Anybody watching TV? If so, I'm so sorry. I stopped watching corporate conglomerate news a while back once I realized it is basically one of the most powerful and mind-numbing propaganda tools the world has ever seen...
Funny that I haven't watched one second of CNN, or God-forbid MSNBC or ABC, CBS, NBC, et al, and I could probably tell you exactly what your seeing: the narrative gives you a feeling of fait accompli (done deal, it's happening); a parade of paid corporate/military shills sounding knowledgeable and serious, but all trending to the absurd proposition that we must rush to war tomorrow! Outrage-mongering about the chemical attack, and how it must not stand, and we have to send a message because we care about the Syrian people and that's why we have to start bombing their country as soon as possible--because we love them and care.
Oh, and finally, tell me, tell me... How are they treating the handful of token people who get a few rushed minutes to express their opposing views regarding the rush to war? Are they treating them kind of in a condescending way, dismissive, as in "Oh, right, I see, thanks for telling me..." And the camera moves back to the serious guy "Now General, tell me again about the wisdom of bombing Syria?" Aren't jingoism and the drums of war wonderful?
Anyway, readers who watch TV could tell me if I'm off base here; it's kind of what I remember from when I use to watch the corporate propaganda channels.
But I digress... Let me get back to the topic at hand. The New Yorker is reporting that "Obama Shouldn't Be Rushed Into Bombin Syria" and not follow the advice of an open letter sent by the Neocons (who are "intellectual force" behind the reign of terror, waste, fraud, abuse, profiteering, death and destruction, torture, and war crimes committed during the Bush administration)
Meanwhile, though, an unholy alliance of blustery neocons, hawkish foreign-policy experts, and self-interested U.S. allies in the region is pressing the White House for immediate action. A new open letter on the Web site of the Weekly Standard, the house journal of the neocons, says,Why the rush? The fact that these discredited neocons are rabidly pushing for war now! should give the president pause:
At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship’s military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons…Moreover, the United States and other willing nations should consider direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime.
But the history of the past twelve years should certainly make us stop and think. From the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Abrams, Kristol, et al have been angling for U.S. military intervention to help overthrow Assad, whom they regard as Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party twin. It didn't take the new gas attack to persuade them.And speaking of moral obscenities, The Nation magazine published an excellent article by Phyllis Bennis and David Wildman about the obvious reasons attacking Syria at this time would not only be illegal, but ill-adviced:
The US government is creating a false dichotomy—it’s either a military strike, or we let them get away with it. No one is talking about any other kind of international accountability, nothing like the International Criminal Court. Last month, the White House “law group” noted that arming the rebels might violate international law. Do they think a cruise missile strike is okay? We heard President Obama a couple of days ago refer to international law. He said “if the US goes in and attacks another country without a UN mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it … and those are considerations that we have to take into account.”The emphasis is mine
They end the article with the painfully obvious (except to "serious people")
Let’s be clear. Any US military attack, cruise missiles or anything else, will not be to protect civilians—it will mean taking sides once again in a bloody, complicated civil war. And Al Qaeda would be very pleased.The emphasis is mine
This time, maybe the Obama administration isn’t about to launch cruise missiles against Syria. Maybe there’s still time to prevent it. Right now, those risking their lives on the ground to help the Syrian people are the UN inspectors. If the United States is really concerned about their safety, and recognizes the legitimacy of UN inspectors, the Obama administration should immediately engage with the UN leadership and with the Syrian, Russian and other relevant governments to insure their safety while they continue their crucial efforts. Cruise missiles will make that work impossible. What’s needed now is tough diplomacy, not politically motivated military strikes that will make a horrific war even worse.
Or maybe we will rush to war following the advice of "serious people," as described in the excellent rec-list diary "Crackpot Realism" and Military Intervention in Syria
Crackpot realists are amoral men and women of worldly affairs who possess exceptionally banal minds. These are the "serious people" who populate government, the higher tiers of corporate America, the think tanks, the televised political talk shows, and other props of the national power structure.I love that: "Exceptional banal minds." What an apt description!
What they do best is perform alchemy: they take reckless and foolish ideas and transmute them into rhetoric that is perceived as the tough, pragmatic, and common-sense wisdom of purported experts.
It's amazing that the concept of "lessons learned" seems to be lost on our leadership, and on many people. Some have mentioned the parallel with the rush to another war of aggression when the U.S. attacked Iraq (under false pretenses).
The U.N. is investigating and needs more time; the U.S. first says it has definite "proof" that Assad ordered the chemical weapons attack, but as of tonight it looks like that that proof is not as definitive after all. But we must rush to war!
I'd like to have a day dream, a fantasy... Obama in a profile of courage Kennedy moment, standing by a window at the Oval Office, pensive, and all of the sudden makes the bravest decision in a generation and call off the attack and engages in diplomacy no matter how long it takes.
If nothing else, that truly brave, unexpected and sage decision would send the neocons and the military industrial complex profiteers now salivating over the prospect of huge windfalls into rage apoplexy. Just the thought of that would make it totally worth it for the president to do the right thing and not start an illegal war of aggression against Syria.
There is still time to do the right thing and not follow the advice of men and women of exceptional banal minds.
P.S. I welcome spirited debate about this topic, and I'm especially interested in hearing from people who do not agree with my position. However, I will not engage in discussion with people who write personal insults, or engage in disruptive behavior. I ask other serious people to do the same. To learn more about this subject, please visit the following links: New Community Guidelines / The 15 Rules of Web Disruption / Thirteen Rules for Truth Suppression / Disinformation: How It Works.
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