Oppose this war because it will create a millennium of hatred and the suicidal terrorism that comes with it.—Chris Matthews, San Francisco Chronicle Sunday September 1, 2002
Let’s recap very quickly: US invaded Iraq March 2003. 2 years later the outcry of the disenchanted with this great war is, “Why weren’t we told by the press? Why has Mainstream Media let us down?”
Remember “Shock and awe?” That was pretty exciting, even for me, the anti-war anti-middle-east incursion songster of all time. I was ready to watch the whole spectacle on TV. No, I didn’t think invading Iraq was going to save us from the terrorists, and deposing Saddam wasn’t going to end the struggle against dictatorships. I believed the entire escapade was to enrich the super-rich American companies and individuals whose ultimate lives of luxury and benevolence depended on the regular, unobstructed flow of oil.
I was definitely informed about the harebrained, wayward attempt this unbelievable expense of armaments and personnel would be. I read the newspapers, then internet, and watched cable news. It was all there—not hidden or disguised as many of our left- and right-wing friends would have us believe. The commentary from readers of this blog consistently calls out the MSM, or mainstream media, for not following through on important stories of concentrating too much on celebrity rather than substance. But the MSM does tell us the truth. It’s just mixed in with a lot of gossip.
I’m a sucker for a good gossip story too. When I saw Zsa Zsa’s image on MSNBC the other night, I wondered immediately, “did she die?” In fact, she had a stroke and at 88, she might not pull through. She was a cast member in the John Huston movie of Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin Rouge from 1952, which is a film classic, one of my personal favorites. Despite her horrific scandal-ridden bio-details, the film remains a monument to the French artist, as well as to actor Jose Ferrer and director Huston. And Zsa Zsa's performance was, well...great! So much for gossip.
I am also interested in the news stories that will become history, maybe. I will share two telling quotes here that have stayed with me since I read them, just prior to the Iraq war. The proof lies in the fact that yes, we WERE warned. And yes, we did not listen. And yes, the infamous MSM is still talking to those who will hear!
Chris Matthews, of MSNBC’s Hardball, wrote his last column in the San Francisco Chronicle September 1, 2002, claiming he could not adequately produce both a weekly column and Hardball anymore. Here is his last remark in closing:
I hate this war that's coming in Iraq. I don't think we'll be proud of it. Oppose this war because it will create a millennium of hatred and the suicidal terrorism that comes with it. You talk about Bush trying to avenge his father. What about the tens of millions of Arab sons who will want to finish a fight we start next spring in Baghdad?Well, that's it for now. You know where I stand.
Then there’s my friend and reporter, Christopher Dickey of Newsweek, who is an expert on the middle east and terrorism for over a quarter of a century. His many articles prior to the start of the US-led incursion into Iraq gave plenty of warning about the Pandora’s Box that was opening. And not just the paranoiac, “what-if” scenarios of anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Chris gave his studied and experienced insight into the mind of the Muslim world, their views on history, their place in it, and their attitudes on America, and clued us into all of it.
Here is a Chris Dickey (and Evan Thomas) quote from September 23, 2002, in Newsweek, on the escalation to invasion of Iraq:
Keep vigilant, dear readers. We are, in fact, informed when we are not asleep.
It is far from clear that America will be able to control the next leader of Iraq, even if he is not as diabolical as Saddam. Any leader of Iraq will look around him and see that Israel and Pakistan have nuclear weapons and that Iran may soon. Just as England and France opted to build their own bombs in the cold war, and not depend on the U.S. nuclear umbrella, the next president of Iraq may want to have his own bomb. He may want to, but he can’t be allowed to says a Bush official. But what is to guarantee that a newly rich Iraqi strongman won’t buy one with his nation’s vast oil wealth? In some ways, Iraq is to the Middle East as Germany was to Europe in the 20th century, too large, too militaristic and too competent to coexist peaceably with neighbors. It took two world wars and millions of lives to solve the German problem. Getting rid of Saddam may be essential to creating a stable, democratic Iraq. But it may be only a first step on a long and dangerous march.