Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

October 15, 2007

Re: The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us

Filed under: media, politics — codesmithy @ 10:52 am

Frank Rich as a column in the New York Times called “The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us.” Where he argues that “we”, meaning the American people, are lying to ourselves. We are lying to ourselves about whether our country tortures, lying to ourselves about truly “supporting the troops” and lying to ourselves about the nature of the conflict in Iraq.

All this is true, but with all due respect to Mr. Rich, placing the blame on the American public is a tad disingenuous. Opinion makers in the mass media are the so-called “guardians of outrage.” The American public is outraged about the scandals and abuse that the George W. Bush has wrought. There were large anti-war protests before and at the start of the invasion of Iraq, they’ve continued, and will go on into the future. Do I think more should be done, definitely.

However, the United States is a representative democracy. I don’t blame people from being slow on the up-take about Bush’s abuses. They have been consistently downplayed in the media by the opinion makers to this day.

From Joe Klein

The release of Pelosi’s letter last week and the subsequent Times story (“Agency First Acted on Its Own to Broaden Spying, Files Show”) left the misleading impression that a) Hayden had launched the controversial data-mining operation on his own, and b) Pelosi had protested it. But clearly the program didn’t exist when Pelosi wrote the letter. When I asked the Congresswoman about this, she said, “Some in the government have accused me of confusing apples and oranges. My response is, it’s all fruit.”

A dodgy response at best, but one invested with a larger truth. For too many liberals, all secret intelligence activities are “fruit,” and bitter fruit at that. The government is presumed guilty of illegal electronic eavesdropping until proven innocent. This sort of civil-liberties fetishism is a hangover from the Vietnam era, when the Nixon Administration wildly exceeded all bounds of legality—spying on antiwar protesters and civil rights leaders.

Joe Klein, where fourth amendment protections are examples of “civil-liberties fetishism.” I wonder if Joe Klein will apologize for his remark if it turns out Cindy Sheehan was spied on. Who am I kidding, opinion makers never apologize for anything.

Or David Brooks, Mr. Rich’s colleague at the New York Times, who takes any opinion he may hold and “bullshits” to give the mistaken impression that it is the opinion of most Americans.

To the Bill O’Reilly’s of the world who remind us what a horrible world we would live in if the Constitution of the United States were actually respected.

So just talking about your personal security, would you support President John Edwards? Remember, no coerced interrogation, civilian lawyers in courts for captured overseas terrorists, no branding the Iranian guards terrorists, and no phone surveillance without a specific warrant.

“Talking Points” believes most Americans reject that foolishness.

Put simply, the federal government has consistently failed to uphold the values in the Constitution and the will of the people. The media, the fourth branch of government and corporate enablers, has consistently told people that if they felt outraged about it, they were well outside the mainstream, loony-lefties, unpatriotic, endangering the country and inviting another attack. If one combines this with the fact that this war has specifically designed to only impact a small minority of the population, it is not hard to see how we come to the current state of affairs. There have been grass-root actions, but they have ignored and sometimes even condemned by the representatives who claim to represent the people and downplayed or ignored in the media. There is outrage, and it hasn’t been silent; it has been silenced.

So, before Mr. Rich compares us to the “Good Germans” who lived in Germany during Hitler’s reign. Instead of blaming people for their supposed complicity in the matter, how about pointing out what people can do to fix the problems instead perpetuating the cycle of: calling them crazy to begin with, dismissing anything they try to do, condemning anything that works and then finally blaming people for not doing anything?

There are consequences when people in leadership positions make mistakes. It will take time to sort it all out. The Iraq War has been a tragedy from the beginning, will be a stage for hardship as long as it lasts and will have consequences far into the future. The War and America’s conduct during it will be a vast stain on our record. However, the inconvenient truth to those in the media is not the degree that American people were unaware of it, but rather how the media propagated Bush’s lies and called anyone who dissented “Bad Americans.” (it was our constitutional right to disagree, however one could hardly call the playing field fair).

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