Beyond truth, fact or reality: The WMD rationale

And the search goes on! But weapons of mass destruction seem elusive to searchers, hallucinatory to Fox News watchers, and a slowly fading political topic to many of us. (The number of WMD sightings by Fox- and the hyperbole used in their reporting, all turning out to be duds, must have a hallucinatory effect.)

Lack of their use at any time during the much-anticipated war, or the absence immediately thereafter of any vestiges of their existence, render the proposition of Iraq presenting an “imminent threat” as unacceptable and absurd. At the very least, that seems to be the worldwide consensus as portrayed in the editorials of the mainstream international media of industrialized and developing nations alike.

Whether or not biological/chemical materials did or do exist in Iraq , does not appear as the relevant issue, nor the raison d’être for the US and Britain to take up arms in an overt unilateral action. The same applies to any conceptual plans that Saddam Hussein may have had, no matter how ambitious, to create biological, chemical or nuclear weaponry.

Finding a carafe of anthrax, or some long-buried, dated plans, simply won’t do. Nor will the discovery of mass graves. Nor will the continual reminder of past human rights violations by Saddam’s despotic regime. None of these issues can legitimately be made as an alternate justification for the invasion of Iraq . The world was told, and so were the American people, that Iraq presented an immediate threat to the security of its neighbors, the security of the United States , and the security of the world at large.

There seem to be two schools of thought on the subject of deceit in this particular issue, each defining its position by the way the prewar rhetoric went. One group, which includes a majority of Americans, sees Bush and Blair as possibly exaggerating their case, but not much beyond that. The other, where the proponents represent an overwhelming majority opinion in the world, sees the two heads of state as simply lying. Exaggerating or lying; in either case, the victim is readily pointed to be the truth.

For non-Americans who have yet to become cynics on world politics, unless clear and significant weapons of mass destruction are found, the credibility of the Bush administration will be irreparably damaged, and any trust in America greatly diminished.

As important as world opinion might be for America in its superpower role, a large segment of the population in the US does not seem to care. There is a strong sentiment in many people, no matter how far-fetched or wrong, that America is the ongoing benefactor and provider of welfare to half the globe. So the world, or its representative body, the United Nations, has little weight with these people; and any criticism coming from “such source” is viewed with jingoistic contempt. (Thus, respected individuals, such as Hans Blix, are treated with ridicule and disdain.)

Americans have been, and continue to be, constantly bombarded with negative remarks about the UN. There is a strong advocacy in the US for UN critics- bashers would be a better term, that extend from the top ranks in government, to the hate-dispensers of radio fame and their extensive audiences, to the fringe militia groups. These people do not view the UN as a forum for cooperation and conflict-resolution among the nations of the world, and would not condone any role for the United States other than a hegemonic one with no strings attached.

Little wonder that almost the entire US is in a state of denial as to the war in Iraq , weapons of mass destruction, and the rest. Perhaps, as Pogo’s cartoon character said in the fifties, “we is met the enemy and the enemy is us”… or something to that effect. Weapons of mass destruction… where? In our minds and our hearts, that is where!

At the end of the day we must come to realize that ours is a world where advertising and public relations reign supreme, and that something can come out of nothing, if we make it our intent. Francis Bacon said it well when stating that, “…lies are sufficient to breed opinion and opinion brings substance”. Amen to that.