incur resignations among our diplomats (ah, but that was
before the war, and the media wasn't all that interested). Big enough to
incite rounds of finger-pointing, creative guilt-avoidance techniques, noble
spears-in-the-chest, and to inspire the concoction of many new and improved
"reasons" for smashing Iraq.

Americans are beginning to wonder what we've gotten ourselves into. And why.
Soldiers die every day at the hands of Iraqis. Iraqis continue to die as
well­ that is  of scant importance to those in charge of The Daily Spin, but
it may be a clue to the reasons our soldiers are dying. Nevermind: I have
learned it is unAmerican to care about civilian deaths - or lives - in Iraq.
Or Afghanistan. Or anywhere we intend to plant our flag. I can't think why I
mentioned it.

For months the media ignored signs that the evidence for the war was cooked
up. In fact, they enthusiastically facilitated the propaganda. I wrote in
April to one reporter who had - in a  New York Times article, rather slyly
compared the numbers of our war dead in Iraq to the numbers killed in the
Twin Towers. I asked her why she made this insidious connection:

> In your article.
>> "THE CASUALTIES: While Mourning Dead, Public Seems to Tolerate War's Toll,"
> Jodi Wilgoren with Adam Nagourney wrote,
>> "Others noted that the 88 killed in Iraq was just a fraction of the more than
>> 3,000 who died on Sept. 11, 2001."
> Please tell me­ what has September 11, 2001 have to do with what we are doing
>to Iraq? To repeat this propagandistic  misidentification (which has become a
> popular misconception) is to give credit to an insidious lie, a lie which you
>know - you HAVE to know - is a lie.

Ms. Wilgoren replied that she hadn't actually SAID there WAS a connection. I
replied that I seemed to find this odd couple suggestively  paired in
articles and speeches everywhere, without clarification or disclaimer, a
pairing which naturally gave rise to a "cause and effect" impression - and
that by that time, most people seemed to think Iraq WAS behind the
hijackings - could that be because the two subjects were "linked" so often?

She answered that she hadn't thought about it. (An amusing but disingenuous
answer ­ coming from anyone who writes professionally.)

And now the media are beginning to Investigate. NOW they Care. Well that's
good, of course. Lies ­ especially the lies that cost lives ­ should be
exposed, as should the agenda of  Halliburton and Bechtel and (dare I say?)
the (Bush-bin Laden) Carlyle Group.  As should the openly hegemonic schemes
of  the  all-too-influential Project For a New American Century.

Only, I kind of wish they'd cared BEFORE we set out to maim and  kill
thousands of Iraqis (and Afghanis ­ another quagmire lagely unnoticed now)
and sacrifice our own young men and women, and trash a once prosperous
country in pursuit of that other Secret Word, empire. I wish they'd cared as
those lies were used to rationalize the sacking of our Constitution. There
was a time when the exposure of lies could have meant something.

Slαn a chara,
Adrien Rain Burke
> "He's either alive, or he's alive
> and injured badly, or he's dead.. . . ."
>> Donald Rumsfeld on the fate of Osama bin Laden:
>"Death has a tendency to encourage
>a depressing view of war."
>>Donald Rumsfeld when questioned about Iraq War fatalities

>> Abraham Lincoln on President James Polk, 1848 :
> ³Trusting to escape scrutiny by fixing the public gaze upon the exceeding
> brightness of military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of
> blood ‹that serpentΉs eye, that charms to destroy ­ he plunged into war.²


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