Citizens For Legitimate Government is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose and resist US imperialism, corpora-terrorism, and the New World Order.

The Ignorant Love War --by Dave Coennen

At the risk of being called an elitist, I have recently come to two conclusions:

1) The only thing shorter than the American attention span is the American memory.


2) The average American is clueless about the policies and practices of their government both here and (in particular) around the globe.

This is not to say that the fault for this lies exclusively with average Americans. Though it is true that a great many of them are about as intellectually curious as Bush is, the corporate media (a.k.a. The Ministry of Propaganda) has made an enormous contribution to the “dumbing down” of America; “practicing what the Nazis called Gleichshaltung ('coordination, streamlining, bringing into line') By this means 'the Fuehrer, representing the will of the people, directed the flow of policy through the institutions of state and party down to the people.'”

Add to this the fact that we are working harder for longer for less so we can “put food on our families” or pick up another Hummer H2 so Mummy is “able to traverse six feet of standing floodwater in order to make it in time for Timmy's soccer game.” We just don’t have the time or energy to be curious about much else, including what is being done in our name throughout the world.

Now before everyone gets defensive, here is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

On “Hardball” last night, (which I can only stand when Matthews has not loaded his panel up with party liners and right wing ideologues) while waiting to hear the always brilliant and eloquent Katrina vanden Heuvel, Chris was talking about Bush’s poll numbers on Iraq with a couple of military types. And in one of Matthews’s rational moments, he brought up this little slice:

MATTHEWS: “You’re being kind, general. You’re being kind. According to the Knight-Ridder poll which was published this week in the “Philadelphia Inquirer,” the people that know the most about the situation in Iraq are least supportive of the war.
   The ones who are most ignorant, particularly those who believe that half the people who attacked us September 11 included Iraqi citizens, are for the war. So isn’t more education something that stops support for the war, general? I mean, the president is not winning on the facts. He’s winning, according to the polls, on those who don’t know the facts.”

The poll and article Matthews referred to states the following:

“The survey, conducted Jan. 3 to Jan. 6 by Princeton Survey Research Associates, questioned 1,204 adults, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.”

“Two-thirds of the respondents said they thought they had a good grasp of the issues surrounding the Iraqi crisis, but closer questioning revealed large gaps in that knowledge. For instance, half of those surveyed said one or more of the Sept. 11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens. In fact, none were.”

“The informed public is considerably less hawkish than the public as a whole, the poll found. Those who show themselves to be most knowledgeable about the Iraqi situation are significantly less likely to support military action, either to remove Hussein or to disarm Iraq.

Bottom line, in order to counter the constant deluge of pro-war rhetoric from the administration and their media mouthpieces, we need to engage our fellow citizens that are, without questioning, lining up behind “W” and his war because he says they should. (Which, by the way, is nationalism not patriotism and why Hitler had a 90% approval rating in 1933 after the Reichstag fire)

We need to challenge them on their reasoning for supporting the war and not allow them to simply parrot what they hear from the mainstream media.

“Critical thought and radical dissent against the authority created this nation. Conformity did not.”

See you in San Francisco.

Dave Coennen
January 16, 2003

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