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Thu Jan 9, 2020, 07:03 PM

A short history of phony excuses for going to war

On February 15th, 1898, the USS Maine blew up in the Havana Harbor in Cuba, killing 264 American sailors. The cause of the explosion is still unknown, but the public cried for vengeance against the Spanish. Egged on by yellow journalists, the fake news of their time, President McKinley started the Spanish-American War.

On August 2nd, 1964, the Maddox warship in the Gulf of Tonkin was said to have been fired on by the North Vietnamese. The ship was barely hit and there were no casualties. Two days later, President Johnson claimed that the North Vietnamese had attacked another two destroyers with torpedoes. This was used as justification to send soldiers into Vietnam. It was later confirmed that the attacks on the 4th never happened, and that the August 2nd attack had occurred because the Maddox had fired warning shots.

After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration claimed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that he was planning to use them against the US. Colin Powell announced these claims to the UN. This was used as justification to invade Iraq, which destabilized the region, led to the deaths of 4,500 American soldiers, over 600,000 Iraqis, and led to the formation of ISIS. The WMDs were never found, and Colin Powell later admitted his intelligence was inaccurate.

Just a little history to remember in these uncertain times.

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