Tuesday, June 21, 2005

IRAQ: The Public Deception Campaign

The Progress Report

by Judd Legum, Faiz Shakir, Nico Pitney, Mipe Okunseinde and Christy

IRAQ: The Public Deception Campaign

On May 1, 2003, President Bush, standing in front of a banner that
proclaimed "Mission Accomplished," declared that " major combat operations
in Iraq have ended (http://www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/rm/20203.htm) ."
Eight hundred and twenty-five days and $230 billion
(http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050627/27bush.htm) later,
how's the administration's Iraq policy going? Here's what Sen. Chuck
Hagel (R-NE) thinks: "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse.
The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It's like
they're just making it up as they go along.
(http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050627/27bush.htm) The
reality is that we're losing in Iraq." Hagel has a point. This month, for
example, "47 U.S. troops [were] killed in the first 15 days. That's
already five more than the toll for the entire month of June last year."
Instead of a strategy for success
(http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=742277) , the
Bush administration has launched "a renewed public-relations push." But
Bush's "new PR campaign on Iraq seems remarkably similar to one he
launched almost two years ago

BUSH -- WE WENT TO WAR IN IRAQ BECAUSE OF 9/11: When all else fails,
invoke 9/11. Over the weekend, Bush " defended the war in Iraq, telling
Americans the United States was forced into war because of the September
11 terror strikes.
" According to Bush, "We went to war because we were attacked, and we
are at war today because there are still people out there who want to
harm our country and hurt our citizens." Too bad that isn't true. In
September, 2003, Bush himself acknowledged "We've had no evidence that
Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th [attacks].
(http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/09/20030917-7.html) " The
bi-partisan 9/11 Commission found that there was " no collaborative
relationship (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/17/thurs/) " between
Iraq and al Qaeda. Nevertheless, Bush continues to claim that the Iraq
war was a direct result of 9/11 because people continue to believe him.
An October 2004 poll by the University of Maryland found that 75
percent of Bush supporters believe Iraq was providing substantial support to
al Qaeda

Fox News Sunday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that
criticism of the administration was unjustified because "the administration, I
think, has said to the American people that it is a generational
commitment to Iraq (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,160008,00.html) ."
Actually, the administration sold the war to the American people by
promising it would be short and affordable. Vice President Dick Cheney,
3/16/03: "[M]y belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . .
. I think it will go relatively quickly
(http://www.usatoday.com/educate/war28-article.htm) . . . (in) weeks
rather than months." Donald Rumsfeld, 2/7/03: "It is unknowable how long
that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six
months. (http://www.usatoday.com/educate/war28-article.htm) " Former
Budget Director Mitch Daniels, 3/28/03: "The United States is committed
to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require
sustained aid...
(http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/special/iraq/1842094) "

King live late last month, Vice President Dick Cheney said the Iraq
insurgency was in its " last throes
(http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/30/cheney.iraq/) ." Over the last two
days 75 people were killed in Iraq by insurgent attacks
(http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-06-20-sucide-strike_x.htm) . AP
reports that the "rate of insurgent attacks has risen dramatically
since al-Jaafari announced his Cabinet on April 28." Since that time "at
least 1,182 people have been killed" by insurgents. General William
Webster, the U.S. commander for Baghdad, said, " certainly saying anything
about 'breaking the back' or 'about to reach the end of the line' or
those kinds of things do not apply to the insurgency at this point.