From readers' comments, I've come to soften my hard-line view of the American people as unwitting dupes. Clearly they must bear some responsibility. But I cannot, as some do, blame the people of the United States entirely, as if they are actually in control, as they would be, say, in a democracy.
Here's an item that's been sitting in my inbox for nearly a month, from the terrific blog Attytood, sent to me by Allan. Read it carefully: The Patriotism Police.
Isaacson notes there was "almost a patriotism police" after 9/11 and when the network showed civilian casualties it would get phone calls from advertisers and the administration and "big people in corporations were calling up and saying, 'You're being anti-American here.'"