News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Monday, March 12, 2007

You must apologize if you call it like it is

When Sen. John McCain announced his candidacy for the presidency on David Letterman's show, he said that lives of our military service people had been wasted in Iraq. That word "wasted" drew the raging ire of people who said it was an insult to the troops who gave their lives. The next day he apologized and said he should have used the word "sacrificed."

Just what the fuck is the difference? There isn't any. When lives are "sacrificed" in a contrived vanity war of insanity and atrocity, they are wasted. They were given for no honest and substantial purpose, other than to prosecute a war that, a la 1984, was advanced on a rhetorical premise that if one did not support the war, one was cowardly against terror and traitorous, and if one did not endorse the killing of our service people, one was betraying our troops.

The big question facing the country is how so many people became so duped that they could fall for such transparently false rhetoric and be cowed into being exactly the kind of society Orwell depicted in 1984. The answer is that George W. Bush and the Band of Big Brothers applied exactly those techniques of propaganda that Orwell used his novel to warn us about. The people re-elected George W. Bush in 2004 because the majority was so undereducated and so conditioned (read brain-washed) by the techniques of advertising propaganda and the appeal to the reptilian mentality that they supported Bush and rose up in rage against any who opposed and criticised him.

Critics of culture have noted that America underwent a serious intellectual and moral decline in the Viet Nam era and it has been continuing ever since. While many people who participated in the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement did so on a sound intellectual basis, many of the participants were merely programmed automatons who donned their political postures with the same spirit that they donned hoola hoops and love beads. It was a matter of youth-cult fashion, not of competently grasped issues and ideas. Fortunately, the people they followed were leading from more substantial intellectual positions.

These are essentially the same people who whimpered and cowered after 9/11 and followed George Bush and Dick Cheney into what must be the most obscene and venal episode in American history.

Now the cowering crew is lining up behind the proposition that if we leave Iraq we will leave that region of the world in a mess and the terrorists will come to America and make it the killing field.

We created that mess in Iraq. It did not happen without our billions of dollars and our policies. The rest of the world seems to understand that. Why does our debate on the war on Iraq devolve down to such sham issues?

Because we do not have enough people educated enough or shrewd enough to know that there is no significant difference between the words "sacrifice" and "wasted" in this context. And so, we will make the few who dare speak in accurate terms apologize for doing so. And our troops will continue to be blown away.

Eventually, so will our nation.

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