Thursday, May 26, 2005

Minitruth, here we come

Two plus two equals five. Two plus two equals five. Two plus two equals five. Yep, I used to think Orwell was a bit paranoid, but darn if we're not headed down the path of Big Brother in our own Oceania. And I'm not just talking about the government knowing what library books we've checked out.

Case in point: Rummy speaks

... He said U.S. officials must also deal with "a global Internet with universal access and no inhibitions, e-mail, cell phones, digital cameras wielded by anyone and everyone" ...

Yep, we've got to stop people from talking about death, mayhem, destruction, abuse and torture waged by the United States and her Oceania allies. It's not a bad thing that people are being tortured by US interests, but rather a bad thing if we are caught on camera hooking up batteries to genitals. Forget that many other sources have talked about the desecration of the Quran at Guantanamo Bay, just piss on the messenger. (Same with Bush's military record - they are sooooo good at this Ministry of Truth stuff!) Only talk about the heinous crimes committed by the other side. Crow about Oceania's gallant and successful fight against oppression, tyranny, hatred, and theocracies. Hide the truth about how the "other side" is fighting that in us, too.

Let me say that I really do oppose oppression, tyranny, hatred, and theocracies. There are some really mean, bad, despicable despots fighting US troops right now that have no love for their own people except how they can be used, manipulated, and extorted into furthering their interests. However, we have some of those same kind of autocrats here doing the same thing to our own people. To try to hide that by finding some way to suppress the dissemination of truthful information, or just ideas, is worthy of disgust.

Not that Rumsfeld can sink any further in my eyes, of course.

Edited to add: full text of Rummy's speech and to blab on about other specifics in it...

To prove that AP is not subscribing to any "liberal media" agenda in reporting this speech, instead of just having to "deal" with such things as AP reports, Secretary Rumsfeld's speech specifically says the followings are CHALLENGES:

Global satellite television networks;
24-hour news outlets with live coverage of terrorist attacks, disasters, and combat operations;
A global Internet with universal access and no inhibitions;
E-mail, cell phones, and digital cameras, wielded by everyone and anyone; and
A seemingly casual regard for classified information, resulting in a near-continuous hemorrhage of classified documents to the detriment of our country.

Ok, I'll give him that leaking of classified documents could be a valid "challenge" for national security (although recent reports about Quran abuse, along with prisoner abuse, have been released through FOIA, not in any sense of the term "leaked"). But, really, if you're fighting a good fight instead of a cynical, corrupt, in-your-face-Geneva-convention fight, how could news coverage and cameras be a challenge?

And on a more personal note, Rumsfeld has the audacity to quote Samuel Clemens in his speech, claiming, “a lie can make its way halfway around the world while the truth is still getting its boots on,” (slightly altered from the original Twain quote) . I can almost hear Mark Twain groan from his grave, aghast that such a religious zealot and aggressor would use his words. In honor of Mr. Clemens, let me counter Rumsfeld's quote with a few other Twain quotes:

"The history of the race, and each individual's experience, are thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal."

"When whole races and peoples conspire to propagate gigantic mute lies in the interest of tyrannies and shams, why should we care anything about the trifling lies told by individuals?"


"The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves. "


Take to heart what Mark Twain said or not, I don't care. Personally, as a long-time devoted fan of Mark Twain, I take huge offense to a person like Donald Rumsfeld, a vitriolic beast if there ever was one, quoting from his antithesis.

In closing, especially for Mr. Rumsfeld, a portion of Twain's War Prayer: full text

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen. "


At 12:47 PM, May 27, 2005, Blogger Le Garcon. said...

Great comparison, we could write volumes upon volumes of how the Huxley / Orwellian vision has been manifested into practical reality by our (U.S.) leaders, but we'd probably be tried as traitors. Keep up the good work.

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