A Lie Told Often Enough Becomes the Truth

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What better way to begin this discussion than with a quote from Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

I have recently started reading American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips, a former Nixon strategist and author/brainchild of "The Emerging Republican Majority," written in 1969, in which among many other things he urged the Republicans to begin a Southern strategy to essentially take the sun belt from the Democrats while rejecting the established liberal thought of the Northeast. American Theocracy is his latest work, and is a critique in part of what he hath wrought: the danger of oil dependency, radical American religion and our culture of debt.

This is not a book to start your morning with.

I'm not going to do a book review here. Buy it and read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions. But there are several things that are becoming a little more clear for me as I read this book. To begin:

Ultimately, especially in the "oil" and "religion" sections of the book, there is much emphasis on the state of affairs in Iraq, as well as a critique of the auspices under which we went to Iraq and the real underlying reasons; the truth of it all. I think the author's point here is much deeper than "we did a bad thing" or even "we could have avoided a bad thing had we read our history books." Those are mantras that are quite simply used-up and unconstructive. They get us nowhere other than towards winning some sort of "told-you-so" match which is awesome for fifth-graders but not quite so cool for global policy debate.

I think the real point is that the truth is told. The truth becomes important now in our current affairs in the Middle East because it makes us more adamant to question our own Government's motives for future moves. The more the general public understands real motivations behind global policy decisions, the more the "silent majority" becomes vocal. It's really about government transparency.

Here's where this gets more sad for me: our fearless media. Our administrations can be so transparent as to be crystal but if nobody picks up on the facts, we are doomed to trusting our politicians, which has worked really well for us. Again, though, this is not a lament for what could have been avoided. This is a plea for future vigilance.

I know it's tough for a historically-based reason why our third trip to Iraq in a century is absolutely in support of an oil hegemon to compete with the dramatic excitement of the upcoming NASCAR race or the Masters tournament. But our obsession with being entertained rather than informed reaches a ridiculous point when our own allies' media is quick to call their own administrations to the mat for the same things we're doing. How come the Brits will listen to their media, who actually reports this stuff, and all we get is silence? A recent poll in Britain, released Monday, shows that 71% of Labour Party members want Blair to leave office by September of '07. Bush? He's up 'cause we done killt one uh them tersts.

In the end, this is about lies compounded by hiding the truth, and the only real traction we get is from Kevin Phillips and two comedians on a network that airs Mad TV marathons every Saturday. We established that Bush isn't trustworthy (though he's up, his poll numbers are still the lowest ever). We need to continue to establish that there is a deeper agenda to decisions made in his administration.

It is equally important to note that the Demmycrats are in no way absolved from their equally nefarious connections to big oil and reliance on debt.

More thoughts on this later as I read the book and sort things out in my head. This is just a start. The endgame is campaign reform, FOIA reform, sweeping prohibitions on how many media outlets can be owned by the same corporation and heavier funding of public television and radio.

Update: Case in Point. This is what I mean about media accountability. The headline on Fox News: Hundreds [emphasis added] of WMDs Found in Iraq. The real story, buried deeper within, after most mouth-breathers gave up reading sinec there were no pictures: that a spokesman for the DoD said

"This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991," the official said, adding the munitions "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."

I need a beer.


Mr Furious 9:13 AM  

I need a beer.

No kidding. Don't stop with just one.

Smitty 10:47 AM  

If I stay drunk, none of this matters.

Anonymous,  1:23 PM  

How about an end to corporations with interests outside of the media being banned from owning radio, TV or print?

Case in point: NBC is owned by General Electric, which in addition to be the maker of electrical appliances, is also a defense contractor.

Seems they may have some interest in how citizens judge the policies of our government. Call me silly.


PS - Where's Red, White and Blue.. er...Brew in all this. Did he die?

Anonymous,  1:24 PM  

...uh, I mean, ban them , not end banning them...duh.

Otto Man 6:33 PM  

American Theocracy certainly is a depressing read, but it's addressing a lot of issues that get to the heart of the current maladministration's success.

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