The Islamist ISIS/ISIL gang is providing the pretext for another major US war in the Middle East. Top US administration officials are turning up the war and atrocity rhetoric to full volume. Something is happening.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was nearing hysteria today, telling NBC news that ISIS poses an “imminent threat” to the United States.
Hagel seemed in a panic as he essentially warned that an attack was on the way:
ISIL poses a threat greater than 9/11. ISIL is as sophisticated and well funded as any group we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology with a sophisticated strategic and tactical military prowess and they’re tremendously well-funded. This is way beyond anything we have seen. We must prepare for everything. Get Ready! … They are an imminent threat to every interest we have.
Not to be outdone, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey said that to defeat ISIS, the US must attack Syria!
This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, ‘end-of-days’ strategic vision that will eventually have to be defeated. Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no.
The US war machine is accelerating at a lightening pace. As in the 2003 attack on Iraq, there are few voices of caution, and those who do speak out are drowned out by the many screaming that we must crush ISIS now! ISIS is the greatest threat to the United States, and so on, they say. Precisely the things they said about Saddam Hussein just 12 years ago.
It appears the US has learned nothing from the Iraq war lies in 2003.
How did this push to war suddenly accelerate? In a very suspicious way.
Only days ago, the Obama administration justified returning to Iraq by claiming that US bombs on Iraq were very limited, aimed to save the Yazidis and protect US personnel in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Then we learned that most of bombs dropped fell on areas having nothing to do with either stated objective. We learned that there were nowhere near as many Yazidis in danger from ISIS as we were told. And we learned that the US would need more boots on the ground even though we were told that ground troops were not an option.
Critics like Ron Paul began talking about mission creep.
Then, suddenly there emerged a single unifying event that horrified even many skeptics into calling for a US war on ISIS: a dramatic video purporting to be of a British ISIS member beheading American journalist James Foley. It was a strange and suspicious video, however. We are told on the one hand that ISIS is the most ruthless and bloodthirsty organization the world has seen. We are told they were kicked out of al-Qaeda for being too brutal. But somehow the actual decapitation of the journalist is edited from the film which was purportedly shot by ISIS itself. That sequence begins with the knife applied to the throat and then skips to a still shot of what appears to be a dead body with a head resting on its chest.
This is not to make light of what may well be the brutal and disgusting murder of Foley. But if ISIS is as mad and bad as advertised, why cut out the horrific parts of the video? Isn’t it meant to shock? Aren’t those the most effective parts if the aim is to terrify the US government into ceasing its bombing of ISIS positions?
And why are western governments clamoring for its suppression?
As Glenn Greenwald writes today, the “social media” that is so touted as an important source of information by the US State Department has announced that it would prohibit anyone from posting the video purporting to be the beheading, and would suspend accounts of anyone who posts it.
The UK government announced that even viewing the video would constitute an act of terrorism!
Are they trying to prevent a closer analysis of what may be given as the casus belli for a major US invasion of the region?
One year ago John Kerry was “certain” that the Assad government had gassed its own people in Ghouta. This was to be the pretext for the neocons’ long-desired US attack on Syria: to save the people from a murderous government. Questions arose and the US refused to provide any evidence for its claims. Obama did not get the war his administration desired. The US claims were subsequently proven false.
Now it is Hagel and Dempsey who are tasked with ramping up the propaganda, with preparing the home front for the coming battle. Their approach is once again fear. And once again it seems to be working.
Hagel said “get ready.” Get ready is right: get ready for a huge regional US war that will in a matter of days or weeks include the long-delayed US invasion of Syria.