Media Manipulates the "End" of the War in Iraq

Originally published at Truthout.

Just as the media lied to help us get into a war, they are now lying us out of one.

In the introduction to season five of HBO's critically acclaimed series, "The Wire," Det. Bunk Moreland and fellow murder investigators laughed as they duped a hapless, young street gangster into confessing to a murder by pretending a copy machine was a polygraph test. "The bigger the lie, the more they believe," he said.

The statement reflects the political dialogue in this country perfectly over the last month, ever since Barack Obama touted the troop drawdown in Iraq in an August 2 speech in Atlanta and leading up to tonight's Oval Address celebrating the "end of combat operations in Iraq." The president, the DC establishment and the media have been perpetuating a lie on a massive scale: the war in Iraq is now over, they claim.

But this is patently misleading, as Andrew Bacevich, of Boston University noted in a recent essay. "For the rest of us to pretend that this unnecessary and ill-advised war has ended would only add one more lie to a pile that is already too large," Bacevich said, noting that internal strife between sects, an increasingly defiant Kurdistan and recent attacks in Baghdad, prove that the war in Iraq is by no means over.

Sadly, it is not merely the president and others who have a political motive for perpetuating the myth that the United States has ended out national nightmare in Iraq. More troubling has been the performance of the mainstream media, which, in print and on television, have been witting pawns in this massive deception, reporting on the war as if it were truly over, celebrating this historical moment and ignoring crucial details, as they mislead the American public about the nature of the US role in Iraq. The woeful media performance is just the latest of what has been an especially regrettable eight years of media coverage of Iraq

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