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Whenever I begin to feel disheartened because our politicians are being deceptive (and worse still, being believed), I know I only have to look as far as our “great and powerful friends” to understand that actually, I have a pretty good deal here. US politicians don’t even bother to supply their citizens with believable lies; they feed them whatever garbage they feel like and, remarkably, get by. An example from a few days ago features Condoleezza Rice, their Secretary of State, giving a press conference in which she felt the need to justify the Iraq War.

As an International Studies student, I have spent the last week investigating the Iraq War, and I can tell immediately that what Ms Rice is saying is a load of garbage. I sincerely hope that everyone else can see this, too. I’m feeling a bit lazy today, and I’m not going to write a well-formed, essay-type entry on this. Instead, I’m going to point out the inaccuracies in this article.

Firstly, Ms Rice claims that invading Iraq was not a unilateral action. Perhaps it wasn’t unilateral in that a handful of the US’s weak-willed allies went along with it, but I wouldn’t describe that as a convincing argument. Much of the international community was totally against war in Iraq. There was no convincing reason why they ought to go to war, and the US could not get authorisation through the Security Council because France — wisely — promised to veto any such attempt. There are other reasons the international community was against US aggression, too — they were largely opposed to the Bush Doctrine, for instance, which aimed to ensure US domination of the world. Only the US’s weak-willed allies could approve of US domination of the world!

Secondly, while Ms Rice admits that the “evidence” produced to claim Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was wrong, she insists that her government didn’t know this at the time. The problem is, she’s implying that the administration took a fair and balanced view of all the evidence laid out. Wrong! If the evidence implied that Iraq had nothing to do with such weapons, they didn’t want to hear it. If an alcoholic hobo distrusted by the Germans claimed that Iraq tried to buy yellowcake, then clearly the alcoholic hobo had it right. The US demanded an analysis from the CIA of the likelihood of Iraq having WMDs. The analysis demanded was a thoroughly-researched unassailable kind that would be taken as gospel by politicians — an NIE. It takes months or years for a good NIE to be compiled; the CIA was given two weeks for this one. While it might (and that’s a big “might”) have been the administration’s best evidence at the time, they weren’t exactly trying.

Thirdly (and this is a short one), Ms Rice asks why Iraq was under such stringent sanctions imposed by the UN, if the international community thought Iraq wasn’t a threat. The answer to this one is easy — France is not the only country with a veto power. The US has one too, and as such refused to allow the lifting of sanctions.

There are so many sources for information on why the US went to war with Iraq, but one of the most interesting is the transcript of a documentary by PBS, Frontline’s The Dark Side. I swear to God, I love and adore Frontline — their documentaries are invaluable for International Studies, and they make transcripts! At any rate, if you want to learn about what happened at the beginning of the war, there are many readily accessible sources, and you don’t need to believe what Condoleezza Rice says.


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