Last Friday's bombing on Syria was not enough to satisfy the blood lust of the War Hawks. Will Morrow (WSWS) reports:
On Tuesday, Democratic and Republican lawmakers attacked the Trump administration for the “limited” nature of the attack and demanded that the White House commit to a more extensive military operation to overthrow the Assad government and confront Iran and Russia.
After a private briefing to the Senate by Defence Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters that the administration had no strategy and appeared willing “to give Syria to Assad, Russia, and Iran.” He said, “I think Assad, after this strike, believes we’re all tweet and no action.”
Graham called for the establishment of a permanent no-fly zone over parts of Syria, which would inevitably require shooting down Russian jets, and the deployment of more US troops on the ground to partner with their Al Qaeda-linked and Kurdish proxy forces. He declared that Russia and Iran should not be allowed to continue “winning the battlefield uncontested.”
Democratic Senator Chris Coons criticized Trump’s recent threat to withdraw US troops, telling reporters, “It’s important for us to remain engaged in Syria.” He added, “If we completely withdraw, our leverage in any diplomatic resolution or reconstruction or any hope for a post-Assad Syria goes away.”
The recklessness of the American ruling elite was expressed in an op-ed column published yesterday in the New York Times by Susan Rice, who served as ambassador to the UN and then national security adviser under Obama.
In the column, Rice categorically opposes any withdrawal of American troops. She calls for the Trump administration to indefinitely maintain its occupation of roughly a third of Syrian territory along the country’s northern and eastern borders with Turkey and Iraq—a region that includes the country’s petroleum resources. This is in line with calls being made in the US media with increasing frequency and openness for a permanent carve-up of the country.
Rice writes that Washington and its allies must “help secure, rebuild and establish effective local governance in liberated areas.” These are code words for establishing neo-colonial control over the territory and using it as a base for operations against the Assad regime and Russian and Iranian forces.
Dispensing with the fraudulent chemical weapons pretext used to justify the US and allied bombing, Rice points to the aims of such an intervention: “This will allow the United States to thwart Iranian ambitions to control territory spanning Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; retain influence in major oil-producing areas, and deny Mr. Assad a substantial portion of Syrian territory, pending a diplomatic solution.”
One of the shocking things about the above? Susan Rice -- she's apparently trying to revive the long discredited Domino Theory.
For those too young to remember, The Domino Theory was the justification for the never-ending war on Vietnam. Matthew Weber (HISTORY COLLECTION) explains:
So Rice is, in effect, arguing that if the US does not maintain troops in Syria, Syria will 'fall' to Iran. Yes, she really is that stupid. Blinded by her lust for blood, she demonstrates yet again that she was never qualified to be the Secretary of State.
"Violence is for those who have lost their imagination." -Doctor in Iraq, holding a child hit by a bomb in March 2003
She's never grasped the 'soft power' -- diplomacy. Or as the US government so frequently translates diplomacy: bribery. Think of all the influence the trillion or so dollars allocated to the Iraq War could have bought in the region.
Equally true, should Iran attempt what Rice fears it will, it would likely have the effect of destroying Iran -- that is the more plausible outcome. Iran's already torn internally with strife. Meanwhile, it's attempts to control Iraq have not gone well. There's a reason that all this time later, they're not attempting to redraw the border between Iraq and Iran -- a long disputed border. Iran realizes that to attempt to redraw the border currently would be seen by many Iraqis as the last straw. Outside of the militias, few Iraqis are feeling warm towards Iran. It's overstepped and even the government of Iran grasps that which is why, as Iraq prepares for election, Iran's stressing terms like 'aid' and 'assist' in their state TV messaging. If Iran were to attempt to control the region -- or even just heavily influence it -- the tight control the Iranian government maintains on its people would falter -- allowing the protests within the country to grow even larger which would lead some Iranians to believe the time was ripe for revolt. It's message is too fundamentalist to export successfully to its neighbors. Faced with attempting to export that and maintain it within Iran at the same time, something would most likely give, as history has demonstrated.
So Rice's attempt to revive The Domino Theory should fail. But with a US news media already eager to re-sell The Cold War who knows how much help Susan and her crazed notions might get from the whores of the media.
Peter Crowley (ANTIWAR.COM) notes the whorish nature of the media:
The talking heads of MSNBC, Fox News or CNN rationalize and justify perpetual war-inducing civilian deaths as something that is inevitable. In doing so, they often tell fibs and subtly mangle the truth. For instance, just after Friday night’s (or Saturday morning, in Syria) U.S.-led airstrikes against the Syrian regime, Fox News showed a map of Syrian airstrikes that seemed to suggest airstrikes occurred throughout Syria, including in Alawite regions of the east, such as Latakia. However, airstrikes occurred in only three locations: east of Homs and in Damascus.
MSNBC was little better. Though Defense Secretary James Mattis and General Joseph Dunford informed the press that the airstrikes had ended, at least until the ‘next time’ Assad allegedly uses chemical weapons, Rachel Maddow and her guest Richard Engel salivated over the prospect that airstrikes would continue into perpetuity.
In each case, through the apparent mistake on the Syria map and contemplating perpetual airstrikes, the media seemed to be goading the administration to conduct more airstrikes against Syria.
It highlights the Nietzschean cobwebs that the media wraps our brains in, allowing us to forget more pressing questions, such as:
Why Trump would order airstrikes hours before the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was to investigate the very chemical attack for which Syria was to be punished? Well, if you prefer not to look at evidence, then bomb. Hans Blix knows this all too well.
If there was an actual use of chemical weapons, what about the dangers to civilians when facilities that supposedly manufacture dangerous toxins are bombed? Wouldn’t these unleashed gases spread to civilian areas?
Perhaps, more importantly, what was the motive? Why would the Syrian military use chemical weapons when Assad has been defeating the rebels and winning the civil war, while knowing that their use would invite foreign intervention. Clearly, a staged chemical attack that directed the blame to Assad would be in the rebels’ interest. It would specifically be in the interest of the Salafi extremist group Jaish al-Islam that has been Syrian military’s main target in Douma.
What about potential that U.S.-led airstrikes could lead to a confrontation, or even a war, with Russia? While the media’s talking heads touched upon this, it did not sway their fervent support for intervention.
Thanks to media-induced cobwebs, Americans will go on supporting US state violence and resultant civilian deaths in exorbitant numbers.
Turning to Iraq War supporter Barbara Bush, the former First Lady has passed away. She was vengeful person who as noted for her petty grudges and her jealousy of Nancy Reagan. She was noted for so much, none of it good. She willing took part in a media cat fight to defeat another woman (her comments regarding Geraldine Ferraro). There's nothing good to be said about her. So leave it to the 'resistance' to promote her.
Rest in peace and power, Barbara Bush.
Activist and 2008 Green Party presidential nominee Rosa Clemente responds:
This is so so disappointing. The things she and her family have down to global Black people is criminal, to say the least. She is part of the system of white supremacy, anti Black, anti feminist, as Malcolm said “who taught you to hate yourself?”
And she's not the only one. Cindy Sheehan notes:
Death does not confer respectability on such a privileged and cold-hearted life. She and her killer spouse reportedly played golf the day after their young daughter died from leukemia. This kind of behavior cannot be made up: It's deplorable and reprehensible. Maybe the death of such a one should not be celebrated, but neither should we weep. The Bush's wealth and the wealth of the other oligarchs can be proven to be ill-gotten by the exploitation of the rest of us and they should be resented, not worshiped.
The only reason I bring her death up now, is not for the one solitary death of one of the political oligarchy, but because of what she represents: the pinnacle of diseased capitalism and imperialism. Like the indigenous people of the USA said, "we kill one soldier, and 100 others arise." The ideology of death and destruction that the life of Barbara Bush represented must be vigorously and militantly opposed, but first we have to be real and not pretend to be sad about something we are not, or should not waste our beautiful minds on.
In other developments . . .
Predictions mean an election is approaching.
May 12th, elections are supposed to take place in Iraq. Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) notes, "A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister." RUDAW adds, "Around 7,000 candidates have registered to stand in the May 12 poll, with 329 parliamentary seats up for grabs." RUDAW also notes that 60 Christian candidates are competing for the five allotted minority seats.
Luke Coleman shares his take on the upcoming elections in a series of Tweets:
In other news, ARAB WEEKLY reports:
Talks between Exxon Mobil and Iraq on a multibillion-dollar infrastructure contract have reached an impasse, Iraqi officials and two industry sources said, in a potential setback to the oil major’s ambitions to expand in the country.
More than two years of negotiations on awarding the US firm a project to build a water treatment facility and related pipelines needed to boost Iraq’s oil production capacity have hit difficulties because the two sides differ on contract terms and costs, the officials and sources said.
Unless the differences can be resolved, the project could be awarded to another company in a tender, the officials said, without elaborating on the points of dispute.
Losing the contract could deal a blow to Exxon’s broader Iraqi plans, as it would be handed rights to develop at least two southern oilfields — Nahr Bin Umar and Artawi — as part of the deal.
The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS and DISSIDENT VOICE -- updated: