The morally bankrupt Western media lied to start the Iraq War as they did dutifully about starting other wars for their imperial masters. Twenty years after, the Western media are at it again.
This week, March 20, saw the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-British war launched on Iraq. The war resulted in over one million deaths and a decade of brutal military occupation. It spawned sectarian civil war, millions of displaced and destitute, and terrorism that engulfed the entire Middle East, as well as large swathes of Africa and Asia. Iraq and several other ancient nations have been destroyed because of the Anglo-American war. And it was a war based on flagrant American and British lies over alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
The 20th anniversary of the U.S.-British war on Iraq, which was also supported by NATO partners, should be an occasion for proper accounting with Nuremberg-standard war crimes prosecutions of American and British political and military figures. Persons such as George W Bush, the former U.S. President, and Tony Blair, the ex-British premier, should be facing jail time for capital crimes. The current U.S. President Joe Biden should also be in the dock since his role as a senior Senator at the time was crucial in enabling the war. Also up for indictment are several Western media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post which promulgated the lies that made the case for war.
Despicably, the man who shed so much light on the crimes, publisher Julian Assange, is the one who languishes in a prison torture dungeon.
Twenty years on, there is an eerie sense of collective amnesia among Western politicians and media over the colossal war crimes associated with Iraq. It’s almost as if it did not happen. The Western protagonists and their propaganda outlets have gotten away with mass murder.
This week marked another odious anniversary, which shamefully, was met with the same Western silence and indifference. On March 24, 1999, the U.S.-led NATO military alliance unilaterally began bombing former Yugoslavia for 78 consecutive days. Thousands of civilians were killed in a military assault on that country – under the cynical pretext of “humanitarian protection” – which was not approved at the time by the United Nations. The bombing campaign was conducted, like the Iraq War only four years later, on the basis of unilateral action by Washington and its Western allies.
Lamentably, a glance at the calendar would throw up countless such vile anniversaries of unlawful American and Western military aggression. March 19, for example, marked the NATO bombing of Libya in 2011.
In a powerful essay by Ron Ridenour for Strategic Culture Foundation we are reminded of the extraordinary warmongering record of the United States and its imperialist partners. In terms of the number of countries invaded and the consequent death toll, including from the first use of atomic bombs, the U.S. is certainly “exceptional” for all the wrong reasons.
Yet what makes the record all the more horrendous is the impunity. The collective amnesia towards the Iraq War is perhaps the most damnable symptom of impunity in recent decades. It also exposes the rank hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the so-called “rules-based global order” that Washington and its Western minions continually spout about. The “rules-based global order” is an Orwellian blandishment for lawlessness and predation by rogue regimes that trample all over the United Nations Charter and international law.
The chronic impunity that the United States has come accustomed to in the murderous pursuit of its imperialist objectives means that it never stops its rogue state rapacity. It’s a repeat offender because it never has been held to account. There is an analogy here with the way Washington relentlessly abuses the privileges bestowed on the dollar as a global reserve currency. Washington parasites off the globe by printing dollars and levying undue rights for unearned services and goods. The racket never seems to stop because there is no accountability.
Likewise, the warmongering of the United States never ceases. The blood lust of its capitalist power and imperialist needs never ceases. The criminality is permitted because in large part the Western media serve to cover up the crimes with fabricated excuses and lies. The wars in Korea and Vietnam in the 1950s and 60s were whitewashed as “crusades against communism” instead of being reported as the genocidal imperialist rampages that they were. The impunity from those enormous crimes then led to more wars and crimes. The Iraq War fits into this rolling context.
But there is also the historical factor of the Soviet Union and the supposed victory of the Cold War by the United States. Without a checking counterforce, the U.S. rulers became consumed with the arrogance of presumed “unipolar” dominance. It is no coincidence that after 1991, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States embarked on an even more licentious pursuit of imperialist wars and the tyrannical notion of “rules-based global order”. There came in short order a state of permanent war on the planet by the U.S. and its Western allies. The wars and covert interventions led by the United States in Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Georgia and Ukraine, among other places, were all commensurate with the self-ordained right of expansion by the NATO alliance toward Russia. The same U.S.-led military expansionism is underway toward China.
This is the proper context by which the current war in Ukraine should be understood and assessed. As well as the relentless militarist build-up against China in the Asia-Pacific.
The United States and its NATO allies are fueling a conflict in Ukraine by pouring endless amounts of weapons into that country. The latest step to further escalation is Britain announcing it is supplying depleted uranium artillery shells to Ukraine. These toxic weapons were used by the U.S., Britain and NATO forces in former Yugoslavia and Iraq which have resulted in unprecedented cancer deaths and birth defects among civilian populations. Again, the crime of impunity is followed by more crime.
The morally bankrupt Western media lied to start the Iraq War as they did dutifully about starting other wars for their imperial masters. Twenty years after aiding and abetting the crime of the 21st century, the Western media are at it again. These organs and their grinders are trying to tell the world that Russia is an aggressor in Ukraine and that Russia and China are posing “a threat to Western democracy”.
In a state visit to Moscow this week, China’s President Xi Jinping and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin declared the need for earnest diplomacy to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. The Western powers and their media lackeys reacted by disparaging any such diplomacy and instead sought to vilify Russia and China as being somehow villains against global security.
It’s quite easy to tell who the real villains and liars are. The Iraq War is one of many such touchstones.