Tuesday, January 03, 2012

dum & dummer

I learned from a Reuters story this morning that "Iran threatened Tuesday to take action if the U.S. Navy moves an aircraft carrier into the Gulf, Tehran's most aggressive statement yet after weeks of saber-rattling as new U.S. and EU financial sanctions take a toll on its economy."

Apparently the reporter, Parisa Hafezi, in the process of learning English as a second language has confused the meanings of "aggressive" and "defensive." Either that, or she (he?) is geographically challenged, and doesn't realize that the Persian Gulf is in Iran's back yard, rather than adjacent to the US's west coast.

Also, too, if the Iranians had an aircraft carrier and parked it at the entrance to San Diego harbor, that would by "saber-rattling," but at the moment, unlike us, they have no "saber" to "rattle."

But in the Land of the Free and the Home of TV-induced idiocy, such fine distinctions don't matter. Politico reports that according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, half of us would favor "military action" to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuke, should the current sanctions lodged against that country fail.

Asked whether the U.S. should take military action to prevent Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, 55 percent of voters said it shouldn’t, while 36 percent said it should. However, asked if the U.S. should take military action if sanctions against Iran to prevent its nuclear weapons program proved to be unsuccessful, 50 percent voted in favor of using military force.

So less than a week after our Excellent Adventure in Iraq comes to its ignominious conclusion, and as an objectiveless war in Afghanistan rages on, half of us are ready to go charging off to the Middle East one more time to secure access to "our" oil. I'm sure that a concerted propaganda campaign run jointly by the State Department and CNN can work that figure up to 70 percent in no time, just as it did during the runup to the Iraq invasion.

When I was teaching school, I noticed that there are some people so stupid they're incapable of learning anything, but their numbers were nowhere near 50 percent of the student population. However, it would be foolish to ever underestimate the power of incessant televised propaganda directed at a naive and vulnerable population.

Some of us are capable of learning, while others, given time and enough bogus information, just get dumber. Which one do you want to be?

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