Tag Archives: Iraq War

Coronavirus Propaganda Mimics War Propaganda, by Jeff Deist

They both use a lot of lies to shape public opinion. From Jeff Deist at ronpaulinstitute.org:

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In the period leading up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration and its media accomplices waged a relentless propaganda campaign to win political support for what turned out to be one of the most disastrous foreign policy mistakes in American history.

Nearly two decades later, with perhaps a million dead Iraqis and thousands of dead American soldiers, we are still paying for that mistake.

Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, were key players behind the propaganda—which we can define as purposeful use of information and misinformation to manipulate public opinion in favor of state action. Iraq and its president Saddam Hussein were the ostensible focus, but their greater goal was to make the case for a broader and open-ended “War on Terror.” ​

So they created a narrative using a mélange of half-truths, faintly plausible fabrications, and outright lies:

– Iraq and the nefarious Saddam Hussein were “behind,” i.e., backing, the Saudi terrorists responsible for 9-11 attacks on the US;

– Hussein and his government were stockpiling yellowcake uranium in an effort to develop nuclear capability;

– Hussein was connected with al-Qaeda

– Iran was lurking in the background as a state sponsor of terrorism, coordinating and facilitating attacks against the US in coordination with Hamas;

– Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and other terror groups were working against the US across the Middle East in some kind of murky but coordinated effort;

– We have to “fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here”;

– The Iraqis would welcome our troops as liberators.

And so forth.

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Has Nothing Been Learned Since 2003? Corporate Media Welcome Back Iraq War Hawks To Make Case for Iran, by Eoin Higgins

Nothing is more helpful for establishing establishment credentials than being consistently and spectacularly wrong about big issues, like the Iraq War in 2003. From Eoin Higgins at commondreams.org:

Former President George W. Bush's former press secretary Ari Fleischer appeared on Fox News January 2 to claim the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani would be welcomed by Iranians. It was not.

Former President George W. Bush’s former press secretary Ari Fleischer appeared on Fox News January 2 to claim the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani would be welcomed by Iranians. It was not. (Image: Fox News/screenshot)

As President Donald Trump spent the early days of 2020 instigating and then backing down from a potentially catastrophic confrontation with Iran, corporate media in the U.S. turned to the very same people who promoted the country’s worst foreign policy disaster in a generation to advocate for repeating the mistakes of two decades ago.

The decision of networks and cable news outlets like CNNMSNBC, and Fox News to bring on a stream of past advocates for and architects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq was panned by progressives who watched in horror and frustration as the same arguments were deployed in service of all-out war with Iran.

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Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran, by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

The US strike against Iran and the assassination of Qassam Solemaini may provide some benefit to Israel and improve the political standing of Benjamin Netanyahu. No good will come of it for the US, however. This will certainly not be the first time US intervention in the Middle East has benefited Israel to the detriment of the US. From VIPS at consortiumnews.com:

“We write with a sense of urgency suggesting you avoid doubling down on catastrophe,” VIPS tells Donald Trump in its latest memo to the president.

January 3, 2020

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Doubling Down Into Another “March of Folly”?

The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani evokes memory of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in June 1914, which led to World War I. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quick to warn of “severe revenge.” That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility, particularly given the multitude of vulnerable targets offered by our large military footprint in the region and in nearby waters.

What your advisers may have avoided telling you is that Iran has not been isolated. Quite the contrary. One short week ago, for example, Iran launched its first joint naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman, in an unprecedented challenge to the U.S. in the region.

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“The Fight Started When He Hit Me Back”, by Jeff Thomas

Political leaders are always trying to get the citizenry to go to war by claiming provocation by the other side. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

There’s an old joke about an adult asking two boys how a fight started between them and one boy responded as stated above.

When two children are involved, we might choose to lecture them both and possibly punish the one who instigated the fight. But when nations are guilty of the same behaviour, we tend to simply accept the rather absurd explanation as being reasonable.

Back in the 1950s, the US sought to establish a presence in Vietnam. First, “military advisors” were sent in, then armaments. But soon, US troops were added. When the US public objected to their country instigating a war halfway around the world, where it had no business being, President Johnson made the announcement that the destroyer USS Maddox had just been attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin.

As it turned out, the Maddox had sailed into the North Vietnamese harbour uninvited and began firing on North Vietnamese ships. The ships returned fire. Although only one bullet actually hit the Maddox, several North Vietnamese ships were damaged and Vietnamese sailors were killed.

President Johnson used this incident to convince the American people that North Vietnam had attacked a US ship and they needed to be taught a lesson. It was at that point that the US began the Vietnam War in earnest. It ended in defeat for the US, but not before over 1.3 million deaths were totted up.

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Kerry’s Endorsement of Biden Fits: Two Deceptive Supporters of the Iraq War, by Norman Solomon

Kerry and Biden are both liars with blood on their hands. From Norman Solomon at commondreams.org:

The spectacle of Kerry praising Biden as a seasoned leader amounts to one supporter of the Iraq catastrophe attesting to the character and experience of another supporter of the same catastrophe.

Senate Democrats John Kerry, Carl Levin, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Joseph Biden take part in a news conference on Capitol Hill14 March, 2007 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC following a procedural vote on Iraq. The US Senate will reopened a debate on a Democratic push to restrict the Iraq war effort after weeks of procedural delays by Republican allies of the White House, Senate leaders said. (Photo: Karen Bleier/AFP via Getty Images)

Then Senate Democrats John Kerry, Carl Levin, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Joseph Biden take part in a news conference on March 14, 2007 following a procedural vote on Iraq. (Photo: Karen Bleier/AFP via Getty Images)

On Thursday afternoon, the Washington Post sent out a news alert headlined “John Kerry Endorses Biden in 2020 Race, Saying He Has the Character and Experience to Beat Trump, Confront the Nation’s Challenges.” Meanwhile, in Iowa, Joe Biden was also touting his experience. “Look,” Biden said as he angrily lectured an 83-year-old farmer at a campaign stop, “the reason I’m running is because I’ve been around a long time and I know more than most people know, and I can get things done.”

But Kerry and Biden don’t want to acknowledge a historic tie that binds them: Both men were important supporters of the Iraq war, voting for the invasion on the Senate floor and continuing to back the war after it began. Over the years, political winds have shifted—and Biden, like Kerry, has methodically lied about his support for that horrendous war.

The spectacle of Kerry praising Biden as a seasoned leader amounts to one supporter of the Iraq catastrophe attesting to the character and experience of another supporter of the same catastrophe.

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Iraq: All Is in Ruins and Mourning, by Eric Margolis

The US has laid waste to Iraq. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

Victor Hugo said of the devastated Balkans in the 19th century:  ‘The Turks have passed by here. All is in ruins or mourning.’

Welcome to modern Iraq.

The British were always masters of efficient imperialism.  In the 19th century, they managed to rule a quarter of the Earth’s surface with only a relatively small army supported by a great fleet.

Many of their imperial subjects were so overawed by the pomp and circumstance of British rule that they often willingly cooperated, or at least bent the knee.

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Ron Paul, Hero, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Ron Paul has lit a fire, especially among younger people, that has yet to be extinguished. From Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. and lewrockwell.com:

This talk was delivered on November 9, 2019, at the Mises Institute symposium in Lake, Jackson, Texas.

I had the rare honor of serving as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff, and observed him in many proud moments in those days, and in his presidential campaigns. People today sometimes compare Ron Paul with Bernie Sanders. The comparison of Bernie to Ron goes like this: both launched insurgent, anti-establishment presidential campaigns while in their 70s, shook up their respective party establishments, and attracted large youth followings. But Bernie is no Ron.

Just on the surface: Bernie is a grump and difficult to work with; Ron is a kindhearted gentleman who always showed his appreciation for the people in his office.

More importantly, Ron urged his followers to read and learn. Countless high school and college students began reading dense and difficult treatises in economics and political philosophy because Ron encouraged them to. Ron’s followers, meanwhile, were curious enough to dig beneath the surface. Is the state really a benign institution that can costlessly provide us whatever we might demand? Or might there be moral, economic, and political factors standing in the way of these utopian dreams?

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16 Years After Iraq, the US Has Become a Nation of Passive Neocons , by Whitney Webb

The neocons who got us into Iraq under false premises should be living in ignominious exile. Instead, many of them still hold important positions, and keep pressing for more potentially disastrous interventions. From Whitney Webb at mintpressnews.com:

After Iraq, the neocons began waging another war, one for America’s soul.

Sixteen years have passed and the memory of the Iraq War is distant for many, save for the millions of people — Iraqi and American alike — who saw their lives destroyed by one of the greatest lies ever sold to the American public.

Yet, while plenty of Americans sleep easy thinking that such an atrocity as the invasion and occupation of Iraq could never happen again, the U.S. government has continuously been involved in many smaller, equally disastrous wars — both seen and unseen — largely thanks to the fact that those who brought us the Iraq War remain both respected and still present in the halls of power.

Indeed, the only thing the domestic outrage over the Iraq War seemed to accomplish has been a massive effort waged by the government and the corporate elite to engineer a public that doesn’t complain and doesn’t care when their government meddles or invades another country.

For many Americans today, much like the war itself, the outrage over the Iraq War is a distant memory and comparable outrage has failed to emerge over any other U.S. government crime committed or contemplated on a similar scale — whether it be the “regime change” invasion of Libya, the ongoing genocide in Yemen, or in response to crimes the government is now setting up.

Our forgetfulness has informed our silence and our silence is our complicity in the crimes — past and present — orchestrated by the neocons, who never left government after Iraq but instead rebranded themselves and helped to culturally engineer our passivity. As a consequence, we have again been hoodwinked by the neocons, who have transformed America in their image, creating a nation of neocon enablers, a nation of passive neocons.

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On The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie, by Caitlin Johnstone

Caitlin Johnstone demolishes Ari Fleischer. From Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

On the sixteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, as the US government threatens punitive action against International Criminal Court investigators for attempting to look into US war crimes, former George W Bush administration Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has decided to publish a Twitter thread claiming that Bush did not lie to the world about Iraq.

Here is a transcript of the full thread by Fleischer:

The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow. There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs were found, the left claimed “Bush lied. People died.” This accusation itself is a lie. It’s time to put it to rest.

The fact is that President Bush (and I as press secretary) faithfully and accurately reported to the public what the intelligence community concluded. The CIA, along with the intelligence services of Egypt, France, Israel and others concluded that Saddam had WMD. We all turned out to be wrong. That is very different from lying.

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Kept Secret For 17 Years: Intel Memo Warned Bush’s Iraq Invasion To Create “Perfect Storm”, by Tyler Durden

Many people foresaw the disaster that the 2003 Iraq invasion would become, even people in our own government. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A newly declassified US intelligence memo has been unearthed this week and featured in a bombshell Wall Street Journal report. It proves that the year prior to the Bush administration’s 2003 invasion of Iraq the White House was expressly warned in great detail of all that could and would go wrong in the regime change war’s aftermath, including the Sunni-Shia sectarian chaos and proxy war with Iran that would define Iraq and the whole region for years following. And crucially, it reveals that seven months before the US invasion of Iraq, American intelligence officials understood that Osama bin Laden was likely “alive and well and hiding in northwest Pakistan”   important given that a key Bush admin claim to sell the war was that Saddam Hussein and bin Laden were “in league” against the United States.

The July 2002 memo was authored by William Burns, then serving as assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, and though clearly dismissed by the Bush neocons making the case for war, proved prescient on many levels. “Following are some very quick and informal thoughts on how events before, during and after an effort to overthrow the regime in Baghdad could unravel if we’re not careful, intersecting to create a ‘perfect storm’ for American interests,” Burns wrote in the memo, classified ‘Secret’ and sent to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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