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Letter: Trumps threats to Syria mirror Bush's deception over Iraq WMD
U.S. forces patrol the outskirts of the Syrian town of Manbij in Aleppo province on March 7 .

In his recent letter, Gary Hulsey said we need truth to cure a viral epidemic of political correctness. I wonder if he feels the same way about President George W. Bush’s pernicious lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq used to counterfeit a pretext for invasion and removal of Saddam Hussein? Where were Hulsey’s principles for truth when the lives of half a million people in Iraq were at stake?

The WMD issue remains relevant because President Donald Trump is using those lies again as a justification for removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump was originally a fierce critic of intervention in Syria. What happened?

Trump said Assad used poison gas against Syrian rebels and civilians, is preparing to do so again, and the U.S. will attack Syria if he does. The problem is photographic evidence used to justify Trump’s missile attack on a Syrian air base has been invalidated by a number of analysts. An MIT professor determined it was likely a false-flag attack staged by rebels using an improvised explosive to rupture a poison gas shell on the ground. In other words, the conclusion was Assad didn’t do it.

You probably never heard about this conclusion because most news outlets didn’t carry it. Our news media are complicit in a propaganda campaign pushing war against Syria just as they did for Iraq. Reporters who bucked that trend like Dan Rather and Keith Olbermann were targeted for elimination and their careers ended.

News used to be a public asset informing citizens with truth collectively validated by thousands of independent editors. Now it’s an unregulated conduit for propaganda and fake news that undermines our democracy. Ron Hooper’s letter describes this phenomenon admirably.

Regarding alleged Syrian use of gas weapons, neither Trump or Obama bothered to go through formal United Nations channels to determine the truth. There’s a reason for that. We don’t want truth. Way back when we did use proper channels, Scott Ritter was a UN weapons inspector investigating allegations of WMD in Iraq. When Ritter determined there was no WMD as alleged by the Bush Administration, he was ignored and UN inspectors were forced out. Ritter was right, Bush was wrong, Iraq was invaded anyway, and half a million people died as a result. If speaking truth to power is patriotic, Ritter was an American patriot.

The apparent U.S. modus operandi for Middle East policy is to make wild allegations, avoid the truth at all costs, then use the unproven allegation (fake news) to justify invasion of another country. The last time tactics like these were used, Adolf Hitler was invading Poland.

The agenda to invade Arab states and topple their governments has continued regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican was president. This agenda is outlined in the document “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” by Richard Perle. If you’ve struggled to make sense of our crazy diplomatic behavior, this report reveals compelling evidence of criminal intent. 

Bruce Vandiver

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