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Here's How the Road to Iraq Is Repeating Itself with Iran

July 5, 2018 in Economics

By Christopher A. Preble

Christopher A. Preble

Rob Reiner’s movie “Shock and Awe,” due to hit theaters on
July 13, reminds us of the role that provocateurs and conspiracy
theorists played in building the case for war with Iraq. (Spoiler
alert: this article reveals key movie plot lines, including that
the United States did, in fact, invade Iraq in 2003, and that most
of the people who led us into that war have evaded accountability
for having done so.)

Some of the Iraq war boosters appear in actual clips from the
era. We see, for example, Laurie Mylroie on C-Span, peddling her
tale of Saddam Hussein’s supposed involvement in the 1993
World Trade Center Attack. We are also treated again to Dick
Cheney’s claims of Iraq-Al Qaeda linkages and Saddam’s
aluminum tubes on “Meet the Press.” There’s
Donald Rumsfeld’s “known unknowns” press
conference, and, of course, George W. Bush’s “axis of
evil” speech. At other times, names are dropped into
dialogue. For example, Reiner, in the role as Knight Ridder DC
Bureau Chief John Walcott, mentions Bill Kristol and others at the
Project for a New American Century (PNAC) as key figures behind the
case for war.

But one character gets special treatment: Ahmed Chalabi. He
isn’t merely referenced in passing but is also portrayed as the
double-dealing charlatan that he was. In one scene, Knight Ridder
reporters Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel (played by Woody
Harrelson and James Marsden, respectively), visit Chalabi in his
opulent offices in Washington, DC. Actor Jack Topalian plays a
suitably smug Chalabi who is utterly disinterested in the truth,
and dismissive of those trying to uncover it.

In reflecting on the film, one of the truly shocking things
about “Shock and Awe” is the extent to which it mirrors
a similar effort underway today.

In late 2001, it was PNAC feeding bogus information from the
self-interested Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress (INC).
Today, it’s the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD)
calling for regime change in Tehran, and the Mujahedin-e
Khalq (MEK) feeding them the information to build the
case—and dropping large sums of money on DC insiders.

Meanwhile, the Washington Free Beacon —in
the guise of an actual news organization—touts Saudi claims that Iran harbored al Qaeda
members prior to 9/11, ignoring that the same could be said about
Germany—and, indeed, the U.S. government, which
“allowed” the hijackers to live, work and study in
Florida and Southern California before anyone knew what they were
up to. Furthermore, the Saudi news company al Arabiya cut and
spliced the Ali Larijani’s interview in a way that is
doubly misleading because it omits his
statement …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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