18 thoughts on “US journalist regrets his Iraq war support

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  2. Administrator on September 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm said:

    We can win this class war

    Many of us who helped build the biggest march in British history have discussed what would have been needed to stop Tony Blair joining George Bush in the attack on Iraq.

    In parliament there weren’t enough Labour MPs with a political backbone to vote against war—although plenty now say they were mistaken.

    Discontent within the armed forces was significant.

    Military Families Against the War was inspiring—but there was no mutiny in the British Army.

    The trade unions were central to the great mobilisations in opposition to the war. But most people marched with friends, family and neighbours—not as groups of workers or as part of trade union delegations.

    When the war started some workers did strike in protest.

    If workers had closed transport, education, factories or transport, Blair would not have been able to take the country to war.

    He was wobbling and had to be buoyed up by Bush and Rupert Murdoch.

    This year, the March for the Alternative on 26 March was smaller than the biggest anti-war marches.

    But here we saw the power of organised workers.

    The trade unions marched in blocks, and the mobilisations were centred on the workplaces, not communities.

    Building the biggest turnout for the march against the Tories in Manchester on 2 October is crucial.

    It can act as a springboard for a massive strike wave and a wider rebellion, strong enough to stop the war the Tories will be planning when they meet in Manchester for their conference.

    Their war on our class can be beaten by the power of our class if we act fight collectively and fight to win.

    Mark Krantz, Manchester



  3. Administrator on September 22, 2011 at 9:25 am said:

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
    —The opening paragraph of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities

    In December 2002, when Truthout published my first translation from a French news source, it was the best of times: I had found a community of colleagues and readers who rejected participation in mainstream mendacity. But it was also the worst of times: I found myself alienated from friends, neighbors and family who had been terrified into accommodation with the attack on our civil liberties represented by the Patriot Act; the attack on our understanding represented by such repugnant neologisms as “the Homeland,” “unlawful enemy combatant” and “enhanced interrogation techniques”; and the attack on our fiscal, social and economic health represented by the 2001 tax cuts, the then-ongoing war in Afghanistan, and the looming war in Iraq.

    It was an age of wisdom: William Rivers Pitt and others at Truthout had already been questioning the distortions and lies so obligingly peddled by the mainstream media – and you, our readers, were already willing to fund our attempts to make people notice the empire had no clothes on. It was an age of foolishness: The New York Times peddled Judith Miller’s now-risible – had they not been so literally deadly – stenographic contentions about aluminum tubes and Saddam’s weapons of destruction; Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address highlighting the “Axis of Evil” was in preparation.

    It was the epoch of belief: public opinion bought the now-discredited claims about Guantanamo being reserved for the “worst of the worst,” rather than poor souls randomly netted for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as the majority of its inmates have proven to be. It was the epoch of incredulity: most US citizens, still reeling from the 9/11 attacks of the year before, could not believe that their own president – even one “elected” by the Supreme Court – would so brazenly take advantage of the tragedies Bush called his “Trifecta” to impose policies that contravened the common good – from tax cuts skewed to the wealthy, to “Star Wars,” to NSA spying on US citizens, to the war in Iraq.

    It was the season of Light: anti-war protesters were already planning the massive February 15 global protest. It was the season of Darkness: the US and UK governments were already engaged in fixing “the intelligence and the facts … around the policy” so that war was inevitable, whatever Hans Blix and his inspection team did or did not find in Iraq.

    It was the spring of hope: the tiny team at Truthout was giddy with the sense of possibility, helping to create a new media unbeholden to corporate or other interests. It was the winter of despair: the anthrax poisonings of the year before remained a mystery, while the unprecedented collapse of Enron the year before – which decimated pension and retirement funds – had been followed by Global Crossing, Tyco and WorldCom bankruptcies.

    We had everything before us: Truthout was small, but growing and experimenting; we and our readers believed we could make a difference by exposing malfeasance and obfuscation in high places. We had nothing before us: the juggernaut of imperial overreach and decline continued to create its “own reality.”

    We were all going direct to heaven: the Bush administration’s multiple mouthpieces extolled American virtue and disinterested beneficence: we were liberating Afghan women from the burqa and about to free Iraqis from Saddam Hussein’s torture rooms. We were all going direct the other way: in the world of “either with us or against us,” critics of the regime, like Truthout, could expect vilification and marginalization.

    In short, the period was surprisingly like the present period when we – aided only by you, our readers, our contributors, our friends – continue our reality-based resistance to the imperial echo chamber, create an impact out of all proportion to our resources, and know that while our task will never be completed, neither may we ever desist.


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