The record: We went to war with Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction. After we won and searched, we found no weapons of mass destruction. But leading up to the war in Iraq, Saddam acted like he had weapons of mass destruction, even though he knew it meant war and that he would lose.
The whole thing makes no sense. I’m not the first person to analyze this, of course, but it seems to me that there are only two explanations (plus many variations) for this odd confluence of events:
(1) Saddam was, literally, mad and didn’t know what he was doing. This explanation is hard to believe. Saddam ruled a country and ruled it effectively, if ruthlessly. He defended his country and his reign, he tried to avoid capture, etc. In other words, he acted rationally in other areas, so it’s hard to believe that he was completely off his rocker.
(2) We, the American people, didn’t receive accurate information from the media. This is the explanation that makes sense to me, but I don’t know why we didn’t receive correct information. Either the media was misled (accidentally or on purpose), or the media received accurate information, but gave us disinformation (either negligent, recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally). Which one?
Beats me, but let’s look at a different story. After Tiger Woods’ wife tried to beat him with a golf club, the story about the true Tiger Woods came out. He wasn’t a scion of virtue and hard work. He was a cad who didn’t work nearly as hard as the media had led us to believe. We also learned that it was known by people in media, but the media didn’t expose the story.
Why? I don’t know. I’ve heard its because journalists don’t want to expose celebrities’ true lives because they’ll lose access to the celebrities, which would have a negative impact on their careers. Could be.
But I don’t care why. I only care about the one thing we can take from these two stories: The media can’t be trusted.
I want to emphasize exactly what I’m saying: When you get information from the newspaper, you don’t know if you’re getting a correct story, a false story, a full story, or a partial story. You simply don’t know and, unless you have your own sources, you’ll never know.
The implications of this state of affairs are humongous and many. Here’s just a partial list:
For one, cancel all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions (except your local publications, which reports on local stories that you can confirm by, say, walking across the street and talking with the store proprietor who was reportedly robbed).
Second, stop reading about current affairs altogether: become the “ignoramus” that our popular culture ridicules. It’s better to be a knowing ignoramus than an ignorant ignoramus who thinks he knows something.
Third, stop forming opinions based on the media’s reporting.
Fourth, don’t vote. You have no idea what you’re voting for. There are forces at work behind the political scene in Washington that the average person doesn’t see and the media doesn’t report.
Fifth, don’t ever support war. If you’re going to kill innocent people (and every war results in the loss of innocent lives), you better be damn sure you have all (or at least most of) the facts, and the fact is, you can never know, unless you have your own sources that you can trust, and that’s a highly dubious matter since all our wars are based on things happening in other countries (9/11 is an obvious exception to this, but even in that situation, all of our subsequent “information” came from overseas or interior intelligence that isn’t shared with the public).
Aside: For those in doubt about point number 5, I urge them to read accounts of the Spanish-American War and events leading up to it. The press’ role in promoting the War was so great, and so dishonest, that some have referred to the war as one created by the press. Contemporary figures as diverse as Albert Jay Nock and Mark Twain heaped scorn on the whole affair.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList
5 Responses to “Tuesday”