Just days away from crucial midterm elections, WikiLeaks, the whistle-blower website, unveiled the largest classified military leak in history. Almost 400,000 secret Pentagon documents relating to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq were made available online. The documents, in excruciating detail, portray the daily torrent of violence, murder, rape and torture to which Iraqis have been subjected since George W. Bush declared "Mission Accomplished." The WikiLeaks release, dubbed "The Iraq War Logs," has been topping the headlines in Europe. But in the U.S., it barely warranted a mention on the agenda-setting Sunday talk shows.
This past week has provided Canadians with a series of warm and fuzzies that, like most of this nation's mythology, were built on self-congratulatory lies. From the breathless and ankle-deep CBC and CTV interviews with former prime minister Jean Chretien to the Globe and Mail's front-page shout out to that most disingenuous of foreign ministers, Bill Graham, the occasion was the 10th anniversary of the 2003 escalation of the 23-year war against the people of Iraq.
March 20 marks the nine-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, but it still feels a lot like 2003. The pro-war arguments that were exposed as lies almost a decade ago are now making a comeback, this time to justify an attack on Iran. As the U.S., Israel and their allies -- including Canada -- make the case for war, anti-war activists must respond with the case against it.
In the lead-up to the Iraq war in 2003, an unprecedented anti-war movement emerged. Although it failed to stop the invasion and subsequent occupation, it still made history, and no doubt accelerated the hardening of anti-war opposition in the U.S. and around the world. Today's activists must learn from that experience, generalizing the lessons that could make us more effective.
When former U.S. president George W. Bush descended on the Regional Economic Summit in suburban Vancouver last October, there was, understandably, no shortage of protesters, pleas for indictments and cries of "war criminal." Left out of most news coverage as well as activist communiqués, however, was any focus on another former U.S. president who was tagging along, someone equally deserving of such protest but who seems, remarkably, to get off fairly lightly these days: Bill Clinton.
"When one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it," wrote Joseph Goebbels, Germany's Reich minister of propaganda, in 1941. Former Vice President Dick Cheney seems to have taken the famous Nazi's advice in his new book, In My Time. Cheney remains staunch in his convictions on issues from the invasion of Iraq to the use of torture. Telling NBC News in an interview that "there are gonna be heads exploding all over Washington" as a result of the revelations in the book, Cheney's memoir follows one by his colleague and friend Donald Rumsfeld. As each promotes his own version of history, there are people challenging and confronting them.
Iraq 7 years later - The legacy of invasion
Seven years after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, New Internationalist co-editor Hadani Ditmars returned to a land she last visited in 2003, when she went to research her book Dancing in the No-Fly Zone.
With more than a million people dead in the wake of post-invasion violence, an infrastructure in ruins despite $53 billion dollars in 'aid', and a corrupt government whose human rights abuses echo the terror of the Saddam years, the prognosis is bleak.
Although Blair (called Bliar by some) was, according to reports, "defiant" and "predictably slick" during his recent appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry into Britain's role in the Iraq war, the walls seem to be closing in.
Iraq: A Massacred Generation - by Layla Anwar
"...in prisons, aged between 10 and 17. Some were showing the signs of torture on their ever so frail bodies, confirming what I have been saying all along, they were not only tortured but also regularly raped as well, in these prisons.."