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‘Yellow journalism’ wins again

The ongoing US media attempts to go to war in Syria have been stepped up in recent weeks with claims that the Syrian government has been using chemical weapons, something we have all heard before over decades of US imperialism and its ongoing love affair with war and all things military.

Yet history has shown the US will use any method and tell any lies to advance its position in global affairs.

In 1898 the US administration used the pretext of the mysterious sinking of the USS Maine to declare war on Spain. The US public were baying for war due to the spread of lies that Spanish forces were raping women in Cuba and news exacerbated by the “yellow journalism” and the famous quip at the time by William–Randolph Hearst that “you furnace the pictures and I will furnace the war”. Some years later it was disclosed that the USS Maine sank due to a fire in its coal bunker, but that was soon forgotten about.

America’s involvement in the First World War was again started based on fallacy after the a German U-Boat sank the RMS Lusitania in 1915 with the loss of 1,198 people. The sinking could not have come at a better time for the British and US forces. The British first Lord of Admiralty Winston Churchill had written to the UK board of Trade some weeks earlier and declared “it was most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores in the hopes especially of embroiling the United States with Germany”. Well, it worked, and soon after the US declared war on Germany. It was never disclosed until some years later that the Lusitania was carrying rifles and ammunition for the war effort.

One can only finish with the disgraceful behaviour of many different countries in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 on the now false pretence that Iraq was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, but in particular the actions of the British and American war machines and mass propaganda fed by a press that claims to be free and unbiased. Any good investigator would have shown then and before that Iraq had no such weapons, and that the removal of the Iraqi president was its intention from day one. So let’s all think carefully before there are any more needless deaths.

Paul Doran


Dublin 22


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