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Robert Mann: "American press started the war in Iraq"

It is now proven that the American press -- led by the New York Times --helped start the war in Iraq.

As the London Guardian notes, every major daily in the U.S. that carried editorials on Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations asserted that the war was justified by the evidence he had presented to the world. 

Where were the rational and critical minds that should have challenged Powell's bad information? Clearly, not in the national press, which failed, in its reporting and fact checking, to come up to fundamental ethical and professional journalistic standards.  And clearly, not in the "neoconservative" leadership of the Pentagon, which vouched for the information.

As for The New York Times' sanctimonious admission that it inadvertantly published false information on its front page on several occasions during the period of mounting war hysteria, something is missing. What is missing is still rationality and critical thinking.  The Times fails to acknowledge the fact that it helped start the war.  Nor does it consider the possibility that its reporters and editors were not simply "too intent on rushing scoops into the paper" but rather were caught up themselves, for their own personal reasons, in the war hysteria that demonized Arab and Moslem peoples throughout the Middle East and was ready to employ gunships and tanks anyplace in the region.

Robert Mann

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