Colleagues say killing comes
easy for Obama. So does his insatiable appetite for war. Duplicitous
rhetoric hides it. Close advisors know better.
America is on a fast track toward attacking Syria. Humanitarian intervention
hypocrisy justified war on Libya. Expect something similar used for
On May 30, The New York Times headlined "For the White House, a Wary
Wait as Syria Boils," saying:
Former Syrian ambassador Edward Djerejian said:
"You may come to the point where you have the Srebrenica syndrome."
Never mind that it was more myth than massacre.
"Once a (real or contrived) humanitarian disaster looms so large, the
international community becomes forced to act despite the national security
considerations and the more levelheaded thinking on the consequences
of military action."
Whether Houla killings rise to that level remains to be seen. Obama
advisors expect him to respond aggressively. It's planned. It's coming.
If not Houla, then perhaps Houla 2.0 will trigger it.
Lots of scenarios can be contrived. Incidents are easily instigated,
manipulated, and exploited. "Every week or so, a cabinet or deputy cabinet-level
meeting" convenes on Syria. Options stress more aggressiveness.
Pentagon war plans are ready. Bombs away could happen any time. US land,
sea and air forces are positioned nearby. Britain, France, other NATO
partners, and regional allies stand ready to help.
Hawkish UN envoy Susan Rice said if crisis resolution isn't found, Washington
and partner nations will have to decide whether to act "outside of the
authority of this Council."
"At this point, (it) does not seem" likely that Assad will "immediately
implement its commitments under the Annan plan as it's obliged to do
under UN Security Council resolutions."
Clearly, she's promoting war. Russia vows to block any authorizing Security
Council resolution. Doing so won't matter if Washington circumvents
Insurgents declared an end to ceasefire. They mocked it from day one.
Kofi Annan's peace plan is cover for imperial war.
As UN Secretary-General, he backed them throughout his tenure. His role
is similar now. In 2001, the Nobel Committee awarded him its Peace Prize
for services rendered. In 2009, Obama got it for the same reason and
what was expected from him. He didn't disappoint.
On May 30, Foreign Policy (FP) headlined "What the Hell Should We Do
Five one-sided contributors gave answers. Alternative voices weren't
Robin Yassin-Kassab said "Arm the Guerrillas." Maybe he didn't notice
the consistent heavy weapons flows, or perhaps he wants much more sent.
He called Assad's government "treasonous." That's why he "support(s)
supplying weapons to the Free Syrian Army. Let's get it over with as
soon as possible."
Yassin-Kassab serves as Critical Muslim co-editor.
Rand Slim said "Talk to Iran." He blamed Houla killings on Assad. His
strategy is "survival at any cost and through any means. (He) does not
have a Plan B."
He's "digging in for a long fight." Boil over tensions hit Lebanon.
Insurgent weapons flow in like water. Don't expect them "to be a game-changer."
Nor will international negotiations.
Talk to Iran. Maybe a deal can be arranged benefitting its government
and the West. How wasn't explained.
Slim is a New American Foundation adjunct research fellow and Middle
East Institute scholar.
Bilal Saab said "Don't copy Yemen." It's too late for diplomacy, he
believes. More aggressive action is needed. Saab stopped short of endorsing
war, but implied it.
Saab is a Monterey Institute of International Studies visiting fellow.
Andrew Tabler said "Cut off Assad's lifelines."
He favors increased White House pressure, greater support for insurgents,
enlisting Syrian Kurds and Arab tribe support for insurrection, safe
zones in neighboring countries, buffer ones in Syria, and blockading
Implementing these policies assures war. He favors it, saying:
"Washington may need to carry out surgical airstrikes or similar measures....Assad
must go at all costs."
Tabler is Washington Institute for Near East Policy Senior Fellow.
Andrew Exum says "Lock up the WMDs."
He favors aiding insurgents, publicizing "regime atrocities," exerting
more international pressure, having military options ready, and containing
possible spread of "chemical or biological weapons...."
Exum is a Center for a New American Security senior fellow.
Foreign Policy excluded peace advocates. Analysts knowing Western-recruited
insurgents ravage Syria, not Assad, weren't invited.
Hawks favoring regime change were featured. Readers weren't told what's
going on, what's at stake, and what's planned.
Last year, Gaddafi was treated the same way. Intervention left Libya
a charnel house. Violence still rages. Conflict resolution is distant
Pro-Western puppets head an interim government. Change won't follow
upcoming elections. Washington intends treating Syrians the same way.
They know what happened in Iraq and Libya and reject it. Why else would
Assad command majority support? The grim alternative is unacceptable.
London Guardian writer Patrick Seale knows Syria well. He wrote Hafez
Assad's biography titled: "Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East."
On May 27, he headlined "In Syria, this is no plan for peace," saying:
Washington wants regime change. Annan's so-called peace plan is "in
tatters." Urban "guerrilla war" prevents it. They reject ceasefire and
negotiations. They want Assad toppled.
Rhetorically the Obama administration supports peace. At the same time,
"it is unashamedly undermining it by helping to arm the rebels. This
is the central contradiction in US policy."
"....Islamic jihadis, some of them linked to al-Qaida, entered Syria
from Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan." They bear direct responsibility for
dozens of large and smaller scale "terrorist acts."
Houla and Damascus on May 10 killing 55 and wounding hundreds were most
serious. Insurgents "seek to trigger a foreign armed intervention by
staging lethal clashes and blaming the resulting carnage on the regime."
Assad confronts them to survive. America heads "an external conspiracy"
to topple him. "Trapped between opposing forces, civilians inevitably
pay the price." They do in all conflicts.
On May 31, UK-based Media Lens headlined "The Houla Massacre," saying:
Scoundrel media commentaries told readers "where to direct their anger."
Assad's government is called "brutal." Blame focuses solely on him.
Sunday in the London Independent, David Randall "wrote bitterly:"
"He is the President; she is the First Lady; they are dead children.
He governs but doesn't protect; she shops and doesn't care."
"And one hopes that those on the United Nations Security Council, when
it reconvenes, will look into the staring eyes of these dead children
and remember the hollow words of Assad's wife when she simpered that
she 'comforts the families' of her country's victims."
Media Lens countered:
"What kind of evidence would the media need before finding Barack Obama
(and even Michelle Obama) personally responsible" for slaughtering Afghans
and others in US war theaters?
An Observer cartoon showed Assad "with his mouth and face smeared with
the blood of children." The Independent showed him "sitting in a bath
filled with blood."
Media Lens challenged Observer cartoonist Martin Rowson, saying:
"On what actual evidence about the massacre in Houla is your cartoon
He replied saying he had none. He based his cartoon on a "hunch." Doing
so coined a new phrase: hunch journalism. Might as well call it bad
It's known that Houla shelling didn't cause mass deaths. House-to-house
close range killing was responsible. Assad's forces had nothing to do
with it. Media scoundrel journalists and cartoonists didn't explain.
"The BBC also had no doubts about culpability. Diplomatic correspondent
James Robbins said:"
"The UN now says most victims, including many children, were murdered
inside their homes by President Assad's militias."
In fact, the UN blamed Assad for small numbers of deaths from artillery
shells. Death squad assassins bore most responsibility.
Robbins reports on BBC's highest profile news program. Media Lens exposed
his lie. "This is typical of the propaganda that issues forth from the
BBC." Misinformation and lies substitute for honest reporting and analysis.
Western media rarely offer dissenting views. Media Lens quoted Conflicts
Forum Alastair Crooke. Commented on Houla responsibility, he said:
"We don’t know for sure yet…But one thing that stands out quite clearly,
and which is very important, is that the methodology, this type of killing
- of beheadings, of slitting of throats, slitting of throats of children,
too, and of this mutilation of bodies - has been a characteristic, not
of Levantine Islam, not of Syria, not of Lebanon, but really of what
happened in the Anbar province of Iraq."
"....what we’re looking at here is a deliberate and cold-blooded attempt
to cast Syria into civil war, to initiate civil war, to bring Western
intervention, if possible. But simply, again, to bring down the regime."
"And it is clearly, I think, perpetrated in the interests of those external
parties and groups at the end of the spectrum of the opposition, which
are jihadi groups, who want no part in the peace process but who want
to bring down the system and for Syria to turn into civil war."
Daily Mail contributor John Bradley said:
"The expressions of outrage over Houla and the consequent threats of
military action all feed into the conventional Western narrative of
the Syrian crisis whereby Assad is portrayed as a bloodthirsty tyrant
and the rebels as heroic freedom-fighters trying to liberate the Syrian
people from oppression."
"It is a picture that has been sedulously cultivated by the anti-Assad
opposition, who are masters of manipulative propaganda aimed at gullible
Western politicians, broadcasters and protest groups."
"But the truth about the violence in Syria is far more complex than
Assad’s enemies would have us believe."
Unfortunately, a tsunami of media deception and lies drowns out these
type thoughtful commentaries. Massacres, false flags, drumbeat propaganda,
and other ways are used to launch imperial wars. Preventing them is
America's 2010 US Military Special Forces Unconventional Warfare (UW)
"The intent of U.S. [Unconventional Warfare] UW efforts is to exploit
a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities
by developing and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic
objectives…For the foreseeable future, U.S. forces will predominantly
engage in irregular warfare (IW) operations."
More from it says:
"There is another type of warfare—new in its intensity, ancient in its
origin—war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins; war by
ambush instead of by combat, by infiltration instead of aggression,
seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging
him. It preys on unrest."
The manual includes other ways to destabilize and topple governments.
They include strikes, boycotts, inciting public discontent, infiltration,
agitation, foreign propaganda, and providing "material, money, weapons
Instigators are called liberators. Violence and sabotage follow. When
government forces confront responsible parties, "exploit the negative
consequences to garner more (public) sympathy and support...."
Propaganda always is key. Houla massacre reporting mocks the notion
of fair and balanced journalism. It's one of daily examples.
According to Media Lens:
"War, again war, always war - endless war! But then corporate greed
is a form of eternal war in pursuit of profit. We are living, very clearly,
in a pathologically violent and structurally insane society."
Confronting it presents a daunting challenge. Failure assures endless
conflicts, bloodshed, and human suffering. Only public rage might stop
it. It always faces long odds.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized
Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News
Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time
and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy