The Best War Ever
Lies, Damned Lies and the Mess in Iraq
by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber
U.S. publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin
Bookstore price: $11.95 U.S.
The Best War Ever will be released on September 14th. You may pre-order it now at Amazon.com
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"They told us so. The first authors to expose the blatant deceptions that got us into the Iraq War now reveal how the same lies have led us toward defeat."
Here is a vital account of what transpires when a government believes its own deceptions and the news media fails to challenge them. The Best War Ever is about a conflict that was devised in fantasy and lost in delusion. It highlights the futility of lying to oneself and others in matters of life and death. And it offers lessons to the current generation so that, at least in our time, this never happens again.
The war in Iraq may be remembered as the point at which the propaganda model perfected in the twentieth century stopped working: The world is too complex, information is too plentiful, and – as events in Iraq reveal – propaganda makes bad policy.
As Rampton and Stauber illustrate, the White House seems to have fooled no one as much as itself in the march toward a needless war in Iraq. As the authors argue, one of the most tragic consequences of the Bush administration’s reliance on propaganda is its disdain for realistic planning. Repeatedly, when faced with predictions of problems, policymakers dismissed the warnings of Iraq experts, choosing instead to promulgate their own version of the war through conservative media outlets and PR campaigns.
Even now that public opinion is turning against the war, the Bush administration and its allies continue their attempts at cover-ups: downplaying civilian deaths and military injuries, to the extent of keeping injured soldiers and their families out of the news; employing marketing buzzwords like “victory” again and again to shore up public opinion; and failed attempts, through third-party PR firms, at creating phony news.
Now that even US generals agree that war critics were right in the first place, Rampton and Stauber show us how to wake up and not be misled again.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION: The Innocents Abroad...1
CHAPTER 1: The Victory of Spin...9
CHAPTER 2: The Plame Game...35
CHAPTER 3: Big Impact...65
CHAPTER 4: Our Man in Baghdad...97
CHAPTER 5: Rewriting History...133
CHAPTER 6: Not Counting the Dead...159
CHAPTER 7: The Mirage of Victory...189