In 2006, former US military commander and CIA boss General Petraeus said the US strategy is to conduct a war of perceptions continuously through the news media. People like McCain are the foot soldiers in such a war and hope that the public mindset can be manipulated with propaganda about US national security interests, perceived military successes and fear about Islamic extremism.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up