Lies, Damn Lies, and Syria News: US Duplicity

March 28th, 2023 - by RootsAction & Reason & Consortium News

Lies, Damn Lies, and Syria News: US Duplicity
RootsAction Team

(March 27, 2023) — For years now, the US government has illegally kept military troops in Syria and absurdly claimed that its attacks on targets in Syria are “defensive” of those troops.

If Syria had taken over part of Texas and started claiming that its attacks on targets in the United States were “defensive” of its troops in Texas (and “proportional”) and therefore legal, legitimate, and moral, what would you say?

For a year-and-a-half now, President Joe Biden has claimed that the US is not at war. Earlier this month, the US House of Representatives voted down a resolution to end US war-making in Syria. One of the many arguments made for the No votes was that there was no war to end.

Yet, this week, following a report of US casualties (one dead, six injured), the US repeatedly bombed Syria, claiming that it was attacking Iranian or Iranian-backed locations, thus fueling the potential for yet another war.

ACTION: Click here to insist that your Representative and Senators immediately use the War Powers Resolution to create a new vote on ending US war-making in Syria. This endless war needs ending.

In UN Speech, Biden Says US Is
‘Not at War.’
 That’s Just Not True

Scott Shackford / Reason

(September 21, 2021) — In a wide-ranging speech at the United Nations today, President Joe Biden made a curious and inaccurate claim that the United States is no longer at war. Americans need to understand that even as we withdraw from Afghanistan, the US is nowhere near on a peace footing.

Biden’s speech (read the transcript here) focused significantly on “looking ahead.” It dealt with climate change, fighting the spread of COVID-19, protecting infrastructure from cyberattacks, containing Iran and North Korea, and fighting new terror attacks.

Early in the speech, Biden noted that America (and the rest of the world) has “ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan.” That’s certainly true. But later, as he wrapped up the speech, Biden delivered this whopper:
I stand here today, for the first time in 20 years, the United States is not at war. We’ve turned the page. All the unmatched strength, energy, and commitment, will and resources of our nation, are now fully and squarely focused on what’s ahead of us, not what was behind.

That is just simply not true. As commander in chief, Biden is still operating under the authority of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which, on paper, grants the president only authority to bring the military to bear against those responsible for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but in reality has been used by multiple US presidents to authorize very broad military interventions throughout the world.

Furthermore, the 2002 AUMF, which directly authorized the military invasion of Iraq, is still in force. The House voted in June to repeal the 2002 AUMF, but that repeal hasn’t passed the Senate yet. We still have thousands of troops in Iraq and are currently planning to keep them there indefinitely. The plan is that these troops will serve as logistics and advisory help for Iraq’s government, but they will most definitely still be involved in fights against the Islamic State.

We may have pulled troops out of Somalia, but we’re still performing airstrikesthere against Al Qaida affiliate al-Shabab. In June, the Pentagon announced that it is considering putting troops right back in there.

And none of that gets into the countless—well, not countless, but the numbers are deliberately concealed from the American public—drone strikes in places like Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, and Libya. We don’t really have data on drone use under the Biden administration yet, save the disastrous one from late August in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including 7 children. Biden has reportedly quietly implemented stricter rules on the use of drones outside of war zones and the White House is evaluating the legal and policy “frameworks” for continuing to use them.

Biden might not see all of this piecemeal military intervention as “war,” but let’s be clear here: We’re talking about thousands of US troops overseas involved in potentially killing armed combatants. And Biden currently still has congressional permission to wage war.

This is not actual peace. We have not “turned a page.” Don’t mistake the US pulling out of Afghanistan as an end of 20 years of military interventions. US military interventions are still going on right now.

US Bombs Syria and Claims Self-Defense
Caitlin Johnstone / Consortium News

The US is an invading force in both Syria and Iraq;
it is impossible for its actions to be defensive.
It is always necessarily the aggressor

(February 26, 2021) — On orders of President Biden, the United States has launched an airstrike on a facility in Syria. As of this writing, the exact number of killed and injured is unknown, with early reports claiming “a handful” of people were killed.

Rather than doing anything remotely resembling journalism, the Western mass media have opted instead to uncritically repeat what they’ve been told about the airstrike by US officials, which is the same as just publishing Pentagon press releases.

Here’s this from The Washington Post:
The Biden administration conducted an airstrike against alleged Iranian-linked fighters in Syria on Thursday, signaling its intent to push back against violence believed to be sponsored by Tehran.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the attack, the first action ordered by the Biden administration to push back against alleged Iranian-linked violence in Iraq and Syria, on a border control point in eastern Syria was “authorized in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats.”

He said the facilities were used by Iranian-linked militias including Kaitib Hezbollah and Kaitib Sayyid al-Shuhada.

The operation follows the latest serious attack on US locations in Iraq that American officials have attributed to Iranian-linked groups operating in Iraq and Syria. Earlier this month, a rocket attack in northern Iraq killed a contractor working with the US military and injured a US service member there.

So we are being told that the United States launched an airstrike on Syria, a nation it invaded and is illegally occupying, because of attacks on “US locations” in Iraq, another nation the US invaded and is illegally occupying.

This attack is justified on the basis that the Iraqi fighters were “Iranian-linked”, a claim that is both entirely without evidence and irrelevant to the justification of deadly military force. And this is somehow being framed in mainstream news publications as a defensive operation.

This is Defense Department stenography. The US military is an invading force in both Syria and Iraq; it is impossible for its actions in either of those countries to be defensive. It is always necessarily the aggressor. It’s the people trying to eject them who are acting defensively. The deaths of US troops and contractors in those countries can only be blamed on the powerful people who sent them there.

The US is just taking it as a given that it has de facto jurisdiction over the nations of Syria, Iraq, and Iran, and that any attempt to interfere in its authority in the region is an unprovoked attack which must be defended against.

This is completely backwards and illegitimate. Only through the most perversely warped American supremacist reality tunnels can it look valid to dictate the affairs of sovereign nations on the other side of the planet and respond with violence if anyone in those nations tries to eject them.

It’s illegitimate for the US to be in the Middle East at all. It’s illegitimate for the US to claim to be acting defensively in nations it invaded.

It’s illegitimate for the US to act like Iranian-backed fighters aren’t allowed to be in Syria, where they are fighting alongside the Syrian government against ISIS and other extremist militias with the permission of Damascus.

It is illegitimate for the US to claim the fighters attacking US personnel in Iraq are controlled by Iran when Iraqis have every reason to want the US out of their country themselves.

Even the official narrative reveals itself as illegitimate from within its own worldview. CNN reports that the site of the airstrike “was not specifically tied to the rocket attacks” in Iraq, and a Reuters/AP report says “Biden administration officials condemned the February 15 rocket attack near the city of Irbil in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish-run region, but as recently as this week officials indicated they had not determined for certain who carried it out.”

This is all so very typical of the American supremacist worldview that is being aggressively shoved down our throats by all western mainstream news media. The US can bomb who it likes, whenever it likes, and when it does it is only ever doing so in self defense, because the entire planet is the property of Washington, DC. It can seize control of entire clusters of nations, and if any of those nations resist in any way they are invading America’s sovereignty.

It’s like if you broke into your neighbor’s house to rob him, killed him when he tried to stop you, and then claimed self defense because you consider his home your property. Only in the American exceptionalist alternate universe is this considered normal and acceptable.

This sort of nonsense is why it’s so important to prioritize opposition to western imperialism. World warmongering and domination is the front upon which all the most egregious evils inflicted by the powerful take place, and it plays such a crucial role in upholding the power structures we are up against.

Without endless war, the oligarchic empire — which is the cause of so much of our suffering — cannot function, and must give way to something else. If you’re looking to throw sand in the gears of the machine, anti-imperialism is your most efficacious path toward that end, and should therefore be your priority.

In America especially it is important to oppose war and imperialism, because an entire empire depends on keeping the locals too poor and propagandized to force their nation’s resources to go to their own wellbeing.

As long as the United States functions as the hub of a globe-spanning power structure, all the progressive agendas that are being sought by what passes for the US left these days will be denied them. Opposing warmongering must come first.

Standing against imperialism and American supremacism cuts directly to the heart of our difficulties in this world, which is why so much energy goes into keeping us focused on identity politics and vapid energy sucks which inconvenience the powerful in no way whatsoever.

If you want to out-wrestle a crocodile, you must bind shut its mouth. If you want to take down a globe-spanning empire, you must take out its weapons. Opposing warmongering and killing public trust in the propaganda used to justify it is the best way to do this.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcastsorSpotify, following her on Steemit, buying her booksRogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin JohnstoneandWoke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

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