The fact is there are details that mainstream media either severely under-reports or doesn't report at all so that is why so many people are unprepared for the truth.
I go into detail in this post: syriana isn't "disgusting leftist propaganda" http://representativepress.blogspot.com/2006/01/syriana-isnt-disgusting-leftist.html
There are incredible facts that don't get reported like the fact that the U.S. policy makers are responsible for the coups that put the Ba'ath party into power in the first place in the 1960's.
The story people heard was Saddam was an ally in the 1980's with the impression that we simply found this man and his party in power. BUT what wasn't reported in mainstream media was the US responsibility for putting the Ba'ath party into power in the first place (1960's) and of paying Saddam to be a murderer in the late 1950's and helping him rise to power. http://www.representativepress.org/CIASaddam.html
This fact was not reported by the mainstream media. (it ruins the narrative that U.S. power players want the public to swallow. The game is "aren't we wonderful, we got rid of Saddam." Telling the public that the U.S. was behind putting the Ba'ath party into power in the first place ruins the story. Also the fact that the U.S. was paying this murderer to be a murderer in the late 1950's.)
Others have corroborated these facts, for example US diplomat James Akins who served in the Baghdad Embassy at the time. What the U.S. media often does is ignore facts like these. You can't simply say "Akins is lying". If that were the case then why isn't "Atkins going off the deep end" a story that gets explored? (because he isn't, he is stating facts that powerful interests want swept under the rug) The media reporters are game players that curry favor for the powerful in this country. The story line is supposed o be "aren't we wonderful for getting rid of Saddam" the news editors do not want the facts know by the general public. It gets a marginal mention that doesn't hammer home the significance here or there, for example in an OPED mentions it: "As its instrument the C.I.A. had chosen the authoritarian and anti-Communist Baath Party, in 1963 still a relatively small political faction influential in the Iraqi Army. According to the former Baathist leader Hani Fkaiki, among party members colluding with the C.I.A. in 1962 and 1963 was Saddam Hussein, then a 25-year-old who had fled to Cairo after taking part in a failed assassination of Kassem in 1958" http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bush/morris.htm or a brief quote from Atkins on PBS: "We were very happy. They got rid of a lot of communists. A lot of them were executed or shot. This was a great development." http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/saddam/etc/script.html. The bottom line is, an explosive fact like this, which conflicts with the story line U.S. elites push, doesn't get the coverage it should.