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Government propaganda used to justify wars

The Editor: Your excellent editorial “Vatican warning proved right” (PM, July 13) concludes “The Chilcot Report alerts us to beware of propaganda that continues to guide international policies even today.”

On the outbreak of the First World War, the British government set up what they called the War Propaganda Bureau, which recruited famous authors such as John Buchan and Arthur Conan Doyle to write articles and books supporting the government’s conduct of the war. Governments today know better than to use the word “propaganda” and utilize far more sophisticated methods to justify war and military aggression.

Bush and Blair launched a disastrous war on Iraq and sold that war by lying to the public via mass media. What was encouraging, however, was that millions of people throughout the world, including here in Saskatchewan, took to the streets to show their rejection of what First World War soldier Wilfrid Owen called “The Old Lie.” There’s hope for us yet. — Michael Murphy, Saskatoon