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Oops! I was wrong... So sorry your kid is dead now
Click to visit VeggieCooking.com [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, like roaches 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 an 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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