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I Call It Brainwashing

by Scott Alan Woodard Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 9:58 AM

Why does the call for peace stir up such hatred?

I am against the military action that the U.S. and Britain are taking in Iraq.

I am against this current U.S. administration that seeks to shred our Bill of Rights and wantonly attack and conquer for it’s own secret agenda.

I am a proud American.

Prior to the current crisis, my “involvement” in politics was rather subdued. I would watch and read and listen to the news, and while I often found myself enlightened and occasionally outraged about certain things, I never took to the streets and I never felt as passionate about something as I do now.

When the bombs started falling on Baghdad and the innocent began to feel fear and die, things changed. Something inside snapped. It was time to write letters, make telephone calls and get out on the streets and voice my disgust.

Thankfully, we live in a country that encourages opinion, even dissenting opinion, don’t we? I thought we did… Doesn’t that glorious first amendment in the Bill Of Rights of that grand document known as The Constitution of The United States read: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”?

And yet, as I have been gathering with anywhere from a handful of people to crowds in excess of ten or twenty-thousand, I find souls on my side of the yellow tape wanting nothing more than a better world for all, while on the other side (beyond the 200-plus-strong line of well-equipped police officers) pass examples of hatred and evil beyond imagining.

Let me explain. We hold signs and call for justice. We shout things like “Stop the killing,” “Bring our troops home now,” and “Peace,” while at the same time savage insults and verbal attacks are spewed at us from passing vehicles. Just yesterday, as I stood with a small group of people on a local corner, I witnessed words and gestures of unbridled hatred. As small children stood with their parents, proudly expressing themselves, venomous attacks were hurled at us.

What is it about a desire for peace that stirs these people into frenzy? The actions of these folks make me ashamed to be a proud American and that is not right at all.

Ultimately, what drives people to shout, “I wish you had all been in the Towers” (no joke about that one), is simple “brainwashing.” A large number of people in this country are lazy. It is a lot easier to flip on Fox News and count that as your single source of information than it is to watch three or four or six news channels and listen to a few radio stations and visit dozens of websites and read a number of magazines and newspapers. It is easier to go along with what is said during Bush’s speeches or the Pentagon briefings than it is to research, question and make up your own mind. The problem with that, though, is laziness (and submission) allows those in power to take advantage of us all and that can lead to destruction.

People cheer for the troops, but they fail to acknowledge the meat-grinder-like shredding of an innocent victim of a cluster bomb. They listen to our president proclaim that this is all about liberating a repressed population under the thumb of a vicious dictator, but they fail to realize that the U.S. has had numerous dealings with this dictator, and said dictator has been in power since 1968 (as vice-president and president since 1979). They believe that the people of Iraq are going to shower our troops with flowers and candy, but they fail to see that Iraqi families are taking up arms to defend their homes against the “invaders.”

Thank goodness for all of us who acknowledge that something is truly rotten in Washington. Since the president is a public servant, we must always remember that he works for us. He doesn’t rule us with an iron fist and he is not and never should be, above criticism. Theodore Roosevelt (a Republican president, by the way) said:

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

There is much said in this quote that should be understood and embraced by people regardless of which side of the issue they stand on.

Let us speak out (without fear of foul language, squealing tires and tossed soda and beer cans) and maybe… just maybe, you might learn something from us.



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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 32 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
david thompson Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 10:05 AM
Not just protests... Scott Alan Woodard Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 11:15 AM
to thomson Sheepdog Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 12:12 PM
Really fresca Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 12:17 PM
And Speaking of BJ's Sheepdog Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 12:26 PM
Cause I shudder to think of any pups. Sheepdog again, fresca. Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 12:36 PM
Okey dokey. Sheepdog Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 1:04 PM
Thanks sheep fresca Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 1:32 PM
Thank you Roger Jones Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 2:36 PM
Another link about Iraq and the CIA Sheepdog Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 5:46 PM
thugs against good and peace Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 5:59 PM
Hatred Towards Protestors soup ignorant Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 6:22 PM
a fart in the wind smelly Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 7:14 PM
WRONG, BOY-O Grandma Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 10:00 PM
Thanks again fresca Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 10:29 PM
To Roger Jones daveman Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 12:49 AM
Okay, more links Sheepdog Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 1:02 AM
We put him there daveman Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 1:52 AM
No, I wont. Sheepdog Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 6:15 AM
Then perhaps... daveman Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 6:29 AM
daveman, I am so impressed...not Sheepdog Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 6:37 AM
On the contrary... daveman Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 7:05 AM
wow wow Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 7:12 AM
daveman Scottie Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2003 at 7:53 PM
To: Daveman Get a Life Daveman Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2003 at 7:59 PM
kick the crap out of 'em dave Eric Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2003 at 2:37 AM
Weak Sheepdog Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2003 at 2:56 AM
Yea Baby MM Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2003 at 3:38 AM
I call it brain washing Sheepdog Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2003 at 4:19 AM
More Funny Stuff Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2003 at 5:06 AM
Oh yes so funny Sheepdog Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2003 at 5:15 AM
Road Warriors Funny Stuff Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2003 at 5:17 AM

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