America’s Worldwide Impunity

Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. media is treating the U.S.-led airstrike that killed scores of Syrian troops as an unfortunate boo-boo, ignoring that the U.S. and its allies have no legal right to operate in Syria at all, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

After several years of arming and supporting Syrian rebel groups that often collaborated with Al Qaeda’s Nusra terror affiliate, the United States launched an illegal invasion of Syria two years ago with airstrikes supposedly aimed at Al Qaeda’s Islamic State spin-off, but on Saturday that air war killed scores of Syrian soldiers and aided an Islamic State victory.

Yet, the major American news outlets treat this extraordinary set of circumstances as barely newsworthy, operating with an imperial hubris that holds any U.S. invasion or subversion of another country as simply, ho-hum, the way things are supposed to work.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the White House.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the White House.

On Monday, The Washington Post dismissed the devastating airstrike at Deir al-Zour killing at least 62 Syrian soldiers as one of several “mishaps” that had occurred over the past week and jeopardized a limited ceasefire, arranged between Russia and the Obama administration.

But the fact that the U.S. and several allies have been routinely violating Syrian sovereign airspace to carry out attacks was not even an issue, nor is it a scandal that the U.S. military and CIA have been arming and training Syrian rebels. In the world of Official Washington, the United States has the right to intervene anywhere, anytime, for whatever reason it chooses.

President Barack Obama even has publicly talked about authorizing military strikes in seven different countries, including Syria, and yet he is deemed “weak” for not invading more countries, at least more decisively.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has vowed to engage in a larger invasion of Syria, albeit wrapping the aggression in pretty words like “safe zone” and “no-fly zone,” but it would mean bombing and killing more Syrian soldiers.

As Secretary of State, Clinton used similar language to justify invading Libya and implementing a “regime change” that killed the nation’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and unleashed five years of violent political chaos.

If you were living in a truly democratic country with a truly professional news media, you would think that this evolution of the United States into a rogue superpower violating pretty much every international law and treaty of the post-World War II era would be a regular topic of debate and criticism.

Those crimes include horrendous acts against people, such as torture and other violations of the Geneva Conventions, as well as acts of aggression, which the Nuremberg Tribunals deemed “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Justifying ‘Regime Change’

Yet, instead of insisting on accountability for American leaders who have committed these crimes, the mainstream U.S. news media spreads pro-war propaganda against any nation or leader that refuses to bend to America’s imperial demands. In other words, the U.S. news media creates the rationalizations and arranges the public acquiescence for U.S. invasions and subversions of other countries.

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

In particular, The New York Times now reeks of propaganda, especially aimed at two of the current targets, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin. With all pretenses of professionalism cast aside, the Times has descended into the status of a crude propaganda organ.

On Sunday, the Times described Assad’s visit to a town recently regained from the rebels this way: “Assad Smiles as Syria Burns, His Grip and Impunity Secure.” That was the headline. The article began:

“On the day after his 51st birthday, Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, took a victory lap through the dusty streets of a destroyed and empty rebel town that his forces had starved into submission.

“Smiling, with his shirt open at the collar, he led officials in dark suits past deserted shops and bombed-out buildings before telling a reporter that — despite a cease-fire announced by the United States and Russia — he was committed ‘to taking back all areas from the terrorists.’ When he says terrorists, he means all who oppose him.”

The story by Ben Hubbard continues in that vein, although oddly the accompanying photograph doesn’t show Assad smiling but rather assessing the scene with a rather grim visage.

But let’s unpack the propaganda elements of this front-page story, which is clearly intended to paint Assad as a sadistic monster, rather than a leader fighting a foreign-funded-and-armed rebel movement that includes radical jihadists, including powerful groups linked to Al Qaeda and others forces operating under the banner of the brutal Islamic State.

The reader is supposed to recoil at Assad who “smiles as Syria burns” and who is rejoicing over his “impunity.” Then, there’s the apparent suggestion that his trip to Daraya was part of his birthday celebration so he could take “a victory lap” while “smiling, with his shirt open at the collar,” although why his collar is relevant is hard to understand. Next, there is the argumentative claim that when Assad refers to “terrorists” that “he means all who oppose him.”

As much as the U.S. news media likes to pride itself on its “objectivity,” it is hard to see how this article meets any such standard, especially when the Times takes a far different posture when explaining, excusing or ignoring U.S. forces slaughtering countless civilians in multiple countries for decades and at a rapid clip over the past 15 years. If anyone operates with “impunity,” it has been the leadership of the U.S. government.

Dubious Charge

On Sunday, the Times also asserted as flat fact the dubious charge against Assad that he has “hit civilians with gas attacks” when the most notorious case – the sarin attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013 – appears now to have been carried out by rebels trying to trick the United States into intervening more directly on their side.

A recent United Nations report blaming Syrian forces for two later attacks involving chlorine was based on slim evidence and produced under great political pressure to reach that conclusion – while ignoring the absence of any logical reason for the Syrian forces to have used such an ineffective weapon and brushing aside testimony about rebels staging other gas attacks.

More often than not, U.N. officials bend to the will of the American superpower, failing to challenge any of the U.S.-sponsored invasions over recent decades, including something as blatantly illegal as the Iraq War. After all, for an aspiring U.N. bureaucrat, it’s clear which side his career bread is buttered.

We find ourselves in a world in which propaganda has come to dominate the foreign policy debates and – despite the belated admissions of lies used to justify the invasions of Iraq and Libya – the U.S. media insists on labeling anyone who questions the latest round of propaganda as a “fill-in-the-blank apologist.”

So, Americans who want to maintain their mainstream status shy away from contesting what the U.S. government and its complicit media assert, despite their proven track record of deceit. This is not just a case of being fooled once; it is being fooled over and over with a seemingly endless willingness to accept dubious assertion after dubious assertion.

In the same Sunday edition which carried the creepy portrayal about Assad, the Times’ Neil MacFarquhar pre-disparaged Russia’s parliamentary elections because the Russian people were showing little support for the Times’ beloved “liberals,” the political descendants of the Russians who collaborated with the U.S.-driven “shock therapy” of the 1990s, a policy that impoverished a vast number of Russians and drastically reduced life expectancy.

Why those Russian “liberals” have such limited support from the populace is a dark mystery to the mainstream U.S. news media, which also can’t figure out why Putin is popular for significantly reversing the “shock therapy” policies and restoring Russian life expectancy to its previous levels. No, it can’t be that Putin delivered for the Russian people; the only answer must be Putin’s “totalitarianism.”

The New York Times and Washington Post have been particularly outraged over Russia’s crackdown on “grassroots” organizations that are funded by the U.S. government or by billionaire financial speculator George Soros, who has publicly urged the overthrow of Putin. So has Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which funnels U.S. government cash to political and media operations abroad.

The Post has decried a Russian legal requirement that political entities taking money from foreign sources must register as “foreign agents” and complains that such a designation discredits these organizations. What the Post doesn’t tell its readers is that the Russian law is modeled after the American “Foreign Agent Registration Act,” which likewise requires people trying to influence policy in favor of a foreign sponsor to register with the Justice Department.

Nor do the Times and Post acknowledge the long history of the U.S. government funding foreign groups, either overtly or covertly, to destabilize targeted regimes. These U.S.-financed groups often do act as “fifth columnists” spreading propaganda designed to undermine the credibility of the leaders, whether that’s Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 or Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

Imperfect Leaders

That’s not to say that these targeted leaders were or are perfect. They are often far from it. But the essence of propaganda is to apply selective outrage and exaggeration to the leader that is marked for removal. Similar treatment does not apply to U.S.-favored leaders.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The pattern of the Times and Post is also to engage in ridicule when someone in a targeted country actually perceives what is going on. The correct perception is then dismissed as some sort of paranoid conspiracy theory.

Take, for example, the Times’ MacFarquhar describing a pamphlet and speeches from Nikolai Merkushkin, the governor of Russian region of Samara, that MacFarquhar says “cast the blame for Russia’s economic woes not on economic mismanagement or Western sanctions after the annexation of Crimea but on a plot by President Obama and the C.I.A. to undermine Russia.”

The Times article continues: “Opposition candidates are a fifth column on the payroll of the State Department and part of the scheme, the pamphlet said, along with the collapse in oil prices and the emergence of the Islamic State. Mr. Putin is on the case, not least by rebuilding the military, the pamphlet said, noting that ‘our country forces others to take it seriously and this is something that American politicians don’t like very much.’”

Yet, despite the Times’ mocking tone, the pamphlet’s perceptions are largely accurate. There can be little doubt that the U.S. government through funding of anti-Putin groups inside Russia and organizing punishing sanctions against Russia, is trying to make the Russian economy scream, destabilize the Russian government and encourage a “regime change” in Moscow.

Further, President Obama has personally bristled at Russia’s attempts to reassert itself as an important world player, demeaning the former Cold War superpower as only a “regional power.” The U.S. government has even tread on that “regional” status by helping to orchestrate the 2014 putsch that overthrew Ukraine’s elected President Yanukovych on Russia’s border.

After quickly calling the coup regime “legitimate,” the U.S. government supported attempts to crush resistance in the south and east which were Yanukovych’s political strongholds. Crimea’s overwhelming decision to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia was deemed by The New York Times a Russian “invasion” although the Russian troops that helped protect Crimea’s referendum were already inside Crimea as part of the Sevastopol basing agreement.

The U.S.-backed Kiev regime’s attempt to annihilate resistance from ethnic Russians in the east – through what was called an “Anti-Terrorism Operation” that has slaughtered thousands of eastern Ukrainians – also had American backing. Russian assistance to these rebels is described in the mainstream U.S. media as Russian “aggression.”

Oddly, U.S. news outlets find nothing objectionable about the U.S. government launching military strikes in countries halfway around the world, including the recent massacre of scores of Syrian soldiers, but are outraged that Russia provided military help to ethnic Russians being faced with annihilation on Russia’s border.

Because of the Ukraine crisis, Hillary Clinton likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.

Seeing No Coup

For its part, The New York Times concluded that there had been no coup in Ukraine – by ignoring the evidence that there was one, including an intercepted pre-coup telephone call between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt discussing who should be made the new leaders of Ukraine.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

The evidence of a coup was so clear that George Friedman, founder of the global intelligence firm Stratfor, said in an interview that the overthrow of Yanukovych “really was the most blatant coup in history.” But the Times put protecting the legitimacy of the post-coup regime ahead of its journalistic responsibilities to its readers, as it has done repeatedly regarding Ukraine.

Another stunning case of double standards has been the mainstream U.S. media’s apoplexy about alleged Russian hacking into emails of prominent Americans and then making them public. These blame-Russia articles have failed to present any solid evidence that the Russians were responsible and also fail to note that the United States leads the world in using electronic means to vacuum up personal secrets about foreign leaders as well as average citizens.

In a number of cases, these secrets appear to have been used to blackmail foreign leaders to get them to comply with U.S. demands, such as the case in 2002-03 of the George W. Bush administration spying on diplomats on the U.N. Security Council to coerce their votes on authorizing the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a ploy that failed.

U.S. intelligence also tapped the cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose cooperation on Ukraine and other issues of the New Cold War is important to Washington. And then there’s the massive collection of data about virtually everybody on the planet, including U.S. citizens, over the past 15 years during the “war on terror.”

Earlier this year, the mainstream U.S. news media congratulated itself over its use of hacked private business data from a Panama-based law firm, material that was said to implicate Putin in some shady business dealings even though his name never showed up in the documents. No one in the mainstream media protested that leak or questioned who did the hacking.

Such mainstream media bias is pervasive. In the case of Sunday’s Russian elections, the Times seems determined to maintain the fiction that the Russian people don’t really support Putin, despite consistent opinion polls showing him with some 80 percent approval.

In the Times’ version of reality, Putin’s popularity must be some kind of trick, a case of totalitarian repression of the Russian people, which would be fixed if only the U.S.-backed “liberals” were allowed to keep getting money from NED and Soros without having to divulge where the funds were coming from.

The fact that Russians, like Americans, will rally around their national leader when they perceive the country to be under assault – think, George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks – is another reality that the Times can’t tolerate. No, the explanation must be mind control.

The troubling reality is that the Times, Post and other leading American news outlets have glibly applied one set of standards on “enemies” and another on the U.S. government. The Times may charge that Bashar al-Assad has “impunity” for his abuses, but what about the multitude of U.S. leaders – and, yes, journalists – who have their hands covered in the blood of Iraqis, Libyans, Afghans, Yemenis, Syrians, Somalis and other nationalities. Where is their accountability?

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

image_pdfimage_print

43 comments for “America’s Worldwide Impunity

  1. gmathol
    September 26, 2016 at 3:52 am

    What bothers me the most is the ‘normality’ this has become. UNO and other institutions are no help.

  2. September 21, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    So where do we go from here? The neo-cons are off the leash even before the four harpies of the apocalypse – Clinton, Nuland, Power and Rice – have taken complete control of US foreign policy. If left unchecked they will push Russia into a position where it will either have to surrender or fight. This now seems inevitable. In doing so they will be ignoring Kennedy’s advice, to wit: ‘ … never force an adversary to choose between humiliating retreat and war.’ Unfortunately, this is exactly the policy now being pursued by the maniacs in the State Department and Pentagon. I tend to believe that these people know exactly what modern nuclear weapons can do. We can start from the iron-clad assumption that nobody wins a nuclear war; so they must think that they can force Russia to surrender. After this, China will no doubt be next on the menu.

    To say that these beliefs massively beg the question should be obvious. They are redolent of other crackpot hegemonic plans at world domination, Hitler being the template for this. It is interesting to note that in this respect the nazi plan for world domination required Germany to fight the USA, USSR and the British Empire concurrently. Of course the policy was absurd and bound to fail, as it eventually did. But the reason Germany under Hitler to operationalise this policy was the complete lack of opposition in the Third Reich to Hitler and his crackpot ideas and policies.

    Unfortunately, the situation in the US is somewhat similar. The lunatic fringe of the US foreign policy establishment has moved centre stage, the media has not only been silent, it has been complicit in shutting down discussion on this crucial issue.

    Russia has nowhere left to retreat since the long march back from Berlin in 1991. NATO is now present on its borders along with ABM systems in Romania and Poland, with the yapping curs of Poland and the Baltics yapping for war. Sooner or later, manufactured or otherwise, there is going to be an incident. It will involve Article 5 of NATO’s constitution, i.e., that any NATO country being attacked by Russia will be subject to attack by the NATO alliance. It is easy to imagine such a scenario involving the ethnic Russian minority it Latvia or Estonia. Is Article 5 a bluff, would the US be prepared to lose New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, for St.Petersburg, Moscow and Volgograd? This is an open question, we might have to find out the answer quite soon.

    As for the neo-cons and their supporters: ‘ “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad”

  3. delia ruhe
    September 21, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Congress voted to impeach Dick Nixon, but the practice of holding presidents to account abruptly ended the next time a president got into trouble — namely, Reagan, who illegally sold guns to Iran in order to fund the Contras of Nicaragua (also illegal). It’s true that Bill Clinton was impeached — not for his crimes but rather, his sins.

    If you’re still looking for Cheney-Bush-Rummy to go to jail for designing the torture program and ordering that it be carried out, you’ll just have to be satisfied with Lynndee England and her photo-snapping colleagues who got dishonourable discharges from the army and did jail time for abu Ghraib — and, of course, the guy who did two years for blowing the whistle on waterboarding.

    If you want justice for all those Americans (and others) who were — and probably still are — the victims of unconstitutional because warrantless spying, sorry, you’ll have to get your jollies by reviewing the plight of several courageous Americans who were/are jailed and/or financially ruined for blowing the whistle on it.

    And if you’re looking for jail time for the banksters and the politicians who enabled their egregious crimes of bringing the global economy to its knees in the interest of self-enrichment, you might have to settle for the people who actually did get punished for it, namely those who lost their jobs, their healthcare, their houses, and their 401(K)’s and other pension plans.

    That new tradition of holding no president or other custodian of the state and its wealth to account for either crimes or misdemeanours continues to this day. That is why Obama can, in a blaze of hellfire, serenely murder villagers in 5 or 6 different Middle Eastern countries and then lie about the number of innocents slaughtered along with those targeted terrorists or “suspected” terrorists. It’s why he can wage war against any country he chooses without so much as a nod from Congress or the people they pretend to represent. And it’s why he can order up a propaganda campaign — or worse, a coup — against presidents of other countries for reasons he feels no responsibility to explain to the people at home who will end up paying the consequences.

    Finally, if you’re looking for a president who can change all this, you’d better start by looking in the mirror because it’s pretty damn sure that neither the lunatic Republicans nor the useless Democrats can help you out with that.

  4. DS
    September 20, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    The 9/11/01 attack justifies all. It calls for very careful scrutiny.

  5. David Smith
    September 20, 2016 at 10:35 am

    The Coalition(US, UK, Denmark, Australia, Canada) attack in the SAA was deliberate an an attempt to provoke Russia to use the S-400 against coalition aircraft, then claiming act of war by Russia, justifying an air war with naval blockade. Russia must play a very cool game, and it has shown it can. These attacks are likely to occur again. The second part of the plan was revealed a few days later with the claim that Syria bombed a UN humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo(while it was unloading). Russia denies any attack took place. The evidence is a video by the White Helmets, so clearly no attack took place, and the video is faked. However, this false flag had the disired effect: the UN says no more humanitarian aid convoys. Future events are likely to be more air attacks by the Coalition on the SAA, and a growing media chorus that a unilateral(f***k the Security Council) R2P No Fly Zone must be declared. The provocations will continue while Obama is President to set things up for a very evil 2017.

    • Zachary Smith
      September 20, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      The second part of the plan was revealed a few days later with the claim that Syria bombed a UN humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo(while it was unloading). Russia denies any attack took place. The evidence is a video by the White Helmets, so clearly no attack took place, and the video is faked.

      Based on the very limited evidence available, I have my own deductions about this event. The Aid Convoy was real, but so was a truck carrying a highly visible mortar which slipped into the convoy. IMO this was “bait” to get the Russians or Syrians to actually bomb the convoy. When that didn’t happen, the terrorists constructed their own badly faked air attack. Probably they unloaded most of the trucks, and then set some of them on fire.

      https://www.rt.com/news/360059-drone-aleppo-militants-video/

    • Curious
      September 21, 2016 at 3:14 am

      I was also thinking about the S-400 system, but it may have been down since Kerry was quoted as saying “the bedrock of the cease fire agreement is to ground the Syrian Air Force” (quote from Japan Times). If indeed the Air Force was grounded the S-400 may not have been active too. I’m not sure, but the 2 F-16s and the 2 A-10s surely would have been spotted by the S-400 if they flew from Iraq. If the US knew the S-400 was inactive during the ceasefire I think it would prove this was indeed no accident. I know after the soldiers were murdered the Syrian Air force was up and may have lost another MIG as well as they flew back to the area.

      Also, if you take 2 A-10s into an area, they fly slow enough and low enough to see people on the ground, especially people in uniforms on the ground. I think the entire episode is disturbing.

      Also, the Russians had a drone following the UN convoy and the militants were spotted hiding alongside the trucks. So, just another thing to blame on the Russians by the US. The lies by the US are increasing and becoming more obvious. These are things that probably make Hillary chuckle between coughs too. Evil is too nice a word.

  6. ThereisaGod
    September 20, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Two powerful and truthful commentaries on where The US really stands in Syria today (after one treacherous war crime begat another):

    THE PRETENCE OF PEACE by Thierry Meyssan:
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article193367.html

    Why the US Had to Kill the Syrian Ceasefire: Finian Cunningham
    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/09/20/why-us-had-kill-syrian-ceasefire.html

  7. F. G. Sanford
    September 20, 2016 at 9:38 am

    The fog of war hides many things, among them truth and blame.
    All is fair, the poets claim, in matters of romance,
    Seduction mimes diplomacy, finesse beguiles the willing fool,
    Implication frames desire and complicates the dance.

    A lady’s honor may concede, in that there’s no disgrace.
    Should providence condone the deed, then why dismiss the chance?
    Scruples and misgivings may prevail in spite of lust,
    It’s not as if temptation grants a guaranteed embrace.

    The rules are rather nebulous but still demand consent.
    Diplomats and libertines must gather to prevailing laws,
    The offered path may not include desire’s fond ingress-
    To share a bed or sheath a sword are not the same event.

    Impunity demands submission, offered entry, supplication,
    Abrogated free volition, passion madly begging rape,
    That wanton ecstasy defined when no humility remains
    And nakedness disdains rebuke inviting degradation.

    That rarest passion may arise in fevered minds or fairytales,
    Erotic motives fantasize implausible salaciousness
    Immune to charge or retribution emanating from intent.
    Such things occur when war disrupts and poverty prevails.

    Artful hypocrites collude and liars pose as diplomats,
    Consensus ratifies desire that ethics otherwise preclude,
    Seduction plots to share instead discretion plausibly ignored.
    Obscenity is truth portrayed by strangers in a liars bed,
    The fog of war legitimates the sleeper with the sword.

  8. September 20, 2016 at 7:56 am

    The US and several of its so-called allies no longer have a free press that tells truth. They copy official propaganda. The congress actually put money into an official state apparatus to create news that would lie about world events in order to support what are clearly morally indefensible aspects of American foreign and domestic policy. This exact action by Nazi Germany, which was followed by media as well in the conquered countries resulted in the condamnation principally of Julius Streicher, official minister of propaganda and his execution for war crimes. To what depths of terpitude has the American regime sunk. Lower, there is no lower. The crime is the crime. America is there….
    Michael Fish, Longueuil, Canada

  9. Peter Loeb
    September 20, 2016 at 7:25 am

    IT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY…

    Robert Parry’s excellent article, “America’s Worldwide Impunity”, provides
    substantive and eloquent documentation for a smaller attempt of mine in
    a very recent comment. (Prior to attack). Among other points I maintained
    that the US (and West. manipulated and pressured by
    the US, of course) would blame Russia and Syria for all evils past present
    and future. Parry above documents specifically my views.

    Thanks as well to the commenters. One might only add that given what
    is already known basically through Consortium, the result should never
    have been any surprise.

    Of interest would be more specific information if available on the
    emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. The Russian
    representative before walking out is quoted as having said that
    the bombing was “no accident”.(in a local Boston newspaper),

    I cannot evaluate future Russian moves as I have at
    present insufficient information. I would not expect
    there to be no Russian response at all. Such a response
    may be military (in the West called “security”) but
    may (or may not) include financial responses.

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  10. September 20, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Bill Van Auken gives another insightful perspective on the way the New York Times has covered the latest ‘accidental bombing’ of Syrian Troops by by US and allied warplanes in an article posted on the World Socialist Website.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/09/20/pers-s20.html

    He also gives some credence to the theory many are starting to voice – including myself – that the U.S. Executive Branch is no longer fully in charge of U.S. foreign policy.

    In his article Van Auken suggests that “Top US uniformed commanders openly called into question whether they would abide by an agreement that had been adopted by the president of the United States” which indicates that part of the military may be operating as a separate entity that does not consider itself answerable to the president or the electorate. If true, in some countries such actions would be considered treason. With the C.I.A. acting in similar fashion – not bothering to follow orders they don’t agree with – U.S. politics has entered a very parlous state indeed.

    Sadly, in an election year Trump and Clinton are not the ones ones American voters should worry about, it is the unelected ones behind the throne that pose the biggest danger to world peace.

  11. September 19, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Thumbs up say it like it is. Wish the sheeple would read ur article. These past 25 years has been outright aggression towards the rest of the world from the Washington Consensus.

  12. September 19, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    A FABULOUS PIECE!

    I HAVE SENT IT THE THE NYTimes PUBLIC EDITOR [OMBUDSMAN] KATE SPAYD, AND DEMANDED
    THAT SHE READ IT AND PRINT IT…….

    Dennis Morrisseau
    USArmy Officer[Vietnam era] ANTI-WAR
    FOR TRUMP
    Lieutenant Morrisseau’s Rebellion
    FIRECONGRESS.org
    POB 177, W. Pawlet, VT 05775
    dmorso1@netzero.net

  13. ltr
    September 19, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Another sorely needed analysis by Robert Parry.

  14. ltr
    September 19, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    The so-called article by Ben Hubbard was naked propaganda, startling even by current standards of writing on Syria in the New York Times or Washington Post.

  15. Zachary Smith
    September 19, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I just ran into a fascinating explanation of what happened with the deliberate US air strike in Syria. It’s from an Israel propaganda site gloating how it could see this coming back in July.

    The Pentagon and US army are not following the orders of their Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama in the execution of the military cooperation accord in Syria concluded by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Sept. 12.
    Five days after the truce they agreed would go into effect Monday, fighting was still raging Saturday, Sept. 17.
    debkafile was the only Western publication to foresee this eventuality in an article published on July 18.

    ““““““““
    The remarks of State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Thursday, Sept. 5 hinted at these conflicting perceptions: “I don’t think anyone in the US government is necessarily taking at face value Russia’s – or certainly not the Syrian regime’s – commitment to this arrangement.” He went on to say: “What really matters here is that the president of the United States supports this agreement, and our system of government works in such a way that everyone follows what the president says.”
    Is that really so?
    The fact that Kerry’s spokesman found it necessary to emphasize that “everyone follows what the president says,” strongly indicated that not everyone in Washington was in fact obeying the president.
    Such disobedience is almost unheard of and would never be admitted publicly. In this case, it is being kept carefully under wraps.

    http://www.debka.com/article/25670/Rockets-on-Golan-Pentagon-flouts-Obama-no-truce

    IMO publicizing this will have the effect of telling neocons in the US military that they too can get away with putting allegiance to Israel above that of the US. Like with this incident, the whole thing will likely be covered up with a big ACCIDENT label.

  16. Realist
    September 19, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Obama seems not to care that his word is demonstrably no good, he and his government are warmongers, world class hypocrites and vicious international pariahs. They have no respect for human life, the rule of law, peaceful coexistence or keeping their own word. They only want more power for themselves at whatever the cost. They have joined the ranks of the world’s greatest tyrants down through history. Moreover, these goddamned idiots seem not to realise any of this or not to care how they are viewed by the whole world, posterity or even their own citizenry. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror, Barrack, and try not to puke all over your ugly visage. Your wife and children must be so ashamed. I’m on the level, asshole. Just who do you think you are? Just because Hillary is the same kind of butcher does not give you license. You are two war criminals just running together, not noble historical figures by any means. The Democratic Party and the American media had also better wake up and stop supporting the likes of you two, if they want one iota of respect by decent people. History is taking you down, chum.

  17. Bill Bodden
    September 19, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    America’s worldwide impunity is an American version of past examples throughout history. The Brits, the French, the Germans, the Spanish, the Ottoman and other empires ruled their domains in inhumane and violent ways and were rarely called to pay for their crimes. King Leopold of Belgium presided over the Belgian Congo where millions of people were killed and mutilated without “His Majesty” or any of his courtiers paying a price.

  18. Bill Bodden
    September 19, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    But it is not only the plutocrats, their paid-for political oligarchs in the Democratic and Republican parties and their presstitutes in the media leading the nation to the abyss. It is also the vast majority of the American people in their conventional apathetic and pathetic ways who are also charging like lemmings towards that abyss.

  19. Gary Hare
    September 19, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Another well-reasoned and insightful article from Mr. Parry. I would add the “ghoulish spectre” of Samantha Powers, her role in the Ukraine coup, her disgraceful performance outside the Security Council meeting, deflecting criticism of US culpability for the murder of Syrian National fighters, into a vitriolic and unsubstantiated verbal attack on Putin and Assard, and the likelihood of her increased prominence should Clinton be elected. The scariest woman of our times!

  20. J'hon Doe II
    September 19, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Megalomania

    obsession with the exercise of power, especially in the domination of others.

  21. September 19, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Excellent article by Mr. Parry, too bad the corporate media continue to parrot propaganda disguised as “news.” I believe, we should be asking this question: “Is This What Happens When Evil Rules?” See link below.
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/09/is-this-what-happens-when-evil-rules.html

  22. Tom Welsh
    September 19, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    “That’s not to say that these targeted leaders were or are perfect. They are often far from it”.

    This weak qualifying remark lets down the tone of the whole article. It is reminiscent of the almost-compulsory asides by Western journalists to the effect that “I hold no brief for Putin…” or “while I consider Putin an unprincipled thug…”

    Consider the statement “That’s not to say that these targeted leaders were or are perfect. They are often far from it”. Think it over.

    Now try to think of ANY political leader in the whole of recorded history, anywhere in the world, who was “perfect”. No, I didn’t think so – especially as I am a student of history and have thought about this quite a lot. The fact is that, to lead a human community – especially one the size of a nation – one has to be pretty pragmatic, results-oriented, and often quite brutal. Think about Alexander the Great, Pericles, Julius Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Oliver Cromwell, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Bismarck, Winston Churchill, FDR… which of those, presumably among the best-regarded of political leaders, were “perfect”? That’s right – not a single one. Not even close.

    So what on earth is the point of that weak remark, “That’s not to say that these targeted leaders were or are perfect. They are often far from it”? It quite unnecessarily sets up a standard of perfection that we know to be entirely unattainable and hence utterly irrelevant.

    Unless, perhaps, the disguised idea is to suggest, ever so subliminally, that American political leaders – and they alone – are “perfect”, and that therefore mere foreigners should never be expect to compare with them.

    • Erik
      September 19, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      I think that Mr. Parry is simply covering the bases to avoid the false accusation of bias in favor of the misrepresented party. He is writing first for the naive reader who needs an introduction and may have heard the usual arguments against dissent.

    • Christi
      September 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      “Unless, perhaps, the disguised idea is to suggest, ever so subliminally, that American political leaders – and they alone – are “perfect”, and that therefore mere foreigners should never be expect to compare with them.”

      I hardly think that this is Mr. Parry’s intent. I’ve read too much of his writing to think that he is an apologist for any of the lunatics running the asylum named the United States of America. I think, though, that you are correct in calling Mr. Parry’s use of that phrase, inappropriate. The attraction for me of this site, and others like it, is its objectivity, and Mr. Parry fell, for a brief moment, into the morass of subjectivity that characterizes 99% of the media available to us at present. I heartily applaud his efforts and will continue reading his work…

  23. rosemerry
    September 19, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    ‘the American “Foreign Agent Registration Act,” which likewise requires people trying to influence policy in favor of a foreign sponsor to register with the Justice Department.’ Except AIPAC, of course, and also Saudi Arabia.

    The possibility of peace seems to terrify the US élite, and ever since the loss of the USSR as an indispensable enemy, the PTB do anything possible to ensure there are plenty of enemies to attack.

  24. Joe Tedesky
    September 19, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    The attack on the SAA troops at Deir al Zour in my mine was a message send to the Russians and the Syrians by the Pentagon, telling them just how the Pentagon feels about the cease fire. This uncalled for attack along with Israel’s attack on the Golan Heights was coordinated under this pretense. Why else would Samantha Powers be so arrogant with her response to this tragic ‘mistake’? The sad part is some Syrian parents will not have their sons return from the battle field due to some overly decorated generals decision to suddenly bomb them.

    While the American media makes out like Assad and Putin are terrible warmongering leaders, why doesn’t anyone notice how the American people are whipped up into a warring frenzy by our top running presidential candidates. If Donald calls out for executing terrorist families, or waterboarding them again and again, well the crowd stands on their chairs with applauds. Hillary gets standing ovations calling out for a No Fly Zone, and she gets really big cheers while saying how she will take our Israeli relationship to the next level. What is the next level? Could it be bombing Iran, or is it simply serving Netanyahu a seven course meal? Mean while we criticize a shirtless Putin, and vilify an open collared Assad. We are living in the TwiLight Zone.

    Here is one Syrians response to the Deir al Zour ….

    http://syrianperspective.com/2016/09/american-exceptionalism-and-genius-boundless-stupidity-united-states-exposes-its-cards-for-all-to-see-mass-murdering-yanks-kill-62-syrian-soldiers-to-advance-the-cause-of-isis.html

    • John
      September 19, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      The TwiLight of the uncovering of who really runs the USA. I can tell you it’s not Obama. The CIA and the Pentagon are both rogue governing entities……Soon the psychopaths will show their hand…..they WANT the spotlight

    • Bart Gruzalski
      September 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Sorry John, I’d already written this to Joe and am just posting it, though I don’t believe the CIA wants any of the spotlight… they are part of the deep state and prefer not to be in the spotlight or even in the newspapers.

      Just a week or so ago Jones showed himself to be a real American hero in letting a bit of the torture report out of the bad. Also our senators worked very very hard. Almost all unseen but not. Thanks to them and the Guardian.

    • Realist
      September 19, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Some day the complicit American people should be forced to confront the barbaric consequences of supporting “leaders” such as George W. Bush, Barrack Obama, and the two Clintons just as the German people were required to do in the aftermath of World War II. We must be made to acknowledge our guilt and complicity in so much murder and meyhem only to exercise American state control over ever more square inches of planet Earth’s landscape. We like to excuse the fools and say that most of them are just blockheads who really don’t understand or see the big picture. You know, I think that most of them do realise the truth, but they are simply enticed by the POWER they feel vicariously through their supposedly elected leaders. The day will come when the fools will pay a price. Simply being an American citizen does not relieve one of the responsibility of being a civilised and moral person. We are not innately imbued with “god’s grace” because of our origin of birth. If we ARE totally clueless, we are guilty for being so remiss, as the opportunities to open one’s eyes to reality and make a statement about the injustices endlessly perpetrated in our names are all around us. Just read, listen, watch and learn, and don’t vote for the kind of immoral animals now running this country. If you have the intelligence and language skills, speak out against the injustices your country embraces. If everyone lived by such standards, the vampires in our government would never have seized the power they so much abuse. Being nearly 70 years old now, I remember when it was not like this, when men and women were honorable and the acquisition of power and money were not the only things that mattered.

      Just expanding on your theme, Joe, in perhaps more strident terms.

    • Kiza
      September 19, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      The Australian media attempted to justify the Australian participation in the attack on Syria. The printed media (Fairfax) stated that the information about the positions of different war factions was “usually” supplied by Russia, thus implying that Russia was to blame for this “mistargeting”. Government TV on the other hand (ABC TV) stated that this event will change nothing because the Russians are just too keen to gain legitimacy for their operation in Syria via a coordination deal with US.

      It is an upside down world, in which the attackers, killers and scum are the do-gooders and the do-gooders are seeking legitimacy. But it is even clearer that only utter morons consume the Western regime’s MSM.

  25. evelync
    September 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    History Boston University professor and retired colonel, Andrew Bacevich said recently that “the more we muck around militarily in the Middle East the more we make things worse”
    https://youtu.be/Y-Lg0Fv7nTA
    http://www.bu.edu/pardeeschool/2016/04/20/bacevich-gives-talk-on-americas-war-for-the-greater-middle-east/

    Dr Bacevich was opposed to and spoke out against the War on Iraq from the beginning. And tragically lost his son who was killed during his deployment to Iraq.

    Dr Bacevich continues to write about the folly of our foreign policy in the Middle East. How it has been counterproductive to this country’s stated policy goals – starting with making this world a safer place. As Andrew Bacevich suggests, it’s making things worse.
    In this talk he explains what we do wrong and why we continue doing it. None of it stands up to close scrutiny or makes sense to anyone outside the current power structure in Washington DC.

  26. Tom Welsh
    September 19, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    “This is not just a case of being fooled once; it is being fooled over and over with a seemingly endless willingness to accept dubious assertion after dubious assertion”.

    In fact it is not a case of being fooled at all, but of pure doublethink in exactly the sense that George Orwell gave that term.

    “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process…”

    Considering that was written in England in 1948 (or shortly before) it is astonishingly prophetic and amazingly accurate. It seems to me that Orwell’s description of doublethink is exactly the state of mind in which MSM presstitutes and US government spokespeople must spend most of their time.

    • Erik
      September 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      That is a remarkably prescient description. But I have been surprised at the similarity of the operations of uneducated demagogues and bullies. They observe as children what must be said to whom to get a desired result, and do not trouble themselves to learn any moral principles or disciplined reasoning as they mature, because it doesn’t serve their purposes. They learn these tricks as a life skill, and consider the scams to be professional abilities and virtues. These contradictions of reason and bold hypocrisies only seem surprising to the moral and the educated – it is quite natural to the uneducated scammer and bully. The same kind often does get a technical education, succeeds just fine in business unencumbered by ethics, and often goes into law and politics, the better to deceive and exploit their foolish moral superiors.

  27. Tom Welsh
    September 19, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    “President Barack Obama even has publicly talked about authorizing military strikes in seven different countries, including Syria, and yet he is deemed “weak” for not invading more countries, at least more decisively”.

    L’appetit croit en mangeant.

  28. John
    September 19, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Mr. Parry, please don’t rock the American boat with this type journalism ……Don’t you know the great bankrupt America, along with it’s US dollar printing press are too big to fail……More than half the world is in bed with the great whore……

  29. Zachary Smith
    September 19, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    The xymphora site had the best quote I’ve seen:

    “You know you’ve reached peak neocon when your government is providing air support for an ISIS attack on the Syrian Arab Army…”

    And Hillary isn’t even President yet!

    ISIS has been taking a licking lately, and both Israel and the US of A have started doing what they can to help the head-choppers and burning-alive boys. From Moon of Alabama:

    “At the same time the Israeli air force attacked Syrian positions in the Golan height after al-Qaeda lobbed a mortar towards Israeli forces signaling the need for support. This has become the official format of Israeli support for al-Qaeda in the area with Israel claiming that the Syrian army is responsible for any and all attacks from the Syrian side no matter who initiates them.”

    News Link: hXXps://www.almasdarnews.com/article/israeli-air-force-attacks-syrian-army-golan-heights/

    Now an extended quote from the Sic Semper Tyrannis site:

    So, we and the Australians admit that we “done it.” The body count this morning is up to 83 and presumably will go higher. Could it have been a real targeting error? Yes. People here on SST who have participated in air targeting know how easy it is to make a mistake. But, there are some unusual things about this “error.” The SAA has been occupying these positions for six months or so. Presumably US imagery and SIGINT analysts have been looking at them all that time and producing map overlays that show who is where in detail. These documents would be widely available especially to air units and their targeteers. US coalition led air has rarely struck in the Deir al-Zor area. Why now? Were they asked to strike? The US does not talk to the Syrian government. How would they have been asked? Who would have designated the targets? They struck in the presence of SAA troops without any ground liaison? And what of the timing two days before the US-Russian deal was to be expanded into active cooperation?

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/09/was-it-really-an-accident.html

    The attack was obviously deliberate, and probably also a test to see it’s a viable strategy to continue directly helping ISIS in the future.

    Whatever the US or Israel does is OK, and whatever anybody else does to thwart the work of The Exceptional Nation and God’s Favorite People is wrong. See how simple things are?

    The stage is being set for President Hillary.

    • b.grand
      September 19, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Syrian friends from the Syrian American Will Association – SAWA and Syrian American Forum SAF and Arab Americans 4 Syria have asked our help on an emergency demonstration for Syria on Wed at 9am at the UN. At 47th St & 2nd Ave. (Not at 1st Ave)
      https://www.facebook.com/events/1834362000118202/

      US bombing of Syrian Government’s Army positions in the Eastern city of Deir ez-Zor on Saturday is a very dangerous escalation in the 5 year US effort of Regime Change or complete overturn of the legally elected and internationally recognized government of Syria.

      Russia immediately called a UN Security Council Meeting.
      Another meeting of the UN Security Council is scheduled to take up Syria this Wed morning at 9am.

      International Action Center, United National Antiwar Coalition, Peoples Organization for Progress and US Peace Council have now endorsed.

    • jaycee
      September 19, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      The attack on the Syrian soldiers was as accidental as the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade back in 1999.

      • Dean
        September 21, 2016 at 2:08 am

        Yes, that was accidentally bombed on purpose.

    • Gregory Kruse
      September 20, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Hillary herself is the stage director.

Comments are closed.