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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,
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.
Why the rush?  The fact that these discredited neocons are rabidly pushing for war now! should give the president pause:
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.

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.

The emphasis is mine

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.

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.

-- Mike Lofgren / Huffington Post

I love that: "Exceptional banal minds."  What an apt description!

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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Comment Preferences

  •  So we bomb them to take away... (4+ / 0-)

    ...the chemical threat.  Then we go to the next country.

    Until we destroy everyone and finally ourselves out of "love."

    Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

    by dov12348 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:24:44 AM PDT

  •  one view of the tactical options (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:33:08 AM PDT

  •  Cover for Obama to follow Kennedy/Cuba example (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markthshark, Ray Pensador

    extract from the diary's linked Nation article:

    Some, especially in the Pentagon and some of the intelligence agencies, said direct military intervention would be dangerous and would accomplish nothing.
  •  Earlier gas attacks were definitely by the "rebels (6+ / 0-)

    UN chief inspector Carla Ponte will verify that.  There is as yet no proof that isn't also the case this time, and as my diary on the current recent list shows, the Syrian Kurds, the closest thing to a reliable source on the ground in Syria, in fact believe that to be the case.  What kind of brbaric brutes are we that we could be willingly misled into bombing a nation for the crimes committed against that nation by a rebel group our bombs are dropped to support?  Are all "progressive" Americans really 100% A-OK with that just because Barack Obama is president?  No guilt would adhere to us for the death and devastation wreaked?  Woohoo, America, fuck yeah.

    Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

    by ActivistGuy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 02:15:37 AM PDT

    •  Emptywheel has a clincher (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      In a piece summarizing the current state of intelligence, the AP reveals how uncertain US intelligence is about chain of control over Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons.


      Intelligence officials say they could not pinpoint the exact locations of Assad’s supplies of chemical weapons, and Assad could have moved them in recent days as U.S. rhetoric builds. That lack of certainty means a possible series of U.S. cruise missile strikes aimed at crippling Assad’s military infrastructure could hit newly hidden supplies of chemical weapons, accidentally triggering a deadly chemical attack.

          Over the past six months, with shifting front lines in the 2½-year-old civil war and sketchy satellite and human intelligence coming out of Syria, U.S. and allied spies have lost track of who controls some of the country’s chemical weapons supplies, according to one senior U.S. intelligence official and three other U.S. officials briefed on the intelligence shared by the White House as reason to strike Syria’s military complex. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the Syrian issue publicly.

          U.S. satellites have captured images of Syrian troops moving trucks into weapons storage areas and removing materials, but U.S. analysts have not been able to track what was moved or, in some cases, where it was relocated. They are also not certain that when they saw what looked like Assad’s forces moving chemical supplies, those forces were able to remove everything before rebels took over an area where weapons had been stored. [Emptywheel's emphasis]

      8 days after an attack they say they’re certain came from Assad loyalists, the intelligence community says it doesn’t know where all the CW are, doesn’t know who controls it all, and has questions about whether rebels seized (or took) CW after they were moved into place by Syrian forces.
      - See more at:
  •  US Intelligence on weapons no 'slam dunk' (3+ / 0-)
    The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people is no "slam dunk," with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria's chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, U.S. intelligence officials say.

    President Barack Obama declared unequivocally Wednesday that the Syrian government was responsible, while laying the groundwork for an expected U.S. military strike.

    "We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out," Obama said in an interview with "NewsHour" on PBS. "And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences."

    However, multiple U.S. officials used the phrase "not a slam dunk" to describe the intelligence picture — a reference to then-CIA Director George Tenet's insistence in 2002 that U.S. intelligence showing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was a "slam dunk" — intelligence that turned out to be wrong.

    Why the rush then, Mr President?

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 02:17:27 AM PDT

    •  And herein lies an even bigger problem. (0+ / 0-)
      questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria's chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, U.S. intelligence officials say.
      Control of NBC weapons is an absolutely critical point.

      If this CW attack was done by some out-of-control local commander, then Assad can defuse the situation by reasserting physical control of the weapons (and doing so publicly).

      If this CW attack was conducted by rebels, the key question is, "where did they get the stuff?" Sarin/GB is not a trivial thing to manufacture or prepare.

      If the rebels obtained the CW from Assad's stockpile, we have the worst possible situation, in which CW can be stolen and effectively disappear into the underground/black-market.  That has serious consequences for all of us.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:40:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "letting them get away with it..." (8+ / 0-)

    Sounds an awful lot like, "These fucking punks.  They always get away with it."

    George Zimmerman should work for the State Department.  I bet he's all in favor of charging into Syria with his new handgun.

  •  The Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, aliasalias

    This  important political theorist covered the trial of Eichmann and argued that this was not some devil, but evil that flowed from a bureaucrat going along to get along.

    She used the phrase Banality of Evil.

    Compare to the phrase "crackpot realism" in the diary that draws on C. Wright Mills.

    From wiki

    In her reporting of the 1961 Adolf Eichmann trial for The New Yorker, which evolved into Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963), she coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to describe Eichmann. She raised the question of whether evil is radical or simply a function of thoughtlessness, a tendency of ordinary people to obey orders and conform to mass opinion without a critical evaluation of the consequences of their actions and inaction. She was sharply critical of the way the trial was conducted in Israel. She also was critical of the way that some Jewish leaders, notably M. C. Rumkowski, acted during the Holocaust. This caused a considerable controversy and even animosity toward Arendt in the Jewish community. Her friend Gershom Scholem, a major scholar of Jewish mysticism, broke off relations with her. Arendt was criticized by many Jewish public figures, who charged her with coldness and lack of sympathy for the victims of the Shoah/Holocaust.
    I added the bold
  •  The people aren't afraid enough... (0+ / 0-)

    They need the people to be fearful sheeple again.

    They also need another military intervention to fill some MIC pockets with more money.

    They need something to take the attention off of domestic priorities so let's point somewhere else on the map and 'get international' and kill some people in the process, because Freedom.

    If you're not with them (the pro war crowd), you're against them ya know.  That means if you're not a jingoistic buddy, you're some anti-American person who doesn't love apple pie, and you probably want angels to cry too.

    And right around the anniversary of MLK's I have a dream speech too...The war hawks will celebrate it their own way 'We're bombing the middle East again at last, Bombing them again at last.'

    Besides, it's been a while since we fought them over there so we wouldn't have to fight them over here...

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 04:56:42 AM PDT

  •  I watch the toob. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Mostly MSNBC. I am MLK'd out.

    Anyway, you can almost feel the desperation when they report on the fact that less than 10% of the citizenry want to 'punish' Syria. But they are reporting on it.

    People aren't buying what they are selling. Obama should take a hint and do the right thing and let the situation unfold without our intervention.

  •  Hipster Troll (0+ / 0-)

    I didn't read all of this diary, but I can pretty much tell you what it says.


    (Doesn't mean I disagree with the diarist tho.)

    -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

    by JPax on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:46:16 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary (0+ / 0-)

    And I feel you on the tv thing. I can smell it around here. Like people were sprayed by a skunk.

    I don't watch it either. But I know from long experience everything you said is true. The gears are in motion. MUST KILL NSA STORY. I believe that's the directive here, along with the desperate attempt to save the Anti-Assad forcing from imminent defeat.

    As for the few dissenters, here's a trick to watch for, in case anyone reading decides to torture themselves with cable "news".

    When said dissenter raises uncomfortable questions on tv about evidence, or wisdom of attack, or whatever they find uncomfortable, the video cuts to horror footage of sick children.

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