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Thursday, March 21, 2013


Learning from Iraq? It's we who need to. The media hasn't, and won't.

On Tuesday there was a chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed 25 people and wounded 110. The attack occurred in a government-held area, was immediately publicized including video footage of the victims in hospital by the Syrian government, and the Syrian government quickly called for a U.N. investigation into the attack. Despite the obvious conclusion from these three facts - that the attack was done by rebels - various pundits managed to look at TV footage of people lying in hospital beds and pronounce that they showed "no signs of chemical weapons attack", while U.S. President Obama pronounced himself "deeply skeptical" of the allegation that it was the rebels who had done this attack, and instead warned the Syrian government about using chemical weapons. Chemical weapons are "weapons of mass destruction."

Today, a suicide bomber attacked a mosque, killing a "top pro-Assad Sunni preacher" and 41 others, while wounding 84 more. A clear "weapon of mass destruction" (not to mention a clear act of terrorism). Not only has Barack Obama not issued any condemnations of this attack, but the AP report of the attack even includes a statement from the "Syrian National Council," with its spokesperson informing us that "I don't know of a single opposition group that could do something like this." Of course.

As with the chemical weapons attack two days ago, we're supposed to believe that the Assad government, a government which we're told every day has dwindling support, chooses to erode that support even further by staging one after another attack killing its own supporters, all in an effort to discredit the rebels. The preposterous nature of this proposition is no impediment to it being advanced in all seriousness by the media. They are, after all, every bit as much as they were 10 years ago when an attack on Iraq was on the front burner, part and parcel of the U.S. government's foreign policy propaganda apparatus. Lessons learned from Iraq? Many more people have learned that they shouldn't trust the media. But the media? They have learned nothing.

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