The war machine gets into gear

Max Blumenthal writes that John Kerry now uses rhetoric that combines all the warlike imagery of the past.

In a Labor Day conference call with 127 House Democrats, Secretary of State John Kerry invoked an apocalyptic scenario, summoning visions of American power and credibility incinerated in a terrible Middle East-wide conflagration laced with nerve gas and enriched uranium.

An aide to one of the members of Congress who participated in the call told me that Kerry warned that the failure to punish Bashar Al-Assad for using chemical weapons on Syrian civilians could lead to future chemical attacks on Israel and Turkey, emboldening Iran to forge ahead with an alleged nuclear weapons program and perhaps even enter the battlefield in support of Syria. Next, Kerry hammered on the Holocaust, declaring that the US faced a “Munich moment” on Syria.

The member of Congress, a staunch opponent of a US strike on Syria, described Kerry’s pitch as an updated rendition of the Vietnam-era domino theory, which held that if South Vietnam fell, communism would spread across Southeast Asia. “By the end Kerry was practically telling us the Earth was going to fall into the Sun,” the member of Congress commented to aides afterwards.

David Samel says that the arguments used by Kerry to justify an attack on Syria could just as easily have been used by Russia to justify an attack Israel for its killing of about 1,400 Gazans, including over 300 children, in 2009. He says that “the US case for doing so against Syria is as morally bankrupt and legally vacuous as a hypothetical Russian case for attacking Israel, even more so. The fact that a Russian strike against Israel has never been contemplated as a remote possibility should make us all question why the Obama/Kerry plan should even be debatable.”

Remember when Kerry was the 2004 Democratic nominee who ran as the peace candidate against George W. Bush and Barack Obama was the peace candidate in 2008 against John McCain?

The administration is also signaling to the Israel lobby that it wants the lobby to pressure Congress to vote for military action. Initially the New York Times ran a report on the major role of the lobby but then edited it out. (J. K. Trotter has more on this story.)

The administration has managed to line up congressional leaders like Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor. Of course McCain and Lindsey Graham are also just dying to start another war, using ‘catastrophic’ rhetoric to make their case. And former senator Joe Lieberman, whom I had thought we had mercifully seen the end of, was invited back to the Sunday talk shows to inevitably argue for war and condemning Obama’s decision to consult Congress. All of them just love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Warmongers want dictatorial presidential powers because it makes it so much easier to start wars.


  1. leftwingfox says

    Intervention in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been a complete clusterfuck from a humanitarian perspective. I have no idea how this will turn out any better.

    Even if the Obama administration has some grand plan for Syria (which I seriously doubt), the Republican party is going to block him at any turn. It reminds me of California’s budget problem: you can approve any damn initiative you want on a simple majority, but actually funding it takes a 2/3 supermajority.

  2. machintelligence says

    It is truly sad that where you stand depends on where you sit.
    Hypocrisy / cognitive dissonance — it’s not just for Republicans.

  3. TGAP Dad says

    Seems like this is a remake of a 2003 movie, except the John Kerry part was played by Colin Powell.

  4. says

    Remember when Kerry was the 2004 Democratic nominee who ran as the peace candidate against George W. Bush and Barack Obama was the peace candidate in 2008 against John McCain?

    Kerry’s a bloodless creep who used to command search and destroy missions, got an unusual amount of medals for heroism in a remarkably short time, then turned anti-war when it looked like it would increase his chances of getting public office. To me, he looks like an opportunistic, hypocritical creep. Now, hearing him trying to take the moral high ground – he looks even more creepy.

  5. hyphenman says

    Good morning Mano,

    I had a dream that Secretary of State John Kerry said: “How do you ask a man to be the first man to die in Syria? How do you ask a man to be the first man to die for a mistake?”

    Sadly, it was just a dream.

    Do all you can to make today a good day,



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