Why we need to talk to and educate everyone we know:
"All this was inspired by the principle - which is quite true in itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.
Adolph Hitler "Mein Kampf"
Hitler called one technique he used in governance, the misleading of the populace through mis-statements, outright lies and their repetition "The Big Lie". Read just how successfully present day goverment/media manipulation has worked, allowing Mr Bush and his administration to sway public opinion enough to break American tradition and stage a pre-emptive attack. A few samples:
In a Jan. 7 Knight Ridder/Princeton Research poll, 44% of respondents said they thought "most" or "some" of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers were Iraqi citizens. Only 17% of those polled offered the correct answer: none. This was remarkable in light of the fact that, in the weeks after 9/11, few Americans identified Iraqis among the culprits. So the level of awareness on this issue actually plunged as time passed. Is it possible the media failed to give this appropriate attention?
In the same sample, 41% said that Iraq already possessed nuclear weapons, which not even the Bush administration claimed. Despite being far off base in crucial areas, 66% of respondents claimed to have a "good understanding" of the arguments for and against going to war with Iraq.
Then, a Pew Research Center/Council on Foreign Relations survey released Feb. 20 found ...that 57% of those polled believed Saddam Hussein helped terrorists involved with the 9/11 attacks, a claim the Bush team had abandoned. A March 7-9 New York Times/CBS News Poll showed that 45% of interviewees agreed that "Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks," and a March 14-15 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found this apparently mistaken notion holding firm at 51%.
Knowing this was a crucial element of his support -- even though he could not prove the 9/11 connection -- the president nevertheless tried to bolster the link. Bush mentioned 9/11 eight times during his March 6 prime-time news conference, linking it with Saddam Hussein "often in the same breath," Linda Feldmann of The Christian Science Monitor observed last week. "Bush never pinned the blame for the [9/11] attacks directly on the Iraqi president," Feldmann wrote. "Still, the overall effect was to reinforce an impression that persists among much of the American public."
For people who go about their lives in Iraq it would have been a lot better for them if diplomatic means were used to liberate them from life under the rule of Saddam Hussein. They would not now be among the increasing numbers of folks so glibly termed "collateral damage"; a phrasing that acts in the same way as all unnecessary technical talk we hear about this or that weapon by obscuring what is really going on. It has been called "War porn".
As a kid I apprenticed to Marty the Magician, who taught me about the necessity of "patter", keeping the audience's mind engaged verbally, coupled with controlling the eyes through physical flourishes and eye contact, to be a successul 'slight of hand' artist. In "magic" people want to be fooled, bamboozled, it adds charm and mystery to life. In wartime such as this, people at home want to be bamboozled because the reality of what war is runs against the grain of commonsense and decency in even the most just seeming instances. And television is the media to accomplish this. Blending video game graphics with a sporting event sensibility wrapped in the drama of "real time" occurences, the repetitive data flow and theatrics numb the mind.
We hear a great deal about precision guided weaponry, so-called "smart bombs" that hit within fifty feet of their target:
To begin, one must distinguish between the precision with which a bomb or missile hits its intended point of impact -- often claimed to be only a few meters most of the time -- and the area within which lethal damage will be wreaked when the warhead explodes. In Iraq, for example, the much-used Joint Direct Attack Munition -- a 2,000-pound Mark-84 dumb bomb, called a JDAM, with a global positioning system's guidance kit attached to enhance its accuracy -- is supposed to strike within 13 meters (42 feet) of its intended point of impact, as compared to an error range of some 60-70 meters (some 200 feet) for its dumb counterpart. Evidently, this difference is what elicited Rumsfeld's remark about the humanity of the use of such weapons: Whereas the dumb bomb places at risk innocent souls 70 meters away, the smart one spares everybody beyond, say, 15 meters (49 feet). If only it were so.
Recalling the hugely exaggerated claims made for precision bombing in past wars, we are entitled to skepticism even with respect to the accuracy claims themselves. According to some authorities, perhaps 7 to 10 percent of the smart bombs fall beyond the claimed accuracy radius -- some of them miles away -- because of mechanical and electrical malfunctions. The potential harm caused by a 2,000-pound bomb hitting substantially off target in a city would be sufficiently obvious to anyone.
For purposes of the present discussion, however, let us concede that the bombs and missiles strike with all the accuracy claimed for them. What happens then? As described recently by Newhouse reporter David Wood, the 2000-pound JDAM "releases a crushing shock wave and showers jagged, white-hot metal fragments at supersonic speed, shattering concrete, shredding flesh, crushing cells, rupturing lungs, bursting sinus cavities and ripping away limbs in a maelstrom of destruction."
Hardly anyone survives within 120 meters (about 400 feet) of the blast, where pressures of several thousand pounds per square inch and 8,500-degree heat simply obliterate everything, human and material. Metal fragments are spewed nearly three-quarters of a mile, and bigger pieces may fly twice that far: No one within 365 meters (400 yards) can expect to remain unharmed, and persons up to 1,000 meters (over 1000 yards) or farther away from the point of impact may be harmed by flying fragments. Of course, the explosions also start fires over a wide area, which themselves may do vast damage, even to structures and people unharmed by the initial blast.
I am no munitions expert, but I am pretty good at basic math. Baghdad is a city of some 6.4 million persons living in an area of approximately 734 square kilometers -- roughly comparable to the urban areas of Boston or Detroit. If it were a perfect square it would be approximately 27 kilometers (17 miles) on a side, but the central, most densely populated part, where the prime military targets are concentrated, is a much smaller area. What are the odds that the damage wreaked by exploding 2000-pound JDAMs and other powerful munitions, such as the 1000-pound warheads on the Tomahawk missiles, will not touch the ordinary people of the city?
Taken from "Military precision versus moral precision" by Robert Higgs.
Unless we are festering with media bred jingoistic hate we have to mislead ourselves as a people to condone the bombing of a city of five million civilians, half which are under the age of fifteen, just kids. And I'm figuring half the adult population must be female. So to feel good about your countries actions you have to put up mental walls. I don't mean just the suspension of disbelief required to reconcile the ever shifting reasons the Bush regime has been floating by us for attacking Iraq, including a bunch that were shown to be outright deception, rather than using what were ever tightening diplomatic methods to disarm the despot. I'm saying an honest citizen of our country needs to stop thinking to be able to condone what Mr Bush and Administration are doing in our name. Or must have fallen victim to the "Big Lie".
Q: Can you guess who is quoted here? I'll give you a clue or two. He is an ex -military man, decorated for his performance in Gulf War 1, but also reviled for his murderous lack of humanity.
"Therefore, this bombing was also meant as a pre-emptive (or pro-active) strike against those forces and their command and control centers within the federal building. When an aggressor force continually launches attacks from a particular base of operations, it is sound military strategy to take the fight to the enemy. Additionally, borrowing a page from U.S. foreign policy, I decided to send a message to a government that was becoming increasingly hostile, by bombing a government building and the government employees within that building who represent that government. Bombing the Murrah Federal Building was morally and strategically equivalent to the U.S. hitting a government building in Serbia, Iraq, or other nations. Based on observations of the policies of my own government, I viewed this action as an acceptable option. From this perspective what occurred in Oklahoma City was no different than what Americans rain on the heads of others all the time, and, subsequently, my mindset was and is one of clinical detachment. (The bombing of the Murrah Building was not personal no more than when Air Force, Army, Navy or Marine personnel bomb or launch cruise missiles against (foreign) government installations and their personnel)"
(September 2001 "Vanity Fair" Article by Gore Vidal "The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh")
A: Timothy McVeigh
Now when it is not Mr Bush or Donald Rumsfeld Tommy Franks speaking and when the folks being murdered for a specific objective are American the obvious moral depravity of blowing people up is revealed. Innocent people. When it is a faceless people far away somehow it seems less contemptible.
People are people. No matter where they live.