Skip to main content

As online commentary and opinion polls show, the mask has come off and the public is no longer under any illusion. Only 9% of Americans support intervention in Syria, and you can bet that number is even lower in most parts of the world.

As President Obama and his advisers ratchet up the pressure on the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, about 60 percent of Americans say the United States should not intervene in Syria's civil war, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll. Only 9 percent of Americans say the United States should act militarily.
And yet we have this surreal situation where major news outlets continue to credulously report the claims of the U.S. and its allies that they are preparing a strike on the basis that Syria allegedly used chemical weapons. Never mentioning that Bush bombed civilians in Fallujah with white phosphorus and depleted uranium in a violation of international law, as reported in the pages of The Guardian and the Independent.

Or that Reagan continued to support and funnel money to Saddam Hussein with full knowledge that he was using chemical weapons against the Iranians, as recently shown by leaked CIA documents.

In contrast to today's wrenching debate over whether the United States should intervene to stop alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, the United States applied a cold calculus three decades ago to Hussein's widespread use of chemical weapons against his enemies and his own people. The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the attacks continue if they might turn the tide of the war. And even if they were discovered, the CIA wagered that international outrage and condemnation would be muted.
There is also zero discussion of the broader context of the U.S. involvement in Syria. We're meant to believe that this imminent military action is the solemn moral duty of the U.S. to punish any state using chemical weapons and that it has nothing to do with the larger geopolitical struggle in the Middle East and the U.S. role in it. The press has no problem injecting context and analysis into issues when they want to, but apparently they feel that asking real questions about U.S. foreign policy is beyond their pay grade.

It's as if the Iraq War never happened, or perhaps the media interpreted that war to mean that they should cynically accept the lies of the U.S. government and give up on any meaningful role as a watchdog. The media often complains that their profession is endangered by the rise of the internet and the public increasingly turning away from mainstream news sources, but when a key moment like this arrives they completely abdicate their role.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site