Have we gotten even dumber in the last 17 years?

"History repeats; the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."
- Karl Marx

Judith Miller, Karl Rove, Tom Friedman, Joe Lieberman have all crawled out from whatever rocks they were hiding under to step in front of TV cameras and tell us how wonderful a war with Iran will be.

It certainly appears that the ruling elite thinks we've gotten dumber.

It’s a nice trip down memory lane, for those who like their lanes lined by IEDs and blocked by a checkpoint at which soldiers have just accidentally shot a 9-year-old. But as a country, we’re not just reliving 2003. Much of what’s happening right now is actually more stupid and unreal than what was happening then.

Trump doesn’t even provide the war enthusiasts with this protective cover. He says he is prepared to order the destruction of historic cultural sites in Iran, which is a no-doubt-about-it war crime. He also says he would like to attack 52 Iranian sites in total as revenge for the kidnapping of 52 Americans in Tehran in 1979. Lest the Muslim world think the United States had any good intentions at all, Donald Trump Jr. published photos of himself holding a semi-automatic rifle that was decorated to resemble a medieval knight’s helmet, illustrated with a pattern of five crosses used by Christian forces during the Crusades, and engraved with the word CRUSADER.

THEN: “I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.”
— Vice President Dick Cheney, 3/16/03

NOW: “I saw last night there was dancing in the streets in parts of Iraq. We have every expectation that people not only in Iraq but in Iran will view the American action last night as giving them freedom.”
— Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 1/3/20

It takes a great deal of effort to make Dubya look intelligent and presidential, but Trump has almost pulled it off.
But even if the ruling elite thinks we've gotten dumber, our allies aren't likely to be fooled again.

NATO is moving some of its trainers out of Iraq, a NATO official said on Tuesday, following fears of a regional conflagration in the wake of a U.S. drone strike on Iran’s top military commander last week.

THEN: “We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq.”
— Bush, 3/8/03. (The war started 12 days later.)

NOW: “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.”
— Trump, 1/3/20

In sum, it’s not 2003 again; it’s 2003 as interpreted by 2020, which means more fascism and, somehow, even less competence.

The brutality and idiocy of it run so deep, they become a source of hope.

The idiocy and ignorance of it all is so intense that I can't help but think that the American Empire is coming to an end.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

We have not gotten dumber. Our so-called "leaders" (h/t The Police) have gotten so much dumber that, in the words of NetHack: "You're already as stupid as you can get!"

Kakistocracy, my friends.

Bad

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24 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Pricknick's picture

The idiocy and ignorance of it all is so intense that I can't help but think that the American Empire is coming to an end.

When our government openly admitted to torture and eligal wars while not prosecuting those responsible, the world knew, as did I, that the empire must fall. I fear the TPTB will take the whole world down with it.

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27 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick
iran.jpg

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24 users have voted.

putin.PNG

this means something

Meanwhile, Trump continues to show his ass

Senior administration officials have begun drafting sanctions against Iraq after President Trump publicly threatened the country with economic penalties if it proceeded to expel U.S. troops, according to three people briefed on the planning.

The Treasury Department and White House will probably take a lead role if the sanctions are implemented, the officials said. Such a step would represent a highly unusual move against a foreign ally that the United States has spent almost two decades and hundreds of billions of dollars supporting.
“I’m astounded by what’s even being discussed,” said Peter Kucik, who served in the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which implements sanctions policy, under the Bush and Obama administrations. “You don’t typically use force against your allies. We are threatening to use extreme coercive policy tools against countries with whom we are allied.”

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18 users have voted.

@gjohnsit
We stole it far and square! /snark

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19 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

edg's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

What you wrote is a fair and accurate assessment of official US policy.

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21 users have voted.

@edg
I didn't want anyone to think I agree with it!

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12 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

It's OUR colony! We stole it far and square! /snark

That's where all ideas that the US has business intervening in the Near East come from: someone's colon-y.

Bad

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7 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides
colonoscopies. especially since I'm untrained. Do you think some jalapeno juice would make it clearer?

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9 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

@The Voice In the Wilderness I know how to make a periscope out of a three inch piece of drainage pipe and 2 mirrors. It'd be a tight fit, but it could work!

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3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

"They do not care if you shoot yourself in your closet when you get back from war!"

"We have been bombing Iraq for 30 years. It is not just Trump. It is the democrats and the republicans. It is the system!"

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36 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

@snoopydawg "Where's Kamala Harris?" His short speech was good; he focuses and deepens people's attention to key issues. So glad we have Jimmmy Dore. Am also impressed with how Mike Prysner and Abby Martin get out in the streets.

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17 users have voted.

Lurking in the wings is Hillary, like some terrifying bat hanging by her feet in a cavern below the DNC. A bat with theropod instincts. -- Fred Reed https://tinyurl.com/vgvuhcl

Azazello's picture

Here's that little vid on "conflict initiation" that Jimmy Dore's been playing.

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20 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

Bisbonian's picture

@Azazello

How to be a warmonger in two easy steps.

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17 users have voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

@Azazello a Jagger-Richards lyric came to mind,

Your organ's working perfectly
But there's a part
That's not screwed on

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16 users have voted.

Lurking in the wings is Hillary, like some terrifying bat hanging by her feet in a cavern below the DNC. A bat with theropod instincts. -- Fred Reed https://tinyurl.com/vgvuhcl

Azazello's picture

@laurel

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7 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

snoopydawg's picture

And here he is again lying to us about the "imminent" threat from Soleimani’s nefarious intentions.

“If you’re looking for imminence, you needn’t look no further than the days that lead up to the strike,” he told reporters. “It was the right decision. We got it right.”

Is Mike Pompeo a Secretary of State or Propaganda Czar?

"So if you’re looking for imminence, you need look no further than the days that led up to the strike that was taken against Soleimani" — imminence by definition is not retroactive!

Here is the big lie:

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi claimed on Sunday that Soleimani was in Iraq to discuss a possible peace agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. When asked about this on Tuesday, Pompeo laughed and delivered a sarcastic response.

“Anybody here believe that?” he asked. “Is there any history that would indicate that it is remotely possible that this kind gentleman, this diplomat of great order, Qassem Soleimani, had traveled to Baghdad for the idea of conducting a peace mission? We know that wasn’t true.

Umm yeah it was. Soleimani was working under a diplomatic passport after he spoke to the Saudis for Trump to defuse the conflict between the two countries.

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26 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

CB's picture

@snoopydawg
Channeling Mike Pompeo:

"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, and that is all that is needed to send the nation to war."

Pompeo knows he is peddling bunkum. That's his specialty and why he has been put in his position (CIA to SoS). These warmongers spend 9/10th's of their time hornswoggling the electorate and 1/10th planning the mission. That's why they invariably fail. Unfortunately they destroy the lives of untold millions of people

That religious nut-ball is now dragging the country on a fucking Crusade in the ME:

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14 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@CB

Apparently gawd is taking too much time to bring on Armageddon and so they are trying to bring it about. But what gets me with this BS is that they ignore one of the most important commandments.

Thou Shalt Not Kill!

As well as not bearing false witness against thy neighbor. They are the false Christians Jesus warned people about.

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20 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Lily O Lady's picture

@snoopydawg

So it’s OK with god. /s

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8 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

RantingRooster's picture

we have gotten dumber, but not for the reasons many might think.

This excerpt from a trasnscript (about 9:48 in the video) of the the video posted below

In 1951 psychologist Solomon Asch set out to study and measure the effects and causes of social conformity and its ability to alter perception. To do so he ran a series of experiments in which he asked groups of students to participate in what he told them was a "vision test." In reality, all but one of the participants in each test were actually actors, each of whom had been prepped to give specific answers at specific times.

The subjects were shown a card with a line on it, followed by another card with 3 lines on it labeled 1, 2, and 3. They were then asked which line in the second card matched the line on the first card in length. The lines were made in such a way that correct answer was obvious. Each member of the group was asked to give their response one at a time, and the "real" participant always answered last or next to last. For the first two trials the actors gave the obvious, correct answer, however beginning on the third trial, they would all give the same wrong answer.

The goal was to ascertain how many people would conform to the perception of those around them when the group's position contradicted their own senses. The results surprised Asch. He had believed that the majority of participants would not conform and give an answer that was obviously wrong; however, results showed that 37% of people would conform to the crowd consistently and 75% conformed at least some of the time. Asch was uncertain as to whether this conformity was limited to social compliance or whether it was actually influencing perception at the neurological level.

In 2005 neuroscientist Gregory Berns sought to answer this question. Berns created a variation of Asch's experiment, this time measuring brain wave activity during the test to determine at what level of the brain this conformity was taking place. The results showed very clearly that the Occipital and Parietal lobes were the most active when the participants were answering incorrectly. This meant that conformity was actually altering the perception of the test subjects at the neurological level.

Take a moment and register what that means. Social conformity literally causes the brain to rewrite our reality.

(bold emphasis mine)
This, "Social conformity literally causes the brain to rewrite our reality." Gives new meaning to what Karl Rove said, "We're an empire now, we write our own reality". (yikes!)

Here's the full video, Rule from the Shadows - The Psychology of Power - Part 1.

It's worth the to time watch the whole thing, because it really unpacks a lot, and take the viewer on a crash course in history back to the Wilson administration, and helps understand this phenomenon of "Trump Derangement Syndrome" that afflicts both Republicans and Democrats alike today, just in different ways. Check it out, I think the free rangers here at c99 would enjoy it, if you haven't already seen it.

Drinks

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24 users have voted.

C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

snoopydawg's picture

@RantingRooster

A lady went in and the waiting room was full of people who would all stand up when a bell rang. After awhile she stood up too and after every one who was there originally left she still did it and got more new people to do it too.

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13 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

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7 users have voted.

War is already happening...but Iran will give the US a bloody nose. Trump will retaliate. Iran will retaliate....and on it goes until a point is reached were we see Trump bombing major Iranian cities.

Well, this was funny. Muqtada al-Sadr called American leadership "sons of nightclubs".

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20 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

trying to bully Iraq into giving ameriKa it's oil

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/blowback-from-the-soleimani-assass...

Trump said he would ask Iraq to pay for the bases the U.S. has built should the U.S. troops be kicked out of Iraq. The U.S. already has binding legal agreements with Iraq which stipulate that the bases, and all fixed installations the U.S. has built there, are the property of Iraq.

Trump had already asked Iraqi Prime Ministers -twice- if the U.S. could get Iraq's oil as reward for invading and destroying their country. The requests were rejected. Now we learn that Trump also uses gangster methods (ar) to get the oil of Iraq. The talk by the Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi happened during the recent parliament session in Iraq (machine translation):

Al-Halbousi, Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, blocked the speech of Mr. Abdul Mahdi in the scheduled session to discuss the decision to remove American forces from Iraq.

At the beginning of the session, Al-Halbousi left the presidential seat and sat next to Mr. Abdul-Mahdi, after his request to cut off the live broadcast of the session, a public conversation took place between the two parties. The voice of Adel Abdul Mahdi was raised.

Mr. Abdul Mahdi spoke with an angry tone, saying:

"The Americans are the ones who destroyed the country and wreaked havoc on it. They are those who refuse to complete building the electrical system and infrastructure projects. They have bargained for the reconstruction of Iraq in exchange for giving up 50% of Iraqi oil imports, so I refused and decided to go to China and concluded an important and strategic agreement with it, and today Trump is trying to cancel this important agreement."

The American President's threatened the Iraqi Prime Minister to liquidate him directly with the Minister of Defense. The Marines are the third party that sniped the demonstrators and the security men:

Abdul Mahdi continued:

"After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, so that the third party (Marines snipers) would target the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from the highest structures and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement, so I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement and when the defense minister said that who kills the demonstrators is a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened me and defense minister in the event of talk about the third party."

The reliable Based Cat in Iraq seems to confirm the timeline:

TØM CΛT @TomtheBasedCat - 4:00 UTC · Jan 7, 2020
Yes a 50-person delegation visited China in 2019 and then the protests started on October 1st until the Arbaeen dates, then picked up again on Oct 25th. I'm skeptical about the 3rd party but the timing itself was interesting. The flames were fanned by Gulf media and Al-Hurra.

Al-Hurra is a U.S. government financed Arab language TV outlet.

Southfront has a similar report, seemingly from a different source, with some additional context.

While this talk has not yet been confirmed it does sounds highly plausible.

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14 users have voted.

Irony at it's finest, buying stocks breaks WS!

NO MORE WAR

snoopydawg's picture

@ggersh

It may not be confirmed yet, but does anyone think it's not a possibility of being true? Isn't that what happened during the Maiden square incident in Ukraine? We paid the party that was killing people by snipers on both sides. The more I learn about the things I wasn't taught in school the more ashamed I get of the country. Especially the government goons who know that we are doing them and continue to fund them anyway. I seriously have no idea how people can agree to things knowing that innocent people will be killed.

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17 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

thanatokephaloides's picture

@ggersh

Well according to this the usa mafia(tRump) is busy
trying to bully Iraq into giving ameriKa it's oil

Please stop using the term "Mafia" to describe tRump and company! La Cosa Nostra doesn't deserve the dishonor or the insult! And insulting La Cosa Nostra is never a good idea.....

Think about it: all whackings in La Cosa Nostra have to be approved by the Commission of the Five Families; they're pretty strict about that, even if John Gotti did get away with rubbing Paul Castellano out without permission.

/semisnark

Whose permission did Trump get?

Bad

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5 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

mimi's picture

who think they are somehow different than me, got more intelligent in telling me that I got dumber. They are so dumb to believe I believe them.

I am too tired of the BS of the world, to comment anything else than silly stuff. The world doesn't deserve some better comments.

I am really, really down.

Good Night.

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9 users have voted.

"heh, as they say, if you don't dig the blues, you got a hole in your soul" - JS

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

A: Is Mel Brooks Jewish?

Much as the '000s (pronounced "ooze") thoroughly sucked, in 2003 there was no such profession as "influencer".

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12 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

boriscleto's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat Myspace was that page local bands used to promote their gigs. Facebook was for kids in college. Twitter wasn't even a thing.

The American hologram has expanded exponentially...

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10 users have voted.

" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

Hawkfish's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

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4 users have voted.

We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Hawkfish's picture

On US bases. Live coverage from the Guardian.

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6 users have voted.

We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

@Hawkfish
is an act of war. We started it.
And we are refusing to vacate Iraq as their parliament ordered.

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11 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Hawkfish

but the vicious circle is now in full spin.

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5 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

before they go full stupid?
flip a coin

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3 users have voted.