by Firas Al-Atraqchi
March 8, 2003
A campaign of deceit, lies, demagoguery, arm-twisting, and bribery is currently being committed by so-called political leaders who are responsible to their people to provide truthful information, but in recent months have refrained from doing so.
There have been thousands upon thousands of lies about Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Islam and the Middle East, lies about the intentions of France, Germany, Russia and anyone who dares raise a voice in protest. Lies about 9-11, about Osama bin Laden, about Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia. Lies in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Lies to justify a war, false hope for peace to justify a war, crocodile tears for Iraqi civilians. All to justify war.
In his prime time news conference, U.S. President George Bush lied to the American people, and no one questioned him. He systematically, strategically, and surreptitiously conjured up the painful emotions associated with 9-11 to justify a war on Iraq. The bottom line: We were hit in 9-11; now we have to hit back.
He continuously made the connection between Iraq and 9-11, so that when Americans remember 9-11, they think Iraq. And the poll figures supporting the Bush war will jump.
Never mind no intelligence outfit in the world has been able to conjure up even a paragraph of evidence linking the two. Never mind that bin Laden has called Saddam an infidel and an inconsequential figure.
Some six to seven thousand innocent Afghan civilians were not enough last year. Now, there is a hunger for Iraqi blood.
It baffles the mind that the real reasons for invading Iraq are not imagined by mainstream media nor by the unwittingly complicit American public. Does no one bother to ask why some things are never mentioned? Why, we are talking about Israel, of course!
Does no one bother to ask why White House officials have said Iraq is only the beginning and that Iran, Syria, and Libya will follow? Does no one bother to ponder that these are precisely the countries that refuse to make peace with Israel unless the inalienable rights of the Palestinians are first recognized and Israel withdraws from the West Bank? Does no one bother to ask who Israel's greatest threat is in a conventional war? And by an incredible coincidence Iraq is linked with al-Qaida and every other ramshackle terrorist organization.
Anything to justify a war.
The American public is not informed that one of the reasons for going after Iraq is Israeli security, and to scare other "non-compliants" into making hasty concessions to Israel.
"Oh, but Sad Damn has weapons of mass destruction which he has used against his own people and is preparing to use against us. Why else would he have them if not to attack the U.S.?" say U.S. politicians.
Either these politicians are incredibly naive, have no knowledge of world politics except within their caucus, or are purposefully misleading the American public. The fact that Iraq is situated in a highly volatile, highly unstable, and highly hostile neighborhood is not mentioned. The fact that Turkey wants a chunk of northern Iraq, and Iran wants a chunk of southern Iraq, is not mentioned. The fact that Israel is the biggest threat to Iraq is not mentioned. Nor that Israel can hit Iraq whenever it wants to like they have in the past.. The fact that the best deterrent to an attack from your enemies is a powerful military is not mentioned. Oh yes, it is okay for the U.S. to beef up its military but for others to maintain they need their military to thwart hostiles -- nope, that's a no no.
We know he has weapons of mass destruction, stockpiles of this and that, they repeat over and over. Fine, Senator, tell us where they are. No can do, that's a matter of national security. Okay, Senator, how about lending the UNMOVIC inspectors a hand and identifying those areas. Sure, sure we will help the inspectors, wink, wink.
Too bad the American public does not get to hear that the inspectors have called U.S. "intelligence" on Iraq, "garbage, garbage, garbage." UNMOVIC members have been frustrated with the erroneous and misleading information U.S. "intelligence" has provided.
Iraq, however, fesses up to having the al-Samoud missile program and destroys nearly 25 percent of those missiles. Oh, now we have you Sad Damn, say the U.S. Senators. He has weapons of mass destruction; he has been lying and now he is caught with his pants down. Uhm, Senator, those are conventional missiles that have exceeded their range by 23 miles in 17 out of 40 tests. No, gosh darn it, they are WMDs. Sad Damn is lying. Let's roll!
No wonder the French and other more reputable European nations have refused to budge on their positions against a war.
Them damn French, we liberated their butts in WWII, they would all be speaking German now! They only want their oil interests in Iraq secured. But Senator, isn't Iraq's number one client the U.S.? Isn't it true that in the past 2 years, the U.S. imported through third parties 70 percent of Iraq's oil output?
No answer. The American public is not told that securing U.S. oil interests is another reason for going into Iraq.
Europe is with us, we are told. Yes, Senator, but which Europe. Why, free New Europe! Senator, do you mean by New Europe the former Soviet satellites who are begging to enter NATO? Do you mean the New European countries like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary and so on, who know that a U.S. veto could prevent them from entering NATO and enjoying cooperative security? Is that the New Europe you mean, the easily intimidated and threatened?
No answer. This aspect of Europe is not revealed to the American public.
We will liberate the people of Iraq, we are told in a manner that insults integrity. Does no one remember the promise in 1990, when Bush Sr. sought to convince the American public that he would bring democracy to a liberated Kuwait? Thirteen years on, women are barred from gaining equal representation in parliament; the Al Sabah family rules with an iron hand; every bastard child of the Al Sabah is in every ministry, every government office. There are no elections in Kuwait. Saddam enters Kuwait, Al Sabah escape; Saddam is ejected from Kuwait, Al Sabah is reinstated. No one elected him. No referendum. Nothing.
Some democratic promise. The American public is not told this little piece of information.
Remember that small place called Palestine? Where 87 Palestinians and 17 Israelis have been killed since February? Where Palestinian firefighters putting out a fire were shelled by Israeli tanks? Eleven Palestinians, among them 2 firefighters and several civilians, were killed.
In the U.S., a firefighter is a hero. In Palestine, just another Arab terrorist.
The sensitive American viewer is spared that carnage. No reporting of Palestinian deaths. After all, they are just another bunch of dead Arabs, right?
Firas Al-Atraqchi, B.Sc (Physics), M.A. (Journalism and Communications), is a Canadian journalist with eleven years of experience covering Middle East issues, oil and gas markets, and the telecom industry. He is a columnist for YellowTimes.org, where this article first appeared. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org