Saturday, November 28, 2015

The neocon trick of the double lie

There is now almost consensus that the Iraq invasion in 2003 was a failure. Interestingly, almost all discussions about it are about the absent WMDs. That is strange, because even if Saddam had had some chemical weapons the invasion would have been a bad idea.

This strategy of keeping us busy with red herrings seems a standard neocon strategy.

We see it again with the discussion about the intervention in Libya. All the attention goes to the question whether some diplomat got enough protection. Doing that the attention is diverted away both from the chaos that Libya has descended in thanks to the US led intervention and the fact that the murdered ambassador Stevens very likely was organizing the transport of weapons to fuel the Syrian uprising. In that light Stevens himself seems responsible for the death of many Syrians.

Now we have the downing of a Russian Su24 by Turkey. Here our attention is diverted by the question whether the plane had crossed into Turkish territory. But the real discussion should be about the fact that - even if the plane had crossed into Turkish territory - this action would have been completely unacceptable. There are ways to deal with such incidents. And Turkey, that routinely violates the airspace of its neighbors (Greece, Iraq and Syria) knows that better than anyone else. Would anyone accept it if Russia shot down an American plane that had been in its airspace for 17 seconds?

Of course the Turkish claim that the SU24 was in its airspace is rather suspicious. They had camera crews ready, on the ground there were well equipped search teams looking for the pilots and they claimed that the downing had been approved by the Turkish prime minister. That all points to a well prepared action.

Don't expect the neocons to be fearful to lose the argument. These are red herrings. They deliberately take positions that are undefendable in order to detract the attention from the real issues. By having us discussing facts - on which we lack access - they prevent us from discussing policy and morals. Nobody asks who initiated the attack on Iraq and what his real reasons were. Many have advised Hillary to be open about her email account - assuming that the continuing scandal harms her. But in fact it serves her by making her adversaries boring naggers. And the discussion about whether the SU24 violated Turkish airspace deflects the attention from the questions of why the US supported Turkish aggression and whether it was involved in planning it.