America's Propaganda War
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Documentary focusing on the tactics used by the U.S and it's allies in the build up to,and during, the Iraq War, featuring Ray Mcgovern and Seymour Hersh amongst others. Originally broadcast on SBS (Australian T.V) Language is English, 50 mins
'In Iraq, the regime of Saddam Hussein is no more. One month ago, that country was a prison to its people, a haven for terrorists, an arsenal of weapons that endangered the world.' In a televised address from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington DC, on April 15, 2003, George W. Bush was europhic. 'These are good days in the history of freedom.'
Saddam Hussein had been overthrown – the Second Gulf War was over. However the debate about the causes of the war – and thus about the credibility of US President George W. Bush – has only just begun. According to one former high-ranking US secret service agent, 'the threat to America posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was a propaganda lie used to deceive the public.'
The Cutting Edge documentary Operation Saddam: America's Propaganda Battle, screening on SBS Television on Tuesday July 29 at 8.30pm, presents the individual stages of the propaganda battle, by which the American and British governments sought to justify the Second Gulf War.
How does one sell a war? This was a question that weighed heavy on the minds of those in the US administration long before the war had even started. Operation Saddam: America's Propaganda Battle takes a look at the marketing of this war – a cocktail of distortion, lies and forgeries – as shown by former secret service agent Ray McGovern, American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh and best-selling author John MacArthur.
MacArthur, for instance, tells of how the amazing image of an Iraqi man climbing the huge statue of Saddam Hussein in central Bagdad at the end of the war and throwing an American flag over the head of the dictator, was actually a carefully staged publicity stunt dreamed up by an advertising agency in the US. 'I think the Rendon group advised the Pentagon right up through the seizure or the knocking down of the statue in the central square in Bagdad … that was a set piece thought of ahead of time for the Bush re-election campaign.'
The documentary also examines the truths, lies and distortions around the assertions that Saddam Hussein was acquiring and building nuclear weapons, and the pretenses behind the Congressional authorization for the decisive new directions in American foreign and defence policy.