March 20th marks the fifteenth anniversary of America's illegal invasion of Iraq under false pretenses and this seems like a good time to revisit America's "missteps" or "calculated missteps" depending on how one perceives the manufacture of taxpayer consent for war as arranged by complicit MSM. .
Shortly after Dubbya Bush left office in 2009 the Brits announced commencement of an Iraq Inquiry which has become know as the Chilcot Inquiry after its chair Sir John Chilcot, a British Privy Counsellor [advisor to the sovereigns]. The inquiry's report about the Iraq invasion and its aftermath was released to the public in the first week of July 2016.The process of investigation and results presentation spanned almost the entirety of President Obama's two administrations.
The report's content substantiates the concerns of those opposing the invasion back in 2003, in essence calling it ill-advised and premature. At least one U.K. pundit calls the report "the Mind-boggling incompetence of Bush, Blair and Howard laid bare"—no arguments here.
Shortly after the report was made public, The Sunday Mirror published a contrite op-ed written by Lord Prescott, Tony Blair's second in command. The piece ends like this: "I will live with the decision of going to war and its catastrophic consequences for the rest of my life. In 2004, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that as regime change was the prime aim of the Iraq War, it was illegal. With great sadness and anger, I now believe him to be right."
The narratives selling the war effort to the public on several continents undoubtedly were persuasive and unfortunately were essentially unopposed. Contemporary MSM is devoid of investigative journalism which attempts to check government overreach. Case in point: For over a year the New York Times even hid revelations of mass surveillance of American citizens—unconstitutional actions in addition to being unnecessary and ill-advised. Some free press Americans "enjoy".
The RT news organization has been effective in countering misleading narratives simply by infusing a measure of truth into differently slanted articles which "ring true" even with western audiences apparently sick of unchallenged Yankee propaganda. The rapid growth of RT's worldwide audiences and its very palatable criticisms of U.S. policies are the two primary reasons that RT was forced to register as a "foreign agent" in the "land of the free" and consequently have its Capitol Hill press credentials pulled—a de facto U.S. admission that on a level playing field traditional MSM cannot compete successfully with RT no matter who funds the organizations. We doubt that MSM will compete well on the now-skewed field either.
Apparently not much has changed after 14 months of The Donald's administration. Mid-East wars are being rejuvenated with funds, armaments, and resurrected strategies once killed by futility. Military-industrial-surveillance members are logging record profits while average citizens suffer worldwide whether by squandering resources in funding belligerence or by enduring the consequent horrors.
Even the Republicans' "generous" tax cut underscores continuing favoritism for other than "average citizens". House Speaker Paul Ryan showcased a Pennsylvania secretary's $1.50 a week [$78 per year] gain under the new tax plan as exemplary. CNBC on the other hand says Warren Buffet's high-profile company Berkshire Hathaway will net $29 billion. Hmmm. Even on scale that disparity stinks.
As much as things have remained the same under The Donald there are significant changes. Tom Nichols nailed a few in a piece published by the Washington Post back in January:: "Trump, however, has turned the presidency into a spectacle ... like a naughty child at a birthday party ... like a vandal on the loose with a can of spray paint ... He's turning America from the guarantor of a system of international peace and economic cooperation into the spoiler nation, a role once played by Russia and China, and a reputation not easily shed once it sticks". Yet such real causes of concern are mere iceberg tips. Viewed in any way from any angle, once begun it will take years if not decades to rectify, to the extent possible, the havoc wreaked in just 14 months.
Let's hope that Jane Fonda was correct when conveying to Amy Goodman: "Trump is a major negative energy. And when he moves out in the world, it releases positive energy from other people. So, in a way, there's something really good about it, because people are being enlivened, emboldened, activated, that never were before. We have an opportunity now to really, really make a difference ...".
We speculated in 2016 that this would be the last 100% Republican administration in the history of the republic. A bold pronouncement but let's hope that we were right too.