Rachel Maddow and MSNBC have produced a documentary that is probably the best we’ve seen about the lies of the Bush administration that led up to the Iraq war. It’s based on the book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War.
In those days right after 9-11, I remember being glued to TV news, watching as the Bush administration manipulated and took advantage of the national fervor that had seized the country. Everywhere Rob and I drove, we saw American flags flapping on cars. We were surrounded by people who were gung-ho for war against – well, whoever these guys with paper cutters were.
As the official picture became clearer – Afghanistan, then Iraq – I remember how Rob and I talked about how the hijackers were Saudis and that a couple of them worked out in a gym where he used to teach yoga. We wondered why Saudi Arabia wasn’t on the administration hit list.
As the fervor mlounted and moved in 2002 and then early 2003, we were horrified that Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, and Rice were getting people to believed the lies they told about why we had to invade Iraq. The laundry list: Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (no, he didn’t); Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger (a lie, as Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame proved), and how we were going to be greeted as liberators by the Iraqui people (Cheney said so, therefore it must be true). We knew – as many others did – that we were being snookered.
This documentary illustrates just how slick these lies and their perpetrators were. Tony Blair believed them and when he got up there and talked about it in his beautiful, dignified British voice, it fueled the Bush administration’s resolve. Some of the Democratic senators who voted for the war undoubtedly now regret that vote. Among them: John Kerry, our new secretary of state, and Hillary Clinton, who may have lost the 2009 election because of that very vote. The documentary also shows how Colin Powell, probably the most respected member of the administration, became their fall guy.
The documentary is just an hour long, in six short parts. It’s well worth your time. It’s kind of sad that those of us who knew it was a lie were powerless to do anything about it, that we were essentially railroaded by hawks and extremist in the Bush administration. Take a look at the statistics on the dead and wounded for this war and try to convince yourself it was worth it. Then watch the documentary and think of what George Santayana so famously said,”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Think about Bush’s infamous axis of evil speech so that when the revisionists of history try to convince you the Iraq war was necessary, you can just turn your back on them, the way elephants do when one of their own is dying.
The documentary is here.