Pessimism the New Black
Adam Cohen's editorial piece about the cultural ramifications of continued poor predictions, broken promises, faulty calculations, and just maybe outright lies such as "mission accomplished" and "the last throes" really struck me. See: "What is the Latest Thing to Be Discouraged About? The Rise of Pessimism", New York Times, 28 August 2006.
I have to admit that I am one of those mislead from the beginning of this military "quagmire" (I wonder why the newsmedia hasn't bandied that word in many months??); I tried to give the administration some benefit of doubt. I still experience abject horror when I think of what Hussein did to the Kurdish villages when Bush Sr. declared pseudo-victory in Gulf I. And maybe it was empathy for the Kurds (the white guilt of my generation?) that lead me to swallow the bait of 'Intelligence' the king-makers cast at us. How could they possibly create a credible-false story in the post-Nixon utopia of countless investigative and independent sources? Now I just shake my head and let this be my personal apology to those I called extremists as this was unfolding.
Mr. Cohen hits the nail on the head. The lies don't seem to motivate the members of our society. Instead our legions of pessimists such as me know they are being lied to and know the alternatives suck too. These guys make Dick look like an amateur.