Bush's Deadly "Diplomacy"
by: Norman Solomon
President Bush walks through
a cemetery during his trip to
With 219 days left in his presidency,
George W. Bush laid more flagstones along a path to war on
Three times on Wednesday, The Associated Press reports, Bush "called a diplomatic solution 'my first choice,' implying there are others. He said 'we'll give diplomacy a chance to work,' meaning it might not."
That's how Bush talks when he's grooving along in his Orwellian comfort zone, eager to order a military attack.
"We seek peace," Bush said in the State of the Union address on January 28, 2003. "We strive for peace."
In that speech, less than two mont
A week after that drum roll, Colin Powell made his now-infamous presentation to the UN Security Council. At the time, it served as ideal "diplomacy" for war - filled with authoritative charges and riddled with deceptions.
We should never forget the raptures of media praise for Powell's crucial mendacity. A key bellwether was The New York Times.
The front page of The Times had been plying administration lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction for a long time. Now the newspaper's editorial stance, ostensibly antiwar, swooned into line - rejoicing that "Mr. Powell's presentation was all the more convincing because he dispensed with apocalyptic invocations of a struggle of good and evil and focused on shaping a sober, factual case against Mr. Hussein's regime."
The Times editorialized that Powell "presented the United Nations and a global television audience yesterday with the most powerful case to date that Saddam Hussein stands in defiance of Security Council resolutions and has no intention of revealing or surrendering whatever unconventional weapons he may have." By sending Powell to address the Security Council, The Times claimed, President Bush "showed a wise concern for international opinion."
Bush had implemented the kind of
"diplomacy" advocated by a wide range of war enthusiasts. For
instance, Fareed Zakaria, a
former managing editor of the elite-flavored journal Foreign Affairs, had
recommended PR prudence in the quest for a confrontation that could facilitate
an invasion of
A few mont
enthusiastically: "The Bush team discovered that the best way to legitimize its overwhelming might - in a war of choice - was not by simply imposing it, but by channeling it through the UN."
Its highly influential reporting, combined
with an editorial position that wavered under pressure, made The New York Times
extremely useful to the Bush administration's propaganda strategy for launching
But to read the present-day revisionist
history from The New York Times, the problem with the run-up to the
Recently, when The Times came out with an
editorial headlined "The Truth About the
War" on June 6, the newspaper assessed the implications of a new report by
the Senate Intelligence Committee. "The report shows clearly that
President Bush should have known that important claims he made about
Unfortunately, changing just a few words - substituting "The New York Times" for "President Bush" - renders an equally accurate assessment of what a factual report would clearly show: "The New York Times should have known that important claims it made about Iraq did not conform with intelligence reports. In other cases, The Times could have learned the truth if it had asked better questions or encouraged more honest answers."
Now, as agenda-setting for an air attack on
Norman Solomon is a columnist and author. His web site is www.normansolomon.com.