Oops! I was wrong... So sorry your kid is dead now
[Posted 4 May 2006]
Today I was listening to NPR in the car -- not because NPR is that good,
but because a decent station like WBAI or KPFK wasn't within listening
distance. The guest of the moment was David Remnick of the New Yorker
(not exactly the greatest
magazine for political content), making a seemingly humble admission. Remnick
admitted that he was wrong about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. He
then went on to say that other journalists were wrong, too, as well as millions
of Americans, apparently trying to absolve himself of the consequences of his
claim at the time.
This admission is quite appropriate at a time when the Bush administration is again
posturing itself to attack Iran. Perhaps the program was timed to remind people
that the Bush administration was less than honest on Iraq, a sort of warning to
be skeptical about their claims on Iran.
But Remnick's admission also
reminded me of something else. Back in 2002-03 when
the Bush administration was pushing its
wars down the throat of America, making "nookyalur" threats on behalf of Saddam
Hussein, there were certain members of the press cheering him on with no other
evidence than Bush's own unsubstantiated claims.
Some of us in the alternative press were highly skeptical of those claims.
After all, from past PNAC documents among other evidence,
it was pretty obvious that Bush & co. were planning to invade
Afghanistan and Iraq before Bush Jr. was even "elected" to office in 2000.
Yet nearly all of
the mainstream media continued to make Bush's case for war every day on the TV,
radio, and in print. I'm sure Remnick didn't have nearly the effect of Fox News,
but ultimately all "commentators" hyping the war share some
responsibility for the death and suffering in Iraq.
Certain poorly-informed Americans hear people like Remnick and make judgments
based on their claims, rarely questioning how these "journalists" obtained
their "facts". Eventually the propagandists'
names are forgotten after their mission is accomplished and then discredited,
disappearing into the walls at daylight. But the results of their work
remain forever. According to the most
scientific estimates, hundreds of thousands of people are dead (so far) because of
the Iraq war,
thousands of American soldiers among them (although unlike rabid right-wing
commentators, I don't pretend that those American lives are the only ones that
matter). Yes, all individuals supporting the war share some of the responsibility,
but those using their access to the media in order to mislead the gullible are
certainly only a step below the Bush Administration in ultimate responsibility
for the death and destruction of their 2002-03 disinformation project,
the Iraq War.
Last weekend, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and peace activists marched
against the war in New York City, Cindy Sheehan among them. Sheehan's child, and
thousands of other less famous children, have lost their lives thanks to these right-wing
"pundits." And their suffering is multiplied many times over on the other
side of the globe, in Iraq itself, native victims of the war mostly
forgotten. "Oops I was wrong" doesn't bring anyone back to life, or regrow missing
limbs. It only shows how comfortably some people can
lie, and how easily others are
manipulated. Is it all about to happen again?
Within the past few weeks, the Bush administration has been mounting
its verbage against Iran. This is nothing new --
it reminds me of
article on one
of my favorite web sites, posted over a year ago (4 March 2005):
"So off Bush trots to Europe last week, trying to sell 'old Europe' on hostility
toward Iran. Telling leaders who were smart enough to stay out of Iraq from the
outset that they should put aside their 'differences' (integrity), and go along
with Bush's really dumb Middle Eastern policy. That's right, forget about Bush
ignoring everything your country thinks and wants, every shred of decency your
people have, your dedication to human rights after brutal World Wars were fought
on your soil -- and just do anything Bush says. After all, look how successful
he's been, with people dying in Iraq every day, photos of torture & dead children
and whatnot. He must be telling the truth when he says Iran has WMD, after he
lied about Iraq having them..."
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