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   The Washington Post and the Road to War Against Iraq

MEDIA CRITICISM:

The Washington Post and the Road to War Against Iraq

by Scott Loughrey
Most Americans do not fathom the frustration and rage that is being manufactured around the globe in our name. Why? Because their media aren't telling them.
As most everyone knows, Bush is planning to attack Iraq. What most people don't know is that this proposed attack will be illegal. It will violate the UN Charter. It will also violate the governing UN Resolution (1154) on Iraq, which stipulates that only the Security Council, not the US by itself, will ensure the peace there.

It is coming at a time when the Middle East is already in major turmoil. The US-sponsored fiefdom controlling Saudi Arabia is in danger of falling, and the situation in the Occupied Territories remains extremely grim for the Palestinians.

The planned invasion of Iraq is anticipated to cause the Iraqi civilian population grave harm. Already, they're enduring the most severe post-war economic sanctions in human history. (UNICEF has estimated the sanctions have killed more than a million civilians, about half of whom were children.)

They certainly cannot expect mercy from the Pentagon. For example, Pentagon documents obtained from Freedom of Information requests confirm that the Pentagon deliberately kept Iraq's water supply in bad shape in order to facilitate civilian suffering (Thomas Nagy, The Progressive, September, 2001). This alleged action violated the Geneva Conventions, but this is of no concern to our "major" media.

Bush's dream of invading Iraq also comes while former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter claims that in 1998 his team verified a 90-95% level of disarmament from Iraq. And former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans Von Sponeck also says that he saw nothing but devastation regarding Iraq's alleged weapons sites. These concerns have been given so little attention by the mainstream media that the Bush administration hasn't had any real need to offer a challenge to them.

The Washington Post has been actively involved in assisting the Bush administration. For example, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami recently slammed the US for resorting to war at the drop of a hat. He also said that despite their recent wars with Iraq, Iran recognizes Iraq's territorial sovereignty. They do not endorse having the US decide who rules their neighbor.

AUSTRALIAN PAPER SPECULATES THAT US WILL SUSPEND CONSTITUTION
On another subject the Washington Post has been ignoring, the Sydney Morning Herald speculated on July 27 that the White House will suspend the US Constitution and implement martial law. Folks, this is not beyond the realm of possibility. It appears to be where the mainstream media wants to take our country.

Khatami's remarks were widely distributed around the world—except in the US (of course). After the Iranian President spoke, the Washington Post reported that the Bush administration was giving up hope that it could "work" with Khatami (July 23, 2002). They began their commentary with the extraordinary statement that the Bush regime is "turning its attention to appealing directly to democracy supporters among the Iranian people."

To help make the sale for the White House, the Post obligingly published a photograph of a young Iranian radical holding a sign that reads, "Down the USA." But that's not what Khatami said.

In Khatami's speech he admitted to the feeling that US bullying is making him feel he's "[living] in a very frightening situation today." In truth, the sight of the US using any pretext to drop bombs against any population that stands in its way is terrifying much of the world. In addition, our unwavering support for Israel as it continues its insanely brutal occupation of the Palestinian people is also causing enormous anxiety outside the US.

Internally, of course, there are the Washington Post and the New York Times leading the mainstream media in representing the views of power. Most Americans therefore do not fathom the frustration and rage that is being manufactured around the globe in our name. However, that rage exists. That anger is not going away. And many of these people have very, very long memories.


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This story was published on August 7, 2002.
  
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