Today’s death of Ahmed Chalabi who fed false information on Saddam’s alleged WMDs to the Bush Administration is an occasion to advance the narrative which paints the Bushies (and the media) as innocent dupes, rather than the truth which is that they were hungry for war against Iraq and that Chalabi’s lies were a convenient excuse to launch it.
November 3, 2015
On Iraqi Politician Ahmed Chalabi’s death today, various media obituaries portrayed him as responsible for the lies and disinformation about Iraq’s possession of WMD that fooled the USG into invading Iraq in 2003.
Here’s the New York Times on Chalabi’s death which basically lays the blame of the USG being duped at his feet.
What’s astonishing is that there is no mention today of the various public doubts raised pre-invasion that hype about Saddam WMDs were just an excuse for the USG to execute a pre-planned invasion; the fact that the UN Inspectors had found none, and were pleading for more time while being heavily leaned on by the USG to make their reports more damning; the joint declaration on March 6, 2003 by France, Russia and Germany opposing use of force; the anti-war march on Feb 15th, 2003 of upwards of 11 million people to perhaps 36 million people worldwide against the proposed invasion, a month before it happened.
Indeed this Feb 17, 2003 report on the frenzy of negotiations as the USG prepared for war in the New York Times is worth reading in light of what we know today.
It was clear to anyone watching that the Bush administration wanted war even though there was no convincing public evidence and Iraq was being asked to prove a negative, always an daunting task.
Indeed “evidence of WMDs” was disseminated in a series of “exclusives” by Judith Miller of the New York Times who was fed intelligence from Chalabi (a friend of the neo-cons in Washington), and whose reports were then used by Cheney to justify the coming invasion, a circle-jerk that Jon Stewart called out.
The Big Lie
The Big Lie is the current narrative that various intelligent members of the USG and media were fooled essentially by one or two guys, Chalabi and Curveball – a clearly unreliable source as his German handlers attested.
To think just of how ridiculous this contention is, consider if you as an individual would book a hotel in some far away place you don’t know much about just based on one enthusiastic rating on Trip Advisor. Unless you are looking for someone to reinforce a pre-existing view, you would want a few more opinions.
Yet we are to believe that a momentous decision like invading a sovereign nation with definite loss of American lives (let alone Iraqi ones) was taken because highly intelligent and accomplished people with millennia of combined experience were fooled by a couple of guys and not because there was a strong pre-existing opinion to invade looking for anyone to justify this.
A June 2003 article, just three months after the invasion, openly called out the true motives of the architects behind the invasion.
Role of the Media
After no WMDs being found and US Soldiers far from being welcome faced an insurgency, the media had a chest beating moment where they took stock of “how they could be so fooled”.
A revealing comment is this statement from respected mainstream journalist Tom Brokaw who essentially says that when an administration wants war it will lie to make it so.
Despite all the supposed lessons learned from being fooled by the administration, the media now widely disseminates the narrative that it was Chalabi who was responsible for the lies behind the rationale for the Iraq war thus absolving themselves or the Bush administration of deliberate duplicity, and to just being gullible dupes.
This allows the same spinning and propaganda by the government against what it currently considers its enemies.
Essentially the media have learned nothing.