Sunday, January 23, 2011

In 1991 Americans were moved by a lie

They thought it was the truth at the time.

'By September 1990, 80 percent of Americans supported Operation Desert Shield, which belied Powell's hand-wringing about scant "popular support." Most Americans recognized the need to defend the Western world's energy security. Americans were also moved by a largely spurious $11 million P.R. campaign paid for by the Kuwaiti government and crafted by Hill & Knowlton. Its most effective piece of propaganda was a lie: that Iraqi soldiers had entered Kuwaiti hospitals, yanked newborn babies out of their incubators and dashed them on the floor before packing up the equipment for shipment to Iraq. That lie was retailed by the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S., who pretended to be a Kuwaiti nurse who had witnessed the Iraqi atrocities. In fact, she was not a nurse and had not even been in Kuwait when the Iraqis invaded. Nevertheless, senators and congressmen swallowed the story hook, line and sinker. Many of them referenced it when explaining their votes in support of the war, which was narrowly authorized by the Senate 52-47 and by the House 250-183 on January 12, 1991.'

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