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Smith writes: "The bombarding of an already war-ravaged country is acknowledged as 'symbolic,' intended simply to 'send a message.' This is an obscenity as great as the one Washington purports to answer. Another Middle Eastern society will come further unstitched, and those doing the unstitching will have nothing on offer to replace it."

Remember how the media sold us their wars? (photo: Luke Frazza/AP)
Remember how the media sold us their wars? (photo: Luke Frazza/AP)


Lapdog Media Beats War Drums Again

By Patrick L. Smith, Salon

31 August 13

 

s of this writing, early Thursday morning, some Syrians are scheduled to pay with their lives for America's "credibility." The bombarding of an already war-ravaged country is acknowledged as "symbolic," intended simply to "send a message." This is an obscenity as great as the one Washington purports to answer. Another Middle Eastern society will come further unstitched, and those doing the unstitching will have nothing on offer to replace it.

The U.S. long ago squandered what credibility it may once have enjoyed or desired in the Mideast. If credibility were the cause, Washington need do no more than start dismantling the Potemkin village it has made of the principles it tediously mouths.But this thought goes nowhere these days.

And so the U.S. stalks into another war in the Middle East. Unlike the Iraq and Afghanistan wars-American works of art, both-the conflict in Syria is somebody else's canvas. But apart from this, the similarities among these three instances of Washington's wanton hostility toward uncompliant regimes are astonishingly similar.

Make that tragically similar. History proceeds, we Americans insist on the virtue of ignorance, on learning nothing and knowing nothing. And what we are about to get is what we get, predictably and always. We are a singular people, no question. Maybe even exceptional.

As of these hours, the Obama administration is on the record as rejecting any deliberations the U.N. may judge just. On Wednesday evening, British Prime Minister David Cameron gave in to Labour Party objections to his support for Washington's invasion plans. Britain now wants to see a U.N. report on the alleged chemical attacks from weapons instructors, and to give the Security Council process more time.

But listen closely to President Obama speaking Wednesday on PBS' "Newshour" and it is clear the U.S. could go it alone against the Syrian regime if need be. "We're prepared to work with anybody - the Russians and others - to try to bring the parties together to resolve the conflict," Obama said. "But we want the Assad regime to understand that by using chemical weapons on a large scale against your own people ... you're also creating a situation where U.S. national interests are affected, and that needs to stop."

So not even the fig leaves of international assent matter now.

Events since the apparent attacks with chemical substances in four residential districts of Damascus last week bear all the marks of a disgraceful bum's rush. Given that the cruise missiles the Obama administration is about to send into Syria will bear the chalk signatures of every American, like a World War II bomb, we are the chumps of the piece (once again, that is). This is a shared responsibility. It makes us complicit.

The fabrications and duplicity put before us as Washington prepares to "respond" to the latest savagery in Syria are so strangely formed that it is hard to follow the bouncing ball. The Obama people have changed their story diametrically before our eyes, casting aside all consistency, self-evidently making it up as they go along. And it is the same story recited countless times before. Maybe it is the only story Americans can articulate or grasp-a disturbing thought, but one begging consideration at this point.

Stories require media, of course, and there they are, on the case in the Syrian crisis and delivering the goods with irresponsible single-source stories dressed up as responsible multiple-source stories. When was it that journalists began thinking of themselves as national security operatives? It is getting unbearable, this errand-boy act in the face of power. If journalists did their jobs properly we would get into fewer messes such as Syria and would be more nationally secure. As it is now, the press is a defective piece in the democratic mechanism.

Instantly after news of chemical weapons and fatalities arrived last week, Washington and its allies began clamoring for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to allow a team of U.N. inspectors to examine the sites in question. It absolutely had to be. Nothing else would do. We read this.

Within 48 hours, the Obama people asserted that any such scrutiny was beside the point. When Assad gave assent to the U.N. team's visit, which was not much delayed given the shelled zone is a battlefield, he was "too late to be credible." All the evidence would have "degraded," as we also read.

Too late? Degraded? The U.N. team is one of experts. They are in Syria to examine sites where chemicals were allegedly used months ago and would not be there if the question of degradation were authentic. This we did not read, with one exception. On Wednesday the New York Times' science correspondent, William Broad, had the integrity and sense to cite non-government sources-Yikes!-to point out that chemical agents used in weaponry do not dissipate for a woefully long time. Skeptics can ask the Vietnamese.

The Broad piece got the bottom of page eight. As I.F. Stone once said of the Washington Post, the paper is always a kick because you never know where you will find a front-page story.

By early this week, if you can take this in, U.S. officials were privately urging the U.N. to abort the mission in Syria. Washington had plainly decided by this time that evidence was not quite the thing. We did not read this, either-not in an American publication.

We come to the Mack truck Obama's people want to park unnoticed in the driveway. "Evidence" of chemical weapons use, even as Obama's people dodged from any, quickly became "undeniable" (Secretary of State Kerry), a matter of "no doubt" (Vice President Biden), and many other forcefully stated things. This language we read in abundance-and with no decent, professional scrutiny on the part of those conveying it.

And did you notice? Evidence of use became evidence of the Assad regime's use. This is the trump suit in the game. No mention by any U.S. official that responsibility may lie with the awful-as-Assad insurgents. And of course one could not read of this prospect in U.S. newspapers or hear it from U.S. broadcasters. An indefensible lapse in logic also goes unnoted. I honestly cannot figure how dumb we are supposed to be.

We are promised incontrovertible evidence of Assad's guilt in the course of Thursday. Needless to anticipate. In wars of imagery and spectacle, variants of the above-described routine are frequently rehearsed. Think yellowcake, or Colin Powell at the United Nations, or Judith Miller's "metal tubes" or "mobile weapons labs" in Iraq so eagerly reported by the New York Times.

I aired my suspicions that the insurgents might well be the culprits in this space last week. I stand by these thoughts times two.

Assad's opponents do not possess supplies of sarin gas or other chemical agents, it is suggested.

Rubbish. Not so by a long way. And they have behaved as savagely as anyone in Assad's army.

The rebels could not be capable of mounting an attack of the scale apparent in Damascus last week, we are also advised.

The defensible position is that of the Russians and responsible elements within Britain: They want a proper investigation and propose we all abide by it.

Carla del Ponte, the noted investigator of war crimes and a member of the U.N. inquiry on Syria, asserted in May that there was sound reason to examine whether the insurgents were responsible for an obscenity in Syria at that time involving sarin gas. The U.N. human rights investigator said that, "According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas," adding that her commission's best understanding of the facts was that "sarin gas has been used ... by opponents, by rebels, not by government authorities."

She was tarred and feathered, as our media are versed at doing in the best American tradition.

But Obama appears determined to circumvent the U.N. regardless of what its investigators suggest. On Wednesday Britain advanced a resolution in the Security Council calling for intervention, but this was pro forma. The Security Council is composed as it is so that alternative worldviews are properly represented. Obama honors alternative worldviews as much as George W. Bush treasured them. So no U.N., not with a veto in the offing from Russia, a Security Council member. Better to go lawless again, and that is the word to bear in mind as the fireworks display unfolds in the coming days.

In the run-up, there is some piling on. We have once again the crummy "coalition of the willing" junk, familiar from the Iraq war: There are the batboy British, the flimsy resistance of Labourites notwithstanding, and the uncertain France of François Hollande, and Angela Merkel's Germany (complicated motives there), and of course Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel, which is (on the record) eager to regionalize the Syria question so that Iran can be bombed. I have previously identified Bibi as the most dangerous man in the Middle East, and he earns the title once again.

The Arab League says no. The European Union says no. Even NATO equivocates as of this hour. Take it apart. Most of humanity is not on board for this adventure in theater.

I conclude with what I consider the caker, the preposterous-news- of-the-week prize, even if we cannot read about it in our country but online.

"The bulk of evidence proving the Assad regime's deployment of chemical weapons-which would provide legal grounds essential to justify any western military action-has been provided by Israeli military intelligence." That would be the reliable folk at Mossad. The quotation comes from the Guardian, which simply reported on a report in a German magazine called Focus.

My goodness. Send in the clowns. They're already here.


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+47 # indian weaver 2013-08-31 12:09
god I hate seeing dubya's and dick's faces anywhere. if such an article is written, pls put Goofy's and Bugs Bunny's faces on the leader shot instead. They are excellent representations of dubya and dick anyhow. However, I don't mean to disparage those 2 humorous enjoyable figures, maybe Hitler and Frankenstein would be more appropriate, or the Headless Horseman (Horsemen) (gutless assholes in this case)?
 
 
+32 # SeniorCitizen31 2013-08-31 14:18
" . . . maybe Hitler and Frankenstein would be more appropriate,"

How about Nixon and Ford? Nah, they weren't certifiably crazy, just disgustingly crooked.

How about Bonnie and Clyde? No, by today's standards, they would be eligible for sainthood.

How about Leopold and Loeb? Hmmmmmm. True, they did commit a most heinous crime, against a child at that, but they weren't serial killers.

How about Obama and Kerry?

Yes, Obama and Kerry! To borrow from Jackie Gleason: what a peach of pair.
 
 
+27 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-08-31 15:57
The U.S. is the "greatest" country in the world when it comes to the use of weapons of mass destruction such as DU and previous use of Agent Orange.
Obama and our legislators are some of the sickest people in the world.
 
 
+3 # irvingwood 2013-09-03 11:25
and uranium and plutonium (Hiroshima) and white phosphorous (Fallujah) and cluster bombs (everywhere) and napalm (Vietnam) and neurotoxins (US soldiers).
 
 
+27 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-08-31 15:51
We are told from childhood that "the U.S. is the greatest country in the world." "I pledge allegiance to the.......one nation under God..........." Therefore, I, as an individual, "I am also great." The real truth is that American students are ranked 25th in the world in math and science. Students become working adults and they still are 25th in the world in basic wisdom, math and science. So, what do we expect from stupidity? Wisdom? But then, in other areas, Americans are just about the fattest people on this planet. Ameriacns "suck" in basic wisdom, math and science and "suck" in basic health. Not smart enough to take care of their own bodies. If as a nation we "suck" in two of humanities basic virtues, how can we morally attempt to lead the rest of the world? The answer is in the question.
 
 
+5 # modernjacobin 2013-09-01 12:45
We were on our way to being "the greatest country in the world" (if we except the treatment of native Americans, Jim Crow, incarceration of Japanese, etc.)--until our nation got hijacked by the Repugs in the late 70s: Moral Majority, Reagan, and the radical right. There was a time when our education system was regarded as the best in the world: that's why so many from around the world--includin g Japan, Singapore, and a good many of those other countries that are now outdoing us in K-12 education.

Thanks to Reagan and Bush I, taxes were dramatically lowered and schools eventually defunded. Thanks to ignorant fundies, homeschooling took off, thereby acceleration the process of dumb-ification. Thanks to all the neolibs who followed exactly in Reagan's footsteps--incl uding Obama who praised him in his first campaign, college tuition has risen exorbitantly. Make no mistake about it: the 1% wants our populace to be AS DUMB AND IGNORANT AS POSSIBLE just like in the Dark Ages when the feudal overlords ruled the serfs.

Today, we sit smugly saying "Aren't we the envy of the world?" Let's not forget the fate of China when it once assumed it was the greatest kingdom on earth. It too believed it was invincible until their 1% ers sold out the nation to the European imperialists.

We seem to be headed down a similar path.
 
 
+1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-01 15:26
Excellent post. Yet, most Americans do actually believe that "the U.S. is the greatest country in the world." Therefore, if the country is unquestionably the greatest, therefore "I am also great." That is when the predators take over while the masses sleep while seemingly awake.
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2013-09-01 18:49
Please do not use the term "neo-liberal". Yes, YOU understand it properly, but there are those among us who are uninitiated and will assume that you are blaming Liberals for the actions of Right of Left miscreants. These days, we must think and write defensively and assume that the person who is reading what you write probably has a very unsteady grasp of labels and what things really mean, therefore, it is wise to only use terms that don't confuse.
 
 
+1 # karenvista 2013-09-02 22:19
Quoting WestWinds:
Please do not use the term "neo-liberal". Yes, YOU understand it properly, but there are those among us who are uninitiated and will assume that you are blaming Liberals for the actions of Right of Left miscreants. These days, we must think and write defensively and assume that the person who is reading what you write probably has a very unsteady grasp of labels and what things really mean, therefore, it is wise to only use terms that don't confuse.


Then we need to get educated. Neo-Liberalism is virtually the same thing as neon-con except the "cons" are more political thugs and the "liberals" are more economic vampires but they have similar goals.
 
 
+3 # modernjacobin 2013-09-01 12:30
The only time I like seeing dubya's face is when there's a shoe--or two--headed for it.
 
 
+42 # 666 2013-08-31 12:43
"The defensible position is that of the Russians and responsible elements within Britain: They want a proper investigation and propose we all abide by it."

- gosh, what a day when the russians of all people act sensibly!!!! ;-)

- it really shows our regime for what thugs they really are
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2013-09-01 18:53
I had a Russian History teacher back in my junior year of HS who prophetically told us that Russia was becoming more democratic and capitalistic while the US was headed for fascism and dictators. His prediction has proved extremely accurate. What I want to know is, how did he know that in 1963?
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 22:27
Quoting WestWinds:
I had a Russian History teacher back in my junior year of HS who prophetically told us that Russia was becoming more democratic and capitalistic while the US was headed for fascism and dictators. His prediction has proved extremely accurate. What I want to know is, how did he know that in 1963?


I was there in 1979 and could see it illustrated profoundly when a family who had invited us to their home shared an orange and tea with us. When we walked outside we saw a MIG fly over and knew that a society with such a perverse economic system couldn't survive.

It took almost twenty years for the CIA to come up with the same conclusion.

And we pay them mass quantities of money for what?
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 22:21
Quoting 666:
"The defensible position is that of the Russians and responsible elements within Britain: They want a proper investigation and propose we all abide by it."

- gosh, what a day when the russians of all people act sensibly!!!! ;-)

- it really shows our regime for what thugs they really are


Doesn't it make you wonder how long we have given too much legitimacy to the U.S. and too little to Russia?

- it really shows our regime for what thugs they really are
 
 
+65 # DaveM 2013-08-31 13:21
I wonder if those killed and wounded in the bombings will receive "symbolic" injuries.
 
 
+11 # bbaldwin2001 2013-08-31 13:49
Our President has now called on Congress to vote approval of force against Syria. (8/31/2013) I think he is doing the right thing. Let congress have a say, if they will, or they may drag it out just like they have everything else, but Obama will not be holding all of the responsibility. YEA !! Good !!
 
 
+16 # MidwesTom 2013-08-31 15:06
O do not think that there is any way that Congress is going to approve bombing Syria. Polls show 80% of Americans are opposed to the idea. Besides, like it or not Assad has the support of the majority of Syrians. There also is a video of what appear to be rebels (based on no uniforms and obvious lack of what they were dealing with) shooting a chemical rocket. Hooray for Obama, he found a way out. Now we need to repeal the War Powers Act.
 
 
+18 # mdhome 2013-08-31 20:56
It has been a long time since congress did anything because 80% of the country wanted anything.
 
 
+4 # jwb110 2013-09-01 09:56
Quoting mdhome:
It has been a long time since congress did anything because 80% of the country wanted anything.


The 80% and the vote by the Labor Party in the UK is a bit hit to the West and its arrogance. It also should be taken into consideration that even thought Syria has been ravaged by war the citizens of the US have grown tired war. Nobody in Washington may be paying attention but clearly some of its citizens have been. The clever ruse of using a war to mask stealing tax payers money and giving them no services in return has become evident. The GOP/TP have overplayed their hand. You can't fool all of the people all of the time and the 80% polls have shown the shift in the US citizens temperment.
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2013-09-01 19:13
More shall be revealed when we see the result of the 2014 and 2016 elections. We'll have a much better idea where the real heart and mind of this country is at.
 
 
0 # Activista 2013-09-02 23:42
I think that US AIPAC congress will pass war against Syria ... money buys votes ....
80% now? After War Propaganda Blitzkrieg -
it will go down - "Obama made an impassioned moral plea Saturday to not let the gassing of hundreds of children go unpunished .." we will see lot of gassed children photos (unfortunately very few, if any will come from Syria ..)
 
 
+12 # janla 2013-08-31 15:10
And finally Congress is thinking in a bipartisan way against this possibility. About time.
 
 
+5 # Interested Observer 2013-09-01 07:51
If true I take no comfort in it. The GOP opposition is just a reflex to anything proposed by Obama. Any bipartisanship here is a coincidence, not a cause for hope.
 
 
-14 # James38 2013-08-31 21:24
Please Everyone - go to this article and see what the free Syrians have to say:

Syrians in 'conscience of the revolution' city call for President Obama to 'just do it'

http://news.yahoo.com/syrians-in--conscience-of-the-revolution--city-call-for-president-obama-to--just-do-it--215613300.html
 
 
0 # Activista 2013-09-03 00:30
Rebels control Kafr Nab .. if the "demonstrators" would support government in Damascus, they would be killed ...
 
 
-11 # James38 2013-09-01 06:26
We live in a world where the absence of war and senseless mass violence is still a dim dream.

We live in a world where a madman, Assad, has been sold huge amounts of every sort of weapon (short of Nuclear Bombs, fortunately), and he has decided that his desire to remain the dictator of Syria is more important than the lives of any possible number of other human beings (citizens of “his” country especially).

The atrocities began when Assad used deadly force to suppress peaceful demonstrations that were demanding fair and honest elections – elections which if held would have threatened the removal of Assad from “office”. His response shows that he had no illusions about his popularity in the Nation. His response also shows that he does not possess even a tiny shred of sanity or human decency.

The entire World “Civilization” has shown its lack of sanity as well by not immediately responding to Assad’s murderous attacks on his own people by making it clear, with force if necessary, that massacring your own citizens so you can cling to power is not tolerable. Instead, the world has stood by for years while the death and destruction has mounted to incredible levels.

Continued
 
 
+1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-01 19:07
TO:JAMES38
Was and are Bush And Cheney any different than Assad? Bush and Cheney needlessly put how many U.S. and allied soldiers to death. How many maimed? How many went insane? How many committed suicide? How many are dying a slow and horrible death due to DU radiation and DU poisoning? How many children were and are being born by soldiers who served in Iraq with severe mental problems, physical deformities? Born with one eye? Born with one arm? What is the cancer incidence rate in Iraq before and after the war? Would in incidence rate of a 7-10 fold bother you? Who is worse? Cheney? Bush? Assad? The answer is in the question.
 
 
-2 # James38 2013-09-02 06:26
Eldon, please cite your sources. Nothing I have seen by legitimate scientific sources suggest "slow and horrible death due to DU radiation and DU poisoning".

Such effects would only occur in the case of large chronic (repeated and frequent) doses, and I have not seen any such cases reported.

The genetic effects you mention could happen in such drastic cases, but again I have only heard rumors. If you have proof, please state the sources of your information.

Kindly note that I do not support the use of DU in weapons, nor do I support war in general.

I am interested in honest debate and discussion, and that requires citing sources when serious charges and claims are made. We all have a duty to avoid exaggeration. Exaggerated claims and erroneous information just add to the confusion that pervades much of our present world.
 
 
+2 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-02 08:51
TO:James38
I do not know your backgtound in science and math, physics. I do not know your background in understanding how uranium is processed to make DU 238. I would think you have not addressed the issues. Type into your computer address bar "does DU exposure cause cancer." "Does DU exposure cause birth defects?" Type in any question you want, get some international medical authority facts on this matter. You say, "you have openly heard rumors." Why not do your own research? Opinions and rumors are the cheapest commodities on earth. The military does its best to whisper sweet nothings in your ear, "don't worry Jimmy, its only depleted uranium." Jimmy, "now I feel so wonderful." The military, "we knew you would." American students rank 25th in the world in math and science. Essentially, Americans are, how do I say this without being anti-American, "stupid." Americans will believe most anything because they lack the basic wisdom of math and science so necessary in an evolving world.

Proof, they elected George Bush. Not only once, but twice. The "kind of guy you invite over for a Saturday afternoon BBQ."
 
 
+1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-02 10:46
TO: James38
Please refer to RSN, "The True Test of American Resolve:Not Attacking Syria But Living Up to Our Ideals at home" by Robert Reich.
I quote Tomo:"What Eldon says here about "depleted" uranium was said to me with great emphasis and frequent repetition by Marion Fulk in the last years of his life. Marion was a bio-chemist involved in things nuclear from the Manhatten Project and before right up to his death last year in his late eighties. What I as a layman garnered from Marion was that "depelted" uranium was remarkably busy--particula rly after it went into the form of gas. He said it had a "wicked" capacity to penetrate the body's defenses, and that once taken in, it functioned to enable all kinds of cellular connections that the evolutionary history of us humans had no use for and very little defense against. He felt sure this biological "dis-organizati on" was the physilogical basis for many of the problems the military has finally reluctantly ackowledged as PTSD.

So what? Well, we are justly outraged that some terrorists would set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, but we seem blissfully unaware that we have salted Iraq with the poison of DU--and now seem poised to do something similar to Syria." End of quote.

James 38, you are seriously harming the American public by your posting the equivalent of raw untreated sewerage on this board. Please act like a man and do your research by listening to international medical experts who not U.S. military payrolled.
 
 
-1 # James38 2013-09-02 13:52
Bloedorn, calling my posts "sewerage" is childish and demeaning to your own intelligence.

The IAEA, (International Atomic Energy Agency) has done some of the most thorough studies of all aspects of Nuclear Development and materials.

The radioactive level of DU, which is mostly U238, is very low. U238 has a half life of 4.468 billion years. That means it is hardly radioactive at all. There are different sources for DU, and they do have different levels of U235, which is more radioactive.

The primary radiation danger from depleted uranium is due to alpha particles, which do not travel far through air, and do not penetrate clothing. Thus, the primary concern is internal exposure, due to inhalation, ingestion or shrapnel contamination. Available evidence suggests that this risk is small relative to the chemical hazard.

A quote from the Wikipedia article on DU http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium#Safety_and_environmental_issues

"The IAEA reported in 2003 that, "based on credible scientific evidence, there is no proven link between DU exposure and increases in human cancers or other significant health or environmental impacts,"

Other scientific reports since then come to the same conclusion. However, chronic (frequent and repeated) exposure is much more dangerous.

I suggest you read the whole article.

Also, name your sources and "experts".
 
 
+1 # karenvista 2013-09-02 22:39
A half life of 4.4 billion years does not mean it is not dangerous. It means it will cause half the disorders that it is currently causing in 4.4. million years. What kind of idiot are you?

Google Fallujah birth defects and see what you are advocating!
 
 
0 # mjc 2013-09-03 11:52
Anyone who has used Wikipedia as a source of information KNOWS that quite often it is less than satisfactory and usually takes the blandest, least offensive position when presenting a case for this or that interpretation.
 
 
-2 # James38 2013-09-02 06:31
Eldon, the major difference between Bush/Cheney and Assad is that we can do something to prevent further murder by Assad.

I maintain that it is our humanitarian duty to do so.

Unfortunately the only thing we could do to GW Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, and several other culpable members of the "War Of Lies" gang would be to try them in the World Court as War Criminals.

There is abundant evidence to convict them.
 
 
+2 # karenvista 2013-09-02 22:41
Bush made a point of NOT signing Clinton's agreement to become a signatory of the World court as one of his first actions.

What does that tell you about his intentions?
 
 
-8 # James38 2013-09-01 06:32
Continuing

Little was said, and nothing even remotely effective was done, until Assad may have felt “secure” enough to include a small chemical attack in his mayhem against the people of “His” country. Whoever actually did that inspired the statement by Obama that use of Chemical weapons would be a Red Line. Now we have the second use of Chemical weapons, and Obama (after some waffling about where the Red Line actually was) is finally getting serious about a response.

Naturally in this world of “every opinion possible”, some are claiming that it was the rebels themselves, or some terrorist element, using the Chemical weapons to create confusion - but this is actually irrelevant. While it seems to me that the most likely culprit is Assad, it really does not matter, and that argument has become a red herring, distracting the world from the real issue.

The real issue is the atrocities - which began when Assad used deadly force against the Citizens of Syria - were immediately an obvious heinous violation of human rights and every other human right, and these atrocities should have resulted in an immediate response by a “sane” world.

Continued
 
 
-3 # James38 2013-09-01 06:35
Continuing

If Obama (and anyone else who understands that it is long past time for a response) wants to use the crossing of this (actually irrelevant) Red Line as justification for finally taking steps to end the violence and death in Syria, fine. The need for a response, showing our respect and kinship with our fellow human beings, has only gotten clearer with each needless death and injury in Syria. Watching whole cities emptied of people, lines of women and children desperately trying to find sanctuary, is not something we should EVER have tolerated. Confusing something called “Sovereignty” with the “hands-off” policy toward a total murdering madman like Assad is an outrageous justification for isolationism and selfishness gone mad.

The United States has an abysmally bad record of misuse of military power. I began my discovery of political responsibility by joining in the protests against the Vietnam War back in the late 1950’s, well before most people began protesting. I watched in horror as GHW Bush failed, at the end of the first Iraq war, to carry out his stated promise to support the opposition in Iraq, who, expecting that support, rose up and were massacred by Saddam. That was the second time I had seen the NON-use of military power as a “tool of serious abuse”. (The first was the non-reaction to the massacre at Sarajevo.)

Continued
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 22:59
And this is the reason that W cited as a cause to attack Iraq. Because Daddy Bush told the Iraqi people to arise and we would help them gain their freedom. We did nothing when they were attacked as rebellious (as the U.S. government would do.) He set them up as a casus belli for an eventual war,
 
 
+1 # James38 2013-09-01 06:37
Continuing

Saddam could easily have been toppled then, with the help of the people of Iraq. Instead, the weakened Dictator was able to muster his demoralized military and decimate the opposition in Iraq - who had exposed themselves, expecting support from the US. 20,000 of them died, and left Iraq society traumatized and the opposition nearly absent and totally leaderless, and largely replaced by the families and friends of the dead hating and distrusting the US. That deadly reneging on a promise will forever lay at the feet of GHW Bush and Dick Cheney (who penned an amazing piece of propaganda justifying inaction by the US, contradicting everything he had said before, or said since), a tribute to total confusion, deadly chicanery, and heartless dishonesty on the part of both men.

Then, Bush the junior idiot son, W, began his push toward the crazed “War of Lies” in Iraq. Foolishly forgetting that his father had already eliminated the part of Iraqi society that would have welcomed US intervention, W heedlessly and tirelessly lied and lied about WMD, riding his little “Halliburton Wagon” into war. (On line, if you search for it, you can find a video of W explaining his “philosophy” that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will eventually believe it.) If he was surprised at the lack of support in Iraq, and the absence of welcoming, or if he just didn't notice or care, his obvious interests lay elsewhere.

Continuing
 
 
-1 # James38 2013-09-01 06:39
Continued

The war and recovery efforts in Iraq were possibly the most corrupt, mismanaged, wasteful, destructive, and useless of any action taken by any large nation anywhere and anywhen. (The stories of the few military commanders and others who cared and tried to do something useful received only passing notice.) Meanwhile, Halliburton and other contractors made money hand over fist, crunching heedlessly over the corpses of Iraqi civilians in their forays from the Green Zone fortifications.

Against this long history of failure and abuse of power, I was amazed to see the US, under Obama, join with allies (notably Italy, Germany, Britain and France) to step in at the very last moment and prevent the crazed dictator Qaddafi from totally massacring the rebels in Lybia. The coalition followed the original rescue by carrying out a difficult and successful reduction of Qaddafi’s forces until the rebels, joined by many defectors, were finally able to overcome the government military and remove the dictator. Qaddafi and his family, just like Assad and his family and cronies in Syria, had plundered the wealth of the nation and left the majority in near to abject poverty.

Continued
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:53
We might believe what you said more if you knew how to even spell Libya.
 
 
-4 # James38 2013-09-01 06:41
Continuing

No Invasion by troops was ever contemplated in Libya, nor is any such invasion contemplated in Syria. Only the reduction, by the most careful possible use of sophisticated weaponry, of the forces of the dictator is intended. After that is accomplished, the people of Syria will have the opportunity to develop a more sane society.

That we have waited this long in Syria is a shame, but it follows the same dithering course as the intervention in Lybia. There are many people who confuse their desire for peace and non-involvement in other countries’ problems with the reality on the ground. They ignore the humanitarian disaster because they are misinformed about who is doing what, and about the extent of the proposed intervention.

This article is full of misinterpretati ons and what amounts to misguided propaganda that distorts the proper and possible positions of the liberal movement. That starts with the title, which serves as a warning that the following dissertation will not be fair, balanced, or even make an attempt at honest logic – “Lapdog Media Beats War Drums Again”

Continued
 
 
-3 # James38 2013-09-01 06:43
Continuing

Then we see reference to “The bombarding of an already war-ravaged country…”, but no “bombarding of the country” is contemplated. What is intended is specific strikes to reduce Assad’s murderous capacity to a level where the rebels are given a chance to prevail, and where Assad will be forced to realize that he no longer has enough force to kill his way to pyrrhic “victory”. (A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way; however, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit. Wikipedia)

As is the case throughout the article, the author misses the salient point. Here he waltzes past the fact of Syria being “already war-ravaged” without asking: Why is Syria war-ravaged? Because a madman has been allowed to commit wanton killing with no risk or threat of intervention - just to satisfy his lust for power.

The author goes on: “Obama said. ‘But we want the Assad regime to understand that by using chemical weapons on a large scale against your own people ... you're also creating a situation where U.S. national interests are affected, and that needs to stop.’”
“So not even the fig leaves of international assent matter now.”

Continued
 
 
-1 # James38 2013-09-01 06:46
Continuing

Ah, but by the author’s standards, it is quite all right for the “fig leaves of international assent” to cover up all of the needless death and mayhem in Syria – for years. We who are the givers or approvers of these “fig leaves” are to be happy with their application - in ways that allow us to turn our backs on the misery of the Syrian populace. (Piles of these same “fig leaves” are covering up many other humanitarian atrocities in Africa and the rest of the world – atrocities we find too inconvenient to face. And is it more “fig leaves” that cover up the hamstringing of the UN by Russia and China? Why are we willing to be complicit in the inhumane greed for power of any crazed dictator? Have we forgotten the strength and morality of “speaking truth to power?)

Is this the best that liberal thinking can imagine these days? Has idealism and compassion died?

Continued
 
 
0 # WestWinds 2013-09-01 19:19
Why should we not turn our backs on the misery in Syria? This country is doing a stellar job of turning its back on its own citizens (not to mention the First Nations people.)
 
 
-4 # James38 2013-09-02 06:17
WestWinds, Syria is not "turning its back on its own citizens".

The Syrian government has been usurped by a madman, Assad, who is killing thousands of "his" people in a crazed effort to cling to power.

The world, or the US, would only be doing the most obviously humane thing possible to strip Assad of his murderous power.

He is not a leader, he is a murderous Dictator. He has no legitimacy in any sane idea of reality.
 
 
+3 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:59
The answer is- Who has oil? We don't care if people are massacred in the Congo or Rwanda or even the Sudan, until we determine which side has the most oil.

Do you still believe we have ethics, or is Capitalism our king?
 
 
-5 # James38 2013-09-01 06:48
Concluding

The rest of the article is largely given over to a heated and re-heated discussion of who said he said she said he changed his statement about and on and on, about the use of chemical weapons. Which, as I have tried to make clear, is a Red Herring of the smelliest sort.

The atrocity of the mass killing in Syria lies at the feet of the demented dictator Assad, and has lain there for years. Had we acted promptly to avert more mayhem by Assad and his regime at the beginning, the question of chemical weapons would not have come up, and the added confusion of terrorist groups moving in to complicate the issues would never have happened. If we must use this escalation of the ongoing tragedy to finally act, so be it. The point is to stop the killing.

Nothing else has ever mattered, and the sooner we act, fewer innocents still living will die.
 
 
-4 # James38 2013-09-01 08:12
Postscript:

If we had acted promptly to both denounce the first atrocities by Assad, and when that had failed to accomplish anything (as it probably would have done), we had then given arms to the original rebels in sufficient quantity so they could have successfully opposed the Assad forces, we would not be in the position of needing to whack Assad’s military assets with our own weapons. We could have avoided the necessity to be quite so blatant about doing the right thing, which always stirs up opposition of various sorts (lots of which we see here in other comments). As usual we have waited and dithered and avoided being direct and honest. As a result, we are in a worse position, and many have died needlessly.

Foreign policy in the US is an undiscovered art. Somehow we need to take an honest look at our past history of blatant errors, and figure out that there is a better way forward.

Ultimately it is time for the World to look clearly at what we (humanity) have done to our planet. We are faced with unimaginable disasters due to Climate Change. These disasters will hit all countries. It is now time for the World to unite, for if we fail this time, we get no second chance.
 
 
+1 # jwb110 2013-09-01 09:49
Quoting bbaldwin2001:
Our President has now called on Congress to vote approval of force against Syria. (8/31/2013) I think he is doing the right thing. Let congress have a say, if they will, or they may drag it out just like they have everything else, but Obama will not be holding all of the responsibility. YEA !! Good !!


The Congress is mandated to declare war when the US has not been the target of the said reasons for war. This will be the first time, in my lifetime 63 years old, that Congress will be called upon to do their Constitutional duty. The Executive Branch is not designed, Constitutionall y, to operate as a King, Judge and Jury.
 
 
+3 # WestWinds 2013-09-01 19:21
I'm going to be very interested to see, if the Congress votes it down, if BHO will come up with a reason to go it alone anyhow.
 
 
0 # motamanx 2013-09-04 01:20
If Congress votes it down, Obama can be a hero if he agrees with them and does not send missiles. If he bombs Syria anyway, he will be just as bad as Bush/Cheney. Who were very bad indeed.
 
 
0 # motamanx 2013-09-04 01:23
Funny about Boehner suddenly voting FOR the war. He hasn't voted for anything Obama has wanted yet. Therefore, it would be prudent for Obama to vote against anything Boehner wants, as the Speaker has always been wrong, about everything.
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-03 00:02
And the President says he is not bound by the vote of Congress. So where does that put us? Are we any different from those we dismiss as Dictators?
 
 
+3 # WestWinds 2013-09-01 19:09
Why is "force" always the answer to all of our problems today? Either the corporations are forcing issues and the people are pushing back to force their employers to pay livable wages, the state governments are forcing issues like redistricting, We the People were forced to bail out the criminals on Wall Street, our treasured First Nations people are being forced to give over Treaty Lands to Keystone XL and other environmental destruction, we got forced into Citizens United by the SCOTUS, the House is always wanting to force a governmental shut-down, on and on and on. What ever happened to peaceful Maple tree lined streets and Andy Hardy of middle America? Man, will I ever be happy to see the next generation come up and take all this over and create a new nation; according to John Mayer they are already in the wings Waiting on the World to Change. I'm ready. Let's have that Change We Can (finally) Believe In, put the bad guys in jail and send the kooks packing.
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 22:29
Quoting bbaldwin2001:
Our President has now called on Congress to vote approval of force against Syria. (8/31/2013) I think he is doing the right thing. Let congress have a say, if they will, or they may drag it out just like they have everything else, but Obama will not be holding all of the responsibility. YEA !! Good !!


His spokesmen have been quoted saying he will attack no matter what Congress votes. take it out of his pay!
 
 
-38 # brux 2013-08-31 14:16
> Another Middle Eastern society will come further unstitched, and those doing the unstitching will have nothing on offer to replace it.

Seems like most of these countries are pretty well "unstitched" to begin with and have been in many ways for many years. Messing up the anthill gives them at least a chance to rebuild.

Some people seem totally focused on the real injuries they see coming from an military intervention, but what about the injuries of everyday life for centuries living without freedom and having to kowtow or die to corrupt rulers with no hope of having anything to say about it or any way to change.

We're talking about dissidents who have risked their lives to have a say and tens of thousands of them have been killed by their government for it.
 
 
-2 # James38 2013-09-01 17:51
Brux, you made a courageous and long-view comment, which earned you a majority of negative votes. There seem to be a lot of folks reading RSN who do not think beyond their short-sighted ideas of doctrinaire hyper-pacifism, which winds up too often being an excuse for isolationism, irresponsibilit y, and ignoring of real human suffering.

I wish RSN would change their voting tally, and just list all positive and all negative votes. For all we know, your comment could have received 65 plus votes and 100 negative votes. Seeing that would be much more informative than just seeing the running total of 35 negative votes.

Please, RSN, show us the votes as cast. We would like more actual information.
 
 
0 # brux 2013-09-06 22:13
Thanks James, I agree with what you say.
It is a good idea to record and print the vote total.
this is better than at the huffington post where
they only even print the number of likes ... i think that
should be criminal, it is tampering with public opinion.

But, who knows who or what votes on here, or even if the
votes are real? This place could be here for reasons no one understands that are not what they say ... in fact people should have healthy skepticism about everything they see on the internet.
 
 
-40 # brux 2013-08-31 14:17
> I have previously identified Bibi as the most dangerous man in the Middle East

If you support Islamic States and terrorism ... I guess he probably is.
 
 
+32 # RichardRL 2013-08-31 15:43
Or if you support America and her service men and women who bleed and die -- and NOT the fascists state of Israel that precipitates all these conflicts.
 
 
0 # brux 2013-09-06 22:03
yeah yeah yeah ... I've heard this nonsense before, less people die in military action these days than ever before, our military technology is getting much better and you just want to ignore that as a factor because you are so pure and virginal.
 
 
+22 # Phlippinout 2013-08-31 16:23
If you support torture, apartheid, and outdoor concentration camps then you are partly responsible for the mess over there!
 
 
0 # brux 2013-09-06 22:05
no you support torture, apartheid, and outdoor concentration camps - neener, neener, neener ... what are you 6 years old?

what an asinine statement not to mention logic, i don't support support torture, apartheid, and outdoor concentration camps and i would be insulted if i thought you any understanding of what you are saying - i don't think you do.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2013-08-31 22:56
Another Middle Eastern society will come further unstitched, and those doing the unstitching will have nothing on offer to replace it.(quote)
Right-on this far.
The "unstiching" was imposed by colonialism and re-drawing of boundaries to suit the needs of the British East India company, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) and others under the umbrella of the "Empah' on which the Sun will never set" then by it's logical Imperialist successor, the US.
As for "Living without freedom for centuries", the "Fertile Crescent" stretching from the Ural Mountains to the Arabian peninsula was the foundation of what we tend to claim as modern "Civillizaton", as the great Iroquois Confederacy was the basis of the US constitution.
It was only with the coming of the crusades that the region morphed into an introspective set of separate nations in order to protect their own values from the arrogant invaders who, like all potential despots, claim that God was (and is) on their side (same as they did to the American tribal nations and so many other indigenous peoples who just happened to be in the way).
The present situation in Syria is way too complex to be painted with a broad brush but at base, is the result, or blowback from decades of colonialist interference in an area the perpetrators still don't fully understand but which they wish to dominate with an iron knuckle-duster for it's resources and strategic location(s).
 
 
-1 # James38 2013-09-01 18:06
Good comment, Reiver.

Always a pleasure to see someone who can back up serious thinking with some accurate history.

Perhaps you would read my lengthy comment above and offer a reaction or two?
 
 
0 # brux 2013-09-06 22:10
> and those doing the unstitching will have nothing on offer to replace it.

This is a great point.
Yes, that is a signigicant part of what is happening.
BUT ... do you think there is any point to trying to offer
something to replace it ... do you think it would work?
The limiting thing is that we cannot really effectively do
anything but unstitch some of these places and try to
work over the long time to let it re-stitch in a better
way.

what i would like to see happen is as much on trying
to do that and the results as is going into the debate
about doing something.

people will die getting assad out of power, and eventually
this with or without syria lead to some kind of confrontation
with iran ... it would be much better for everyone not to have to do this in the middle of a possible coming world economic collapse.

just from a high altitude long historic view, but it's no longer the case that if we left these societies would somehow evolve naturally, they - like almost all societies these days are broken.

we should figure out how to fix a broken society, because we may have to do it here.
 
 
+3 # WestWinds 2013-09-01 19:23
As opposed to Bibi cobbling together the United States of Israel with the help of the US government and the support international banking community.
 
 
+25 # hutchr 2013-08-31 14:41
Hope that he doesn't use Depleted Uranium in his attacks on Syria's chemical weapons. I guess that he isn't attacking the weapons which would spread the chemicals, but, rather, attacking just anywhere to prove that he is a man of his word. (red line)Of course any attack anywhere, if using Depleted Uranium, is chemical warfare.
 
 
+6 # Quickmatch 2013-08-31 15:37
I think "radiological" warefare would be the proper term. The danger from depleted Uranium (natural metallic Uranium after extracting almost all the U-235, aside from its density lending it superior penetrating properties in high velocity projectiles, is it's residual radioactivity. Purely from a chemistry standpoint depU is not as chemically and physiologically toxic as lead.
 
 
+12 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-08-31 18:35
TO:Quickmatch
International agencies would disagree with you on DU's "toxicity." Incidence of reported cancer rates in Southern Iraq have increased 6-7 fold. Not % Soldiers who were the unlucky tank operators and their tanks were penetrated by DU got an unwelcome surprise. Du penetrates the tank, starts on fire, starts other fires while setting off poisonous dust particles. Tank operator is exposed to nuclear radiation, inhales it. DU also creates nuclear dust particles outside the tank upon the projectile smashing through the tank armor and are picked up by the winds, carried to what was once potable water supplies. Inhaled by troops, citizens. The UK installed DU nuclear detectors and did pick up DU radiation from Iraq. Say the tank operator survives, is not instantly killed. Gets discharged, goes home. Weds his sweetheart. Very high incidence of children being born with horrible birth defects. Like what? Born with one eye, cripploed and disfigured limbs. DU finds its way into the reproductive organs of male and female soldiers. If and when a male soldier weds a female soldier and both have been exposed to DU, marry, couple decide to have children. Do you really want to know how the "kids" turn out? All effects of being exposed to DU have been politely called "Gulf War Syndrome." Translated:"A Slow And Most Often, Horrible Death."
 
 
0 # James38 2013-08-31 21:21
Quickmatch, the residual radioactivity of depleted uranium is extremely low. Not dangerous. Yes it is toxic. Should it be used? Better ask when society will quit developing ever more sophisticated weapons, and become sophisticated enough itself to stop war games totally.

We all face incredible danger from global warming and climate change. We need to unite to deal with that - and learn to respect our planet and each other.
 
 
+4 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-01 20:34
TO James38
Your knowledge of the removed isotope from naturally occurring uranium also called DU is definitely queastionable. International agencies would certainly disagree with your opinion that DU is has a residual radioactivity which is "extremely low." You need to access international agency medical experts who have not been "bought out" by the U.S. government, especially military doctors. You can access this information on your computer address bar and get facts rather than an opinion. There are no two sides to a fact. International medical experts lay claim to DU having 60-70 % the level of radioactivity as naturally occurring uranium. But then, American students rank 25th in the world in math and science. So, it is easy to "slip something over" on "us." Here is a fact. If DU is relatively low as you say in radioactivity, why do international experts say the U.S. government and especially military doctors are lying to U.S. citizens and former military service men and women about how dangerous DU really is? And there are quite a number of well-known international medical professionals who say anyone who says DU is relatively very low in radioactivity is simply lying. Remember Agent Orange? Especially when a sargent in the 70s was shown on national television drinking a glass of Agent Orange and pretending (wink, wink)"see, no problem." Yum! Americans, since they have little ability in math and science, can be easily bullshited. By most anyone. Proof?. Bush election.
 
 
-6 # James38 2013-09-02 06:11
Eldon, I have been studying physics and reactor design quite extensively. I certainly do not recommend the use of DU in weapons, any more than I support the idea that the Iraq war was anything but a tragedy caused by the lies of GW Bush and his administration.

The radioactive level of DU, which is mostly U238, is very low. U238 has a half life of 4.468 billion years. That means it is hardly radioactive at all. There are different sources for DU, and they do have different levels of U235, which is more radioactive.

The primary radiation danger from depleted uranium is due to alpha particles, which do not travel far through air, and do not penetrate clothing. Thus, the primary concern is internal exposure, due to inhalation, ingestion or shrapnel contamination. Available evidence suggests that this risk is small relative to the chemical hazard.

"international agencies"? The IAEA is one of the most respected.

A quote from the Wikipedia article on DU http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium#Safety_and_environmental_issues

"The IAEA reported in 2003 that, "based on credible scientific evidence, there is no proven link between DU exposure and increases in human cancers or other significant health or environmental impacts,"

Other scientific reports since then come to the same conclusion. However, chronic (frequent and repeated) exposure is much more dangerous.

I suggest you read the whole article.

Also, name your sources and "experts".
 
 
0 # brux 2013-09-06 22:22
>>There are no two sides to a fact. International medical experts lay claim to DU having 60-70 % the level of radioactivity as naturally occurring uranium. But then, American students rank 25th in the world in math and science.

Eldon, let me get this straight, you are arguing against a selected group of international medical experts on the basis that you think unselected total group of american students ranking low in the world in math and science somehow affects the results of these tests?

I just find that astoundingly comedic that anyone would put those two thoughts together and think they have an insight to prove something, a true howler man!
 
 
0 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-02 21:42
To James38 I quote you, "Not dangerous. Yes it is toxic. Should it be used?" Then you did not have the courage to answer your own question. When you were faced with answering your own question, you did a pivot. A pivot is a political trick of saying, "I'll ask another question that has little to do with the original question and then I'll answer the new question other than the one presented by me to me. That way, I will save face." B.S.
 
 
0 # brux 2013-09-06 22:31
You have a degree in BS?

I don't think you understand what depleted uranium is, of how its radiation works.

depleted uranium has been refined to remove the high radiocative atoms leaving the more stable and low radiocative atoms.

simpligying, this is like reducing the charge of radiation, concentration it in the UNdepleted Ur and minimizing the depleted Ur. Think of it as a container holding water ... the half-life is the time it takes for half the water to drip out.

The half-life or any uranium will always be long, but there is so little radiocativity in DU that the amount dripping out at any time is tiny even compared with background radiation that we know is not dangerous.

What IS IN DU is a toxic heavy metal, Ur. It behaves like lead in the body, but different, probably worse, but it is hard to get into your body unless you are exposed to a lot of it or eat it or breath is. That can happen in warfare, then there must be cleanup to detoxify the area. I doubt that is happening sufficiently.

I think DU should not be used, but I would not bet that lead or tungsten is much better.
 
 
+7 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-01 07:06
TO: QUICKMATCH
If one reads the "official report" by the U.S. military, the radioactivity of DU is (WINK WINK) quite low. If one reads the reports based on imnternational medical teams, the real radioactivity of DU is 60-70 % that of naturally occurring uranium. Very deadly.
 
 
-7 # James38 2013-09-01 18:24
Quick, the radioactive level of DU, which is essentially U238, is extremely low. U238 has a half life of 4.468 billion years. That means it is hardly radioactive at all.

U238, along with Thorium (which is four times more abundant than Uranium) are both fertile elements, which means they can be converted to a fissile fuel for nuclear power generation. The best form of reactor is the LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) which is fail-safe, and can also use present stockpiles of "Nuclear Waste" as fuel, solving the storage problem.

We need to be aware of these facts since we are faced with a far more severe problem than the topic here, the Syrian mess.

The world is faced with massive disasters from looming Climate Change.

We must outgrow our fixation on war and unite globally, or we will have no chance of a decently survivable future. If we fail to quit spending our money on war, and start spending it on new power supplies, we will leave a disaster for our children and grandchildren.

Read "Super Fuel - Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future" by Richard Martin

"Storms of My Grandchildren" by Dr James E Hansen

"Merchants of Doubt" by Naomi Oreskes

Also see this fascinating presentation by Kirk Sorenson of Flibe Energy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9M__yYbsZ4 (Preview)
Or this reference to the same lecture:
Thorium: An energy solution - THORIUM REMIX 2011 - YouTube
 
 
+1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-02 21:59
To:Quickmatch
I quote you,"Purely from a chemistry standpoint, depU is not chemically and physiologically toxic as lead."

Fairy Dust!

You have merely proven that by international standards, and this is a fact, Americans rank as students, 25th in the world in math and science. That Americans will believe anything. Since Americans will believe anything, that is why the military is and has used weapons of mass destruction such as Agent Orange (lovely name) and DU (well, it's depleted 'cause that's what the label on the box says.) If depleted uranium is depleted, what is depleted uranium depleted of? That should be the first real question to ask. "Depleted uranium" is just a fake name invented by the military just like Agent Orange was a fake name invented by the military. Designed to put the mind to sleep on the matter.
 
 
0 # brux 2013-09-06 22:16
Depleted uranium's effects are mostly biochemical, that is radiation aside uranium exposure can be a heavy dose of heavy metal which everyone knows is toxic. I just do not think that lead is really any better ... so we are not going to outlaw bullets realistically, but it would be symbolically good not to use DU where it is not absolutely necessary, or at all.
 
 
+17 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-08-31 15:53
To hutchr
Good post. Keep it going. Especially with your understanding of the horrible consequences of the use of a weapon of mass destruction-DU.
 
 
+30 # Phlippinout 2013-08-31 16:29
Its only chemical warfare when the other people use them silly. The US has a special little fairy that goes around and only touches the bad guys with poison dust but no one else ever gets hurt, like the drones. The special little fairy points to the bad guys and then the drone bursts in and removes the bad guy and leaves the room in perfect order. We never do anything wrong. Got it?
 
 
+3 # WestWinds 2013-09-01 19:49
Oh, God. We are SO crazy.
 
 
+11 # Douglas Jack 2013-08-31 17:34
hutchr, Here are corrections to several unfounded falsehoods you have believed from our Finance-Media-Military-Industrial-Legislative-Terror-Complex.
UN Human Rights weapons inspector Carla Del Ponte, "according to what we have established so far, it is at the moment, opponents of the regime who are using sarin gas"

NATO in a survey, 70% of the Syrian population supports the Assad government. Only 10% support the foreign mercenaries & supposed rebels. http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/05/31/nato-data-assad-winning-the-war-for-syrians-hearts-and-minds/

Over 50% of fighters in Syria are foreign mercenaries armed & financed by USA, Canada, NATO, Saudi-Arabia & Israel using Sarin Gas manufactured & delivered by us. http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/07/30/316273/west-war-crimes-in-syria-exposed/

Obama is only an ignorant tool of the FMMICLTC, so continuing Enhanced (aka depleted) Uranium coated missile tips for penetration & genocide, with some isotope half-lives spanning 100s of 1000s of years to his WAR CRIMES is not new. http://landdestroyer.blogspot.fr/

Guess what happens when a colony like the USA is founded in genocide? Its time to rediscover our 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generatin g') roots before colonialism's violence stained our hearts. www.indigenecommunity.info
 
 
+3 # hutchr 2013-08-31 19:26
Douglas Jack: I'm not quite sure where we are disagreeing. I agree with your whole letter and can't find the problem that you have with mine. Maybe it's been a long day, but I would be interested in what it is that I said that you disagree with. What are the unfounded falsehoods that I believe?
 
 
+6 # Douglas Jack 2013-08-31 20:59
hutchr, I generally liked your comment but it has some inaccuracies. I agree with you the tension raised by what to my generation is Obama's threat of bombing an innocent nation protected by Russia, China & Iran as well as with sympathies from India, Pakistan etc means to instigate WW3, makes for a "long day".

I was responding to your sentences:
1) ". . . in his attacks on Syria's chemical (???) weapons"
2) "I guess that he isn't attacking the weapons (???) which would spread the chemicals (???)"
because both of these assumptions (???) are unlikely, unproven & part of US propaganda, that don't bear repeating in forums looking for the truth. Lies left unchallenged & often repeated, as some of the uninformed, unresearched commenters here do, often become accepted as truths. We can restrict ourselves to specific evidence or quotes & leave speculation aside.

When I was 7 years old, John F. Kennedy following the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, was ready to start a world nuclear conflagration so one hundred million of us elementary & high-school students in the USA, Canada & Europe were told there could be a nuclear war. We were told that in such a case we would put our heads between our knees under our desks. Someone at the time accurately described this 'precaution' as a way of kissing our asses good-bye. I became actively involved in peace action at 13 years old. www.indigenecommunity.info
 
 
+1 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:03
Quoting Douglas Jack:

When I was 7 years old, John F. Kennedy following the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, was ready to start a world nuclear conflagration so one hundred million of us elementary & high-school students in the USA, Canada & Europe were told there could be a nuclear war. We were told that in such a case we would put our heads between our knees under our desks. Someone at the time accurately described this 'precaution' as a way of kissing our asses good-bye. I became actively involved in peace action at 13 years old. www.indigenecommunity.info

[quote name="James38

You should research this point more effectively. JFK fought off the Joint Chiefs of Staff who wanted to carry out a Nuclear attack on Cuba and therefore the Soviet Union and JFK communicated directly with Khrushchev to avoid it.

That was one of the reasons he was assassinated.

You should thank our lucky stars that W wasn't there then or we would all be dead.
 
 
+21 # marigayl 2013-08-31 15:21
Here in the land of the free and the home of the brave if "journalists did their jobs properly" they would be hunted like Snowden or tortured and jailed like Manning. If we can indeed be granted an investigation into the source and effects of immoral weaponry, how about shining a spotlight on Fallujah? Just about any attack the US makes with any kind of munition employs depleted uranium, which is ubiquitous in the US arsenal.
 
 
+16 # seeuingoa 2013-08-31 15:26
Nobel Peace Price ???
 
 
+26 # reiverpacific 2013-08-31 15:28
Just for starters, please don't post a photograph of Dimwit's vapid excuse for a smiley-face and Chey-gang's leer on RSN -it damn near put me off my lunch!
I just listened to Obama's short speech from the Rosey-spectacle -Garden and it's clear that he's claiming justification for 'American Exceptionalism' and 'Global Policeman' (If we have to) status.
And of course the US can take on whatever Syrian forces it cares to without a coalition of the willing: it has a military larger than all 26 of the next countries combined! Yet he claims to be "War-weary, like most Americans", then in almost the next sentence gave us the "but if we have to" bit and the final irony "We will be safer and better (for military intervention)", as if Syria or anybody else was already aiming heavy ordinance at the "Homeland".
Overall message -"Just watch us fuck-up yet another Middle Eastern country; our kids and grandkids will endure and pay for the blowback"! -And we've always got our ol' buddy Nutty-yahoo standing by with his ever-twitchy trigger-finger and 200 nukes!
BTW, I'm no heavy conspiracy theorist (although I'm a member of "Architects and Engineers for 9-11 truth") but one of the more plausible explanations for the gassing I've hear is that MOSSAD did it or set it up, as the article vaguely hints at, maybe even with CIA backup, although they (MOSSAD) are some of the world's most efficient covert murderers.
There's plenty of precedence after all!
 
 
+6 # mdhome 2013-08-31 21:02
Turkey, Jordan and neighbors are the ones to decide what to do and they are the ones to do it, NOT the US of A.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2013-08-31 22:29
Quoting mdhome:
Turkey, Jordan and neighbors are the ones to decide what to do and they are the ones to do it, NOT the US of A.

Excellent and very prescient comment! They have been utterly ignored by the owner-media press patsies to date, as far as I can see.
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:05
Quoting mdhome:
Turkey, Jordan and neighbors are the ones to decide what to do and they are the ones to do it, NOT the US of A.


They are lieges of the U.S. and will do what we tell them.
 
 
+27 # fredboy 2013-08-31 15:29
You hit the nail on the head.

After a 10+ year New York Times Iraq "war" the "news" media once again pumps us up for more.

And speaking of the NYT Iraq "war," I noticed more than 30 Iraqis were killed in a day of attacks this week yet it didn't even make the nightly news. So we go in, destroy nations, then "forget about 'em!"

And the media wants respect...
 
 
+25 # logmgmt 2013-08-31 15:40
What I don't understand is WHAT U.S National Interests does this affect? Granted, regardless of who was responsible for the gassing, it is a terrible thing, but I don't see where it has anything to do with our interests. The idea of the whole world being in OUR interest is rather selfish, if anything.
 
 
+3 # trottydt 2013-09-01 08:47
Quoting logmgmt:
The idea of the whole world being in OUR interest is rather selfish, if anything.


Could be that JESUS or somebody died and "willed the World" to America!
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:09
Quoting logmgmt:
What I don't understand is WHAT U.S National Interests does this affect? Granted, regardless of who was responsible for the gassing, it is a terrible thing, but I don't see where it has anything to do with our interests. The idea of the whole world being in OUR interest is rather selfish, if anything.


Why don't we defend the million on Somali that have been killed? Not enough oil?

The oil in Syria is already being sold by the rebels, who have it under their control, to a company called Genie, which has Dick Cheney as a major investor. Surprised? I think not.
 
 
+16 # L H 2013-08-31 15:59
Please spread the word (see below) - Saudi Arabia supplied chemical weapons to the rebels, but didn't tell them, or instruct them, what the weapons were. The rebels caused the explosions themselves. The cabal is trying to LIE us into another war. Don't let them do it.

EXCLUSIVE: SYRIANS IN GHOUTA CLAIM SAUDI-SUPPLIED REBELS BEHIND CHEMICAL ATTACK

http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/

REBELS ADMIT RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK

http://www.infowars.com/rebels-admit-responsibility-for-chemical-weapons-attack/

“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” one militant named ‘J’ told Gavlak.

"His claims are echoed by another female fighter named ‘K’, who told Gavlak, “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

"More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government."
 
 
+3 # Byronator 2013-08-31 23:36
Al Jazzera posted this earlier. So what is Saudi's dog in this fight? Worth deep investigation.

Along with: "... and of course Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel, which is (on the record) eager to regionalize the Syria question so that Iran can be bombed."

Whose puppet is the United States? So confusing.
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:15
Quoting Byronator:
Al Jazzera posted this earlier. So what is Saudi's dog in this fight? Worth deep investigation.

Along with: "... and of course Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel, which is (on the record) eager to regionalize the Syria question so that Iran can be bombed."

Whose puppet is the United States? So confusing.

Quoting L H:
Please spread the word (see below) - Saudi Arabia supplied chemical weapons to the rebels, but didn't tell them, or instruct them, what the weapons were. The rebels caused the explosions themselves. The cabal is trying to LIE us into another war. Don't let them do it.

Byronator-Thanks for presenting the truth!
“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” one militant named ‘J’ told Gavlak.

"His claims are echoed by another female fighter named ‘K’, who told Gavlak, “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

"More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government."



I, unfortunately, changed my cable company after 9 year and paid a premium to get Al Jazeera, not realizing that they are owned by Qatar which is financing the rebels. So now I get pro-war propaganda from every channel. No truth anywhere, except. maybe, the Guardian.
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:15
Quoting Byronator:
Al Jazzera posted this earlier. So what is Saudi's dog in this fight? Worth deep investigation.

Along with: "... and of course Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel, which is (on the record) eager to regionalize the Syria question so that Iran can be bombed."

Whose puppet is the United States? So confusing.

Quoting L H:
Please spread the word (see below) - Saudi Arabia supplied chemical weapons to the rebels, but didn't tell them, or instruct them, what the weapons were. The rebels caused the explosions themselves. The cabal is trying to LIE us into another war. Don't let them do it.

Byronator-Thanks for presenting the truth!
“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” one militant named ‘J’ told Gavlak.

"His claims are echoed by another female fighter named ‘K’, who told Gavlak, “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

"More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government."



I, unfortunately, changed my cable company after 9 year and paid a premium to get Al Jazeera, not realizing that they are owned by Qatar which is financing the rebels. So now I get pro-war propaganda from every channel. No truth anywhere, except. maybe, the Guardian.
 
 
0 # James38 2013-09-01 07:43
LH, I had never heard of "infowars" or "mintpressnews" . I have taken a look, and while mintpress seems to make some effort at accuracy, I am not convinced that is actually their objective.

Infowars is blatantly tilted toward one opinion set, and not an accurate source of anything.

When you cite a source, or select a source for your idea of reality, you need to do a lot of checking. The internet is a useful tool, but its freedom leads to the publication of a lot of distorted nonsense.
 
 
+4 # geraldom 2013-09-02 00:07
James38, you're all over the place here. It seems that any news source that you don't agree with is questionable. Logic & common sense alone would dictate that Assad would've been out of his gourd to perpetrate such a chemical attack just after the arrival of the U.N. inspectors into Syria & when Obama was itching for any excuse to attack the country.

The chemical attack could've only helped the rebels. There is no hard evidence that Assad was behind this attack, just a bunch of hot air emanating from the mouths of Joe Biden & John Kerry.

The UN inspectors didn't do a thorough job. They could've, if they wanted to, determine the source of the attack, be it a missile or a local source, but they didn't.

The U.S. no longer has any credibility to judge others for crimes that it has committed or supported in the past ever since it used biological warfare against native Americans in the 19th century, and when it firebombed Dresden & exploded two atom bombs against Japan during WWII, and when it used Agent Orange & napalm & other toxic chemicals against the people in Vietnam & Cambodia, and when it supplied Saddam with the materials to build chemical weapons which he used against Iran & his own people with our blessings, and when it used White Phosphorous against innocent Iraqis in Fallujah and when it saturated the countryside of Iraq & Afghanistan with DU which has caused increased birth defects and stillborn births as well as more cancer, and so forth and so on.
 
 
+3 # L H 2013-08-31 17:04
From Anonymous - Syria & The Drums of War

http://www.degaray.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qcHQveeNa1I
 
 
+14 # X Dane 2013-08-31 18:37
I wonder if any of you read Robin Wright's article in LA Times, August 29th. "The risk of taking on Syria"

She documents what happens every time we deliver "quick hits" ....When Reagan sent in the Marine "peace keepers" to hit the Muslim militia in Beirut. In spite of their commander's warning, that a strike would have dire consequences for our policy and his troops. "We will get slaughtered down there"

Reagan did not give a damn, The cruiser Virginia, offshore, fired 70 deafening rounds. (MS. Wright lived in Lebanon at the time)
It was supposed to be a quick hit,......
but 34 days later a truck bomb carrying about 6 tons of explosives drove into the Marine barracks as the peace keepers slept.

It was the single largest non-nuclear explosion in the world since WW 2. It was the the largest loss of Military life in a single life since Ivo Jima.

Some quick hit.
 
 
+11 # X Dane 2013-08-31 19:07
Continued.
She mentions.... again under Reagan ...the air-strikes of Kadafi's quarters, after the bombing of a Berlin disco, a hang out for American troops, another Quick hit?? The revenge for that???


Two years later Libya masterminded the the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 killing 270 people. Kadafi...... lived another 25 yeas.

The terrorists sometimes take their time before retaliating As they say: "You have the watches,....we have the time."

She mentions several other incidents of
our "Quick hits" and what follows. You should get the article and read it. I can't write all of it here.

MS. Wright is an authority on the Middle East having lived there, and written several books about it..."Rock the Casbah": Rage and Rebellion Across the the Islamic world, and several more.
 
 
+2 # DrD 2013-08-31 20:58
Thank you for referring to article in LA Times. Chilling but concise summary. When will we stop the madness?
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2013-09-01 00:16
Dr.D.
I am glad you saw the article, and you are right, It is very chilling, Every "Quick Hit" brings on a terrible reprisal. It is like the old Cicilian Vendetta. You kill one of my people....I kill one of yours.
There simply is no end to it.
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:19
An authority is in the eyes of the believers. Google Pan Am 103 and CIA and you will find some information you don't like.
 
 
+6 # X Dane 2013-08-31 19:19
continued.
As awful as the chemical attacks are. We can be SURE some truly horrendous retaliation will take place, if we strike. We have so many of our forces in the region, they will be made to pay a terrible price.

It is a huge mistake to put down a "red line" for if you do not follow through, you look weak. But "striking" because you boxed yourself in can be much, much worse. Time to think VERY carefully America.
 
 
0 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:24
Quoting X Dane:
continued.

It is a huge mistake to put down a "red line" for if you do not follow through, you look weak. But "striking" because you boxed yourself in can be much, much worse. Time to think VERY carefully America.


Putting down a "red line" is a flag to wave for the opposition to break. And they did, with the arrival of Libyan Russian engineered chemical weapons, which were designed to look like the Assad regime had done the attack.

Look up BRITAM, one of our contractors.
 
 
0 # irvingwood 2013-09-03 11:30
I felt the same trepidation when I heard of the red line that I did when they blockaded Cuba and dared the Soviets to cross it. No negotiator in his right mind gives ultimata. The USA started the Cold War in 1945 and have taken the world nearest to Armageddon.
 
 
+4 # Rick Levy 2013-08-31 20:00
"Lapdog Media Beats War Drums Again". This title implies that the mass media supports an attack on Syria. And that may well be the case. But how about some specific names and examples of major metropolitan newspapers and national broadcasters who are doing this.

At least the Washington Post did publish the Broad article, not on the front page.

I do not necessarily refute Smith's contention. I'm just asking that he back it up with proof that the U.S. media as a whole favors American intervention in Syria.
 
 
+1 # Act of Defiance 2013-09-01 02:40
"At least the Washington Post did publish the Broad article, not on the front page."

Brings to mind a perfect indictment of WaPo that appeared here yesterday: "The wonderful thing about the Washington Post -- you never know where you'll find a page-one story."
 
 
+5 # cordleycoit 2013-08-31 21:12
Does anyone with any smarts ever ask questions or is the army of dysfunctional NYT reporters still getting spoon fed o the White House steps? We in the indi press know that get over their spats on in the bs they poop onto paper. When one of their number strikes a nerve they get a flaming Mercedes Benz as a retirement tool. And question that the rulers can then prove a reporter was a walking pharmacy. What was the CIA cooking up , a war in Syria. "blame it on coincidence" Bob Dylan. Now we will have a play debate and a rousing cheer for the our troops from the chicken hawks left and right.And how much does it cost the rent the body and mind of a Times man?
 
 
+1 # karenvista 2013-09-02 23:27
PLEASE DON'T FOGET THE TRUTH TELLER MICHAEL HASTINGS WHO GAVE HIS LIFE FOR US!
 
 
+1 # AuntieTom 2013-08-31 22:09
Thank god or whoever the powers may be that we no longer have to look at or listen to that cynical and idiotic GW bush. Things may not have change much but at least we don't have to put up with his cynical stupidities. Pardon me for venting.
 
 
+7 # geraldom 2013-08-31 22:22
Come on people, we all know what Obama wants to replace the Assad regime with and it's a continuation of G.W. Bush's policy. Just like we did in Iraq and Afghanistan where we illegally invaded two sovereign nations and overthrew regimes we didn't like to replace them with puppet leaders of our choice who our bidding.

We replaced Saddam Hussein of Iraq with Nouri al-Maliki, another dictator, at the cost of close to 4000 U.S. lives and tens of thousands of U.S. wounded and maimed for life and over 2 million innocent Iraqis, men, women, and children, and counting.

We replaced the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan with another dictator under Hamid Karzai, but one that will ask us how high we would like him to jump. The cost of this war which hasn't ended has yet in terms of U.S. lives and innocent Afghan lives has yet to be tallied.

Now the United States wants to do the exact same thing in Syria. We want to kick Assad out and put in a U.S. friendly puppet leader in Syria who will have greater fealty to what we want and not necessarily to what is best for the Syrian people.

And when we're done in Syria, I'll give you one guess as to who is next on the U.S. hit list. Yes, Iran.
 
 
+3 # seeuingoa 2013-09-01 05:10
I have to take my siesta now instead
of normally in one hour.

Looking at these two dickheads on the
same photo ! is just tooo much.
 
 
+3 # rockieball 2013-09-01 06:35
I don't see Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordon or any other Middle East or Muslim country massing their armies and ready to help out. Do you? I say stay out of it. Why should we get involved when they will not. This country is becoming their hired help to do the dirty work for them and take the blame when it goes south. It's a Muslim country let the Muslim's sort it out. If they don't then so be it.
 
 
0 # mjc 2013-09-04 10:26
Absolutely, rockieball. But you missed one: Israel. You know how devious these alliances, ours in particular, can be when you factor in our lack of support...OPENL Y...from Israel on the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
 
 
+1 # E-Mon 2013-09-03 00:39
Seriously! Is this really the best we can come up with!? The "solution" to all problems is to go in and bomb the s__t out of everyone? Some people got killed, so go in and kill some more? Doesn't sound very intelligent to me. This strategy is getting VERY, VERY, VERY old. And not to sound callous, but why in god's name is this "OUR" problem?
 

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