I am not a conspiracy hound (some would say "conspiracy nut'). If given the choice between incompetence and conspiracy, I generally choose the former. That's why I'm more inclined to believe Bush incompetently ignored the warnings of 9/11 than he deliberately ignored them.
But in the case of the recent Syrian chemical weapons attack, the evidence continues to mount, from within the CIA, to sources placed in Syria itself, to multiple reports on British (this article was posted to Mail Online, but later removed, but the Wayback Machine has an archive) and Russian media, and even to footage in Syria showing what could clearly be civilians (i.e. rebels) launching chemical weapon attacks, that the evidence is beginning to look very strongly that the Syrian government did not launch a chemical weapons attack on its own people. The few Congressional representatives who have looked at actual evidence say, "it proves nothing."
Who's in on the conspiracy?
Secretary of State John Kerry seems to literally
be having trouble keeping a straight face when discussing the Syria
situation. Some people think this
indicates he is lying, or even has an organic disorder. Since, as previously stated, I tend to
see incompetence more than conspiracy, I think this may be a case where a top
official, who is nevertheless not totally in the loop, as Colin Powell admitted he
wasn't leading up to Iraq, may be showing signs of cognitive dissonance
-- "the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more
ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions." This is the man, after all, who was an anti-war veteran after serving in Vietnam. Perhaps his head is telling him something his heart doesn't believe?
The president, on the other hand, has no such cognitive dissonance. He seems to believe what he is saying, or else he is such an accomplished liar, even a psychopath, that no signs of lying are evident. But, there is another possibility -- that even the president himself is not "in the loop." This last possibility would be earth-shattering, to be sure, and would be a mortal blow to any notion that we live in anything remotely resembling the "Democracy" we've all been taught to believe in since Grade School, but is it so much harder to believe than that the president is a habitual liar about to launch us into what might be (another possible) Russia-involved-response leading to WWIII under false pretenses? Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst, seems to think so. McGovern says the evidence "would not stand up in a court of law" and that we've been down this road before, leading up to Iraq" and that the evidence is not being released in order to protect the president. This would explain the sycophant Democratic support for Obama, contrary to their former reputation as less hawkish than the Right-wing Republicans. Does anyone really believe if Bush were still in office and pressing for the same action, that Democrats would be the ones beating the war drums the most? McGovern says the military got to the president, over-riding even the objections of the military's Joint Chief of Staff's objections, Gen. Martin Dempsey:
"Dempsey has been unusually blunt in his remarks with both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden," the source said. "His assessment is that any U.S. war against Assad will automatically involve his foreign allies, and that means Teheran and to a smaller extent, Moscow."
Meanwhile, the public is overwhelmingly opposed to further American involvement in the Syrian Civil War, by at least 2-1 majorities in most polls, and is becoming even less supportive as the case for intervention unravels. The height of irony appears to be right-wing Tea Party Republican opposition to the president's war plans, albeit in some cases, because they want even more intervention. It is hard to understand how former Vietnam P.O.W. John McCain could be leading such a charge, even while flip-flopping in his support and saying if the president put "boots on the ground" it might lead to his impeachment. This is not cognitive dissonance; it is cognitive, and legal, incoherence. The president is already in violation of "international norms," as he puts it, when trying to make what has been a failing case so far, for further intervention. It is an open secret that the U.S. is already supplying weapons and training to the rebel forces, many of which are aligned with Al-Qaeda.
Some have suggested that Israel is behind the path to an attack on Syria, despite the probability that a toppled Assad regime could lead to increased hard line Islamic influence, as has been the case in Egypt since Mubarak was deposed in 2011. More likely is that Israel wants "stable instability' or having Syria "being a little bit pregnant" with both sides occupying Assad so he cannot focus on Israel. Instability, then, is a policy choice. The only question is, who is making the policy?