“In the first 48 hours after this attack, what did we hear? Well, we heard it was for an imminent attack. Then we heard, no, no, it was to prevent any kind of future attack. Then we heard from the vice president himself, no, it was related to 9/11. And then we heard from press reports of people in the intelligence community saying that the threat was overblown.” Elizabeth Warren.
Our wars start with lies. This one is no exception.
This is not hyberbole. It’s part of a dark alchemy that those in power use – to transform the base metal of fear into hate, hate into “patriotism”,”patriotism” into war, war into money, and at the end… into gold – a small star to mark the sacrifice of a son or a daughter, a husband or a wife.
2003’s version: Colin Powell now calls his lie something that will “always be a part of my record” when he deliberately fabricated “evidence” of “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) and ignored repeated warnings that what he was saying was false. As of June 2016, his lie has caused the deaths of 4,424 soldiers and 31,952 wounded in action (WIA) and the extinction of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
2020 version: After a number of literally false starts, Mike Pence is having his own Colin Powell moment, trying to link Iran to Al Queda and 9/11, to justify both the assassination of General Suleimani, (there’s no connection, according to actual experts) and to legally engage in war. Because if they can make us believe their story, the administration can use the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), to “use all necessary and appropriate force…”. Iran has already responded by completely pulling out of the nuclear deal and Trump just threatened Iraq for disinviting our 6000 troops.
How to fight back? Read this excellent article by currentaffairs.org called “How to avoid swallowing war propaganda” and share it widely. It will help us all cut through bad arguments, Hitlerized enemies, euphemisms, rabbit holes like Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman, and let us see murder for what it is. And with Trump is charge, that it could be something more.