When not in doubt, lie

Vel Nirtist
Mark Twain resolved much uncertainty when he declared that "when in doubt, speak truth." Yet he offered no similarly authoritative advice on what to say when not in doubt -- and so lies were utilized quite frequently, when the cause was deemed worth it by those convinced of their own cause.

For example, the Soviets were so certain that Arabs were in the right when they started the Yom Kippur war that they saw no point in having too much nuance in their coverage of it. Hence, headlines in the Soviet papers the day after Arab attack read "Israel invades Egypt and Syria." Not accurate, perhaps, but presenting the larger truth well.


Or the Nazis, so sure in August of 1939 that the world belonged to them, but puzzling over a good pretext to knock the Polish border open. A Polish attack on Germany would have come handy indeed to explain the war -- and indeed it came, on August 31. Well, not exactly by the Poles, but by the Gestapo dressed in Polish uniforms. But who cares about such minor details? The larger "truth" of Polish perfidy and aggressiveness towards Germany, for which it deserved the Nazi occupation, was proven.


And today the bon pensants, despairing over intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and heartily wishing to have it resolved, have come to the conclusion that it is necessary to negotiate with Hamas. This being the newly-found Grand Truth, the much smaller truth that the only thing Hamas is willing to negotiate is the timeline of Israel's demise, needs to be somehow sidestepped. And since nothing serves this better than a lie, well, then a lie must be employed.


As was done in a TIME magazine article by Joe Klein called "Hamas Hysteria"  -- whose entire argument hinges of the supposition that

"[Hamas considers] the recognition of Israel ...a matter to be resolved in formal negotiations."

The Hamas charter advocates the unconditional destruction of Israel, either through force (which includes occasional cease-fires needed for re-armament), or through crafty diplomacy resulting in the "right of return" and "one state for two peoples." Perhaps Joe graduated from the Izvestia/Pravda/Goebbels School of Journalism -- where they taught how to take care of smaller -- factual -- truths so they don't obscure the greater -- imaginary -- ones?

Which is unfortunately not journalism at all, but propaganda -- though this may not matter that much to Joe Klein or the editors of the TIME magazine. The greater truth being that we must negotiate with the terrorists, any lie that helps to get us silly people convinced, is but a noble lie.  
Mark Twain resolved much uncertainty when he declared that "when in doubt, speak truth." Yet he offered no similarly authoritative advice on what to say when not in doubt -- and so lies were utilized quite frequently, when the cause was deemed worth it by those convinced of their own cause.

For example, the Soviets were so certain that Arabs were in the right when they started the Yom Kippur war that they saw no point in having too much nuance in their coverage of it. Hence, headlines in the Soviet papers the day after Arab attack read "Israel invades Egypt and Syria." Not accurate, perhaps, but presenting the larger truth well.


Or the Nazis, so sure in August of 1939 that the world belonged to them, but puzzling over a good pretext to knock the Polish border open. A Polish attack on Germany would have come handy indeed to explain the war -- and indeed it came, on August 31. Well, not exactly by the Poles, but by the Gestapo dressed in Polish uniforms. But who cares about such minor details? The larger "truth" of Polish perfidy and aggressiveness towards Germany, for which it deserved the Nazi occupation, was proven.


And today the bon pensants, despairing over intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and heartily wishing to have it resolved, have come to the conclusion that it is necessary to negotiate with Hamas. This being the newly-found Grand Truth, the much smaller truth that the only thing Hamas is willing to negotiate is the timeline of Israel's demise, needs to be somehow sidestepped. And since nothing serves this better than a lie, well, then a lie must be employed.


As was done in a TIME magazine article by Joe Klein called "Hamas Hysteria"  -- whose entire argument hinges of the supposition that

"[Hamas considers] the recognition of Israel ...a matter to be resolved in formal negotiations."

The Hamas charter advocates the unconditional destruction of Israel, either through force (which includes occasional cease-fires needed for re-armament), or through crafty diplomacy resulting in the "right of return" and "one state for two peoples." Perhaps Joe graduated from the Izvestia/Pravda/Goebbels School of Journalism -- where they taught how to take care of smaller -- factual -- truths so they don't obscure the greater -- imaginary -- ones?

Which is unfortunately not journalism at all, but propaganda -- though this may not matter that much to Joe Klein or the editors of the TIME magazine. The greater truth being that we must negotiate with the terrorists, any lie that helps to get us silly people convinced, is but a noble lie.