Thursday, November 04, 2004


Now that America has proven H. L. Mencken correct by voting its preference for incomplete sentences (sadly reveletory, that), before I clear out all this Bush detritus and get back to blogging primarily about local reality (if I can't stand the absence of US politics in my writing life I'll start another blog; if I have the time and that blog gets off the ground I'll link to it from here), just a few parting words from a great US expat wordman regarding the situation America has now legitimized:

"For a country to turn itself into an imperial kind of despotism, you need an outside enemy. This was the brilliance of Adolf Hitler and his team. In fact, Goering gave a fascinating interview at Nuremberg. He said that the only way that you can organize an intelligent and well-educated people like the Germans into going to war, a war of conquest, was to frighten them. And you frighten them with, 'we have great enemies everywhere, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia, all over the place, and they have their eye on us,' and you go from there.

Well, it's the same techniques in a very crude way that we're seeing today. You cannot have a war on an abstract noun. 'Terrorism' is that. It's like a war on bad temper. 'Oh yes, I really want to join that battle. Where do we start?' It is semantically stupid, and actually in practice it's diabolical. We knocked down two countries who had done us no harm and intended us no harm. God knows what they intend now. And certainly after 9/11, they were innocent of any of that. But it happened through sheer reiteration and just telling lies, ferocious lies between Cheney and Bush about the connections of al Qaeda and Saddam and so on.

I think we're a bit tired of that story, but the story never registers. Sixty percent of the American people think that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. When you've got people as hypnotized by that, you can only do it two ways, and it can only be done with a lot of premeditation. One is you have a terrible educational system for the general public, where they're taught nothing when it comes to American history. I think they erase whatever it is they might have in their head.

So you have that, and then you have a totally corrupt media, which will tell any lie that the state wants it to."

Amnesia: Gore Vidal on America's current imbroglio
By Emily Udell

[For a raw cross-section of post-election emotions, be sure to read the comments after the article.]

No comments: