How I Was Blacklisted at CNN, and How Easily America Goes to War Now

It was about two years ago to the day I was blacklisted at CNN.

I don’t want to remind them they were sadly wrong, but they were. So write this off however you prefer, but understand that we were lied to again to drag us again into an open-ended war in Iraq-Syria. Last time it was Bush and those missing Weapons of Mass Destruction. This time is was Obama and saving the Yazidi people from genocide.

Wait, what? Who are the Yazidis? How they get us back into Iraq?

Ah, how fast time flies.

Two years ago a group of Yazidis, a minority spread across Iran, Iraq and Turkey, were being threatened by a group called ISIS few American were focused on. Obama declared a genocide was about to happen, and the U.S. had to act. US officials said they believed that some type of ground force would be necessary to secure the safety of the stranded members of the Yazidi group. The military drew up plans for limited airstrikes and the deployment of 150 ground troops.

No Congressional authorization was sought, no attempt was made to secure UN sanction, no effort was made to seek Iraqi military help to save their own people inside their own country. However, promises were made by the White House of having no American “boots on the ground” and that the airstrikes to kill people were for a humanitarian purpose.

Two years later the US has some 6,000 troops on the ground, including artillery units and aircraft based inside Iraq and Syria. The limited airstrikes have expanded to a 24 month broad-based bombing campaign, which has spread into Syria, with the sideshows of complete collapse of democracy in Turkey, a Russian military presence in Syria, and an Iranian military presence in Iraq. For the record, the Yazidis are pretty much fine, as are ISIS and Syrian president Assad. The Yazadis do occasionally show up in fear-mongering, unsourced stories about ISIS sex slaves, usually spoon-fed to American media, and only American media, by pro-Yazidi ethnic groups safely in the west.

In fact, other than a massive regional death toll and no progress toward whatever the actual goal for the United States is (um, whatever, “destroy” ISIS), things are pretty much the same after two years, +chaos. And whomever is elected this November will be the fifth US president to make war in Iraq.

Back to CNN.

As the Yazidi situation was unfolding, I was invited to tape a discussion there alongside the usual retired US military colonel. I was asked a single question, explained in my answer that the US was in fact using the Yazidi “humanitarian crisis/faux genocide” as an excuse to re-enter the Iraq quagmire, and equated it to George W. Bush’s flim-flam about weapons of mass destruction in 2003.

The host literally said I was wrong. I was not asked another question, though the colonel was given several minutes to explain the urgency of the situation, demand America act where no one else would, and assure the public that Obama planned only limited, surgical strikes and that was it, one and done.

My question was edited out, the colonel’s lengthy answer was played on air, and my very brief moment in the glow of CNN was ended even though I wore a nice suit and a tie. Oh well, we still have each other here, and hey, CNN, my number’s still the same if you wanna call.

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent. Reprinted from the his blog with permission.

9 thoughts on “How I Was Blacklisted at CNN, and How Easily America Goes to War Now”

  1. Most news especially news involving our foreign policy overseas is probably written by the CIA/State Dept or whatever communication dept of the govt. which is then spewed by the de facto state media like CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC/CBS/NBC, etc.

      1. Also LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, and all the local networks who just parrot what the others say.

    1. Of course. From their point of the view, they wouldn’t be doing their job if they weren’t infiltrating the media. And that’s all you need to know. Of course, it falls on the media not vet that but today that’s laughable.

  2. Can you tell us who manufactured this story ? What was the story ?
    Back then IS did capture a lot of Indian nurses and workers They let them go without hurting anybody . Story could not get polluted by CNN or NPR or PBS because Indian government flew all back
    I was wondering back then why ISIS an avowed India hater ,,anti Chrsitian anti-Hindu showed a different set of behavior

  3. What’s insane is that the “journalists” covering foreign affairs feel proud for propping up the latest selective moral outrage over a half-truth (side A in this war suffered civilian casualties—when all sides do) or an untruth (perpetrators of sarin gas attack). They think they’re doing the hard, ethical work of prodding for the right sort of action (to attack one side, and privilege another).

    When nothing could be easier.

  4. Sorry guy, there was a confirmed Iranian military influence in Iraq long before bush was elected.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand the Middle East doesn’t understand that every terrorist group is made up of the same people, often using different names, both personally and for the group, is terribly behind the times.

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