The United States of Amnesia

Erik Rittenberry
Jan 6 · 5 min read

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

― Thomas Pynchon

When it comes to war or the potential of war, America, the nation that I love, turns into a vast cesspool of idiocracy.

Qassem Suleimani, a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general and commander of the Quds Force, was killed in a US airstrike by the order of the president (allegedly).

The smoke didn’t even have time to dissipate before my fellow Americans unquestioningly rejoiced at the news across their screens — in spite of 95% of them never even hearing the name before.

No skepticism, no questions, no attempt to do a little research to find out the true motive of this killing or to weigh its inevitable dreadful consequences or its legality.

No No No. Just foolishly kowtowing to the official story because the government has NEVER and would NEVER lie us into war and because I’m a good patriot I have faith that they have our best interest at heart.

Jesus Christ.

Every time the US hurls a bomb onto another nation, patriotic lunacy prevails over coherent thinking. Uninformed, half-hypnotic patriots become viciously jingoistic in their lingo and behavior. As Nietzsche reminded us, “Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, and ages, it is the rule.”

If you’re able to —I’m going to ask you to take off your political party hats for a second. Turn off the news. Whether you worship the president or hate the president — it doesn’t matter. Become a thinking human being. Let recent history heighten your awareness. Take a deep breath and look at a tree or a flower outside your window and repeat after me:

I will not blindly follow the deceitful warmongers into another unwinnable war.

Say it again.

After decades and decades of proven lies to nose-dive us into highly profitable, unconstitutional, and completely disastrous wars, for the life of me, I don’t know how any sane, rational person can swallow the hawk-laced rubbish spewing from the mouths of any of these bomb-tossing Neanderthals.

As Caitlin Johnston so eloquently put in an article yesterday:

“The only sane response to US government claims about the need for military force is intense skepticism. If US government officials begin telling us that something happened necessitating military intervention, your default assumption should always, always, always be that they are lying. And you should hold that position until the (highly unlikely and historically unprecedented) event that conclusive, independently verifiable proof of their claims is provided.”

Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Lie. We have a clear objective in Afghanistan. Lie. We must bomb Libya to defend human rights. Lie. Assad in Syria unleashed chemical weapons on his own people. Lie.

The US is running the same script in Iran at this moment that it ran with Libya and Syria over the past decade.

As a recent article pointed out, “Consider the results of recent American wars. The wars in Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) were total disasters. Ditto interventions in Iraq and Libya. The Afghan War approaches its third decade with no end in sight. How are these wars pragmatic or preemptive or necessary or productive? They’ve been based on fears and fantasies. They’ve been colossal mistakes based on lies and fantasies of power.”

But people don’t care. We Americans know so little of history, so little of geography, so little of anything that falls outside our tiny little slice of reality, which is why we’re so easily swindled by the manipulative antics of our favorite political party and the people in power. Our scrutinizing eyes have lost vision.

In the words of Gore Vidal, we are the United States of Amnesia.

We cheer and celebrate as the president, this one and the last, drops bombs in sovereign nations without congressional approval.

We let our own corrupt government define for us who is “bad” and who is “good” without a twinge of skepticism or demand for evidence. And then when the “bad guys” strike back, we’re told it’s an unprovoked “terrorist attack” that warrants more military action.

And this sadly reminds me of what the Nazi leader, Herman Goering, revealed at the Nuremberg trial:

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”

We’re submissive consumers of relentless propaganda.

So much so that when you criticize the illegal and precarious actions of one’s own government, the people, the propagandized sheep, retort like snot-nosed children with these type of bratty sentiments:

“Why are you taking the side of terrorists?” or even better, “if you don’t like America, leave it, move to Iran you fukin’ traitor.”

Oscar Wilde was right, “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious”

We are the United States of Amnesia.

We don’t learn from our past mistakes. We wrap the flag around our gullible little heads and submit to the agenda-driven narratives like good little obedient citizens.

As Hunter S. Thompson so poignantly put it, “When the Pentagon feels free and even gleeful about killing anybody and Everybody who gets in the way of their vicious crusade for oil, the public soul of this country has changed forever, and professional sports is only a serenade for the death of the American dream.”

I’ll end this with a very brief history of how US and Iranian relations have ended up where it’s at today and then I’ll link to some important articles and books that’ll help wade thru the propaganda soup laid out before you.


In 1953, the US staged a coup to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected leader, Mossadegh, and installed a brutal dictator — The Shah of Iran.

Why?

Because Mossadegh nationalized Iran’s oil industry against the wishes of the UK. He was tired of his nation’s wealth being plundered by the West. The coup was successful and Iran’s oil remained safe in Western hands. But it came at the cost of impoverishing and alienating the people of Iran.

The overthrow also fanned the flames of anti-Western sentiments, which, inevitably reached a crescendo in 1979 with the U.S. hostage crisis, the final overthrow of the shah, and the creation of the Islamic Republic.

The Islamic theocracy in charge of Iran right now is partially, if not directly, the result of U.S. intervention decades ago.

Americans don’t remember this. Iranians do.

The war we’re on the brink of plunging into has nothing to do with “National Security” and everything to do with “regime change.”

It’ll backfire just like it has in the past. And innocent blood, once again, will saturate the streets of this mad world.


Erik Rittenberry

Written by

Everything has been figured out, except how to live.

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