To them, violence, power, cruelty, were the supreme capacities of men who had definitely lost their place in the universe and were much too proud to long for a power theory that would safely bring them back and reintegrate them into the world. They were satisfied with blind partisanship in anything that respectable society had banned, regardless of theory or content, and they elevated cruelty to a major virtue because it contradicted society’s humanitarian and liberal hypocrisy."The Origins of Totalitarianism"
Notice the American focus on individuals and figureheads, single people who you can attack and onto which you can offload your problems. Couple this with partisan feuding which is being fuelled and is causing the left-right divide to grow even more rapidly, you end up with precisely this: Americans bickering and engaged in vitriolic argumentation over whose side is better, without the key issues ever being addressed. Without stopping and thinking about holding your country to account/doing anything about it.
That is the manipulation. And the deception is as you say, those old/young, left/right, tacitly sold on the lie that this perpetual state of war is somehow necessary and driven by anything but your country's massive military industrial complex. A complex which most Americans I've seen don't even deny, but at best shrug/laugh off as "haha, maybe we're the bad guys" but internally justifying and convincing themselves otherwise.
And because of the "us vs them" dichotomy that you've been fed, that internal justification is automatic when thinking about any situation involving America and the Middle East: "are we the bad guys? Well it's us vs them, and they're the bad guys so no, we're the good guys".
And it's that that I believe has lead to your current physical inability to empathise with the killing of innocent human beings in the Middle East. Not tiredness or burnout; just "us vs them".
Since no one is capable of forming his own opinion without the benefit of a multitude of opinions held by others, the rule of public opinion endangers even the opinion of those few who may have the strength not to share it. This is one of the reasons for the curiously sterile negativism of all opinions which oppose a popularly acclaimed tyranny. [...] public opinion, by virtue of its unanimity, provokes a unanimous opposition and thus kills true opinions everywhere.
[..] if one is in touch with one's own unconscious reality, I think one would have to admit that in all of us there is a piece of Eichmann, and if you ask why, on what basis do I say this, then I would ask you whether you have lost your appetite when you read that in India people were starving, or whether you have gone on eating. As soon as you have not lost your appetite, when you knew other people were starving, then your heart has hardened, and in principle, you have done the same which Eichmann did.
I don't think, that if we are really in touch with the inner reality of ourselves, that there is any crime, or perhaps any virtue, which we cannot discover in ourselves. We shut ourselves [off] from the awareness of our inner reality, we project the evil to our opponents and enemies, and believe that the good is in ourselves; individually, nationally, and group-wise in general.
But if you can really see that every one of us, carries all of humanity, the good and the evil, within himself, then indeed is very hard to be a fanatic, then indeed it's very hard to be a judge, then indeed would follow, a deep understanding, if not love, of your fellow man. Which is part of being truly a person.lecture called "The Automaton Citizen"