I have not yet read State of Denial, but I have seen the Woodward interview on 60 minutes and read some reviews of the book.
All I can say is that the overall picture it paints does not surprise me at all, but some of the details are very illuminating and fill in the the questions of "how" and "why" for me.
As you know if you are a long time visitor to this website, this website began with the paper This War Is About So Much More, which was written in opposition to the war in Iraq, in opposition to the Bush administration, and, perhaps most importantly, to explain how it was that the American people were mislead into supporting the Bush administration and its war campaign.
Significantly, I began writing my exposition on the Bush administration and the march to war starting on the first day of official conflict in Iraq, and I had the core of it completed within a month's time. Since that time I feel that my major premises have been proven correct. Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial, is yet one more piece of supporting evidence.
What else is significant about This War Is About So Much More, is that, unlike Woodward, I am not a reporter and I had no inside connections or any information other than what could be gained from public sources, yet I was able to, based on purely public information, develop a reasonable assessment of the Bush administration and the Iraqi situation, which was contrary to the accessment given by every major news network in America.
The questions that I have continued to explore and continued to try to answer on this website, which the Woodward book does not address, are why did the American people support this war, why did the American people believe the Bush administration, why does the American public continue to struggle so much politically?
Every article on this website, either directly or indirectly, seeks to answer these questions and seeks to explore these issues.
I believe that the America of today will be looked back upon and studied by sociologists in a way very similar to the study of Nazi Germany. I believe that America today, as a whole, despite the relative availability of information, is one of the most mislead, manipulated, and delusional societies in history, and I think that the presidency of George W. Bush proves this fact. The discrediting information about the Bush administration and the Iraq war were present before the official war in Iraq ever started, and it has been present all along ever since. All that you have to do is look and you can find the needed information to completely refute the claims, beliefs, and assessments of the Bush administration and the entire so-called "conservative" movement in America, but people aren't doing it in meaningful numbers.
Regardless of the availability of information, the majority of people in America are still manipulated by propaganda. I am indeed reminded of a quote by Julia Sweeney about her introduction to Bible study. Her statement was something to the effect that the proof that Christianity is not an inspired religion is not hidden away in some secret tome, but rather it is displayed in the most popularly published book of all time, which almost every American owns, The Bible.
I believe that religion and capitalism are really at the core of the problems in America. The American public is overwhelming ignorant of history, science, and cultures. This ignorance is due in part to poor education and in part to a culture entrenched in commercialism.
The poor education in America in relation to social studies, history, and science is due to the fact that conservative and religious parents will not tolerate schools teaching their children things that contrdict their beliefs. As a result, ignorance and misperception are passed on from generation to generation. Children in America are also not given the proper critical thinking tools or material understanding of reality that are needed to form intelligent views of the world because this also contradicts the religious sentiments of American parents.
Furthermore, the commercial culture in America, a product of our style of capitalism, appeals to lowest common denominator mentality, it promotes distraction, it tells everyone that "they are right and need not worry about others", and, most importantly, it inculcates our population into a culture of deception and manipulation from the earliest of youth. Marketing is a form of propaganda, it uses deception, manipulation, and behavior modification techniques at an unprecedented scale in human history, and it permeates our entire lives. In fact, it is so ubiquitous in our culture that most people don't even recognize it or acknowledge that it is a problem, but indeed it is, even at a physiological level. Our culture of marketing actually impacts the physical development of the brain.
So, we live in a culture that is conditioned from birth, both through religion and marketing, to be manipulated and to "have faith".
That is why the American public fell for the Bush administration. Now the question is, can we change our society? Getting George Bush out of office, or even getting the Republicans out of power, won't really change anything. These are just symptoms, they are not causes.
State of Denial shows us what Americans have been in denial of these past few years, but it doesn't address why Americans are in a state of denial, which, actually, is the real issue...