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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Life imitates the movies? « Previous | |Next »
May 31, 2003

This is a great article by Paul Krugman. It appears that he has been re-reading the screenplay of the 1997 Hollywood movie Wag the Dog. He says that in this political satire:

"An administration hypes the threat posed by a foreign power. It talks of links to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism; it warns about a nuclear weapons program. The news media play along, and the country is swept up in war fever. The war drives everything else including scandals involving administration officials from the public's consciousness."

It got quite good reviews too.

Just sounds like real life huh? Do you think that the Bush administration got the idea of the Iraqi war from Hollywood? The movie is premised on the bold and cynical assertion that truth is unimportant since it is only what people believe to be true that matters. (I haven't seen the movie. I wil try and get a DVD tonight and watch it.)

Well, the unimportance of truth looks like what happened. It is what people believed to be true with respect to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction being the central reason for going to war. There are lots of doubts now; even amongst Generals. Columinists are now suggesting that government officials leaned on the intelligence agencies to exaggerate the Iraqi threat and deceive the public?

And worse. Officials in the American administration (eg., Paul Wolfowitz) are now admitting that though the oppressive treatment of the Iraqi people by the Iraqi regime was a reason to help the Iraqis; it was not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk-----certainly not on the scale they did. So much for that reason.

I cannot access the US Defence Department website for the Wolfowitz Vanity Fair transcript. But Tim Dunlop over at Road To Surfdom has the core bits and an extended commentary and analysis.

If what Wolfowitz says is so, then that leaves us with Iraq's alleged links with al-Qaida as the reason to go to war. Well, that was never adequately established.

So what was the reason for war again? That Iraq was an imminent threat to the US? How so? Because Saddam was actively supporting the Palestinians against the Israelis, threatening to light up the whole region with war and so was the prime source of instability in the region?

None of that has much to do with Australia's national interest at all. No one every bothered to argue it in Australia.

There ought to be a Senate Inquiry into how and why Australia went to war with Iraq.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:40 PM | | Comments (5)
Comments

Comments

Quite true, there ought to be....but there won't be. Howard has already wiped the 'WMD' excuse, opting for the increasingly more popular 'free the people' approach. If we're totally honest with the hindsight review of events over Iraq, the only viable excuse for the illegal invasion of a sovereign is that of regime change. Something the US is well known for....infamously so. What will they do when the Iraqis democratically elect a non-secular government that tells the US to POQ and never return?

Some of us, regardless of whether or not we might support it, have no difficultiy in understanding the basis of the Allies' decision to invade Iraq. Sadly, there's a tendency for anyone who disagrees with a decision, to fall back on assertions that it's necessary for some form of "Enquiry", in the hope that they'll at least have a chance to sling mud and feel good.
Are lawyers in such dire straits that we must do ANYTHING we can to help them send their kids on better holidays?

Norman,
We all all ears. What was the basis?

Destroying the most powerful of all the middle east rulers who supply arms to the enemies of the west and/or Israel.

Opening a friendly base of operations to conduct future actions/psyops in the middle east.

Attempt to instill democracy in a muslim middle eastern nation as a first step to bring down nearby regimes.

Oil

WMDs

A show of force.

Some of these reasons are suitable for public consumption and some aren't. That doesn't make them any less justified or necessary though.

Happy to be lied to are we Yobbo? Happy to live on your knees? To live off the scraps from high table?

'Some of these reasons are suitable for public consumption and some aren't. That doesn't make them any less justified or necessary though.'

That my friend is as good a justification for fascism as any I've seen. Including one from a Mr Goering that's been getting a fair run lately. Amazing how many people have this homing instinct to line up with power and a corollary lack of the gene for scepticism.