America committed a war crime last night. Another one. We’re so used to it happening that we’ve installed a special filter – one reaction for when America bombs someone, and a completely different reaction whenever someone else does the same.
But the US is not exceptional, and its bombs are not special or justified or less bomby just because they have the stars and stripes painted on the side.
Syria is a sovereign nation, and any military action on its people or within its borders, without the express consent of the Syrian government or the United Nations, is considered a crime under international law. This is an important fact, which most everyone in the mainstream seems happy to ignore.
So why did this particular war crime happen?
Well, the US claim the strikes were on a border crossing point used by “Iranian backed” militias, in retaliation for an alleged rocket attack on US service personnel in Iraq last month.
In the now cliche use of twisted Orwellian language, the Pentagon actually called it a “defensive strike”.
Is there any evidence the 22 people killed were those who conducted is this alleged “rocket attack”?
Not that we’ve seen.
Is that all there is to it?
The signs are there that this could be a step to further escalation against both Syria and Iran.
On January 16th the Pentagon announced they had moved Israel from European Command to Central Command (CENTCOM), what some refer to as the “Middle East NATO”. This would, to quote the Times of Israel:
allow for greater regional collaboration against Iran.”
In short, Biden’s first few weeks in office have been accompanied by a rush of activity in the Middle East.
How has the media covered the attack?
Not that much. Far more screen time has been devoted to the US “report” that Saudi Crown Prince Muhamad bin Salman was responsible for the death of journalist Jamaal Khashoggi – an obvious smokescreen that means almost nothing.
The Guardian hasn’t even seen fit to keep it on the front page for more than a few hours, while CNN buries it behind Khashoggi and other useless detritus. Predictably, nobody in the MSM was really outraged.
The NYT calls it a “calculated move” which “won’t hurt a possible nuclear deal” with Iran. Some other hacks are firmly back on the anti-Syria bandwagon, with Jonathan Freedland writing in the Guardian about Assad and the “age of impunity”. The irony is apparently lost on him.
But combining those reactions, you could argue Syria was the real target here, not Iran, and Syria is in more danger going forward.
The social media reaction was far more revealing, with political “journalists” trying to sell that Biden dropping bombs politely is somehow better than Trump dropping bombs whilst being boorish.
Biden is developing a smart strategy for Iran (show that it can't attack US troops with impunity but also show willingness to negotiate) and Saudi Arabia (don't sever the alliance but recalibrate it).
Mercifully absent are Trump’s juvenile taunts. https://t.co/ucdhZUaWkd
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) February 26, 2021
Amy Siskind, an “activist” and author for POLITICO is a great example, tweeting this reaction, before being forced by weight of public mockery to delete it:
It’s a good example of what many in the alt-media have been saying for a while – they will attempt to sell Biden/Harris as “progressive” bombers.
But what does this mean for the bigger picture?
There are certainly mixed messages here.
While so many are pushing for a “New Normal”, it seems the US military and their regional allies and some members of the press are looking to carry on as usual in the Middle East. This directly contradicts the UN’s urging for a “global ceasefire” during the pandemic.
Is this a sign they powers that be might be turning away from the pandemic narrative?
Is it possible there are diverging paths or even a civil war in the Deep State?
Are some factions looking for a New Normal, and other happy with the Old Normal?
As always, discuss below.
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