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   Foreign Correspondent
INSIDE TRACK ON WORLD NEWS
by international syndicated columnist & broadcaster Eric Margolis

CALLING A FRAUD A FRAUD
Copyright: Eric S. Margolis, 2003

September 29, 2003

NEW YOK - President Bill Clinton was impeached by a Republican-controlled Congress for lying about sex.

President George W Bush and aides lied the United States into a stupid, unnecessary colonial war that has so far cost over 305 Americans killed and 1400 seriously wounded, many thousands of Iraqi dead, and US $1 billion weekly.

Lying about sex is an impeachable offensive; lying the nation into war is apparently not.

I was no Clinton fan, but give me his iffy morals any day over Bush's Mussolini-like strutting. Senator Edward Kennedy is absolutely correct when he calls Bush's Iraq war a `fraud' concocted to win the next elections. Fraud and an epic blunder.

This week, Bush received a glacial and scornful reception at the United Nations that symbolized the world's contempt and disgust for his administration. Not since Nikita Kruschev pounded his shoe on the speaker's rostrum has a major leader so embarrassed himself and his nation before the world body.

In his UN speech, Bush again claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and `ties' to terrorism. Days later, US intelligence teams that scoured Iraq for four months reported no traces of weapons or terrorism links - the pretext used by Bush and his neo-conservative handlers for unprovoked war against Iraq. The White House was left choking on its own grotesque lies.

Incredibly, VP Dick Cheney, a prime architect of the Iraq war, actually claimed recently that Iraq still had mobile germ labs, though US and British inspectors debunked this phony claim last June. The `special' intelligence network created by neo-conservatives in Washington and Jerusalem is still apparently feeding disinformation to America's leadership, which appears dangerously isolated from the facts by its neo-con gatekeepers, or so doctrinaire, that it refuses to face reality.

This latest humiliation came only days after Bush finally admitted Iraq was not, as most Americans were misled to believe, behind the 9/11 attacks. No wonder world leaders gave Bush the cold shoulder, and even usually timid UN Secretary General Kofi Annan warned against `dangerous acts of unilateralism,' a pointed reference to the bellicose Bush administration.

Unfortunately, many Americans still do not understand how gravely the Bush White House has damaged their nation's once noble reputation. Recent polls show that even among traditional best friends abroad, America is no longer regarded as champion of freedom, democracy, and human rights, but, increasingly, as a dangerous hegemon bent on imperial domination and exploitation.

The only positive note: rising anti-Americanism is largely associated in the eyes of non-Americans with the persona of George Bush, a man who incarnates almost all the negative stereotypes foreigners hold of Americans.

Bush's blinkered core supporters in middle American simply don't understand or don't care what the rest of the world thinks of their nation, which, since 9/11, has wrapped itself in a cocoon of xenophobia and self-righteous rage.

The White House's mouthpiece media, led by Fox News, have simply blanked out world opinion and endlessly chorus administration war propaganda.

A fascinating March study of network TV news by New York's Fairness and Accuracy in Media shows how Americans were misled into war by outrageously biased programming on Iraq.

FAIR's analysis found: 76% of all TV commentators on Iraq were current or former government officials. Only 6% of commentators expressed skepticism regarding the need for war - when 61% of the public supported more time for diplomacy and inspections. On the four TV networks, less than 1% of sources were identified with anti-war groups.

Over two-thirds of commentators were from the United States, 75% either current or former government or military officials. The small number of foreign commentators mostly came from nations, like Britain and Israel, backing Bush's war policy.

In short, the major networks, under White House prompting, beat the war drums and blatantly excluded commentators with contrary views, giving Americans a badly warped view of world events. No wonder so few Americans understand what is going on abroad, how the outside world really sees them, or why America has so many enemies overseas. Small wonder many Americans are turning for balanced news to Canada's CBC, the UK's BBC and Independent, and important internet sites like LewRockwell.com, Antiwar.com, Bigeye.com, CommonDreams.org and Cursor.org.

Citizens of the old Soviet Union suffered the same information isolation. Like Americans since 9/11, they were force-fed agitprop and patriotic pap disguised as news, and deprived of all knowledge of the real world around them.

Back to reality. Bush's UN speech was another attempt to mislead Americans into believing the horrid mess in Iraq - entirely the creation of George Bush and the neo-con black shirts - is somehow the fault of the UN.

France's President Jacques Chirac proposed the US hand Iraq over to UN control. But Bush, still lusting for Iraqi oil and fearful his family foe, Saddam Hussein, would return to thumb his nose at him, foolishly scorned this wise proposal.

Bush is praying his hit teams will assassinate Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein before next year's elections. But even that, and White House attempts to fuel another phony crisis over Iran's nuclear program, may not save Bush from the growing anger of defrauded Americans who are slowly realizing that Mr Bush's Iraq war was a political version of the giant Enron swindle.


To read previous columns by Mr. Margolis: Click here

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    Eric Margolis
    c/o Editorial Department
    The Toronto Sun
    333 King St. East
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    M5A 3X5

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