Obama took to the airwaves yesterday, oh so coincidentally, on the eve of September 11, to roll out his latest "smart war." And it comes, oh so coincidentally, just before Congressional midterms when every member of Congress fears like the plague to be painted as a dove, just as happened in 2002 before Bush II took us to war.
Whatever role ISIS plays in this, Syria is certainly the target. It is telling that when it comes to money, Obama is asking Congress only for funding to train the Syrian "moderate rebels" in that bastion of Sunni moderation, Saudi Arabia.
The rationales that Obama is peddling make no sense. If the barbarity of beheading were the actual trigger of this latest onslaught on the Middle East, then the U.S. would not be sending our "moderate" trainees to Saudi Arabia where beheading is a well respected national past time – far more popular than allowing women to drive automobiles.
And if the barbarity that has motivated Obama were the wanton taking of American life, then we would be training Jewish "moderates" to overthrow the Apartheid State of Israel. For let us remember that the IDF bulldozed the American Rachel Corrie into the ground when she stood in the way of the destruction of Palestinian housing. And it was Israel that killed the American citizen living in Turkey, Furkan Dogan, who was on the Mavi Marmara in the Gaza Flotilla. And it was Israel that tried to blow the USS Liberty out of the water killing 34 American sailors and wounding 171.
No, it is not the beheadings nor the loss of American life that move Obama. Syria is now to be bombed. That is an act of war. In fact arming rebels to overthrow a government is an act of war but there will be no declaration of war – just a vote to supply the funds for the mythical "moderate" rebels.
We are told that only ISIS leaders will be targeted in Syria. But Syria has not approved bombing its territory so it does not believe that story. And let us suppose that US planes are overhead when Assad’s forces are attacking "moderate" rebels that the US is arming and training. Is it credible that there will be no bombing of the Syrian forces?
And ISIS remains a mysterious entity, springing up out of nowhere and carrying arms that are supplied by American and Saudi agencies. In Iran as was reported in the NYT yesterday on the front page, the great majority of "the street" believes it is an American/Israeli/Saudi creation. It may be true that ISIS has got out of control and that Saudi Arabia now fears it, but that could also be another fiction. All we know for sure is that Syria and Iraq are to be bombed again. And also that ISIS emerged only after our invasion, bombing and continuing presence in Iraq.
Syria of course was on the list of targets when General Wesley Clarke revealed to us that there was a hit list in the Middle East and North Africa of seven countries, "starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." And miraculously the schedule has been modified only slightly, perhaps because Assad has put up such fierce resistance.
And other lies are in the air. Obama tells us that there will be not "boots on the ground," but he also admits that he has sent over a thousand additional troops to Iraq. Are they barefoot? In fact the lies will only grow more intense and be repeated more frequently in the days to come as the war propaganda machine swings into ever higher gear.
As far as the election of 2008 goes, Obama promised peace, and Hillary war. But so far Obama has been in perfect synch with his hawkish adversary who has been especially keen to assault Syria. The election debate was a sham.
So we may expect Syria to be targeted and Iran next. But Iran is supported by Russia already under attack in its West via Ukraine. Can Russia allow Iran to be the next target? Can Iran allow Syria to fall to the US Empire? It is quite clear where this is going. The dream of the US Empire to dominate the Eurasian land mass is being implemented: Damascus, Tehran, Moscow and finally Beijing unless nuclear war breaks out first. Obama and the rest of the imperial elite are flirting with Armageddon.
John V. Walsh writes for Antiwar.com, CounterPunch.com, the Unz Review and DissidentVoice.org.