The United States government is pretty famous for its ability to trick the populace into believing lies. But bullshit unemployment numbers aren’t its best trick. That honor would go to its ability to convince people that the United States is no longer at war:
The holiday headlines blared without a hint of distrust: “End of War” and “Mission Ends” and “U.S. formally ends the war in Afghanistan”, as the US government and Nato celebrated the alleged end of the longest war in American history. Great news! Except, that is, when you read past the first paragraph: “the fighting is as intense as it has ever been since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001,” according to the Wall Street Journal. And about 10,000 troops will remain there for the foreseeable future (more than we had a year after the Afghan war started). Oh, and they’ll continue to engage in combat regularly. But other than that, yeah, the war is definitely over.
This is the new reality of war: As long as the White House doesn’t admit the United States is at war, we’re all supposed to pretend as if that’s true. This ruse is not just the work of the president. Members of Congress, who return to work this week, are just as guilty as Barack Obama in letting the public think we’re Definitely Not at War, from Afghanistan and Somalia to the new war with Isis in Iraq and Syria and beyond.
What’s sad is that I know people who buy into this fairytale. I’ve heard from several friends that Obama ended Bush’s wars. When I point out that we’re still bombing people in the Middle East they either cover their ears, stick their heads in the sand, of call me a neocon. More and more I realize that people don’t care about the truth but only choose to believe what they want. And you know what? I don’t blame them. Because the truth is fucking horrible.