It was March 19, 2003 and Operation Iraqi Freedom was ‘shock and awing’ prime-time television audiences all over the world. Yes folks, this was it. The USA’s 24/7 news media was “fully embedded” with the troops and they were reporting the first ever made for TV, invasion of Iraq—live! The news hawks, sparrows and dragonflies were perfectly outfitted in full battle fatigues, rooming with the troops, perched just outside of Bagdad overlooking the Tigress, reporting to you live and in colour, the first ever Super Bowl War. 

I know this because 15 years ago, I penned an editorial in Okanagan Life titled, Positively Embarrassed (see Paul’s Voice at okanaganlife.com. I had watched the carefully choreographed violence unfold from my couch, on every station available. I remember thinking that this coverage is astonishing, it’s captivating, even scintillating. How did the CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and “Faux” news reporters find such perfect locations to witness and record this extraordinary bombardment? 

It didn’t matter to me because I was a sheeple. I had also watched the news: Saddam had “weapons of mass destruction,” had gassed his own people and looted billions from his people. He regularly held hands with Osama Bin Laden and he caused 9/11. Case closed. 

That year, I penned my editorial in condemnation of our Canadian prime minister for not supporting the invasion of Iraq, because I believed everything I was told. Today, I praise Canada’s current leader for staying out of an illegal war. 

I made a mistake. I believed all the Pentagon talking points that were vetted, rehearsed and broadcasted for the war-loving, shoot-em-up, gun-loving American citizens. Everything Bush and Cheney said, did, rehearsed and orchestrated was a pack of lies. There were no weapons of mass destruction; Saddam did not gas his people. He didn’t cause 9/11. 

Can any one of us honestly say or think today that US leaders are leaders? They are NOT leaders—they are psychopaths. Noam Chomsky declares openly that all recent US presidents should be on trial for war crimes against humanity. They all claim they’re fighting for freedom and democracy, but that is an illusion. The fight is for money and the endless wars that fill billionaires bank accounts to overflowing. 

Do the math: America has been at war for 94 per cent of its very existence. Almost 80 per cent of all war-related sales, funnels through Wall Street, and flows to plutocrats. The only thing that trickles down is fear.

Today, history is repeating. Trump is bombing Syria, because (supposedly) Syria bombed Syria. So, to warn Syria that they shouldn’t bomb Syria, Trump bombs them. 

Don’t be like I was. Update your beliefs. Read, learn, question, think and above all—emote. Unconsciously, we all know how perverse the Pentagon, the White House and Wall Street has become. Fifteen years and more than one million of the Iraqis dead and no one held responsible. Don’t be a sheeple.

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