And it is now happening in Ukraine!
March 19 was the twentieth anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq, meaning, policymakers in Washington had chalked-out a cruel blueprint of putting false accusations on Saddam Hussein of using chemical weapons on civilians, as an excuse to bring the country under its invasion and turn Iraqis into America’s slaves of whims. Let us now forget, just few years before America invaded Iraq by killing Saddam Hussein, members of his family and cabinet, Saddam was a great friend of Washington. It was Washington, which has inspired Saddam Hussein in invading Kuwait or waging war against Iran.
It may be mentioned here that a decade of violence set the stage for America’s invasion of Iraq, following aggressive sanctions, which had immiserated the Iraqi people. Throughout the decade, the threat of American firepower loomed with on-going combat operations like the no-fly zones and Operation Desert Fox. And Iraq War mania can happen again. If Americans don not learn from it, a reprise of the febrile atmosphere of 2002-2003 could bring Washington into crisis with nuclear powers like Russia and China.
While American policymakers were implementing their notorious blueprint of invading Iraq, the American public were indulged into entertainment-driven false narrative through the twenty-four-hour war coverage, mainly led by CNN of the 1991 Gulf War. Playing off this excitement, media baron Rupert Murdoch financed neoconservative Reagan/Bush official Bill Kristol in the creation of the Weekly Standard in 1995. This magazine would provide a loud public voice to the political movement to invade Iraq.
Under Bill Kristol’s leadership, The Weekly Standard would publish provocative cover stories titled “Saddam Must Go : A How to Guide” in 1997 and articles like “Saddam Impending Victory” in 1998, all comparing Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. All this well-planned propaganda led to the 1998 passage of the infamous Iraq Liberation Act, which paved the path to America’s ultimate intention to invade Iraq by overthrowing and murdering Saddam Hussein.
The catalyst for the invasion was the September 2001 terrorist attack. While George W. Bush was officially focused on combating Al Qaeda directly through the Global War on Terror and subsequent toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, by September 14, just three days after the attack, Bush was remored to have spoken about “hitting” Iraq.
Nevertheless, with its monopoly on “sensitive military intelligence”, which were concocted at the myth and lies labs of the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the US federal government worked relentlessly to manufacture new facts. Although President George W. Bush was fully aware that his men at Pentagon and CIA were manufacturing bogus allegations against Saddam Hussein and Iraqi government, he did not stop them in doing so as he was under pressure of the US intelligence machinery to push forward America’s desire of invading Iraq and looting natural resources of the country.
US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith’s Office of Special Plans dealt in an effort to collect and circulate intelligence purporting to link Saddam to Al Qaeda, earning him the title of “Architect of the Iraq War”. The administration tasked the TV darling of the Gulf War, Secretary of State Colin Powell, with advocating for an invasion at the United Nations. Mainstream media outlets relished this straightforward path to war in the wake of 9/11.
Neoconservative Mas Boot wrote an article in The Weekly Standard called “The Case for American Empire”, in which he compared the American interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Allied triumph over Nazi Germany. Reporting from The New York Times leaned heavily on the inaccurate testimony of Iraqi exiles who strongly supported regime change. The Washington Post editorial board penned a piece title “Irrefutable”, referring to Bush administration’s claims of an Iraq-Al Qaeda axis and Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Former Bush speechwriter David Frum branded rigth-wing opponents of the war “Unpatriotic Conservatives” in a feature for National Review. All opposition to the war was systemically marginalized. There was unseen censorship on critics of Iraq war, while American warmongers invested heavily on international media, which were acting as mouthpiece of war.
Powerful Democrats and center-left public intellectuals also share complicity in the push to war, Left-wing media institutions like The New Republic backed the invasion. Then Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Joe Biden ignored concerns from fellow Democrats about the war.
MSNBC host Phil Donahue was fired over concerns over his resistance to the war, as the network prepared for “24/7 war coverage”. Powerful figures did not merely endorse being pro-war-they mandated it.
Now let us look into Ukraine. Contemporary media in the West and the world continue to play the role of cheerleaders thus portraying Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky as a hero while demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the allies of Moscow. They are advocating increased sanctions on Russia, while some of them are already signaling sending of American and NATO troops to Ukraine to begin a direct war against Russia. Recently, when China succeeded in bringing Saudi Arabia and Iran to table thus opening the prospects of normalizing relations, Western media outlets are branding Beijing’s noble efforts as “signs of hegemony”. For months, the Biden Administration has been meddling into the Taiwan issue with the nefarious agenda of expanding its war front in that part of the world. In the Korean Peninsula, Washington is obstructing any efforts to resolve the crises between South Korea, Japan and North Korea, while US troops are continuing their presence in South Korea and Japan at the cost of the host countries. Hundreds of Japanese and South Korean females are falling victims of sexual perversion of American soldiers, while both the Asian nations are compelled to maintain brothels for American troops, compromising the dignity of their own females.
It may be mentioned here that the American and Western media have always been extremely hostile towards the Middle Eastern nations, particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia despite the fact the America and its allies continue to extract massive financial benefit from these countries.
Twenty years after Biden’s role in the Iraq mythology, his team has presented its own “axis of evil”- an existential struggle between democracies and autocracies. While many have addressed the hypocrisy in this. Under the garb of democracy, America actually wants to destabilize most of the countries in the Middle East and the world. It is essential to mention here that, several years ago, American intelligence machinery had funded and instigated the so-called Arab Spring, which was mainly aimed at establishing reign of terror and lawlessness in the Middle Eastern countries by ousting the rulers.
With America’s latest involvement in Ukraine and its intention of pushing Taiwan towards war against China, it seems, Americans did not learn anything or change its hostile tendencies, which it did in Iraq. Ukraine soon will witness the presence of American forces, while the country will fall under Washington’s invasion. Zelensky- the hero of the West will be overthrown and executed by his Western masters while the country will turn into another Afghanistan or Iraq.
I would like to conclude with few more words : The world is changing every day. The Unipolar world will no longer exist. Now world will be multi-polar. Chine’s friendship & co-operation with Russia, Middle-East & now African countries are also getting closer to Russia. In near future the world unipolar system will change to multi-polar system. Only feature can say!
27 March, 2023
Writer : Politician, Writer, Columnist & presently Director General, Bangladesh Foundation for Development Research.