on 22 September 2007
Norman Solomon is demonstrating that since World War II the US have systematically used war to defend their own interest and nothing else. So democracy and freedom is a lure for the public to fall into the trap of supporting the wars the President and a small group of people decide. He then demonstrates that all these wars are based on a fundamental and founding lie. Vietnam was based on the lie about the attack of some US battleship by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin just as much as the war on Iraq is based on the lie about the Weapons of Mass Destruction. Then he demonstrates how the press is literally forced into supporting the war though apparently very few are willing not to support it and the vast majority of media people are willing to support these adventures or ventures. But he also demonstrates that only two senators voted against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964 and only one congresswoman from California voted against the war on Iraq. He demonstrated how civilian casualties are increasingly the only casualties that count as for numbers. From 10% during the first world war they have risen to at least 90% in the war on Iraq. The present count of civilian casualties in Iraq are beyond one million. Then I will quote Senator Morse who voted in 1964 against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution: "Since when do we have to back our President or should we when the President is proposing an unconstitutional action?" That is clear enough. Democracy does not mean to support the President but to take part in the devising of the US foreign policy itself on the basis of all facts provided to people for them to make up their minds. I will then conclude with Norman Solomon: "When it comes to life and death the truth comes back too late." And in the case of Iraq the truth about the weapons of mass destruction is definitely too late since these WMDs justified a war that had thus no justification since they were a willful lie. And this war led to the most obnoxious and inhumane or even inhuman acts on the side of American GIs, like torturing and killing the victims of their own rapes.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
on 7 May 2013
It's well written and has lots of detail about what original sources said or admitted, and the role of the press is constantly examined, particularly it's role in creating the climate of opinion plus commentary/editorials. There are some very good insights: e.g. to be questioning an official narrative is to be automatically biased or anti- country X or Y, rather than trying to delve into the issues. Also, the options are limited in scope ommitting those that might seek proper negotiation and peace, so the choices aren't a genuine wide specrtrum.