imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Why let facts get in way of a perfectly good war?

by Arianna Huffington Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 3:57 PM

This goes out with a big dose of PAXIL to all you Stockholm Conservatives.

Why let facts get in way of a perfectly good war?

Commentary by Arianna Huffington

June 24, 2003

 

By all accounts, the battle within the Bush administration over just what information should be used to make the case that Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the world was a knockdown, drag-out fight between the facts and a highly politicized "who needs proof?" mindset. And at the end of the day, the truth was left writhing on the floor.

This pathological pattern of disregarding inconvenient reality is not just troubling — it's deadly. And it's threatening to drag us into a Sisyphean struggle against evildoers in Syria, Iran, North Korea, or whatever locale Karl Rove thinks would best advance "Operation Avoid Bush Sr.’s Fate."

Since I'm not a psychiatrist, I consulted the work of various experts in the field in order to get a better understanding of the fanatical mindset that is driving the Bush administration.

Dr. Norman Doidge, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, has identified among the telltale symptoms of fanatics: an intolerance of dissent, the belief that one's cause has been blessed or even commanded by God, and the use of reinforcement techniques such as repetition to spread one's message.

Sound like anyone you know? George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, come on down!

According to Doidge, one of the essential features of fanatics is their certainty that not only is their cause good "but that it is the only good, an absolute good." Or as President Bush famously declared: "There is no in between as far as I'm concerned. Either you're with us, or you're against us."

This absolute intolerance of dissent, says Doidge, often extends beyond the fanatics' enemies — frequently leading to a "campaign of terror" against those within their own ranks.

If you're wondering what this has to do with the Bush administration, you might want to give a call to Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and George Voinovich. After having the temerity to question the wisdom of the president's massive tax-cut plan, the senatorial pair became the targets of withering TV attack ads, sponsored by allies of the White House, that portrayed them as "so-called Republicans" and compared their opposition to the latest round of tax cuts to France's opposition to the war in Iraq.

Another crucial element of a fanatic's faith, according to Professor Dixon Sutherland, who teaches religion at Stetson University, is that he "sees himself as acting for God.” Tom DeLay, for example, saw the 2000 election as a choice between a "biblical worldview" and the worldview of "humanism, materialism, sexism, naturalism, post-modernism or any of the other -isms." And the Republican Party, of course, represented the biblical worldview, God and all things good.

Gustav le Bon, a social scientist known for his crowd psychology theories, has stressed the importance of repetition as a weapon in the fanatic's arsenal. "Ideas, sentiments, emotions and beliefs," writes le Bon, "possess in crowds a contagious power as intense as that of microbes."

As James Moore, co-author of Bush's Brain, says, "If the president says it over and over enough, people will believe it, just as Karl Rove got him to say over and over that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11." The technique was so successful that a poll taken by the Pew Center in 2002 showed that 66 percent of Americans believed that Saddam and bin Laden were both behind the attacks.

Wonder why the WMD are MIA? The answer may lie in the DSM — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. I know it can sound a bit cheap to call people you disagree with nuts, which is why I refer to the psychiatric literature. And keep an open mind, something the Bushies stopped doing a long time ago.

Arianna Huffington is a syndicated columnist.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 64 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Why should I care about the facts? Stockholm Conservative Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 3:58 PM
Bush family and facts Ziegler Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 4:23 PM
The Left Shrieks, America Shrugs Bush Admirer Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 4:39 PM
The usual Bush Asskisser tactic... Diogenes Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 4:41 PM
poll Meyer London Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 6:45 PM
Recent Polls... Diogenes Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 7:16 PM
Finally, a Diogenes tagline I like! Dagny Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 7:30 PM
Finally, a Diogenes tagline I like! Dagny Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 7:31 PM
INDYMEDIA daveman Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 8:08 PM
Meyer London Where truth or knowdege not required Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 8:34 PM
The previous post... daveman Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 8:53 PM
The Left Shrieks, America Shrugs Ffutal Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 9:56 PM
Hey Meyer, Ann's got something to tell you. Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 10:33 AM
Ann Coulter Meyer London Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 12:53 PM
Meyer London, an ad hominem Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 12:58 PM
ad hominem not a rebuttal Meyer London Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 1:15 PM
Ann Coulter Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 1:22 PM
Oh and Meyer... Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 1:25 PM
Did she really write this? Brian OConnor Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 1:35 PM
Addt'l comments Brian OConnor Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 1:43 PM
Canned, Calling the Shots Meyer London Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 1:56 PM
Best Sellers Meyer London Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 2:12 PM
Eric, what did you think..." Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 2:25 PM
"went to far" Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 2:29 PM
Satire Alter-Airic Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 2:38 PM
Have you noticed... Diogenes Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 2:44 PM
Perhaps. Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 2:46 PM
So is it your contention... Diogenes Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 2:59 PM
your platforms hurt America Sheepdog Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 3:11 PM
It is MY contention... Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 3:19 PM
Uh, Eric... Diogenes Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 3:26 PM
Diogenes Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 3:37 PM
And of course... Diogenes Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 3:47 PM
Knew what? fresca Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 4:00 PM
"learning anything original" Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 4:09 PM
More clues to Airic's problems Brian OConnor Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 4:34 PM
Oh I listen. Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 5:03 PM
Back for more, Brigg? Brian OConnor Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 5:20 PM
why is this site YOURS? Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 5:25 PM
Us and Them Brian OConnor Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 5:53 PM
Oh well you know me. Eric Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 6:06 PM
Pontificate Pilus: the Golden Showers of Brigg Diogenes Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 6:19 PM
answers brigg Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 6:37 PM
Devoid of Value(s) Brian OConnor Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 7:11 PM
BOC brigg Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 7:20 PM
Finite Wisdom from Brigg Brian OConnor Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 7:30 PM
Seriously fresca Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 8:43 PM
Now, be fair, fresca. daveman Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 9:40 PM
Rule number 1 for the Bush Junta Diogenes Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 3:13 AM
Rule number 1 for Napoleon...err, I mean, Dio... daveman Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 8:01 AM
Hey, daveman. Eric Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 9:02 AM
Got critical thinking skills? anti-moron Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 11:08 AM
I guess it's an oblique... Diogenes Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 1:33 PM
Poll pollster Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 1:36 PM
I'm a poll watcher. Ignatius Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 1:45 PM
De Nile ain't just a river faker/KOBE Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 1:52 PM
^ Ignatius Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 1:55 PM
Yep I do. Eric Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 1:57 PM
Oh, really? anti-moron Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 1:58 PM
Drop It anti-moron Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 2:03 PM
^ Eric Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 2:06 PM
anti-moron faker/KOBE Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 2:10 PM
^ Eric Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 2:19 PM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy