Gareth Porter comes back on the show to respond to claims that he’s an apologist for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. In explaining his 1975 book, Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution, he identifies a dangerous trend surrounding American wars abroad, which he himself fell victim to: The propaganda from U.S. war planners is often so egregious that dissenters are inclined to take precisely the opposite position, even when that position is also wrong. Scott cites the example of claiming Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the war crimes he did in fact commit, simply because the Bush Jr. administration painted him as almost comically threatening in order to justify the invasion of Iraq. Although Porter admits he got it wrong in Cambodia, the experience has made him a much more careful journalist since then, striving always to understand and take seriously every major argument on all sides of an important issue.
Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on the national security state, and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter and listen to Gareth’s previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show.
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Scott Horton has done over 5,400 interviews with military leaders, whistleblowers, and investigative journalists. Avoid being part of the mob that calls for innocent blood by learning from foreign-policy experts, and spread the message of peace to others.