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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

War Made Easy

I'm currently reading Norman Solomon's latest book, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. I'm only in chapter four, but I can already recommend the book. The table of contents tells most of the story:
  1. America Is a Fair and Noble Superpower
  2. Our Leaders Will Do Everything They Can to Avoid War
  3. Our Leaders Would Never Tell Us Outright Lies
  4. This Guy Is a Modern-Day Hitler
  5. This Is about Human Rights
  6. This Is Not at All about Oil or Corporate Profits
  7. They Are the Aggressors, Not Us
  8. If This War Is Wrong, Congress Will Stop It
  9. If This War Is Wrong, the Media Will Tell Us
  10. Media Coverage Brings War into Our Living Rooms
  11. Opposing the War Means Siding with the Enemy
  12. This Is a Necessary Battle in the War on Terrorism
  13. What the U.S. Government Needs Most Is Better PR
  14. The Penagon Fights Wars as Humanely as Possible
  15. Our Soldiers Are Heroes, Theirs Are Inhuman
  16. America Needs the Resolve to Kick the "Vietnam Syndrome"
  17. Withdrawal Would Cripple U.S. Credibility
While of course all of these lies were used to sell the current war in Iraq, Solomon provides the historical perspective. He doesn't focus solely on aWol's lies; in the chapters I've read so far he has spent as much or more time on the lies of Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton. The key point is that the same lies get used over and over again by our pResidents and their minions in Congress and the media. Of course, new ones get added from time to time--the Spanish-American War couldn't be sold using Hitler comparisons, obviously, and the Korean War wasn't fought to overcome the Vietnam syndrome. But the same sorts of lies are told, time after time, and the stupid American public falls for them, time after time.