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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/27/10

A passive, submissive mindset grips America: "the silence of the lambs"

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Message Michael Payne

Yes, this is yet another article about the deafening silence, a most critical problem, that plagues our nation. America's wars rage on endlessly; nine years in Afghanistan, seven in Iraq, with Iran being the next potential target. War is now a part of our national psyche, deeply embedded within our culture. And as we go from one war to another I am struck by the eerie silence that emanates from the American people; it is the silence of the lambs.

No matter how many years these wars have been going on, no matter how much they have cost, how many troops have needlessly died, or how much destruction they have inflicted on the nations that we have invaded and occupied, the people of America remain in a state of passive silence; seemingly unwilling, unable, or afraid to express any form of protest or dissent.

How did we in America ever get to this point? It's not really difficult to explain. Over time the American people have been subjected to a process of patriotic mind conditioning primarily carried out by the government and the various elements of our national media. We have been taught that we must support our troops and every war, and accept and condone all military actions without exception or condition; and we have done that, time and again, except in the case of the Vietnam War which will be discussed below.

So what are the specific elements or institutions in America that have, over time, contributed to this insidious process of patriotic mind control. To begin with, let's take our mainstream national media; radio, TV, and newspapers that are largely controlled by corporate America. Do you ever hear or read anything of real substance being reported or discussed relative to America's military actions around the world? Of course not, for the corporate monopolies that control our airwaves and newsprint have effectively muzzled their anchors and reporters.

You can watch TV and listen to radio 24/7; but you will not get the truth, the real facts or any in-depth analysis of what is really going on with these wars that have brought shock and awe to selected nations or the massive military costs that our sucking the lifeblood out of our nation. No one ever talks about war; it is taboo, something that we simply have no time to discuss. And, God forbid, that we should speak out against war by patriotic dissent. Why, someone might accuse us of treason!

Does CNN ever discuss the pros and cons of our current wars, the exact reasons why our military is in Afghanistan, why we are illegally sending our drones of war across the borders of Pakistan, why our peace president continues to reject diplomacy in dealing with Iran? Does MSNBC, the supposed liberal-leaning network? Does Fox News, the ultra-conservative right wing mouthpiece of corporate America and the GOP? The answer is no, no and no! Never, not ever; that is entirely off limits and it must be tightly controlled.

What about the U.S. Congress? What a laugh, what a joke to think that this body of corporate owned and controlled pseudo legislators would take the time to discuss these wars and the extreme costs. How could they even think about challenging America's war agenda for it would be labeled as non-patriotic and almost treasonous to do so; and because it would result in the immediate stoppage of corporate contributions to their campaign war chests? Except for a handful of true patriots in Congress, the vast majority of our elected representatives have decided to pledge allegiance to corporate power, to the military-industrial complex, no longer to this nation or the people.

Let's compare our on-going wars today with the Vietnam War and determine why there was so much protest then and the barest of protests now. During the Vietnam debacle that eventually took the lives of 58,000 U.S. troops, we had a national draft. When the deaths and casualties among our troops began to escalate, loud protests came from two sources: young Americans, including many college students who did not want to become the next victims of that insanity; secondly, the parents of all those young Americans.

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