by Carey Wedler
As a non-agressionist, it is often easy to see through the lies and propaganda for war promulgated by political elites. Their statements run contradictory to even the most superficial examination of facts, yet no matter how fervently they lie, most Americans fail to take notice. It would be easy and gratifying to claim that since discovering this truth about the American political system, I never falter in my reasoning. While I am now a libertarian, I came originally from a liberal household that saw through the guise of “enhanced interrogation techniques” coined in the Bush administration, understanding they were tools to sugar coat the blatant use of torture. I understood that “weapons of mass destruction” were a farce.
I laughed and cried as “red necks” and “bible thumpers” rallied their war cries behind the Texan president, proud to be spreading “freedom and democracy” to less fortunate regions of the world. But when it came time for my real judgment of critical evaluation and thinking, I failed. Obama had voted against the war? I was his most fervent supporter. Obama wanted to “end the Iraq War”? Sign me up! I ate up the lies as ravenously as the Republican Americans who had supported George W. Bush.
This merely proves the increasingly accepted understanding that both parties are full of deceit and manipulation. It is no surprise that both parties lie and both seek to exploit not only their own populations, but those of humans around the world. Yet even as I have come to my senses and can see through the rhetoric spewed in the mainstream media, sometimes I catch myself stumbling. After all, George Orwell wrote that “political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Sometimes that wind creeps up on me.
When reading the news or watching news clips of talking political heads calling for military intervention, I come to question my conviction that the American military-industrial complex is a plague upon the world. When John Kerry “confesses” that he fears sanctions are failing to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, my old habits of dogma to the politicians and state bubble underneath my peaceful principles. What if they are getting closer to a weapon? And what if they do want to use it on Americans? Of course, my rationality catches up with me, reminding me that there is no evidence of such a plot. The only evidence is that Obama and Congress’ war-making sanctions against the people of Iran are causing great suffering to innocent people. And even if Iran were attempting to make a nuclear weapon, would it really be the United States’ moral authority to stop them? It is an acknowledged irony that the USA is the only nation to have ever committed such a heinous act against humanity. Lesser known is the perpetual meddling of the CIA in Iran’s internal affairs. I snap myself back to reality and remember Orwell’s words.
But along come Obama and his minions in the likes of Eric Holder and Jay Carney, who argue it is necessary to national security that the president be allowed to assassinate whoever he sees fit. What if they are a terrorist? What if Mr. Obama himself has reason to believe that evil Arabs abroad are conspiring to attack anointed American citizens? What else would he do besides make like a cinematic hero and drone-in with bombs blazing? He has no choice. As I listen to his carefully crafted rhetoric and tone of voice tinged with concern, it is difficult not to slip back into the entrancement that is political speech. I don’t want to die, I don’t want terrorists in caves–or in the US for that matter– plotting intricate steps to blow my head off. For a fleeting and humiliating moment, even Lindsay Graham’s conviction that Americans should be indefinitely detained without trial starts to make sense. They terrorists, for the lord’s sake, and “we’re at war.”. In the midst of a nuclear bomb, another 9/11 or “traitors” lurking within the battleground that is now the United States, it is easy to understand why so many Americans fall victim to the propaganda machine.
But as I listen to meticulously crafted tales of doom spouted by the politicians and the mainstream media, it is impossible not to snap myself back into reality. It is impossible not to revert to logical lines of thinking: that if the American government were not so hell-bent on manipulating the world to satisfy its tyrannical appetites, perhaps there would not be so many terrorists plotting against it. That if there were terrorists plotting against the US, the military super power has the spying and weapon capacity to halt all efforts. I remember that most foiled “terrorist” plots are crimes of entrapment committed by the FBI on poor, unsuspecting and incompetent souls. They are mere plot devices used to further the grand tale that America represents freedom and those who hate it (who are numerous and stealth) must be crushed. The voice of Rand Paul filibustering on the floor of the Senate for thirteen hours straight reminds me that however few, there are still voices of reason in the political system–voices that oppose the continued increase in the militarized police state (however, I still won’t forgive him for authorizing sanctions on Iran or endorsing Mitt Romney).
And while I simultaneously empathize with, pity, and disdain the vast scores of Americans who go along with the most pervasive left-right rhetoric, there is no denying that it will reach its breaking point. Of course, had Romney been elected president the protests of this system may have come more expediently (aided by reawakened anti-war liberals who fell dormant during the Obama years). But even as Americans tremble in fear of Iranian nuclear capacity and anti-government terrorists in their hometown neighborhoods, I must remember that there is hope. After all, I was once a flag-waving American convinced that Barack Obama was the world’s savior, the second coming of JFK. He was bringing the true spirit of America back to the presidency Now I see through his lies. Even when his abilities of persuasion and manipulation penetrate my mind, I can vanquish them in favor of the truth using fact and rationality as my drone bombs. The truth is rarely spoken, but when it is, draws attention and common sense. As Orwell also said, “in times of universal deceit, telling the truth is an revolutionary act.” Those revolutionaries who understand and tell the truth are increasing as quickly as the police state itself. Sooner or later, the lies of the elitist few will be drowned out by the informed and impassioned force of the truth, and I can rest assured that no politician who advocates for violence and murder is speaking in sincerity or fact.