The first casualty of war is the truth.”

imagesReporting on Syria in the Western media is as close to fake news as propaganda can get. It is the most one-sided and on-side messaging we have seen since NATO intervened in Libya to put  Sunni extremists and al Qaeda sympathizers in power.

First, the rebels in Aleppo are al Qaeda’s Jabhat al Nusra Front forced by the US to change their name last Summer to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. These are Sunni extremists who slit throats on camera, kill minorities, especially Christians and Shiites, throw civil servants off the roves of five-story buildings (people like postal workers and clerks), send suicide bombers into markets and so on. (see 2013 BBC report) These are the people the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been financing, arming, training and now the loyal western press crying over. 

UnknownA lot has been made of Donald Trump’s refusal to serve in the military during the Vietnam War. As a wealthy young man, he probably knew much better than we Grunts did, what that war was all about.  At the same time, when Muhammad Ali died this year, little was made in the mainstream media about his refusal to serve when he said: “I got nothing against the Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me nigger.”  1  The major reason for this is the US has never drawn the right conclusions on that war even though the military did.

The man who got on a Parisian bus with me Wednesday was an Arab who had not shaven in four days. He had dark olive skin and kinky black hair and was visibly unbalanced: drugs? He sang to a popular tune “I’m going on Jihad. Won’t you come on Jihad with me too?” He risks five years in prison and a 75 thousand euro fine.

In the first six days after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, 54 people were charged with “apology for terrorism” under a tough law voted in the French parliament last November which can jail someone, if they express their “support for terrorism” on the electronic media: FaceBook, Twitter etc., to up to seven years and fine them 100 thousand euros .

France’s “war on terrorism” has begun. The new law allows the “apologists” to be brought before a judge as soon as they are arrested in a process called “comparution immediate”; that is without time to prepare a defense.  It is a law for a time of war.

The silence of the western press on the situation in Libya is deafening. This is no surprise as the pessimistic predictions of the critics of NATO’s war to oust Qaddafi become reality.

NATO Friday night attacked the Libyan television station in Tripoli killing three people and injuring 15 others in direct violation of their own UN Resolution 1973 which stipulates they may attack military targets “to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi” and to impose a ‘no-fly zone’.

What happened in Oslo Friday is a tragedy but it is no different than what is happening in the world on a daily basis.  What is different is it happened to blond-haired-blue-eyed kids.  What I find outrageous is that all of a sudden we are shocked in our comfortable Western countries. There are some deaths that are worth more than others in our selective outrage. Let me explain briefly.

The Israelis say Syria paid protesters to go to the Golan Sunday to protest the ongoing Israeli occupation of the heights as if this justifies using live fire against unarmed demonstrators in which as many as 25 people were killed and 350 wounded.  That the accusation rather than the killings gets the lede is insane.

“There is no way this is going to end up well for the United States.  Every tribe in Yemen has received missiles from American drones.  The US aided and financed Saleh all these years.  They covered for him up to just two weeks ago.  The Yemenis won’t forget this.  The crack troops we saw Friday fighting the tribes are the anti terrorist forces equipped and trained by the United States.”

There is something wrong when 50 people on the margins make the headlines around the planet and threaten world peace for simply exercising their First Amendment Right to freedom of expression.  There is something wrong when they are pressured not to do it because it will spark violence among people who reject our notions of freedom.  There is something fundamentally wrong when we are willing to sacrifice our freedoms for fear of attack from those who don’t like our ‘civilization’.

In his 2004 book, Colossus, Niall Ferguson argues the United States is an empire and should assume its rightful place as the inheritor of Britain’s 19th century ‘White Man’s Burden’.  He decries the American schizophrenia of being an empire in denial, sending troops abroad without the intention of staying and being squeamish when GIs die.  Ferguson says we should go, stay and impose our will for world order and to prevent chaos. 

This may seem easy to say for a man comfortable in the Ivory Towers of Oxford and Harvard who never did military service, much less saw the harsh realities of war but he does have a point.  Americans need to back their wars or not fight them and that is why I say we need to bring back the draft.