Friday, August 30, 2013

Syria vs. Iraq: truth vs. lies and the news media cover up.

Whether or not to launch a retaliatory attack on Assad for his use of chemical weapons and the killing of more than 1300 civilians with those weapons is a very simple and easy proposition. Do we punish him for doing it or not?

Yet to watch the debates on some of the cable news shows or read opinion pieces in newspapers, the complicating of a simple issue, the distortions, the inability or refusal to see a forest for a forest and a tree for a tree has turned a simple proposition into a debate where a debate doesn't even need to take place.

The biggest argument both chicken little type journalists like Wolf Blitzer and the other usual suspects who appear on these game shows passing for journalism, is supposedly the lessons learned from Iraq. But the more these journalists and politicians talk the more its clear they learned no lessons from Iraq because they still do not want to admit the truth about Iraq.

The Iraq argument is that the U.S. was wrong about Saddam having WMD and that the war based on that rationale was wrong. The argument goes that, supposedly the intelligence community got it wrong, the U.S. and its allies like the UK got bogged down in  a war they never should have gotten involved with in the first place for all the wrong reasons and no one wants to see that happen again in Syria.

But what the media and the politicians now discussing Syria and making comparisons to Iraq refuse to admit is that none of that is true. What IS true is that Bush, Cheney and Condoleeza Rice  outright lied the country into war with sheer fabrications because they had wanted an excuse to invade Iraq and topple Sadaam and 911 gave them that excuse. And the same collection of journalistic sycophants debating Syria now,  went along with the fabrications without questioning the validity of the claims or asking for proof of what the Bush administration was claiming.

In fact the likes of Wolf Blitzer, the New York Times and others were actually afraid to question it, afraid they'd be attacked by lock step Republicans who would accuse them of being unpatriotic.

Democrats who voted for the resolution to attack Iraq might also be put in that category and deserve to be, with a few exceptions like Democratic senator Bill Nelson who publicly, after the fact, pointed out, upon learning the truth,  that he was brazenly lied to by an Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith, who told him that Sadaam had drones that had the capability of launching a chemical attack on the east coast of the United States. They kept hidden a US Air Force intelligence report on Saddam's drones that said the drones were made of wood, had a maximum range of 250 miles and couldn't deliver a serious munitions attack of any kind. Nelson was furious when he found out, and called a press conference to expose it, something barely covered by the sycophantic news media who never made it an issue.

That the Bush administration lied the country into war in Iraq and like trained seals, the biggest names in mainstream media, led by bogus news stories on the front page of the NY Times fed to them by Dick Cheney, supported these lies, is something the news media even today refuses to admit. So we get comparisons between the disaster that was Iraq and possible intervention in Syria as if there was some equivalency.

Weapons inspectors inside Iraq stated repeatedly they did not believe Sadaam had WMD. Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector made the statement repeatedly and was repeatedly mocked by Republicans without protest by the news media.  Joe Wilson exposed Bush's claim about Sadaam trying to buy yellow cake in Niger as a lie. The presentation made by Colin Powell to the U.N. laying out the case for attacking Sadaam, was in Powell's words, the lowest day of his life now knowing that all the information he was given on which he based his presentation were 100% fabrications, known to be fabrications by Bush and Cheney, but kept from Powell.

And the news media, the Wolf Blitzer's of the world, those like Jill Abramson who was Judith Millers NY Times  Washington  bureau chief who approved stories of the certainty of Sadaam having WMD without demanding a single shred of proof or corroboration, and then rubber stamped by then New York Times editor Bill Keller, all went along with the lies and the charade and afterwards never held anyone accountable. Because to do so would be to hold themselves accountable for their  flagrant journalistic negligence, cowardice and incompetence in their reporting. And the dire consequences and massive loss of life and resources that resulted.

In a recent New York Times editorial questioning whether or not Assad actually used chemical weapons and making it clear it did not  now support a missile strike, an editorial that in and of itself is a parody of a NY Times editorial, the editors state, "Given America's gross failure in Iraq when the Bush Administration went to war over non-existent nuclear weapons, the standard of proof is now unquestionably higher". Nowhere do they mention that they, the New York Times and it's editors were the primary news organization that did not require any standard of proof before publishing their Dick Cheney fed stories on their front pages which the Bush Administration used to further make their case for war.

And so today, the debate over whether to launch a strike against Syria for the mass killing of civilians with chemical weapons is, by those who oppose it or want to tread lightly,  compared to Iraq and it's   failures, which in fact were not the result of a failure of intelligence by intelligence agencies  that got it wrong,  but a failure of  intelligence, honesty and integrity by the Bush administration and their sycophants in the news media who went happily  along.





Anonymous said...

Again, where is the support from our allies on this? The world has a responsibility to defend also, its not the sole responsibility of this country.

Marc Rubin said...

"where is the support from our allies on this?"

Great Britain was so badly burned by Bush's lies about Iraq that they dont trust the U.S. though the vote not to join with the U.S. on strikes was a close vote. Also Obama has little prestige in the world and a history of reneging on promises so its hard for other countries to follow not knowing whether Obama will see things through.

France has committed to supporting retaliation but you're witnessing the results of Bush's lies about Iraq and Obama's wavering on everything over an an issue that should be black and white.

Anonymous said...

I understand this completely and agree with you. Maybe France should bomb and we can cheer them on. How refreshing that would be.

The thing is, we don't just bomb, we bomb, then go back and spend our borrowed money from China to then go back and clean up the mess.

Marc Rubin said...

"Maybe France should bomb and we can cheer them on. How refreshing that would be."

If you remember that is exactly what happened a year ago in Libya. Both France and the UK got fed up with Obama's dithering over what to do and when Hillary Clinton arrived in London for a meeting to discuss what to do she was informed (to her delight based on the expression on her face) that at that very moment French and British fighter jets were bombing Ghaddafi's forces in Libya because they were tired of waiting for Obama to make up his mind.

If Obama does launch a missile attack it had better be meaningful and cause Assad real pain and damage otherwise if it's just a token strike or meant to be symbolic it will be laughed at and will be worse than if he did nothing. Now that he says he's decided to do it but wants a congressional resolution authorizing it which he doesnt need (typical)we'll see if he sticks to what he's promised this time. If he doesnt get the authorization he could do it anyway or it could be his way out.

Anonymous said...

No problem with sitting this one out either. This government has enough blood on its hands, some of it from atrocities against its own citizens. To play world savior is so pathetically hypocritical.

Marc Rubin said...

"To play world savior is so pathetically hypocritical."

Two rights don't make a wrong. Its right to punish Assad for his massacre of civilians with chemical weapons and its right to send a message to Iran not to make a nuclear one.

Anonymous said...

We've been there before and it was a waste of time and money like it always has been. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Marc Rubin said...

"We've been there before and it was a waste of time and money"

We've actually never been there before. The closest was Bosnia and Kosovo and that couldnt have gone better and was worth every penny and all the time spent.

If you werent referring to that but to Iraq that has nothing to do with this either. That was Bush and Cheney fabricating and lying about WMD,using 911 as an excuse to do what they had wanted to do for years in getting rid of Saddam and had nothing to do with anything real.

Unless you think the chemical attack was staged, that 1400 didnt really die or that Assad had nothing to do with it and that this is all based on a big lie by an administration as was the case in Iraq, we've never been here before, except, as pointed out, the closest analogy would be Kosovo which couldnt have been more worth the time and money and was accomplished without a single U.S. casualty.

Anonymous said...

I was referring to the fact that no good will come from this, and money will be wasted. The short-sightedness of the US never changes. Always reactive, never proactive.

Anonymous said...

I oppose us going into any country unless we have skin in the game. Assad may be a dictator, but he has run a sectarian country, kept the radical Muslims out, didn't bother his neighbors, and until someone stirred the pot, a country with a decent economy. The Syrian situation parallels what happened in Iraq. Saddam was a dictator, he ran a tight ship, the country was sectarian, had a good economy, and he kept Iran in check. ( with our governments help ) The idiot Bush and henchmen played the W.M.D. song,conned the congress, lied to the voters, spent over half a trillion dollars, killed a couple of hundred thousand Iraqi civilians, and turned a prosperous Iraq into a killing zone for radical Muslims. --- not to mention the four thousand odd U.S. troops killed, and upwards of eighty thousand wounded.

Marc Rubin said...

"I was referring to the fact that no good will come from this, and money will be wasted. "

Since you are not the only one expressing the same opinion, I'd like to know how you know this when it seems the opposite would be true.

Especially since it seems simply the threat of the strike has accomplished something if the latest reports are true that Syria
has agreed to let weapons inspectors in to destroy all their chemical weapons to avoid a missile strike. Whether they are serious or not remains to be seen but if so, it destroys the belief of the majority of people that a missile strike wouldnt do any good. There is no doubt that Assad would never have agreed to this, if its legitimate, had there not been the threat of a missile barrage coming down on his head.