Speaker: Goering provides insight into Bush’s tactics | AspenTimes.com

Speaker: Goering provides insight into Bush’s tactics

Scott Condon
Aspen Times Staff Writer

If David Barsamian’s worst nightmare comes true and President Bush is re-elected, Barsamian can at least rest easy knowing he gave it his all.

Barsamian, an acclaimed author and founder and producer of “Alternative Radio,” un-leashed a full-scale verbal assault on the president and his administration Friday night in a lecture in Glenwood Springs. He urged a crowd of about 150 people to immerse themselves in the effort to elect someone ” virtually anyone ” else.

“At this point, I’m willing to hold my nose and vote for anyone,” said Barsamian. “This guy [Bush] has to be sent back to Crawford, Texas.”

Barsamian contended that this is the bleakest period in U.S. history that he has witnessed in his 58 years. “Every other day I wake up and fear that Bush is going to be re-elected,” he said.

The root of that fear, he said, is a period of “almost unprecedented mendacity” ” compliments of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the like. Barsamian spent his one-hour presentation switching between humor and dead seriousness to try to show the captive audience exactly why he thinks Bush is such a liar.

He used some tired examples of how current U.S. policy parallels what George Orwell wrote about in his book “1984.” But he also used fresh and frightening examples to prove his point.

Barsamian, who flashed a fabulous grasp and depth of history, shared information he read in interviews with Hermann Goering while Goering was held in Nuremberg after World War II. Goering, the organizer of the Nazi Gestapo, claimed it was as easy to get the people of a democracy to buy into war as it was the people of a totalitarian regime: You just tell the people they are being attacked and you accuse pacifists of being unpatriotic.

Barsamian claimed that is exactly what President Bush is doing to sell the war in Iraq. The administration trumped up links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida as well as claims that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction.

He accused the Bush administration of engaging in the same type of propaganda campaign employed by Hitler. Both men, he said, built their lies around the theme that “war is peace.”

Bush and his circle of power brokers are nothing but an “aggressive group of men” who had world domination on their minds, Barsamian charged. “Sept. 11 was a gift to them and they’ve admitted it,” he said.

Barsamian took aim at his second most favorite target ” the media ” for perpetuating Bush’s lies.

(Barsamian has built his reputation for independence. He was the winner of the American Civil Liberties Union’s 2003 Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism. His Boulder-based, independent Alternative Radio Series is broadcast by KDNK and KAJX.)

Barsamian dismissed mainstream media as being biased in the pursuit of profits or too wimpy in the pursuit of balance.

What Barsamian failed to acknowledge is that the mainstream media’s obsession with balance may ultimately help him, or others with similar views, bring strong, anti-Bush points to a broader audience. As it stands now, however, Barsamian is, for all intents and purposes, preaching to the choir.

The audience in Glenwood Springs was a case in point. The presentation, and a similar one in Aspen Saturday night, was sponsored by the Roaring Fork Peace Coalition and the Stepstone Center. Stepstone director Scott Chaplin noted that the Glenwood crowd was the largest its post-9/11 peace overtures have drawn.

Yet many of the people attending are regulars at peace rallies in the valley. And based on the questions the audience asked, no one needed convincing that Bush should be run out of office.

Barsamian claimed that recent polls show President Bush’s re-election is supported by 45 percent of the American people. Another 45 percent say Bush shouldn’t be re-elected.

If the numbers he cited are accurate and hold true, it would make more sense for Barsamian and his like-minded supporters to target the 10 percent of the American public that is undecided, not just the 45 percent already inclined to attend his lectures and buy his books. To accomplish that, he could draw more on history and less on histrionics.

Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com


Old Powerhouse, Armory options aired

On Monday night, the City Council listened to ideas for each old building. However, nothing laid out what the community space would actually entail — only aspirations and gathered community comment.

See more