Reading Jeff Gates' Today’s Ancient Warfare: Facts vs. Beliefs, a related question that always presents itself in reading analyses of propaganda and thought control and other systems employed to dissolve a target population's capacity to think is: Those opinionmakers and policymakers in a position to do something and in the know presumably that the political-propaganda game is on - in 2002 Colin Powell, Sens. Clinton, Biden, Edwards, Kerry, Kohl and so on - can turn around and defeat a carefully crafted propaganda effort in a democracy, correct?
We were short on Daniel Ellsbergs in 2002-03, one guesses in part because Joe Wilson and Valarie Plame-Wilson became a cautionary tale, but guts and humanity can defeat cowards and propaganda in a society where the formal structures of democracy exist.
In theory, can policymakers do the right thing? Robbing a population of its capacity to think is one objective of a propaganda operation, injecting despair is another.
As President Obama considers his course on the war without end, he will not offer up the 'thay hate for our freedom' bromides for justification. But he will adopt the same unstated assumptions and premises behind the same policy as Bush-Cheney, unless he shows courage.
Obama though is free to chart a different course.