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
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
Steve Horn
What Do a Louisiana Pipeline Explosion and Dakota Access Pipeline Have in Common? Phillips 66
Brian Saady
Why Corporations are Too Big to Jail in the Drug War
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Peaceful Protest to Armed Uprising
Luke Meyer
The Case of Tony: Inside a Lifer Hearing
Binoy Kampmark
Adolf, The Donald and History
Robert Koehler
The Great American Awakening
Murray Dobbin
Canadians at Odds With Their Government on Israel
Fariborz Saremi
A Whole New World?
Joyce Nelson
Japan’s Abe, Trump & Illegal Leaks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump 1, Tillerson 0
Yves Engler
Is This Hate Speech?
Dan Bacher
Trump Administration Exempts Three CA Oil Fields From Water Protection Rule at Jerry Brown’s Request
Richard Klin
Solid Gold
Melissa Garriga
Anti-Abortion and Anti-Fascist Movements: More in Common Than Meets the Eye
Thomas Knapp
The Absurd Consequences of a “Right to Privacy”
W. T. Whitney
The Fate of Prisoner Simón Trinidad, as Seen by His U. S. Lawyer
Brian Platt
Don’t Just Oppose ICE Raids, Tear Down the Whole Racist Immigration Enforcement Regime
Paul Cantor
Refugee: the Compassionate Mind of Egon Schwartz
Norman Richmond
The Black Radical Tradition in Canada
Barton Kunstler
Rallying Against the Totalitarian Specter
Judith Deutsch
Militarism:  Revolutionary Mothering and Rosie the Riveter
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir Evoked a Lot More International Attention in the 1950s Than It Does Now
Adam Phillips
There Isn’t Any There There
Louis Proyect
Steinbeck’s Red Devils
Randy Shields
Left Coast Date: the Dating Site for the ORWACA Tribe
Charles R. Larson
Review: Bill Hayes’ “Insomniac City”
David Yearsley
White Supremacy and Music Theory
February 16, 2017
Peter Gaffney
The Rage of Caliban: Identity Politics, the Travel Ban, and the Shifting Ideological Framework of the Resistance
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Doublespeak: Israel’s Terrifying Vision for the Future
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail