Cross-posted from Empire Burlesque
As in 2003 (and 1991, for that matter), facts are thin on the ground -- but the bull is flowing thick and fast. So it's once more into the breach, with a military intervention to solve the problems caused by the last military intervention -- which will no doubt cause problems which can only be addressed by a future military intervention. But hey, who cares? The new iPhone is here!!
"Did you know that the US government's counterterrorism chief Matthew Olson said last week that there's no 'there's no credible information' that the Islamic State (Isis) is planning an attack on America and that there's 'no indication at this point of a cell of foreign fighters operating in the United States'? Or that, as the Associated Press reported, 'The FBI and Homeland Security Department say there are no specific or credible terror threats to the US homeland from the Islamic State militant group'?
"Probably not, because as the nation barrels towards yet another war in the Middle East and President Obama prepares to address that nation on the 'offensive phase' of his military plan Wednesday night, mainstream media pundits and the usual uber-hawk politicians are busy trying to out-hyperbole each other over the threat Isis poses to Americans. In the process, they're all but ignoring any evidence to the contrary and the potential hole of blood and treasure into which they're ready to drive this country all over again.
"Facts or consequences have never gotten in the way of Congress' lust for war before ... and this time it's no different. Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) recently said Isis militants are 'rapidly developing a method of blowing up a major US city and people just can't believe that's happening.' (Maybe because there's no proof that they are?) Sen Bill Nelson (D-FL) said, 'It ought to be pretty clear when they ... say they're going to fly the black flag of ISIS over the White House that Isis is a clear and present danger.' (Again, who cares if they're not?)
"... Thanks to this wall-to-wall fear mongering, a once war-weary public is now terrified. More than 60% of the public in a recent CNN poll now supports airstrikes against Isis. Two more polls came out on Tuesday, one from the Washington Post and the other from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, essentially concluding the same thing. Most shocking, 71% think that Isis has terrorist sleeper cells in the United States, against all evidence to the contrary.
"And the president is said to favor a multi-pronged approach that also relies on our 'partners' -- like the repressive Saudi Arabia -- to train and arm the 'moderate' Syrian resistance army that is fighting both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Isis in Syria. (Yes, that's the same Saudi Arabia which, as the Daily Beast's Josh Rogin reported, have been accused of funding and supporting Isis, and the same Saudi Arabia that beheaded 19 people in just the first half of August, including eight for non-violent offenses.)
"It's also strange that we are unquestionably calling the Free Syrian Army (FSA) the 'moderate' opposition and putting our faith in their abilities, despite many actual experts claiming they're far from moderate and far from a cohesive army. As George Washington University's Marc Lynch wrote in the Washington Post recently, 'The FSA was always more fiction than reality, with a structure on paper masking the reality of highly localized and fragmented fighting groups on the ground.' The New York Times reported two weeks ago that FSA has a penchant for beheading its enemy captives as well, and now the family of Steven Sotloff, the courageous journalist who was barbarically beheaded by Isis, says that someone from the 'moderate' opposition sold their son to Isis before he was killed...."