Monday 21 September 2009
by: Henry A. Giroux,
Lies are often much more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear.
In the current American political landscape, truth is not merely misrepresented or falsified; it is overtly mocked. As is well known, the Bush administration repeatedly lied to the American public, furthering a legacy of government mistrust while carrying the practice of distortion to new and almost unimaginable heights. Even now, almost a year after Bush left office, it is difficult to forget the lies and government-sponsored deceits in which it was claimed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, Iraq was making deals with al-Qaeda and, perhaps the most infamous of all, the United States did not engage in torture. Unlike many former administrations, the Bush administration was engaged in pure political theater, giving new meaning to Hannah Arendt's claim that "Truthfulness has never been counted among the political virtues, and lies have always been regarded as justifiable tools in political dealings." For instance, when the government wasn't lying to promote dangerous policies, it willfully produced and circulated fake news reports in order to provide the illusion that the lies and the policies that flowed from them were supported by selective members of the media and the larger public. The Bush deceits and lies were almost never challenged by right-wing media "patriots," who were too busy denouncing as un-American anyone who questioned Bush's official stream of deception and deceit. Ironically, some of these pundits were actually on the government payroll for spreading the intellectual equivalent of junk food. And some of them were actually being paid by the Bush government to make such claims.
The full article is available at truthout.org
The Iranian government has chosen to respond to dissent over the recent elections by arresting hundreds of students and academics, and several students have been injured and some killed as the pro-government militia stormed a university dormitory.
The chancellor of Shiraz University has resigned in protest and the President of Tehran University has called for a full investigation.
The Society for Critical Exchange joins with other organizations such as Amnesty International and the Modern Language Association in condemning the violence and terror perpetrated by the Iranian government against its citizens.
The Society for Critical Exchange will be exploring the impact of violence and terror on education in its Winter Theory Institute: terror.edu – Terrorism and Education in America (Feb. 11-14, 2010) at the University of Houston-Victoria in Victoria, TX.