Never Forget: Bad Wars Aren’t Possible Unless Good People Back ThemWritten by admin on October 15th, 2010
By Michael Moore
We invaded Iraq because most Americans — including good liberals like Al Franken, Nicholas Kristof & Bill Keller of the New York Times, David Remnick of the New Yorker, the editors of the Atlantic and the New Republic, Harvey Weinstein, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and John Kerry — wanted to.
Of course, the actual blame for the war goes to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz because they ordered the “precision” bombing, the invasion, the occupation, and the theft of our national treasury. I have no doubt that history will record that they committed the undisputed Crime of the (young) Century.
But how did they get away with it, considering they’d lost the presidential election by 543,895 votes? They also knew that the majority of the country probably wouldn’t back them in such a war (a Newsweek poll in October 2002 showed 61% thought it was “very important” for Bush to get formal approval from the United Nations for war — but that never happened). So how did they pull it off?
They did it by getting liberal voices to support their war. They did it by creating the look of bipartisanship. And they convinced other countries’ leaders like Tony Blair to get on board and make it look like it wasn’t just our intelligence agencies cooking the evidence.
But most importantly, they made this war (and its public support) happen because Bush & Co. had brilliantly conned the New York Times into running a bunch of phony front-page stories about how Saddam Hussein had all these “weapons of mass destruction.” The administration gleefully fed this false information not to Fox News or the Washington Times. They gave it to America’s leading liberal newspaper. They must have had a laugh riot each morning when they’d pick up the New York Times and read the nearly word-for-word scenarios and talking points that they had concocted in the Vice President’s office.
I blame the New York Times more for this war than Bush. I expected Bush and Cheney to try and get away with what they did. But the Times — and the rest of the press — was supposed to STOP them by doing their job: Be a relentless watchdog of government and business — and then inform the public so we can take action.
Instead, the New York Times gave the Bush administration the cover they needed. They could — and did — say, ‘Hey, look, even the Times says Saddam has WMD!’
With this groundwork laid, the Bush crowd ended up convincing a whopping 70% of the public to support the war — a public that had given him less than 48% of its vote in 2000.
Early liberal support for this war was the key ingredient in selling it to a majority of the public. I realize this is something that no one in the media — nor most of us — really wants to discuss. Who among us wants to feel the pain of having to remember that liberals, by joining with Bush, made this war happen?
Please, before our collective memory fades, I just want us to be honest with ourselves and present an unsanitized version of how they pulled off this war. I can guarantee you the revisionists will make sure the real truth will not enter the history books.
Children born when the war began started second grade this month.
Kids who were eleven in 2003 are now old enough to join up and get killed in Iraq in a “non-combat capacity.”
They’ll never understand how we got here if we don’t.
So let me state this clearly: This war was aided and abetted by a) liberals who were afraid to stick their necks out and thus remained silent; and b) liberals who actually said they believed Colin Powell’s cartoon presentation at the U.N. and then went against their better judgment by publicly offering their support for the invasion of Iraq.
First, there were those 29 (turncoat) Democratic senators who voted for the war. Then there was the embarrassing display of reporters who couldn’t wait to be “embedded” and go for a joy ride on a Bradley tank.
But my real despair lies with the people I counted on for strong opposition to this madness — but who left the rest of us alone, out on a limb, as we tried to stop the war.
In March of 2003, to be a public figure speaking out against the war was considered instant career suicide. Take the Dixie Chicks as Exhibit A. Their lead singer, Natalie Maines, uttered just one sentence of criticism — and their career was effectively dead and buried at that moment. Bruce Springsteen spoke out in their defense, and a Colorado DJ was fired for refusing to not play their songs. That was about it. Crickets everywhere else.
Then MSNBC fired the only nightly critic of the war — the television legend, Phil Donahue. No one at the network — or any network — spoke up on his behalf. There would never again be a Phil Donahue show. (Little did GE know that, when they soon filled that 8pm hour with a sports guy by the name of Keith Olbermann, they would end up with the war’s most brilliant and fiercest critic, night after night after night.) There were a few others — Bill Maher, Janeane Garofalo, Tim Robbins and Seymour Hersh — who weren’t afraid to speak the truth. But where was everyone else? Where were all those supposed liberal voices in the media?
Instead, this is what we were treated to back in 2003 and 2004:
** Al Franken, who said he “reluctantly” was “a supporter of the war against Saddam.” And six months into the war Al was still saying, “There were reasons to go to war against Iraq … I was very ambivalent about it but I still don’t know if it was necessarily wrong (to go to war).”
** Nicholas Kristof, columnist for the New York Times, who attacked me and wrote a column comparing me to the nutty right-wingers who claimed Hillary had Vince Foster killed. He said people like me were “polarizing the political cesspool,” and he chastised anyone who dared call Bush’s reasons for going to war in Iraq “lies.”
** Howell Raines, editor-in-chief of the “liberal” New York Times, who was, according to former Times editor Doug Frantz, “eager to have articles that supported the war-mongering out of Washington … He discouraged pieces that were at odds with the administration’s position on Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction and alleged links of al-Qaeda.” The book “Hard News” reported that “according to half a dozen sources within the Times, Raines wanted to prove once and for all that he wasn’t editing the paper in a way that betrayed his liberal beliefs…”
** Bill Keller, at the time a New York Times columnist, who wrote: “We reluctant hawks may disagree among ourselves about the most compelling logic for war — protecting America, relieving oppressed Iraqis or reforming the Middle East — but we generally agree that the logic for standing pat does not hold. … we are hard pressed to see an alternative that is not built on wishful thinking.”
(The New York Times is so left-wing that when Raines retired, they replaced him with… Keller.)
** The New Yorker, the magazine for really smart liberals, found its editor-in-chief, David Remnick, supporting the war on its pages: “History will not easily excuse us if, by deciding not to decide, we defer a reckoning with an aggressive totalitarian leader who intends not only to develop weapons of mass destruction but also to use them. … a return to a hollow pursuit of containment will be the most dangerous option of all.” (To cover its ass, the New Yorker had another editor, Rick Hertzberg, write an anti-war editorial as a rebuttal.)
Some of the above have recanted their early support of the war. The Times fired its WMD correspondent and apologized to its readers. Al Franken has been a great Senator.