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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/9/19

Why Americans remain in denial over what their country is doing in the world

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There is something that continues to gnaw at this writer. Why many/most Americans seemingly remain intentionally in denial or oblivious of what their country has done and is doing in the world.

It feels surreal at times being in the midst of people fixated on their Smartphone's seemingly oblivious to even what's around them-never mind what's happening in the larger world.

I've traveled recently to the San Diego area. Also in the last year to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York City and Long island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Central Florida, South Carolina, Ohio, Indiana to my own Middle-Atlantic Maryland and Virginia. Though the accents may be different their behaviors are similar particularly the fixation with that electronic gadget in front of their faces.

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Other than my direct conversation with a friend in a restaurant and the one time sitting next to a stranger on a train, these were the only times discussion of issues or problems facing this country were brought up, in both instances initiated by me. Overhearing others by virtue of being in close proximity to them in those same public spaces seemed to reveal nothing of consequence.

I have an hypothesis why many/most Americans remain in denial or oblivious to their country's policies and actions in the world. Cognitive dissonance would result, a psychological term indicating "mental discomfort experienced by a person...triggered by a situation in which a person's belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person."

In other words if they let themselves face something contrary to what they have come to believe-from all the propaganda they've been indoctrinated with since early childhood-would turn their world upside down, take the rug from under their feet.

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So they simply avoid the unpleasantness cognitive dissonance would bring.

But for those willing to face a few truths about this country let's take a brief glimpse into some of the American "history" we were taught in our schools:

Think of "manifest destiny" -at least how this writer distinctly remembers it-basically the "natural" process of the country's western expansion to the Pacific. That the expansion was really stealing the lands of the indigenous Indian peoples and through a provoked war with Mexico expropriating a third of that country of what is now California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and part of Colorado. What we were taught was nothing more than a false white wash of history-something one learned long after formal schooling ended.

Of course demonizing and depicting the indigenous people as "savages" made it easier to reconcile the "stealing" of their lands while encouraging white pioneering Americans to settle on those lands. And besides the Indians weren't Christian's and didn't "own" the land. Sometimes our government decided to get a few Indian chiefs to sign a peace treaty-all broken by "official" Washington in due time-then put the survivors of the genocide on "reservations"-essentially gulags-on land much of it not arable.

Then there's America's legacy of slavery, the bondage of black peoples brought here in chains, families sold and separated and on whose backs was the economic and physical development of this country.

Where is the "official" recognition of these facts or reparations paid to their ancestors? None given.

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All of it white washed, forgotten, no "official" apology necessary.

What about America's sordid foreign history of initiating coups, overthrowing legitimately elected governments, regime change operations, false flag attacks, the unnecessary wars and occupations, extraordinary rendition, torture, assassinations, drone strikes and missile attacks on innocents, indefinite detention, suspension of habeas corpus, just to highlight some of the more nastier activities we have engaged in-and still doing with provocations, sanctions, against Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, North Korea, even nuclear superpowers Russia and China.

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Dave Lefcourt Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Retired. The author of "DECEIT AND EXCESS IN AMERICA, HOW THE MONEYED INTERESTS HAVE STOLEN AMERICA AND HOW WE CAN GET IT BACK", Authorhouse, 2009
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8 people are discussing this page, with 14 comments  Post Comment


John Jonik

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I think this is only about US Americans, those who nickname their own country thus dragging in all the other Americans who are not part of the USA...like the no-less Americans in Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America. So we understand...it's just about the USA and its gov't...not all the Americas or all those other Americans.

Why don't other parts of the Americas complain loudly about being dragged into this America Is A Threat thing because of this "America" nickname for just one country IN the Americas?

In any case, it's distractingly "patriotic" to see the USA being called "America" so often....just as the Trumpheads, et al, do. But even Chomsky has slipped up on this.

Cripes...your kid would flunk geography class in grade school if he/she labeled the USA as "America". There's no such country. Hawaii, a US state, isn't even IN the Americas...it's in Polynesia.

Isn't it helpful, important, to get the language right?

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 4:30:41 AM

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PS:

"The USA" has same number of syllables as "America", and saves ink and space.

"US Government" is shorter than "American government".

"US Citizen" is longer and less musical than "American", but it's accurate if about citizens of the US. After all, "American" can refer to a fruit vendor on streets of Nicaragua or Bolivia as much as to a Wall Street hedge fund manager.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 5:07:50 AM

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Tim Crusader

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One good example of the oblivious blindness of this cognitive dissonance is that Americans on both the right and left routinely cite the 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam, but almost never the MILLIONS of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians their aggressive imperial delusions killed. The same applies to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 5:10:41 AM

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911TRUTH

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Very true. Those lives don't matter to us. At all.

I 'love' how we call the people in the countries we invade as the 'enemy' or the 'insurgents' when in reality WE are the insurgents and they are just fighting to keep their country.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 4:54:35 PM

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Richard Pietrasz

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I think "we" are more properly described as the exsurgents, since "we" invade from outside.


What "we" describe as insurgents should be more properly descripted as patriots. As best I can figure out, nobody is more despised by the US active military and veterans than patriots. Except maybe the "price was worth it" victims. Look up the Madeleine quote on the latter if you do not know it already.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 8:02:30 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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The American people are the result of the propaganda, nay brainwashing, giving us by the bought and paid for media gerbils most of who are millionaires (Rachel Maddow is paid $30,000 for every program, that's over $7 Million a year) in order to keep the false news flowing and the people dumbed down. War is a top priority and the talking gerbils keep promoting it even to the extent of smearing those who attempt to speak reason such as Tulsi Gabbard.

While they continue to squelch Tulsi's agenda they may have some resistance around the corner as Soros and Koch have joined forces to start an anti-war think tank. If this is legitimate it may change some thinking among the population.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 11:17:25 AM

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911TRUTH

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I don't think Americans are in denial.

I think they simply don't care.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 4:49:05 PM

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Janet Supriano

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NO.

During Vietnam, TV coverage included the coffins returning to Dover AFB and pictures of the killing fields in Asia. Such reporting tweaked the awareness of ordinary citizens. And probably greatly influenced the rise of the anti-war movement.The war machine learned a lot from that time.

Since GW, no such coverage is allowed. Propaganda improved further. Therefore, many people are simply unaware (consciously) of the devastation of Life caused by our government, its puppeteers and its toadies.I still think the people of the US are highly compassionate. Even for those of us who know what's happening, there is such a thing as empathy overload or burnout. Personally, I can't handle the guilt of the world.

Anti-War is not dead. It is infiltrated at every mark. I don't think we (as a country) are uncaring; I think we are overwhelmed, scared, broke, struggling and TIRED. What the hell can a city block of US residents do about Yemen!?

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 6:05:45 PM

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Tulsi Gabbard is being silenced and smeared because she is telling the people how it is and how it should be. Unfortunately, she is the best candidate for the Presidency and the people will not even know her.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 10:16:52 PM

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It's appalling! When you see polls of 'who is your favorite candidate?' or lists of top contenders, she typically doesn't even appear. This is what happens when your message threatens the established narrative and program of global domination, service to the people, not the corporate state.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 10:22:03 PM

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"Anti-War is not dead."

It may not be but it sure is in a coma. Part of this is due to the self-evisceration of the peace movement. It's messages are stale, its mantras and memes from times past and unappealing, its activists are often self-promoting, self-aggrandizing, territorial. Their main motto seems to be 'Just say NO to fresh thinking!'

Having said that, the peace movement coupled with the climate change movement is the only hope for the survival of humankind. I hope they get their acts together. It's getting hot in here.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 10:28:06 PM

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They care about what is immediate and what is tangible. For an increasing number of citizens, what is immediate and tangible is keeping their job, keeping a roof over their heads, keeping their kids from starving to death, keeping from getting shot. I grew up among trailer trash. They weren't uncaring people at all. Generally, they were more charitable, generous, caring than people with much more wealth and greater advantages. They loved their kids, they loved their church, they loved their immediate community.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 4:43:04 AM

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When your standing up to your nose in poo the most likely thing you are going to say is.. "Don't make waves." When we started life we sang "God bless America." America is very nationalistic, but most countries in the world have been at war with each other since countries came into existence, so paranoia runs deep in our cultures. When wars are lost the losers don't fare well. Historically (pre modern times) aggressors fared well and usurped every aspect of the losers wealth, and so it is today also. Humanity is not a family (though it should be). Humanity is groups of tribes, many of whom are fighting for supremacy and control over other tribes. To move forward humanity must abandon it's atavistic ways, but doing that would be anathema to special interests who actually control everything much to the detriment of everyone else.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 4:59:04 PM

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People can't deny what they don't see. They don't see what they're not shown or are too busy or uninterested in to pay attention to. The perfect storm of stupidity is a swirl of indifference, inattention, and an information vacuum. Keep your umbrellas handy. This storm is here to stay.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 10:17:49 PM

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