The Age of Fallibility: The Consequences of the War on Terror
by George Soros. Public Affairs, 259 pp., $24.00
http://www.georgesoros.com/review-johngreyGeorge Soros dot com
**No doubt part of the answer is in the trauma induced by the terrorist attacks, which the administration exploited to stifle criticism of its policies. Yet this can hardly be the whole story. Soros tells us that he *watched events unfold after 9/11 with a bias rooted in my adolescent experience of Nazism and communism. My conceptual framework was also based on that experience.* He is far from claiming that the United States is becoming a totalitarian regime—it remains *a functioning democracy with an independent judiciary and the rule of law.*
He suggests that there are some *similarities in propaganda methods* between totalitarian propaganda and opinion management by the Bush administration, and refers to the work of George Lakoff, whose work in cognitive science has enabled the manipulation of public opinion to be better understood. 9 But he remains bemused by the success with which the administration has been able to impose its interpretation of reality: *How is that possible? It is almost as if people were clamoring to be deceived.**
I agree with George Soros that these world scale crises as they arise through time are always unique and there is no fixed law or formula for solving them.
Opinion management by the Bush or any administration is not likely to work very well when news is so mixed with entertainment, oddities, and MSM spin.
It is difficult to make the public aware of the well organized threat to democracy, free trade and our way of life, when the threat is so complex and many faceted.
We have an open and free press yet, there are many pressures, like political correctness, that shape, diffuse, and confuse the news so a clear understanding of today*s world conditions is hidden from a majority of the public.
A large sector of the public do not have the energy to try to understand today*s news. Another large sector is fully engaged with Playstation3, entertainment television, and chat internet. With such large public sectors so distracted and uninformed, it is no wonder that getting any clear government message to the population is so very difficult to do in these times. = TG
The missing element here is the pivotal political role of millennialist religion. The attacks activated apocalyptic beliefs widely current in sections of the American population, which the Bush administration has been able to mobilize in support of its agenda. This was not simply cynical manipulation, for there seems little doubt that Bush shares these beliefs. Millenarian belief systems of the kind found on the Christian right are not explanatory theories that can be overturned by contrary evidence. They are myths, which serve a need for meaning rather than truth. The worldview of the Christian right embodies a view of history that is framed in eschatological concepts, according to which American power can be used to rid the world of evil. In theological terms the belief that human action can eradicate evil is decidedly heterodox. Judged by empirical standards it can only be termed irrational.
Theories are many and some have merit but the simple truth is that Iran mullahs, Amhadinejad, Al Qaeda, Osama and the Taliban and Hizbullah continue to train and organize in order to cripple the Western democracies.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the Shiia and the Sunni are at each others throats but if the Mullahs do manage to get some cooperation there, the threat will be all the more immediate.
Billion$ dollar pipelines are being completed across Pakistan to supply oil directly to China.
Russia suffers rampant crime and members of the Mafia have made their way into government there. Russia continues to operate identity theft and internet crime servers while refusing to cooperate with Western law enforcement, thus condoning the crime.
This simplified partial picture tends to make the timing of Iran*s threatening motions more understandable.
What percentage of the North American / Canadian population [or EU] has this thumbnail picture, however flawed, in their mind*s eye? Withdraw troops? Send more troops? No brainer. = TG