Invasion as Marketing Problem: The Iraq War and Contempt for Democracy

Chomsky, Noam
September 2004
Mississippi Review;Fall2004, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p88
This article discusses the relation between the Iraq war and the concept of democracy. The author says that establishment critics of the war on Iraq restricted their comments regarding the attack to the administration arguments they took to be seriously intended as disarmament, deterrence, and links to terrorism. The reason, perhaps, is that they recognized that lofty rhetoric is the obligatory accompaniment of virtually any resort to force and therefore carries no information. The rhetoric is doubly hard to take seriously in the light of the display of contempt for democracy that accompanied it, not to speak of the past record and current practices. In December 2002, British Jack Straw, then foreign minister of Great Britain, released a dossier of the Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein's crimes. The timing and quality of the dossier raised many questions, but those aside, Straw failed to provide an explanation for his very recent conversion to skepticism about Hussein's good character and behavior. Attitudes toward democracy were revealed with unusual clarity during the mobilization for war in the fall of 2002, as it became necessary to deal somehow with the overwhelming popular opposition.


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