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Firas Al-Atraqchi: Gospel Versus Garbage

Gospel Versus Garbage

By Firas Al-Atraqchi

North American media have recently embarked on another search for the holy journalistic grail in their questioning of the gathered intelligence on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) - or lack thereof.

Very strange.

Isn't this the same media juggernaut that brought us numerous columnists and 'experts' who festooned the pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, National Post only to claim, rather dictate, that Iraq definitely had WMD, that Iraq had to be 'taken out', that Iraq was a threat to Israel?

And, by no freak accident, wasn't this the same media machine that gave prominence to every Iraqi bozo and self-styled exile who proclaimed that indeed Iraq did possess nuclear weapons and was about to strike Washington, D.C.?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes, the media goofed. Or did it? Are we to believe that so many had it so wrong despite the Russian and French protestations about Iraq? Despite the number of people who warned that a war on Iraq is unjustified?

Word of prophetic illusionists such as Khidhir Hamza, who claims to be "Saddam's Bombmaker" and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iraq had 3-5 nuclear warheads, were taken as gospel. The ranting and raving of such infamous Iraqi opposition groups like the diabolical Iraqi National Congress, who had no real contact with Iraqis in Iraq, were also taken for gospel.

Who could forget the "you will be greeted with roses and song" charade they sold to the Anglo-American Coalition armies. Instead, they were greeted with bullets. Indeed, that was the gospel.

The garbage, on the other hand, was all the information received from the United Nations weapons inspectors (Blix and Baradei) who despite pressure to the contrary persisted in claiming they had not yet seen any data that proved Iraq still had WMD. Blix and Baradei were declared incompetent appeasers and likened to 1930s Chamberlain, or so the 'experts' would have us believe.

The French, ah les pauvres Francais - what a beating they took as they held firm against this war. Now look who's laughing.

And our own Prime Minister Chretien who must have either astounding wisdom or a crystal ball hidden in his office to have stayed out of this war. Oh how they railed against him. And oh how they have shut up now. (In mid-June Canadian national polls indicate that 71 per cent of Canadians now think Chretien was justified in NOT going to war. How poetic - how lovely!)

Arab League Secretary-General, Amr Moussa, a seasoned political maverick who also served as Egypt's Foreign Minister until 2001, warned the U.S. that it would be "opening the gates of hell" if it invaded Iraq. Bah, why listen to him, just another deranged Arab Muslim, eh?

Or even Scott Ritter, the former gung-ho weapons inspector who grew disillusioned with the then-Clinton administration's foiling of the inspections regime. He raised his arms and shouted foul for a long, long time only to be declared a traitor by American media for making claims contrary to what the media juggernaut would have us believe.

And now, those same experts and columnists are questioning the intelligence Bush and Blair had before the war.

Hypocrisy atop hypocrisy.


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