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The Aftermath of Misinformation

Free Research EssaysLife daily brings new discoveries. These discoveries are then respectively shared with large scales of people. Acquisition of this knowledge, in its turn, elicits certain actions and reactions of the public. Like everything else, this happens on both a small as well as a large scale. Therefore, the effects bear the same magnitude as the scale of the information. However, there are other major factors than the discoveries themselves. These include accuracy of the information derived from such discoveries. At its worst, it is important to look into the dangers, atrocities as well as the aftermath of misinformation.

Misinformation is acquisition and transfer of wrong information. This information is not necessarily entirely wrong. Some parts could be wrong or some of the parts could lack the accuracy that is required in the conveyance of the same. As mentioned above, conveyance of information to a person, or a group of people definitely triggers an action. Therefore, conveyance of false or inaccurate information can lead to misactions. At a large scale, misinformation can have really devastating aftermaths burying the people involved in deep shame and regret for the actions that they have committed. This leaves a lot of people to take the blame, as long as they were involved in commitment of the actions in question. However, there is always one major party to take most of the blame: the party that was involved in conveyance of false or inaccurate information.

Colin Powell UN Speech and the Fallout Afterwards

On February 5, 2003, the Secretary of State, Colin Powell delivered a speech to the U.N. Security Council. It was at these times when there were uncertainties on the events that were going on in the Arab world and countries. Numerous suspicions were voiced that Iraq was engaged in manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction. However, these were just suspicions not supported by any certain facts. Sadam Hussein, the then president of Iraq, seemed to be extremely rebellious to the activities that were being carried out by the US, as well as the UN. At these times, the U.N had authorized the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This meant that they had to search and get hard evidence concerning these weapons. However, the proof was not found. As it is clearly known, the US is a super power state that has a say in the UN. Therefore, their view was important in the decisions that would be made on Iraq. That is why the speech that was made by Colin Powell has lived to be remembered and triggered a definite action that could not be resisted by anyone. He had gone a long way to prove that, indeed, the UN had weapons of mass destruction manufactured.

Powell’s speech on the evidence that they held against Iraq was not based on hard evidence. They had not found materials that were suspected to be used manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. Instead, they made use of false assumptions from small evidences collected. The first evidence provided by Powell was that of intercepted telephone conversations. In this part of the evidence, Powell played some films for airing of the telephone conversations that they had managed to intercept. One of the conversations intercepted was between the senior military officers in Iraq. Moreover, this telephone conversation was extremely hard for the average person to interpret. Powell himself also declared that they were hard for him to interpret. Therefore, experts and analysts were engaged to interpret this information. However, most of the people found those interpretations to be vague and slanted. The military officers were talking about concealing something. Most of the highly ranked officers of nations have secrets to keep and not necessarily against the UN. Yet, they seemed to interpret this as the evidence that Iraq was concealing weapons of mass destruction. This fact was a major contributor to the decisions that followed.

The next piece of evidence presented, were satellite photos. These photos were also not clear. Some of them had been stretched so they seemed to be giving false impressions. Despite the fact that these photos were taken from a distinguished distance, Powell still used them as the evidence. Therefore, all pieces of evidence presented did not meet the standards that could be required to launch an attack on Iraq. Nevertheless, reputation of Powell enabled him to influence the UN authorities decision making process. Powell claimed that the US had more evidence against Iraq. However, he claimed that the information was highly classified. Therefore, he could not disclose the information directly. This allows an obvious conclusion to be made: since Powell was seeking to incriminate Iraq, the pieces of evidence he had presented were the most credible among others he had. Despite lack of validity, these pieces of evidence caused doubts, in the minds of average citizens. This proves that these were just pieces of evidence that should have been used as a start to proper investigation of the matter. It would have been right for Powell to wait for the results of the work carried by the inspectors in Iraq to prove the evidences he presented. Misinformation was not the only wrong deed that was committed by Powell and the United States. Despite the fact that they had no clear and hard evidence, they did not give the UN a chance to decide on the action that should have been taken. In short, Powell forced UN to bend its decision towards the wishes and desires of Washington. The right thing for the US should have been to present their evidence to the UN and let them decide whether they would authorize an attack on Iraq. However, instead of taking this logical course of action, Powell challenged the relevance of the UN. The UN is a union of nations. Therefore, decisions made by the UN are a result of unanimous decisions between the member states. However, when Powell challenged their relevance, the UN was inclined to bend to their appeals. Actions, undertaken by the US towards the UN, show that they wanted authorization, to indulge in the attack on Iraq. Given the green light, the US did not hesitate to launch an attack.

Invasion of Iraq began six weeks after Powell had conveyed his information to the UN. The mission slowly turned from what it was to a war that seemed to have no end. About 19 months after his speech, Powell declared that they were unlikely to find any stockpiles in Iraq. However, this was not enough to stop the war. The invasion of Iraq still continued with the thorough search for Sadam. Bombs and gun fires were the order of the day in Iraq. Most of the citizens lived in fear. A lot of soldiers lost their lives. However, most of these were Iraqi soldiers, since the US, as more developed state, employed more technologies. Advancement of the US secured them the mandate of dealing with Iraq. Otherwise, it could have been left for an association between several nations. However, this could have been more understandable. Otherwise, the indulgence of America alone in the war brought some more suspicions to light. The conflict looked like a personal battle between two nations.

Discoveries Of Needless Deaths And Misinformation

As the time went by, people continued to become more and more suspicious. Most of the people expected that these weapons of mass destruction could be found. Members of the UN as well as members of Intelligence in the US were involved with the continuous search of the weapons in question. This took place for the longest time that could be imagined. One would argue that the people in power were the ones helping to conceal these weapons of mass destruction. However, the war touched even the highest people in power resulting in murder of Sadam Hussein and capture of most of the senior officers in Iraq. Therefore, if there was any chance of hiding these weapons of mass destruction, it had completely been eliminated. This factor contributed to dissatisfaction of the society, since meaningless violence continued even after failure to find the weapons. Therefore, people might tend to think that the actions that took place should be forgotten, however, this cannot be the case. The conflict brought too serious outcomes, leaving those deeply wounded and those having great interest in the quest to find out what was going on at the time of the decision making and why did the US decide to carry out such act?

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At the time Powell made his speech, he claimed that Iraq had a stockpile of approximately 100 to 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. This specific accusation made most of the people involved to believe the allegations. The matter of the fact is that there was no solid evidence. There is no way that some vague photographs and phone conversations could act as a proof that a nation had a certain amount of chemical weapons agents. It was a huge wonder why such information, which was totally misleading, could be released to the people, especially by a person with high status in the US. After the war had already been launched, Powell made another speech in 2004. In this speech, he claimed and concluded that there was no likelihood of finding any stockpiles in Iraq. Such contrast could be explained by the fact that Powell began to realize that he could have made one of the biggest mistakes for his country and to the entire human race. The second speech startled the society as it began to realize that all the killings and fights in Iraq had been based on this single speech. The speech had also caused a wave of new murders of soldiers and civilians in Iraq. At the same time, the man causing it was busy doubting himself, his words and his facts. After the doubts started to manifest themselves, there was only one thing that the average person could have thought to be right. The troops in Iraq should have been ordered to immediate withdrawal.

When Sadam Hussein was captured on December 13th, 2003, the society seemed to be pleased including some the Iraqi people as well, because Saddam regime could be classified as a dictatorship. However, the capture of Sadam Hussein, which took about eight month, led to numerous deaths of those alleged to be engaged in production of the weapons of mass destruction. As evident, the dictatorship of Sadam was not the main cause of the attack on Iraq, as well as possession of weapons of mass destruction. Thus, the real reasons as to why the US was seeking authorization from the UN to launch an attack on Iraq remain concealed. From this perspective, the only satisfaction the US would have given to the onlookers, as well as the people who were affected by the war, was the discovery of the weapons of mass destruction. However, this is something that the people have been waiting for all these years. The astonishing thing is that they have never been discovered.

This issue has been carefully examined by most of the involved experts; and most of them have come to the same conclusions. The real cause of the war in Iraq was not due to the alleged reasons. Instead, there were other factors that instigated it. Some of these factors include personal relationship between the US and Iraq. It is evident that the two states were not in reasonably good relations at that particular time. Iraq allegedly had a product that the US required and the issue had never found settlement by peaceful means. The other reason of invasion was that the US was in great fear to be attacked. With everything that was going on between the two states, the US feared that they would be attacked by Iraq. This made the people in power to be paranoid. At the same time, exerts blame the war on the presidential momentum. This means that the most rational solution that the president could have found was to go for a war. Even in the instances where democratic ways could have seemed to be the best ones to solve the existing disputes, the president would have still resolved to be involved in war.

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As mentioned above, most analysts conclude that the presidential momentum for war was the major factor that instigated the conflict. However, the US could not have attacked Iraq without consent, aid and agreement with the UN. This brings another devastating factor into the equation. The UN is a body that comprises of numerous member states. Therefore, it is a body that should be concerned with the well being of all the nations. Therefore, the interest of one nation should not be used in influencing the decisions made. Revelations and transparency in decision making process is a vital factor that must always be put into consideration. Therefore, it is clear that the US used the United Nations to gain favor in to attack Afghanistan. If the US attacked the Afghans without the consent of the UN, it would have been termed to be unlawful. Most of the organizations in support of the UN, as well as humanitarian organizations would have been against it. As a result, the US would have reduced support from the world. In fact, it would result to an increase in the number of the US enemies and the state could not accept or allow this. Therefore, they had to use the UN, in order to gain the support of most of other nations. The results of those actions are now starting to reveal themselves. The people who are long gone from power are to blame for the unlawful attack. Partially, the UN also takes the blame for the atrocities that occurred for becoming prone to the schemes that had been carefully planned and prepared. It is expected that the UN should be a strong and unwavering body that exhibits stability in every aspect.

Eventually, it is vital to discuss what might happen to the people who caused atrocities that can now be termed to have been unnecessary. Clearly, there should be someone who should answer and pay for the massive loss of lives that occurred in Afghanistan. This implies a legal system to deal with the issue from its roots has to be settled. However, the task seems to be almost impossible, since the parties at stake involve powerful people who are not motivated to reveal the real reasons of their actions. These include the US, as well as the UN who were involved in the discussion and decision to authorize the attack. Therefore, it is possible that there could be no one to pay for the bloodshed that occurred. Though, there must have been another democratic way to handle the issue, those in power decided that war and killings were the only option. Clearly, the reason as to why Iraq was attacked is totally different from the one stated by Powell in his speech. It is clear, that misinformation leading to such atrocities can never be forgotten and the people who instigated the conflict will always feel sorry for their acts. They must be filled with regret and remorse for all the innocent people that lost their lives in the attack on Afghanistan. However, the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq should act as lessons to the whole world. Any information before being communicated has to be verified. This mainly applies to sensitive information. The above example also acts as a lesson to the people that receive information, implying that before undertaking any action based on the information received, it is always vital to have a second thought and carry out more investigations of the matter.


The above essay serves as an example of a scenario where misinformation caused regrettable actions and atrocities that may hardly be forgotten. The evidence on Iraq presented by Powell certainly lacked verification. Influential position of Powel coupled with lack of credible information and personal reasons led to disastrous outcomes. By the time of action, the truth did not matter to the people involved. They just had to engage themselves in decisive action. In turn, numerous people had to die and pay for crimes that they had never committed. This planted a seed of hatred between the two nations which is evident to the present day. Years later, people are eager to find out why the course that had been taken was the extreme opposite of what should have happened. This also raises questions on the people who were in power and transfers the blame to the sources of misinformation as well as deepens the scars of those affected by the war.

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