The First Iraq War Was Also Sold to the Public Based on a Pack of Lies

President George HW Bush and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney at Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1990. (Image: Doug Mills/ AP)

President George HW Bush and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney at Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1990. (Image: Doug Mills/ AP)

By Joshua Holland

…it’s important to recall that the first Gulf War was sold to the public on a pack of lies that were just as egregious as those told by the second Bush administration 12 years later.

The Lie of an Expansionist Iraq …

Dead Babies, Courtesy of a New York PR Firm …

Saddam Was Irrational …

Saddam Was “Unstoppable” …

The first Gulf War was sold on a mountain of war propaganda. It took a campaign worthy of George Orwell to convince Americans that our erstwhile ally Saddam Hussein — whom the US had aided in his war with Iran as late as 1988 — had become an irrational monster by 1990.

Twelve years later, the second invasion of Iraq was premised on Hussein’s supposed cooperation with al Qaeda, vials of anthrax, Nigerian yellowcake and claims that Iraq had missiles poised to strike British territory in little as 45 minutes.

Now, eleven years later, as Bill Moyers put it last week, “the very same armchair warriors in Washington who from the safety of their Beltway bunkers called for invading Baghdad, are demanding once again that America plunge into the sectarian wars of the Middle East.” It’s vital that we keep our history in Iraq in mind, and apply some healthy skepticism to the claims they offer us this time around.

Read more at Moyers and Company/

Categories: History, Military history, Political commentary, Politics

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. This is such a great post. Bill Moyers is one of America’s greatest living journalists. This is good stuff. I’ve only had time to peruse the article and to get a sense of it’s import.

    Several things differentiate the Persian Gulf War and the Invasion of Iraq in 2003:

    Saddam Hussein actually did possess chemical and biological weapons. He had used chemical weapons against Kurdish and Iranian civilian populations.

    Iraq did invade a neighboring country, Kuwait. Whatever Saddam Hussein believed or was led to believe is irrelevant.

    The United States had the support of the United Nations and an international coalition of allies who supported the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Was an economic or strategic advantage to be gained from this action beyond influencing the price of a barrel of oil in the global market?

    Liked by 2 people

    • All very good points, kl. The thinking that Saddam Hussein was irrational and unstoppable were indeed irrelevant, and NO reasons for our intervention, but they were sold as a misleading tactic, as a legitimate fear, when the truth was that we were the occupiers looking for excuse to invade another’s territory to gain access to their oil operations.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have to hand it to you, story. This is an excellent share. I think I was imposing my own interpretations upon what the author actually says on my first reading.

        The thing that seems really bizarre to me is that we didn’t actually invade Iraq.It does seem that there were longer range goals being planned out here–and by many of the same people. Huh. Interesting, indeed.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Dick Cheney has been in control of the Bush family for years and years. He did not improve in looks, disposition or honesty. The man seems to bring out what is worse in human nature. I can not explain that knee jerk reaction in my case. I wonder if other women feel the same way?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I understand your intuition, genvana. He made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when he first appeared as running mate for GWB, and has only proven my fears were accurate. I posted an article in 2010 on Newsvine (account deleted) which topic was a close associate of Cheney’s being promoted to an ambassadorship, one whose beliefs ran along the lines of torture of teenagers to “straighten them out”. In fact, his operation was named Straight, and it gained notoriety for torture of teens with drug problems. Liz Cheney had associations with him, and he was a donor to her causes. I’ll look for it if you’re interested.

      The point is, what I perceive in Cheney is a man who uses torture as a method to move thru life to achieve his goals. I shudder to think what kind of father he was in family life. He creeps me out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Storyartist; I would like to read it but something tells me it is going to make me cry. Don’t go out of your way but if you find it, yes, offer up a link. There is something just evil about Cheney and his daughter.

        I have never understood the move to torture by the American citizens especially by those that serve our nation. Why would anyone support torture? I never understood this hatred and they had to find a way to make it all profitable. I believe the Dick found a way to make money out of this. To hear that they were doing this to teen’s – OMG. That is just sick.

        Liked by 2 people

        • It’s easy to find, but l think maybe not a good idea to pass to you. I have a strong background on this kind of psychology. But yes, you and I do share a “ick factor” when it comes to this man, and a great deal of mistrust.

          War is all about power, and what refines that more than torture. Some go to war over feelings of justice or pride. It is those who lean towards the dark side who involve themselves in torture.

          Money is also about power, and war is the biggest profit producer. It’s sort of a tandem thing that Cheney excels in rather than making money from torture.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Is the Article on the vine? I guess I was never good at not knowing or avoiding ugly behavior that humans inflict on each other. Personally, Cheney triggered more than the “ick” factor. There is something evil about him. I have always believed that but there is a group that seems to be protecting their own. There is something seriously wrong happening in the US by those with money and power like Cheney. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. I have heard several old time Republicans say that the Bush war(s) were revenge for what happened to the Old man Bush and Cheney. Several said something happened that did not display the Old man in a positive light. I never understood that comment.

    Lying is what Cheney does best. It is clear that we had better News reporters in our past. I do not remember but is it possible that better investigative reporters kept us out of a long term war? For some reason, I have a blank for this period in time.

    Liked by 2 people

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