A remarkable week of events re: Syria


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

YellowelephantThe right-wing propaganda noise machine of the conservative media entertainment complex is having a massive messaging problem over Syria.

These chicken hawk war mongers, who have been critical of President Obama for the past two years for not getting their Neocon war on in Syria, suddenly became isolationist pacifists when President Obama threatened the use of military force against Syria for its use of chemical weapons against civilians in violation of international treaties. "Whatever Obama does, we do exactly the opposite."

On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry made a "rhetorical argument" at a press conference: "Sure, [Assad] could turn over every bit of his weapons to the international
community within the next week, without delay," Kerry said. "But he
isn’t about to." Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov immediately jumped at Kerry's "offer," and Russia's client state Syria said it "welcomed" the offer by Russia to put its chemical weapons arsenal under international control so that they could eventually be

All media villagers, echoing the right-wing propaganda noise machine, adopted the meme that Secretary Kerry had 'bumbled" his way into a possible resolution. Even Jon Stewart of The Daily Show got caught up in this meme, comparing Secretary Kerry to Mr. Magoo.

The media villagers, of course, were all wrong and have yet to issue a correction or retraction for their misreporting. Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama discussed plan to disarm Syria of chemical arsenal at G20: reports:

US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the idea of placing Syrian chemical weapons under
international control at last week's G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, MR Putin's spokesman said today.

"The issue was discussed," spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russian agencies as saying in response to the question of who initiated the proposal that Syria hand
over its chemical arsenal in order to avert a US strike.

But Peskov did not say who first mooted the idea. "We're not disclosing the contents of the conversation," he said.

Despite having no bilateral talks scheduled, Putin and Obama
had a half-hour discussion on the sidelines of the two-day Group of 20
summit Putin hosted last week, with the conversation focused heavily on

Obama confirmed in an interview Monday with PBS Newshour that he "had conversations" with Putin in Saint Petersburg about the plan for Syria's chemical arms, announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov just hours earlier.

"And this is a continuation of conversations I've had with President Putin for quite some time," Obama said in the interview.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also indicated Tuesday that the plan was born
out of joint US-Russia efforts to iron out their disagreements over handling of the Syrian conflict.

"The proposal to place Syria's chemical arms under international control is not entirely a Russian initiative," Lavrov said.

It is accurate to say that very few media villagers have any actual knowledge and experience at diplomacy from having worked in the diplomatic corps. Even those reporters who cover foreign policy tend to rely on sources at the State Department and the intelligence community, and all of them have a political bias, if not a political agenda.

With the situation fluid on Monday, President Obama asked Congress to delay a vote on an authorization for use of force against Syria to allow talks with Russia and Syria time to work out a diplomatic resolution, if possible.

The right-wing propaganda noise machine suddenly suffered a multi-personality complex. There were the Neocon chicken hawks who attacked President Obama for even asking Congress for an authorization of use of force against Syria. These are the Dick Cheney dead-enders who are adherents of his Unitary Executive Theory: presidential power "must be unilateral, and unchecked," and who reject the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, and the War Powers Resolution of 1973. These Neocon chicken hawks argue that Obama should have unilaterally attacked Syria, and his failure to attack and "asking permission" from Congress was a sign of weakness. They ignore the fact that George W. Bush got an authorization for use of force from Congress for both the "global war on terrorism" and Iraq.

These are the same propagandists who "catapulted the propaganda" for the Bush-Cheney regime's unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq. Under the Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, 1950, the role of propaganda and propagandists figured prominently. The case made against Hans Fritzsche, one of the individuals chiefly
responsible for Nazi newspaper and radio propaganda, was particularly
significant. The Nuremberg prosecutor detailed the propaganda campaigns taken up by the German media. These Neocon chicken hawk propagandists should stand trial with the Bush-Cheney regime. They are complicit in war crimes, and have the blood of thousands on their hands.


A variation on this in the right-wing propaganda noise machine attacked President Obama for changing course in response to changing circumstances on the ground. These propagandists prefer the certitude of Dick Cheney who knew that Mohamed Atta met with al Qaida in Prague and that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction — both of which were fabricated intelligence and lies to take the U.S. to war. "Stay the course, never waiver." For these propagandists, Obama's failure to attack was a sign of American weakness and humiliation for America — as compared to the fiasco in Iraq? The right-wing is always anti-factual: "Don't bother me with facts, I know what I believe."

I believe most Americans appreciate having a president who actually considers the facts, and makes his decisions by weighing all the evidence. This is exactly what we admire and expect from military commanders in the field: they must survey the field, assess the situation, and adjust their battle plans based upon rapidly changing circumstances, often at a moment's notice. Nothing ever goes as planned. The ability to adjust and to respond to changing circumstances means victory or defeat.

WinningPresident Obama has made the right decisions, despite the braying of his jackass detractors. As Secretary Kerry said, quoting Samuel Johnson, "When a man knows he is to be hanged…it concentrates his mind wonderfully." The credible threat of American military force in Syria brought the Russians and their client state Syria to the table.

For the first time, Syria has admitted it possesses chemical weapons, and has agreed to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and destroy its chemical weapons stock. And today, the U.S. and Russia Reach Deal to Destroy Syria’s Chemical Arms:

The United States and Russia reached a sweeping agreement on Saturday
that called for Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or
destroyed by the middle of 2014 and indefinitely stalled the prospect of
American airstrikes.

[T]he joint announcement, on the third day of intensive talks in Geneva,
also set the stage for one of the most challenging undertakings in the
history of arms control.

“This situation has no precedent,” said Amy E. Smithson, an expert on chemical weapons at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “They are cramming what would probably be five or six years’ worth of work into a period of several months, and they are undertaking this in an extremely difficult security environment due to the ongoing civil war.”

Although the agreement explicitly includes the United Nations Security
Council for the first time in determining possible international action
in Syria, Russia has maintained its opposition to any military action.

But George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, emphasized that the
possibility of unilateral American military force was still on the
table. “We haven’t made any changes to our force posture to this point,”
Mr. Little said. “The credible threat of military force has been key to
driving diplomatic progress, and it’s important that the Assad regime
lives up to its obligations under the framework agreement.”

* * *

If Mr. Assad fails to comply with the agreement, the issue would be
referred to the United Nations Security Council, where the violations
would be taken up under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which authorizes punitive action, Mr. Kerry said.

* * *

If the Russians objected to punishing Syrian noncompliance with military action, however, the United States would still have the option of acting without the Security Council’s approval.

* * *

In any case, the deal represented at least a temporary reprieve for
President Bashar al-Assad and his Syrian government, and it formally
placed international decision-making about Syria into the purview of
Russia, one of Mr. Assad’s staunchest supporters and military suppliers.

In other words, Vladimir Putin now owns this problem, and it is Russia's credibility and prestige that is on the line to make certain that Syria abides by this agreement. As Andrew Sullivan writes, "The price Russia will pay for this triumph is ownership of the problem.
At some point, it may dawn on [Putin] that he hasn’t played Obama. Obama has
played him." Vladimir Putin, Meet Niccolo Machiavelli.

The right-wing propaganda noise machine that has been defaming President Obama as a socialist/communist/marxist for years suddenly developed a man crush on Vladimir Putin in the past couple of weeks. if you ask, I am sure he will send you a calendar of his shirtless photos that you can jack-off over. Authoritarians always admire other authoritarians.

Now that there is a U.S.-Russian agreement on Syria, these right-wing propagandists will return to their default "super patriot" mode claiming that their recent heartthrob Putin and Russia can't be trusted, and that President Obama is getting played, or calling Obama "comrade."

Too bad for them that that their fearless leader, Roger Ailes of FAUX News, suggested this exact foreign policy. Roger Ailes's Syria solution – POLITICO:

Fox News chief Roger Ailes, as quoted in Zev Chafets’ 2012 book Roger Ailes Off Camera:

“Putin is angry. He thinks the United States doesn’t take him
seriously or treat Russia as a major player. Okay, fine, that’s how he
feels. If I were president, I’d get in a room with him and say, ‘Look at
the slaughter going on in Syria. You can stop it. Do it, and I’ll see
to it that you can get all the credit. I’ll tell the world it was you
who saved the innocent children of Syria from slaughter. You’ll be an
international hero. You’ll go down in history.’ Hell, Putin would go to
bed thinking, ‘That’s not a bad offer.’ There will still be plenty of
other issues I’d have with Russia. But instead of looking for one huge
deal that settles everything, you take a piece of the problem and solve
it. Give an incentive for good behavior. Show the other guy his
self-interest. Everybody has an ego. Everybody needs dignity. And what
does it cost? You get what you want you give up nothing.”

The right-wing propaganda noise machine will always do the only thing that it knows: hate on President Obama, regardless of what he does. Hatred of anyone who is not a right-wing conservative is the business model of the conservative media entertainment complex. It is a malignant cancer in the American body politic.

h/t yellow elephant graphic Jesus' General