As we talked about when we worked with Gasland it is a course aim that you should be able to find information and be able to question the credibility and reliability of different sources. I just wanted to return to this topic again and at the same time let you have a look at two important historical events in the United States. Both events really makes you question to which extent you can trust what politicians say.
History is filled with lies and deceit. Falsehoods are often a necessary ingredient in the world of politics, it seems.
The first event is the Tonkin Bay Incident, which started the Vietnam War. The initial story about what happened at Tonkin Bay was later questioned and some said that the politicians lied to further their own ends.
The Tonkin Bay incident resulted in the Tonkin Bay resolution, which gave the president (Lyndon Baines Johnson power to go to war in Vietnam.)
The second event is the Iraq War and the whole controversy surrounding the so-called ”smoking gun”. UN’s weapons inspectors had not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but Colin Powell claimed they had a thick intelligence file that showed that the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction (WMD). His argument in the UN made most people think that the US was in the right: that Iraq still had WMDs.
Here is his speech at the UN. Do you get the impression that the US had proof of WMDs? Why? Post as a comment.
(The different perspectives on the issues is presented and mixed into one in the wiki about this subject. Also former vice-prime minister of Sweden Per Ahlmark wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the head of the weapons inspectors (a Swede called Hans Blix) was incompetent and weak. [Per Ahlmark’s criticism of UN’s weapons inspector Hans Blix.]
What do you think you can do to avoid being deceived in a world where both companies and politicians can lie? Post as a comment.
The Second World War started with a false flag operation. What is a false flag operation? (How did the war start?). Post as a comment.
The Vietnam War is often described as a US defeat. Noam Chomsky who was one of its earliest critics has a completely different take on it. Read: https://chomsky.info/unclesam07/
What does he say? Do you think he is right?