Send Page To a Friend

Widespread Lies -- An American Woe
By Emily Spence
06/10/07 "ICH" -- --- While on a recent business trip, I heard the jet's stewardess announce, "And we thank any American troops onboard for their hard work to keep America free. We, especially, thank them for doing this in dangerous, far away places. We appreciate their honor and service on behalf of the great American way. They are true heroes doing whatever it takes to keep our freedom truly free at home."
In response, I felt like calling out, "Excuse me, but how is destroying a country like Iraq keeping us free? How is warring to secure the ME oil fields for companies like Exxon-Mobile keeping us free? How is slaughtering countless civilians in dangerous, far away places (as you call them) keeping us free? Were Iraq and Afghanistan dangerous to be as a tourist before our country's initial aggressive assaults? Perhaps our invasions fomented increased dangers from terrorists both abroad AND here. So, please stop spreading  dangerous propaganda. It does us all a disservice!" 
Instead I kept quiet because in the land of the free, free speech is curtailed. As a result, I'd have wound up arrested by airport security forces for "creating a disturbance" were I to contradict the flight attendant.
That perhaps would be ironically amusing if it weren't so emblematic of the way that fostering of party-line lies and limiting truth generally prevail in the US. In this vein, the falsehoods often are so illogically  absurd that they possess an Orwellian ring to them.
For example, many Americans (50% in 2006 according to a Harris Poll *) still believe that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq and provided a sufficient reason for US to preemptively attack. A considerable portion, also, think that the 9/11 hijackers were from Iraq and that the Iraqi government had ties to Al Qaeda (64% according to same tally). Yet, none of this has been proven one iota true. Indeed, evidence suggests quite the contrary.
At the same time, 55% imagine that historical records will credit the US with providing democracy and freedom to Iraq. In a similar vein, 72% have concluded that Iraqis have better lives now than they did under the former regime.
While the judgment is still out on the first claim, the second is utterly wrong as chronic malnourishment, a massive number (655,000+) of civilian deaths, huge ongoing migrations (involving 10% of the prewar population) into other lands, widespread poverty, declining literacy, as well as lack of jobs, adequate housing, clean water, food, electricity, medical supplies, medical staff, sanitation and other basic provisions have impacted daily life in Iraqi. This is according to UN, Red Cross and other surveys conducted by reputable sources**.
All considered, the gap between the facts and the misconceptions held by a substantial number of hoodwinked Americans is, obviously, wide. This is so even when we don't add in the outlooks of those amongst the evangelical masses, such as the silly notion that ME warring should be joyfully encouraged  since it represent a sign from God that Armageddon is at hand.
Yet, how could such an immense disparity exist? In addition, the discrepancy begs other more critical questions: How could such a sizable portion of US citizens be so easily duped and what agents are responsible for such easy acceptance of erroneous conclusions? In other words, who created these bogus sets of facts and, equally important, were they deliberately crafted?
The answer is obvious. While fictitious interpretations of events are clearly founded in misinformation, their prevalence is quite understandable given that the US mainstream media is funded by advertising industry whose puppet strings are, ultimately, yanked by big multinational corporations -- the same companies that our government courts and woos by creating expensive wars (in regions laden with resources coveted by those worldwide businesses) and myriad laws favoring globalization at the expense of American jobs.
So somewhere along the way, some devious group of people, both connected to the government and big business, developed a plot to bamboozle the American people to go along with the war, a not too difficult task following 9/11. This same group could have easily decided to not push for the reinstatement of the draft in that a mandatory draft became the indirect cause that led many Americans to protest the Vietnam War. (It got a little too close to home when one's own middle and upper class sons were called to arm.)
Consequently, life, all in all, goes simply onward with misguided factual backdrops enduring intact because few reputable mainstream sources dare dispute them. This is especially the case as most news programs  simply aren't going to get beyond such topics as the best ways to fix your hair on high humidity days, the stores that have the cutest summer fashions, the highest grossing movie of the week, ways to make vegetables more appealing to children, the car accident in the next town, the foiled robbery at a local convenience store and so on -- all making up the bland harmless pabulum demanded by sponsors, and that we can watch day after day if we choose such fatuous fare. 
Meanwhile, oil's still plentiful despite its continual rising price, which likely has, in part, resulted from the ME incursions. In addition, there's, apparently, not too great worry about global warming (not enough, anyway, to curb use in oil for overseas vacations, miscellaneous car trips for ice cream and children's sports games, multitudinous excursions to malls and myriad other incidental locations, as well as air conditioning, which will be, increasingly, set on high as global warming takes its toll).
Similarly not much thought seems to be given to the cost of the Iraq war ($432,805,108,172 according to, the national debt at $8,844,982,217,061.83 as of June 9th, 2007 (source:; the average household US deficit, in 2006, set at $7,200 in revolving debt (largely due to credit cards) and $21,000 in accumulated debt (source: Debtors Search for Discipline via Blogs - New York Times); nor the total US debt, much of which is held by Japan and China, currently poised at $48 trillion and soaring (source:
However, it's not easy to give up comfortable delusions that all is going great in "the land of the free, home of the brave." As such, it's hard for many people to admit that US military incursions are shameful, tragic and abominable while much in the rest of our collective life revolves around inordinate and perilous overspending for much that we do not really want, nor need.
All the same, there might exist a vague growing sense that all is not well in America. Although with a convenient whipping boy (immigrants) posed as the biggest immediate US problem, a convenient focus to redirect attention off of the warring can be fomented. (Exemplary of this is the assembled data in: Click here: Illegal Immigration Counters - Home Page; N.B., The extent of funds that the immigrants send abroad is a mere pittance compared to the amount that our government deliberately squanders.)
In addition, there exists increasing discouragement amongst some Americans about the ceaseless expansion of a US military presence despite that not much is being done to end our assaults from spreading through Africa and elsewhere across the globe. Nonetheless, this unease is shaping into various related opinions: 
For example, 68% do believe that America is less respected by the rest of the world due to invasion of Iraq. 56% conclude that a stable democratic Iraqi government will not be formed -- the same number that believe that the money spent in this war has resulted in less money being spent to guard the US from further terrorist attacks at home. Indeed, 61% consider the US invasion and occupation of Iraq as a prime motivator in further Islamic terrorists attacks against America while 58% do not deem the invasion as helpful in reducing additional terrorist attacks against the US. (This information is, also, from the Harris Poll.)
Meanwhile, what would happen if our troops were, gradually, brought home to help with some of our most urgent homeland difficulties (the reconstruction that still needs to be done in the aftermath of Katrina, work in development of programs to take care of homeless Americans such as the 80,000 that exist in LA alone and of whom a large proportion are mentally impaired, and many other problem areas of serious import)? What if they were, likewise, used to help with projects required in other countries? Providing support in areas of need, rather than warring to obtain whatever one wants, goes a long way in getting those goods (such as oil) in return. At the same time, they can, boost economies both here and abroad.
Yet, this is not the pattern in place. There seems simply not enough interest on the part of most Americans to push for these sorts of positive changes. In short, they appear, for the most part, largely passive and indifferent to whatever US troops are doing (or not doing), the location of US military incursions, the nature of US prison torture techniques, increasing limits in Constitutional rights at home, most national events (except sports related ones), and global affairs in general.
Instead, the here and now in daily personal affairs seems the overriding concern for many Americans such that, if the little that they know about Iraq comprises mendacious lies, what do they care as long as they have their small transitory pleasures in everyday life. All the same, a few do adamantly care.
So if you're a stewardess on a jet, please spare us from having to listen to platitudinous fibs. We don't like them and just as you wouldn't, necessarily, want to be subjected to our opinions, we don't wish to hear yours. In short, please just keep them to yourself instead of trying to create the perception that yours is a patriotic, pro-American airline in an effort to drum up future business. I don't want such rubbish and neither should you.
Instead please keep in mind: "For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of 'brainwashing under freedom' to which we are subjected and in which all too often we serve as unwilling instruments." - Noam Chomsky
** (For details, please refer to "Iraqis Endure Worse Conditions Than Under Saddam, UN Survey Finds," by Chris Shumway located at and "War in Iraq Propelling A Massive Migration Wave Creates Tension Across the Middle East," By Sudarsan Raghavan located at
Emily Spence lives in MA and deeply cares about the future of the world.

Click on "comments" below to read or post comments

  Comment (0)

Comment Guidelines
Be succinct, constructive and relevant to the story. We encourage engaging, diverse and meaningful commentary. Do not include personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers and emails. Comments falling outside our guidelines – those including personal attacks and profanity – are not permitted.
See our complete
Comment Policy and use this link to notify us if you have concerns about a comment. We’ll promptly review and remove any inappropriate postings.

Send Page To a Friend

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information ClearingHouse endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon

 Sign up for our Daily Email Newsletter

  Amazon Honor System