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Weapons of Mass Distraction / Chris Toensing

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Americans do appreciate the UN. Yet we saw in the immediate lead up to the war in the last two weeks the Bush Administration's final marketing strategy was to portray Bush as sort of a weary adult throwing up his hands in exasperation because he'd been unable to chaperone his recalcitrant teenage wards into the position that was for their own good, speaking of the security Council. And Americans seem to have, have bought that. Polls show that they seem to feel that the United States exhausted diplomatic alternatives and did everything it could to avoid resorting to military option that was not sanctioned by the relevant international body. And, and so we have this schizophrenia in American public opinion which ultimately can only be addressed through long-term public education both about, the potential value of international institutions and about the American history of flouting them.

Today's episode takes us into the archives 20 years ago to the day. Less than a week after the United States military invaded Iraq, Middle East Report editor Chris Toensing spoke with Chuck about the narrative being spun at the time to frame the invasion as a preemptive defensive measure to remove an imminent threat to the United States. Little did Chris and Chuck know at the time just how much water the media would carry for the Bush administration and the imperialists at the Project for the New American Century.

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Chris toensing

Chris Toensing

 Chris Toensing joined International Crisis Group as Senior Editor in 2018. Based in Washington, DC, he has an expertise in contemporary Middle East affairs, with a focus on Egypt, Israel-Palestine and Iraq, and U.S. policy toward the region. He was the editor of Middle East Report from 2000-2017.

International Crisis Group