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Mary Cardaras' first book examines genesis of the Iraq War


Mary Cardaras authors newly published "Fear, Power, and Politics: The Recipe for the War in Iraq after 9/11."

  • June 27, 2013

Mary Cardaras, assistant professor of communication at Cal State East Bay, says journalism is embedded in her DNA.

As a teenager, Cardaras was a columnist for her high school newspaper. In college she did internships for radio stations and contributed stories to news journals. She later freelanced for CNN in Boston, Atlanta and London and worked for news organizations in five major media markets during her 25 years in the industry.

“I’ve always had an interest in the world, politics and media.” Cardaras said.

The CSUEB faculty member has combined her interests in journalism and global affairs to write her first book.

Published recently by Lexington Books, “Fear, Power, and Politics: The Recipe for the War in Iraq after 9/11” offers a new perspective on the Iraq War and explains the relationship dynamic between the George W. Bush administration, the United States Congress and the American news media.

“What sparked the making of this book is that the war made no sense,” Cardaras said. The book answers such questions as: “How and why did the Iraq war begin?” and “Who was responsible?”

“From the terrorist attacks on America in 2001 to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, fear, power and politics converged,” Cardaras said.

She explained that the fear among Americans, the power of the news media and the political decisions of the executive and legislative branches created the perfect opportunity to start a war.

Cardaras is scheduled to teach a documentary film studies course at Cal State East Bay during fall quarter. In the future, she would like to teach documentary production courses and a media and government course.

“I will be helping to design the (new Cal State East Bay media) center and be a part of the huge production team that will deliver an amazing Pioneer Online, which will feature the work of some of our finest student journalists and photojournalists," Cardaras said. "There is some great work coming from the communication department.”

Cardaras is the recipient of two Emmy awards for excellence in spot news producing and feature producing and has been nominated for other honors.

Previouisly she served as vice president of the board of the Boston Living Center, an organization that serves people with HIV/AIDS. She became involved in that organization after someone close to her -- another member of the center -- died of HIV. This inspired her to not only raise money in his honor, but also help other HIV/AID victims.

Cardaras is producing the first Global Press Institute World Summit scheduled for 2014. The event was created to teach women in developing countries how to master journalism and then provide them with job opportunities. Cardaras said the summit will “transform lives” and “lift women in abusive environments out of poverty.” She expects to train at least 135 worldwide journalists during the summit.

Her advice for aspiring journalists?

“Be persistent and tenacious,” she said. “Whatever you want, don’t give up on it.”

“Fear, Power, and Politics: The Recipe for the War in Iraq after 9/11” is available on

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