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"No Ground Troops to Syria:" Obama's Smartest Move in Eight Years?

By       Message Mike Whitney       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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Reprinted from Counterpunch

From youtube.com/watch?v=6wHrpspY9xI: President Obama
President Obama
(Image by PBS NewsHour, Channel: PBSNewsHour)
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Three questions about Paris:
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1) Was the over-the-top, no-holds-barred, 24-7 media blitz really an attempt to keep the public informed about a critically important event or was the coverage geared to pressure President Obama into sending ground troops to Syria?

2) Is Obama's excuse for not putting boots on the ground in Syria to fight ISIS credible (Obama says he believes the current strategy is "ultimately going to work") -- or is the administration afraid of a confrontation with Russia?

3) Does the media's coverage of the attacks in Paris (Similar attacks which took place in Beirut, Baghdad and Turkey were treated as mere footnotes) reflect pervasive racist attitudes in the West or is it another example of our dreary agenda-driven media?

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While there's no question that the victims of this horrific crime deserve all of our sympathy and support, there's also no question that the media has exploited the attacks to serve their own purposes. From the moment the attacks were first announced on Friday until today, the media has conducted a full-blown, round-the-clock propaganda campaign that reenacted every bomb blast, every screeching siren, and every lurid detail in order to generate as much fear in the public mind as possible. The objective in fueling this mass hysteria became apparent to me after watching all five political talk shows on Sunday where the consensus view of all the interviewees was: "ISIS is evil. Obama needs to do something. Obama needs to send troops to Syria."

For example: Jeb Bush says to George Stephanopoulos, "We need to show leadership...We need no-fly zones...We need ground troops."

Not to be outdone, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said, 'We need 50,000 troops to take Raqqa.' Shortly after, Fareed Zakaria of GPS chimed in with this (completely phony) heartfelt appeal for US intervention. He said:

"Imagine if the world responded... by joining forces and doing exactly what's necessary to eradicate a Caliphate that only leaves carnage in its wake? ... maybe, just maybe, this Democratic President can mobilize the world to respond accordingly. Maybe it will be enough to simply neuter the culprits, not eviscerate the whole population of the region, causing intractable blowback."

Can you believe it? He candidly admits that US intervention could "eviscerate the whole population of the region (and cause) intractable blowback," but he wants to "go for it" anyway.

Unbelievable. Of course, none of the news programs allowed anyone opposed to US warmongering anywhere near a microphone. Can't have that. The unwavering uniformity of opinion just shows that the media wants more war which is why they're waving the bloody shirt of Paris to pressure Obama. They don't care about the victims, what matters to them is their agenda.

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But the strategy isn't working, not this time at least. In fact, Obama is actually digging in his heels. On Monday, in a truly extraordinary press conference following the G-20 Summit, Obama announced that he wasn't going to send ground troops to Syria after all. He said he thought "it would be a mistake."

You could have heard a pin drop after he made his statement. And then, of course, the press corps went into full attack-mode.

"Not send troops? How can you not send troops after all the terrorist hype we've been spewing for two days straight? We demand you send troops."

The media's indignation was apparent by the questions they leveled at Obama after his brief presentation. And what was amazing about the questions, was that, all five questions were exactly the same question! I'm not making this up. The entire pathetic Q&A can be read here.

Take a look:

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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