How Did We Start the Iraq War? Watch This

It has been four years since President Bush stood on the decks of the USS Lincoln dressed in a flight suit and in front of a banner that said “Mission Accomplished.” How much sadder and wiser most Americans are (hopefully) now. With 3,332 American soldiers dead as of April 24th — and more died today — and although Congress is handing Bush an Iraq pullout deadline, which he will surely veto, the end is not in sight.

How did we get sucker-punched into this war anyway? On PBS tonight at 8 pm (Denver time on KRMA Channel 6) we’ll find out about another guilty party that fed us this war besides the current White House Administration-the media.Bill Moyers Journal will examine how the Main Stream Media packaged the Administration’s misinformation into a war. From the PBS website:

How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?

The program analyzes the stream of unchecked information from administration sources and Iraqi defectors to the mainstream print and broadcast press, which was then seized upon and amplified by an army of pundits. While almost all the claims would eventually prove to be false, the drumbeat of misinformation about WMDs went virtually unchallenged by the media.

“Buying the War” examines the press coverage in the lead-up to the war as evidence of a paradigm shift in the role of journalists in democracy and asks, four years after the invasion, what’s changed?

Can we forget these headlines leading up to the war:

“Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts” (thank you Judith Miller of the New York Times, Sept. 2002;) or
“Iraq’s Arsenal of Terror” (from May, 2002 Vanity Fair;) or
“Bush Declares Al Qaeda is ‘On the Run'” (Washington Post in Oct. 2001)?

Sure, Americans were shell-shocked after Sept 11, 2001 and we were ready to believe anything to make sense of what happened. Unfortunately, we were never given the truth by either the Administration or by most of the press. After tonight’s Bill Moyers special, will Americans finally be moved to outrage?

If you miss the show, the full program and transcripts will be available here.

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Leslie Robinson

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