Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Value of History

It seems like the ultimate result of our education (conditioning) these days, is not to make us less biased and nonpartisan (prejudiced), but to make us more so, while calling it a nicer name. Many of the most deceptive and manipulative rabid partisans, even pride themselves fn their ability to persuade , convince and intimidate people to believe anything they want them to -- as today’s accepted and approved display of power -- as a more enlightened and progressive path, rather than it is the same coercion against one’s will, to do the will of another, with a lot less bloodshed.

And if we simply count the number of lives lost through these systematic programs for the elimination and extinction of lives -- we really have come a long way from century to century. What distinguished world events for most of human history has been wars, diseases and famines -- that are pretty much kept in check except for a sporadic few individuals.

Probably what most distinguishes an “undeveloped” country these days is not their lack of participation in the global economy as much as it is that they are still killing off their fellow countrymen, to determine who gets to reward only their clan. That is the mark and mentality of “third world” status -- rewarding only their own partisans, and exterminating the rest. Such leaders proudly proclaim as soon as they ascend to power, that they will reward all their friends, and punish all their enemies -- as though that was still was it means to be a “leader” in any field of human activity.

Hopefully, we no longer elect people like that to any position of responsibility and trust. but ultimately, it has to be the responsibility of the citizens not to promote such people to those positions -- by not being able to recognize any difference, or think that it does not matter.

People and societies improve because once they are exposed to “better,” seldom go back to preferring what was worse -- even while claiming that things have never been so bad in the whole history of humankind. Assuredly, they were always worse -- but the standards of tolerance have improved so greatly, that inconveniences can sometimes seem like a great catastrophe.

Not everyone has that inherent perspective of human development through time. Those without that sensitivity, think that times were always as they are now, or that the truth of another moment, no longer exists if one wants to say something else now, no matter how contradictory to what was said before. To such people, there is no truth and reality other than what they say and can get others to believe -- and that is their only reality.

For much of history, that was what history was -- a different story, depending on who told it, and the people who had the power, could hire the writers to write it the way they wanted it to be written. Subsequent historians (writers), merely spread that story more widely -- of that mythical past.

The New Historian observes and writes of the present as it is happening -- without benefit of how it all turns out for a happy ending to the desires and specifications of their benefactors (bosses), without benefit of that hindsight that is usually simply wishful thinking that it was so.

2 Comments:

At December 13, 2007 9:18 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

http://www.thebulletin.us/site/news.cfm?newsid=19112039&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=623508&rfi=6

Disinformatsya: How Liberal Media Attempts To Demoralize America

By: Michael P. Tremoglie, The Bulletin

12/13/2007

There is a disputed quote, attributed to North Vietnamese General Võ Nguyên Giáp, which states the American military would have won the Vietnam War were it not for the efforts of the American media to demoralize the nation. Giap purportedly wrote, "What we still don't understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi. ... We were ready to surrender! ... We knew it, and we thought you knew it. But we were elated to notice your media was definitely helping us. They were causing more disruption in America than we could in the battlefields."

While this quote is disputed, it is quite plausible. During the Vietnam War the liberal media anxiously reported sensationalized - and false - stories of atrocities by American troops.

Unfortunately, they got away with it then. This time it is different. This time the new media stopped them.

Recently, the esteemed magazine The New Republic (TNR) published a series of articles, by a soldier serving in Iraq, who claimed he witnessed misconduct by his fellow soldiers. He described horrible incidents such as insulting a disfigured woman, abusing corpses and being cruel to animals.

"Conservative" bloggers and the "conservative" media disputed the accounts. Yet, TNR defended the articles. Even after an internal investigation by the military revealed that there was no truth to them, TNR still maintained their validity. They even claimed, in an Aug. 7 statement, that they spoke to military personnel who corroborated the articles.

Finally, after months of denial, TNR issued a statement: "After months of intensive re-reporting, we cannot be confident that the events in [the soldier's] pieces occurred in exactly the manner that he described them. Without that essential confidence, we cannot stand by these stories."

TNR was not the only liberal medium to embrace anti-war atrocity propaganda and enthusiastically convey it to Americans.

Eason Jordan, CNN's chief news executive, resigned after he remarked, in 2005, that American soldiers in Iraq targeted journalists. Mr. Jordan, it seems, was more inclined to falsely report American atrocities than he was to truthfully report Iraqi atrocities since, in 2003, he admitted to withholding information about atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein.

The Boston Globe published photos of American soldiers allegedly raping Iraqi women in 2004. The story was false. The photos were common pornography.

Then there was the case of Jesse MacBeth, who claimed to be an Army Ranger and Iraq veteran. He said he committed and witnessed atrocities while serving in Iraq. Later it was learned that MacBeth had never been in Iraq. Of course, his accusations were already circulating by that time.

During 2004 and 2005 The Associated Press, which provides articles for thousands of newspapers and radio news broadcasts, published atrocity stories by former Marine Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey, an Iraq war veteran. These too were later proven to be false.

These are all examples of blatant fraudulent reporting of atrocities. Were it not for the "conservative" media and the "pajama clad" bloggers, as the liberal mainstream media derisively refer to them, these stories never would have been disproved. They would have remained in the public consciousness as images of the brutality of American military personnel - and used as propaganda by anti-war groups.

However, not only have the liberal media manifestly lied about atrocities committed by Americans in Iraq, but they have also reported accusations of atrocities by American military personnel in such a way as to make them seem common.

Never did they state that accused soldiers and Marines were innocent until proven guilty - a caveat repeated ad nauseum when it involved allegations against Bill Clinton. No, they immediately attempted to prove the allegations.

A 2005 Newsweek article mentioned that Americans guarding detainees flushed a Koran down the toilet. The article was later retracted by Newsweek.

Time magazine broke the story of the alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians by Marines in the village of Haditha. The magazine made the case for a massacre by stating a videotape, which purportedly shows the massacre, was provided to them by a group affiliated with Human Rights Watch. This was patently false.

The Haditha incident is famous for Democrat Congressman John Murtha's proclamation that the Marines were guilty - something the liberal media reported with delight.

What is not so well reported is that, to date, murder charges were dropped against four of the eight Marines accused. The other four do not face murder indictments.

It is unconscionable that American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines - risking their lives to protect the lives of their fellow citizens - were and are being used as political pawns by institutions that are supposed to be unbiased and truthful.

Michael P. Tremoglie is author of the critically acclaimed novel A Sense of Duty, available at Barnesandnoble.com.

 
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