The Rip Post                       Riposte Archive




Tale of two e-mails. . .
   (April 3, 2003)

       It was the best of e-mail, it was the worst of e-mail. . .

        "It might please you to know that you may have converted a registered Republican."
        The first e-mail was from one "Lisa," who announced that reading The Rip Post had changed her mind about the Bush administration.
        Shocked and awed? Yup. But Pleased? No.
        I was not pleased merely because Lisa's point of view resembled mine (plus, by conservative poll estimates, at least 90 million other U.S. citizens.)
        I was thrilled, though, that she kept her mind open enough to consider "other" information.
        This is no easy task when faced with the onslaught of jingoistic, go-team reporting from what Gore Vidal calls 19th Century Fox, and other major TV networks.

        This is no easy task when faced with the onslaught of fist-pounding by the Limbaugh/O' Reilly/Savage/Hannity Ministry of Information.
        This is no easy task when faced with all-hate, all-the-time radio---where "shock jocks" madly call for killing peace demonstrators. (Why aren't they prosecuted by Attorney General John Ashcroft for making terrorist threats?)
       This is no easy task when "Christian" TV preachers rage about protesters doing "Satan's work," and how God carried a rifle right alongside Uncle Sam in every war.
        If Lisa had read Riposte---and the many articles carried on the Daily Newslinks page---and still remained steadfast in her beliefs, that would have been fine.
        At least she would have absorbed information not being presented by the networks.
        At least she would have considered viewpoints contrary to Limbaugh/O'Reilly/Savage/Hannity.
        "Actually," she wrote, "I've never used (being a registered Republican) as an excuse to turn off my brain--- unlike many of both major parties---and there has just always been something about Bush and his administration that just didn't quite add up for me . . . Intuitively I have felt something was off. Your articles are certainly food for thought, and seem to be exactly the 'missing piece' in my own logic process."
         Hooray, Lisa!

         Many U.S. citizens would probably like to try Lisa for treason. They don't want to question anymore. This is understandable, given that the USA was pummelled on 9/11, and the populace has been a steady recipient of government-induced, color-coded fear. As a result, many people can't---and don't want to---see beyond the idea that attacking Iraq is "payback." Saddam is an evildoer---end of story. Everything is black and white---or rather, red-white-and-blue. Gray areas are for wusses, "peaceniks." This is John Wayne "we're the good guys" time!  What is our oil doing under the Arab desert? Bush said it---I believe it---That settles it!
        This is the company line.
        Anybody who buys any company line anywhere, anytime. . .is being bought. The price: thinking.
       With the threat of world war greater than at any time since WWII, this is hardly the time to stop thinking.
        I wish Jack could understand that. He's the reader---and longtime fan---who sent e-mail # 2, "cancelling his subscription" to The Rip Post. Jack went down in e-flames, railing about "yellow journalism," and how the site "used to be eminently readable" but now merely provokes "visceral" response.
        To quote Jack Benny, "well!"

      I explained to Jack that "yellow journalism" means making up news in order to further an agenda, and that has never happened here; that Riposte is a statement of opinion, like any column, and the Daily Newslinks come from reputable print media---from the New York Times to Associated Press. The old eminently readable saw? The quality of writing here is the same as always, take it or leave it. As for "visceral" response,  that problem is in Jack's viscera, not mine.
        But why , I asked, hadn't Jack just admitted that he "cancelled" because he didn't like the opinions or the choice of news? (To his credit, he apologized and confessed this was true.) Well, here's why:  Jack is one of many---perhaps the majority---who have stopped thinking. Whose brain has been Savaged, Rushed to judgement, O'riled up, Hannitized.  Limbaugh lower, now. . .

         I'd like to introduce Jack to Lisa, and let them debate. Here are a few random questions to get them started:
         Is the U.S. in Iraq to "liberate" the Iraqi people from a dictator? If so, why are we doing this all of a sudden, right now?
         Why did we not do this during the first Gulf War, when President Bush the First exhorted the Shiites and Kurds to rise up against Saddam, only to abandon them to hideous slaughter?
        Why did we not "liberate" five years ago, or two years ago, or twenty years ago?

         Why did Donald Rumsfeld, while in the Reagan administration, spend years attempting to broker a deal with Saddam for a new oil pipeline---knowing all the while that Saddam was killing Kurds with chemical weapons? Doesn't this fly in the face of Rumsfeld's claim that the Iraq attack has "nothing to do" with oil?
         Why did the U.S.---and Britain---sell those same chemical weapons to Saddam during the 80's, when Iraq was fighting Iran?
        Why did the U.S. and Britain sell Saddam the weapons of mass destruction that are now the purported reason for attacking the country?
        Why did Dick Cheney, while head of Halliburton in the late 90's, preside over the sale of oil infrastructure to Saddam, while claiming he didn't?
        Why, if finding weapons of mass destruction was our priority, did we not first attack Syria, or Libya, or Iran, which reportedly have equal or greater bio-chem stashes?

        Why, since Saddam's nuclear program is stalled, did we not first attack Iran, whose nuclear program is far more advanced?   
       Why did we not first attack North Korea, which is now revving up an A-bomb assembly line and has threatened to fire nuke-tipped missiles at us?
        Why on earth we attacking anyone? Didn't Bush run on the claim that we can't be the world's policemen?
        Why did we train and equip Osama bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda, when they were fighting our proxy war with the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan?

       Why did we desert them after that war, instead of stabilizing the country, as promised?
        Why were the few planes allowed aloft on 9/11 dispatched by the government to pick up the bin-Laden family in the U.S., and fly it to safe haven?
        Why did the president try to link Osama to Saddam in order to foment support for the Iraq attack, when the invasion was planned long before he was elected by members of the Project for a New American Century, a group that includes vice-president Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and Richard Perle?
        Why is the Project for a New American Century almost never mentioned by mainstream media?
        Why do the PNAC organizers believe that it is the duty of the U.S. to force---under threat of death---the rest of the world to become democratic?
        Why would any country threatened with death by a superpower not respond with terrorism and war?
        If we are so intent on toppling murderous dictators, why have we done nothing about African tyrants who have slaughtered many more than Saddam Hussein?
        Why are we allowing energy companies to do business with some of these same tyrants?
        Why does Bush want to build lots of "mini-nukes" when we can already destroy the world many times over?
        Why are there "Bible study" groups in the White House?

        Why is the administration largely comprised of former oil and energy company executives?

        There are so many more questions to ask, but all the Jacks out there don't want to hear them, let alone try to find answers. That would require abandoning the righteous "good guys" feeling that is so pleasant, and considering that maybe things aren't as they seem.
        That would require doing something that Lisa did. Something that made her withdraw her support for the Bush administration.
        Something called independent thinking.

                                                             COPYRIGHT Rip Rense 2003

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