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Happy New Year to you all. Here is a link to a recent study that… 
2nd-Jan-2006 11:47 am
Dilbert
Happy New Year to you all.

Here is a link to a recent study that says "Sizeable Minorities [in the US] Still Believe Saddam Hussein Had Strong Links to Al Qaeda, Helped Plan 9/11 and Had Weapons of Mass Destruction":

http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=623

What we can see here is that people are too quick to believe what the authorities tell them, particularly those with whom they identify (in this case, Bush voters), and the second problem is that once people started to believe something it is very hard to "unlearn" an idea they have become accustomed to and have become fond of. This is particularly true for "simple explanations". Nobody wants to hear the complex truth. Simple and black/white is much easier.
Comments 
3rd-Jan-2006 08:36 am (UTC) - Re: Bush supporters
Honestly speaking, I believe the communist empire broke together not because of Western politics, but because of their own economical calamity and people had enough of it. Glasnost and perestroika were movemements with origins *inside* the empire. The former GDR deposed their old regime by voting with their feet, not because of pressure from our government. You cannot "force" people to have democracy. You have to change their hearts and minds, otherwise you will not have success as you see in Iraq. Even the Soviets saw it in Afghanistan - brute weapon force and superiority alone cannot produce victory and solve every problem.

This is not to say that you never should intervene with military force. In the case of World War II, it would have been probably even better if the other countries had intervened earlier. The English "appeasement politics" fostered by people like Tony was a terrible failure.

Anyway, I was not talking about Bush's politics but about how easy it is to mislead people by the "authorities" (of the state or of a cult). Even Bush himself and his administration have admitted that 1) there were no WMD in Iraq (http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20030606.html) and 2) there was no link between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein (http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0409c.asp). But still today, many US citizens seem to believe this, because they *want* to believe it in order to have a justification for the killing and suffering of so many US soldiers (not to speak of the killing and suffering of the people in Iraq which does not seem to be a real issue). Now, even the officials admit that their two main reasons for invading Iraq were simply wrong, but people won't "unlearn" this reasoning. People believe what they want to believe. "We are on the good side, all the other world are the 'bad'." In this, nationalism it's black and white thinking and fixation on a group (the own nation) is somehwhat similar to cult mentality.

It also seems to be very difficult for US people to admit that the climate change problem exists and is serious, even after all that happened in the last year (New Orleans!) (btw just now Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Northern California because of storm floods). Still, the US administration does not want to see the problem (http://www.climateark.org/articles/reader.asp?linkid=37574, http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/releases/kyoto-protocol-moves-ahead-as) and many US citizens seem to dismiss it as cock-and-bull story. I still remember discussions with ex UBFers from the US on the off topic board when I even mentioned the word "climate change". We need to get informed and make reality checks not only if we are in a cult, but also concerning politics. What the government tells you is not always the truth, even in democratic countries. Get informed, and not only from sources which are pro-government or directly from the government (http://www.ariannaonline.com/columns/column.php?id=760).

BTW, I see a very strong parallel between the reasoning of UBF members ("because people come to God through UBF, nobody may criticize UBF") and the reasoning of US citicizens ("because the US has helped to free Europe in WWII, nobody is allowed to criticize US politics"). It's probably very hard for US citizens to overcome this nationalistic/elitist mindset, nourished and fostered every day in America and in every Hollywood movie.

(Hope I am allowed to openly utter my opinion as a European. We have to learn to speak freely and frankly with each other, even if we may not be in agreement with our opinions. That's what UBF discouraged. Speaking out things which were not in line with the group's overall world view was frowned upon.)
3rd-Jan-2006 04:04 pm (UTC) - Re: Bush supporters
(Hope I am allowed to openly utter my opinion as a European. We have to learn to speak freely and frankly with each other, even if we may not be in agreement with our opinions. That's what UBF discouraged. Speaking out things which were not in line with the group's overall world view was frowned upon.)

Yes, we should be able to speak freely and frankly with each other, even if we disagree. And yes, that is exactly what UBF discouraged.

First, I want to say I am a Bush supporter. At the same time, I want all the facts. Here is the fact sheet regarding 9/11: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/20051205-5.html

The one point I would like to emphasize over this issue is that Bush met with and worked with the 9/11 commission and accepted most of their recommended changes. There is no evidence that he lied to and deceived the American people or the world (as some claim). He willingly submitted to accountability and answered all questions asked him by the commission. He is acting in the best interest of the country.

Contrast that to UBF. UBF leaders lie, deceive and will not subject themselves to any accountability and will not accept any recommended changes.
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