Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Republican Illusionism regarding Iran

Via irregulartimes.com

Americans are well trained in the practice of political literalism. Now that, with just a few weeks to go before Election Day, the Bush White House is pumping out frightening messages about the Iranian nuclear program, Americans are mostly accepting what President Bush has to say at face value. If Bush says that Iran is on the verge of gaining the ability to destroy America with nuclear weapons, most Americans accept the claim as true.

The context of the situation is largely lost. Reports that Iran could not possibly develop a nuclear weapon for years to come, even if it wanted to, are cast aside. American support for the assembly of new nuclear weapons in India is overlooked. The immense nuclear weapons arsenal of the United States itself is not seen at all, as if it is protected by a force field that renders it invisible.
There’s something to that last idea. Americans have become easy marks for cheap propaganda tricks. Tell us enough times that something exists, and we seem to be ready to believe it. Heck, half of all Americans still believe that Iraq had massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction on the verge of the American invasion, so how hard can it be to convince America of the same thing about Iran, when we don’t have anyone on the ground to thoroughly debunk the claims?
The truth is that the Republicans are using perceptual idiosyncracies of the human mind to create the illusion of the need for war, much as artists can use perceptual shortcuts wired into our brains to create illusions of things that don’t really exist.

So, how is the Iran Crisis like a spiraling snake? The picture is too large to put here on the blog, so I’ll send you to it with
a link to a picture of a group of snakes. When you look at the picture, what do you see the snakes doing? Look carefully - what your brain tells you is happening is not actually happening at all. It’s an optical illusion.

The argument being assembled in favor of war against Iran is kind of like that. With a superficial glance, there is the appearance of a grave threat, but with closer examination, it becomes clear that nothing much is actually going on. The trouble is that the initial image is so jarring that most of us won’t bother to take a second look. That’s the reaction that the Bush White House is counting on. Will you provide it for them?

3 Comments:

At 1:00 AM, Blogger Timmer said...

Gert -

Funny thing about terror, Gert...it makes folks a bit edgy. Same goes for those who not only sponsor terror, but who have no problem defying the entire world and your precious U.N. whilst proclaiming that the haulocaust never happened and that Israel (a little tiny sliver packed into the corner of a massive middle east) should be "wiped off the map."

I don't see it the way you do (surprise!) - Bush has no desire to go to another war in the Middle East. And I am as sure as breathing that no one with half a wit is afraid of the U.S. or Israel suddenly dropping the big one. Don't you think this would be more likely in five or so years from Iran? (Well, of course you don't - I was being rhetorical ;-))

And I will forgive your amnesia on the WMD thing...it wasn't just us yanks who believed. Not by a long shot. And as it goes, there were indeed stockpiles found (500 cannisters), and evidence that much more was flown to Syria. No solid proof of that, so I won't argue the point (yet).

All due respect, Gert, you shouldn't paint all republicans in the U.S. as "Pro War"...just because most of us support the current war does not mean that war is always the answer with us.

I am curious though...your opposition and anger against the U.S. and Israel aside, how do YOU feel about Iran?

 
At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seriously believe Iran is set to launch a nuclear strike on the US Timmer?

Phu

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Timmer:

I'm putting together a piece on Iran and the nuclear issue, so that should answer your question (coming soon).

"Don't you think this would be more likely in five or so years from Iran? "

No, I don't at all. Nations aren't suicidal.

"And as it goes, there were indeed stockpiles found (500 cannisters), and evidence that much more was flown to Syria."

I've already seen your "evidence" and wasn't impressed. At least you admit there's no proof, many in the right-wing blogosphere believe the Syria connection to be holy.

"All due respect, Gert, you shouldn't paint all republicans in the U.S. as "Pro War"..."

Where am I doing that???

"I am curious though...your opposition and anger [...]"

Opposition: yes, anger: no...

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home