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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 01:16 pm (UTC)
Another example of how easy people believe things they want to believe is the following chain-letter email I got from a former UBF member in the US. It makes some true and amazing statements about Iraq to open your mind, but then in the end, the climax of the letter is a barefaced lie. However, if you read so far, you may be ready to accept it.

Here is the chain letter I got:

-------------------------------

Read down to the very bottom, you don't want to miss this!

VERY INTERESTING -

1. The garden of Eden was in Iraq .

2. Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq , was the cradle of civilization!

3. Noah built the ark in Iraq .

4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq .

5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq !

6. Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor, which is in Iraq !

7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq .

8. Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq .

9 Assyria , which is in Iraq , conquered the ten tribes of Israel .

10. Amos cried out in Iraq !

11. Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem .

12. Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq !

13. The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also as the fourth person in the fiery furnace!)

14. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the "writing on the wall" in Iraq .

15. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq .

16. Ezekiel preached in Iraq .

17. The wise men were from Iraq .

18. Peter preached in Iraq .

19. The "Empire of Man" described in Revelation is called Babylon , which was a city in Iraq !

And you have probably seen this one. Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq ! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon , Land ofShinar , and Mesopotamia . The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and ! Euphrates Rivers. The name Iraq , means country with deep roots.

Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible.

No other nation, except Israel , has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq .

And also... This is something to think about! Since America is typically represented by an eagle. Saddam should have read up on his Muslim passages...

The following verse is from the Koran, (the Islamic Bible)

Koran ( 9:11 ) - For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace.

( Note the verse number! ) Hmmmmmmm?! God Bless you all Amen !

I BETTER NOT HEAR OF ANYONE BREAKING THIS ONE OR SEE DELETED This is a ribbon for soldiers fighting in Iraq . Pass it on to everyone and pray. Something good will happen to you tonight at 11:11 PM This is not a joke. Someone will either call you or will talk to you online and say that they love you. Do not break this chain. Send this to 13 people in the next 15 minutes. Go.

-------------------------------

This was so fishy for me that I immediately looked it up in the Internet, and, yes, of course, the statement about Koran 9:11 was completely false. It is a well-known urban legend (http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_quran_911.htm).

Things like that work because people believe what they *want* to believe and because people are too lazy to get informed. The letter exploits the fact that US people usually do not have a Koran at hand to check for themselves, or are too lazy to look it up in the Internet which is actually easy. Instead, they simply pass the letter on and are unwillingly part of a deception.

3rd-Jan-2006 02:09 pm (UTC)
Please also note how the letter tries to establish a connection between 9/11 (Bin Laden) and the Iraq (Saddam Hussein). That's exactly what US people *want* to believe because it would justify the war. The truth is that there is rather a connection beween president Bush and Bin Laden than between Hussein and Bin Laden (Osama Bin Laden's brother was, through his American representative James R. Bath, an investor in Arbusto Energy, a small oil company run by George W. Bush) (of course one should not make a consipration theories out of this either, but ironically this is a fact). If you want to justify the war, you have to give other reasons than WMD or Bin Laden.
3rd-Jan-2006 06:25 pm (UTC) - At-Touba 9:11
"But (even so), if they repent, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity, they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the Signs in detail, for those who understand."


I think its rather ironic that this same verse which (in urban legend translation) is being abused to justify America's invasion of the Iraq by means of typology, in reality is talking about explanation of typology "for those who understand", and a people who aren't even willing to do a penny's worth of research regarding facts surely are not "those who understand" (or, in another translation "those of knowledge").

Ironically, the same verse quoted is dealing with a number of precious issues: repentance, sincere prayers, charity and uoderstanding.
All these issues are acceptible for Christians as well as muslims and are actually referring to "the common ground" that the two religions *should* be having, and why such people should be considered brothers of the faith.
This same verse is explaining why even those in the Arab world practising these things should not see those in the Western world as enemies, but as brothers.
The verse is calling judgment on Osama bin Laden to an extreme extent, and to Saddam Hussein as well. But it does not justify America's invasion for certain. It's much rather something that should give us food for thought why we shouldn't think "Poor American Soldiers, they are in a heathen country and suffer so much" but </i>"In that country there are also people who think the same way about morality as we should be, let's remember them also when we think of this war"</i> (not that I believe the Iraqui government held any of these).
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