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Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Syria is a laughing matter

OK, it really isn't, it's deadly serious. But these two items in the news today quite literally made me laugh out loud:

Item: Hillary Clinton at the U.N.

"Now, I know that some members here may be concerned that the Security Council could be headed toward another Libya. That is a false analogy. Syria is a unique situation that requires its own approach, tailored to the specific circumstances occurring there."
Right. There are now far more alleged dead in Syria (almost none of them actually documented, but all of them implied in the press to be the result of Syrian government assaults on unarmed civilians) than there were in Libya, where there was the claim of an impending slaughter, yet we're to believe that military intervention is the farthest thing from the mind of the U.S. government, and that "regime change" doesn't enter into it.


"The United Nations, which has said more than 5,400 people have been killed, said last week it could no longer reliably document the death toll."
No longer? As noted above, the U.N. has never had any reliable documentation of deaths occurring in Syria. Their sole source of "information," by which we mean allegations, comes from an anti-Syrian government organization based in London. But now for some reason they can "no longer reliably document" the deaths. What a joke.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Liberals and libertarians on Iran

Last night on Bill Maher's TV show, the discussion turned to Iran and the recent assassination of an Iranian scientist. David Frum, Republican conservative and on the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition, waxed eloquent in justifying the murder, quoting the "Psalmist" (from Psalm 7): "Those who prepare violence will discover that violence will fall upon their own head." He asserted that "these people were making bombs, they were engaged in work that is intended to kill millions."

And the response from the liberals and libertarians on the panel? Bill Maher (the libertarian) said "I agree with you" (presumably both on justifying the murder, and on the totally unsupported claims about making bombs and intending to kill millions). Rob Reiner, noted Hollywood liberal, only objected that it might result in retaliation. Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, another noted liberal, chair of the Democratic National Committee, and, like Reiner, also Jewish, said nothing, acquiescing by silence.

Murder of an innocent man? No problem for liberals and libertarians.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The face of terrorism...victims

This is Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the latest victim of Israeli/U.S. terrorism. Like all the others, a real person with a real family. Compare the (lack of) outrage over the very real killing of this very real man, vs. the days of hyped outrage against the almost certainly bogus plot by an Iranian-American (with the even more certainly bogus participation of the Iranian government) in the allegedly planned assassination of the Saudi Ambassador.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


More demonization of Syria

A French journalist and 7 other people are killed while on a *government-sponsored tour* of Homs, and once again the U.S. corporate media is happy to spin the absurd claims by the Syrian opposition that the government killed the journalist and its own people just to make the opposition look bad. Huffington Post's story doesn't even bother to mention that the journalist was on a government-sponsored tour at the time, a rather relevant fact.

Friday, January 06, 2012


Demonizing Syria, no matter how laughable

The absurd lengths that the U.S. corporate media will go to to demonize Syria stagger the imagination. Just before Christmas, and again yesterday, bombings in Syria have killed dozens of people; 44 in December and probably 25 yesterday. And in both cases, corporate media have dutifully reported "opposition claims" that the government itself was responsible for the bombings, in order to make the opposition look like terrorists rather than a "peaceful opposition."

Why is this absurd? Well, to begin with, we know that the opposition is not simply a nonviolent movement (although certainly some of it is). Hundreds or perhaps thousands of members of Syrian security forces are acknowledged, even by the Western media, to have been killed in attacks, and the opposition itself even announced a "cease-fire" in advance of the arrival of the Arab League monitors.

But the real reason this contention is laughable on its face, and why such absurd charges do not deserve to be repeated, much less featured as an equally plausible explanation by the media, is that the target in both cases has been the Syrian security forces themselves - the intelligence services in December, and a police bus yesterday. If, hypothetically, the Syrian government wanted to set off a bomb to "prove" that they were facing terrorists, they could choose all sorts of targets to do so. Choosing themselves, and not just any part of the government, but the very part of the government accused of doing the repressing? The idea is simply laughable. But not so for the Western corporate media, always ready to do its part in demonizing the latest target of imperialism and helping to beat the drums of war.

Update: CNN's coverage seems particularly despicable in the extent of coverage it gives to the ludicrous opposition claims, although I admit I haven't surveyed all the news sources, so they may well be some that are even worse.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


Death in Iraq

A few days ago, Iraq Body Count released a report documenting the deaths of 162,000 people, almost 80% of them civilians, in Iraq from the beginning of the U.S. assault on Iraq until the U.S. "withdrawal," that is, the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops. The problem with this report is that it might give the impression that that is now a static total, the number of Iraqis dead as a result of the invasion.

But death in Iraq has not taken a holiday since U.S. combat troops left. Today, 71 Iraqis were killed in a bombing, adding to the dozens if not hundreds that have been killed since U.S. combat troops left. And here's the thing - these deaths, and the ones which will follow in the days, weeks, months, and years to come, just as much as the 162,000 (or whatever the right number is) that occurred while U.S. combat troops were in the country, are completely the responsibility of the United States government. Not only not one of those 162,000 Iraqis, but not one of today's 71, or those who have been killed in recent days and weeks, were effectively murdered by the U.S. Who set a bomb, who pulled the trigger, is irrelevant. Every one of those people would be alive today were it not for the U.S. invasion.

Of course, this is not the only Iraqi blood on U.S. hands. There are the estimated one million Iraqis, largely women and children, who died as a result of a decade of U.S. sanctions, not to mention the much smaller number who were killed by U.S. bombing in the course of enforcing its self-imposed "no-fly zone." There are another 125,000 Iraqi soldiers killed by the U.S. during its 1991 invasion.

Today on the news, a Syrian defector was talking about the "genocide" taking place in Syria, where an alleged (but hardly proven) 5000 deaths (of both opposition forces and government troops) have taken place. I have yet to hear on the news anyone applying the word "genocide" to the 1.3 million Iraqis who have met their fate at the hands of the U.S. government.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


NDAA Hypocrisy

Paraphrasing Stephen Colbert: "Obama? Big hypocrite, or the biggest hypocrite?"
"I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation."
Unlike killing American citizens without trial, which is a vital part of those "traditions and values."

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