Sunday, February 27, 2011

Don't Buy This Book

"The Marxian concept of alienation (or separation from one's 'species being') can explain why a passive and uncritical U.S. public generally believed that the Obama administration acted in its best interests and, therefore, did not demand accountability when the administration's lies regarding Iraq were revealed." If page 150 of Scott Bonn's new book had carried that sentence and explored it, it would be a book worth reading; however, the actual sentence (in the concluding chapter) is "The Marxian concept of alienation or separation from one's 'species being') can explain why a passive and uncritical U.S. public generally believed that the Bush administration acted in its beset interests and, therefore, did not demand accountablity when the administration's lies regarding Iraq were revealed."

mass deception

Bonn is a professor at Drew University (somehow that makes sense) and his new book is Mass Deception: Moral Panic And The US War On Iraq. From the title, you should have spotted the problem. Bonn's 'research' is predominately Gallup polls. Gallup polls really aren't known for measuring or being the "decider" of 'Morality.' Bonn's one of those bad writers who is loose with the facts and tries to take an inflamed situation and taunt the flames to go higher.

But mainly Bonn is a worker for the Nixon administration -- Henry Kissinger? -- in 1971 insisting of the war on Vietnam, "Johnson got us into it!!!!!"

LBJ may have started that war (some would argue JFK did) but in 1971, it really didn't matter what LBJ did because Nixon was continuing it.

By the same token, Barack Obama has continued the Iraq War. It's a fact Bonn works overtime to ignore. When he's not ignoring, he's just wrong.

Bonn misrepresents and misunderstands the SOFA -- including that it was 'signed' on November 28, 2008. That's as embarrassing as his rush to gush over Barack Obama -- "thoughtful approach and poise," the world 'rejoiced,' Iran's "president was responding to Barack Obama's campaign pledge," blah blah blah. Here's the Iraqi side of the SOFA in terms of dates, November 16, 2008 Nouri al-Maliki's Cabinet signs off on the Status Of Forces Agreement sending it to Parliament [see Mary Beth Sheridan's "Iraqi Cabinet Backs U.S. Security Deal: Parliament, Top Council Must Approve" (Washington Post)]. November 17, 2008, Hoshiyar Zebari, Iraq's Foreign Minister, and then-US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker signed the agreement [then-White House spokesperson Dana Perino declared, "And we are going to continue to work with the Iraqis, because while we did have a good step with the council of ministers approving the agreement, and then our ambassador and their foreign ministers signing it today, there are still seveal steps left to go."] November 27, 2008 -- not, as Bonn insists, November 28th -- Parliament puts their 'signature' on it by ratifying it. And, of course, December 15, 2008 (pictured below before shoes were thrown), Nouri and Bully Boy Bush signed off on it.

Bully Boy and Puppet

Bonn is also apparently unaware of the strong objection in the US to the SOFA. Shortly before the Parliament signed off on it (please note, the US Congress was not allowed to vote or offer input), US House Rep. Bill Delahunt's office released the following announcement:

For Immediate Release:
November 14, 2008
Further Information:
Mark Forest - 202-225-3111/774-487-2534
Experts Suggest That Agreement May Tie Hands Of Obama Administration
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Bill Delahunt, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight will hold his eighth hearing on the proposed U.S.-Iraq security agreement on Wednesday, November 19th at 10am.

Next week's hearing will examine the possibility that any bilateral agreement reached between the Bush Administration and the government of Iraq may effectively tie the hands of the next Administration as a result of a clause in Article 31 in a draft of the accord that would prohibit the United States from cancelling it for one year.

At the end of October, Delahunt joined with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro in writing to President Bush asking for a temporary extension of the UN mandate for Iraq which expires on December 31, and is the sole instrument providing U.S. troops with the legal authorization to engage in combat operations in Iraq.

To read the letter, please click here.

The subcommittee will hear from a panel of experts that will also discuss the plans and prospects of a temporary extension of the mandate as well as offer their analysis on how a rushed agreement will affect the next President.

WHO: Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight

WHERE: Room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building:

WHEN: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 10:00 a.m.

SUBJECT: Renewing the United Nations Mandate for Iraq: Plans and Prospects


Oona A. Hathaway, Esq.
Professor of Law
Berkeley Law
University of California Berkeley

Mr. Raed Jarrar
Iraq Consultant
Middle East Peace Building Program
American Friends Service Committee

Michael J. Matheson, Esq.
Visiting Research Professor of Law
The George Washington University Law School

Issam Michael Saliba, Esq.
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
Middle East and North Africa
Law Library of Congress

Not only that, every singled candidate running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination -- every single one -- was opposed to the SOFA. The nomination went to Barack Obama and he chose Joe Biden as his running mate (Biden's opposition to the SOFA was made publicly clear in an April 10, 2008 Senate Foreign Reltations committee). What would they do about Iraq? They would offer "Plan for Ending the War in Iraq" which included:

Obama and Biden believe any Status of Forces Agreement, or any strategic framework agreement, should be negotiated in the context of a broader commitment by the U.S. to begin withdrawing its troops and forswearing permanent bases. Obama and Biden also believe that any security accord must be subject to Congressional approval. It is unacceptable that the Iraqi government will present the agreement to the Iraqi parliament for approval--yet the Bush administration will not do the same with the U.S. Congress. The Bush administration must submit the agreement to Congress or allow the next administration to negotiate an agreement that has bipartisan support here at home and makes absolutely clear that the U.S. will not maintain permanent bases in Iraq.

November 18, 2008, The Common Ills asked, "The treaty and is Barack breaking his word again?" and shortly after the objection to the SOFA disappeared from the website -- not that your PoliFact or bothered to notice. If you use that SOFA link now, you'll see not only have they removed the SOFA, they've also removed Iraq entirely. It's no longer an 'issue' -- at least not one they want to be held accountable for and, with people like Scott Bonn posing as 'informed,' they most likely won't be held accountable.

To enjoy the book, one is required to pretend the Iraq War end. While preaching that lessons need to be learned, the book is factually incoherent. Throughout, Bonn will argue the Iraq War was (his term, we say "is") an illegal war. We don't dispute that but an illegal war that continues does not become peachy keen just because you've got a crush on the president and dream of sucking his cock down to the hairy root.

The book concludes with this sorry-ass sentence, "Perhaps, however, the moral panic engineered by the Bush administration over Iraq taught at least a portion of the U.S. public the merits of an old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Shame on Bonn. A book allegedly about the Iraq War which spends an equal amount of time on Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan and (we're not joking here) O.J. Simpson has the flaws built in. And especially shame upon Bonn because the book he thinks he's written, the one he's so proud of? It was written eight years ago by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, 2003's Weapons Of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq.
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