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 professor in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia, the founding co-director of UBC’s Centre for Climate Justice, and Honorary Professor of Media and Climate at Rutgers University. Her writing has appeared in leading publications around the world, and she is a columnist for The Guardian. The New York Times says, “She is that nearly extinct breed of activist: one who never stops questioning orthodoxies and interrogating her own beliefs.” She is the award-winning author of such bestsellers as This Changes Everything, The Shock Doctrine, No Logo, No Is Not Enough, and On Fire. Her latest book is the highly acclaimed Doppelganger.