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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] 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." User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022 To: "1.eandubh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, IraqAntiwarDiscussion <email@example.com> From: eandubh <firstname.lastname@example.org> Mailing-List: list email@example.com; contact firstname.lastname@example.org Delivered-To: mailing list email@example.com Precedence: bulk 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. Again. 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 monsters.) 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 conclusions. 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 matter. 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 ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~--> <FONT COLOR="#000099">Buy Toner for Your Printer or Fax at LaserTonerSuperstore.com-Save 55%! 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