Chemical Hypocrisy: Lies and Disinformation on the Road to War

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by James Corbett
August 26, 2013

With the latest allegations that Assad used chemical weapons on his own people in Syria, the world once again stands on the brink of outright military intervention in the country. As the calls for intervention by the usual suspects increases in intensity, military strikes on Damascus are looking more and more inevitable.

And with these pompous bloviations, Kerry and the warmongers of the American war machine have raised their collective middle finger not just to the Bashar al-Assad government, not just to his allies in Tehran and Moscow and Beijing, not just to the overwhelming public opinion of their own citizens, but even to the old conventions of giving lip service to truth that has run this murderous system of lies for so long.

To hell with the facts. Damn those who ask for the presentation of any shred of proof that these chemical weapons attacks can be blamed on Assad. Damn all logic in asking us to believe that Assad waited until chemical weapons inspectors arrived in his country before using chemical weapons in a war that he was already winning anyway. Damn the staggering 91% of the public who do not support the idea of military intervention. None of that matters to the psychopaths who are hell-bent on yet another murderous conflict. The American/Israeli/French/British war machine cries out for the blood of more innocents, and this it shall have come hell or high water.

We are being told that this attack is being prepared because Assad crossed the “red line” of chemical weapons use. This is a lie. America has never cared about the victims of chemical weapons attacks ever in its history unless it can achieve its own military objectives by parading on the corpses of those victims. This time is no exception.

Chemical weapons are weapons that use chemical agents to harm or kill enemy combatants, often in painful and horrific ways. These include such categories of weapons as blister agents like mustard gas, nerve agents like VX and Sarin, blood agents and choking agents. Their use is proscribed under international law by the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.

Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons was often cited in the run up to the 2003 war on Iraq as one justification for that war. In this latest round of war propaganda surrounding the Syrian incident, it is particularly ironic that newly declassified documents show that the United States actively aided and abetted Saddam’s use of the weapons throughout the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s through the provision of technical and logistical support that helped Saddam plan his attacks. The documents show that US intelligence apparatus was fully aware of Saddam’s intent to use chemical weapons, and the instances in which he did so, but did not withdraw their support for his regime, as the Reagan White House did not want to see Iraq lose the conflict.

In an even more blatant case of hypocrisy, both the US and Israel have used white phosphorous in warfare in the last decade. The US deployed white phosphorous against civilians in Iraq in 2004 and Israel did so in its “Operation Cast Lead” in Palestine in 2009. The use of WP as a weapon against civilians is prohibited, but it was done knowingly in both cases, constituting a war crime under both countries’ own laws and treaty obligations.

The US has also used depleted uranium in virtually every country it has fought in over the past two decades. Depleted uranium has been linked to a range of health effects including birth defects, cancer and other diseases, resulting in “the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied” in one area of Iraq.

Meanwhile, the US and its allies are perfectly happy to look the other way when their pliant puppet regimes around the world use chemical weapons. In Bahrain, for example, the Bahraini government has been weaponizing tear gas, locking down cities and flooding the area with the chemical until many of the inhabitants are debilitated or even dead. For some reason, however, there is no 24/7 coverage of the crisis in Bahrain, nor are there any Beltway pundits or talking heads providing interviews to the dinosaur media laying out the case for war against the chemical weapons-deploying Bahraini regime.

The simple fact is that this war, like all the others before it, is being waged for the expansion and preservation of the oligarchies self-interest.

It’s about pipeline politics. A freshly inked Memorandum of Understanding between Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran has brought the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline one step closer to reality. But that pipeline would undercut Qatar’s importance as a gas producer and undermine Turkey’s position as self-appointed East-West energy crossroads, and thus cannot be allowed to stand.

It’s about regional dominance. The removal of Iran’s so-called Shia land bridge that cuts through Iraq and Syria to join up with Hezbollah in Lebanon effectively undermines any chance for Iran to assume the regional dominance that it would otherwise have, while aggrandizing Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and others vying for the region’s driver seat.

It’s about the increasing isolation of Iran in preparation for the coming assault on that country. As the now-infamous 2009 Brookings Institution report, “Which Path to Persia?” contends, the road to Tehran goes through Damascus.

And, of course, as always, it’s about the ever-present need to feed more and more people into the maw of the military-industrial complex to maintain the justification for its existence.

The public is not stupid. It understands these things. But after the demoralization of the Iraq war fiasco, in which the largest simultaneous worldwide protests in the history of the planet failed to deviate the oligarchy from its invasion plans one inch, there seems to be nothing to stop the forward progress of this march to war.

And yet, the need to stop this madness has never been more urgent and the stakes in this increasingly insane game of imperial chess have never been higher. As French/Syrian political activist Ayssar Midani pointed out in yesterday’s special report, the coming attack on Syria is not just directed at Assad, but at all of Syria’s increasingly agitated (and increasingly powerful) allies.

Where does this leave us? Once again watching helplessly as yet another overwhelmingly unpopular war is launched to the detriment of all but the oligarchy and their cronies. And where is the anti-war movement that could even potentially demonstrate the public’s resistance to this agenda, let alone deviate the war machine from its path? Has it really come to this, after decades of hard-fought, sometimes bloody resistance to war after war? Can the US government and its allies really start another “kinetic military action” without the approval of Congress and without showing a shred of evidence to the public to back up their phony justification? Unfortunately, we’re about to find out.

And until the political status quo changes and people stop voting for the better of the two proffered slave masters every four years, nothing is going to change. Sadly, however, given the state of the inter-nicene squabbling between those factions who should be opposed to this agenda, such a change in consciousness seems as far away as ever. And the war machine marches on unimpeded…


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