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Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:03 PM

It is very easy to fool/trick/hoax people into what they want to Believe

Last edited Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:05 PM - Edit history (1)

It is rather difficult to trick people into believing things to which they are resistant.

For instance... Othello was a violent and insecure and jealous man. Without those character flaws in Othello, Iago could not have tricked him into killing Desdemona. I, and probably you, would not strangle a woman not matter what some evil person said to us.

The general point that both Madhound and myself have made in our own individual ways in controversial posts about the Iraq War is that the case for war, which was indeed a pack of lies meant to deceive, was so weak that it could only fool someone who was ready to be fooled.

The chief determinant of whether someone was "fooled" was whether they wanted to kill thousands of people.

Everyone who demanded proof that it was necessary to kill thousands of people ended up not being fooled, because the argument for war was like a crashed flying saucer made of cardboard and chicken wire... it could only fool people who wanted to believe.

(Romney is evil for running a racist campaign designed to benefit from the fact that a lot of people are open to racist arguments. The voters who vote based on racist arguments were not, however, "fooled" by Romney's racist appeals and cannot escape culpability for their own votes. Did the average German know about the holocaust? Probably not in terms of the particulars. Had the average German supported the agenda of the elimination of Jews from the world by some unspecified method? Yes. So it is on them, not just something one bad man did. Etc..)

None of this diminishes the evil of the Bush administration. Bush and Cheney really were like Iago, and Iago is one of the nastiest villains of literature.

But at the end of the day it is Othello's tragic flaw we discuss.

If you murder thousands of people because a few evil men whisper transparent lies into your ear the fault is yours.

By the time we invaded Iraq it was KNOWN to every person who looked at it with an open mind that there was nothing there that could threaten America. (Recall that *before* we invaded the UN inspectors were in Iraq, on the ground, looking and finding no WMD programs. We ordered them to stop looking and invaded anyway.)

It is a deep flaw in the American national character that half of us wanted to murder thousands of people so much that we were willing to see chicken wire and cardboard as a flying saucer.

Every person who felt that murdering thousands of human beings is extraordinary, and an action that requires extraordinary reason and certainty was not fooled.

This does not mean that Bush did not lie. It merely means that the Iraq War was an American action that was possible only because there is something wrong with the American character.

We were like the gun-nut who desperately wants to shoot a burglar and be a hero... to such a person, everyone is a burglar unless absolutely proved otherwise.

It is on us... on America... not just the work of a few bad apples.

19 replies, 1257 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply It is very easy to fool/trick/hoax people into what they want to Believe (Original post)
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 OP
annabanana Feb 2013 #1
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2013 #2
TwilightGardener Feb 2013 #3
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2013 #6
Bluenorthwest Feb 2013 #4
L0oniX Feb 2013 #5
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #7
Fumesucker Feb 2013 #9
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #17
Fumesucker Feb 2013 #8
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2013 #14
KittyWampus Feb 2013 #10
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #11
KittyWampus Feb 2013 #12
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #13
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #15
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #16
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #18
johnnyreb Feb 2013 #19

Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:09 PM

1. I think you've said it

far better than he did.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:14 PM

2. What's inside your TV



The rat is those that watch

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:17 PM

3. Set the right emotional stage (fear of terror, anger, national pride)

and throw in some scary speeches from the people you elected. Then your Teevee news and radio hosts and pundits act like they believe there really IS a threat and give the scary speeches and warnings credibility. The least informed and least skeptical will buy it, and then public opinion shifts, and you are ready to go.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:33 PM

6. Thus ..... Classic Conditioning

as skinner said..... not our skinner
the psy one.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:29 PM

4. Chuck Hagel bought the lies and sold the lies and we are supposed to support him and so now

we are supposed to claim that we all were duped, we all voted Yes, not one of us knew any better than Chuck, who we now are supposed to call an opponent of the very war he voted us into.....
I think that part of the flaw in the American cultural character is the rewarding of failure, the shunning and shaming of excellence. Those who were wrong get rewarded, those who were right are forgotten, even the fact that they were right is forgotten.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:31 PM

5. Smart rich liars in our government ...what could go wrong??? n/t

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:36 PM

7. How I explained it to my daughters - you only need to hear something twice to believe it possible

imagine someone comes to you with some ridiculous statement - "they've found stone buildings on the moon", for instance. of course, even if the speaker is sincere and certain, you would probably scoff. Imagine later the same day, another person with no connection says to you "did you see the pictures of the buildings on the moon?", you would react with interest.

The whole thing has been studied well, and for the most part we all tend toward the gullible; given two independent word-of-mouth sources, most people will come to believe something to be true, or at least come to suspend disbelief. We aren't wired to require evidence, however highly we might esteem our critical faculties.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:50 PM

9. That's ridiculous, I've never heard that before ;)

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:38 PM

17. The logic of language is for belief to be the default position

Language would not have developed as a means to mis-communicate. Lying came later when the technology of language was established enough that one could play with its conventions.

The most basic communications are things like, "There is a wolf behind you" and we are (correctly) programmed to give provisional credence to such communications.

I takes the boy who cried wolf a lot of repetitions to make people tune him out.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:48 PM

8. Hmm... A national wink and a nudge conspiracy to do the wrong thing

That guy who absolutely must be confirmed as Secretary of Defense? Yeah, he was for the Iraq war before he was against it.

Arguably the worst foreign policy blunder in American history and we wanted to be talked into it by a band of not particularly smooth conspirators.

I'm reminded of Twain's War Prayer, nobody listened to the stranger either.

http://eslbee.com/favorites/war_prayer.htm

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:16 PM

14. Yes Twain knew the hype

I remember posting it during the war.

The odd thing with me is that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was oddly a personal acquaintance to the parties involved.

The Morrisons went to my school and his Dad the admiral, played it up in Congress. I meet him and his sons and daughter but not Jim.

Only later did I realize what a lie that was killing my classmates and friends.


I said when the war broke out in Iraq we will win the battles but the peace will be eluding us for years with much hubris and loss. I smelled a rat and was proven right.


I studied the Ancient .Greek wars after that and the misadventures in Sicily.
Hubris.

Ten fucking years.....
and no ending in sight for the never ending war that finances the ever growing military industrial complex and robs this nation of its wealth, hope, freedom and liberties.

We need for bases to cover our bases.

Your government LIES TO YOU. History has proven that.


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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:52 PM

10. No, it wasn't "known". Maybe in the fevered minds of the know-it-alls on DU. A preponderance

of evidence that pointed to there being no WMD. But it wasn't an absolute certainty especially since Cheney's minions might have planted something.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:54 PM

11. To ascertain TRUTH is NOT to have "fevered minds." IT IS TO HAVE WISDOM. BTW: Valerie Plame KNEW.

Why do you think Cheney outed her via complacent and complicit media? TO STOP HER WORK IN TRACKING WMD'S.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:58 PM

12. So England could magically keep it from happening? Same Brits who safeguarded Kelly?

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:01 PM

13. I cannot find the link, so I edited. But suffice it to say what I read was of an INadvertent dis-

covery. Troops don't always know the govt game-plan.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:43 PM

15. I guess it hinges on what is meant by "known". If people didnt "know" because they believed

a known liar, or didnt pay attention to the evidence, then yes you might argue that it wasnt "known". Ignorance is bliss and intentional ignorance is really bliss.

Sen Daschle gave a great speech outlining all the many reasons invading Iraq was a horrible idea. He then cast his principles aside and voted to give Bush, the Dim-Son authority to do what lead to the deaths of close to a million people, mostly innocent.

But the point I got from the OP was that America is a country of instant gratification. We need to punish someone and sometimes anyone will do.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:54 PM

16. I chose my words carefully. *At the time of the invasion* it was known.

The testimony of Saddam's son in law who defected (which was proved reliable a zillion different ways, and was the basis for dismantling the old WMD programs in the 1990s) made it likely that there were no WMD programs, but it was not known.

But before the invasion the UN inspectors had been in Iraq for a couple of months looking at the sites where people like Cheney "knew" the WMD were, and there was nothing there.

When inspectors are ON THE GROUND searching the sites where we "knew" the WMD were it is right to say that we KNEW there was no threat to America there.

This seems to have gone down the memory hole... we had already looked BEFORE the invasion. There was nothing there that posed a threat to America.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:49 PM

18. The 21st century US is one giant milgram experiment.

The authority figure d'jour says that all manner of antisocial, illegal and immoral behavior is necessary to preserve your freedom.

Freedom to do what?

The only important freedom is the freedom to say "fuck that". Not in my name.

65% of human beings will administer a lethal electric shock to another, provided they are ordered to do so by someone wearing a suit, lab coat or a uniform.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

Those who would not are called liberals.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:27 PM

19. Those who would not are called liberals.

Yes. The Milgram experiments, along with a dash of

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

...a sprinkling of Willie Nelson's classic line "They wouldn't lie to me... not on my own damn teevee!"

And a few other things. I am not very tolerant of previous acquaintances with whom I tried to interest in the possibility we were being lied to. Too many couldn't be bothered. Most of those also couldn't be bothered about torture. It bothers me to have areas of intolerance. Thank goodness I was raised on a mind-bending mix of Twilight Zone and Green Acres.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire

Good thread, cthulu2016.

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