October 6, 2002
Media Prepares Public for Mass MurderBill Vann, writing on the World Socialist Web Site, deconstructs the orchestrated media campaign to move the public from its present reluctance to go to war, to a place of acceptance of casualties on both sides. (See US media begins preparing the public for mass slaughter in Iraq.)
As Vann points out, up to this point the media have portrayed the operation as a matter of "taking out" Saddam, as though it could be performed cleanly with high tech equipment. As a few stubbornly realistic military officers bring up the unpleasant fact that there will probably be brutal and difficult street fighting required to get to Saddam and accomplish the takeover of Iraq the administration envisions, it is hard to avoid the likelihood of American casualties.
So now any move of the country to protect itself from the destruction about to be wreaked upon it by the most powerful military machine in the world is portrayed as some sort of sneaky, malign plot to "to lure American forces close to Baghdad and other large population centers, where Iraqi commanders believe their soldiers would be less vulnerable to air strikes and civilians would be more willing to fight for the government," as a Washington Post article put it.
Sports jargon is a commonly employed tool for portraying the struggle as though it were really no more than a sportsmanlike effort to punish this single scoundrel Saddam Hussein, and ignoring the carnage of innocent civilians, if Americans can conceive of any Iraqi being innocent.
An otherwise intelligent American justified it to himself the other day saying, "Well if they can't deal with this guy, if they can't take this dictator out themselves, then..." I said, "That's us! That's the United States you're talking about. We have a dictator that we didn't elect, and what are we doing about it? Do we deserve to have our country destroyed because of it?"
Saddam now is "bobbing and weaving," they say, and it's time to "take him out." Where is Roberto Duran now that we need him? Oh, that's right, he's back in war-torn Panama, where his old neighborhood was destroyed by a a surprise attack launched midnight December 19, 1989, (as Panamanians were preparing for Christmas) by President George Bush with 26,000 American troops who hit 27 targets simultaneously killing at least hundreds of innocent Panamanians and injuring and rendering homeless many others. This was supposedly a "manhunt" for a drug dealer/dictator who just happened to be a CIA asset, who used to be on Bush's payroll (courtesy of U.S. taxpayers) like Saddam and Osama.
So here we go again. If those devious Iraqis don't meet us like men on the desert where our planes can pick them off effortlessly from a distance, and if instead they try a cowardly, deceitful, unmanly strategy of taking cover in the cities -- among the urban population -- what choice does the U.S. have but to bomb the civilians and reduce their cities to rubble?
These well-scrubbed and pampered media celebrities who further the administration's war agenda by reciting whatever lies they are given truly deserve their own special department in Hell.
Morgan Strong, writing a United Press International Outside View Commentary called Bush's Iraq lies also tells the tale with refreshing frankness.
Strong recounts the tale of how public relations people were used in 1990 to concoct tales to arouse the U.S. to get behind that other war against Iraq. It was practically all lies, but so what? There was no "democracy" in Kuwait, it was ruled by a single family. There were no babies pulled out of incubators and killed by Iraqi soldiers as alleged at the time. Much-repeated TV broadcasts of a girl testifying to Congress were staged lies.
"The young woman who testified to the horror before congress?," says Strong. "She was the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Washington. She was in Paris when the Iraqi's invaded Kuwait. She never worked in a hospital; she never worked in her life. Her father was a scion of the immensely wealthy dynasty that rules Kuwait. The woman who testified before the General Assembly? She was not in Kuwait at the time of the invasion either. She was the wife of the information minister of Kuwait."
Strong summarizes with: "No matter what the Bush administrations tells us we have to remember it is really about oil and money. The rest is nonsense."
George Ochenski in the Missoula Independent from way out in Montana concurs, with "Here be monsters: Nothing but oil is driving the Bush war machine"
-- By David Cogswell