Monday, May 28, 2007

Guilty Men (and Women)

Haifa Zangana has a hard-hitting piece in today's Guardian on the responsibility of members of the Labour Party for the Iraq war. She claims the 'entire' Labour Party is to blame: I would excuse honourable MPs like Bob Wareing, Jeremy Corbyn, and John McDonnell who consistently opposed the conflict. But there's one other group of guilty people who Zanagan should really have mentioned: journalists. The role played by pro-war journalists, in
manipulating public opinion in favour of the illegal conflict should never be forgotten. The journalists who faithfully parroted the propaganda of the US/UK governments have blood on their hands. Lots of it. Yet, despite the human catastrophe that their propaganda has caused, the self-same hacks continue to pump out their pro-war, imperialist poison as if nothing has happened. Nick Cohen holds court at the Hay Book Festival, flogging copies of his latest pamphlet. Melanie Phillips writes articles on how Iraqi WMD have been moved to Syria. Stephen Pollard and Daniel Finkelstein try all they can to get public support for a pre-emptive strike on Iran. Niall Ferguson and 'Neo' Con Coughlin indulge in Russian bear-baiting.
Bush and Blair would never have got their war if journalists like Cohen, Phillips, Finkelstein, Pollard, Coughlin, Ferguson et al had not been so eager to parrot the official propaganda. So yes, many members of the Labour Party are to blame for the bloodfest. But so too are the morally bankrupt lap-top bombadiers who willed it on.


John said...

Thanks for this considred piece Neil.

I think there needs to be a more detailed study of how Government and elements within the media sought to create an almost jingoistic assault on the psyche of our society to engender support for the war.

It is remarkable however how the large mass of our community were not fooled and how great the opposition was outside of Parliament.

A key issue is how Members of Parliament and Ministers on this and so many other issues cut themselves off from and remain unaccountable to our society.

Best wishes,


McDonnell MP

Patzer said...

An interesting piece, indeed. Have you seen this hard-hitting documentary by the US journalist Bill Moyers, available at

which covers the role the American press had in selling the war.