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Bad Theater at the United Nations (Starring Kerry, Power, and Obama

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US Secretary of State John Kerry said at the UN Security Council a few days ago that he “felt like he was living in a parallel universe” after hearing the Russian Foreign Minister’s remarks on the bombing of a relief convoy in Syria, for which the USA accuses Russia of being responsible with absolutely no evidence.

He is living in a parallel universe, it would seem.

About 3 days earlier the US bombed Syrian Army positions, allegedly by mistake thinking they were ISIS positions, killing between 62 and 100 Syrian soldiers. WOOPS! A couple of months ago the US bombed a hospital in Afghanistan run by Doctors Without Borders, killing many doctors and patients, allegedly purely by mistake although the attack went on for 30 minutes after the hospital staff told the NATO force what was happening. WOOPS! Thousands of civilians are dead in Yemen where the Saudis are DELIBERATELY bombing hospitals and schools with the strategic support and weapons of the USA and the UK, civilian death toll now approaching 10,000, no comment from Kerry, WOOPS! 4,000 dead civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories from the last two massacres carried out there by Israel with full American support and weapons, no comment from Kerry and Obama and Clinton, WOOPS! A million dead civilians in Iraq, 30,000 in Libya, millions of refugees fleeing from US-NATO war zones into other countries, many to Europe where fascist parties grow stronger every day because of the racist-xenophobic backlash … not a word from Obama or Kerry or Clinton about US-UK-NATO-Saudi responsibility for this growing chaos and widening war. Kerry’s analysis of the current horror in Syria? “This is not a joke!” He blames Russia and its allies, although this is yet another war the CIA was instrumental in igniting.

His speech itself might be treated as a brazen, tasteless joke, a hilarious marvel of mind-boggling fact-twisting hypocrisy, but I for one cannot laugh. It’s too nauseating and shocking. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said a day earlier that “We are all shamed by Syria.” Kerry disagrees. He, Hillary, and Obama have no shame.

For some bizarre reason, among his own people Obama is still generally considered a “liberal” who is reluctant to use military force. Don’t waste your breath telling my fellow American citizens that there are already several hundred American Special Forces troops on the ground in Syria, or that Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan (who was involved in the Bush-Cheney torture program) openly admits that America is deliberately prolonging the war, as Edward Hunt recently wrote:

‘CIA Director John Brennan has provided more insight into the administration’s strategy. Addressing the fact that the administration has continued to support a number of opposition groups that are fighting to overthrow the Syrian government, Brennan explained that the administration only provides the opposition groups with just enough resources to keep them fighting. “I think what we’re trying to do is to make sure the moderate opposition continues to stay strong, puts the pressure on the regime,” Brennan explained. “We don’t want the Syrian government to collapse,” he added. “That’s the last thing we want to do.”

‘With its approach, the Obama administration has applied a policy to Syria that has prolonged the war. In fact, some administration officials insist that a prolonged war works to their advantage. Despite the fact that the years of fighting have only succeeded in producing more death and suffering for the Syrian people, with the war now claiming somewhere between a quarter million and a half million lives, a number of officials contend that indefinite fighting provides the United States with strategic benefits.’ (Edward Hunt, Foreign Policy in Focus, Sept. 14)

None of this openly admitted American involvement in the Syrian “civil” war (the label is a deliberate distortion, since a major part of the anti-Assad forces are not Syrian and continue to be armed and funded by other nations) prevents Kerry or US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power or Hillary Clinton from engaging in cheap, vile, mendacious histrionics in front of the Security Council and the world, to the effect that all of the bloodshed and horror are the fault of Russia. They are so confident that their blatant fiction will fall on receptive ears attached to persons unlikely to be aware of the contradictory facts cited above, that they don’t even bother to suggest that Brennan and others go easy with the honesty. There’s no need.

And they get away with it.

Furthermore, here in Europe the story that “it’s all Russia’s fault” is repeated ad infinitum by the mainstream media, which almost never show any interest in stories that are unflattering to the American government’s propaganda campaigns. Germany has sent troops to Russia’s border and to Turkey (where they are allegedly assisting only in the fight against ISIS, and not against the Kurds whom the Turks are also fighting, although those same Kurds have been the most effective anti-ISIS faction). Although the refugee crisis which went into high gear because of the war in Syria is driven by the Middle East imperial policy of its ally the USA, and although many Germans are so upset about the refugee influx that they are voting for the proto-fascist party Alternative für Deutschland in ever-increasing numbers, it is taboo in the German mainstream media to point out the fact that most of the refugees are fleeing from NATO wars. But claims of “Russian aggression” are a staple of the daily “news” fare, based mostly on a myopic analysis of the Ukraine conflict which might almost have been copied word-for-word from a US State Department press release.

One need not ignore the record of Syria’s President Assad or that of Vladimir Putin to be justified in vehemently opposing America’s role in the destruction of yet another Middle Eastern country. All reliable data suggests that Assad continues to have the support of a large majority in Syria, and that most of the country’s diverse population has not the slightest desire to be governed by the Islamists that dominate in the opposition forces trying to overthrow him. One might think that after causing the deaths of far more than a million civilians in the Middle East since 2001, and after setting in motion forces which have made millions more homeless, the United States would be a bit less eager to speak of “war crimes” on the world stage.

One might think.

As Hunt points out, the bad acting and shameless theatrics are all part of the Obama administration’s game plan for Syria: ‘… strategist and government consultant Edward N. Luttwak proclaimed in August 2013 that stalemate was the best option for the United States. “Maintaining a stalemate should be America’s objective,” Luttwak insisted. Confident that a perpetual war between the Syrian government and the opposition forces in the country would weaken numerous U.S. enemies, Luttwak urged the Obama administration to perpetuate the fighting. “And the only possible method for achieving this is to arm the rebels when it seems that Mr. Assad’s forces are ascendant and to stop supplying the rebels if they actually seem to be winning,” he advised.’ (Edward Hunt, Foreign Policy in Focus, Sept.14)

As Diana Johnstone wrote in CounterPunch on 26 September, Obama is now joining in the performance, eager to convince the world that America is full of compassion for the victims:

‘On September 20, President Obama used a Leaders Summit on Refugees to portray the Syrian episode in what increasing appears to be World War III as a sentimental children’s story. Obama read the letter from 6-year-old Alex, who lives in Scarsdale, New York, expressing his wish to adopt Omran Daqneesh, the bewildered 5-year-old boy with a mop of dusty hair whose photo sitting in an orange ambulance seat was iconized across the world. The letter, provided to mass media by the White House, with its childish writing but nearly perfect spelling, was full of touching details about butterfly collections and shared toys. Obama read the letter, as people reached for Kleenexes all over the country, and then commented:

‘ “Those are the words of a six-year-old boy – a young child you has not learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they come from, how they look, or how they pray. We should all be more like Alex. Imagine what the world would look like if we were.”

‘ The little boys are very cute, very sweet. Fortunately, Omran Daneesh’s parents are alive, so there is no need to adopt him. Many other children are dead, notably in Yemen, killed by Washington’s ally Saudi Arabia with arms provided by the United States. Too late to adopt them.

‘ “We should all be more like Alex”, Obama tells his good people. Imagine indeed, if all Americans were as innocent and naïve as six-year-old children. And indeed, that seems to be the goal of government propaganda.

‘ This propagandistic heartstring tugging is aimed at distracting from U.S. involvement in a long-term joint criminal enterprise to overthrow a government that indeed did not discriminate against people because of “how they pray”, and replace it by fanatics who are ready to behead people because of “how they pray”.

‘ An infantilized public will believe that “geopolitics” and “national sovereignty” are just big words that don’t mean anything. An infantilized public will believe that when the United States goes to war, it is all about protecting little children from their bad, mean dictators, whose only aspiration is to “bomb their own people”. They will believe that the world out there is Little Red Riding Hood, threatened by the Big Bad Wolf, and that there really is a Santa Claus.

‘It will never occur to an infantilized public that the war to destroy Syria has been planned for years – even though someone like General Wesley Clark revealed this years ago. Or that it is carried out to eliminate Israel’s enemies, keep Arabs busy killing each other, and incidentally help Saudi Arabia spread its Wahhabite fanaticism. No, that will never occur to them.’ (Diana Johnstone, “The Hillary Clinton Presidency Has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War”, CounterPunch, 26 July)

But perhaps we should not expect a population accustomed to Hollywood’s military-worship and the “American Good Guys” presentation of the country’s mass media to look beyond the superficial and mythologized accounts delivered by their actors-in-chief. After living in Germany for a total of 17 years, however, I am deeply saddened and angered to see these vulgar performances given such an uncritical reception here in the EU as well.

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CounterPunch Magazine

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