Debacle In Iraq
President Bush declared after the attack on Iraq: “We’re not an imperial power. We’re a liberating power.” The president maintains the rhetoric that empires throughout history have taken—wars are waged for “liberation” rather than for domination. Perhaps Bush is unaware that he was echoing British General Stanley Maude, who, after conquering Baghdad in 1917, proclaimed, “Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators.” A major revolt by Iraqis against their liberators ensued. Sound familiar? Language is important in providing legitimacy and a facade for aggression. The debacle in Iraq today is infused with the same kind of imperial doubletalk that the British used.
Naomi Klein, award-winning journalist and columnist, is the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University. She is author of The Shock Doctrine, This Changes Everything, No Is Not Enough, The Battle for Paradise and On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal. Her articles appear in The Intercept, Rolling Stone, The Nation and The Guardian, She is co-founder of the climate justice organization The Leap.