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.
Exclusive: While seeking authority for a limited war with Syria, the Obama administration withheld from the American people the U.S. intelligence on the alleged chemical weapons attack of Aug. 21, amid assurances that Congress got all the secret details. But that doesn’t appear to be true, reports Robert Parry.
Exclusive: Two weeks after an apparent chemical attack in Syria, the Obama administration continues to tout its “scrubbed and rescrubbed” intelligence as proving that the Syrian government is to blame. But not a single piece of verifiable evidence has been presented to the American people, notes Robert Parry.
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.
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.
The Obama administration’s emotional reaction to the alleged chemical attack in Syria may be understandable given the human toll, but the high-level clamor for action put pressure on intelligence analysts assessing the evidence. It also could have distorted their judgments, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
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.
Official Washington’s neocons are in full-throated war cry over Syria, creating what many of them surely hope is a momentum toward a U.S. intervention that cooler heads won’t be able to stop. But many questions regarding this latest rush to war remain unanswered, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
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.
Exclusive: Government prosecutors are seeking 60 years in prison for Pvt. Bradley Manning as punishment for his release of classified documents. But little attention is being paid to the benefits from those disclosures, including how he may have helped prevent a war with Iran, writes Robert Parry.