Orion's picture

    You're Being Lied To On Syria

    In building their case for another war, this current administration - and a news media that seems to have "gotten the memo," as it were, that a new war is necessary and inevitable - has been proliferating various photos of the dead allegedly killed in a chemical attack by Syrian leader Bashir Assad. Well, what about those pictures?

    It turns out that those photos may not only not be of Syria but actually ten years old. Read this article in full: 

    Photographer Marco di Lauro said he nearly “fell off his chair” when he saw the image being used, and said he was “astonished” at the failure of the corporation to check their sources.

    The picture, which was actually taken on March 27, 2003, shows a young Iraqi child jumping over dozens of white body bags containing skeletons found in a desert south of Baghdad.

    It was posted on the BBC news website today under the heading “Syria massacre in Houla condemned as outrage grows”.

    The caption states the photograph was provided by an activist and cannot be independently verified, but says it is “believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial”.

    A BBC spokesman said the image has now been taken down.

    Whatever the motivation - Syria doesn't have a significant supply of oil but pipelines can be built and alot of our political class seems to operate on continuous warfare - this administration, from Obama to John Kerry, the most aggressive lobbyist for this insane idea, want war. Obama only went for congressional approval after public outrage and would have done it alone if he could. Even when he did, he baited Congress and effectively said they'd be tantamount to enabling genocide if they didn't go along with him.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. There are countries in this world that survive, have nice economies and healthy people without going to war every five years - a healthy democracy doesn't need to bomb a new developing country regularly to be one. We can't let them do this.

    The rebels Obama's administration are supporting in Syria are exactly that and have allied publicly with Al Qaeda - you know the group that did 9/11. There has been a game being played for twenty years that the United States has been manipulated in to participating in and that is showing itself for what it is. It's up to us to kick the brakes.

    None of these wars are in the US interest. The only thing the US has interest in there is oil and we have recently discovered more fossil fuels than you ever would in Syria. There's a game being played - far from being the aggressor or a superpower throwing its weight around, I think the US is actually being played.


      It may not "make sense" for rulers to use poison gas, but it still happens. Halabja didn't make a lot of sense.

    I don't support a war in Syria.

    You really shouldn't take that Tyler Durden/Zero Hedge Fund stuff so seriously:


    It's game playing, rumor mongering. They take snippets of news and weave possible conspiracy theories, with which people might put odds, if you get my drift. Not to mention being known for years as having a paranoid and apocalyptic worldview.

    I glanced at some of the Saudi/Putin stuff. It doesn't even jive with facts of what both are saying and doing now. I don't feel it's worth reading more. Yeah, Bandar's been going around the world for months now, like Willie Loman selling brushes, trying to convince everyone to get rid of Assad. So what? Look at what the countries have done. Not what "Tyler Durden" imagines Putin and Bandar said to each other by reading between the lines of  A.P. reports like a crystal ball.

    I anticipated someone here would say that - that's why I supplanted the article with all sorts of other sources as well. I am personally perplexed at the administration about this - that Obama would go directly against his own attitude towards war powers without even explaining the change, that John Kerry is advocating like he wants to drop a nuclear weapon on Damascus and that Obama was perfectly willing to attack Assad's regime even if it meant no support from even the United Kingdom, the United Nations or the American public. What kind of money is our Secretary of State being offered and from whom? That sort of behavior makes conspiracies much more believable than before.

    Well, most of your posts on it so far sound rather hysterical and therefore are not of much use to me.

    How old were you when Clinton lobbed missiles at Saddam and at Osama bin Laden's places in Afghanistan and Sudan? Do I have to tell you: the world did not end, and there was no war.  The missile strikes did not cause world wars. Actually everyone in the world basically went back to talking about Monica Lewinsky. Some people bitched about the Sudan hit as a war crime for years afterwards, but they were mostly the same people that supported the Iraq war later. As a matter of fact, now that I think of the correlation between people who hated Clinton's missile lobbing and the people who supported the invasion of Iraq is quite high.

    Nobody has been talking about going to war or getting involved in that war besides those who are already players in it. Nobody. Not Obama, and nobody else but hyper-ventilating media looking for readers. You're talking about it like it's going to be a war, though.

    I'm not saying I supporting an intervention, but I think you are getting waaaay ahead of things. We don't even know what it would be, he hasn't said! Beyond playing it down as surgical with no boots on the ground.

    P.S. It's not true that the U.N. is for or against anything yet. That may change soon.

    How old were you when Clinton lobbed missiles at Saddam and at Osama bin Laden's places in Afghanistan and Sudan?

    I was twelve and I do remember it. Anyways...

    You're talking about it like it's going to be a war, though.

    This isn't a repeat of Clinton enforcing UN mandates, artappraiser. This is something else. Not the end of the world but alot more serious than the analogies you are trying to apply.

    As for seeming hysterical, the point of this and the King Obama article was to point out in bold terms that we have seen alot of violations of the Constitution build up in the last nearly fifteen years that it's not impossible or out of reach that Obama (or someone in the future) to violate even more of the Constitution - such as the Twenty Second Amendment. That sort of thing creeps in to a society.

    You were 12, I was 30, you might remember it, but you remember it as a child, not as an adult Orion. You have no special information and your sources are linkbaits. AA is spot on about your so called "proof" that this is going to be a full on ground war. That isn't going to happen. To reiterate AA's point:

    Nobody has been talking about going to war or getting involved in that war besides those who are already players in it. Nobody. Not Obama, and nobody else but hyper-ventilating media looking for readers. You're talking about it like it's going to be a war, though.

    That is the fact, you don't  want to read that, or believe it, but that is the fact of the matter.

    But then you go on about the Teabaggers delight, "King Obama has violated the constitution" Seriously? By asking congress to make a decision, to have skin in the game? I think Teabaggers and their constant droning on about "Constitutional Violation" don't know anything about the Constitution. And then where does this come from. "Someone will then violate the 22nd Amendment? WTH? You pulled that one out of the air, what does that even mean? It's extremism is what that is, something that has never happened, where there is no indication of anything of the sort happening and yet you insist it could happen, just because it could. Give me a break, it's propaganda to spin up extremists, but it's still propaganda Orion, and it will never be anything more than that.


    Nobody has been talking about going to war or getting involved in that war besides those who are already players in it. Nobody


    Well that is interesting - I could be wrong but even if I am - the presence of that many ships was certainly worth worrying about, no?

    And by this way these "Teabaggers" talk, man, seriously. I have received messages from left-wing (probably more left than anyone here) friends in Brazil and India asking why Obama wants to attack Syria and all I can say is "I don't know." Perhaps the Tea Party has effective outreach efforts in Mumbai and Rio?

    It didn't make you "un-American" or hate America to question the Iraq war ten years ago and it doesn't make me a Teabagger now to question the Anointed Nobel Peace Prize President either.You guys are talking about my maturity but the question could be lobbed in the other direction too. This is a serious game - blowing people up with missiles. Attacking me for my age or when I phrase sentences weird because you can't actually defend this horrible president just reflects bad on you. Just saying. wink

    The only reason I mentioned your age is that you seem to be coloring this with a picture of the U.S. war on Iraq as if that is the only thing you know and understand, and I wanted to point out that the U.S. has used missile attacks in the relatively recent past without going to full-fledged war.

    I should add that western air attacks were used in Libya recently. And even though there is a lot of oil there, and even though the country is very unstable after those attacks, and even though some groups there attacked the U.S. embassy, we have not invaded the country, nor has anyone else. And so far it has not ended up in WWIII. (Matter of fact, France went on to do a police action in Mali with boots on the ground since withdrawn, no WWIII there either.) And Obama got US forces involved in Libya without Congressional approval and continuing past the deadline for the legal justification he used. While you are writing as if he, much less other presidents, hasn't done this type of thing before and it is a complete surprise to you what he has suggested and it must be just like Iraq.

    Ok, so you remember protesting Iraq. Do you also remember the lengthy buildup where over the process of months we placed a huge number of troops and munitions overseas? Do you see that happening now?

    Yes I do remember the buildup which seemed to start in early 2002. Richard Clarke said they were talking Iraq as soon as 9/11 happened. 

    I could be wrong about all of this but the administration did not feel the need to campaign for actions in Libya - the campaigning that John Kerry has done is very much similar in tone to the speeches for preparation for the invasion of Iraq.

    Matt Taibbi has a response which is linked to. He could be responding to you. That response could be to other instances as well, such as the views you have often expressed of Greenwald's reporting. The emphasis is mine.

    You can say, for instance, that his tone is conspiratorial, which it is. You can say that people will want to believe his conspiratorial view of things, whether it is true or not, because they are frustrated over losing money and power to Wall Street. And that’s true. You can say that his stories sound overblown and his interpretations of recent financial history sound fantastical, like Star Trek plots — they do. (If you don’t mention that reality itself is that fantastic of late, this can be a damning criticism). You can describe his campaigns on various issues as “crusades,” which in a way they are. And you can say he has an “agenda,” and wonder aloud what that might be.

    I’m really not sure any of that matters. The only thing that matters with a guy like Zero Hedge is, is he right or not? And I don’t think you can answer that question by asking if people are maybe inclined to think he’s right for the wrong reasons, or if his tone is generally inappropriate (this was Felix Salmon’s criticism), or if his hostility to bulls in the analyst realm maybe doesn’t flag often enough. Is he right, or is he wrong? If he’s right, the subject matter is so many times over more important than Zero Hedge the individual that I don’t see the percentage in worrying about the source much at all. http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009/09/28/in-defense-of-zero-hedge/


    In this world, sites like Zero Hedge seem more reasonable than CNN or MSNBC.

    CNN host Sanjay Gupta is having a special on marijuana as a health tool - saying that what he thought was totally wrong. Ten or fifteen years ago it was only alternative news sites like Zero Hedge that would be saying such things. Being mainstream doesn't mean that you are correct.

    Hopefully the questions about whether the intelligence on the use of chemical weapons is valid will come up during Congressional debate. We should press Progressives in Congress to make sure that this is not a repeat of the WMD intelligence in Iraq.

    I agree. Jim McDermott, who represents Seattle, already seems to be moving to reapply how he voted on Afghanistan and Iraq. Seattle is a really reliably liberal voting bloc so he has the liberty to do that. Even if military support isn't really there, you could see some military districts voting in favor of all this reflexively because they assume military support would be behind them.

    The thought of more war sickens me. BUT, the thought of us sitting idly by watching as hundreds if not thousands of people are being slaughtered sickens me as well.

    I can't help but wonder if people would be in a bigger uproar if it were Christians being slaughtered instead of Muslims, white people instead of brown ones.

    I'm pretty sure a war will not change anything, but as citizens of the world, it seems like we need to do SOMETHING.


    the thought of us sitting idly by watching as hundreds if not thousands of people are being slaughtered sickens me as well.

    If thousands of people actually were slaughtered like they say, it would be a self evident event. The administration is tryiing to sell it to us because it may have never happened. This is serious stuff we are playing around with here. People will die if Obama has his way.

    I can't help but wonder if people would be in a bigger uproar if it were Christians being slaughtered instead of Muslims, white people instead of brown one.

    This comment is ignorant, even if you didn't intend it that way. You're not the first person I've met who seems to mentally associate Islam with non-white people like that matches reality at all. Most Syrians are "white:"

    It's pretty amazing that Americans feel it is their right to shoot cruise missiles at people whose culture they know nothing at all about. The American black/white race narrative doesn't apply to the rest of the world. Many people here don't seem to understand the rest of the world and it would be respectful if they stopped trying to mess around with a world they don't understand.

    This comment is ignorant, even if you didn't intend it that way.

    Funny, I feel the very same way about nearly every comment you've made on the Syria situation, strongly. The more you comment on Syria (and Russia, for that matter) the more apparent it becomes that you have only started reading about these issues recently, and are reading and listening to some of the most inflammatory stuff intended to manipulate people who know very little about it. And furthermore, preaching your ignorance as if you have everything all figured out, rather than just presenting your intial feelings, something stillidealistic hasn't been doing.

    I was at the Iraq protests in 2003 (the same sort of protests that King Barry was calling Bush's Iraq war "a dumb war" at, I have worked in Washington D.C. and I have a degree in Political Science. Beyond that, I have lived in Asia, went to school in a Poli Sci program that had students from Iran, Russia and Syria and discussed these matters at length with all of them alot. 

    Respectfully, it is odd to say I am ignorant or have just started thinking about these matters. I am very upset that I live in a country that doesn't seem to think about warfare in a sane manner and I realize how heated this discussion is getting and how it could curtail our otherwise blossoming friendship but please don't read what I am saying as something it is not.

    I am puzzled at how so many could say that Bush was this aggressive imperialist and violator of the constitution and now are speaking incoherently and bizarre now that their guy is doing the same things. I am puzzled at how people can be that nihilistic.

    We got manipulated in to war ten years ago. We are getting manipulated in to war now. We are going to get manipulated in to war again.

    now that their guy is doing the same things

    He is NOT doing the same things, he is doing DIFFERENT things. You are falling for false equivalence and freaking yourself out over it. Maybe the current facts and situation would freak you out, too, and that would be fine. But I don't see much evidence you are doing that, you are instead mining the net for proof of your narrative that you have imagined and are convinced is happening and ignoring all other data. It is very similar to what you initially did with trying to prove a contention that all recent school shootings must be the results of people taking SSRI's, and how you continually claim that such shootings are increasing even when presented with facts that they have not. Mho, if you really want to become a writer that is taken seriously, you have to change these ways.

    Well the claim that these shootings are not increasing has been mentioned without the drug factor enabled in at all. However, there is at least a perception that there is a widespread increase in gun violence. It has warranted speeches by the president himself, protests, etc. and calls that people should "reflect" on gun violence in the country, etc.

    The SSRI element - I have looked over some of that writing and taken it down. I survived something pretty damn awful that was combined with a nervous breakdown, seizures, etc. etc. so the writing then is not at the level I think it is now. I still contend that antidepressants are dangerous, just like most drugs taken to alter perception are, and certainly should not be given out in the manner they currently are.

    I think you have some concern for me, artie LOL and that might be clouding what you are saying. I have been asked flat out by folks from other countries why Obama wants to attack Syria so bad? The perception in the world as a whole is that we bomb developing countries, and thus kill alot of people, without causation and in the role of global policeman. 

    I'll try to not bring in as many alternative news sources. I was aware that those sources would bring exactly the sort of comments I got but I did anyways because I am very concerned about this issue. I'll try to refrain from that in the future - I can see how it hurts the overall message.

    Made edits.

    You wrote this, because presumably people from other countries have been asking you why our President wants to attack Syria. Why?

    The perception in the world as a whole is that we bomb developing countries, and thus kill alot of people, without causation and in the role of global policeman.

    Without causation? Without Causation? Seriously?

    Not without causation, quit typing that blatant lie. The causation is because Assad is actively using chemical weapons against human beings. That actually is banned, and we signed a treaty banning the use of those weapons. How can we allow that atrocity to continue? Does the ban mean nothing? And if the world community fails to stand up, what does that actually say about us?

    You call us nihilists, I'm pretty sure that word doesn't mean what you think it means. 

    Nihilist means believing in nothing. I brought that up because you sound convinced that we know Assad did this when NBC has headlines like this. Secretary of State Frankenstein wouldn't feel the need to convince us this happened if there wasn't doubt it actually did. It's pretty amazing that, in the age of digital media, there'd be any doubt about something as big as the use of chemical weapons, doesn't it? Of course, I'm the one freaking out.

    The administration wants war whether or not what the real scenario is. Just like ten years ago.

    Anyways, guys, I did edit out my use of alternative news sources as well as the emotive use of soldiers stating that they don't support attacking Syria. I recognize that more professional uses of delivering my message could have been exercised. The overall message is staying here - this military strike is a bad idea.

    "Assad is actively using chemical weapons against human beings. That actually is banned, and we signed a treaty banning the use of those weapons."

    Just to clarify what international law actually says, More than 180 countries, including the United States, are parties to the 1993 convention banning the manufacture, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons.

    Syria is one of seven UN members that are not.

    Syria did sign and ratify the 1925 Geneva convention banning their use in war, but that does not prohibit use within a country's borders, i.e. in a civil war.

    I'm totally in favor of toughening up international law to ban all chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, cluster bombs and napalm. But we have not done so, and claims that we have are false.

    Exactly correct again AA.

    Sooo, just for one example.....

    According to your hyperbole, the people in the following article are all Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda sympathizers, and they are all in on the lie about the chemical attack in Ghouta (or worse, are dupes that don't know their friends and associates were gassed by other friends) created to get the U.S. to go to war in Syria, and Peter Beaumont @ The Guardian is also in on the plot to lie us into war, even though his own country has voted not to intervene.

    Syrian refugee: 'Obama lied to us'
    Inside the Zaatari camp the mood is bleak among those who have fled the war and now feel the US has deserted them

    By Peter Beaumont, Zaatari camp, Jordan, The Guardian, Sunday 1 September 2013  

    Abu Assam, a member of the Free Syrian Army at the Zaatari refugee camp, says he will now rejoin the fighters in Syria Photograph: Peter Beaumont for the Guardian

    Across the camp, five miles inside Jordan, Syrian refugees gathered in small groups to listen to Barack Obama. Some watched on al-Jazeera TV, others tuned in to the radio, many followed on Twitter or online news sites. Expectations were high.

    "We thought, when he began to speak, the strikes on Bashar al-Assad's regime were going to start immediately," said one refugee, Abu Assam. "Then he said 'but'." In Arabic "but" is "wa lakin", but in both languages the implication is the same. "It was when he said that word that everything came crashing down." He added: "Obama lied to us."

    A member of the Free Syrian Army, who walks on crutches after an accident inside Zataari, Abu Assam said he immediately decided to cross the border back to Syria to rejoin the fighters on the other side, despite his injury. "I can fire a weapon on a pick-up truck," he said.

    The Zaatari refugee camp is home to about 120,000 Syrians who have fled the war next door, the sound of which, on still nights, can be heard from across the border. The mood on Sunday was uniformly bleak. The news of the chemical attack in Damascus was devastating for those in the camp, said a UN official. Residents asked for no visits from journalists or dignitaries for three days. After that period of grief, amid all the tough talk by western leaders, refugees believed that something would be done to punish the Syrian regime [....]

    Amazing, Abu Assam uses the same words you do: Obama lied to us.

    And oh, that thing about refusing to talk to reporters for three days after the attacks to grieve, refusing the chance for possible publicity for the cause, that was just to make it all a more convincing lie? Wow, those Syrian rebels are some clever, clever, clever people...

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