excerpt from Lawrence Davidson, “Reality and the Senate Intelligence Committee,” at To The Point Analyses, 2/20/12
Part III – Some Rules to Follow When You Don’t Know What is Real
When one cannot determine what is real or is not real, there are perhaps some rules that can be followed so as to encourage policy makers to act in ways that will minimize mistakes. For instance, in cases of uncertainty citizens should:
1. Be very skeptical of what the government and media tell them is real. Remember the past disasters (most recently the invasion of Iraq) that easy acceptance of such portrayals of alleged reality have caused. Concerned citizens owe it to themselves and their nation to seek multiple sources of information.
2. Demand that policy makers initially act on the basis of a best case scenario even as they prepare for the worst. Most of the time the “expert” advice we get on foreign threats is either ideologically driven and therefore exaggerated or just plain wrong (for instance, the case of Vietnam), or is driven by the agenda of some lobby or special interest (for instance, the case of Iraq, the threat from Iran, or the “sainted” status of the Israelis and the “terrorist” status of the Palestinians). The resulting worst case depictions of reality are almost always inaccurate and generally lead to unnecessary death and destruction.
3. Demand that, in foreign relations, diplomacy always be pursued first and foremost. War should be the very last resort because it is truly a radical and extreme undertaking of which few policy makers have any direct experience. If they did, they would be much more hesitant to commit their fellow citizens to it.
4. Demand punishment for those who knowingly lie and break the laws governing international relations and human rights (such as the Geneva Conventions and laws prohibiting torture). There are good reasons why these laws exist. Not to enforce them is to condone a return to barbarism.
read the whole post at at To The Point Analyses