War, As Seen Through Your Personal Filter
by Bill Sardi by Bill Sardi
All people have some sort of set of ideas about life. Those ideas govern how we interpret events and help humans reject falsehoods and intellectual u201Cgarbage.u201D Humans must discriminate between what is true and what is a false, or be sold the Brooklyn Bridge time and again. But our self-held ideas also may filter out what is real because it doesn’t fit our pre-held concept of reality.
Why we go to war
War is a topic that evokes considerable conversation and challenges long-held beliefs. One might say America goes to war to preserve democracy, or to rescue the downtrodden women in Afghanistan, or the tortured in Iraq. In the past it was the fight against creeping Communism in Korea, or the regime in Bosnia.
In the past it is said the U.S. had gone to war against the Vietnamese who attacked a U.S. Navy vessel in the Gulf of Tonkin, or against the Japanese who conducted a surprise attack upon Pearl Harbor, or against the Germans who sunk the USS Lusitania filled with innocent vacationers in the mid-Atlantic.
We don’t actually know these events happened as claimed, we just have been told they occurred as most history books describe them. In reality, a German U-boat sunk the Lusitania which was carrying a load of munitions. The U.S. was the first to fire a shot at Pearl Harbor, sinking a Japanese submarine outside the harbor hours before Japanese planes dropped their bombs on moored ships. U.S. aircraft carriers had been moved out of the harbor and sent to sea the week prior. The U.S. citizenry wasn’t told Japan was provoked into war when the U.S. blocked oil deliveries from Indonesia. Japan had closed all its embassies in the Pacific rim days prior to Pearl Harbor, an overt sign of impending conflagration, but the public was never told. And more recently, government authorities now admit the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened.
Baseball as an example
To gain a better understanding of how our personal filter works, let me deviate momentarily on the subject of sports, namely baseball. We all have a favorite sports team we root for. When we view a referee’s call that favors our team, we never argue with it. When we view a referee’s call against our team, we generally think the referee made a bad call. But it almost never enters our mind that the game might be rigged. (What of those bad calls in the most recent Super Bowl?)
Modern baseball is a marketed game, and a game played by teams that are part of a franchise. The teams split TV money, home ticket sales, etc. In recent years what has been observed is that the team that wins the Division Championship or World Series is often the team with the newest stadium or the newest franchise. Payment for the new stadium requires greater attendance and a winning team.
For example, the Arizona Diamondbacks were a new expansion major league team in 1998 and in their first five seasons of existence, the Diamondbacks won three division titles including a World Series in 2001.
The Anaheim (Los Angeles) Angels won the World Series in 2002 and then sold to Arturo Moreno for $180 million in 2003. Did Baseball u201Callowu201D the Angels to win so one of its franchisees could garner a good selling price for the team the next year?
The Cleveland Indians opened a new ballpark, Jacobs Field, in 1994. The Indians won the Pennant the next year and four consecutive Division Titles thereafter.
The Florida Marlins won the 1997 World Series one year after starting a new franchise in Miami.
One report says: u201CFlorida fooled the forecasters again throughout the playoffs, beating the odds and battling back in each of their three series victories.u201D Promo for a book about the Marlins World Series championship says: u201CWinning the World Series, especially against an experienced New York Yankees club whose payroll was more than triple the size of Florida’s, was just another David versus Goliath challenge that was gladly met by the Little Teal Machine.u201D
Cuban-born Livan Hernandez was the World Series MVP for the Marlins. In the World Series games Hernandez pitched, TV commentators replayed pitches that clearly missed home plate but were called strikes. Hernandez won 9 games and lost 3, and won 2 World Series games that year. In his 10 subsequent years playing baseball, he only has won 50% of the time. Was Hernandez made into a Cuban-born baseball hero in Miami in order to draw in the Latin crowd in that city?
Baseball is loved by many, and who is to spoil the fun of an afternoon rooting for your favorite team while eating a hot dog, or ruin a 13-year-old boy’s dreams of playing major league baseball some day. The point is, we want to live this baseball fantasy, so we overlook the obvious. The sports commentators dare not utter a negative word to destroy the dreams that fans want to see.
The point is here, if we can be easily fooled by fixed baseball games that are viewed and replayed for analysis on television, before fans very eyes, imagine how easy it is to fool the populace when it comes to war.
I ask people who come to visit in my home, more recently three church-going individuals, the CEO of a company that sells trace minerals for dietary supplements, a former assistant district attorney, and a flag-waving marketing specialist. I ask, just exactly what happened to building 7 at the World Trade Center that collapsed exactly as the other two towers that were hit by aircraft and claimed to have collapsed due to heat from aircraft fuel, when no plane hit building 7?
The company CEO responded by saying, u201CI’ll bet you’re going to tell me the government had something to do with it.u201D The attorney said: u201CTwo-thousand Americans died. That’s evidence enough it was terrorists.u201D The marketing specialist, who claims the President is her hero, didn’t know what to think.
The point is, these people aren’t ready, or even willing, to investigate further. Why burst their bubble, their pre-held beliefs that America is the defender of liberty and all that is right in the world, is what they hold dearest. Would they be willing to even consider that they may have been duped by the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001?
I asked them, why did CNN begin airing a documentary (u201CBeneath The Veilu201D) about women in Afghanistan being mistreated, a month prior to 9-11? (A war propaganda film?) Why did CNN break its broadcast news of the events unfolding in New York immediately after 9-11 and take their viewing audience to Kabul, Afghanistan, to report a leader who was trying to overthrow the ruling Taliban, had been killed? What link could there have possibly been between the events in New York and Middle-Eastern terrorists on the planes, who not only were not Afghani, but were not identified till days later? The FBI claims it didn’t know of these fellows.
We don’t want our favorite baseball player to fail. We don’t want our favorite President to be picked on unfairly. What is obvious will be interpreted as unfair criticism. We will first react by u201Cgoing to batu201D for u201Cour team,u201D or u201Cour country.u201D
When will we ever put ourselves in a position to honestly evaluate the facts, to confirm what we are told about the events that unfold before our very eyes?
War only exists because we are so gullible. We are blindly patriotic to a fault.
The predicted explosion of a u201Cdirty nukeu201D on U.S. soil will provoke patriots to write me letters saying, you see, there really are terrorists. I don’t doubt there are, but like the Japanese, are they being provoked into these acts?
The report of a u201Cdirty nukeu201D explosion would likely trigger public retaliation against any imagined foe. Yet, scientists tell us a u201Cdirty nukeu201D would not yield fission, it would just spread radioactive material in a local area. How would the public be in any position to evaluate, early on, whether the identification of the bombers by government leaders is real or pre-arranged propaganda? Why thousands of young American boys will sign up for the military to defend America before the government’s identification of a terrorist perpetrator can be scrutinized. Why many will say, u201CWe already know who did this, it’s those turban-heads in the Middle East! Why do we need to confirm anything?u201D
Yes, why do we need to confirm anything?