Letters from our readers

On “Obama’s speech: No end to war threat against Syria

Thank you, Bill, for once again clearly explaining the geopolitical reality behind all of the hype and propaganda being spewed out via the war media and the incoherent babbling of the US’s imperialist supporters.

I am continually attempting to point out the true agenda of the US war aims underneath all of the surface rubbish, the purpose of which is to obfuscate the real aims of the warmongers. It is a difficult struggle to clear this away and get to a place where conversation and discussion can even begin.

Your article contributes mightily to the refutation of the war propaganda. Thanks again.

California, USA
12 September 2013

On “Kerry’s ‘blunder’ delays, but does not end, Obama’s drive to war

I think your coverage of the Syrian situation is missing a key element.

If you google “Martin Dempsey Syria” you will see what I am talking about. From at least April onwards, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been going on record with journalists on his opposition to US involvement in Syria (and one assumes that his statements reflect the consensus of the top military brass). Most recently he was involved in a direct clash with [Sen. John] McCain (the primary Republican Syria hawk) at Senate Armed Forces Committee hearings. Delve into some of the articles more closely and the message is inescapable: the top people in the Pentagon do not want to get dragged into a war in Syria because they think they will lose.

Also of interest are photos circulating on the Internet, for example: US soldiers, sailors and marines are supposedly posting photographs of themselves in uniform, their faces covered with hand-held sheets of paper with handwritten messages expressing their opposition to fighting in Syria. It is very probable that these photographs were doctored by a group of pro-Assad hackers calling themselves the Syrian Electronic Army. Nonetheless, these photos have hit a nerve and have been circulated widely, largely on right-wing conservative web sites that claim to speak for the military rank and file.

The US military is not lacking the hardware to defeat any army in the world. What they are lacking is the “boots on the ground.” There is anecdotal evidence of military personnel from other countries being appalled at the demoralization of some units of the US army—manifested in the trigger-happy contempt for the population they are supposed to be protecting. And the statistics on psychological disturbance and suicide speak for themselves.

The rank and file consists of economic conscripts from regions hardest hit by the economic crisis. The recruiters are trying to dip again and again into the same pool of the desperate. The problem is that returning veterans tell tales and these regions are probably becoming more aware of the brutal reality of colonial war than any other part of the country.

The ruling class is aware of the deadly peril to its rule posed by conscript armies. The resort to economic conscription alleviates that peril, but at a certain point the class issues become even more clear and acute (a war for the rich fought by the children of the poor). I wonder if the US top brass is being faced with a rising tide of insubordination that they are afraid could turn into politically informed mutiny?

Elmar M
10 September 2013

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If Al Assad turns over chemical weapons, does that mean the US will turn over its depleted uranium munitions which caused hell for those in Fallujah and will Israel turn over its white phosphorous? No, I thought not.

David G
10 September 2013