In 2002-03, the Bush administration coordinated with retired military officers who were acting as policy experts on CNN and elsewhere to whip up the Iraq War frenzy. Such military commentary can have a significant – and dangerous – impact on U.S. public opinion, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
While the U.S. media has some spirited debate over politics and social issues – i.e. Fox News vs. MSNBC – there remains a broad consensus about foreign adversaries whose behavior is almost always cast in the harshest light, a reality that colors how America reacts to the world, as Jeff Cohen writes.
Since the social upheavals of the Sixties, the American Establishment has sought to constrain critical thinking through a variety of techniques, from propaganda to government secrecy to the celebrated ignorance of Fox News. But there are broader societal pressures as well, notes Lawrence Davidson.
As wretched as the Iraq War was, the absence of any meaningful accountability for the U.S. policymakers and pundits who made the catastrophe happen is nearly as stomach-turning. Every day the same faces show up on the TV talk shows and Op-Ed pages spouting more of their “wisdom,” as Adil E. Shamoo notes.
From the Archive: A decade ago, as U.S. troops gained control of Iraq, there were many false alarms about finding WMD, leading to President Bush declaring the discovery of mobile biological weapons labs. Robert Parry led the way in challenging that bogus claim in this analysis of America’s false reality.
A basic tenet of “tough-guy-ism” is that throwing around U.S. military and economic muscle is the way to advance American global power. A corollary is that sensitivity toward world opinion is for sissies. But the reality is that the U.S. government undermines America’s influence with this arrogance, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Exclusive: America’s political dysfunction stems, in large part, from the Right’s success in distorting U.S. history and the mainstream news media’s failure to counter those false narratives. That has left the nation adrift in a faux reality, a crisis described by Robert Parry’s new book and analyzed by Jim DiEugenio.
As minor African despots are dragged before the International Criminal Court, ex-President George W. Bush remains free, despite having committed major war crimes like torture and aggressive war. With the blood of hundreds of thousands on his hands, he will now celebrate his presidential library, Coleen Rowley notes.
President Obama’s repetitious warning to Iran that “all options are on the table” carries with it the implicit threat of a nuclear strike against a non-nuclear state, a violation of previously declared principles and a provocation that encourages Iran to build an atomic bomb, as Tad Daley explains.
From the Archive: Not only have George W. Bush and the Iraq War architects skated away from meaningful accountability, but so too have the media figures who provided the propaganda framework for the illegal invasion, a break with a principle sternly enforced at Nuremberg, Peter Dyer wrote in 2008.