FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Syria and the Usual Suspects

The usual suspects are at it again — doing their damnedest to escalate a war they have no intention of either fighting in or paying for themselves, and to involve you in it.

US Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (of the “Connecticut for Lieberman” Party, in which the ordering of names conveys his boundless sense of personal entitlement) visited Turkey this week for a photo opp with officers of the “Free Syrian Army” and to grandstand for further US intervention in Syria’s year-long “civil” war.

I put the “civil” in scare quotes, because normally civil wars are mostly internal affairs. The Syrian “uprising” appears to have been both instigated and funded by Washington from the git-go, through front “non-governmental organizations” funded by the American neoconservative (and very governmental) “National Endowment for Democracy.”

While Bashar al-Assad’s “National Popular Front” regime — centered around the fascist Ba’ath Party, with some lapdog “opposition” parties permitted to participate as long as they don’t actually, um, oppose — is certainly a poster child for bad government (but I repeat myself!), there’s little reason to believe that the “uprising” enjoys strong popular support or that, if successful, it will eventuate in anything significantly better for the Syrian people.

McCain/Lieberman’s busking for US intervention isn’t about freedom, democracy or human rights. It’s about the external turf and internal stature spats over which the overgrown street gangs we call “governments” perpetually obsess.

Quoth Lieberman: “How many world leaders have to be deceived by Assad for us to realize that we cannot rely on his word, that he will only respond to power — the same kind of power that he is brutally using against his own people.”

In what significant respect is Assad different from Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Bahrain’s Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Abdullahs of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Yemen’s Saleh, the Shah of Iran, or any other regional ruler whom the US supports (or supported until they fell)? Is power not the language they also speak?

For that matter, one might ask, how many people have to be deceived by Lieberman and his ilk to arrive the same realization? Lieberman and McCain never met a war they didn’t like, at least so long as it was fought with other people’s money, with other people’s blood, and for the benefit of themselves and their cronies in government and among the corporati.

And don’t get me started on “the brutal use of power” against one’s own people. The United States imprisons a higher percentage of its populace than any country on earth. Its cities are occupied by sizable, growing and increasingly militarized police forces. Its airports are living caricatures of the old Soviet bloc’s security bureaucracy as portrayed in Cold War era American cinema.

McCain and Lieberman have been both prominent architects of the existing US police state and staunch advocates of its endless extension. Who the hell are they to criticize Assad’s Syria?

But this, of course, is what governments and politicians do. Their primary function is to loot the productive for the benefit of their own class — the political class — and the creation of, and escalation to conflict with, external enemies is indispensable to that project.

This week it’s Syria and Iran. Next week? Uganda or Cuba or the Korean Peninsula or Djibouti. Don’t worry, they’ll find someone, somewhere for you to fight. They always do. Of course, they’d rather not talk about how last week went in Somalia and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq (quite well for them, not so well for you), thank you very much.

Does Bashar al-Assad deserve to be overthrown? Certainly. But let’s let the Syrians worry about that for themselves instead of getting ourselves roped into doing it for them. Our job here in America is figuring out how to rid ourselves of his spiritual siblings, including McCain and Lieberman.

Thomas L. Knapp is Senior News Analyst at the Center for a Stateless Society.

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

August 15, 2018
Jason Hirthler
Russiagate and the Men with Glass Eyes
Paul Street
Omaorosa’s Book Tour vs. Forty More Murdered Yemeni Children
Charles Pierson
Is Bankruptcy in Your Future?
George Ochenski
The Absolute Futility of ‘Global Dominance’ in the 21st Century
Gary Olson
Are We Governed by Secondary Psychopaths
Fred Guerin
On News, Fake News and Donald Trump
Arshad Khan
A Rip Van Winkle President Sleeps as Proof of Man’s Hand in Climate Change Multiplies and Disasters Strike
P. Sainath
The Unsung Heroism of Hausabai
Georgina Downs
Landmark Glyphosate Cancer Ruling Sets a Precedent for All Those Affected by Crop Poisons
Rev. William Alberts
United We Kneel, Divided We Stand
Chris Gilbert
How to Reactivate Chavismo
Kim C. Domenico
A Coffeehouse Hallucination: The Anti-American Dream Dream
August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Versus Journalism: the Travails of Fourth Estate
Wim Laven
Honestly Looking at Family Values
Fred Gardner
Exploiting Styron’s Ghost
Dean Baker
Fact-Checking the Fact-Checker on Medicare-for-All
Weekend Edition
August 10, 2018
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Militarizing Space: Starship Troopers, Same As It Ever Was
Andrew Levine
No Attack on Iran, Yet
Melvin Goodman
The CIA’s Double Standard Revisited
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Grifter’s Lament
Aidan O'Brien
In Italy, There are 12,000 American Soldiers and 500,000 African Refugees: Connect the Dots 
Robert Fantina
Pity the Democrats and Republicans
Ishmael Reed
Am I More Nordic Than Members of the Alt Right?
Kristine Mattis
Dying of Consumption While Guzzling Snake Oil: a Realist’s Perspective on the Environmental Crisis
James Munson
The Upside of Defeat
Brian Cloughley
Pentagon Spending Funds the Politicians
Pavel Kozhevnikov
Cold War in the Sauna: Notes From a Russian American
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail