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How to Create a War

by J. Orlin Grabbe

Can the Clinton administration deliver up a war now that they've decided they need one? Here are some helpful pointers.

They might try calling in Hill & Knowlton again. Back during our previous confrontation with Sadam Hussein's Iraq, both congress (the House Human Rights Caucus) and the public was subjected to the tearful "eyewitness" testimony of "Nayirah" who told of Iraqi soldiers taking babies out of incubators and leaving them on the cold floor to die. The performance was basically an update of the British propaganda story from World War I, which told of German soldiers using their bayonets as spits to roast Belgian babies.

"Nayirah", of course, later turned out to be the dutiful daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S. And Kuwait had paid Hill & Knowlton $10 million to stir up American war fever against Iraq. From Kuwait's point of view, ten million dollars was a cheap way to keep the monarchy in power. Nayirah's congressional testimony was the jewel in Hill & Knowlton's PR campaign.

And it worked because the truth didn't matter to an effete and moribund press. The news media didn't inquire into Nayirah's background, and the congress didn't ask any questions. George Bush repeated the story a dozen times in the next few days, whipping the public into an emotional frenzy, to get congressional support for the bombing of Iraq.

Surely the DNC has an extra $10 million that can be funneled over to Hill & Knowlton! It's a logical fit, when you look at the ties. In 1993, Howard Paster--formerly head of Hill & Knowlton's Washington office--became Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the White House. Lauri Fitz-Pegado, who helped manage the Nayirah gig for Hill & Knowlton, became the director of public liaison for the Clinton inauguration. Thomas Hoog, who served on the Clinton transition team, became head of the Hill & Knowlton Washington office, replacing Paster.

Create a television ad showing a scene from biblical prophecy: a lion and a lamb led by a small child. Then follow that with the "shocking truth": Kurdish babies are being used as viral incubators for Hussein's biological weapons! First they are injected with horrible man-made viruses, and then later they are ground into mincemeat and placed into the heads of Scud missiles! Surely congress will vote you a war, when they get done throwing up.

One problem though. You have to deal with our allies. France is so sick of your lying propaganda about TWA 800, they are starting their own investigation. And NATO isn't going along either. The last they checked, there weren't any Belgian babies in the Middle East.

September 2, 1996
Web Page: http://www.aci.net/kalliste/