A favorite talking point of Official Washington is that Syrian President Assad is “a magnet for terrorism” who thus must be removed, but that’s a line not stuck on other leaders who are attacked by terrorists. A more sober assessment would see Assad as a necessary part of a solution, says Lawrence Davidson.
In spinning another propaganda theme, Official Washington is putting out the storyline that Iran is supporting Syria only to appease hardliners in Tehran, but the reality is that top Iranian leaders agree that a victory by the Islamic State or Al Qaeda must be prevented, writes Gareth Porter at Middle East Eye.
Exclusive: “Terrorism” is a word of condemnation, referring to the coldblooded killing of civilians to advance a political cause. But U.S. pundits and officials have blurred its meaning to cover attacks on American soldiers in foreign lands, a word game that can contribute to more wars, writes Robert Parry.
Official Washington often exacerbates foreign conflicts by shoving them into misshapen narratives or treating them as good-guy-vs.-bad-guy morality plays, rather than political disputes that require mediation. The problem is particularly tricky with “terrorist” groups, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.
Ever since Iran made it on to the neocon “regime change” list, its actions have been put through the special prism of demonization that is reserved for U.S. “enemies.” Now, those exaggerations and distortions are obstructing an agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
America’s neocons are now advancing their “regime change” goals in the Mideast by tarring “enemies,” like Syria’s largely secular government, as “Islamist” while shielding “friends” like Saudi Arabia despite its intense religiosity, yet one more double standard, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.