I understand where you are coming from here and how you draw the conclusion that the people are to blame for their government’s actions. As the master propagandist/dictator said, “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think”. I do half agree with your conclusion, but perhaps the other half of blame rests with the establishment (political, business and media) which sets out to shape public opinion and make it difficult for people to objectively think.
Then, even when people do think, there is often little that can be done. There is evidence of this in the Iraq war example you referred. Taken from an interview in 2008: -
Interviewer: “Two-thirds of Americans say it’s not worth fighting [the Iraq war].”
VP Cheney: “So?”
Interviewer: “So? You don’t care what the American people think?”
VP Cheney: “No, I think you cannot be.. blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.”
In addition, before and after the onset of the Iraq war, millions around the world (people whose governments would launch the war) took to the streets in numerous protests. One month prior to the invasion, this led the NYT to comment: “there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.”
So how much blame can be placed on the people compared to the government/establishment? How much should the public reasonably be expected to fact check their leaders and media commentators? Doesn’t that require distrust to begin with?
Here is a question: Could the people really have prevented the Iraq war in face of the political propaganda and drive from Washington, and if so, how?
I’m not saying you are wrong LG, I rather hope you are right; I’m looking for ideas.
Edited by Q24, 03 October 2012 - 08:24 AM.