The devastating photo of 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh sitting in an ambulance after his home was bombed in Syrian or Russian air strikes has amped up calls for direct US military intervention against the Syrian government. The now-viral photo of Omran—and the broader siege of east Aleppo—was prominently featured in most major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and several other publications.
"So what do these outraged observers want “us” to do to ameliorate Syrian suffering? For prominent pundits and leading editorial boards, the answer is usually bombing the Syrian government. More often than not, they use humanitarian euphemisms like “safe zones” or “no-fly zones.” Rarely mentioned is the fact that establishing these zones would require US bombing of Syria’s air capacity, including infrastructure, planes, buildings, possibly troops."
First of all, thank you for placing the term "us" in quotes, Mr. Johnson.
As should be patently clear from a variety of recently published studies, citizens have very little influence over State Policy.
Furthermore, there are very real dangers when any society's civilian population seamlessly identifies with its military.
Third, ONLY within a context of "Mars Rules" can the use of deadly force be propped up as a CURE or remedy FOR deadly force.
Fourth, this photo has power because contrary to the prescriptions of the warmongers inside the MIC who recognized (as a result of mass opposition to the Vietnam War) the utility of NOT showing war photo footage to U.S. citizens/media viewers, when photos do slip out... they make the casualties of war very real.
Fifth, it's a given that whenever the State Department and its military allies determine the NEXT enemy du jour, in order to justify their intended campaigns of carnage, they always prop up some seeming humanitarian cause.
Remember those babies tossed out of incubators in Iraq... babies that never existed?
How about the claims that U.S. troops--ever so chivalrous--were mostly heading into Afghanistan to stop the Taliban from abusing women.
Studies by feminists show that life for women in Afghanistan has WORSENED since the Killing Fields opened up there... again.
Amnesty International, The Lancet, and Doctors Without Borders are some organizations that have chronicled the FACT that typically, in war zones, it's civilians who die in great numbers.
Remember how creeps like Clapper lied about surveillance? How many head military honchos lie about the number of drone attacks ("We don't do body counts") or the FACT that under the guise of assassinating known "terrorists," the ratio tends to be 10 civilians "taken out" for every "official terrorist kill."
I don't have the specific reference from The Geneva Conventions, but I recall that when any war--or species of mass attack--primarily impacts civilians, that it violates the nebulous "law of war."
Sadly, the morons who listen to Fox news and the right wing shock jocks WERE previously convinced that Saddam Hussein was behind 911. They also don't believe in Evolution and many don't believe in Global Warming.
This is not a "reality based" group.
And just as the skilled attorney need only convince a percentage of the jury of the innocence of his obviously guilty client, the mass media need only convince a percentage (and it's typically the rigid, authoritarian fundamentalists) of citizens of their pending criminal--masked as humanitarian--acts of imperialism.
It's also known that those who shape Necessary Narratives (in order to manufacture consent for the unconscionable) study the motivational buzz words and "humanitarian" is certainly one of them... even when it HARDLY applies to actual facts on the ground (or bombed from the air).
The US Military has declared an "exclusion zone" in areas of Syria where they claim neither Syria or Russia can fly. Out of the other side of their mouths they state that this not a "no fly zone".
This is in essence a declaration of war. Syria has every right to defend its territory and in advancing troops into the same and declaring such zones the US Military wages aggressive war which deemed the greatest of war crimes. The US Governmnet pulls another of its dirty tricks out of the arsenal as well claiming that Assad still has stockpiles of Chemical weapons. This even as it widely accepted that the use of the same in Syria had been done by the so called "moderate rebels" that the US supports with the USA having full knowledge of such.
That the western media uses the photo of Omran in such a manner suggests that this another staged psy-ops especially when considering their reaction to a boy having his head cut off by those same "moderate rebels" in the same western media.
Meanwhile in the Ukraine and Yemen US supported Governments commit that same slaughter of Civilians with no where near the same level of outrage. When Palestinians slaughtered by the Israeli military, including little boys playing soccer on a beach, the US was quick to declare Israel had a right to defend itself.
Was it Goering or Goebbels who explained that THE PEOPLE do not want war... but if they can be convinced that they are under attack, most will go along with the program.
That's why propagandists are given positions of influence. Once they are esteemed by their media peers, then their words are given a respect that is not deserved.
Pundits who push these memes are nothing more than apologists (and/or paid sycophants) for the Military Industrial Complex. Their job is to write and promote the scripts that make war ongoing, inevitable, and profitable.
It's too kind to define them in this manner:
"This is part of the broader problem of moral ADD afflicting our pundit class—jumping from one outrage in urgent need of US bombs to the next, without much follow-through. Kristof, for example, was just as passionate about NATO intervention in Libya in 2011, writing several op-eds that called for bombing in equally moralistic terms."
No. It's war profiteering, a crime against humanity--via the support of WARS of AGGRESSION.
These pundits are not fools and they surely understand the reverberating carnage still bleeding in nation after nation across the Middle East.
If WAR was a cure for the ills of humanity, for all the blood spent, the world would be healed by now.
To the contrary, war is the supreme evil from which are spawned all others like rape, theft, and every injustice under the sun.
Pundits want to keep their jobs in the media-military industry oligopolies.
Neocon Nicholas Kristof's despicable comment in the New York Times says it all: He comes back to the overused "barrel bombs" propaganda to demand an intervention on the Libyan template, which would make of Syria, or whatever remains after 5 years of US-sponsored terrorists' war, a barren land, and in a Hobbessian state of a permanent sectarian warfare. That is the future the demagogues of Empire are demanding, perhaps confidently thinking in a coming Clinton Dynast rule. Thereby they are threatening the future not only of Syria but of all of us. Hopefully something happens which will stop them in their tracks.