As Abraham Lincoln once observed, “Public sentiment is everything.’ (Unfortunately Edward Bernays and Goering quickly figured that out too.)
Now with “embedded reporters” (many “embedded” in more ways than one!) incessantly pressing their readers' natural vices (fear, hate, greed, false pride and blind loyalty) and manufacturing public sentiment, the most recent polls show a high majority of Americans have come to love all things military. Glenn Greenwald aptly calls it our new national religion with US journalists being its high priests. Most “progressives” got fooled. It's how war is being made permanent.
Yet the shiny medals that made Petraeus topple forward a couple of times were rather phony as real acts of courage as none were even gained in combat but from training accidents. (His biggest “hero medal” came from being accidentally shot by a fellow military man and he once hurt himself parachuting.) Yet Americans came to somehow revere this ambitious opportunist whose personal integrity and morality were sacrificed decades ago and whose power climb naturally only made matters worse.
You must first read the actual news article "A modern-day Rasputin? " in order to appreciate how close my LTE analogy (published in today's Star Tribune) is between the true story of how the con man deceived the French family and how our Military Industrial Congressional Media Complex operates.
A con man's story
Our military uses similar fear tactics
What an interesting news story about the shady character who mesmerized and gained control of an entire family of some nobility and prominence in France ("A modern day Rasputin?" Nov. 14).
The Rasputin-like con man was apparently able to insidiously gain the trust of the family by convincing them they had enemies who wanted to kill them but that he could and would protect them. Through that ingenious deception based on fear, the guy was able to totally manipulate their minds and control all of the members of the entire extended family for more than a decade, draining away every bit of their wealth in the process.
He came to so fully control his victims' contacts with the outside world that they had little way of learning how they were being victimized until one of the younger family members finally got wise to what was going on.
Did anyone else make the connection between this Rasputin story and what President Eisenhower warned us about a long time ago -- our U.S. military-industrial complex?
COLEEN ROWLEY, APPLE VALLEY