‘Drawn Back Into War’ in Iraq

dailyshow-iraqThe United States is the lone military superpower in the world. The decision to launch an unprovoked and unjustified attack on Iraq in 2003 was made by the Bush administration and supported by many in Congress and supported by much of the press.

It is important, then, to consider how the media treat the current crisis in Iraq. As many have observed–from the FAIR Blog  (6/16/14) to the Daily Show (6/17/14)–corporate news outlets are relying on some of the very same pundits and politicians who were enthusiastically backed the war in the first place.

It’s obviously quite revealing  that these people are invited onto television at all–further proof, if any were needed, that there is no accountability for being so wrong in so many important ways.

US bombing of Iraq (cc photo: Andy Dunaway/US Army)

The US chooses to bomb other countries; it’s not compelled to bomb by some mysterious force. (cc photo: Andy Dunaway/US Army)

But it’s also revealing to hear how media talk about the prospect of the United States military going back to war in Iraq.  Indeed, many journalists made it sound like something that was being done to the United States:

“Could America be drawn back into war?”
Diane Sawyer (ABC World News,  6/12/14)

“There’s a real possibility that the US could somehow be drawn back into a war in Iraq.”
Jim Miklasziewski (NBC‘s Today, 6/12/14)

“Extremist fighters now minutes from the capital. Will we be drawn back into war?”
Martha Raddatz (ABC‘s This Week, 6/15/14)

“As insurgents overran those cities and advanced toward Baghdad, the alarm was sudden and real: Was the US going to be drawn into a third Iraq war?”
Gwen Ifill, PBS NewsHour (6/13/14)

The United States was not “drawn” into Iraq in 2003; it made a conscious decision to launch a war. Thus it cannot be “drawn back” into the conflict either. It is nonetheless quite revealing that journalists employ this language, making US warmaking sound like a reaction–not an action.


About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.