Paul Krugman's column today in the New York Times talks about the lies that the American public swallowed whole:
One wonders whether most of the public will ever learn that the original case for war has turned out to be false. In fact, my guess is that most Americans believe that we have found W.M.D.'s. Each potential find gets blaring coverage on TV; how many people catch the later announcement — if it is ever announced — that it was a false alarm? It's a pattern of misinformation that recapitulates the way the war was sold in the first place. Each administration charge against Iraq received prominent coverage; the subsequent debunking did not.
It's unbelievable to see the polls that say that the majority of the public would still support the invasion and occupation of Iraq even if they knew they were being lied to. I guess it doesn't matter now that we "won" (meanwhile, Iraq is still in chaos, and what ever happened to Afghanistan? Oh, that's right, more chaos.)
Thanks to this pattern of loud assertions and muted or suppressed retractions, the American public probably believes that we went to war to avert an immediate threat — just as it believes that Saddam had something to do with Sept. 11.
Now it's true that the war removed an evil tyrant. But a democracy's decisions, right or wrong, are supposed to take place with the informed consent of its citizens. That didn't happen this time. And we are a democracy — aren't we?
The feeling I've encountered from many pro-war folks is that they really were afraid of Iraq's WMD's. They bought into the fear-mongering 100% and never questioned the crap coming out of Ari Fleischer's and Rumsfeld's mouths this whole time. Come on, people! Let's be a little more skeptical!
When I hung out on Main street, North Andover with my signs, some lady confronted me. I asked her in general terms if she would trust someone who lied to her. She replied that, in fact, she would hold a grudge against someone who lied to her. So I said, "well, the president has lied to you. why do you continue to believe him?" And she basically avoided the issue. The lesson is that it's ok for our president to lie to us, thus causing the needless deaths of countless people, but if some joe shmuck is dishonest, he'll need to work hard to regain any credibility. The fact that the administration can continue to feed us lies and get away with it marks a huge win for Karl Rove and the rest of the political masterminds ruling our Muppet President.
Not that I care about Clinton (Michael Moore called him the best Republican president we've had), but what a stinky hypocrisy we have when Clinton can be accused of "high crimes and misdemeanors" and impeached because he lied about sex, while Bush can lie about the need for war, lie about his past (he was an alcoholic and a coke addict), and continue lying without any retribution. Of course, the Democrats don't want to try impeaching Bush because they'd be seen as unpatriotic. And God forbid anybody from going out on a limb against the president's high popularity.
Hum-bug to the whole lot of them!