Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
April 27, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

Terrorizing the Vulnerable

Truthdig Bazaar more items

Ear to the Ground
Email this item Print this item

Half of U.S. Still Believes Iraq had WMD

Posted on Aug 7, 2006
Hiroo Onoda

Hiroo Onoda, a former Japanese army intelligence officer who was stationed on Lubang Island in the Philippines at the end of World War II, wasn’t told of the end of the war, and then spent the next 29 years fighting people whom he thought were enemy soldiers or spies.

With a July 21 poll revealing that half the country still thinks Iraq had WMD, the Associated Press asks several experts why this myth persists. One answer: people tend to become “independent of reality.”

This is not without historical precendent. Pictured above is Hiroo Onoda, a former Japanese army officer who was stationed on a Phillipines island at the end of World War II and who kept on fighting until 1974 because no one told him the war had ended.


Did Saddam Hussein’s government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003?

Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in

People tend to become “independent of reality” in these circumstances, says opinion analyst Steven Kull.


—Posted by Blair Golson.

Lockerdome Below Article
Get a book from one of our contributors in the Truthdig Bazaar.

Related Entries

Get truth delivered to
your inbox every day.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments

By TruthPlease, August 8, 2006 at 1:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The people who are “independent of reality” are up in Washington D.C. - the Loonies are in charge of the Sanitarium and we’re ALL in deep trouble.  George, Dick(less) and Rummy just keep on flapping their lips without ever realizing that some of us (a lot of us) have good memories and it’s all on film anyway!  How nuts is it to deny such obvious stuff like the WMD “evidence” that was complete crap - or that huge tax cuts to the extremely wealthy would magically lift the economy at the same time they were all so busy draining the surplus economy as quickly as possible?  A sane administration would have to know that the shit would catch up with them someday - Oh yeah - they’ll all be ‘Raptured’ up to Billionaire Heaven and it won’t be their problem!  How convenient!  But, having read the Bible thoroughly and often for many years, I’m pretty certain that Jesus won’t recognize these Born Again Hypocrites - a Pharisee is still a Pharisee, George, even if daddy did buy you a diploma from Yale.  Don’t think you can spin this one away, Karl - even if half the American citizenry isn’t on to you, I’m pretty sure Jehovah is - it’s that Omnipotent and Omniscient thing, ya know.  Of course, if you only talk the religious talk, but don’t really believe it, then worrying about what God’s gonna do is pretty irrelevant, eh?  Sure does get those folks out to the polls, though, doesn’t it!
I’m a religious person who plans to keep on using the brain GOD gave me and do my own thinking, thank you very much.  Fact checking and Truth searching are hard work - uses the mind - something the average citizen tries to avoid at all costs, apparently.  We are obligated, by the blood spilled in the past to create and protect our ‘American Values’, to constantly watch and call to account our ‘elected’ leaders.  Our Founding Fathers warned us to keep a vigilant eye on any political leader, for the health of the nation - they were putting their lives on the line to make this nation and it’s wonderful, living Constitution - is it any wonder that these Oligarchs have spent every moment in office defacing and gutting that Constitution, to make sure that no one can hold them responsible for stealing our International goodwill, our surplus, our grandchildren’s futures and our stake to any claim to Moral Superiority?  The wonder is that Americans have stood back and just LET them!!!  What happened to all the protests and question asking?  There are a LOT of people who still wonder why Dan Rather got sunk so easily over George’s military records - they killed the messenger (at least his job, anyway) but the question is still unanswered - where was George?  How come not a SINGLE other member of his National Guard group, no one at all, has stepped forward and said ‘Yeah, he was there - we got hammered together every Friday night’?  No one!  And that’s just one of a thousand questions that just get shuffled out of sight behind Brittney, Paris, and Mel Gibson stories.  Yeah, Mel’s a big fat bigot, but how many Iraquis has he killed this week?  I think George is ahead.  How many American economies has Brittney gutted lately?  How many Constitutions has Michael Jackson trashed this year?  Those are the stories we need to focus on and demand answers to - it’s hard work to be an informed citizen - takes time and effort to gather information from LOTS of sources and try to form an intelligent opinion based on facts, not denial or wishful thinking.  But it’s well worth it, and vitally important for the health of our ailing nation. We still matter, or ‘they’ wouldn’t court us so much during the elections - so let’s make it count!!!

Report this

By rabblerowzer, August 7, 2006 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Half of U.S. population is irrational beyond the point of insanity. They are the faith based idolaters for whom conservatism is a religion and Bush their God. Only the rabid right are able to create their own reality by deluding both themselves and fanatical followers. The true sociopath can pass any polygraph test, because they believe their own lies.

Report this

By Russell Woodward, August 7, 2006 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think this is a shocking revelation of conditions really separating “red” and “blue” people—the fundamental issues of epistemology, that are greatly skewed by the “authorities” who are permitted to lie without correction by media. Of course, “we” call them lies; “the truth” is based on evaluation of the sources and evaluation of the opposition. But the separation between “true believers” and “us” is across a mine-field of more than bombast—apparent are the real tank-killers of legislation that impinge on dissent from official truth.  Given the harrowing conditions that could occur globally, triggering Fatherland Security in all its FEMA-lized glory, enforcement of “truth” might presage an inevitable purge of “malcontents.”  The fearmongering already includes vicious demonizing of those who criticize, mentioned kindly as “liars”—meaning “us.” You’re either in that ship of state (currently docked at the pigfarm) or at sea—and the Swift Boats are coming for you [sound of ?conch shells?].  I hate the concepts of the Matrix, but that pill thing seems to be coming to fruition and the horror of the Syndicate is palpable.
But maybe it is just good joke material.

Report this

By Verity, August 7, 2006 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WMD in Iraq? Of course they were there! We need no proof, because we’re AMERICAN - and Americans are ALWAYS right. Our President is a Man of Faith. So if he says there were WMD in Iraq, THERE WERE. So KILL, KILL, KILL WITHOUT QUESTION.

(It’s the Liberals who stir things up. They look for truths and ask us to examine ourselves.)

And now, let’s get back to the REALITY TV, the TALK RADIO, and the RIGHT-WING BLOGS (the things in our lives that help us IGNORE reality.)

...until the next 9/11 comes along.

Report this

By JKidd424, August 7, 2006 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The sad part is that this story has already been made into a joke:

Report this

By R. A. Earl, August 7, 2006 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If one needs any further proof of the complete failure of the American education system to EDUCATE, this is it. The “system” does a GREAT job of conditioning CONSUMERS and manufacturing SHEEP.

Can’t the surveyors find ANYONE with the ability to think an independent thought or to critically analyze a position?

I’d sure like to see the correlation between those who still believe Iraq had WMD and religious fundamentalists. I’d bet my next month’s pension they’re one and the same bunch.

Report this

By GW=MCHammered, August 7, 2006 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Antisocial (sociopathic) Personality Disorder
a personality disorder characterized by amorality and lack of affect; capable of violent acts without guilt feelings.

Trickle Down Psychosis
an acquired symptom in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted.

a defense mechanism that refuses painful thoughts.


For the fundamentalist, the mind’s eye has closed. For the extremist, it has clenched.

Report this

By Collin, August 7, 2006 at 4:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Knowledge and facts make the difference.
It’s like Israel/Lebanon today—those faked Reuters pictures. 
It’s really hard to trust Left/Lib news sources these days.


Report this

By Rosemary Molloy, August 7, 2006 at 3:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jerks, idiots, and morons!  This is the result of the political, media, and education establishments caving, absolutely and completely, to the win-at-any-cost culture.  Politicians will say and do ANYTHING to get votes.  Reporters have an agenda, an “image” and a commitment to drawing the most adherents—whether by truth or lies, doesn’t matter.  As for the sorry state of education, the insistance on reason has fallen to nervously entertaining wacko beliefs like “Intelligent Design” and the biblical theory of stem cell research.
H.L. Menchen, come back and set us straight!

Report this
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook