A study by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland and Knowledge Networks reports [pdf] that the US is a country in which sizable percentages of the population believe, incorrectly, that
Evidence exists linking Iraq to al Qaeda (Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organization),
Weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and
World opinion favored the US invasion of Iraq.
Americans are filled with disinformation, because TV networks, fearful of being branded “unpatriotic” and of losing viewers and advertising revenues, uncritically passed on Bush administration war propaganda to the American public.
The University of Maryland study found that an astounding 80% of Americans who rely on Fox News hold at least one of the three erroneous beliefs. The percentages for CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN respectively are 71%, 61%, 55% and 55%.
Newspapers and magazines managed to deceive only 47% of their readers, while only 23% of Americans who rely on NPR/PBS are snowed by Bush administration propaganda.
There is a partisan element in the results. Fox News, neo-Jacobin to the core, is known as the Republican News Station, and NPR/PBS are known to belong to the Democrats. Naturally, Republicans were more trusting of Bush, and Democrats less.
Now that we know that Americans’ support for invading Iraq was based in disinformation, what are we going to do about it?
George F. Will asked a good question last week: why doesn’t the Bush administration admit it was wrong?
President Bush had his chance last week when David Kay, the head of the administration’s WMD search team in Iraq, turned in his $300 million report: No WMD found.
Bush blew his opportunity, claiming instead that the report justified his war against Iraq. He wants $600 million more to search forever for the phantom WMD.
The challenge we face is to wrest news away from a propaganda operation gone wild. And we had better get on with it before we end up in a wider war.
Bush’s neo-Jacobin cabal and their Likud Party allies are doing their best to spread the conflict. Undersecretary of State John Bolton is recycling the administration’s lies about Iraq and leveling them against Syria.
Israel, fearful that the US, chastened by the cost of Iraq, will not go forward with the plan to invade Syria and Iran, used Bolton’s charges as a green light to strike deep into Syria on Sunday, October 5.
Following Bush’s lead, Israel claims the preemptive privilege to strike anywhere it believes (rightly or wrongly) its interests to be threatened.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov promptly added Russia to the growing list of countries claiming preemptive first strike privileges. According to the BBC, Putin stated last week that Russia has “at her disposal a considerable stockpile of heavy ground-launched strategic missiles. Their combat characteristics, including the surmounting of any systems of anti-missile defenses, are unrivaled.”
Bush and his warmongering cabal have revived serious saber-rattling not heard since the end of the Cold War.
But not to worry. We have Bush’s assurances that his gratuitous invasion of Iraq has made the world a safer place.
Bush must know that lies have placed him in a difficult position. Yet no heads have rolled. Does this mean that Bush has been co-opted by the neo-Jacobins and that he is not in control of his government?
Neo-Jacobin leader Norman Podhoretz boldly set out the real agenda in the September 2002 issue of Commentary magazine. Podhoretz wrote that Bush, in his post-911 speeches (written by neo-Jacobins), brought “the entire Muslim world, ‘friends’ and enemies alike, into his conception of the war against terrorism.”
Podhoretz saw Bush’s remarks on the Middle East as “a great breakthrough.” US policy “now includes a fourth pillar: the assimilation of Israel’s war against terrorism into our own.”
The aim of the war against terrorism, Podhoretz wrote, is to deracinate Islam. Podhoretz identified Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority as “regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced.”
Far from serving our interests or Israel’s, our 21st century secular crusade against Islam leaves America and Israel more isolated and less secure.
Foundering in hubris, the US is less able to muster world opinion in defense of Israel.
Despite serious and costly US setbacks in Iraq, wider war remains the agenda of the neo-Jacobin cabal that controls the Bush administration.
More invasions, the return of the draft, and national bankruptcy are what the neo-Jacobins have in store for us.
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