Monday, September 10, 2007

Do You Trust Your Government?

In times past, I used to read stories about how people in the Soviet Union, China and other authoritarian states had learned to ignore the propaganda that was being disseminated as information by their leaders.

Now, as Gen. Petraeus testifies before Congress, I am reading stories about the American public's cynicism in regard to statements being made by our leaders. Here's an example from a recent essay by Glen Greenwald:

The Establishment is so invested in ensuring that the war they created can be painted as a Success, and even more so in the notion that forced withdrawal is something only the Unserious People advocate, that they will never follow their premise (we are doing nothing good in Iraq) to its logical conclusion (therefore we should force Bush to withdraw whether he wants to or not). And the entire leadership strata of our political class, including Congressional Democrats, either shares those premises and/or are far too weak and afraid to defy them. The war thus continues, and the gap between our political class and American public opinion continues to grow.

In one sense, it is quite unhealthy in a democracy for such a large majority of Americans to so distrust the political and media establishment that they even believe in advance that war reports from our leading General will be nothing more than self-serving and misleading propaganda. But in another, more important sense, when a democracy’s political establishment becomes as rotted and deceitful and corrupt as ours has become — enabling the most unpopular President in modern American history to continue what is so blatantly a senseless war for years and years, in complete defiance of what Americans want — the one encouraging sign is that a majority realizes how corrupt our establishment is and has stopped believing anything they say.
Sadly, what Greenwald says rings true -- even in conservative Oklahoma.

1 comment:

Rybu said...

Your analogy is a bit scary but regrettably, plausible.

I wrote my thoughts on the Petraeus report and would like to hear yours!

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