Talk:Weapons of mass deception (old)
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This is a comment on Johannes' remarks from another "old European" (in Germany as well) - all of you out there should know that this is NOT public opinion here. I specifically refer to the use of "hatred" in his edit - from all what I gather from various sources as a media person myself it is sheer disbelief and a state of shock. Germans have traditionally looked at at the US with less critical eyes than anyone else, but this obvious neglection of international law (as France's president just called it in his press conference following the EU summit meeting in Bruxelles) came somewhat unexpected.
I do agree, though, that there is very little supportive sentiment in the general public about the bullyish impression US leaders currently leave in the media, particularly CNN.
Fritz (how more German can a name be??) - Munich, 3-21-03
God bless America -豎眩sv
I'm a student from Munich, Germany. I just wanted to say that it's good to see that there are other, critical opinions among American people opposing America's current foreign policies.
I took part in a student exchange for three weeks with Loyola Higschool in Baltimore some years ago, and I stood myself on top of the World Trade Center once. I always felt that USA are somehow too dominating with their power in the world, but nevertheless I felt - like most of my friends - that it's a "good", democratic, safe and very interesting country and I made a lot of good experiences there.
However, already at that time I felt this pride in USA, which is almost unknown here in Germany. If I say "I'm proud to be German" maybe I'd risk to be called a "Nazi" here in my country. So I was surprised how strong this pride was in America.
But since the refuse of the Kyoto Clima Protocol, regulations for banning landmines, the International Court, etc., and with the beginning of the aggressive "War against Terrorism" I have no longer the imagination that this is pride, but simply ARROGANCE of a country which calls itself the only "god-blessed" country of the world.
And after all what happened in the past three months, all the lies, all the insults - especially against Germany -, all the accuses without a single evidence, all this propaganda and embarassment. All this arrogance and the overwhelming feeling of being so helpless against America's will and forces - really have made me so angry, and believe me, I'm not alone!! I was surprised myself how much I feel hatred inside, not against any terrorist or dictator, but against the American government, and against an American congress and public, which allows such a government to take such actions. So that I can imagine how it would feel if I'd not live in a so-called "Western" country, but in Islam countries... and I would not be surprised, if there would be new terror BECAUSE the US attacked Irak.
I was one of the millions around the world, who were on the street on February 15th and I was on the street every week since that day, and I will be on the street to protest against US foreign policies and against this cruel war far from any international law, when the strike begins.
And though often I wonder what happens inside America - whenever I find pages like this one, whenever I see background news or listen to friends from America I get back some hope, that all this will have an end, that American people will go on the street and call their leaders back.
And let me say - I found it an interesting article to read, although I have heard a lot of it already before. :)
Greetings from "old Europe".
"300,000 U.S. soldiers are about to risk their lives in the sincere belief that they are helping to make the world a better, safer place for themselves and their loved ones."
That seems too broad a statement. I don't think anyone really knows in fact what 300,000 soldiers sincerely believe. What if we said instead: "300,000 U.S. soldiers are about to risk their lives because they are duty-bound to follow the orders being given by the Commander in Chief." ?
Jsnethen 06:45 Mar 11, 2003 (EST)
I modified the statement slightly, to say "many of them undoubtedly believe." I think that's a fair assessment of their opinion. I've spoken with enough people, including relatives of soldiers, to feel confident saying that many (if not most) of them believe that they are "fighting to protect America and freedom." -- Sheldon Rampton
You sound like a bunch of boy scouts. 'Fighting to protect America' from what? Probably from the president. I believe the men have been warned of the many dangers facing them if war breaks out that all they will be thing of is their own safety. For god and country went out in Viet Nam. We can not fight terrorism in the middle east when it will be happening in the US. The world is crying peace and George is crying war. He can do it because he can send thousands to their death and wake up smiling counting oil wells.
From my personal experience, I think Sheldon is making a fairly accurate statement. I enlisted when I was 18, and I firmly believed that my service was a benefit to the nation and the world. Just goes to show that even a relatively bright 18-year-old doesn't know much about political reality. There were about 60 guys in my platoon, and only 5 of them were over 20 years old. The "kids" were very gung ho, unquestioning. This was in the early 1980's, so the experience is dated, but definitely post-Viet Nam.
Jrv 12:57 Mar 11, 2003 (EST)
The following passage is written in the first person and really doesn't focus on examining the propaganda aspects of the pending war with Iraq, so I've moved it from the article to here for the time being:
It Will Cost All That Makes Us America To Become Rome
What’s really going on here?!? I feel like the child in the story of the Emperor’s New Cloths who knows something stinks while everyone else in the story panders and praises the wonderful cloths worn by the emperor who was really naked for all to see. Deep down most people know the 9/11 terrorist event was just too convenient for this administration and it’s Iran-Contra war-party hawks. Not only is this illegitimate Supreme Court appointed dictatorship made legitimate by 9/11, but the hawks were able to ‘send us all a message’, saying, “If you don’t want another 9/11, you better let us have our wars”. Now we are about to start a war against a pre-defeated regime in Iraq with the arrogant presumption that it is our responsibility to change the regime. There was once a time when America abhorred the idea of attacking another country out of the blue because we felt the leader had to die. On top of this is the evidence under my nose that we have set Iraq up for this from the beginning. It’s no secret that America these days only attacks defenseless countries, which have been pummeled mercilessly with the latest in bomb technology. That has been the landscape in Iraq since the end of a war 12 years ago where controversial No-fly zones have been maintained by America and Briton. The hypocrisy of our self-righteous need to wage war with Iraq is underscored by the only female US Ambassador to a Muslim country telling Soddam Hussein that America wouldn’t mind it if he invaded Kuwait in response to Kuwait’s aggression of slant drilling Iraq’s oil. Let’s also not forget that those gas attacks used to kill Kurds, (which we mention constantly to justify our cause), were at the time defended by non other than Donald Rumsfield before the UN in the first Bush administration. In fact the same old Iraq war players are conspicuously now our new Iraq war players; Cheney, Rumsfield, and Wolfowitz to name only three. What’s happening here? The Bush Presidency can now be credited with a Fatherland Security Agency to rival the USSR’s old KGB, a USA Patriot Act to replace our ‘irrelevant’ constitution, pre-emptive strike policies worthy of Hitler’s envy, a secret government, assassinations and regime change as accepted foreign policy, and an undeclared war pitting intimidation against terrorism. What next, concentration camps for poor people and potheads? This is not the America I was raised to believe in, however it is exactly what us conspiracy advocates have been warning of for decades. America has embraced the irresistible temptation to become an Empire like ancient Rome. Right wing extremists are obviously at the bottom of this, as they use words like “benevolent global hegemony” to candy coat the word Empire, which might still not sit well with traditional Americans. The problem, as I see it, is that we are having trouble calling a spade a spade. We dance around the truth with pandering and Bush butt kissing, as if we were afraid of what that truth really is. These same Iraq war players have been making plans for the 21st Century since the end of the Iraq war. One of the papers produced since the first Gulf war, which completely outlines their plans is “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” by the Project for the New American Century. This document IS the Bush administration’s defense policy implemented with impunity since 9/11. The document reads like a 21st Century "Mein Kampf" as it constantly asserts that America, (the indisputably mightiest nation on Earth), is allowing itself to become weak militarily and needs to be re-built, re-positioned, re-financed, and made the dominant force in the 21st Century. Time to call a spade a spade. The military, is seizing this moment in history to re-position our forces in Asia and the Middle East, increase military spending, and implement, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” to the letter. That is the real reason for this saber rattling about Iraq who is specifically mentioned in the document for this very purpose. There is no talk of an exit strategy because there isn’t going to be one. America is on the brink of a decision that will totally redefine the Middle East in terms of America’s interests, as well as redefining America. They have set it up perfect to the point where not even I can disagree that Hussein is a tyrant and menace who deserves to be overthrown, but that doesn’t make it America’s business. All the while, 12 years of indifferent bombing, has resulted in the deaths of millions and eroded the very soul of our once noble country. No foreign power has killed millions of our citizens with arrogant impunity in or out of war. We can’t pretend to know what that is like. The problem with America concurring the world is that America must be concurred along with the rest of the world. That explains the USAPatriot act and other increases in police state power to make us more secure while making us all feel less secure at the same time. There are played-down flaws in this plan which grossly under-estimates the reaction from that elusive rest of the world getting bolder with opposition to America everyday. We need to seriously ask ourselves at this time if the responsibilities of Empire are what Americans really want. Empires become hard to maintain and history makes clear that they are inclined to bite off more than they can chew, grow bigger than their britches and ultimately degenerate into chaos. America may be able to handle it or we may find ourselves falling into the exact same trap which brought down the empire of the Soviet Union. The Russian war in Afghanistan was instrumental in ruining the Russian economy and demoralizing their populations leading ultimately to failure. Now America has propped up an ex-oil industry president/dictator in Afghanistan holding power by a thread. Even if everything goes according to Bush’s extravagant war plans we are still going to break the US economy and they don’t really seem to mind. Although the downfall of Russia made it a democracy, the undoing of America appears to be intended to make us a dictatorship. They may be looking forward to a bankrupt America to provide an excuse allowing Homeland Security to round up poor people and potheads for their concentration camps. America vs. the rest of the world is not the way, (certainly not the American way), to go. I think America is inherently scared of sharing our prosperity. We know we represent something like 1% of the world using 90% of all resources, and we fear having to share that with the rest of the world. This is refutable. Economies can be grown like crops, and there is enough to go around. We seem to be most afraid of countries that are most like us. That obviously was our problem with the USSR, and Iraq is the only secular Muslim State in the Middle East. Even the “axis of evil” player Iran is the only Muslim democracy in the Middle East. The truth we will face, one way or the other is that the world has been shrinking and individual sovereignties are panicking because they are loosing control of the world. The powers that be desperately try to clamp down on our growing populations with Homeland security departments and new laws but when all is said and done, the meek shall inherit the Earth and the power mad shall be outnumbered and “made irrelevant”. The ambitions of these right wing extremists are not without merit. Maintaining a dominant force in the world doesn’t have to be a bad idea, but they are implementing it like there is no tomorrow with all the bloodlust of Attila the Hun. All the goals of “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” could be implemented over a longer period of time successfully without turning us into the resurrection of Nazi Germany and without bankrupting the American economy. But that isn’t in the plan. America should save its soul and remain America. The UN isn’t a bad idea and Iraq is their business, not ours. Estimates on oil production gives us 20 to 40 years left of available oil, but that doesn’t have to mean we’ll have nothing to drive soon. There are too many solutions to account for the world’s problems. America stands at this time at the crossroads between being America or Rome. Working democratically with the world is the best way for us to spread our American values of freedom and democracy. We the people need to wrest our foreign policy from the hate-filled warmongers currently in charge. This new foreign policy must favor the prosperity of the masses over prosperity of global corporations and elite aristocracies. America dominates the world best when it is with our American values. That is the American way and also incidentally what the rest of the world happens to love about us. The new foreign policy will either be Hitler’s or US and it is still our choice. If anything good can come from 9/11, it may just have been the emerging fact that now we as a people care about the rest of the world we were happy to ignore before. Rumsfield recently commented that Iraq couldn’t possibly become WWIII. Of this I’m not so sure but I do believe it could become another Vietnam. We lost Vietnam because adversaries like Russia and China were willing to provide whatever arms and money North Vietnam needed to defeat American invasion. The same countries have interests in Iraq, as well as in humbling the American Beast, which could make them the covert suppliers of a drawn out war we so far aren’t planning on. We have entrusted the planning of this war to warhawks who don’t even have any direct experience of war outside the games of politics. In 1939 Hitler responded to “Polish terrorism” with a pre-emptive strike that consequently rallied the rest of the world against Germany and began WWII. Americans need to make a stand and draw the line on this Iraq war issue to show the rest of the world how a democracy really works. The anti-war protests over the last couple months all over the world have been larger than even during Vietnam and a war hasn’t even been declared or started yet. We must fight for this because it is the very soul of our country and all we were raised to believe in, that we are fighting for. We must fight this “Pax Americana” even if we fail. That way at least when Bush and company are standing trial in the Hague for their war crimes, we will be able to sleep with ourselves at night resting assured that we did the right thing for the sake of the world we are about to become.