No 843 Posted by fw, August 29, 2013
“If this military intervention does take place (probably right after the UN weapons inspectors leave the country), it will confirm not only the strength of special interests (the usual suspect here is the Zionist lobby) but also the corruptive consequences of that influence on the entire foreign policy making process. That Obama can be brought to repeat the fatal stupidities of Bush so soon shows that all reference to peace and security as a goal for the nation are gone and the groundwork for future 9/11s is being laid with stubborn disregard for past mistakes” —Lawrence Davidson.
For truth-seekers, there are any number of excellent independent online reports, reflecting many different perspectives, on the Syrian chemical weapons story. But once again I have turned to history professor Lawrence Davidson for his concise and cogent “brief analysis”.
To read Davidsn’s original account, click on the following linked title. Or read the version below which is identical but includes my added subheadings and a few added hyperlinks
Special interest groups pressuring Obama to attack Syria, while anti-war public opinion ignored
If you ever doubted the erosion of popular democracy in the U.S., the next few weeks should set you straight. The simple fact is that the voting population is the main “constituency” of politicians only at election time. Right now it is reported that approximately 60% of that constituency does not want the U.S. to attack Syria. However, it is not election time. In the post-election period, the politician’s real constituency becomes special interests, some of which are rich enough and influential enough to substitute their own parochial interests for the interests of the nation. There are a bunch of them which are now anxious for an attack on Syria.
US government says “they are sure” Assad gov. carried out chemical attack but won’t reveal their sources
The media is presently rife with reports that the U.S. government, along with other countries like the UK and France, operating with the blessing of the so-called Arab League (which has become little more than a front operation for the Gulf Arabs), are going to militarily strike Syria in just a matter of days. This will be done to supposedly punish that country for the alleged use of chemical weapons in its ongoing civil war. The U.S. government keeps saying they are sure the Assad government carried out this attack, but where are they getting their information? Well, that is rather shady. Washington won’t really say, but one can guess at the most likely sources. These might well be: (1) the rebels fighting against the Damascus regime (a great source of disinformation), (2) Israeli and Saudi “intelligence” (the Israelis have supplied Washington with supposedly genuine communication intercepts “proving” the Chemical attack was ordered by Damascus), and (3) “independent medical personnel” in the area who have allegedly blamed the government. Like the rest of the government’s sources these medical accusers have not been named, and as far as I can determine, the only reliable source of this kind, the organization Doctors without Borders (DWB), has said that they cannot pinpoint the source of the attack.
Inconvenient fact is US sources are biased against Assad regime
Even though all of these sources (with the exception of DWB) are prejudiced against the Assad regime and would not hesitate to censor, alter and outright fake evidence, Washington is “sure enough” of the Syrian government’s guilt to position naval vessels with cruise missiles off the coast of Syria. The capacity of those missiles to kill civilians is as great or greater than any weapon in the field in Syria.
It’s the “weapons of mass destruction” fiasco being played out all over again
If this all sounds familiar, it is because it is roughly the same scenario played out by the Bush administration in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. In that case, the “weapons of mass destruction” Mr. Bush and his cronies told us about for months on end turned out to be products of the administration’s overwrought imagination. This is not the kind of precedent that builds confidence in the D.C. policy makers.
If the attack occurs, it is proof of the power of special interests to shape policy in Washington
If this military intervention does take place (probably right after the UN weapons inspectors leave the country), it will confirm not only the strength of special interests (the usual suspect here is the Zionist lobby) but also the corruptive consequences of that influence on the entire foreign policy making process. That Obama can be brought to repeat the fatal stupidities of Bush so soon shows that all reference to peace and security as a goal for the nation are gone and the groundwork for future 9/11s is being laid with stubborn disregard for past mistakes.
The supine mass media toes the government line, leaving truth-seeking citizens to turn to Web sources
The average citizen is not going to know what is going on except through the mass media, and we know that most of these outlets will, de facto, follow a conventional government line. Journalistic investigation of policy formation, at least among the mass media, is in abeyance in this country. For that insight you have to go to such Web sources as Consortium News, Truthout, Media With Conscience, Brave New World and Counterpunch, among others, and only a tiny percentage of the population does so. So public opinion is readily manipulated and managed.
Washington probably doesn’t care which side used chemical weapons
Is our situation in this regard as bad as some of the countries we scorn for having no free speech and no “independent” media? Maybe not. However, that is because our politicians and bureaucrats have found subtler, velvet-gloved ways of filling our brains with propaganda. Who knows, President Obama, like his predecessor, might be the biggest true believer of them all in this latest story involving “weapons of mass destruction.” Of course, in this case, someone used them, but Washington probably doesn’t really know who, and, in the end, probably doesn’t care.
Lawrence Davidson is professor of history at West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic work is focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He also teaches courses in the history of science and modern European intellectual history.