Miquelon.org The Fighting French

The Spanish-American War

05.31.2003 · Posted in Editorials

The Spanish-American War was the first “media war.” During the 1890s, sensationalistic journalism manufactured dramatic events and was a powerful force that helped propel the United States into war with Spain.

Newspaper owners William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer used melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to sell millions of newspapers, a style that became known as yellow journalism.

A hundred and thirteen years later, the media was willingly led into publishing lies, manufacturing news, reporting orchestrated events and campaigns to denigrate opponents from Hollywood to entire countries and peoples such as France and the French.

The Bush administration lied and misled the United Nations, the American Media, and bullied all those who dared not follow blindly.

  • The sudden importance of Angola, in White House briefings for instance underscored the lack of support from the wider world community.
  • Diplomatic pressures was used against Chile, Mexico, Cameroon…
  • Threats were made against France.

Lower ranking officials were used to make comments the upper echelons of the Bush administration would not dare make.

  • Thus most of the official France-bashing was conducted by Richard Perle : « France no longer an Ally ». Perle also accused Chirac of believing “deep in his soul that Saddam Hussein is preferable to any likely successor.”

The need to obtain support for this policy meant that low-level political acts had to be committed to ensure the imagination of the general public was entertained.

  • France-bashing was therefore a priority for sensationalistic and opportunistic acts by members of congress such as Bob Ney’s renaming of French Fries, Ginny Brown-Waite’s campaign to bring back American GI’s buried in France, Jim Saxton’s bills to cut France out of any post-war contracts, and Roy Blunt’s « jokes » about the French during World War II.

What the politicians didn’t dare say, the reporters and journalists published.

  • The Murdoch press specialised in personal attacks against Jacques Chirac, naively believing they would influence public opinion in France. The entire campaign backfired.
  • Deliberate lies were published by the New York Times about France supplying parts for nuclear weapons.
  • The Washington Post published misleading stories about France possessing the Smallpox virus.
  • The New York Times ran series of articles on « The French Connection » claiming France was supplying Iraq with explosives and sensitive equipment.
  • Bill Gertz of The Washington Times published misleading information about French supply of arms and delivering of passports. His sources, deep inside the administration, believed that disinformation was necessary to support the administration’s position.

What the journalists didn’t dare write, the comics and commentators spouted on live television and radio with little or no consequences. Comments that would be considered blatantly racist if they were made against any other ethnic group had inundated the airwaves.

From Regis Philbin to Dennis Miller, every so-called comic tries his or her hand and France-Bashing Jokes. Jay Leno, Will Durst, SNL, David Letterman and their respective writing teams made sure no ethnic slur was left unused.

The war is now officially over, even though the word « victory » was banned in all local parades by Pentagon Decree since that would imply the necessary respect of the Geneva Convention, the truth about the widespread manipulation is coming to light.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

  • Bush claimed satellite imagery revealed many nuclear weapon sites. Fact is Task Force 75 found no such activity on these sites.
  • Tony Blair claimed that Iraq would be able to produce nuclear weapons in less than two years. International experts have concluded the material present in Iraq could not lead to the production of nuclear weapons.

CHEMICAL WEAPONS

  • The United States claimed that Iraq had a strong chemical warfare program. In fact, chemical weapons sites had been destroyed during the first Gulf War. United Nations teams had destroyed the remaining stocks.
  • Colin Powell claimed during his UN presentation that satellites imagery proved that Iraq was moving weapons ahead of UN inspection teams. The head of the UN team, Hans Blix explained those images showed routine movements.

BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS

  •   The US claimed that Iraq could use DRONES to use biological weapons against other countries, including the USA. The US also claimed that Iraq had stocks of Ricine. UN teams concluded such experiments had ceased after 1990. Colin Powell also claimed Iraq had means to develop and use SmallPox, UN teams said that nothing proved such allegations.

Motives.

  • In an interview for Vanity Fair magazine, Paul Wolfowitz cited “bureaucratic reasons” for focusing on Saddam Hussein’s alleged arsenal and said a “huge” reason for the war was to enable Washington to withdraw its troops from Saudi Arabia.
  • “For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on”
  • Before the war, the United States drew up a list of more than 900 “suspect sites” where weapons of mass destruction or evidence of such programs might be found. Military teams have visited more than 200 of the sites without finding any weapons.
  • Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, suggesting that one reason the Pentagon has been unable to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is that they may no longer exist. “We don’t known what happened,” he told the group, “It is also possible that they decided they would destroy them prior to a conflict.”

Fabrication

  • The pure fabrication news predates the Second Gulf War. The babies and incubators story was the classic propaganda lie of the First Gulf War.
  • This was has the so-called rescue of Jessica Lynch. Never mind the she has amnesia, that her parents are forbidden to speak about this story, the truth has come out through investigative reporting from Canada and Britain.

Does it occur to anyone that France and Jacques Chirac opposed this war because it was wrong? Were we lied to so that the United States could get its hands on IraqiOil Reserves and move its military bases away from Saudi Arabia ?

The American Media became a mouthpiece for the American Administration and made sure people were led to believe that France backstabbed America. France Bashing was the best distraction the White House could have hoped for.

Remember the Spanish-American War of 1890 and you will undestand the Second Gulf War.

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