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 is a senior correspondent at The Intercept and Professor of Climate Justice at the University of British Columbia. She was the inaugural Gloria Steinem endowed chair of media, culture and feminist studies at Rutgers University until September 2021. She is an award-winning journalist and author of many books including: How to Change Everything, On Fire: The Burning Case for A Green New Deal, No Is Not Enough, This Changes Everything, The Shock Doctrine, and No Logo. In addition to The Intercept her articles appear in The Guardian, Rolling Stone and The Nation.