As I inexplicably watch the post-Republican debate discussion on MSNBC as if it were a cheesy '80's movie, I think back to a line I heard today on talk radio. A noted talk radio hostess asked, when discussing the Iraq war, "Do we even care about truth?" The question has circled my mind all day. I began to think about the people I know: friends, family, colleagues. I wondered if they think about this stuff as much as I do or if, when confronted with news of more lies by the White House administration, do they even get curious?
Do they feel anything at all?
What is accepted as fact today is that we illegally invaded and currently occupy the former sovereign nation of Iraq, that this country did not have weapons of mass destruction nor was involved in 9/11, that Iraq did not pose an imminent threat to the United States, and that Iraq was not a sponsor of al-Qaeda. How is it then that few, if any, even give this a second thought?
I often wonder if the age of technology has disengaged the part of the brain that is responsible for the concern for truth. I have often been involved in conversations with friends or family members regarding the Iraq war. I have listed FACTS in bullet-point fashion, with numbers, statistics and data. They simply nod, agree that it's troubling but then shrug it off with a, "Well...whadda ya gonna do? You wanna get a coffee?"(as they send another text message...)
I don't ever remember my parents being terribly concerned with these type of issues, either. My formative years were during the mid '80's when Reagan was president. If you lived in a nice, safe neighborhood with lots of other white people, as I did, life was grand.
I do remember my grandfather though, who when in front of the television would briefly catch something of breaking news or bits of the State of the Union speech, he would listen and watch attentively and then mumble something under his breath. I recall seeing his face many times either with a look of disgust and a shake of his head or with a look of hope followed by a inconspicuous smile.
This period in our history is one in which I would have enthusiastically discussed these matters with my late grandfather. Would he care to know what I have learned regarding this debacle in Iraq? Would he be interested to know how many people have profitted financially from this war? Would he be outraged to see that ExxonMobil has reported the all-time greatest profit recorded by any company since the beginning of time? That President Bush only last week asked Saudi Arabia to increase oil production because, "our citizens are having a bit of a hard time..."? Did my grandfather understand what "war" really entails? Would he be against this war?
When I refer to truth, I am referring to it in the most natural sense: what is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence. Often Republicans like to debate intuition, speculation or "truthiness"(things that a person claims to know intuitively or "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts).
George Piro, the FBI agent who was responsible for interrogating Saddam Hussein, will appear on "60 Minutes". Piro learned during his many conversations with Saddam that the Iraqi dictator did not think the U.S. would seriously attack or invade Iraq. Saddam admitted to Piro that he DID NOT HAVE ANY WMD but refused to admit that to the world because he was fearful that Iran would seize an opportunity to invade Iraq. Wow...talk about not having a way out! The U.S. was going to invade Iraq whether they had WMD or not and Iran would attack if the U.S. didn't. And with us being the world's only superpower, the best we could come up with was to invade, bomb and occupy a country based on "truthiness".
So, my question to anyone reading this is, "Do you care about truth?"