Lost History

The Mysterious Death of a UN Hero

Exclusive: More than a half-century ago – at a pivotal moment in the emergence of independent African states – UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold was brokering peace in a divisive civil war in Congo when he died in a plane crash, leaving behind an enduring Cold War mystery, as Lisa Pease reports.

Recycling a Bush Iraq Ploy on Syria

Exclusive: Syria’s tentative acceptance of a plan for putting its chemical weapons under international control opens a pathway to avoid a U.S. military strike, but the Obama administration may use the opening as a new route for winning congressional war authorization and even UN backing, writes Robert Parry.

Is War on Syria Veering Off-Script?

When the U.S. government readies for war, there is a well-worn script. A “bad” guy is defined; some act of perfidy is alleged despite murky evidence; politicians and journalists express righteous outrage; a confused public is dragged along. Except that the war on Syria may be veering off-script, says Norman Solomon.

US Journalists and War Crime Guilt

From the Archive: With few exceptions, mainstream U.S. news personalities are again selling war to the American people, this time on Syria by asserting false certainty on who launched the Aug. 21 chemical weapons strike and pretending the Syrian government – not the rebels – blocked peace talks, a media crisis that lingers from the Iraq…

Hypocritical Righteousness on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry waxed eloquent about the need to punish national leaders who violate international law. He meant Syria’s Bashar al-Assad but his lecture could have applied to American officials who enabled the invasion of Iraq, including himself, just one of many U.S. hypocrisies, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

Should We Fall Again for ‘Trust Me’?

Exclusive: Forgetting lessons from the Tonkin Gulf to the Iraq War, the U.S. news media has mostly elbowed past doubts about whether the Syrian government launched the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack and now is focused on the political drama of congressional approval for war, a big mistake says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Understanding the Syrian Civil War

With President Obama asking Congress to back a military strike to punish Syria for alleged chemical weapons use, the U.S. is lurching toward a new war. Beyond doubts about what happened and whether a U.S. missile attack will help, there is scant public understanding of the Syrian conflict, notes Mideast expert William R. Polk.

Ignoring Bloody Mideast Lessons

The Obama administration appears blind to the history that when U.S. officials have lashed out in anger at Middle East adversaries, the consequences have usually been bad and bloody. The Iraq War is an obvious cautionary tale but so too is Ronald Reagan’s shelling of Lebanon in 1983, as Ann Wright recalls.

Who Blocked Syrian Peace Talks?

Exclusive: Though the international press reported earlier this year that it was the Syrian opposition blocking peace talks, that reality has disappeared in recent U.S. articles which blame lack of negotiations on President Bashar al-Assad, all the better to build a propaganda framework for a wider war, writes Robert Parry.

An Iraq War ‘Déjà Vu’ in Syria

There’s an ominous sense of déjà vu as the U.S. prepares to attack Syria: dubious WMD claims, intense pressure from self-interested lobbies, a compliant mass media, a disregard of popular opposition, even a rush to remove UN investigators. This repeat of Iraq-2003 indicts U.S. democratic institutions, says Lawrence Davidson.