Friday, April 30, 2004
( 10:04 AM )
What We Believe To Be True
Thanks to laertes for the heads up: here is the link to the latest from Paul Krugman. It starts out with an old, yet frighteningly appropriate quote:
We are all capable of believing things which we know to be
untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong,
impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were
right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process
for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or
later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually
on a battlefield." That's from George Orwell's 1946 essay
"In Front of Your Nose."
We are all aware that tomorrow marks one year since the infamous landing on the aircraft carrier and dress-up act that Bush did. I'm sure the administration is happy the anniversary falls on a Saturday so that it can try to sneak by unnoticed the fact that since Bush declared "mission accomplished," the mission has completely gone to hell in a handbasket.
We all know that there were lies told, we all know that we and the Iraqi people were manipulated and misled. We all know that ineptness has been the name of the game from day one over there. Krugman points out that this administration had a chance to turn things around, but it refused and stuck to its stubborn insistence that it's tunnel-visioned view of things would succeed.
The problem isn't with the lies and manipulation. The problem is how long will Americans continue to try to convince themselves that they are true, or that they don't matter? The DO matter. The problem created by our country in the middle east is a BIG, BIG problem - it's not just some Gulf War skirmish that is going to go away soon. As Wolfowitz demonstrated before Congress yesterday, even those in charge are flippant and uncaring about the true cost of this war:
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was
asked about the toll at a hearing of a House
Appropriations subcommittee. "It's approximately
500, of which - I can get the exact numbers -
approximately 350 are combat deaths," he
Since the war started, American casualties are at 722. I don't even think Wolfowitz or this administration will care when it reaches 1,000 or 2,000 or when Iraqi casulaties in Fallujah start coming out now that the marines are pulling back.
This is not about what they are trying to sell us, it's about what we're buying. We don't have to go along with it. Americans' daily diet of "reality tv" doesn't seem to include actual reality. I'm long past hoping this administration will change, that someone will see the light and start telling the truth. But I'm still stuck at wondering what is going on the hearts and minds of Americans who continue to believe that all is well and that we should just "stay the course."
I've said it before and I'll say it again. True patriotism isn't repeating the government's line - true patriotism is seeing the truth, declaring it loudly and standing up for it in order to make this country stronger.