Pleading ignorance

Australian Prime Minister John Howard is currently in Washington meeting the key players of the Bush administration, including Bush himself. One can almost feel the blood on their hands. Responding to reports that the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions have contributed to a heightened risk of terrorism, blatant denial was order of the day.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld offered the most insightful comment: “The United States had done nothing on September 11th when 3,000 people were killed.”

If Bush, Blair and Howard would like some insights into Western foreign interventions since World War Two and their often violent and undemocratic nature, they’d best read William Blum. Brits, Americans and Australians should be aware of the real history of the 20th century, including the Cold War.

Blum explains: “We now know that the CIA of Ronald Reagan and William Casey regularly “politicised intelligence assessments” to support the anti-Soviet bias of their administration, and suppressed reports, even those from its own analysts, which contradicted this bias. We now know that the CIA and the Pentagon regularly overestimated the economic and military strength of the Soviet Union, and exaggerated the scale of Soviet nuclear tests and the number of “violations” of existing test-ban treaties, which Washington then accused the Russians of. All to create a larger and meaner enemy, a bigger national security budget, and give security and meaning to the Cold Warriors’ own jobs.”

And, of course, funding al-Qaeda.

Politicians only get away with such nonsense when our media players display the same level of historical amnesia.

Eg. There is no mention in today’s Australian newspapers about Seymour Hersh’s New Yorker exclusive on American manipulation of Iraq’s January election. Key question for Aussie journalists: did our officials know and were they involved? Don’t expect the question asked nor any answer forthcoming.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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