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New York Times Promotes War on Syria

By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 28 September 2012


New York Times Promotes War on Syria


by Stephen Lendman


The Times isn't alone, but its view matters. It has global reach. It's true in articles, editorials, and op-eds.


The Times is out in front supporting US wars and others planned. Concerns aren't raised about constitutional or international law violations. Crimes of war, against humanity, mass slaughter and destruction are non-issues.


Imperial dominance, wealth, power and privilege alone matter. Throughout its history, its record reflects shame and contempt for humanity. Corporate interests are endorsed. So are imperial wars. 


Popular concerns get short shrift. Unmet human needs, growing poverty, employment, hunger, homelessness, and despair aren't addressed properly if at all.


US lawlessness gets swept under the rug and ignored. Corruption at the highest government and corporate levels don't matter. Nor do de facto one-party rule, fake elections, homeland repression, and democracy for the select few alone.


The business of America is war. Policy calls for permanent ones. Wall Street and war profiteers demand them. Policy makers oblige. The Times and other media scoundrels show support.


Wars and post-war violence rage in multiple theaters. Harm caused civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Palestine, and elsewhere don't matter. 


All Times readers know about Libya is falsified information about Christopher Stevens. Who killed him, why, and what he represented wasn't explained. What's most important virtually never gets coverage or analysis.


Iran and Syria dominate Middle East headlines. Neither country threatens others. Times articles, editorials and op-eds suggest otherwise. Readers are carpet-bombed with managed news concealing vital truths.


Instead of forthrightly opposing war, The Times wants governments of both countries toppled. It's out in front endorsing it. 


It barely stops short of calling aggression a good thing. America right or wrong. Support the home team. Dominance alone matters. Right or wrong issues aren't discussed. The pattern repeats from one war to the next.


Times editors are cooperatively complicit. It's always been their editorial policy. Pre-Watergate and Pentagon Papers revelations, war on Southeast Asia was supported.


So was Reagan ravaging Central America; his other proxy wars; GWH Bush in Panama, Haiti and Iraq; and Clinton on Rwanda, Iraq sanctions, the Balkan wars, and the 1999 Serbia/Kosovo slaughter and mass destruction. 


Post-9/11 wars were wholeheartedly endorsed. Body counts number in the millions. Many more die daily. Human suffering is incalculable. 


GW Bush against Afghanistan and Iraq was cheered. Obama's rage for direct and proxy wars without end gets full support.


Every US president since Truman supported Israel right or wrong. Occupation hell is suppressed. Post-911, America's domestic and imperial war on Islam gets favorable coverage. 


Editorial policy endorses might over right. Mass slaughter is practically glorified. How many more millions of corpses will Times editors tolerate? Don't expect that consideration debated in policy discussions.


On September 26, The Times gave two notorious neocons op-ed space. Michael Doran is senior fellow for the Brookings Institution Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He endorses any war furthering US interests. They alone matter.


Formerly, he was deputy assistant secretary of defense and National Security Council senior director for George Bush.


During the 2008 presidential campaign, one analyst called Max Boot John McCain's "mad dog advisor" for good reason. He specializes in warmongering imperial commentaries. 


He's currently the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Before Bush invaded Iraq, he endorsed it preemptively. 


He's gotten previous Times op-ed space. Its editors show no shame on what they publish. Earlier, they let Boot promote Operation Phoenix-like death squads for effective counterinsurgency missions. They turned Judith Miller loose as a virtual Pentagon press agent. 


They gave her daily front page feature space. Apologies didn't follow. Media giants never say they're sorry. They remain in full battle mode against new targets. They itch for more wars. They boost circulation.


They ignore a Chicago tradition. Until it closed at year end 2005, Chicago's famed City News Bureau gave young reporter rigorous training. Its committed principle was:


"If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out with two independent sources."


In other words, get it right or not at all. Feature truth and full disclosure. Do it or find another line of work. Try it for The Times or other media giants, and it'll happen as fast as higher-ups saying "you're fired."


On September 26, Doran and Boot teamed up. The Times featured their op-ed headlined "5 Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now," saying:


<blockquote>"Syria is a mess, and it is tempting to stay out, especially in an election year. Yet inaction carries its own risks. There are five reasons to bring down President Bashar al-Assad sooner rather than later."</blockquote>


(1) US intervention would weaken Iran. Its government will lose its most important ally.


Fact check


International and constitutional law prohibit intervention. Doing so assures war crimes. Syria threatens no one. It's been invaded. Washington already intervened plenty. 


With Israel, it's waging political, economic, and covert war on Iran. Doing so against both countries is blatantly illegal.


(2) "Muscular" Washington policy "could keep the conflict from spreading."


Fact check


It already affects Lebanon. Spillover into Israel is possible. Perhaps other countries will also be harmed. Wars often have disastrous unintended consequences.


Doran and Boot call Syria's conflict a "civil war." There's nothing civil about it. It's foreign generated. It was planned years ago to replace an independent government with a pro-Western puppet one.


The same scheme targeted Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. It's planned for Iran and other countries. That's how imperialism works. It's not about humanitarian intervention for democratic rule. Imperialists don't tolerate it.


(3) Partnering with Syrian opposition forces "could create a bulwark against extremists groups like Al Qaeda…."


Fact check


Washington recruits, trains, funds, arms and directs opposition fighters. CIA and Special Forces are involved. It's been ongoing since early last year.


Al Qaeda is a valued asset. Their fighters have been used since against Soviets forces in Afghanistan. They're used in all US regional wars. They're also enemies when convenient to do so.


(4) US "leadership on Syria could improve relations with key allies like Syria and Qatar." Both favor no-fly and safe zones. 


So do Doran and Boot. Either or both assure full-scale war.


(5) "American action could end a terrible human-rights disaster within Syria and stop the exodus of refugees…."


Washington bears full responsibility for carnage, destruction, and displacement in Syria. Greater intervention assures much more. US-led NATO murdered tens of thousands of Libyans. More die daily. 


Protracted conflict persists. No end in sight looks near. Full-scale war on Syria could be much worse. Hundreds of thousands might die. Destruction would be horrific. Developed areas would be turned to rubble. Human suffering would be extreme.


Doran and Boot say grab the opportunity and do it anyway. Go around the UN and act. Free Syrian Army fighters can't do it on their own. They need air power like against Libya.


They want focus placed on Aleppo and Damascus. They're Syria's two most important cities. Assad will go to the wall defending them. Imagine the potential bloodbath if NATO gets involved.


<blockquote>Doran and Boot urge it. They endorse "creat(ing) a countrywide no-fly zone, which would first require taking apart Syrian air defenses."


It "could then be extended to provide the kind of close air support (with) NATO warplanes…."


Washington must "take the lead…."(O)nly our Air Force and Navy have the weaponry needed to dismantle Syria's….air defenses with little risk."</blockquote>


Little risk? Neither writer cares how many hundreds of thousands may die or perhaps that Syria may be ravaged to ruins. 


Warmongers omit these considerations from their calculus. Dominance, plunder and exploitation alone matter. That's what imperialism is all about.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at 


His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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