Friday, July 13, 2007

The big lie... the old technique

I have no time to post today (as I need to meet deadlines for writing some things for which I'll actually get paid), but I just can't resist...

AJ at Americablog discusses what seems to be a directed effort to repeat the Iraq-invasion-era misguiding of the American public, no doubt to offer some political cover for the beleaguered administration. Every day we hear the same mantra from the White House, that we face the epic battle for the future of Western civilization in confrontation with Al-Qaeda in Iraq (usefully conflated with Al Qaeda more generally), who will follow the troops home if they aren't first defeated in Iraq, and who therefore represent the principal threat there. As AJ writes,

This is, quite simply, completely and totally false.

Anyone who claims that the so-called al Qaeda in Iraq group is the "principal threat" to anything in that nation -- whether its citizens, the government, the political process, or any specific ethnic or sectarian group -- is either grossly ignorant of the realities of the Iraq war or blatantly lying. I honestly have no idea which it is in this case, though it's worth noting that the chief U.S. military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, was employed as a Special Assistant to the President prior to his current appointment.

Most reliable estimates put the fundamentalist/jihadist/al Qaeda actors in Iraq at around 3-5% of the total insurgency, with virtually no approximations exceeding 10%. I really cannot overstate how misleading it is to focus on al Qaeda when the driving forces of the conflict are average, native, very pissed-off -- but not religious fundamentalist -- Iraqis. The vast majority of the Sunni population is relatively secular (more secular, in fact, than Iraqi Shia), and even tacit support of jihadists is founded in anti-American sentiment. Even the sectarian violence is fueled more by localized conflicts between Sunni and Shia families, tribes, and militias than by al Qaeda.

It is true that AQI groups commit the most spectacular attacks, including the vast majority of suicide bombings, but if the underlying problems were solved, or even addressed (including, but not limited to, oil revenue sharing, federalism, de-Ba'athification, provincial elections, etc.), AQI would lose most of its ability to operate because it would have no support on the ground.

As Ian Welch points out at The Agonist, what's most disturbing is the stark effectiveness of this old technique of telling the Big Lie often enough until most people believe it:

The administration just keeps saying it, and saying it and saying it and the media, including the print media, just repeat it. Which, I'll point out, is propaganda rule #1. I'd love to see a poll showing how many Americans think AQ is the primary enemy in Iraq - I'd be quite surprised if it isn't a majority.

This is why decision making in the US is so broken, because it's based on lies and those lies are established through, honestly, no exageration, classic Big Lie propaganda techniques right out of a 1930's handbook.

Some of you who visit The Social Atom now and then may recall the post of a few days ago on recent psychological experients on how people form opinions about what the majority thinks. The clear conclusion is that a few voices, repeating the same claims persistently and loudly, will make their way into our brains and have a singificant influence on our thinking. This isn't rocket science, as they say, but the simple dynamics of the human brain. Unfortunately, the White House understands this all too well, while our media seems bizarrely naive and unprepared to recognize the way they're being played -- to our immense collective cost.


Len said...

Newspeople have gotten the idea into their heads that it isn't "objective" and therefore ethical to point out the lies our leaders tell. They are afraid of being branded "liberal," which they take as being a synonym for "evil." It's foolish, and they let us down daily with their cowardice.

kimy said...

thanks for taking the time for the post - even when you didn't have any! the rub is how do we wrest control of the mainstream media away from the special interests (including but not limited to the bush administration) who use lies and manipulation to beat the drums of war. it is now overwhelming clear that the public sentiment has turned against the debacle know as the 'war in iraq' (a phrase fraught with a bit of deception - the US invaded and occupies iraq - warfare is the tool used to do both). thank you.

Little Pony said...

Do not know what to say, I liked your article and I hope you will have many entries or more.
zombie games
happy wheels demo
my little pony games
hulk games online
mickey mouse game
car games
bike games
free fun games

Love KidsTV said...

Play Plants vs Zombies the fun-dead action-strategy hit that's won over 30 Game of the Year awards! Think fast and plant faster.

Solitaire is usually played with one, or two standard 52-card decks shuffled together. A few games use non-standard or cut decks. The objective of solitaire game is typically to sort the pack of cards into order in accordance with particular rules of play. Player wins if the sorting is successful

Phoebe Vuong said...

Thank you so much for this article. I've been looking for it :) It will helps me much. I hope to see more and more posts of yours in the future :)
happy wheels | math games | soccer | cool math | cool maths games | math game | cool maths games | car game | car games

Hieu Nguyen said...

When you see the stress in work, life, friv could well be a good site to try. thanks you for sharing
Friv Games, Friv Online,, Friv

Emily Walker said...

I don't think much about it until I read your post. I have to say that I agree with your opinion. Thank you for sharing. super smash | math games | math games | armor games | primary game | top games | cool math games | happy wheels

Hieu Nguyen said...

When you see the stress in work, life, friv could well be a good site to try.
Thanks you for sharing
Friv Games, Friv Online,, Friv

Friv Games said...

Play free Friv games flash online games flash.
Thanks you for sharing
Friv Games | Friv Online

Yepi4 said...

You need to kill time, you need entertainment. Refer to our website. hope you get the most comfort.
Thanks you for sharing!
Friv Games
Yepi 4
Kizi 4

Friv 10 said...

you'd have time to look these kids active. Please visit our website and let us play the game interesting.
Thanks for sharing !
Friv 10
Kizi 10
Yepi 2

Games Mincecraft said...

Great! Thanks for sharing the information. That is very helpful for increasing my knowledge in this field.
- minecraft games
- happy wheels
- happy wheels
- tetris
- brain games
- puzzle games
- agario
- abcya
- fnaf 4

Friv5 said...

You need to kill time, you'd have time to look these kids active. Refer to our website. Hope you get the most comfort.
Thanks for sharing !
Friv 5
Kizi 1
Yepi 3

Friv4 said...

When you're tired, you want to relax after a stressful working hours, you need to have time to take care of the kids active.
Please visit our website and play exciting flash games.Thanks you for sharing!
Friv 4

Kizi200 said...

Play the Best Free Games! We've picked out the racing games, cooking games, candy crush, games shooting, fashion games, ...
Thanks for sharing !
Kizi 200
Friv 1

Friv100 said...

You'd have time to look these kids active. Please visit our website and let us play the games interesting.
Thanks you for sharing !
Friv 100
Friv 8
Friv 2

lee anh nuooi said...

invites you to play games for a chance to win cars Corolla Altis car

Kizi 100
Kizi 5
Friv Games

GirlsGoGames Dressup said...

You want to relax after a stressful working hours. Refer to our website. Hope you get the most comfort.
Thanks for sharing !
Kizi 100

angelina jolie said...

Good job. All of them are Useful! ..

Linh Hoa said...

I think what you say on here is the best thing. Looking forward for our lives become increasingly more beautiful
baixar facebook , baixar facebook gratis , facebook baixar ,

Linh Hoa said...

Just remember your stab at this business, should you decide to end it, is not a failure but a training ground. You will take with you what has worked and learned from what has not in order to make the next business idea a success!
baixar whatsapp. baixar whatsapp gratis. whatsapp baixar,

Linh Hoa said...

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it.Cheers for the info!!!! & This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic
return man 2 game , return man 2 , return man ,

Linh Hoa said...

Your article made me very impressed. I enjoyed it, I would expect at your website, or more articles
subway surfers game , subway surfer , subway surfers

94 hằng said...

You need to have time to take care of the active. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you.
banana kong ,
banana kong baixar ,
baixar banana kong ,
download banana kong ,
banana kong

94 hằng said...

Mostly people have all the same things when they are writing academic task or any other writing, especially light music most people like during the writing.
dream league soccer download , dream league soccer apk , download dream league soccer , dream league soccer

94 hằng said...

Thanks I have read your article, it is very interesting and exciting
download go launcher, go launcher apk, go launcher , go launcher androi,

94 hằng said...

Mostly people have all the same things when they are writing academic task or any other writing, especially light music most people like during the writing.

subway surf , baixar subway surf, subway surf download , download subway surf

ngocanh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ngocanh said...

Nice! thank you so much! Thank you for sharing. Your blog posts are more interesting and impressive. l wingsio l wings io l wingsio game l play wingsio

ngocanh said...

I think there are many people like and visit it regularly, including me.I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here.
baixar sonic dash l download sonic dash l sonic dash baixar l sonic dash game l sonic dash download

Malia Obama said...

Thanks for the sharing of such information we will pass it on to our readers.
Friv 2
Friv 4
Friv 3

a10friv said...

you'd have time to look these kids active. Please visit our website and let us play the game interesting.
A10 Friv
Friv 10

Micchals said...

The best free online games for you
Friv Games/
Kizi Games