Environmental Ethics
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Ernest Partridge, Ph.D

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The Gadfly Bytes -- May 22, 2007

Is the Public Finally Beginning to “Get it”?

Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor

The Crisis Papers.

May 22, 2007

We often hear the lament, “How is it possible that as many as 30% of the American public still approve of George Bush? I’ve often asked myself the same question.

Is it just possible that we are looking at the wrong half of the glass?

Might it not make more sense to ask, “How is it possible that as few as 30% of the public supports The Shrub? Why not more?"

Those of us who pose the first question most likely get our news and information from the internet and from the independent and foreign press, having acquired a well-justified contempt for the mainstream media (MSM). From that perspective, it is hard to believe that even 10% would still support Bush.

But most of the American public are not like us. If they are at all interested in politics, they get most of their news and opinion from right-wing talk radio and the mainstream media.

The Bush/Right-wing “noise machine” is formidable, and it has been effective. For example, a poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA),  released in April, 2004, reported that 57% of Americans believed that Saddam’s Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, and 60% believed that either that Iraq had WMDs or WMD programs. And in October of that year, shortly before the presidential election, 75% of Bush voters believed that Saddam was supporting al Qaeda.

Where did these U. S. citizens get this demonstrably false information, if not from the mainstream media?

At least as important as misinformation, are the mainstream news blackouts. As of March 3, none of the network evening newscasts reported the political interference and firing of the U. S. Attorneys – three months after the firings took place.   And as of last Thursday (May 17), ABC and CBS had not reported on James Comey’s testimony about the “drama” centered around John Ashcroft’s hospital bed.

Similarly, the mainstream media have had little or nothing to say about “The Downing Street Memos,” which clearly revealed that the Bush Administration was “fixing” the intelligence reports to support the decision to invade Iraq. And the MSM have to this date totally ignored any and all evidence that indicates that the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were stolen.

Finally, the MSM has at best failed to debunk and worst still, has participated in the smearing and ridicule of Democratic candidates, while giving a free pass to the GOP candidates. Who can forget the bogus “inventing the internet” and “serial liar” smears of Al Gore, and the sabotaging of the 2000 Presidential debates? Then followed the “French-look,” “flip-flopping”and worst of all, the “swift-boating” of John Kerry. And it continues today with John Edwards’ $400 haircut. And by the way, we are told that Dennis Kucinich can’t win because he’s too ugly, and Edward can’t win because he is too good-looking. What’s a Democrat to do?

In the meantime, investigation of Bush’s abbreviated “service” in the Air National Guard, and his shady investments continue to be verboten in the MSM. 

And yet, in spite of all this, the truth seems to be getting through and the public is beginning to wise-up. For example, despite the total embargo on news and investigation into election fraud, by September, 2006, less than half of the public believed that Bush had won the 2004 election “fair and square.” Just last month, 69% of the public believed that the Iraq war was “going badly.” Last week, the AP-Ipsos poll reported that only 25% say that things are going well in the U.S. All the while, Bush’s approval ratings continue to fall, and today, at 28%, are the lowest of his Presidency.

And to top it all off, in January, the Democrats took control of both houses of Congress.

How is this possible?

Because, propaganda is a sprinter, while truth is a long-distance runner.  And, at long last, the GOP/Bushevik/media propaganda machine has shot its bolt.

Too many lies. Too many unfulfilled promises. Too much spin. Too much contradiction and backtracking. Too much whistle-blowing. Too many ordinary citizens with memories of the lies. Too many other citizens reminded of the lies:

“There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”
(Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002).

There is a “sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.”
(Colin Powell, UN Security Council, February 5, 2003)

“We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” (Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003).

“We know where [the WMDs] are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.”
(Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003)

“Major combat operations are over.” (George Bush, USS Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 2003)

“I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”
(Dick Cheney, June 20, 2005)

Iraq has 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 1,000,000 pounds of sarin, mustard and VX gas, 30,000 munitions to deliver these agents. (“Disarm Saddam Hussein,” whitehouse.gov)

Aluminum tubes. African uranium.

Jessica Lynch. Pat Tilman.

This is an egg that can not be unscrambled. Credibility, once lost, can not be regained.

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me... you can’t get fooled again.” (George W. Bush).

Meanwhile, the facts persists and at last the truth is beginning to break through the media smokescreen.

The Busheviks are learning, to their sorrow, that if you embark upon a campaign of lies, better to grab the prize early and then dig in. As every successful confidence man knows, once you’ve conned the rubes, it’s time to get of town, fast. Time is the enemy of both the lying politician and the confidence man.

So now, at last, as the Bush/Cheney ship of state stalls and sinks, the crew begins to abandon ship. There are resignations from within the Administration and insider testimony before Congressional committees. As circulation and ratings plummet, a few members of the mainstream media are, ever so slowly, beginning to behave like journalists again.

Time, at last, is on the side of the opposition – and of the Constitution and the rule of law.

This is no time to pause or to diminish the attack. This is no time for compromise – and this means you, Congress!

But we must also be mindful that the wounded and trapped beast is the most dangerous. The Congress has meekly handed the tools of oppression to the Busheviks: the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act – torture, abolition of habeas corpus, arbitrary arrest and imprisonment solely on the President's order, suspension of posse comitatus allowing the Administration to turn the military against its fellow citizens.

Even so, against all this a united and aroused citizenry can prevail. And for the first time in six years, it appears that this just might be possible.

Copyright 2007, by Ernest Partridge


Ernest Partridge's Internet Publications

Conscience of a Progressive:  A book in progress. 

Partridge's Scholarly Publications. (The Online Gadfly)

Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers".   His e-mail is: gadfly@igc.org .

Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" (www.igc.org/gadfly) and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers" (www.crisispapers.org).  Dr. Partridge can be contacted at: gadfly@igc.org .