Media Scoundrels Promote War on Syria
Stephen Lendman, Apr 24 2012
An Apr 9 WSJ commentary said:
Syrian government forces keep bombing and killing. Assad reneged on his promises to end the bloodshed. Washington and its allies are doing little or nothing to depose his regime. The illusion of diplomatic progress serves as cover for the Assads of the world to do more killing. Your move, President Obama.
Like all scoundrel media commentators, WSJ contributors blame victims, not villains. Their readers are betrayed, not informed. WSJ contributor Fouad Ajami long ago sold out to imperial interests for whatever he gets in return. He showed it in an op-ed headlined, “A Kosovo Model for Syria,” saying:
In the Obama world, the tendency to wait has become official policy: It is either boots on the ground or head in the sand. He’d be wise to consider the way Bill Clinton dealt with the crisis of Kosovo in 1999. He authorized a NATO air campaign against Serbia that began on Mar 23 1999, the very same day a bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress voted to support it.
Fact check: Bombing Yugoslavia for 78 days violated international law, as well as US constitutional and statute laws. It was also humanitarian hypocrisy. Congress didn’t declare war. The UNSC didn’t authorize it. Yugoslavia didn’t threaten the US, other NATO members or neighboring states. Nonetheless, Clinton got the war he wanted. It was lawless, premeditated aggression. Ajami thinks it’s a good thing. So do other scoundrel media contributors like him. Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman said:
The US suffered one casualty in the Serbia/Kosovo war. The rule of law was blown to pieces.
While Congress appropriated funds for the war, it never authorized it. Presidents can’t do it on their own. It hasn’t stopped them since WW2. Roosevelt’s war was the last one Congress declared. Failure to do so made others following it illegal, Obama’s wars included. Ajami claimed Clinton acted responsibly. Obama “has a similar opportunity” to oust Assad “without a massive US commitment.” Failure leaves “only the shame of averting our eyes from Syrian massacres.” Shamefully, many others agree with him. On Apr 21, a WaPo editorial said it’s time for “Plan B”:
The only good news about Syria since the Obama administration’s embrace of an unworkable UN peace plan is the hints that it is beginning to consider alternatives. Assad will never be induced by diplomacy to end his assaults on Syrian cities, allow peaceful demonstrations or release political prisoners. Obama has to recognize these realities and embrace options that actually can advance his stated goal of ending Assad’s rule. Assad will fall only when his attacks are blocked and countered; it follows that US policy should aim at that.
The WaPo urges “feckless diplomacy” ended in favor of immediate military action. Hawkish throughout the conflict, its position heads toward boiling over. Can war be far behind? Hillary Clinton’s notoriously hawkish. So is UN envoy Susan Rice. Critics call her “Rice-a-phony.” She’s an over-ambitious zealot angling for Clinton’s job. Her rhetoric makes some observers gasp. It gives diplomacy a bad name and then some. After UNSCR2043 passed, authorizing up to 300 unarmed military Syrian monitors, she couldn’t hold back. She said:
300 or even 3,000 won’t halt Assad from waging his barbaric campaign of violence against the Syrian people. Only intensified external pressure can halt his murderous rampage.
She suggested tough measures are coming, saying:
Let there be no doubt: we, our allies and others in this body are planning and preparing for those actions, if the Assad regime persists in the slaughter of the Syrian people.
The WaPo also wants tough talk followed by tougher action. Minimally it supports “modest military force.” Perhaps it considers Serbia/Kosovo a template. Perhaps it needs brushing up on US and international law, as well as who initiated lawless conflict and who confronted it responsibly. Syria was calm and peaceful until Washington unleashed its dogs. US Special Forces direct them on the ground. So do UK ones. They attack hard and soft targets alike. They have Turkish safe haven sanctuaries. WaPo and other media scoundrels omit what’s most important. Ignoring Obama administration lies and its own, a NYT editorial headlined “Assad’s Lies,” saying:
Assad reneged on nearly every promise made. (So-called) activists reported that Syrian troops fired tear gas and bullets on thousands of protesters. Ban Ki-moon (claims he’s) failing to provide needed food and medicine to 230,000 displaced people, and refusing to allow outside agencies to help.
Fact check: “Activists” cited are stooges for power. Throughout the conflict, NYT articles, op-eds, and editorials shamelessly blamed Assad for Western generated crimes. Ban Ki-moon does the same thing. Kofi Annan did it before him. Both have shameless records of failure and betrayal. Assurance it would turn out that way got them their jobs. Only imperial loyalists qualify. Only media scoundrels claim otherwise or say nothing about their support for lawless wars and inaction to stop them. Although Western-generated violence displaced thousands of Syrians, no one has precise counts how many. ICRC officials report Assad cooperates delivering aid. Only areas plagued by insurgent violence makes it hard. When security forces quell it, residents thank Assad. They’d be helpless without him. The NYT said:
His cruelty and blindness were predictable. What is unfathomable is why Russia and China continue to support him. Even now, Russian officials put much of the blame for the bloodshed on the fractured, mostly peaceful opposition forces, not the Syrian Army with its heavy weapons. Russia sells arms to Syria. China seems determined to deny the West another ‘win.’
Fact check: The NYT opinion writers mock truth and full disclosure. Anyone trying better find another line of work. Only imperial loyalty matters. Facts are sacrificed to support it. In response to insurgent violence, Assad confronts it responsibly. Syrians count on him. He’s their only means of defense. Russia and China are the only permanent UNSC members preventing Washington from getting another war trophy, so far. Hopefully Russia does supply Assad arms and other aid. Washington, NATO partners, and regional despots like Saudi Arabia and Qatar do it. Turkey provides safe haven sanctuaries. Rule of law inviolability’s a non-starter. Only imperial dominance matters. Unless stopped, the entire Mediterranean Basin to Russia and China’s borders will be US-controlled territory. If achieved, their sovereignty is next. Both countries know it. They’re not about to back off and do nothing. Hopefully, they’ve drawn red lines they’ll challenge if crossed. The NYT accused both countries of “tarnishing their global reputations”:
They are alienating governments and people throughout the region. And when Assad falls, and he will, the people of Syria will blame them for their complicity in this bloodbath. Their enabling just gives Assad more time to kill. A wider war is more likely.
The last statement’s the only true one. The Arab street depends on whatever help Russia and China provide. Brutal despots oppress them, notably in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. They’re perhaps Washington’s closest allies. In return, they’re free to commit unspeakable crimes and atrocities. The NYT stopped only short of urging war. Perhaps it’s coming in time. It supports all imperial wars. Watch for a future editorial calling for another couched in humanitarian intervention language. Scoundrel media never report truths. They never get it right. They never apologize after the fact. They support power and privilege only. No matter the huge body count, one war after another is cheer-led in an endless cycle of violence, destruction, and human misery. How long before Obama launches another one. Scoundrel media support smooths the way. Increasingly it looks likely. Syria tops the queue. Can Iran be far behind?