We've read in recent weeks about the "necessity" for American intervention in an impending Syrian war. As usual, I've been marching to the beat of a different drummer. I received three missives from a friend in Washington yesterday that frame the whole scene in a very different light.
The first is a video of Gen Wesley Clark :
"We have had a policy coup. Some hard-nosed people have taken over the direction of American politics, and never bothered to tell the rest of us..."
Clark goes on to recount a 2001 conversation with an unnamed "officer from the Joint Staff".
"I just got this memo from the Sec of Defense's office. It says we're going to attack and destroy the governments of 7 countries in 5 years. We're going to start with Iraq, then we're going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Iran."
Remember the Downing Street Memo? They said they were going to "fix the intelligence around the policy". In other words, the decision to go to war with Syria was already in place in 2001, and the "news" that we hear now is nothing more than PR that is supposed to make this crime, this abomination sufficiently palatable to the American people that we don't riot in the streets.
The second is an article in the Daily Mail (UK) about a leaked document this past January. Britam is British/American trading company that calls itself an import/export business, but has worked closely with defense ministries of both countries. The Christmas email was sent from Britam's Business Development Director David Goulding to company founder Philip Doughty. It reads
We've got a new offer. It's about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington. We'll have to deliver a CW [chemical weapon] to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record. Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?
If we can believe it, the US was planning to use our own chemical weapons, package them in an old Soviet-era warhead, poison uncounted Syrian revolutionaries, and then blame Assad for his brutality and disregard for Internaltional Law, all in an attempt to justify American involvement in a Syrian war. And it appears this was not empty talk. The plan was actually followed through to its murderous, stomach-turning conclusion
Dr. Nashwan Abu Abdo, a neurologist in Homs, is certain chemical weapons were used. He told The Cable: 'It was a chemical weapon, we are sure of that, because tear gas can't cause the death of people.'
According to this story from from the Christian Science Monitor, polls consistently show most Americans oppose direct military involvement in the Syrian civil war. But that changes with the presumption that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons.
A third link from Washington's blog, sent to me by the same friend last week, is a reminder that President Bush arrogated to himself extra-constitutional powers after 9/11, declaring a state of emergency that has persisted to this day. He issued a series of Presidential Directives that have guided government de facto if not de jur, and many of those directives were not revealed to Congress or to any committee or Representative in Congress, let alone approved by the legislative branch. His successor has done nothing to restore the balance of powers that the Constitution provides. I remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach when, just a few months in office, Obama's press secretary responded to a question saying, he wouldn't want to do anything that might "weaken the Presidency". I thought at the time that the Presidency had usurped powers that were threatening to our democracy, and that weakening the Presidency was exactly what was in order. But after reading this article, I think the situation is more complex. It raises the possibility that we don't have a dictatorial presidency at all; rather, we have a shadow government, operating in secret, and using the presidency as a funnel to implement its right-wing agenda. Perhaps we have a strong presidency along with a weak president. If Obama looks shockingly like two more terms of Bush, it's because both of them were puppets for the same shadow government.
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All this is uber-upsetting, and I can't leave you like this. War may be tragic and the loss of our democracy is real and it's scary, but there is life all around us to remind us that politics and economics don't own our souls. We have loving friendships, we have passions and artistic creation, we have poems and science and new technologies indistinguishable from magic . We have our health and the miracle of life, and perhaps best of all we have each other - in the aggregate, we are a stronger political force than any other in history. http://PeerService.org Part of the balance in my life is http://Daily-Inspiration.org .