Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Syrian fear mongering may not be working!

John Kerry's turn to roast on the liberal spit

I guess we're supposed to panic and trust everything our government tells us again.

They've been throwing out an enormous volume of reports about how Syria has been using chemical weapons and they're the greatest threat since, well the last time they presented us the greatest threat ever and told us to trust them.

As usual the truth is the first casualty of war, at least in the mainstream media; and in some cases when they claim the alternative media outlets are unreliable they are right; but those who have paid attention can through them and at least find some things that we can rely on.

One thing that can be reliably determined is that at least since WWII all wars have been based on lies, like the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the claims of Iraqi weapons of Mass destruction, that haven't held up after the war was fought and in many cases the threat was actually a result of past activities by our own government like when we armed the Mujaheddin and Saddam Hussein.

Hermann Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gustave Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. Hermann Göring quotes

The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose—especially their lives. Eugene V. Debs Canton, Ohio Anti-War Speech

Many anti-war activists including Bruce Gagnon have been asking people to SPEAK OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN; and there are plenty of people that have been doing so although as of Saturday morning the mainstream media was slow to report on it. When Googling "Anti War protest Syria" the reports of protests are mostly from local news or alternative media outlets. The few stories from national news that address this indicate that there are few if any although that appears to be changing quickly. Protests had already begun in Times Square, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Cambridge, England, despite the reluctance of the commercial media to report it.

And this was before Obama asked for approval from Congress indicating that there is a strong possibility that he might have been responding to the protest, although he would surely deny it.

Since then he seems to have been carrying on a bad campaign to convince people to go along and there are good reasons to indicate that it might not work although he might try to make it appear as if it is.

If John Kerry or Barack Obama were so worried about children being harmed in chemical weapons attacks then they might be just as worried about them being harmed by drone strikes, as collateral damage from the Tomahawk missiles they would like to use, in land mines or in the sweat shops that routinely burn down or collapse; but whether it is because campaign contributors happen to be involved in these activities or not they don't seem to concerned about them.

When it happens to suit their political agenda they are much more concerned though.

It is much easier to find rational and sincere comments from people with little or no access to the commercial media and sometimes they point out obvious flaws that the political establishment routinely overlooks, for example Just Thinking recently said "I fully believe the US ought to be offering humanitarian aid to Syria's refugees and that's it." Why is it that when ever it comes to paying for humanitarian aid that shouldn't be controversial we routinely hear all kinds of objections about the deficit or big government spending but these objections are rarely brought up when it comes to bombing people and possibly creating much more collateral damage!

We spend an enormous amount of money on military aid around the world selling far more weapons than any other country. In many cases these weapons are the ones that we have to defend against in later conflicts; but even when it isn't there is certainly no claim to the higher ground by the US!

When it comes to supporting wars at the last minute with so many conflicting stories and a lot of dramatic reports of outrageous use of chemical weapons it is hard to keep track of it all; but the traditional media and the government clearly doesn't have a credible track record and some of the alternative outlets have done much better job tracking the details often with much less resources although even these aren't always a guarantee. One of these sources is Washington's Blog which has contributed to some of the following articles or cited them:

Secretary of State John Kerry Announces Chemical Weapons Unacceptable on SAME DAY that It’s Revealed America Helped Saddam Use Chemical Weapons

Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran BY SHANE HARRIS AND MATTHEW M. AID

The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America's military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.

In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq's war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein's military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent. Complete article

Inspectors In Syria Forbidden From Finding Out WHO Used Chemical Weapons, Only IF They Were Used

"The team must be able to conduct a full, thorough and unimpeded investigation," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday night. However, the team is only mandated to determine if chemical weapons were used, not who used them, Mr. Ban's spokesman said. Complete article

The U.S., Britain and Israel have Used Chemical Weapons within the Last 10 Years

Those Condemning Syria Have Themselves Recently Used Chemical Weapons

We condemn all use of chemical weapons.

But the U.S. used chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq in 2004. Evidence here, here, here, here, here, here. (See complete article for links)

Israeli also used white phosphorous in 2009 during “Operation Cast Lead” (and perhaps subsequently). Israel ratified Protocol III of Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (“Protocol III”) – which outlaws the use of incendiary devices in war – in 2007. So this was a war crime. Complete article

The U.S. Has Repeatedly Falsely Accused Others of Chemical and Biological Weapons Use

Shouldn’t We Be Cautious … Given the Repeated Bogus Claims?

In 1981, the U.S. accused the Soviets of supplying chemical weapons to Communist states in Vietnam and Laos for use in counterinsurgency warfare. It turned out that the “yellow rain” which the U.S. became hysterical about was actually honeybee feces.

The U.S. bombed a chemical weapons factory in Sudan in 1998. It turned out that it only made pharmaceutical drugs.

The U.S. accused Iraq of possessing chemical weapons … even though everyone knew that it didn’t. Complete article

Intelligence Experts Decry Weak Case For Syria Strike

As the United States and France prepare for a seemingly inevitable military strike on Syria, intelligence experts around the globe are sounding the alarm that the justification for intervention is far from established.

The Obama administration joined by French President Francois Hollande have vowed to punish the Syrian government for what they claim is irrefutable evidence that it unleashed chemical weapons in a suburb of Damascus, killing hundreds. But a growing number of analysts who have scrutinized military intelligence in past conflicts warn that the case linking the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad to a chemical weapons attack is incomplete.

One of the world's leading experts on chemical weapons, Jean Pascal Zanders, on Friday told The Huffington Post UK that he has significant doubts about the identity of the chemical agent widely blamed for the deaths in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. Complete article

U.S. Admits It Has No Idea WHO Carried Out Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack

With the United States barreling toward a strike on Syria, U.S. officials say they are completely certain that Bashar al-Assad’s government is responsible for last week’s chemical weapons attack. They just don’t know who in the Syrian government is to blame.

On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf admitted as much. “The commander-in-chief of any military is ultimately responsible for decisions made under their leadership, even if … he’s not the one that pushes the button or said, ‘Go,’ on this,” Harf said. “I don’t know what the facts are here ….”

On Tuesday, The Cable reported that U.S. officials are basing their assessment that the Assad regime bears responsibility for the strike largely on an intercepted phone call between a panicked Ministry of Defense official and a commander of a Syrian chemical weapons unit. But that intelligence does not resolve the question of who in the government ordered the strike …. Complete article

Experts: US Evidence Against Syria Extremely Weak by Jason Ditz

The Obama Administration has repeatedly insisted that it has undeniable, absolute proof of the Assad government’s guilt in the use of chemical weapons, but when it comes down to it, the public case never seems to amount to more than just noting that Syria has chemical weapons and then reiterating the claim.

Experts say the case that they have laid out is extremely weak, however much officials have embraced it as flawless, and have warned against the US launching a war on such a flimsy pretext.

The only reason the whole allegation hasn’t been dismissed out of hand is the administration’s repeated claims that they have better, secret intelligence that they’re just not showing anyone, or occasionally are letting already pro-war Congressmen get a glimpse of. Complete article

Caveman Credibility and its Costs by DavidSwanson

Sending a bunch of $3 million missiles into Syria to blow stuff up will kill a great many men, women, and children directly. It will also kill a great many people indirectly, as violence escalates in response — an established pattern recognized even by the war-promoting Washington Post.

Refugees are fleeing Syria in greater numbers as a result of the U.S. government’s threat to send in missiles. The refugees have all sorts of opinions of their government, but by many accounts they overwhelmingly oppose foreign missile strikes — a position on which they agree with a large majority in the United States.

Not only is President Obama’s proposal guaranteed to make things worse, but it risks making things dramatically worse, with threats of retaliation now coming from Syria, Iran, and Russia. The U.S. media is already describing the proposed missile strikes as “retaliatory,” even though the United States hasn’t been attacked. Imagine what the pressure will be in Washington to actually retaliate if violence leads, as it so often does, to more violence. Imagine the enthusiasm for a broader war, in Washington and Jerusalem, if Iran retaliates. Risking a major war, no matter how slim you think the chance is, ought to be done only for some incredibly important reason. Complete article

Point-By-Point Rebuttal of U.S. Case for War In Syria

The American War Brief Is Extremely Weak

The White House released a 4-page document setting forth its case for use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.

But as shown below, the case is extremely weak (government’s claim in quotes, followed by rebuttal evidence).

“A preliminary U.S. government assessment determined that 1,429 people were killed in the chemical weapons attack, including at least 426 children, though this assessment will certainly evolve as we obtain more information.“

But McClatchy notes:

Neither Kerry’s remarks nor the unclassified version of the U.S. intelligence he referenced explained how the U.S. reached a tally of 1,429, including 426 children. The only attribution was “a preliminary government assessment.” Complete article

I don't know how well thought out Obama's decisions to ask for support from congress was but regardless of why he did this it provides an alternative to show how bad his case is and let him know that the public doesn't support him, assuming too many people don't fall for this propaganda.

There seems to be a few surprising efforts to report on how difficult or impossible it would be too fake these chemical attacks on the commercial media although many of the news outlets are still cautious to continue referring to them as "alleged chemical weapons attacks." The claims that it would be difficult or impossible to fake them seem reasonable and it would take much more effort to look the other way by a large segment of the traditional media. The bigger problem would be to get the alternative media outlets to decline to report on problems with the chemical weapons videos, and yet they seem to have done this in most cases, or at least the highest profile alternative media outlets.

This would seem to imply that if there was a conspiracy to fake these videos then it would have to be huge. However there have been some doubts about whether or not they are real although most of them have been low profile. The following is article that might raise some doubts:

Expert casts doubt on Syria chemical weapons footage

As videos of an alleged chemical attack in Syria were shown to the world, some experts cast doubt on their authenticity.

Stephen Johnson is an expert in weapons and chemical explosives at Cranfield Forensic Institute. He said there were inconsistency among the patients’ symptoms.

“There are, within some of the videos, examples which seem a little hyper-real, and almost as if they’ve been set up. Which is not to say that they are fake but it does cause some concern. Some of the people with foaming, the foam seems to be too white, too pure, and not consistent with the sort of internal injury you might expect to see, which you’d expect to be bloodier or yellower,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that although much of the video showed injuries consistent with trauma to the nervous system, it was too early to conclude that it was from chemical weapons.

“At this stage everyone wants a ‘yes-no’ answer to chemical attack. But it is too early to draw a conclusion just from these videos,” he added.

Syrian anti-government activists claim regime forces targeted eastern suburbs of Damascus with a toxic gas.

France and Britain have called for UN inspectors, who are already in the country, to be allowed immediate access to the site. original article including video

But why would the administration go to the trouble to create all this hype about the video to justify the war then ask for congressional approval? This clearly seems to be backfiring and he doesn't have nearly as much support as he seems to think he had. Furthermore this isn't the agenda he ran on five years ago when he was the anti-war candidates.

Regardless of why he is doing this the coverage of this clearly isn't very good assuming the target audience that he is trying to convince is familiar with the propaganda techniques that are commonly used, although they might get enough of the public on board to make it appear justified, which is what they have done in the past. They have also done an enormous amount of research into war propaganda and they have adjusted their tactics accordingly and there is some indication that they might be doing so again although I doubt as if will be as effective as they might have expected.

It is just to obvious at some times and the behavior of the commercial media no longer seems even remotely sincere unless they're targeting people that aren't taking any time to think think things through. Which is almost certainly what they are doing.

Simply recognizing propaganda tactics should be enough to raise major doubts about the legitimacy of their case. One of the most common tactics is to repeat their footage over and over again which they have been doing. the footage that they do repeat over and over again is usually the same even though they do have more footage.

Another major issue should be the white House footage that they've been presenting to the public including a photo that they might consider dramatic with Obama putting his foot on the desk while talking to someone on the phone, presumably lobbying for war. Politicians have been cautious about their image for decades and anyone that gets into the Oval Office is well aware of how it can help their cause, assuming they do a good job controlling it.

Is this the image that they think will help them get their point across? Is this the way that we should be making decisions about war, by posturing and avoiding addressing certain subjects like collateral damage which is always inevitable.

They seem to think it might be.

If the public doesn't pay too much attention to their posturing and think about the details then they might be right but I suspect that this may not work although that might not stop them from attacking without justification anyway.

By relying on so much posturing and treating this like a sporting event they indicate that they have less credibility and it is hard to imagine that anyone would fail to see through this if they slowed down and thought about it but when people act in a panic they might not take the time to think about it.

Right now there are so many conflicting stories out there that some people might have a hard time sorting them out. A few things that are relatively simple are the fact that many of the wars that we have fought in the past have been against the weapons that we have sold some of our former allies and that many other activities that have escalated are because the only way they seem to be willing to solve problems is to escalate threats without checking facts.

The following are some additional stories on the attempt to rally support for war:

Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran

US Contractors Cited for Syrian Chem Attacks (video)

'Syrian rebels take responsibility for the chemical attack admitting the weapons were provided by Saudis' - source

What Really Happened

EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack

French Oppose War Against Syria

Yes, the Syrian Rebels DO Have Access to Chemical Weapons

Are Spy Agencies Once Again Lying … this Time to Justify War Against Syria?

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