“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken
“Information that is presumed to be true at encoding but later on turns out to be false (i.e., misinformation) often continues to influence memory and reasoning.” – UK Ecker
While the corporate presstitutes fly into hysterics over Trump’s latest tweet storm, CNN has had to quietly sack three journalists tied to its Russiagate witch hunt, which has finally been revealed to be a complete hoax, engineered for ratings purposes. Also in underreported news, comes veteran journalist Seymour Hersh’s belated revelation that US intelligence were fully aware there was no sarin chemical attack on the Syrian city of Khan Sheikhoun in April – but went ahead with their strike on the al-Shayrat military airfield anyway.
I guess it’s water under the bridge now. Isn’t that what they say? I should probably leave it alone. I said my piece at the time, turns out I was right. No need to rub it in.
Except they are doing it again!
Just when the Syrian Army and its allies have almost routed out ISIS and retaken control of the country’s south eastern borders, come reports of a new ‘chemical attack’ by ‘government forces’.
The US are losing in Syria and they are desperate. Having backed away from regime change in Damascus, plan B was to force a ‘political solution’ – i.e. to partition the country and create a Sunni “salafistan” in the east. But with recent developments in Turkey, Saudi and Qatar, the defeat if ISIS in Iraq, and Kurdish autonomy looking increasingly off the table, the US are fast running out of proxies to fight their ground war.
It looks like the West’s little killing spree is over, and with it any hope of Balkanising the territory of Syria and Iraq for geopolitical purposes. With help from Russia and Hezbollah, Syria has driven back US backed proxy forces and retaken important strategic territory, isolating the al-Tanf military base in the south, which was being used as a training facility for ‘moderate rebels’. Iraq has also recently declared victory over ISIS in Mosul, marking the end of the line for the Islamic Caliphate. Facing strategic defeat, the US will likely seek to follow the path of humanitarian intervention, aka Right to Plunder, better known by its more polite euphemism ‘responsibility to protect’.
Milosevic, Hussein, Ghaddafi, Assad, Maduro. Five presidents, the same unfaltering script. Venezuela is now in a state of ungovernable chaos, or so the corporate media would have us believe, brought on by repressive government forces responding violently to ‘peaceful protests’. Tell that to the victims of the attack on the Hugo Chávez Frías Children and Maternity Hospital, recently besieged and set fire to by right-wing anti-government extremists.
For those with short historical memories, a similar counter-coup was orchestrated in 2002 against the socialist economic policies enacted by the government of Venezuela following the Bolivarian Revolution. Chavez’ ‘crime’ was to take advantage of favourable oil prices to introduce populist policies vastly improving the economic, cultural, and social conditions of the Venezuelan people, through massive redistribution of wealth, land reform, and the creation of self-managed worker co-ops. Chavez’ reforms lifted millions out of the barrio, and still have popular support even after worsening economic conditions brought on by a steep decline in oil prices.
But don’t expect to hear any of this on the evening news. The corporate media, as always, will continue to construct their narrative according to the US’ script, bringing us daily new stories of state violence and corruption, preparing the ground for eventual ‘humanitarian intervention.’
Twenty years after Bill Clinton declared that ‘NATO must stop Milosevic’s atrocities against Kosovo’, few would be aware of the Hague Tribunal’s exoneration of the former Yugoslav president for war crimes alleged to have been committed against Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the 1992-95 war. Sadly the ruling came 10 years too late for Milosevic, who died in a UN prison in 2006 from complications arising from an untreated heart condition. Too late as well for the people of the former Yugoslavia, on whom NATO dropped humanitarian bombs for 78 consecutive days and nights.
In 2011 President Obama grossly exaggerated a ‘humanitarian threat’ to justify military action against Libya which ultimately led to the country’s destruction and the brutal murder of its leader Muammar Ghaddafi. The truth is there was no massacre planned for Benghazi. Neither had there been any mass murder of civilians during counter insurgency operations (let alone rapes by armed forces supplied with viagra.) In fact Ghaddafi had promised amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away”, even offering the rebels an escape route via an open border to Egypt, rather than letting them fight “to the bitter end”.
Babies thrown from incubators, weapons of mass destruction, sarin gas attacks, attacks on Christian minorities, and on, and on, and on it goes. A stream of endless government propaganda used to justify endless wars of aggression, dutifully reported by prostitute stenographers posing as the western “free press”. Because where would we be without press freedom…
At the risk of triggering Godwin’s law, it should be noted that interference in the affairs of a sovereign state for the protection of a persecuted minority was precisely the argument made by Hitler for invading Poland and Czechoslovakia, and for this specific reason was expressly forbidden under the UN charter. At least this was the position officially held until Clinton’s articulation of R2P.
If you can’t see a pattern yet, you are either blind or wilfully ignorant. Humanitarian interventionism is liberal imperialism by another name, and should be condemned in the strongest terms, especially by those on the left of politics. As a friend likes to say, we are internationalists, NOT anti-nationalists, and have no business meddling in the affairs of sovereign states. Something to think about when the reports of Assad’s next chemical attack begin to circulate, as no doubt they soon will.