Into the Night

The word is that a U.S. assault on Syria is imminent.  They are lining up their forces, ships  in the Mediterranean carrying cruise missiles, air bases being commandeered in Jordan and Israel.   John Kerry says “Assad must be punished.”  So, we will drop bombs on the very people who are already suffering from a disastrous civil war to guarantee a certain outcome.   Kerry says that he has proof that the Assad government; nay, Assad personally ordered a Sarin gas attack against a large number of civilians a couple of days after the arrival of a United Nations team to investigate a previous assertion that a Sarin gas attack had occurred elsewhere in the country.

John Kerry’s statement that he has proof of any aspect of events on the ground in Syria is suspect because the U.S. doesn’t have anyone on the ground in Syria – at least no one sane.   The assertion that the people in Ghouta were killed by Sarin gas a couple of days after a United Nations Chemical Weapons Inspection Team arrived in the area is second hand information from people who have consistently lied about their actions in the past.  The immediate source of the claim was Doctors Without Borders, a generally reliable NGO, but they qualified the information by stating that they don’t have any people on the ground in the area because it is too dangerous.   The assertion that Assad is  responsible for such an attack at this time implies a mind boggling arrogance and irresponsibility from a government that has not shown this characteristic in the past.  This is a government that has weathered, even covered up several violent Israeli attacks on their resources rather than enjoin a battle they know they cannot win.  Why would they invite an assault by the United States?   And the ‘facts’ on which this bizarre conclusion is based are rapidly collapsing under observation.

But the truth is worse than that.   A few short weeks ago, even the mainstream media had to admit that foreign fighters were flooding into Syria across the Lebanese and Turkish borders.  There was evidence that the diverse fighting groups on the ground as well as the internationally sanctioned ‘interim government’ for Syria  were playing second fiddle to the Al Nusra Front and other foreign Jihadi organizations.   Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been paying men to join the fight  and thereby protect themselves from Syria’s collapsed economy, overrun by international sanctions and and internationally sanctioned war.

As videos emerged of men executing, even sawing off the heads of their captives, Al Nusra Front, a branch of Al Qaeda in Iraq, has been identified as a major player in the Syrian opposition.    It has been acknowledged that our Saudi allies are funding Al Nusra Front, and there are open questions as to whether they were also recipients of U.S. aid.   A recent surge of car bombings in Shia areas in Iraq might have caused a thoughtful person to wonder if the resources being poured into the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda in Iraq might be supporting the central organization in Iraq.

Syrian ‘rebels’ and their fundamentalist supporters have cleared Christian neighborhoods in Syria and murdered Christian and moderate Muslim leaders in the name of ‘God’, just as the Libyan forces we supported ruthlessly murdered black Africans in the name of ethnic purity.   This has not been particularly concealed.  They murder fellow Muslims if they are Allawite or Shia or Druze or if they don’t show suitable reverence and deference to the rigid brand of Sharia al Nusra and it’s Syrian Rebel partners represent.  And yet, we have armed and empowered them every way we can, and now we are preparing to go to  war to give them control of a country that has had a secular government for a century and a multi-ethnic, religiously diverse culture for more than and millennium.

P.T. Barnum, a master of spectacle,  is often said to have made the statement “A sucker is born every day.”  It appears maybe one of his competitors made the statement.    I guess, since I am repeating the quote rather than John Kerry, this usage is consistent with the original.  The press need not even hide the facts. As long as they are followed by a flamboyant contradiction and dismissal, the past is forgotten and reason abandoned.  Let the games begin…  as long as they are profitable!

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