We were already in production to rebroadcast this archived edition of Forthright Radio from April 25, 2005, featuring un-embedded journalist, Dahr Jamail, with documentary filmmaker and humanitarian assistance worker, Mark Manning, recounting their experiences relating to the two battles of Fallujah waged by the United States military in Iraq in the Spring and Fall of 2004. – when former President Bush made this statement in a speech at his presidential library on May 18, 2022:
“Russian elections are rigged. Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from participating in the electoral process. The result is an absence in checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq …… I mean of Ukraine …. “
Mark Twain noted that history doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes.
And we were struck by certain similarities between the selling of the U. S. invasion of Iraq to the American people in April of 2003, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022. In both cases, the leaders asserted that the military actions by their vastly larger, stronger and wealthier nations were purely defensive in nature. In the case of the US, the administration claimed that Iraq’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (which was later proven to be entirely false, and were known to be false at the time) required immediate preemptive military force, and that “we must fight them over there to prevent having to fight them here.”
Russia justified their military actions by claims of NATO provocations by encroaching on its border and the potential of Ukraine joining NATO.
Saddam Hussein, who had formerly been an ally of the US in the 1980s against Iran, now had to be subjected to regime change, because of the brutal nature of his dictatorship. The Russian excuse was the Ukraine government was rife with Nazi fascists.
Each government maintained tight control over information, and the mainstream media in both countries were slavish in delivering their governments’ messages of the righteousness and necessity of their respective invasions, assuring their populace that their soldiers would be welcomed as liberators and the military actions would be over quickly. The popularity of both these leaders and their military actions initially rose in polls.
Many Americans are amazed that Russians support Putin’s aggression, forgetting how enthusiastically they watched the “Shock and Awe” spectacle delivered by all major American media, at least in the early days of the Iraq War. In Russia protest and demonstrations against the invasion are put down swiftly, and those who even refer to the situation with the word “war” are subject to lengthy prison terms.
Before the invasion of Iraq, in major world capitals, some of the largest peace demonstrations in world history were either ignored or dismissed as mere “focus groups” by the Bush administration.
As we view with horror the senseless destruction of Ukraine villages and cities and the wanton civilian deaths, we find this interview with Dahr Jamail and Mark Manning instructive of our own nation’s responsibility for similar acts.
You can find out more about Mark Manning’s work here: http://conceptionmedia.net
You can learn more about Dahr Jamail’s work here: http://dahrjamail.net
THE ROAD TO FALLUJA https://www.theroadtofallujah.com/#
A Message From Falluja to the American People https://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-manning290305.htm
Depleted Uranium, Devastated Health: Military Operations and Environmental Injustice in the Middle East https://hir.harvard.edu/depleted-uranium-devastated-health-military-operations-and-environmental-injustice-in-the-middle-east/