Legacy of Iraq War Myths Ten Years Later

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Legacy of Iraq War Myths Ten Years Later

WASHINGTON - NORMAN SOLOMON, [email]
Solomon, who wrote the piece “Ten Years Ago and Today: A Warfare State of Mind,” is author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He said today: “The tenth anniversary of the Iraq invasion comes at a time of chilling statements from the top of the U.S. government. Days ago, speaking of possible actions against Iran, President Obama told an Israeli TV reporter: ‘I continue to keep all options on the table.’ Earlier this month, Vice President Biden told the AIPAC annual conference that Obama ‘is not bluffing’ and declared that ‘all options, including military force, are on the table.’ These statements are similar to the threats uttered by President Bush and Vice President Cheney prior to the invasion of Iraq.”

Solomon added: “Despite the myth that just about everyone believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, many experts and independent groups in the United States — including the Institute for Public Accuracy — thoroughly debunked such claims during the year before the invasion.” For examples of pre-invasion news releases and public reports refuting U.S. government claims of Iraqi WMDs, click here, here and here.

For video of a live televised debate last month between Solomon and Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, click here.

Available for radio use: historic audio from “War Made Easy” documentary film.

SAM HUSSEINI, [email], @samhusseini
Communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini said today: “It’s common to simply blame Bush and Cheney for the Iraq war, but it’s not accurate. Many voted for or otherwise backed the Iraq war — including Obama’s entire foreign policy team from Kerry to Hagel; from Clinton to Rice to Biden. Even among those who voted against the war, many facilitated it, like Pelosi, who claimed during the buildup to the Iraq invasion that ‘there was no question Iraq had chemical and biological agents.’ None of these individuals have ever seriously come clean about their conduct during this critical period (and I’ve questioned most of them) — so there’s never been a moment of reckoning for the greatest foreign policy disaster of this generation. The elevation of Democrats who did not seriously question the war likely facilitated Bush and Cheney never being held accountable for their conduct.

“Persistent myths include that after the invasion, we learned that Bush deceived about Iraqi WMDs. In fact, it was clear before the war that the Bush administration was engaged, as an Institute for Public Accuracy news release headline put it the day before the bombing campaign started, in a ‘Pattern of Deceit.’ Some of these falsifications were brazen, like claiming the UN weapons inspectors were dissatisfied with Iraqi compliance, when they were saying Iraq was making progress and they wanted more time to complete their job. Bush’s deceptions were helped along by the fact that the Clinton administration had also deceitfully hyped Iraqi WMDs, maintained sanctions and a belligerent stance for nearly a decade — a pattern that the Obama administration seems to be repeating in many respects now with Iran and North Korea. Tragically, the peace movement, which took center stage with quasi-global protests on Feb. 15, 2003, went on to marginalize itself by focusing on Bush rather than building a serious global movement for peace and justice.”

See FAIR’s 2007 report “Iraq: A Critical Timeline,” which documents much of the media drumbeat for war, as well as notable exceptions.

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A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.

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