“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
The popular quote above has at times been attributed to Henry Ford, though it’s most likely a paraphrase of his actual words authored by Congressman Charles G. Binderup in 1938. In any case, it points to the self-evident fact that our economic system is so vastly complex that there are multiple contradictory schools of thought on how it works and how best to approach it. It’s so vastly complex that the few people who understand it are able to manipulate it to their advantage, and to the disadvantage of the overwhelming majority of people who don’t. There are a lot of shadows in all that complexity for the mechanisms of deception and exploitation to hide, and that’s exactly what happens; people get ripped off by a system they don’t understand.
If something is complicated, ordinary people who don’t have years of their lives to dedicate to its study are forced to take the experts on that subject at their word. If a doctor tells you that you have a certain illness which requires a certain treatment, you take her at her word, because her expertise is why you sought her out in the first place. It’s a highly imbalanced power dynamic, which is why we have things like the Hippocratic Oath to make sure experts use the power they’re entrusted with responsibly.
One pernicious side-effect of the existence of such power dynamics, however, is that people can be tricked into assuming that they exist in places where they do not. And I see this happening with the situation in Syria.
Google the words “Syria” and “complicated” together and you’ll come up with millions of results, because the corporate media is fond of marrying those two terms in the audience’s mind when discussing Syrian affairs. They’re the experts; you cannot possibly hope to understand what’s happening in the nation that America’s neocon hobgoblins have been salivating over invading since at least 2001, so you need to rely on their expertise. The major plot hole in that story: those people have never taken anything like a Hippocratic Oath for their practice, and the situation in Syria is not actually too complicated for you to understand. Every day I speak to Americans who are under the mistaken impression that understanding the Syrian dilemma is a goal they can’t possibly hope to attain, so here are some basic facts that can give you enough of an understanding to see through the illusion of complexity they’re trying to lull you into:
1. Your government is lying to you and the media is helping them.
For decades Noam Chomsky has been writing about how the corporate media is used to manufacture the consent of the governed to a system which disadvantages them. America has a decidedly corporatist system of government, which means that due to institutionalized legal bribery in the form of campaign funding and corporate lobbying there is no boundary between America’s elected government and the billionaires who bribe them. In 2014 a Princeton University study found that the will of the people has functionally zero influence over what laws get passed in the United States, despite everyone having a vote and the ability to assemble and demonstrate, while the richest Americans have a great deal of influence over what legislation gets passed. This is how the rich have been able to design a system which advantages them and disadvantages everyone else.
Who would consent to this? No one; that’s why the corporate media is here to pull the wool over your eyes. Virtually all media in America is controlled by a mere five extremely powerful corporations, which, in a corporatist system of government, are inseparable from the government itself. Thus America has in effect (despite Constitutional protections designed to prevent this) a state-run media.
What does all this have to do with Syria? In September of last year, independent journalist Vanessa Beeley appeared on the Ron Paul Liberty Report in a segment titled “Why Everything You Hear About Aleppo Is Wrong,” ripping to shreds the corporate media’s narrative that Bashar al-Assad is using the Syrian military to attack non-combatants while moderate freedom fighters oppose him in a civil war. Unlike the corporate propagandists reporting on the situation from the safety of their Hollywood studios, Beeley actually went to Syria and looked around and asked questions. Her findings have been corroborated by everyone else who’s gone there in the spirit of investigation as opposed to propaganda, from Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett to Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Which takes us to our next point:
2. Your government has been fighting on the side of terrorist groups.
It’s been a known fact since 2013 that the moderate rebels who were fighting Assad had been overrun by terrorist groups and extremist jihadist factions, and by 2015 were essentially gone. When the corporate media talks about “rebels” in the Syrian “civil war”, they are talking about multinational terrorists groups committing widespread acts of terrorism.
It really is Assad vs. terrorists in Syria. Yes, it is that simple. No, it is not complicated. The only people trying to make it sound more complicated than this are the people who support the violent jihadist factions because they’re trying to depose Assad and take over the country, which would of course be disastrous for everyone, especially the millions of Christians that Assad’s secular government was protecting. Is Assad a great guy? Maybe not, but he is unquestionably better than ISIS and al-Qaeda. And the United States has been arming those terror organizations in Syria to fight against Assad.
3. Trump promised to stop helping the terrorists in Syria and fight them instead.
A lot of lefties don’t understand why so many of Trump’s supporters have been turning against him after the Syrian cruise missile strikes against a Syrian air base; there’s an assumption in liberal and progressive circles that all Trumpsters want war and bloodshed. Nothing could be further from the truth; much of Trump’s support came from people who are sick of America’s regime change interventions and wanted a Commander-in-Chief who’ll leave Assad alone and stop funding the terror groups trying to get rid of him. Trump has been saying since 2013 that America should stay out of Syria, while Clinton was advocating a no-fly zone that top military officials attest would have necessitated a war with both Syria and Russia. A lot of Trump’s support came from people who wanted to avoid more senseless war, and now here he is less than three months into his presidency committing an act of war upon the government that is fighting the terrorists in response to what was almost certainly a false flag.
Oops! Sorry, I got ahead of myself:
4. Your government has an extensive history of using false flags to manufacture consent for stupid wars.
From the Vietnam War to the Gulf War to the Iraq invasion, the corporatist power structures who run the US government have been deceiving the American people into consenting to military responses to non-existent threats. With Vietnam it was the fake Gulf of Tonkin incident. With the Gulf War it was the false Nayirah testimony which convinced Americans that Iraqi soldiers were killing hundreds of premature babies in a Kuwait hospital by removing them from their incubators. With the Iraq invasion it was the weapons of mass destruction lie and the deliberate psy-op by the corporate media to marry the ideas of “Saddam Hussein” and “9/11” in the minds of their viewers, which was so successful that six months after the invasion 70 percent of Americans still believed that Saddam was responsible for the September 11th attacks.
5. There is currently no reason to believe the chemical attack was not another false flag.
In 2013 the US and its international arm NATO accused Assad of gassing his own people, without ever investigating the fact that the al-Qaeda affiliate al Nusra was known to have such weapons and the UN’s Carla Del Ponte statingthat the terrorist opposition forces were most likely the culprit. Despite this massive reason to doubt this narrative, it is to this day being reported as fact that Assad used chemical weapons on his own people in 2013, and that he did it again last week despite having no motive to do so and every motive not to.
These corporatist propagandists are telling you that, on the eve of scheduled peace talks, days after the Trump administration declared its intention to leave the Assad administration alone, while winning the war against the terrorist forces, Assad decided to commit geopolitical suicide by openly committing a war crime that he knew for a fact would turn all of NATO against him. This makes no sense, and, knowing what we know about the US deep state’s love of false flags, there is no reason to believe it happened until we are shown irrefutable, unquestionable proof that Assad really did the absurd and suicidal comic book supervillain evil deed the corporate propagandists are telling us he did. As of this writing, no such proof has been offered.
There are many, many other reasons to be intensely suspicious of the official narrative about last week’s gas attack in Idlib which you should definitely research if you’re curious, but to keep things nice and simple here I’m just going stick to the fact that we know the US government uses false flags to manufacture consent for war, that it makes no sense for Assad to commit such an atrocity at this time, and that we’ve been shown no reason to believe the official narrative. If you still swallow the official story despite those three facts, you are stupid. Yes, it is that simple. No, it is not complicated.
6. The US power establishment stands a lot to gain by installing a puppet regime in Syria.
In my mind-blowing conversation with Vanessa Beeley the other day, I learned that there is no American criticism of Assad to be found anywhere online prior to 2009. Seriously. Google it right now and try to prove me wrong. Not only will you not find anything remotely resembling the vitriolic demonization you see about him today, you will find that in 2002 British Prime Minister Tony Blair actually nominated him for knighthood. It was not until Assad began advancing resource policies benefitting its allies Iran and Russia that this demonization began.
In addition to Syria’s important strategic location in the oil and gas resource battle that the US has been largely dominating via its military and economic might, Syria’s border dispute with Israel over the Golan Heights means that Israel has every reason to want to keep Syria in check, not only because the Golan Heights contains oil but because it provides a third of Israel’s water supply. Assad also launched what he called his “Five Seas Vision” in 2004, a strategy to use Syria’s supreme geographic location to become an economic superpower. Needless to say, such a plan wouldn’t sit well with the current king of economic power, the United States, which can only maintain its hegemony by keeping other nations down.
And of course, Russia’s involvement in the region makes Syria a prime location for a proxy war with the Putin government, which has been far more disobedient than a nice, compliant Yeltsin-type administration would be if America can force a regime change in that nation as well.
7. Syria is a sovereign nation. It is none of your government’s business.
Lastly, and with all due respect, please mind your own goddamn business, America. It is none of your business which proposed pipeline the Syrian government prefers. It is none of your business what alliances the Syrian government makes. It is none of your business if Syria’s leader is a dictator or a saint. You do not get to decide what a sovereign nation does with itself. That is not your place.
So don’t let the talking heads on TV dupe you into thinking that “doing nothing about Assad” is some sort of strange suggestion. Tom Ritchford said it best when describing US foreign policy:
Imagine you have a friend who makes a habit of announcing that people are sick, and then performing surgery on them.
While your friend does have the world’s largest collection of surgical tools, it uniformly works out badly for his patients. Always the surgery turns out worse than the disease, and much of the time it turns out that the patient wasn’t even sick to start with — because your friend has no interest in doing diagnoses or really any form of medicine except surgery.
Now your friend has announced that someone else is sick, and a few minutes later has them strapped to the operating table and is preparing the knives. But when you justifiably express dismay, you are accused of wanting to “sit back and do nothing”.
It doesn’t work that way, America. You don’t get to decide who is sick and who needs surgery. That is not your place. Yes, it is that simple. No, it is not complicated.
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