I think everyone knows how the War in Iraq began, with the claim that Saddam Hussein possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and the way the story geared the American Public for war at the turn of the century. The New York Times led the way with Judith Miller’s commenting on the story with them.
Before I go any further, I’d like to share this article from the Ron Paul Institute that was released on June 26th, 2019, the day I wrote this blog post, stating that the New York Times actually admits to sending stories to the US Government, namely national security officials, for approval before publication.
Anyway, this article goes on to state how almost every single US mainstream media outlet works in cooperation with the CIA. Outlets like ABC, NBC, the Associated Press, Reuters, Newsweek, the Miami Herald, and others. This was uncovered by a journalist named Carl Bernstein who obtained CIA documents and revealed that over 400 American journalists over the span of 25 years “secretly carried out” assignments for the CIA.
For more on the sheer correlation between how the media virtually works with the CIA, the US government, national security, and other special interest groups check out Bernstein’s article ‘The CIA and the Media,’ which was originally published in 1977 and has stood the test of time even here in 2019.
This lengthy opening statement of mine will show my readers of this latest article two things:
1) How most of our mainstream media outlets here in the US are practically pushing an identical agenda when it comes to foreign policy, as in the RPI article I linked above, shows both conservative and liberal outlets working with the CIA, mainly to push for war in a specific region.
2) In my Lord of Columbia Series, the reader will start to see beginnings of an alike cooperation between mainstream media propaganda, government agencies, and multinational corporations as early as Chapter One in Northern Knights, Episode I in the Series, where Lira explains to an ignorant, self-absorbed Cain that the Southpoint media is always pushing for war in other areas of the world.
Anyway, now that you have a clear background on how the mainstream media operates, let’s take a look at how they conditioned the American public (and myself at the time) to gear for war in Iraq, and man do I feel guilty cheering when they played the TV broadcast of the US striking Baghdad and excitedly talking about it at school the next day. Sometimes, I wish I could go back and have a word with my twelve-year-old self.
Claims Leading to War
Anyway, with the media again spreading pro-war propaganda in 2002, the rest of the media fell into line with the WMD claim. In the 2003 article entitled ‘The Great WMD Hunt,’ it’s stated that “by the time the war with Iraq began, much of the media had been conditioned to believe, almost as an article of faith, that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was bulging with chemical and biological weapons’, despite years of United Nations inspections.”
Reporters from NBC Nightly News stated what Iraq and its WMDs were to America while the Washington Post went on record of writing about Washington’s plans for a confrontation with Iraq in January 2003. On February 3rd, Time asked whether Saddam Hussein was making a good faith effort to disarm Iraq’s alleged WMD program.
Despite calls from chief weapons’ inspectors that it shouldn’t be the media’s job to determine whether Hussein was hoarding WMDs, the media continually ignored the plea and instigated its perpetual propaganda.
After the Initial Invasion
A few days after the initial invasion, reporters hampered the George W. Bush administration on where the weapons’ were.
On March 23rd, 2003, the Washington Post reported, “Bush administration officials were peppered yesterday with questions about why allied forces in Iraq have not found any of the chemical or biological weapons’ that were President Bush’s central justification for forcibly disarming Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s government.”
That night, military officials told media officials of a chemical facility they located near the town of Najaf in southern Iraq. “I underscore, we do not know what the chemicals are, but it sure has gotten spread around fast,” MSNBC reporter Forrest Sawyer told White House correspondent, Bob Kur.
On the other side of the political spectrum (to my international readers, MSNBC tends to lean liberal while Fox leans conservative), Fox News reported on the same night, “HUGE CHEMICAL WEAPONS FACTORY FOUND IN SO IRAQ…. REPORTS: 30 IRAQIS SURRENDER AT CHEM WEAPONS PLANT…. COAL TROOPS HOLDING IRAQI IN CHARGE OF CHEM WEAPONS.”
Since the war is relatively recent, I’m sure a good deal of you recall this, as I do so myself during my days as a news junkie sixth grader.
However, Fox News would release another quote the following days from a correspondent in Qatar, stating, ” “chemical weapons’ facility discovered by coalition forces did not appear to be an active chemical weapons’ facility.” In fact, the Dow Jones Wire would also issue a statement stating, “the site contained no chemical weapons’ at all and had been abandoned long ago.”
The Hunt for Chemical Weapons
The media would continue their efforts over the next month in their search for chemical weapons’, one time with NPR reporter John Burnett confirming a top, unnamed military official stated, “the first solid confirmed existence of chemical weapons’ by the Iraqi army.”
Supposedly, medium-range rockets containing sarin and mustard gas were found, only for Pentagon Official Major General Stanley McChrystal to state he “had seen nothing in the official reports to corroborate that.”
One day before my twelfth birthday on April 26th, ABC World News reported in an exclusive that “U.S. troops discover chemical agents, missiles and what could be a mobile laboratory in Iraq.” Correspondent David Wright stated the Army had found a dozen missiles and 150 gas masks, testing positive for chemical agents, including a nerve agent and blistering agent. ABC claimed the testing methods used by the Army were 98% accurate, quoting an unnamed Army Lieutenant.
On April 27th, ABC continued the ongoing story, with Carole Simpson stating, For the second day in a row, some preliminary tests have come back positive for chemical agents.”
However, when the US Mobile Exploration Team (MET) conducted its tests, it, “tentatively concluded that there are no chemical weapons’ at a site where American troops said they had found chemical agents and mobile labs.”
We now know, as cited by numerous sources, including mainstream ones such as the Washington Post, stated that among findings among intelligence officials that Iraq ‘basically ended its nuclear weapons’ program in 1991.’
As for biological weapons, the same article in the Washington Post said that it was claimed Iraq retained biological weapons’ between the late 1990s and 2003 with the capability to produce more. However, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) stated that intelligence gaps existed in Iraq’s biological weapons’ program, which the NIE shared in October 2002 that policy-makers never discussed.
Officials discovered that Iraq stopped its biological weapons’ program in 1996.
And finally, we can’t leave out this conversation between former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Bob Schieffer on the television show, Face the Nation.
Relation to Raven’s Flock
As those following my blog already know, I’m taking a lot of real-life inspiration from America’s foreign policy to help shape Trilogy II in Lord of Columbia, starting with Raven’s Flock which will be followed by two more books to be released between 2020 and 2021.
First off, the century-long claim immediate threats to the US, many of which are based at the very least on questionable information, if not lies is a hard topic the reader will see early on in Raven’s Flock, and as mentioned earlier, as early as the first chapter in Northern Knights. A direct allegorical correlation will be made almost immediately.
News propaganda, as well as the frowning upon and outright ridiculing of anyone dissenting mainstream headlines, is showcased as well, which is seen even these days among anyone questioning the mainstream view of our news propaganda. The masses never take kindly to our questioning and truth-seeking, but I’ve always stated that ninety-nine lies can never replace a single truth, which the reader will definitely come to witness in Raven’s Flock.
Again, Columbia is an allegory of the US, and the Lord of Columbia Series itself is an allegory to US history told in an urban fantasy-sci-fi manner.
Next, I’d like to cover the crisis in Syria as well as Libya. If you haven’t checked out my previous articles questioning the mainstream claims to war, here are links to the others:
Part I: Sinking the Lusitania
Part II: Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Part III: Gulf War I
Part IV: Pearl Harbor
Part VI: The Libya Intervention
Bonus: War with Iran