Weapons of Mass Deception: As Others See Us

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"As Others See Us" is the title of chapter seven of the book, Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq.

Key points

  • Bush spent taxpayer money to stage a photo-op to mark the closing of the Iraq War.
  • It wasn't until the war was over that U.S. coverage of the war on terrorism included images of Iraqis dying. Some of the media have received complaints from viewers that the images were too graphic.
  • The Bush administration and the Pentagon were slow to report they had used cluster bombs, controversial weapons that fall indiscriminately and don't explode completely leaving some active explosives littered about the bomb site, much like landmines.
  • Over 100 countries have signed a treaty banning cluster bombs. The United States refused to sign the treaty.
  • Al Jazeera, an Arab network, received three times the traffic to its website during the war.
  • Americans saw a much different war than the rest of the world.


  1. Isn't the media's job to show us what is happening in our world, rather than offering up to us what we want to see?
  2. The Arab coverage of the Iraq War was just as polarized as it was in the United States. Is one side more biased than the other?
  3. Since Americans saw a different war than those outside the U.S., how might this effect the understanding Americans have regarding international opinion of the Iraq war and U.S. foreign policy? How might Americans' perceptions of the war and the world shape their political decisions?
  4. Americans are, generally speaking, less informed about other countries than they are informed about us. Is this potentially damaging for America?
  5. Knowing what we know now about Iraq's non-existent stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein's non-existent ties with the 9/11 hijackers, did the U.S. make the right choice when it invaded Iraq? Has this made the U.S. safer? Are there fewer terrorists?


  1. Compare news stories from major American newspapers (i.e. the [[[New York Times]], Washington Post. Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times) and English-language newspapers published outside the U.S. (i.e. Guardian, London, UK; Globe and Mail, Toronto, Canada; Straits Times, Singapore; Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon; Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia) that are reporting on the same event. How are the stories similar? How are they different?
  2. Learn about the human rights situation in Iraq and in other parts of the world. How many Iraq civilians have been wounded by Coalition forces? What were the living conditions in Iraq like before the U.S. invasion? Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator. Are there other countries in the world run by brutal dictators? What other countries have high levels of human rights violations? What is the U.S. doing about these other countries?