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imported_Dutch
12-06-2004, 11:53 PM
Nov 17, 2004
Jonathan Greenberg

As President Bush moves to implement what he proclaims to be his "mandate," millions of Americans find ourselves baffled that so many of our fellow citizens could have voted for a leader whose tenure has been marked by a series of failures and deceptions. For an answer, I suggest that we look to George Orwell's 1984, and to the triumph, this election season, of a little known but essential component of the Republican right agenda known as 'perception management."

Perception management, in short, operates under the principle that truth is unessential. Truth simply becomes what the Party is able to convince the electorate is true. During Bush's first term, the President and senior Administration officials practiced perception management every time they announced their certainty that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, as well as connections to Al Q'aeda and the September 11 attacks.

In the end, there were far more Bush voters who believed these widely-televised deceptions than those who understood the facts. A CNN exit poll found that 81% of Bush voters believed that the Iraq war was part of the war on terrorism, even though after exhaustive research, Iraq has never been found to have sponsored a single act of international terrorism.

The closest thing to an admission of a "perception management" strategy came from a recent New York Times Magazine article, in which a senior advisor of the Bush Administration scoffed at Americans who exist in 'the reality based community," who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernable reality. That's not the way the world works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."

A government that creates its own realities is frightening. But even more alarming -- and more mystifying to American voters who don't buy into this reality -- is that 59 million of our fellow citizens voted to re-elect George Bush, despite overwhelming evidence of what could politely be called contradictory truths.

George Orwell provides a ready answer.

A central premise of the Big Brother world of 1984 was what Orwell called "Doublethink," defined in the book as "the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."

In the mythical empire of Oceania in 1984, citizenship meant "not thinking -- not needing to think." The government of Big Brother alternates between war and alliance with two competing empires. At one point, the enemy changes in the middle of a patriotic speech, and the audience immediately accepts the new reality. They have no choice. In 1984, according to Orwell, "The heresy of heresies was common sense."

The Bush Administration has been tremendously successful at convincing its supporters to suspend common sense. Last month, a survey by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes found that 72% of Bush supporters believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for producing them (25%). This survey was done after the widely-reported results of the CIA's "Duelfer Report," an exhaustive $1 billion investigation, which concluded that Hussein had dismantled all of his WMD programs shortly after the 1991 Gulf War and never tried to reconstitute them. The Duelfer Report also found that Saddam Hussein did not support Al-Qaeda terrorists.

When asked whether the U.S. should have gone to war without evidence of a WMD program or support to Al-Qaeda, 58% of Bush supporters polled said no. Yet these same voters support the war, suggesting an inability, or refusal, to accept "discernable reality."

This is no accident. For three years, the President and his Administration have used every opportunity to manage the perceptions of the public by distorting facts. Even after the conclusive CIA report, Bush and Cheney deliberately fused the war in Iraq with the war on those who caused the September 11 attacks. And who can forget the certainty with which the President declared, a few months after the Iraq war began, that "We found the weapons of mass destruction."

We have all heard the litany of assertions by this Administration that Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States, that the United Nations inspection program to disarm Hussein of weapons of mass destruction had failed, and that the Iraq War was necessary to prevent terrorist acts on American soil. Not one of these assertions was true. The truth, as former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil revealed last year, was that at their first cabinet meeting in January, 2001, the Administration was planning to go to war against Saddam Hussein -- nine months before the September 11 attacks.

Even the Administration's pursuit of Al Q'aeda could have been culled from Orwell's 1984, where 'Ignorance is Strength" was another key Big Brother slogan. Right after September 11, the President swore that he would stop at nothing to get the perpetrators of the attack. This was right after his Administration allowed a plane full of Saudi Arabians, including bin Laden's relatives, to fly out of the U.S. without being questioned by the F.B.I. Then, six months later, while laying the ground work to divert most of our country's military resources to a war against Iraq, Bush said of bin Laden, "He's a person who's now been marginalized...I just don't spend that much time on him...I truly am not that concerned about him." By April, 2002, Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Myers followed that with: "The goal has never been to get bin Laden."

When Orwell created Doublethink and the dark world of 1984, he was satirizing the future of Stalin's Soviet Union. It is a sad time for America when his message applies most fittingly to our own country

Larry P.
12-06-2004, 11:58 PM
http://images.apple.com/hardware/ads/1984/images/1984_320_01062004.jpg
1984 was a great year

imported_Dutch
12-07-2004, 12:00 AM
got any nudes of her?

Joe (SoCal)
12-07-2004, 12:06 AM
Larry ;)

LeeG
12-07-2004, 12:13 AM
A Battle of Perceptions!

hmm, that's a bad trip.

Victor
12-07-2004, 07:06 AM
I gotta say Dutch, you're the best and the worst. You make a good post like this and then post garbage somewhere else.

LeeG
12-07-2004, 08:15 AM
I bet he actually said Iraq was an immanent danger.
Maybe it's just a (n?) hysterical coincidence.

[ 12-07-2004, 09:12 AM: Message edited by: LeeG ]

Harry Miller
12-07-2004, 08:46 AM
Someone should tell Alan Hyde to read "1984".

Popeye
12-07-2004, 08:54 AM
or, instead of gropping in the dark, just say it...

"Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be."

-- Herbert "Marshall" McLuhan (1911-80), Canadian cultural critic, communications theorist

George Roberts
12-07-2004, 09:02 AM
We have always been at war with Iraq. They started the war.

Our allies, the French in particular, have always supported us.

We are better fighters and will prevail. The only American deaths have been due to natural causes.

We must purge the spies amongst us.

Alan D. Hyde
12-07-2004, 09:12 AM
Harry, I've read 1984 several times, along with other utopian books like Brave New World,The Iron Heel, and Looking Backward, to name a few. I assume you've read Huxley's book, but have you read London's and Bellamy's?

Alan

George.
12-07-2004, 09:23 AM
1984 is way too sophisticated as a model for what is happening to America.

Animal Farm is more like it. With tons of sheep bleating party lines in response to any potentially unconfortable facts.

"Four legs good, two legs better!"

High C
12-07-2004, 09:31 AM
Originally posted by Victor:
I gotta say Dutch, you're the best and the worst. You make a good post like this and then post garbage somewhere else.No, this post is garbage, too. :rolleyes:

The losers really should examine themselves, and stop blaming everyone else for their failures. Or maybe I should just hush in hopes that they'll keep on doing it...

Harry Miller
12-07-2004, 09:32 AM
'morning Alan,

other utopian books Although I do know what you mean, "1984" isn't quite my idea of Utopia.
I'm off now - to work on my boat. smile.gif

Alan D. Hyde
12-07-2004, 09:39 AM
Glad you understood, Harry.

The Greek ou means "not" and topos means "place" so "utopia" (coined by Sir Thomas More) literally means "noplace."

I was using the word to refer to hypothetic fictional societies, whether idyllic or fearsome...

Alan

Garrett Lowell
12-07-2004, 09:46 AM
I note the article studiously and politely neglected to mention all of those congressional Democratic "doublethinkers" who also supported the war. For a moment, I thought I was reading Sally Jenkins, only the topic was paranoia rather than sports.

Popeye
12-07-2004, 09:55 AM
ya mean "hypothetical" .

LeeG
12-07-2004, 09:59 AM
Does anyone recall the CIA brief written in August that showed up in Sept. prior to GW/Allawis rosy pre-election tour of DC? It was 180degrees from what GW was describing the reality on the ground. What did the President say?..something about the CIA analysts "just guessing"?

read away:

CIA cable from Iraq gloomy, officials say

By Douglas Jehl

The New York Times

WASHINGTON - A classified cable sent by the CIA's station chief in Baghdad says the situation in Iraq is deteriorating and may not rebound anytime soon, according to government officials.

The cable, sent late last month as the officer ended a yearlong tour, presented a bleak assessment on politics, economics and security, the officials said. They said its basic conclusions had been echoed in briefings presented by Michael Kostiw, a senior CIA official who recently visited Iraq.

The officials described the two assessments as mixed, saying they describe Iraq as having made important progress, particularly in its political process, and credited Iraqis with resilience.

But overall, the officials described the station chief's cable in particular as an unvarnished assessment of the difficulties ahead. They said it warned that the security situation is likely to get worse, bringing more violence and sectarian clashes, without marked improvements soon in the ability of the Iraqi government to assert authority and build the economy.

Separately, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday that he expects U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq within four years but that any final decision hinges on the progress that Iraq's civilian government and security forces make by then.

He quickly noted that President Bush has repeatedly said U.S. forces will stay in Iraq as long as needed.

The CIA appraisals, which follow several other such warnings from officials in Washington and in the field, were much more pessimistic than the public picture being offered by the Bush administration, the officials said.

[ 12-07-2004, 10:10 AM: Message edited by: LeeG ]

LeeG
12-07-2004, 10:02 AM
Here itis:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?ObjectID=3593632

22.09.2004


1.00pm

NEW YORK - US President George W Bush, determined to put an optimistic face on deadly conditions in Iraq, said on Tuesday that the CIA was just guessing when it said the war-racked country was in danger of slipping into civil war.

"The CIA laid out several scenarios. It said that life could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be better. And they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like," Bush told reporters during a picture-taking session with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

Bush and Allawi met for 45 minutes on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

The CIA, which has been blamed for spectacular lapses involving the September 11, 2001, attacks and prewar Iraqi weapons capabilities, gave Bush a report last July that presented a bleak outlook for Iraq.

The classified document, known as a National Intelligence Estimate, predicted three possible scenarios ranging from a tenuous stability to political fragmentation and civil war.

[ 12-07-2004, 10:03 AM: Message edited by: LeeG ]

George.
12-07-2004, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by High C:
... this post is garbage, too. :rolleyes:

The losers really should examine themselves, and stop blaming everyone else for their failures. Or maybe I should just hush in hopes that they'll keep on doing it...Well, it is a C&P, so you could object and call it garbage - but on what grounds?

Any blatant falsehoods or distortions? Any foaming-at-the-mouth hate spew? Any critical analysis at all?

Or is calling the posters on this thread "losers" who have "failures" the only argument available to those who disagree?

"Four legs good, two legs better..."

Garrett Lowell
12-07-2004, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:
I note the article studiously and politely neglected to mention all of those congressional Democratic "doublethinkers" who also supported the war.Here you go, George. The article's a bit one-sided, no? And, those of us who support the war, maybe WMD has nothing to do with our support (I was there in '91, and I'm disgusted it's taken us this long to finish the job. In that manner, I guess it is kind of like Viet Nam.) Then there's PIPA's study. 74% of the 948 people they talked to. I'm a bit skeptical of these types of polls, considering the source and the political makeup of so-called "non-partisan" groups. And that goes for non-partisan Republican and Democrat groups.

LeeG
12-07-2004, 10:48 AM
if anyone spends just an hour looking at the people Rumsfeld/Cheney relied upon to sell the threat of Iraq to the US public and UN you'd see toe tapping double-speak all along the path.

US paid for informants from Chalabi,,that turned out to be less than truthful. Info from the CIA on said 'informants' that was ignored.

Perle parades Khidir Hamza to the Senate in '02 as "Saddams Bombmaker" when he was anything but. Go ahead,,google it. This was the big threat Judith Miller helped hype with special leaks from Chalabi/Perle.

Adhoc Office of Special Plans mixing up ideologues with analysts to do an end-run on the CIA so GW could say "see?! Iraq and Al Qeda are connected!" (must be the consonants). David Wurmser/Maloof end 50 yr seperation of analysts and policy makers providing clean intel to the prez.

Conflating simple concepts so that fear overrides simple reasoning. Somehow the concept that a Stalinist like Saddam spending millions and millions on "WMD" woud then turn them over to anarchical terrorists like Al Qeda makes sense.

Garrett Lowell
12-07-2004, 11:33 AM
Well, Lee, that still doesn't address either of my posts.

LeeG
12-07-2004, 11:49 AM
Garrett, I wasn't posting those to respond to, they were general examples of how doublespeak was manifested in this administration,actions and words are two different things. That one can quote opinions of evil/bad/liberal/commie/pinko politicians saying "Saddam has WMD,,","Saddam has to go...",,"Saddam buggered my neighbors dog" is NOT the same thing as saying "well that intel is good enough for me,,let's commit all of our nations troops on hearsay and increase anti-American jihadism for the visionaries of the American Enterprise Institute".

There are probably a few folks here who thought they were going to build a boat and sail it around the world,, some may have,, but it doesn't have any bearing on the integrity of the people who didn't but said they would. Do you understand the distinction? What you are advocating is an allegiance to words creating reality.

[ 12-07-2004, 12:02 PM: Message edited by: LeeG ]

TGP
12-07-2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by George.:
1984 is way too sophisticated as a model for what is happening to America.

Animal Farm is more like it. With tons of sheep bleating party lines in response to any potentially unconfortable facts.

"Four legs good, two legs better!"If you despise us so much then why do you keep coming here? It seems to me that you would be happier sticking with your own kind so to speak.

George.
12-07-2004, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:
I note the article studiously and politely neglected to mention all of those congressional Democratic "doublethinkers" who also supported the war... Here you go, George. The article's a bit one-sided, no? I agree. The Democrats were as bad as the Republicans in their doublethink. Most of all, perhaps, their sorry presidential candidate. And the supposedly liberal press was amazingly non-inquisitive during the build-up to war. The partisanship in articles like this, trying to blame the whole thing on one party, dilutes a lot of their worth.


And, those of us who support the war, maybe WMD has nothing to do with our supportThere I think you are in the minority. I doubt the majority of Americans would have supported this if they knew there was no WMD threat - just hype.


Then there's PIPA's study. 74% of the 948 people they talked to. I'm a bit skeptical of these types of polls, considering the source and the political makeup of so-called "non-partisan" groups. And that goes for non-partisan Republican and Democrat groups.True again. But there are lots of reliable polls showing that incredible numbers of Americans think WMD were found and Saddam was connected to 9-11. Judging from the posters in this forum, people who believe in these things tend to be fervent Bush voters, wouldn't you say? ;)

Garrett Lowell
12-07-2004, 12:18 PM
"What you are advocating is an allegiance to words creating reality."

No, Lee, I'm not. I'm saying the same thing you're saying, only I'm applying it to the person who wrote that article.

Victor
12-07-2004, 12:19 PM
So tell me High C, if your man is such a humanitarian how come we haven't invaded North Korea yet? God knows they need regime change. Couldn't have anything to do with the fact that a)there's no oil there, b)they'd give us a real fight, or c)Daddy didn't do it first, could it?

Garrett Lowell
12-07-2004, 12:24 PM
With all due respect, Victor, since you didn't vote in this election, it would appear that High C's man happens to be your man, as well.

Jim H
12-07-2004, 12:37 PM
Hmm. No here in the U.S. it feels like 1971.

http://www.indelibleinc.com/kubrick/films/clockwork/images/co-opening-moloko.JPG


What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

[ 12-07-2004, 04:07 PM: Message edited by: Jim H ]

NormMessinger
12-07-2004, 12:41 PM
"... man happens to be your man, as well."

And, mine too, eh? "Our man" to keep the pressure on, to see for what he was and will be, and to keep the pressure on to keep him as honest as possible. He's damn good at what he does though so it ain't gonna be easy.

Garrett Lowell
12-07-2004, 12:44 PM
Anyone who is eligible to vote, and does not exercise that right (and, in my opinion, duty) has willingly and knowingly cast their lot with whomever wins.

Adverb edit.

[ 12-07-2004, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: Garrett Lowell ]