FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Watching Freedom’s Watch

by RICHARD FORNO

A new grassroots lobbying effort headed by former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher is running a series of “pro-war” videos to support military operations in Iraq.

While I sympathize with all who have served, suffered, and/or died during this conflict, I must nevertheless take issue with what I find is an appalling and misleading message being presented by this video:

The “Wounded Vet” video

Three key statements from this ad deserve mention:

“Congress was right to vote to fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan”

True, but that’s conflating rationales. Terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 were in Afghanistan, not Iraq….and we attacked them there in late 2001 with strong international support and political backing. However, since we invaded Iraq in a blatant war-of-choice with a flimsy international coalition to support us, NOW there are terrorists in Iraq, including elements linked to those who caused 9/11. So it’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy: “there were no 9/11-related terrorists in Iraq, but since we invaded they’re there, so now it’s all the more reason to stay and fight them — and besides we’ve been authorized to fight terrorism wherever they pose a threat!” (And of course, by shifting our focus to Iraq, Afghanistan is falling apart again — our adversaries are regrouping and conducting significant new operations against us there, too.)

The geographically-challenged might note that Iraq is pretty close to another “problem country” in the eyes of the PNAC Alumni Association — Iran. But I digress.

“They attacked *us* and they will again.”

While this is being said during the ad, a still image of a plane flying into the WTC on 9/11 is shown — thus clearly trying again to make the suggestion that the perpetrators of 9/11 and (the need to invade and now stay in) Iraq were/are linked, even though such links were disproved repeatedly by any number of bipartisan government commissions and investigations in recent years, and also by senior members of the Administration. That’s pure FUD and fear-mongering.

“They won’t stop in Iraq.”

This is simply an extension of the tired old chickenhawk talking point about “fighting terrorists over there so we don’t fight them here at home.” Anyone who still believes or perpetuates that logic clearly does not understand the nature of the current conflict, terrorism, unconventional warfare, or simple human nature. Sadly, that flawed logic has become one of the more salient Administration talking points in defense of the Iraq War, if not also a cornerstone for its current ‘strategy.’

The bottom line about this commercial: It has been proven repeatedly that none of the 9/11 terrorists had ANY connection with Iraq. It is clear this ad’s desired message is to once again try connecting Iraq and 9/11 in an effort to place fear in the minds of viewers in an effort to curry public opinion for the current policy and ‘strategy’ during a time when serious questions are being raised by the political opposition, general public, and members of the President’s own party. I daresay folks in DC are in a panic mode about what to do both from a political and national policy perspective, and are fearful of admitting that based on how things have devolved in Iraq since March 2003, the ideal outcome in Iraq won’t be a “good” one aligned with lofty US goals but rather the one that’s “least bad” for all involved, as Thomas Ricks noted the other day to Tim Russert.

Two final points about the politicization of Iraq and our military not specifically related to the aforementioned commercial:

(1) I am sick of hearing how pundits and politicians take great pains to say they’re “just back from Iraq” as if that confers any additional credence to their statements. Most such visits are tightly-controlled and secured, and as a result these folks aren’t seeing “the real picture” outside their security bubbles and short periods of time “on the ground.”

(2) You can find soldiers and veterans both for and against the war, so for a politician or pundit to make claims that soldiers are supporting their position (or using them in commercials) is a meaningless statistic, because there are just as many who are opposed to it — which is only natural if one considers the opinions of various US servicemembers as representative of the deep divisions of opinion here in American society. Such a technique is used simply as window-dressing to support their various statements.

Just a few thoughts from someone not buying the spin.

PS: Has anyone else noticed that during the past week that there’s been a marked increase in the hostile public rhetoric towards Iran?

RICHARD FORNO is a security consultant in the Washington, DC area and can be reached through his website, www.infowarrior.org. These views are his own.

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail