Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Propagating A Lie

Truth is always the first casualty of war. But, on the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Richard Gwyn writes that truth died before that war started:

In Bush’s version of the maxim, it wasn’t the fact every war once begun makes lying inevitable: each side always blames the other, minimizes its own misdeeds and claims that God is on its side.

Instead, the purpose of these lies was to manufacture a war that otherwise couldn’t have happened. As a result, there was no limit to the lying.

And George Bush told some whoppers. He claimed:

  • That Iraq had an armoury of nuclear weapons. It had none.

  • That Iraq provided Al Qaeda with the base it needed to stage its terrorist attacks. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq.

  • That the invasion, by deposing the dictator Saddam Hussein and bringing him to justice, would make Iraq a democracy. Today, elections are indeed held, but the killings continue (nine Iraqis were killed on Monday) and the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds are as far apart as ever.

  • Newspapers like the Great Gray Lady -- The New York Times -- bought the lies. Gywn admits that, for awhile, he bought them, too. So did that august public intellectual, Michael Ignatieff. Things did not work out so well for him.

    But, for the Leader of the Opposition, Fortune smiled. Stephen Harper wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Canada's refusal to join the Coalition of the Willing was "a serious mistake" and that disarming Iraq was "necessary for the long term security of the world."

    Who says that propagating a lie doesn't reap benefits?


    Beijing York said...

    That Harry Patch quote is a keeper!

    It may be the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, which any sane person should have realized was a sham and cost way too many lives. But Afghanistan is an equally disastrous adventure that has also cost too many lives.

    I am reminded of two sage gentlemen and war veterans in my life who have engaged me through the years re: why going to Afghanistan was a horrible action. One is a WWII tank driver vet and the other a Korean War vet. Both are extremely proud of their military service and not what you would call pacifists. Both protested the invasion from the get go (and of course Iraq).

    Owen Gray said...

    My father was a World War II vet, Bejiing, who claimed that he survived because of "pure dumb luck."

    He had no patience for people who enjoyed telling war stories; and he refused to keep a gun in the house.

    Wars are declared by those who have no experience of war. Those who have experienced it don't want to do it again.

    Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

    Here is a list of the Bush lies about the Iraq War.
    Perhaps I am an impractical dreamer but I will never understand why the Bush leadership was never tried for war crimes.

    Owen Gray said...

    Thanks for the link, Philip.

    The record is pretty disgraceful. Bush and Cheney stay close to home. If they didn't, they'd be picked up abroad and sent to the International Criminal Court.