So Donald Trump has finally found a way to make liberals like him: make noises about “doing something” in Syria. (“Something” aside from the past few years of US intervention: bombs, drones, troops on the ground, billions in arms and funds to the rebels, etc.)
After Trump said atrocity pictures “changed his mind” about Syria and he and his crew started talking tough, leading liberal blogger Digby said: “Somebody seems to have temporarily talked some sense into the administration.” Maybe it was General McMasters. You know, the NatSec honcho (accused of war crimes in Iraq) praised on Wednesday for removing Steve Bannon from the National Security Council. After that, he’s bound to join the new liberal pantheon, along with the CIA, George W. Bush and Louise Mensch.
Meanwhile, the same liberals now starting to toot Trump’s war-horn ignored the horrific pictures of slaughtered children in Yemen for the last two years. Children ripped to shreds by US bombs dropped by US and UK planes on behalf of the radical Islamic extremists of Saudi Arabia. Also pictures of Yemeni children & babies starving to death from the ruin of war, and from a US-assisted blockade that has put millions at risk of starvation, says the UN. While these children were being killed by the US-Saudi-UK alliance, Digby and other liberals were posting cute pics of the Obamas’ dogs.
Of course, the corporate media ignored the atrocities; and it goes without saying the Right didn’t care about their bribe-spreading, terrorist-backing Saudi buddies killing a bunch of other Ay-rabs. That staunch bastion of moral scourgedom, Samantha Power, didn’t appear before the UN with the shocking documentation of these sickening war crimes. Liberals didn’t call for “something to be done” about the evil regimes who were committing these atrocities: Riyadh, Washington and London. No one called for “partitioning” the United States or breaking up Saudi Arabia or putting UN troops in Washington to stop the criminal regime.
Now, I’m so old that I remember when the US government told outrageous lies about WMD to push the nation into a war that murdered multitudes and destabilized the entire world for the sake of a few ideological cranks and cynical war profiteers. So I tend to be a bit skeptical when the same bloodstained con artists start peddling the same line again. But it may well be true that Assad is so stupid that he did the one thing that might save ISIS and al Qaeda from their impending defeat: launch a chemical weapons attack that would bring in (more) Western forces. After all, world leaders are, as a rule, capable of vast stupidity.
But even if this is true, and Assad is guilty as charged for this evil act, it sticks in the craw to see governments who’ve literally been murdering small children in Yemen for two years now preen with righteousness and moral outrage, as if their own hands weren’t sodden and caked with innocent blood. And then to see our fine, moral Digbian liberals likewise quivering with righteous rage when the kinds of crimes they’ve been ignoring or excusing for years are committed by someone else.
Is it a crime for states to slaughter innocent, defenseless people with savage weaponry, or is it not? Then condemn it, no matter who does it. Or is it only a crime if one of our “designated enemies” does it? Are the murdered children in Yemen less precious — or less dead — than the children in Syria? Where are the calls to “do something” to stop the criminal states killing children in Yemen? Instead we see liberal praise for Trump for “finally talking sense” when he threatens to escalate a war that the US and other nations have been cynically stoking for years.
I was writing in condemnation of Assad years ago, back when he was torturing ‘rendered’ captives for Ellen’s good-time laff-riot buddy George W. Bush. Like Saddam & Gadafy, Assad’s depredations were overlooked when they served Washington’s agenda. (As Bush Senior did with Saddam’s chemical weapons attacks. Heck, I can even remember when Putin’s murderous atrocities in Chechnya were happily overlooked by the US media-political establishment, back when we were “looking into his soul” and he was still cutting sweetheart deals with Western investors.) This is not a matter of defending odious regimes. But the entire bipartisan, media-backed, liberal-approved militarized foreign policy system of the US is also an odious regime, and also requires condemnation, and also needs to have “something done” to stop it.
First it colludes with dictators and tyrants and terrorists, then it fights them, then it colludes with their corrupt successors and fights the forces that rise in the ruins made by these morally depraved policies. But none of this is known or noticed in the West, especially the murder wrought by our own governments. Instead, when some atrocity or terrorist attack appears “out of nowhere,” there is a mad rush to “do something,” which always – always – turns out to be the same “something” that led to the atrocity and terrorism in the first place.
And it seems there is nothing that can stop this cycle. Driven by cranks and war profiteers on one side, and cheered on by liberals on the other side, the cycle goes on and on. Where will it end? In the apocalyptic war with Russia that our neocons and new McCarthyite liberals long for? Or just more of the same, more of our “new normality”: more dead children (who are utterly ignored if WE kill them), more intractable conflict, more war profits, more lies, more hate, more fear, more terror, more violence, more ruin, more meaningless, pointless agonizing death.