But just the fact that the British had been informed that war was inevitable by July 23, 2002, ought to have been a big story in May 2005. We worked hard to make it such, pressuring a resistant corporate media that claimed either that it couldn't verify a memo that was clearly authentic and not even disputed, or arguing that what it revealed was "old news," even though it was brand new to anyone informed by those media outlets.
We made it into big news through public protests, reenactments in the lobbies of media outlets, floods of letters to editors, and a wide variety of creative actions. But we had an advantage. Democrats in Congress were in the minority and many of them were claiming they would take actions to end the war if given the majority. Key Congress members were supporting our efforts. I believe that we turned many of their encouraging claims into lies by shrinking rather than enlarging and intensifying our movement in January 2007.
When Diane Sawyer asked Bush why he had made the claims he had about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction, he replied: "What's the difference?"
Perhaps very little now, as we've been through eight years with a president who launches wars without bothering to lie to Congress. Or perhaps very much now, as we showed our power to resist lies about Syria in 2013 as a decade of activism against a war on Iraq backed Congress away from supporting a new war.
We have to make the answer matter. We have to tell the story properly, as half the United States still doesn't know it. The biggest lie now, believed by many Americans, is that Iraq benefitted and the U.S. suffered (that second part is true) from the war that destroyed Iraq.
Toward correcting that false belief I submit into evidence a paper I wrote three years ago called Iraq War Among World's Worst Events.
My biggest fear is that drone wars and proxy wars and secretive wars will continue to be launched without being preceded by public campaigns of lying. Or even worse: wars will be launched with honest proclamations that somebody's oil needs to be stolen or some population needs to be slaughtered -- and we won't resist or succeed in stopping these crimes. One of the best tools we have in this struggle is awareness of every lie used to support every past war. We must increase that awareness at every opportunity.
Most importantly, we must dismantle the myths of Pearl Harbor.
Many Japanese are better able to recognize their government's crimes, crimes before and after Pearl Harbor, as well as the crime of Pearl Harbor. The United States is almost entirely blind to its role. From the U.S. side, Pearl Harbor had roots in Germany.
Nazi Germany, we actually tend to overlook sometimes, could not have existed or waged war without the support for decades past and ongoing through the war of U.S. corporations like GM, Ford, IBM, and ITT. U.S. corporate interests preferred Nazi Germany to the communist Soviet Union, were happy to see those two nations' peoples slaughter each other, and favored the United States entering the oh-so-good-and-necessary World War II on the side of England only once the U.S. government had made that very profitable. The U.S. delayed D-Day for years while Germany bled Russia dry, and within hours of Germany's defeat, Churchill proposed a new war on Russia using German troops.
Churchill's fervent hope for years before the U.S. entry into the war was that Japan would attack the United States. This would permit the United States (not legally, but politically) to fully enter World War II in Europe, as its president wanted to do, as opposed to merely providing weaponry and assisting in the targeting of submarines as it had been doing.
On December 7, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt drew up a declaration of war on both Japan and Germany, but decided it wouldn't work and went with Japan alone. Germany quickly declared war on the United States, possibly in hopes that Japan would declare war on the Soviet Union.
Getting into the war was not a new idea in the Roosevelt White House. FDR had tried lying to the U.S. public about U.S. ships including the Greer and the Kerny, which had been helping British planes track German submarines, but which Roosevelt pretended had been innocently attacked. Roosevelt also lied that he had in his possession a secret Nazi map planning the conquest of South America, as well as a secret Nazi plan for replacing all religions with Nazism. The map was of the quality of Karl Rove's "proof" that Iraq was buying uranium in Niger.
And yet, the people of the United States didn't buy the idea of going into another war until Pearl Harbor, by which point Roosevelt had already instituted the draft, activated the National Guard, created a huge Navy in two oceans, traded old destroyers to England in exchange for the lease of its bases in the Caribbean and Bermuda, and -- just 11 days before the "unexpected" attack, and five days before FDR expected it -- he had secretly ordered the creation (by Henry Field) of a list of every Japanese and Japanese-American person in the United States.
On April 28, 1941, Churchill wrote a secret directive to his war cabinet:
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