In Big Foreign Policy Speech, Romney Lies to the Entire World
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When I arrived in Washington in 1977 as a reporter for the Associated Press, the nation had just emerged from the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. To reassure the country that the government could be honest, President Jimmy Carter promised never to lie to the American people.
But then came the Reagan administration with its concept of “perception management,” i.e., the manipulation of the public’s fears and prejudices for the purpose of lining up the people behind new foreign adventures. A chief “public diplomacy” goal of the administration was to cure the American people of “the Vietnam Syndrome.”
Thus, minor threats, like peasant uprisings in Central America, were portrayed as part of a grand Soviet strategy to invade the United States through Texas. The strength of the Soviet Union was itself exaggerated to justify a massive U.S. military build-up. Today’s neocons cut their teeth of such distortions and lies.
Post 9/11, with George W. Bush in the White House, this neocon strategy of fear-mongering led the United States into the debacle of the Iraq War (in pursuit of imaginary weapons of mass destruction).
Now, less than a year after U.S. military forces left Iraq — and with a withdrawal from Afghanistan finally underway — the latest polls suggest that the American voters are shifting toward the election of another neocon President who promises more soaring rhetoric about U.S. “exceptionalism” and more interventionism abroad.
It’s almost as if many Americans like being lied to.