Friday, August 26, 2005


"'On September 14, 2001, [the president] stood at the National Cathedral and told all of America that this was going to be a very long and difficult war, and that there were going to be some very trying moments, but that because of what happened on 9/11, that we had to view the world in a different way,' White House spokesman Trent Duffy said." - Washington Post, 8/26/05


It stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Americans like things to be simple, cut and dried, black and white. Take the current "debate" over the war in Iraq. I hesitate to call it a debate because you have increasingly shrill and increasingly intransigent viewpoints that, more and more, run to extremes.

Example - Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly announcing his list of what makes a person "extremist" - and managing to list everyone on the planet, including himself.

Example - the National commander of the American Legion telling Americans to shut up and stop dissenting against the war and the policies of President Bush.

Example - the quote cited above, in context with an article on the war in Iraq.

Now, please sit down and pay attention. I want you to engrave this in your memories, nine times nine (because sometimes triple redundancy is the only remedy), and repeat the following:



You, in the back there! I didn't hear you.


Okay, now ... 15 of the 19 hijackers on Black Tuesday were from Our Ally, Saudi Arabia - none of them were from Iraq. The War in Iraq was started for several reasons, none of them very noble or even ethical, but in our fear and anger we allowed ourselves to get into it. But this post is not about whether Iraq was right or wrong.

This post is about KISS. Now, while most Americans are immune to shades of nuance (and, indeed, some seem determined not to think in nuance), there is such a thing as oversimplifying matters.

Like thinking that men are smarter than women.

Like thinking that certain ethnicities are stronger/weaker/brighter.

Like connecting Iraq and 9/11.


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