Monday, December 24, 2012

The Incredible Lightness of Being an American Foreign Correspondent

So who's to blame for the US-led war on Iraq?

According to US foreign correspondent and author of Taliban Shuffle, Kim Barker, it was all the fault of the stoopid American people, with a little help from Fox News. (And so, ipso facto, it had nothing whatever to do with America's Zio-conservative urgers, both in and out of the Bush administration, who saw no daylight, as they say, between America's and Israel's interests. See my 22/12/08 post Absent-Minded Professors Inadvertently Set Iraq Ablaze.)

The following sad exchange comes from an interview with Barker conducted by the presenter of ABC Radio National's Big Ideas program on 23/12/12:

Paul Barclay: But everyone must have known that Afghanistan was the key location in terms of the fight against terrorism [sic], yet so much time was spent in Iraq... Why was that?
Kim Barker: I think there was really a sense that they had handled Afghanistan and they were going to go in and do Iraq, and I think... at that point of time [2003], if you were to poll Americans and ask them if Iraqis and Saddam Hussein had something to do with the 9/11 attacks, they would probably have said 'yes', and it was just this thing, you could keep writing stories but it didn't matter against the drumbeat of Fox News and the sort of jingoistic media you have now in the States where it's possible to just read and watch what validates your own particular point of view...
PB: But it was wrong, it was baseless...
KB: It was wrong, totally baseless...
PB: So you go to war on a baseless assumption?
KB: Well we went to war in Iraq because they were essentially harbouring WMD, right? That worked out well.

That's right, the American people decided that nothing was more important, certainly not Afghanistan and that Osama whatshisname, than getting rid of Saddam Hussein. There they were, taking to the streets in their millions, brandishing ATTACK IRAQ NOW! placards. Definitely, without all that pressure from below, Bush wouldn't have gone there. Stoopid Americans!

After almost 10 years of murder and mayhem in Iraq and trillions of US dollars down the drain, can such cluelessness in American (or any other) foreign correspondents be forgiven?

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