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15 February 2007 Edition

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BOOK REVIEW

Wake-up call for the future of democracy

BOOK REVIEW

The War on Truth. By Neil McKay

Published by Sunday Herald Books

ISBN No 1-904684-15-7

This book is essential reading for anyone interested in democracy and how it has been undermined in the rush to invade Iraq. In describing the machinations and deceits perpetrated by the US and British establishments, Neil McKay outlines a blueprint for the demise of democracy — unless people act now.

McKay shows how governments, the US Government in particular, are becoming commodities to be bought and controlled by huge corporations. In this regard, it should be remembered that US Vice-President Dick Cheney is a former president of Halliburton, a company that has earned billions from the tragedy of the Iraq war.

The story of that war begins in 1999 when a cabal of ultra-right Washington insiders — the neo-conservatives — put together a document calling for a “New American Century” which set out the notion of “pre-emptive war” to project US influence around the globe. Alarmingly, the document states that Americans may not have the stomach for such wars and that what might be needed is “another Pearl Harbour”.

Following the highly dubious and controversial Republican victory in the 2000 elections, the new administration began making plans for an attack on Iraq. With the 9/11 attacks in New York, the neo-cons had their Pearl Harbour.

The US would obviously have to attack Afghanistan first but had already concluded a deal with the Taliban to route a gas pipeline through its territory. Documentation at the time shows that Afghanistan was regarded as an inconvenience and that the real target was Iraq.

The problem was that years of sanctions had impoverished Iraq and degraded its infrastructure and military capabilities to such a degree that Saddam Hussein presented no real threat. US and British spooks were telling their respective governments as much at the time.

Enter American Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who established the Office of Special Plans (OSP). Both the CIA and FBI were instructed to forward all intelligence, no matter how unreliable it was, to this office.

Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress, an opposition group based abroad, started to feed the CIA and FBI with false information which the OSP then cherry-picked from the real intelligence and leaked to an ever-compliant media. Thus, we were presented with the spectre of mushroom clouds over New York. An ironic twist here is that there are now strong grounds for believing Chalabi was in fact an Iranian agent.

A similar process was going on in Britain, although the British public were not as keen on going to war, so Blair’s sinister spin doctor Alistair Campbell cooked up the infamous “dodgy dossier”. When one of Britain’s top experts on Iraq started to leak that some of its claims were nonsense —such as the one that Britain was within 45 minutes of disaster at the hands of Saddam — he was ousted by the government and hounded to the point of suicide, resulting in the Hutton Inquiry. Everybody who listened to the evidence believed that Blair was finished. Everybody, that is, except Hutton himself, who completely exonerated the government and blamed the BBC for daring to suggest the document had been “sexed up”.

It is interesting to note that the author points to Hutton’s time on the bench in the Six Counties during the height of the armed conflict for his inability to accept inconvenient truths.

The real story in this book is the failure of the press. The corporate media wilfully obscured the truth with Orwellian lies that would have been the envy of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

This book is a wake-up call for those who care to act now to counter the insidious threat to democracy in our midst.

BY ARAN FOLEY

An Phoblacht Magazine

AN PHOBLACHT MAGAZINE:

  • The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
  • It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
  • There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald.

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