From CounterPunch's Paul Craig Roberts, "Blind Ignorance". Clips:
Two recent polls, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll and a New York Times/CBS News poll, indicate why Bush is getting away with impeachable offenses. Half of the US population is incapable of acquiring, processing and understanding information.Justin Raimondo, at Antiwar.com rightly assigns the "stupid is as stupid does" responsibility ribbon in "Hamas, Son of Isreal". Snip:
Much of the problem is the media itself, which serves as a disinformation agency for the Bush administration. Fox "News" and right-wing talk radio are the worst, but with propagandistic outlets setting the standard for truth and patriotism, all of the media is affected to some degree.
Despite the media's failure, about half the population has managed to discern that the US invasion of Iraq has not made them safer and that the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties is not a necessary component of the war on terror. The problem, thus, lies with the absence of due diligence on the part of the other half of the population . . .
It is extraordinary that anyone would think Americans are safer as a result of Bush invading two Muslim countries and constantly threatening two more with military attack. The invasions and threats have caused a dramatic swing in Muslim sentiment away from the US.
Prior to Bush's invasion of Iraq, a large majority of Muslims had a favorable opinion of America. Now only about 5 percent do.
A number of US commanders in Iraq and many Middle East experts have told the American public that the three year-old war in Iraq is serving both to recruit and to train terrorists for al Qaeda, which has grown many times its former size. Moreover, the US military has concluded that al Qaeda has succeeded in having its members elected to the new Iraqi government . . .
And now with the triumph of Hamas in the Palestinian election, we see the total failure of Bush's Middle Eastern policy. Bush has succeeded in displacing secular moderates from Middle Eastern governments and replacing them with Islamic extremists. It boggles the mind that this disastrous result makes Americans feel safer!
What does it say for democracy that half of the American population is unable to draw a rational conclusion from unambiguous facts?
Amid all the howls of pain and gnashing of teeth over the triumph of Hamas in the Palestinian elections, one fact remains relatively obscure, albeit highly relevant: Israel did much to launch Hamas as an effective force in the occupied territories. If ever there was a clear case of "blowback," then this is it. As Richard Sale pointed out in a piece for UPI:Sound familiar, kiddies? Anyone? Anyone? Rummy and Saddam in the '80s?
"Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel 'aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),' said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic [and International] Studies. Israel's support for Hamas 'was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,' said a former senior CIA official."
And the plot, as they say, sickens. Charles Sullivan, at OpEd News, tells us that we are "Standing at the brink". Excerpts:
Let us understand that we are witnessing history in the process of repeating itself, as it so often does. Our ignorance of unwritten history is what dooms us to repeat it. So much of written history has been fictionalized to make martyrs of the worst kind of human beings. What is happening in America today has parallels to events that unfolded in other nations in modern history; and always with catastrophic results for humankind. Most notable, perhaps, was the rise to power of Nazism embodied by Adolph Hitler last century.So now that we done gotcher 'tenshun, yuh dumb f***s, let me sell yuh sum right smart stuff. Even if you don't buy the books, please do note their publication dates, aiight?
Norman Livergood has summed up the American predicament most accurately and succinctly.
"American citizens must realize that the Democratic Party leaders have now caved in to the Republican Party.
The so called “compromise” was nothing more than an abject capitulation by the Democrats to Republican threats. The Neanderthal, right-wing, reactionary judges Bush demanded will now be confirmed.
We are in Germany, 1933. The so-called moderate German leaders have deluded themselves into believing they can “control” Hitler by capitulation to him—with the connivance of Goering, his henchman has seized all power through the “Enabling Act,” destroying the Reichstag (House and Senate). Hitler has suspended elections and appointed himself Dictator.
The reign of terror has begun!"
Norman Livergood’s words should sound hauntingly familiar. They should alarm any wakeful citizen and make their skin crawl with repulsion. The people, made ignorant by the aide of a condescending commercial media that is a servant to power, reassuringly whisper to themselves that this cannot be happening to us, not here. That was then, this is now. A different climate existed in Nazi Germany than exists here in America. Our president and his coterie are our protectors, as well as defenders of freedom and democracy. They are people of faith, church-goers. We must place our faith in them as servants to humanity.
How, then, do we find ourselves in the condition of a rat inescapably suffocating within the coils of a Boa Constrictor, gasping its final breath? The end is coming and it is coming soon, if we do not awaken from our collective stupor. The life is being strangled out of us and we do not even struggle to free ourselves. We think we are a free people with inalienable rights, as the reptile prepares to swallow its prey. Naiveté, as well as ignorance, can get us killed.
Hmph! You still here? Ok, a couple of news notes: