Presentation on theme: "Propaganda, failed intelligence and WMD"— Presentation transcript:
1Propaganda, failed intelligence and WMD The Iraq WarPropaganda, failed intelligence and WMD
2The Iraq WarKey themesKey administration officials launch media blitz to showcase reasons for war.Media “buy in”.Large scale public support.Erroneous intelligence.“Rush” to war.WMD.Insurgency and “Al Qaida in Iraq”.
3Late 2002Bush Administration officials came out as a group and began to say that Iraq had links to Al Qaida and that they were planning “imminent” attacks on U.S. cities, planning to use WMD.
4WHY IRAQ?CIA, NSA, and other agencies had very limited and tenuous leads about terrorist links with Iraq.Key officials with their own agendas wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to go after Saddam Hussein.The media did no “fact checking” of any administration claims.In an atmosphere of fear and tension, American public went along with it…
5Cast of Characters Condoleezza Rice National Security Advisor.Influential media spokesperson in justifying war with Iraq.First African American woman to become Sec. of State (later).Her calm demeanor and expertise carried great weight with the media.
6Cast of CharactersDick CheneyPowerful V.P.Used his connections and power to influence intelligence gathering and analysis.Main force behind the “link” between Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein.Later totally discredited.Suspected by many to be the real power behind the Presidency during Iraq War.
7Cast of CharactersDon RumsfeldSecretary of Defense“Hawkish” in his portrayal of Iraq as threat to U.S.Philosophy was to use minimum force necessary to achieve aims: “Rumsfeld Doctrine”
8Cast of CharactersFirst African American Secretary of Defense.Reluctant salesman for the War in Iraq.Used as the mouthpiece for the administration.Later resigned from public office out of embarrassment.
9Cast of Characters Brutal dictator of Iraq. Saddam HusseinBrutal dictator of Iraq.Long record of human rights violations and genocide.Claimed not to have WMD at the time of Iraq War.
10Administration’s Main Argument Bush and colleagues argued that they had irrefutable evidence that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden had made a military alliance bent on hitting the U.S. with a mass attack.They claimed that an attack was imminent, and that the only option was the military invasion of Iraq to seek out and destroy these weapons…
11What are Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Nuclear Weapons
12What are Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Chemical WeaponsBurn the skin, cause irritation of the lungs and mucous membranes.
13What are Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Biological AgentsBacteria and viruses released into the environment to kill people.Anthrax, plague, smallpox, influenza, botulinus (that’s botox folks…)
14FACTSIn the early 1990’s Saddam Hussein DID have a stockpile of dangerous gas weapons and some biological agents.He used them on his own people following the Gulf War of 1991.
16FactsBy 2003, Saddam Hussein’s WMD program had been shut down by United Nations weapons inspectors.However, Hussein complicated the issue by refusing to cooperate with the U.N., which made it look like he was hiding something.What were the consequences of Saddam’s “games”?Why would he taunt the U.S. like this?
17MobilizationOver the winter of 2002, the United States began to establish a large scale military invasion force in Kuwait.Still Hussein refused to cooperate…
18Early 2003March 17th. President Bush goes on television to give Saddam Hussein a 48 hour deadline: hand over the WMD or face destruction…No response came from Iraq… other than “We have no WMD…”
24Fierce Fighting The Iraqi Army put up more resistance than in 1991. There was heavy fighting in several major centers: Fallujah, Nasiriyah, Mosul, KirkukU.S. Forces entered Baghdad and went block by block, building by building to destroy Iraqi forces…
25Attrition… Eventually the Iraqi army was ground down into nothing. Many surrendered, the rest of the army just melted away…Once the Baghdad airport was secured, the main invasion was complete.
26Now What? Saddam Hussein vanished and went into hiding. The Iraqi army all but ceased to exist.The civilian population went on a rampage of looting and violence.What was the U.S. to do amid all the chaos?
28State of NatureThe Iraqi police, and other security agencies dissolved leaving a power vacuum.U.S. soldiers were ordered to stay out of the way, allowing the Iraqis to pillage and loot across the country.
29Factions emergeFactions that had all been subdued by Saddam Hussein, were now free to renew old hostilities.Atrocities against Saddam loyalists became the norm, with violence, kidnappings and murder becoming an hourly occurrence.Meanwhile, the U.S. Army waited and wondered what was going to happen…
30Insurgency After a few weeks anti-U.S. sentiment began to grow. Foreign fighters, including Al Qaida, began to sneak across the open borders in the desert from Syria.Soon, they began to launch devastating attacks on U.S. forces garrisoned across Iraq.Within a few months, the U.S. Army was fighting for its life against a full blown insurgency.
32U.S. CasualtiesBy 2005/6 the U.S. was losing about 200 people per month to suicide attacks and bombings, as well as firefights with insurgents and others.The number of people injured was even higher.The Bush administration banned these pictures from being released.
33Meanwhile Where were the WMD? Army searched all over the country in every factory and bombed out warehouse…Nothing was ever found except old, discarded weapons from years ago.
34Politics of WarThe President became increasingly unpopular as a result of the carnage.There were many changes in strategy.Don Rumsfeld was fired.The Republican Party lost the 2006 Mid-Term Elections…
35Meanwhile We captured Saddam. He was hiding in a tiny bunker. He had been on the run for eight months.
36He was later executed by the Iraqi people for his crimes against the people… The trial had been a farce, and the execution was a mob scene.
37SurgeThe President’s newest strategy was a surge of forces designed to smash resistance once and for all.After initial intense fighting, the surge worked… And the fighting subsided to almost nothing by 2008
38Bush’s waning powerBy 2008, President Bush approval ratings were as low as Nixon’s had been on his resignation.Bush, now broken and powerless, watched as a new political reality emerged: anti-war candidate, Barack Obama stepped into the limelight…Barack Obama’s positive campaign and Anti-War message sharply contrasted Bush’s tired and broken adminsitration.
39Iraq TodayPres. Obama ordered the withdrawal of most combat forces in the summer of 2010.However, most of these were redeployed into Afghanistan.A democratically elected government is in power in Iraq, but still needs limited support from the U.S.It is reasonable to assume that we will have troops on the ground there for years to come.
40Iraq War Statistics: Body Count U.S. Killed – 4,404U.S. wounded – 31,827Iraqi Security Forces – 9,010Civilian deaths- 100, ,000 (no hard figures)Media -181Enemy Combatants – 25,278