The Guns of August

No parables today. No allegory. Just some real talk.

According to NBC, the United States just launched a Tomahawk missile strike at Syrian Army emplacements in Syria.  This act of war against a sovereign state has a high potential risk of killing Russian personnel in addition to Syrians, meaning we might very well have just fired the opening salvo of World War 3.  And in all probability, it’s based on a lie.

I’m very worked up right now so I’m going to stick to the basics.

The conflict in Syria has been a clusterfuck from the very start.  Broadly speaking, it is the result of an attempted US “regime change,” designed to bring down elected “dictator” Bashar Assad.  Why do we want Assad out?  Oil, as always.  Saudi Arabia and Iran both want to build an oil pipeline through Syria in order to more easily ship their oil to markets in Europe.  Assad rejected the Saudi plan in favor of Iran’s.  Saudi Arabia, the human-rights disaster, is our friend.  Iran is not, thanks to some prior “regime changing” that … didn’t go so well.

The thing of it is, Assad is pretty popular amongst Syrians.  The rebels (that we were backing, in order to effect this regime change) are Al Qaeda-style Islamic militants.  The civil war, which (again) is the legitimate Syrian government against CIA-backed rebels, has been going pretty well for Assad recently.

Assad is allied with Russia.  This will be important pretty soon.

I’m not going to argue that Putin isn’t an asshole.  He clearly is.  He’s a scary man with dictatorial control over the Russian state.  He very much wants to see a return to the old Soviet days, which is what you’d expect from a former KGB agent.  But he also has grand plans for Russia’s return to pre-eminence on the world stage.  Specifically, he’s been working to establish a pan-Eurasian economic zone, stretching from London to Beijing.  This zone would represent a serious threat to Western financial hegemony.

In case you were wondering why the establishment has been so “Russia Russia Russia” lately, well, there’s your motivation.

So, did Syria gas their own people?

In my less-than-professional opinion, probably not.  The Assad regime is a dictatorship but there’s no evidence that they’re suicidal.  And throwing some chemical weapons at rebels that they were already beating seems excessive, particularly given that it’s one of the very few things Assad could do that would spark worldwide consensus for his removal.

You’ll remember that this happened back in 2013, as well.  The outcome of that was … unclear, to put it mildly.  There are those who have said, compellingly, that the 2013 attack in Ghouta was actually rebel-instigated, either to frame Assad and draw direct US involvement or simply because they didn’t know how to aim their stolen rockets.  Of course, this flies in the face of establishment propaganda the official narrative, so … take with as much salt as you want.

Worth noting is that Syria pledged to surrender all of their chemical weapons after the Ghouta incident, a pledge that former Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed they followed through on.

It is taken as given within the hard left that the establishment wants war with Russia.  It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see this.  Hillary would have provoked it with her no-fly zone.  The Democrats have been pushing for it by scapegoating Russia for their bogus “interference” in the election.  Trump, to his credit, has been resisting — albeit because of his shady business connections rather than his secret heart of gold.  War with Syria is, in essence, war with Russia — and less than a week ago, the White House said they wouldn’t seek Assad’s removal.

Suddenly, less than a week later, the red line is crossed.  Was it because Assad suddenly felt safe, safe enough to risk raising NATO’s ire?  Or was it because, unable to manipulate Trump directly, the CIA called on their rebel catspaws to serve up another sarin attack?

If that last bit sounds too tinfoil-hatty, I want to remind everyone that we went to war in Iraq for similar reasons — chemical weapons, WMDs.  Weapons that the intelligence community swore up and down that they had.  Weapons that we never found even a single trace of.

A million Iraqis died because of those lies, not to mention several thousand American soldiers.

And now?  Now we have manufactured consent.  Now we have casus belli that the international community will support.  We have Republicans and Democrats alike calling for Trump to Do Something, so Do Something he did — and I’m sure he’ll sit back and laugh while his approval numbers finally start going up.

We have the pretext (that we didn’t really need) to do what was apparently inevitable — go in to Syria and remove Assad, Russia’s objections be damned.  And if Russia decides to show their displeasure?  Well, that’s what the massive NATO forces in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states are for.

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether or not Assad was responsible for these attacks.  The US says that he is, and since we’re the biggest swinging cod around, what we say goes.  After all, it’s not like anyone was ever punished for the Iraq lies.  Bush and Cheney are still walking around free.  Cheney is still rich from his Halliburton war profits.  A million Iraqis are still dead, and five thousand American mothers and fathers are mourning their children who will never come home.

There’s nothing we can do to stop this.  It’s completely out of our hands.  Congress doesn’t answer to the people, they answer to their patrons — and their patrons want war, and the profits that come along with it.  And once the dust settles from this strike, or the next, or the one after that, once Russia has had enough and pushes back, once NATO’s network of treaties comes into play and the entire world is at war, just as it was a hundred years ago …

Remember that it’s all based on a lie.  And if you can find any way to do so, resist.

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