Author Archive

Colin Powell claims Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction in front of the UN in 2003

John Mearsheimer, the University of Chicago politcal scientist who also wrote ‘The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy’ is set to come out with a new book in January titled: “Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics.” According to the book’s description “Mearsheimer provides the first systematic analysis of lying as a tool of statecraft, identifying the varieties, the reasons, and the potential costs and benefits.’Why Leaders Lie’ has not been released yet, but you can preview some of it on google books. I quickly focused in on his discussion of lying and the run up to the Iraq war.

Mearshimer notes several lies the Bush administration told the public. First, that Rumsfeld said there was evidence Saddam Hussein was allied with Osama Bin Laden. Second, that the U.S told the world Iraq had WMDs. Third, that Bush claimed war with Iraq was a last option. According to Mearsheimer, going to the UN in September 2002 was only a diplomatic cover.

Mearsheimer makes an interesting point about why politicians sometimes resort to fearmongering and lies. He notes that countries “might be prone to paralysis and thus unable to respond in a timely manner to a serious threat” and “Leaders will have powerful incentives to fearmonger when the governmental machinery is sclertoic, because rousing the people might be the only way to force the political system into action” (57).

Mearsheimer says that the situation surrounding the Iraq war reinforces his central claim. Leaders are more likely to lie to their own countries than to other states.  Mearsheimer is thus unsurprised that Saddam Hussein didn’t lie to other countries about  possessing WMD’s and that the Bush administration did lie to the American public.

Although only a few excerpts of the book are available it looks like a book to watch out for in the new year.

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From ABC – “In his first interview since the latest WikiLeaks document dump, General David Petraeus brushed aside reports that Afghanistan’s former Vice President left the country with $52 million in cash. And he denied rumors that he threatened to resign after Afghan President Karzai criticized his battle tactics in a Washington Post interview.”

Read more on the interview at ABC News.

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Skateistan is an Afghan NGO which according to their website “engages growing numbers of urban and internally-displaced youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding, and provides them with new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment.”

The co-educational school and skateboarding program based in Kabul is the project of Australian Oliver Percovich. Skateistan hopes to provide education and leadership skills to Afghan youth and introduce skateboarding to the region.

Check out this short documentary to learn about Skateistan.


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