War At Any Cost: Another Manufactured Pretext for War with Syria
by Eric Draitser
June 26, 2012
The downing of a Turkish jet by the Syrian military last week was not merely a military incident making the possibility of an intervention and regional war much more likely. This episode was the most recent in a long and storied history of “international incidents” or provocations used by imperial powers as pretexts for military aggression. Without such incidents, the forces of imperialism are seen as nothing more than aggressors, out to destroy weaker nations in their own interests. However, with the necessary justifications that such episodes provide, those same powers can portray their wars as justified, necessary, and wholly righteous.
This event last week was only the latest in a series of provocations specifically designed to justify a military intervention. However, as the façade of the Houla “massacre”, the use of children as human shields, and the countless other lies propagated by the Western media have been debunked or otherwise exposed, the Western imperialist ruling class looks for a new incident to legitimize their plan for total war on Syria.
Just the Facts
On June 21, a Turkish jet was shot down by Syrian military forces. Initially, the Western media rushed to portray this incident as a blatantly aggressive action by Assad and his military, hoping to play off their many months of propagandizing the public into believing Assad to be the devil incarnate. Vigorous condemnations were heard from all corners of the Western ruling establishment, as the world seemed to move closer to another so-called intervention. However, as the episode unfolded, the media had to backtrack and, as usual, reversed their initial story without a fraction of the fanfare that the initial lie had. They had to admit publicly that, in fact, the Turkish jet had violated Syrian airspace and so, according to international law, Syria was well within their rights to shoot it down. This fact gets lost in the narrative however, as the world looks to NATO, the military arm of US power projection around the world, to “act decisively”. This episode is merely the latest attempt by the imperialist establishment to drum up support for some form of military intervention by portraying the Assad regime as bloodthirsty monsters. Last month, we saw the world recoil in horror at the brutality of what came to be known as the Houla “massacre”. However, as the United States, France, and the other Western powers attempted to spin the event as a brutal example of why they must wage war on Syria, the truth came out that, in fact, the victims of the massacre were not killed by government shelling, but by close range execution attributable to the NATO-sponsored death squads unleashed on the people of Syria.
Like the Houla massacre, the outrageous claim that the Syrian military was using children as human shields was designed to play on the emotions of the international community in hopes of eliciting a swift response and creating the a climate conducive to war. Naturally, no evidence exists to back up this claim other than a dubious UN report based on so-called “activists” and “eyewitnesses”. The Western propagandists are less interested in being able to support these claims than simply making them and implanting them into the public consciousness.