Iraq

How the News Media Betrayed Us on Iraq

The press became an arm of the White House.

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The tenth anniversary of the start of America's illegal and aggressive war against Iraq should not pass without recalling that the mainstream news media eagerly participated in the Bush administration's dishonest campaign for public support. It is no exaggeration to say that most news operations were little more than extensions of the White House Office of Communications. Abandoning even the pretense of an adversarial relationship with the government, the media became shameful conduits for unsubstantiated and outright false information about Saddam Hussein's alleged threat to the American people. Included among the falsehoods were reports that Saddam had a hand in the 9/11 attacks, had trained al-Qaeda fighters, and had attempted to obtain uranium ore and aluminum tubes for nuclear bombs.

Put bluntly, the disastrous invasion of Iraq, which was sold on the basis of lies told by President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice, and others might not have happened without the enthusiastic help of The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and others. The blood of more than a hundred thousand — perhaps more than a million — Iraqis and 4,500 Americans is on their hands too.

Today, like the Bush administration alumni attempting to duck responsibility, the media blame "bad intelligence" for their conduct. But that will not wash. The dissenting reports of Knight Ridder's Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay, along with a very few others, show definitively that in 2002–03 solid intelligence information undermining every propagandistic administration claim was readily available to anyone willing to use traditional reporting techniques. Strobel and Landay were mostly ignored. On the rare occasions when The New York Times or The Washington Post reported on the doubts intelligence personnel had about the Bush narrative, the stories were buried deep in the paper. (See Bill Moyers's special "Buying the War" and Greg Mitchell's book Wrong for So Long.)

The media did not merely pass along baseless assertions; the television channels also attempted to shape public opinion with a biased selection of guests. Prowar voices abounded, while informed war skeptics were scarce. Even when an opponent of war was featured, he or she had to share the time with a prowar advocate, yet the prowar side was often featured unchallenged. As the war became regarded as inevitable, the cable news channels shifted almost exclusively to military analysis, as though the question was no longer whether the nation ought to go to war, but rather how it would be fought. Many of the retired generals who were presented as objective experts had seats on the boards of defense contractors and were getting Pentagon briefings.

What motivated those who covered the run-up to the Iraq invasion this way? Several factors were surely at work. Groupthink and the fear of going out on a limb must have played a large role. The vaunted courage of journalists is more pose than fact. (This makes the work of Strobel and Landay, Phil Donahue of MSNBC until he was cancelled, and Bob Simon of CBS's Sixty Minutes all the more admirable.) "Pack journalism" is reinforced by a fear that reports suggesting skepticism about a military action will be interpreted as unpatriotic. The smear factories run by militarist right-wing media watchdogs ensure this will be the case. Moreover, being branded un-American for doubting a president's case for war may lead to viewer or reader boycotts, which in turn may lead to pressure from advertisers. Thus, the corporate bottom line played a role.

Another factor is the simple truth that war makes better news than peace. No one wins a Pulitzer Prize for being a peace correspondent. We must not underestimate this as a motive for favoring war.

Finally, we can't overlook that many in the media were simply motivated by nationalism and deference to the state with its dazzling war technology.

This story of media malfeasance would be bad enough if it were just history. Unfortunately, even as media figures now issue mea culpas about their shameful Iraq "coverage," they are engaged in precisely the same shoddy business with respect to Iran and its alleged but unproven nuclear-weapons program.

This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  1. Put bluntly, the disastrous invasion of Iraq, which was sold on the basis of lies told by President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice, and others might not have happened without the enthusiastic help of The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and others. The blood of more than a hundred thousand ? perhaps more than a million ? Iraqis and 4,500 Americans is on their hands too.

    Cue the peanut gallery – “But Hillary believed the lies too!”

    1. Yes. Let’s completely cherry pick our favorite liars for a most effective 3 minute hate.

      Pretty much everyone got it ‘wrong’.

      1. When you are subject to a lying campaign by the administration and compliant media it is tough to blame the powerless sheep who followed on the wrong path.

        “Everyone got it wrong” is for GOP apologists who want to spread blame around for their miserable president’s failures.

        1. Senatrix is a powerless position, I suppose.

          1. She couldn’t make Monica disappear. Then again I haven’t seen the ho for quite some time.

        2. So the democrats deserve no blame? What exactly is your point?

        3. When you are subject to a lying campaign by the administration and compliant media it is tough to blame the powerless sheep who followed on the wrong path.

          “Everyone got it wrong” is for GOP apologists who want to spread blame around for their miserable president’s failures.

          And the media is now doing the exact same thing in favor of Obama. I’m eagerly awaiting your attack on them for that.

          1. I eagerly await the day that the rest of you ignore the sock puppet. What is the point of answering to someone whose post are self refuted by contradiction?

            1. This. Don’t feed the vermin people, it lives off your attention.

        4. “When you are subject to a lying campaign by the administration and compliant media it is tough to blame the powerless sheep who followed on the wrong path.”

          I VAS YUST FOLLOWINK ORDERS!

    2. Shriek, of course “…Hillary believed the lies too!”, her husband started them. Everyone seems to have forgotten Al Gore and Mad Notbright’s road trip to gin up support for an invasion in the late 90s. Not to mention the breathless earnestness of NPR interviewers like Terry Gross giving their neocon guests completely uncritical attention at the time.

      And while I agree that Shrub’s war was ill-advised and unnecessary, I take issue with Sheldon’s characterization of it as “illegal” (though “aggressive” is apt, but then even defensive wars are aggressive), the fact is that even without the vague hyperbolically spun intelligence Saddam was without question making a mockery of the original ceasefire terms, or, at least, trying to.

      1. Everybody talks about the Iraq war as if it was, legally, a separate conflict from the ‘First’ Gulf War. It wasn’t. Since Saddam had never met the terms of surrender for the Gulf War, it was ongoing. Which is why all the blather about WMDs was, and is, beside the point regarding the invasion. We were at war with Iraq. If we wanted our military efforts anywhere in that part of the world to be taken seriously, Saddam had to go.

        Not the most spirit-stirring reason for invading a country, but still an absolute necessity.

      2. Was going to add the same thing. “ZOMG! ILLEGAL LYING LIES!!” is a pretty shallow substitute for actual analysis. Particularly since that horse carcass has been beaten to a bloody pulp.

        The narrative on the media’s complicity with TEH BUSH administration also sort of breaks down when you take into account that the entire media spent the year leading up to to the 2004 election exclusively publishing and publicizing “ZOMG! ILLEGAL LYING LIES!!” and trying to get John Kerry elected based on his opposition to the Iraq war… after he voted for the resolution authorizing it (Wait, congress authorized the war? I thought it was illegal?) So even if we give the media credit for sycophantically publishing George Bush’s ILLEGAL LYING LIES!!!! from March 2003 to November 2003, I think the following 6 years until Obama’s election is a suitable penance.

  2. It is no exaggeration to say that most news operations were little more than extensions of the White House Office of Communications.

    Thank the Easter Bunny that behavior is a thing of the past.

  3. The blood of more than a hundred thousand ? perhaps more than a million ? Iraqis and 4,500 Americans is on their hands too.

    But think of those zillions of children whose lives were saved by getting rid of the “Oil for Food” program!

  4. Wow, I never thought about it liek that before.

    http://www.Net-Privacy.us

    1. But nobody knows the identities of the dead, do they?

  5. Libertarians can thank Bush for one thing – the GOP is no longer viewed as the party of restraint, of fiscal responsibility, of national defense, of economic growth, or of crisis handling.

    Until Obama lies us into a useless ground war in Iran one can safely say Dems are (modestly) better.

    1. Because U.S. History began with Bush invading Iraq.

      1. Vietnam never happened.

    2. fiscal responsibility

      Dems are (modestly) better

      [citation needed]

      1. The rate of growth in federal government spending was smaller 1992-2000 and 2009-present than in other contemporary time periods.

        The only two actual budget cuts came in 1993 and 2011 (not enough but a fact).

        1. It’s disingenuous to say this is because of Democrats.

          1992-2000 was mostly because of the “obstruction” coming from the Republican congress.

          2009-today is only true because of the bailouts, meaning that while Obama didn’t increase spending relative to Bush’s final year, he increased it massively relative to Bush’s average year. INOW, the average Obama budget is a lot larger than the average Bush budget (in fact, larger than Bush’s “crisis” spending).

          1. Don’t bring facts into it. It doesn’t fit the narrative. Shreeek is a fucking idiot. His ravings have been debunked countless times and he comes back with the same fucking bullshit again and again.

            The bottom line is, Bush increased the debt by $4T in 8 years. Obama increased it by $6T in just over 4. Rate of increase is meaningless.

            1. Because Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion annual deficit from Bush.

              1. Fuck you retard. He spent over a trillion a year more than was coming in for three years after that you fucking moron.

                $4T in 8 years
                $6T in 4 years

                Dipshit!

              2. Yeah hows about you show us the arithmetic there.

              3. Cause he HAD to spend at that level. Boooooooosh held a gun to his balls.

            2. Don’t bring facts into it. It doesn’t fit the narrative. Shreeek is a fucking idiot.

              He’s not (just) an idiot.

              He’s a lying partisan shill.

        2. “2009-present”

          [Citation need]

          1. https://reason.com/blog/2013/02…..wing-the-r

            Before Bush left office spending was set at $3.5 trillion (exclusive of TARP).

            1. The 800bn stimulus that Obama signed into law in Feb 2009 somehow gets put into Bush’s spending column.

              And then that inflated emergency spending becomes the new baseline.

              1. That’s obviously necessary. Do you hate puppies and childrens? Because they’d be dead in the streets were it not for that sea of green.

    3. ground war

      An important bit of specificity when you need to excuse the drone and air wars, not authorized by congress, being prosecuted by the president whose cock you prefer to suck.

  6. I think it already did pass. Like 11 days ago. This is what happens when you procrastinate Sheldon.

  7. Most news is just somebody’s rewrite of a Press Release. Sometimes they don’t even bother to rewrite it. Once you realize that then just figure out whose Press Release it is and what interests they have and then adjust the report to take that into consideration.

    1. Kind of like how this article is the same as hundreds of others that came before it. No one hates the shrubbery or the media more than I do but that horse has been beat, shot, ground into dog food and shit into so many yards years ago. I guess Sheldon wanted to give asshole 3 an Easter present.

  8. “It is no exaggeration to say that most news operations were little more than extensions of the White House Office of Communications”

    Funny, that ain’t how I remember it. I remember the media huffing and puffing about how Iraq was going to be a new Vietnam. How it was going to take forever to subdue the remnants of Saddam’s army. How, no matter how good things might be looking in the first few days, the invasion was sure to bog down. They were still peddling that line of horsesh*t when organized resistance collapsed.

    I remember them scrambling to find something awful to distract from the failure of that narrative. I remember the hoopla over the ‘treasures’ missing from the museum(s?), and how that died down when it became clear that the thieves were Iraqi looters, and the utter silence that followed when it became clear that the army had moved quite quickly and probably saved a lot.

    I remember the joy with which the media leaped at the Abu Ghraib ‘scandal’, and how closely you had to read those stories to discover that, when the media found out the Army had already been well into the process of Court Martial-ing the imbeciles in question.

    I remember the grudging way the media treated any discovery of material or weapons Saddam wasn’t supposed to have. The desperate, desperate repetition of the lie that we hadn’t found any WMDs. The hoopla over Valarie Palme, who shouldn’t (technically) have been outed, but who was either incompetent or partisan.

    1. pt. 2

      The war could have been a wonderful object lesson to the States in the middle east; don’t screw with the United States because it will take them two weeks to wipe out your army and turn you into a beggar in the wilderness. The media and the anti-war hobbyists bitched that up, and so we are very likely going to see more attacks on U.S. interests and people, and ultimately we will go to all out war in Islam.

      That won’t be good for anybody concerned.

      Bush’s war was a Machiavellian shot at getting the middle eastern States to police their own. We can’t get at every Islamic extremist sand-louse without tearing the middle east down to bedrock, but the States they live in could conceivably chase them back into the hills, which is their default state; small bands of fanatic bandits who pester small villages and are otherwise insignificant. If that effort was made to fail, and it looks like it has, then eventually we really will become an Imperial State, and the morons who spent the Bush years whining about fascism will get to contemplate the difference from inside prison cells, along with their lawyers.

      Compliant media, my itching hemorrhoids.

      1. Couldn’t agree more. There were many who thought (and still think) that the war part was a good idea, and that the occupation was horribly disastrous and wiped up (and then some) any benefit of knocking out a particularly aggressive regime. I’m now firmly in the camp of, “that’s a good idea in theory, but you can count on government to fuck it up royally.” The continuing conflation in the public mind of the war (which WAS a cakewalk) and the occupation/rebuilding guarantees future failure in any such endeavor.

        That is the legacy of GWBII.

        1. It’s too bad that the public isn’t ready for good old-fashioned gunboat diplomacy; go in, kick ass, and then leave with the warning “There’s more where that came from”. In a way, it speaks well of us that we can’t create that much chaos without feeling we should stick around and clean up, but it is going to get us in trouble.

            1. Before Jug Ear in the White House, Libya was a case in point for the message in the Iraq War; Q’daffy Duck shipped us tons of WMD material along with a plea saying “I quit, please don’t do me like you did Saddam.”

              I’m hardly sorry he’s gone, and I’m not totally outraged that we helped, but it could have been handled better by a troop of ‘special needs’ cub scouts.

            2. Like Libya except remotely beneficial to America.

          1. And the other lesson was that our government can’t be trusted to choose well about when it’s appropriate. Ironically, this comes at a time when we truly do have the ability to knock out a government with minimum direct collateral (as opposed to the old days when you just had to kill a fuckload of people). We did this in Afghanistan as well, and managed to fuck it up in precisely the same way we did in Iraq.

            Why our current Moron-in-Chief got us involved in Libya, Chad, and other inconsequential shitholes is a demonstration of why we have to now face reality and oppose any military actions unless there’s an immediate and compelling need (e.g., Norks launch a nuke at Japan).

            1. The problem is that there IS a compelling need; Fundamentalist Islam is barbarism, plain and simple. It is spreading, in large part because the West has been so ineffective at opposing it (the numerous Western Intellectual Twits whose Radical Chic fixations lead them to flirt with anything remotely Radical don’t frigging help). Every inconsequential pesthole that Jug Ears has meddled with COULD have been a nice object lesson. But not the way he played it.

              Bush’s nation building may have been a bad idea, but compared to the apparently directionless urge to stick our nose in every third world piss-up going, it is beginning to look Statesmanlike.

          2. It’s too bad that the public isn’t ready for good old-fashioned gunboat diplomacy; go in, kick ass, and then leave with the warning

            WARBONERZ

            It’s not just the public. Many folks here can’t think when it comes to FP.

          3. It’s too bad that the public isn’t ready for good old-fashioned gunboat diplomacy; go in, kick ass, and then leave with the warning “There’s more where that came from”.

            What evidence is there that the public isn’t ready for or won’t support for that.

            It’s the douchebags in the DC bubble that think the can run the world, who always push nation building – not the general public.

            I suspect part of their obsession with the idea is that if they can remake country xxxx that resistance to their remaking America will lessen.

      2. THIS. I know Richman is always full of crap but why Reason buy it?

  9. Speaking of media betrayals, Matt Yglesias twitter feed indicates he’s been rewatching all of Star Trek the last few weeks and is currently doing Voyager. Today this pops up on Post Secret. Coincidence?

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0H0v…..oyager.jpg

    1. He’s re-watching all of Star Trek Voyager?

      I thought the most masochistic thing Yglesias had ever done was let Krugman put him in that gimp suit.

      1. Oooooh, Kes!!!!! I’ll be in my bunk…

  10. Word definition time: a lie is when you make a statement claiming something to be true that you know isn’t true when you’re saying it.

    When you make a statement that you actually believe is true, but in reality it isn’t, that’s not lying. That’s called being wrong, a stupid idiot, a dupe, a fool.

    The historical record very clearly shows that the Bush administration was duped into believing all the weapons of mass destruction bullcrap by that lying Iraqi defector “Curveball”. The worst that you can say is that they were easily duped into believing the lies because they were desperately looking for a rationale to attack, but most of the administration in fact truly believed that the WMDs were in fact still there. The proof is that they had our soldiers out there in the field scouring the country up and down for the shit. The Bush administration was unquestionably one of the worst and dumbest in history, but to say that they were “lying” is itself dishonest.

    As for intelligence and our so-called intelligence agencies, it’s nothing but an endless mishmash of conflicting information that has to be sorted through. We almost never have 100% failproof evidence on these matters. When we took out Bin Laden, we didn’t truly know that he was in there. We were very lucky that the analysts turned out to be right in that case, but it could just as easily have turned out to be a huge fuck-up. And the same exact crap that happened with Iraq is going on with Syria right now.

    1. There was a roundtable last year (either Cato or Mises) that argued something pretty similar. Basically that the reports coming from Iraqi defector/s fit the confirmation bias of the Bush administration. The administration completely believed that Hussein was close to WMD of some kind. B/c of that, they exaggerated the immediate threat in order to win support for the war that they believed was necessary to counter a threat in the not too distant future. On top of that, the administration had been excoriated for two years for not “connecting the dots” on 9/11.

      None of which is to excuse things, but the real world in real time tends to more complex than looking back at it.

    2. People also forget that the intelligence services of other western countries also believed that Iraq had active WMD programs. Not surprising, when you consider that Saddam acted like they did. There are even theories that as far as Saddam knew, the programs really were active and ready to be scaled up at a moment’s command, because everybody working for him was too afraid to admit otherwise. Whatever the case, it was not a “lie,” and misrepresenting it as one is not necessary to make a strong argument against the war.

      1. Hell, there was enough WMD cr*p lying around that a program COULD have been scaled up at a moment’s notice?if you weren’t too picky about particulars. And that is where the real lie about the Iraq WMDs comes in; the Left has consistently maintained that “we didn’t find any WMDs” and played the “Bush lied’ card for all it is worth and a little more. The situation in Iraq totally justified the invasion, unless you consider Saddam being within a sneeze of having liable WMDs a mere bagatelle.

        Iraq was justified in so many way. The anti-war hobbyists are so many twits. The Left is more concerned with smearing Bush than they are in marginalizing the various terrorist movements. And there is a much bigger war coming that we might have avoided if we had kept the Iraq war message un-muddied.

        1. I’m not sure I agree with Iraq being totally justified (see my previous comment) but agree with you about the lying issue. One historian in a brief essay wrote about: “the lies about the lies about Iraq” which always struck me as succinct summary.

        2. Is that you, Bill Kristol?

          Saddam had some WW1 type mustard gas and some nerve gas that Reagan let him have to use on Iran.

          No one credible thought Saddam had a nuke program.

          1. He had literally tons of yellowcake uranium that he wasn’t supposed to. He had delivery systems that, under the terms of surrender for the fist Gulf War, he wasn’t supposed to. He had chemical weapons that, by international agreement, are WMDs.

            No, he didn’t have an ICBM, field and ready, with an assembled and armed nuclear warhead. That isn’t the same thing as “He didn’t have WMDs”, and never will be.

            Twit.

    3. Mike

      Outstanding summation. Agree on every point.

      Richman

      Your credibility is shot. I have no idea why Reason would continue to publish your shit.

    4. The historical record very clearly shows that the Bush administration was duped into believing all the weapons of mass destruction bullcrap by that lying Iraqi defector “Curveball”. The worst that you can say is that they were easily duped into believing the lies because they were desperately looking for a rationale to attack, but most of the administration in fact truly believed that the WMDs were in fact still there.

      My theory is that Saddam was planting evidence that he had WMDs even though he didn’t because he thought that would make an attack less likely and keep his generals under his thumb.

      1. Mike and VG you both make good points. I served in Iraq in 2003-2004 and I remember speaking with various high ranking (COL/BG) Iraqi officers. ALL were convinced that Iraq had chemical wpns. The officer corps was well aware of SH chemical weapons use and “A” thought “B” had them in his unit, “B” was convinced “C” had them and “C” knew for a fact “A” had them. All were wrong but in a paranoid totalitarian state you don’t go asking questions. IMO SH kept up the WMD charade because he needed to control his military, keep the Persians and Kurds in their boxes and misjudged how the US would react to 9/11. By the time he tried to come clean it was too late for anybody to believe him.

    5. Good summation, Mike. For the record, I opposed the war as I saw Saddam at even his worst as nothing more than a regional player best left to the Israelis, Turks and Saudis as their problem if he got out of line. But, no, the administration was exactly as you point out above.

  11. Whenever a party looses an election, it analyzes the result and determines what change’s need to be made. The narrative party leaders settled on was that the GOP lost because Hispanics didn’t vote for the party, and they didn’t vote not because they oppose what they see as oppressive capitalism, but because Romney didn’t support amnesty. Of course, anyone with a brain and a calculator easily knows who decided this election, the white working class. And why did they not vote for Romney? Might it have been because of war? Free trade? Opinion polls would suggest such a thing. But the neo-cons want those things, and they want an excuse to displace American workers with cheap, third world labor. They will never be our party, and we should never vote for them.

    1. Ah. Thanks for passing along the latest talking points, comrade.

    2. They lost because Romney is a failure of a career politician, that lucked into one win over twenty years.

      He had no political game and was completely unable to respond to the ridiculous personal attacks that Obama used to smear him, making him unelectable. And the funny thing is that Obama laid out his reelection strategy in his 2008 nomination acceptance speech and Romney’s team was still incapable of responding effectively.

      Beyond that, Romney never offered any compelling reason why he wanted to be president, what he would do as president or why people should pick him over Obama.

      A republican Dukakis. The real question – problem is why he ever won the nomination in the first place.

      1. The real question – problem is why he ever won the nomination in the first place.

        It was his turn.

        Duh.

        1. Because nobody else wanted it.

          Every serious contender the GOP had said “No thanks” once they realized how bad the economy was. They all knew that getting elected in 2012 meant no re-election in 2016, so they ceded the floor to Romney. And of course the GOP leadership did their damnedest to squeeze every libertarian voice out of the process, so that got rid of the only two candidates in the GOP race (Paul, Johnson) who were saying anything remotely intelligent.

          And that’s how you got a clueless Massachusetts liberal as the GOP nominee.

      2. Obama was also a career politician. Romney was a weak candidate, but that wasn’t the main reason he lost. He lost because thw white working class felt, not unjustifiably, that he did not care about him. They opposed free trade, and they didn’t want an outsourcer as president.

        1. I said that Romney was a failuire of a career politician, having won exactly one race in twenty years of trying.

          No one would hire a doctor, or lawyer or business manager with that success rate. But the republican establishment ‘hired’ him to be their front man.

          And no doubt, his inability to sell the benefits of free trade were part of the reason for his loss.

          1. Tough to sell something you don’t believe in.

            Romney was no free marketeer…he was just as corporatist as any of the other shills the GOP or Dems put up.

        2. They opposed free trade, and they didn’t want an outsourcer as president.

          So you admit that the white working class is incredibly stupid and doesn’t understand basic economics enough to realize the benefits of free trade.

          I eagerly await your screed about how much you hate white working class people, since they’re clearly just as dumb as the inner city African Americans you despise so much, you racist piece of shit.

    3. Oh, American. You so crazy.

      1. Oh Irish. Youre such a drunk.

        1. Because I’m Irish? DOES YOUR RACISM KNOW NO BOUNDS!?

      2. I said that Romney was a failuire of a career politician, having won exactly one race in twenty years of trying.

        No one would hire a doctor, or lawyer or business manager with that success rate. But the republican establishment ‘hired’ him to be their front man.

        And no doubt, his inability to sell the benefits of free trade were part of the reason for his loss.

        1. Fucck you squirrels.

  12. I read a good perspective on the war:

    http://takimag.com/article/the…..z2Ozegyz2C

  13. ABC’s “This Week” without George Will is an obnoxious liberal lovefest.

    1. Don’t you mean the Gay Marriage show?

  14. I remember people turning out in the streets by the hundreds of thousands every weekend in the run-up to the war. The media got it wrong. But it needs to be remembered that there was significant and active opposition to the war in America.

    1. Yes, it does need to be remembered. It needs to be remembered because if the message “You don’t want the United States for an anomy. Life gets really ugly when the United States is your enemy” is blunted to the extent that there is another major attack on U.S. soil, then all hell will break loose, and it will be important to remember all the goddamned fools who are to blame.

      Memo to the Politically Correct Left; either you believe that women are inferior to me, or that Fundamentalist Islam is barbarism, or you are a goddamned fool.

    2. Yes, America needs to remember that the anti-war protesters disappeared from the media completely in Jan 09.

      There a few true believers, but the media hype was pure socialist agit-prop.

      1. Yeah I remember hearing one talking head (don’t remember who) commenting on Cindy what’s her name (the one who camped out at Bush’s ranch for a year or more) in early 2009: “Cindy, enough already.” And they wonder why they have no credibility.

    3. The left-wing scumbags always put on their phony “anti-war” hats when a republican is in the White House. Then when it flips to a democrat, they disappear into the cracks like the cockroaches that they are.

      The legitimate, principled anti-war movement in America is so tiny it’s basically nonexistent.

      1. I’m not convinced that that’s true, but when a Democrat is in office they’d pretty much have to take him hostage to get any news coverage.

        1. I agree with Mike on this one. The “anti Iraq war” crowds were more accurately “anti-Bush” crowds. Otherwise OBH would have never been able to pull off his Libya stunt. Any GOP president, or even Clinton, would have been butchered in the media for that war. The opening volley of the war “we were letting others lead” was 212 US Cruise missiles and 2 from GB. Huge quantities of bombs, almost all AWAC and refueling capacity were from the US. Aviano and Sigonella looked like O’Hare and yet he didn’t need to inform Congress because we “were minimally involved.” WTF

        2. Exception to that trend: Code Pink. To their credit, they protested the Brennan hearings because of his support of the drone war. I was glad to see that at least some liberals aren’t complete, craven hypocrites.

  15. Sheldon had me right up until his last sentence.

    Iran’s weapons program is not “alleged” at all. They’ve been testing Shahab missiles and upping their capability so they can eventually hit Europe for years. Openly. The actual flight tests of these missiles have been tracked and reported on (Iraq conducted no such tests). Iran has a nuclear program going on. They admit this (although they claim it is for peaceful purposes). In Iraq there was no nuclear program ongoing (peaceful or otherwise) and they denied that such a program existed…claims which were later proven true. So comparing Iran to Iraq so cleanly is intellectually dishonest.

    I agree that the current administration is wrong for beating the war drum with Iran, but I do so because I believe that nation-states should be able to pursue their own national defense programs (and nuclear weapons are only useful as a defensive weapon). And I agree that the media is far too willing to buy administration propaganda. But the idea that Iraq’s and Iran’s situations are identical is blatantly false. Sorry, but the facts ARE different, even if the conclusions we might come to about what our government should (or should not) do are the same.

  16. “(and nuclear weapons are only useful as a defensive weapon)”

    Please explain your reasoning. I find that assertion bizarre, and that makes me suspect that I’ve missed something.

    I do note, however, that the only times that nuclear weapons have been used in wartime, they were used as offensive weapons

    1. Japan attacked the US at Pearl Harbor. All subsequent actions by the US are, by defintion, defensive until the end of the conflict.

      1. I can almost see the reasoning, if I squint. Nevertheless, the bombs dropped on two Japanese cities would have worked just as well if the U.S. had been preparing an unprovoked invasion.

        I really think that a defensive weapon would be one that interferes with the force that an opponent is projecting at you, and an offensive weapon is one that projects force on your opponent.

  17. Mainstream media has become a very useful tool of government control. Since the media very rarely questions any government press release before dissemination to the general public, they can get away with nearly any lie for quite some time – and still do.

  18. viewer or reader boycotts, which in turn may lead to pressure from advertisers. Thus

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