Book raises ethical questions

Campus Times
April 4, 2003

by Jaclyn Roco
Editor in Chief

I recently learned something very disturbing, and I doubt that any of you reading this would not feel the same way.

In one of my classes I was required to read an excerpt from a book called "The Persian Gulf TV War," by Douglas Kellner.

I began the task and was immediately flooded with feelings of "shock and awe."

The part of the book I read centered on the fact that the whole first Persian Gulf War was based on a lie, or more correctly a bunch of lies.

Like father, like son, George Bush Senior used scare tactics to make America believe that we should go to war.

Apparently Bush and the Kuwaiti people hired the public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton to create a propaganda campaign to manipulate the American people.

The book claimed that this 1991 campaign had cost around $5.6 million from August to November, with the account totalling $11 million.

But it is not these stunning figures that I found vastly disturbing

Rather it was the fact that Bush Senior faked the reasoning he had to go to war in the first place.

In October 1990, a teenage girl hired by the PR firm, testified that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers removing babies from incubators and leaving them to die.

After this shocking revelation, Bush Senior was able to play on Americans' sympathies and moved further along the way to garnering support for his war.

However, two years later a writer by the name of John MacArthur revealed that the female witness was in actuality the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States.

In 1992, a dentist admitted that he had also lied for Bush's war campaign, saying that he had no way of knowing if the babies he had supposedly examined had died from being taken from the incubators, although this had been his reasoning to begin with.

(Yea, really. How is a dentist supposed to know that sort of thing?)

Anyway, there is much more revealed, and keep in mind that this is only an excerpt from the book.

(How many more secrets does the Bush family have up its sleeves, I wonder?)

The point is, however, that I hate liars, and so Bush Senior and Junior ­ I use the senior and junior as way of distinguishing between the two ­ have a lot to answer for their public.

I have no way of knowing how horrible Saddam Hussein is.

With all the atrocities going on, how is it that we are supposed to believe everything our President is saying, especially considering what was mentioned earlier in this column?

For all I know George W. Bush may be as much of a liar as his father was.

He raves about how horrible Hussein is. He raves about how much the Iraqi people are suffering, and although I admit that I am leaning toward Bush's reasoning, a fair person must first see to believe.

I have always tried to stay loyal to my President's cause, no matter who he was.

Yet I feel hurt that I cannot seem to trust my President due to the mistakes of his father.

How dare the former president call Hussein a dictator without looking at himself and asking if there was a fair chance that he too had become one?

And still as my spinning thoughts go out of control, I also have to admit that I have a few doubts about some of what I read in this book.

How do I know that the book is factual, despite the fact that the author researched the subject well and cited reports from the New York Times and ABC's "20/20"? How do I know that this author does not have an actual agenda against the Bush family?

Okay, well maybe I'm more inclined to believe a well-researched piece, than the go-ahead attitude of both Bushes.

However, I still feel some at least some loyalties toward my country. And if this war has to go on, then I pray fervently that my President has not relied on lies to get his way.

Jaclyn Roco, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at