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More War Propaganda & Stupid, Hypocritical US VIOLENCE?

Below are 15 further thoughts and discoveries I'd like to share about this gravely troubling threat of Obama’s launching a military strike against Syria:

1. First off, this from Winslow Myers who compellingly writes,

Our missiles will unleash stupid violence. Unnecessary violence. Hypocritical Violence.

Stupid violence because it extends yet further the hatred that so many in the Middle East must feel for our crudely righteous meddling.

Unnecessary violence, because the resolution of the civil war in Syria will not come one whit closer on account of our missiles—even if we kill Assad. There are now too many conflicts folded into the Syrian tangle, the Shia-Sunni conflict, the Iran-Israeli conflict, even the proxy Russian-American conflict.

Hypocritical violence, in view of the U.S. military’s own indiscriminate use of depleted uranium in the Iraq war—and our government’s eagerness to look the other way when Saddam, back when he was our ally, gassed Kurds and Iranians.

Hypocritical violence also because we Americans rationalize our looking to violence as the “solution” to conflict by hiding behind the fig-leaf that gas is so much worse than our other well-trod paths of war-making. It is not gas that is uniquely horrific. It is war itself.

2. Winslow Myers, again, has a solution that does not involve killling. Too bad the Obama administration doesn’t focus on peace and diplomacy.

The Syrian impasse is horribly difficult, but at least we don’t have to ham-fistedly make it worse. There are so many creative things we could do besides throwing around our power. First of all, restraint itself can be a creative act, when lack of restraint, such as what we are contemplating, leads nowhere but further into chaos. Don’t just do something, stand there. Or at least stand for credible, consistent values.

Stand against reflexive unilateral military posturing. Stand for the encouragement—and funding—of unarmed U.N. Peacekeeping troops going into Syria in large numbers to create buffer zones between adversaries. Stand for supporting the creation of a parallel Syrian government-in-exile that could make halting steps toward processes of truth and reconciliation when the violence finally exhausts itself...

3. A report from Minneapolis-based Mint Press News (MPN), Patrick Martin reveals, links the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta to US backed opposition fighters in Syria. This Minneapolis media organization has been informed of this from two freelance Jordanian journalists, one connected to AP. According to them, it seems the notorious Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, the main Saudi sponsor of weapons to the opposition in Syria apparently, supplied the chemical weapons WITHOUT informing the rebels what they actually were or how to appropriately handle them! The result was deaths of naive and trusting rebels transporting them as well as hapless Syrians in the vicinity. This story has not been repeated at all in the mainstream media. Of course not. Interesting that back in February it was Saudi Arabia’s Bandar himself who insisted to the UN there had been chemical weapons use on the part of the Syrian soldiers. Smell a rat?

4. Obama and Kerry are insisting a military intervention be launched on the basis of “hearsay” evidence. This is in violation of international law. Kerry's emphasis on “high confidence” that the Assad regime is responsible for the chemical weapons is pathetically flimsy. One more invitation from this craven administration to "trust us” -- play Lucy and the football for what feels like the zillionth time. An administration always guaranteeing noble promises but delivering the chilling financial-elites’ cronyistic opposite -- that has done such colossal lying about foreign and domestic issues from the get-go.

5. The insistence of the US nobly interfering with alleged heinous acts of a foreign government against its civilians is hypocritical since the US did not interfere when the Egyptian military slaughtered hundreds of unarmed sit-down protestors in Cairo last month. The same lack of serious moral reaction as to the vicious massacre of over 1400 Gazans including children by Israel, with the use of phosphorous, during Operation Cast Lead at the end of 2008. There are many more examples.

6. Up to 90% of the citizens in UK are against military intervention of America and the UK in Syria. In Turkey 55% of the population is against US intervention in Syria according to wsws reporters. Hundreds and hundreds of protesters in Germany and Australia are hitting the streets against US involvement in Syria. The US government has lost its credibility across the globe along with many critically aware and frustrated US citizens. Obama has presumed anti-constitutional and anti-humanitarian illegitimate “decider” power far beyond what amoral George W. Bush did.

7. Congress should begin to “claw back” its profound constitutional responsibility to authorize war OR NOT. The matter of authorizing war should go beyond political cronyism and gamesmanship, move beyond partisanship. Go beyond Israeli or arms manufacturing lobbying. Ron Paul challenged George W. Bush re the war on Iraq. That was an example of bipartisanship and moral responsiveness. In the case of Libya, Obama deliberately usurped the responsibility of Congress. That should have been declared an impeachable offense. Obama is willing to do it again with Syria since constitutional and moral law are not enforced and Obama sweeps them away as distasteful and unprofitable suggestions.

8. According to Nima Shirazi, the napalm bombing of Japan by the US and European forces during the last years of WWII killed 330,000 people. Between 1963 and 1973 400,000 tons of napalm were dropped by the US in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In 1980 the UN declared dropping napalm in densely populated areas a war crime. Agent Orange, 20 million gallons of it, was used by America during the Vietnam War in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos-- a war that a young vet John Kerry protested publicly. The Vietnam government estimates that 400,000 people were killed or maimed by the defoliants, 500,000 children were born with birth defects and 2 million people have suffered cancer and other profound diseases. In the late 1980’s the US helped Saddam Hussein use chemical weaponry against Iranian soldiers by providing the Iraqi army with intelligence locations. In Iraq the US used white phosphorous in Fallujah. That was in 2008-2009. The vast use of depleted uranium also deserves grave consideration.

9. Ron Jacobs reminds us that Tomahawk cruise missiles were originally manufactured by General Dynamics but now are made by Raytheon. They can be launched from sea or land, traveling at subsonic speed and the newer ones can be re-directed in mid-flight. They can carry several smaller armed missiles. Each Tomahawk costs between $569,000 to $1.5 million. Raytheon a very generous political donor to be sure.

10. According to William Boardman, war pimps like Senator John McCain are calling out members of the military like Joint Chief of Staff General Dempsey for his anti-warmongering remarks (yes) about not interfering in Syria, Dempsey's stressing that the US administration must consider and respect the multiple ethnic issues and complications there. McCain is incensed about the chemical weapons he maintains Assad’s troops used, yet McCain has never gone on record over the use of depleted uranium on innocent targets by the US for over 20 years.

11. VP Joe Biden lied to the media that the Syrian government was blocking UN inspectors from the Ghouta site near Damascus. The UN team delivered its request for access on Saturday, Aug. 24, it was approved on Sunday, they began work on Monday. William Boardman (aforementioned) points out that as Biden vilifies users of chemical weapons whom he declares are definitely Syrian army members, he conveniently blocks out the excessive use of depleted uranium WMDs by the United States. When political officials LIE to mainstream media journalists, that never seems to be a story worth telling by said mainstream media journalists. WTF?

12. Obama and his cohorts will pull out no stops to manipulate Congress and the media to back his reckless decision to attack Syria. His claim that the strike will be “limited” (think the forever blood-lust to go after Iran) and even if honored that “limited” minimum means thousands of Syrians and troops to be killed. If the Brits hadn’t obstructed Cameron in the UK, Obama probably would have attacked Syria by now, committing an international war crime. The claim that such an attack will be limited is one more colossal lie. The US-backed faux-rebels (primarily gangs of barbaric jihadist extremists linked to Al Qaeda) are losing the supposed civil war despite all the covert support from the US CIA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, Israel of substantial training, intelligence, weaponry and/or money. The US and its cronies want to turn around this situation by whatever violence necessary for “regime change.” Disclaiming the goal of “regime change” is one more lie on an assembly line of Obama (and international cronies) lies.

13. Only 9% of the citizenry are supportive of Obama choosing to attack Syria. 25% of the citizenry would be if the chemical weapons strike was attributable to Assad (which David Swanson says would have been “suicidally insane” of him to authorize). Obama was willing to go ahead not heeding the people or the Congress. The UK parliament stalled his plans. He still insists that despite now finally communicating war plans with Congress that he has the right to strike Syria no matter what Congress asserts. His strike against Libya was a war crime but in that case the US had manipulated and lied to the UN Security Council with the R2P (Responsibility to Protect) scam.

14. We US citizens are about to undergo a blitzkrieg of pro-war media propaganda, as Patrick Martin of wsws (aforementioned) puts it, “to browbeat the American people into accepting yet another imperialist war in the Middle East.” Assad according to Martin is undoubtedly one of the latest drone targets on Obama’s kill list. Obama has made it known if Congress refuses authorization, he will nonetheless feel entitled as commander in chief to strike Syria, even with no substantial evidence that the Assad regime perpetrated the chemical weapons attack. Obama, with never an acknowledgement of the US military’s use of white phosphorous, depleted uranium, etc. causing massive death, maiming, birth defects, insufferable pain, etc., may be initiating a WWIII.

15. Again according to Patrick Martin, it is unfortunate we have a Congress primarily serving the will of the financial aristocracy. The corporate media is also controlled by the financial elite. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi extended her endorsement of a strike last Thursday. She and 25 other House and Senate Dems had a phone conference call with Obama to get the party in line behind their next WAR CRIME. Also maybe to comfort Obama over the British setback, though you can bet that Cameron and the war mongerers of the UK will call for a follow up vote(s) for authorization!

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One last postscript quote from Jason Hirthler:

Four Steps to War

The model calls for Obama to undertake a series of anti-democratic and pro-war actions that will be reformulated as pro-democratic and anti-war:

* First, he’ll ignore the people that elected him. He’ll cite some moral platitude from a posture of deep anxiety—the man of peace forced to confront the need for noble violence. ...

* Next, he’ll ignore Congress. This is the formal equivalent of ignoring the people.

snip

* Feeling more confident by the day, Obama will then ignore the United Nations.

snip

* Then he’ll bomb. Missiles will be fired from the safety of the Mediterranean or the comparative calm of high clouds. The missiles will target heavily populated areas in Damascus, much to our great leader’s great regret. Images of wailing Muslims will dot the airwaves. NGOs will assemble lists of the collateral dead. The refugee count—already at one million—will climb toward two. And Syria, part of the cradle of civilization, will begin to resemble Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya in its kaleidoscopic mix of blasted infrastructures, sectarian slaughter, rampant abuse of women, genetic deformities in the birth population, and the steady buzz of Predators and Reapers policing the carnage from the sky.

But, in the end, the oil and gas will be ours, and in Washington, that’s all that matters.

Let’s repeat that tidy little end-goal:

But, in the end, the oil and gas will be ours, and in Washington, that’s all that matters.

[cross-posted on open salon]

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Jay's picture
Submitted by Jay on

It's great to have all sorts of deep background and long, detailed bullet lists. Here is another by someone who seems reasonably well informed. But the way things get discussed--and decided--in this country is talking points.

Attacking Syria is like sending cruise missiles to the scene of an arson. Those people don't need cruise missiles, they need fire engines and ambulances.

This isn't an issue about credibility. If the use of chemical weapons is so bad--and it is--we don't have a leg to stand on because we used depleted uranium in Iraq. The administration doesn't have any credibility to fight for.

There is no way we can afford this war. Before the Iraq war, we were assured that it would cost only $20 billion to taxpayers and we'd get that back in Iraqi oil subsidies. That war has cost $6 Trillion--Trillion with a T--and counting, and has doubled the price of gasoline. Is the cost of saving President Obama's reputation worth doubling the price of gas again to $9 a gallon? Where do you draw the line? Twenty dollars a gallon? Forty dollars a gallon?

The entire world is against us on this war, even our closest ally Britain, even Britain! If we keep losing allies and potential allies over events where we have little influence in the first place, we will have no world influence when it really matters.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

We should start by demanding the resignations of Kerry and Rice and whoever came up with the idea of a "red line". Foolish and dangerous people.
Read David Dayen's piece on Syria. The drought there is severe. This region has always been challenging in terms of water. We need to band together to face the challenges ahead not lob costly missiles at people like us who are struggling to make ends meet.

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Groucho Marx

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Hillary Clinton on Syria: use of chemical weapons is a red line – Video

[Video Credit: Source: Reuters, Length: 1min 21sec, theguardian.com, Saturday 11 August 2012]

Here's the link to the piece and video.

Speaking in Istanbul, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, says the United States and Turkey are looking at all measures to help bring and end to the violence in Syria. Clinton stresses the importance of setting up contingency plans in the event of chemical weapons being used in the Syrian conflict, making it clear that use of such weapons is a red line for the world

My comment is very limited, due to the "Terms of Service" of the embedded video.

But I generally agree with your sentiments.

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

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