There are lots of misconceptions floating around:
- Apparently a large portion of Americans believe Saddam Hussein assisted the 9/11 WTC attack, even though there's no evidence of this and not even the Bush administration is claiming it.
- Saddam's successor placed by the US will probably be just as bad (e.g. one is General Nizar Al-Khazraji, alleged to have carried out the gassing of Kurds for which Saddam is so frequently denounced), yet many people think this war will help liberate the Iraq people. At least most people realize we used to support Saddam; given our long history of supporting such dictators, why should we expect this time to turn out differently?
- Many think the war wouldn't really hurt many Iraq civilians, yet the war planners freely admit their plans for "shock and awe" tactics (targeting civilian and military targets indiscriminately with massive bombardment of Baghdad) to turn Bagdhad into the next Hiroshima, and that nukes have not been ruled out.
- Many people seem to not notice that reporters report Bush's and Powell's claims as truth, nor is it widely noticed when many of these claims are independently tested and found to be false.
- On a more philosophical note, many people seem to think war opponents are unpatriotic and hate the US. On the contrary, in a democracy, citizens are obliged to voice their concerns. I believe the war will hurt the US in many ways and that it is simply wrong. This doesn't make me unpatriotic. Patriotism and love don't mean unquestioning support no matter what. If you think that war opponents are unpatriotic, consider that there is surely some other US policy or law which you oppose -- does that make you unpatriotic? It's only natural for citizens to want to improve their country and keep it from making mistakes.
Our War on Terrorism is leading us into a destructive war, not to mention various cases of mistreatment of foreign travellers in the US and other little-publicized restrictions on civil liberties (e.g. the dubiously-named PATRIOT act).
This is of course just a tiny fraction of interesting sites, the ones I happen to enjoy the most. There are zillions of sites out there with information that is hard to find in mainstream news media. Google is of course very handy for researching specific subjects like
Guernica getting covered during Powell's speech,
"shock and awe" etc.
FAIR is a media watchgroup criticizing bias, inaccuracies and omissions in news stories, e.g. widely repeated current media claims that Iraq kicked out UN inspectors in 1998, which contradict the same media's reports in 1998 and failing to report a key Iraqi defector's statement that weapons had been destroyed.
Common Dreams has lots of essays and articles.
MoveOn.org has news and activist alerts.
Austin Against War has lots of links.
truthout has news and editorials.
My blog has an entry with lots of ideas and links.
My favorite political cartoonist/essayists: This Modern World, Ted Rall. Also see the comics/journalism books of Joe Sacco.
It's good to remember in the current Iraq crisis that we have a history of getting into wars based on false information or outright lies.
Many of the current administration's claims look suspicious as well, e.g. Powell's UN speech.