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Out of 46 Major Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Only One Opposed


Out of 46 Major Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Only One Opposed

Adam Johnson

Of the top 100 US newspapers, 47 ran editorials on President Donald Trump’s Syria airstrikes last week: 39 in favor, seven ambiguous and only one opposed to the military attack.


"If this were state controlled media, how would it be any different?" - Amy Goodman


Armchair chickenhawk "journalism", the fourth branch of Empire.


Thank you, Adam Johnson, for researching the truth, on our behalf.


What hyprocrisy, I'll bet not one, not one of these papers, will support the necessity of a citizen army in a democracy, brought about by conscription--the draft. No, the poor will continue to do the dying.

"Rarely does a general officer invoke the higher loyalty of patriotism-his own concept of it, that is-over loyalty to civilian political authority, as General MacArthur did in his defiance of President Truman. But if, as time goes on, our country continues to be chronically at war, continues to neglect its domestic problems, and continues to have unrest in cities and on campuses, then militarism will surely increase. And even if the military itself does not take over the government directly, it could-because of increasing use in domestic crises-come to acquire power comparable to that of the German General Staff in the years before World ,War I. I hope this never comes to pass. It may not seem likely now, but it is by no means so inconceivable that we need not warn against it and act to prevent it."

"There seems to be a lack of concern among too many people about the state of the nation, and a too easy acceptance of policies and actions of a kind that a generation ago would have appalled the citizenry. The apparent broad acceptance of the "volunteer army" idea comes to mind- a concept completely at variance with our historic development. Up to now, a blessing of our system has been that those who go into the military service, whether by enlistment or through the draft, could hardly wait to get out. But today, because of the exigencies of the times, there is a chance that we may turn our back on this fundamental principle: a large, standing professional army has no place in this Republic."

Quotes from The Pentagon Propaganda Machine

by Senator J. William Fulbright, 1971.


Which shows us one reason why USans are generally pro-war (also since there is no danger of them being attacked by Syria).

And then, the media tells us, Trump has the gall to send the Sec of State to the enemy (Russia - whose client they bombed) to try to convince them to abandon their client.

Yet another example of Trump's world class stupidity.


It is easy to blame Trump due to his childish behaviour, It was harder to Blame Obama because he hid what he was doing so well. But how do you hide the fact that the people are ultimately responsible for what their government does. The US is very good at hiding and blaming. Accepting responsibility seems to be above their pay grade.


And those of us who claim this is all orchestrated......are labelled "conspiracy theorists."


This is not new to the Trump era. (Why do I need to keep saying this?)

It's been standard policy in the US and its mainstream media since well before Edward Bernays, though much of the blame of its effectiveness on Americans can be lain at his feet.


During the Vietnam War era, America remained a split country whose large population stood firmly opposed on one hand and firmly supportive on the other. With 300+ million, America's population does not generally merge into an easy uniformity although post Pearl Harbor in WWII such a general uniformity was evident.

We are very lucky that we do not have that uniformity in this modern era. Dictators can also have uniformity (enforced as may be). Generally a smaller population bears a greater responsibility to what their government does in their name. Large populations have room for both sides more easily.


Again there is a claim that the NY Times editorial board backed Trump's missle attack. But I don't read it that way. Here is the second paragraph of the cited editorial.

"But it is also hard not to feel unsettled by the many questions raised by President Trump’s decision. Among them: Was it legal? Was it an impetuous, isolated response unrelated to a larger strategy for resolving the complex dilemma of Syria, a nation tormented not just by civil war but also by the fight against the Islamic State? So far, there is no evidence that Mr. Trump has thought through the implications of using military force or figured out what to do next."

Further down it says "So what did the 59 missiles accomplish? Militarily, this was a measured response that severely damaged Syrian aircraft and infrastructure at Al Shayrat airfield. Tactically, it may help persuade Mr. Assad (and other problematic leaders, like those in North Korea) that using weapons of mass destruction will not go unpunished. But Mr. Assad still has his chemical weapons, and the civil war endures."

I would put the NY Times in the category of ambiguous. It seems to favor some sort of response but wonders if the attack was legal and if it would accomplish anything.


The most central issue, that all these pro-war newspapers conveniently bypass, is that it hasn't been established that there even WAS a chemical attack, and certainly not proven that Assad was behind it.
Also...in a court of law, motive is a big part of deciding guilt or non-guilt. The motive aspect points completely to the chemical attack (if there was one) being made by the "rebels", to frame Assad, and bring the US into the war on their side. Assad had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by using chemical weapons on his own people. So either he is a very very stupid man, or the "rebels" did it.
But who needs proof or logic, when so much money and power are to be gained by simplistic, and illogical, explanations?


Thank you Adam Johnson and FAIR, even though the message is very dispiriting. I'll take some (very little) comfort from the fact that the split this time may indicate that a larger percentage does still retain memory of the near-past lies. The people that is; the media is no different from state-run propaganda.


"[I]t hasn't been established that there even WAS a chemical attack, and certainly not proven that Assad was behind it...the motive aspect points completely to the chemical attack (if there was one) being made by the "rebels", to frame Assad, and bring the US into the war on their side."

1) For the record: in my view, the U.S. bombing must be unconditionally condemned: it was illegal, it will worsen terrorism, and - as with the Iraq invasion that helped spawn ISIS - its underlying motive is domestic U.S. advantage of the right wing.

Having said that...

2) Considerable evidence supports the claim that "there was a chemical attack" and that "Assad was behind it." (see Zunes' anti-U.S. attack piece below, for example.)

3) Given the considerable - but, inevitably, limited - information about the bombing, what standard of "proof" would satisfy you that the attack used chemical weapons, and that Assad carried it out?

4) Do you have an authority for your claim that "the motive aspect points completely to...the 'rebels' to frame Assad"? Zunes' piece analyzes this claim.

From Zunes' "Trump’s Unilateral Strikes in Syria Must Be Categorically Opposed":

"There is little question that the Syrian regime was responsible for the atrocity in Khan Sheikhoun: As with the 2013 Syrian attack on the Damascus suburb Al-Ghouta, the target of chemical attack was a rebel-held town on a road blocking the Syrian army from advancing to consolidate areas of control. Even if a rebel group had access to chemical weapons and wanted to launch a “false flag” operation to discredit the regime and encourage U.S. intervention, it would have presumably used them somewhere with less strategic importance.

"Similarly, the Russian claims that it was the bombing of a rebel warehouse storing chemical weapons which resulted in the mass casualties doesn’t make sense, given that the rebel groups controlling the town have never used chemical weapons, and the likely nerve agent involved uses a binary mixing process which makes the lethal chemical reaction that took place impossible under such circumstances."


From what I have read, there was no proof presented that Assad ordered a chemical attack on his own people. I'm not saying he definitely did NOT, just saying I've read no proof that he DID.
Also, from what I've read (what else do I have to go on?), the 2013 chemical attack was also never proven to be from Assad.
It doesn't make sense to me that Assad would use chemical weapons at this time. What would be his motive? The war has been going well lately for government forces, many towns have been "liberated" from the rebel control, and the Trump government had, just last week, declared themselves to be uninterested in regime change. Why would Assad then throw all that away just to get control of a road? So he takes control of a road, and maybe takes control of one town, but, in exchange, he brings the United States into the war on the side of the rebels? Assad must be really dumb to do such a thing.
Obviously, I don't know really know what happened... just making the most of the information that is available.


Try reading this post to start with. It is far from an established fact that Assad was responsible. I read Zunes's piece and was very unimpressed.


"The game is lethal and dangerous, and there is no good reason for it to continue."

Iron fisted irony


If there is an article supporting your view that you would suggest, please link it and I will read it with care.

In return, I would ask that you read Zunes' piece with care - as indicated in my post, I believe it addresses the main questions you raise.


That is quite a lot to read, Natylie...

...but you did read Zunes' piece, and I did just commit to reading any article Dolgen sends me...

...and so...would you please point me to one of the four articles with what you judge to be the strongest evidence or argument - either against the claim that the attack was by Assad, or against the claim that the attack involved a sarin-type chemical weapon.



The post contains excerpts from the 4 articles. I'm sorry, but if you want to be informed thoroughly enough to make a decent assessment, you will have to read the whole post. There's no real shortcut I can offer you. War and peace issues are probably worth taking the time to do that.