U.S. Bombing of Iraq and Syria: Another War Based on Lies!

by Larry Everest | October 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On September 23, the U.S. escalated its new war in the Middle East by bombing northern Syria for the first time.  This came after a new round of U.S. bombings and troop escalations in Iraq beginning in early August.

One of the main U.S. justifications for these bombing attacks was that a new terrorist group called Khorasan was “nearing the execution phase” of an attack and was a “direct and imminent threat to the United States, working with Yemeni bomb-makers to target U.S. aviation.”

It has now been documented that this whole story was a lie - fabricated by the Obama administration and then uncritically repeated by the U.S. media. 

In "The Khorasan Group: Anatomy of a Fake Terror Threat to Justify Bombing Syria" (The Intercept, Sept. 28),  Murtaza Hussain and Glenn Greenwald document how the U.S. government made up the name “Khorasan group” to describe some individuals in Syria, and then made up their supposed plot and “imminent threat.”  Then shortly before the attacks on Syria, they fed this “intelligence” to the media (first to the Associated Press on September 13) which widely and uncritically repeated the lie, whipping up fear and preparing public opinion for the bombing.

Then, right after the bombing, U.S. officials and other ruling class figures began explaining that “imminent” might mean six months from now and that perhaps the group was just thinking about attacking the U.S.  The media did not then call out the fact that they’d been lied to.  They went along with it and said the post-bombing double-talk was just adding “nuance” to the story!  But meanwhile the new escalation was under way and people in Syria were being murdered. 

What does this show?

1. The U.S. rulers routinely and repeatedly lie about their objectives.  George W. Bush and his team lied about Saddam Hussein of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  Now Obama and his team are lying about Khorasan and an “immediate threat” to the U.S. to justify expanding its war and bombing Syria. 

2. They lie because their interests and objectives are not the interests and objectives of the vast majority of humanity – they are the interests of the U.S. ruling class.

3. The U.S. media is not “objective,” and it’s not an independent “check” on the system.  It’s a key cog in the ruling structure of the capitalist-imperialist system.  One of its functions is creating public support for the system’s crimes, including by propagating bald-faced lies.  (It was recently revealed that some reporters at the L.A. Times had been checking their stories with the CIA before publishing them!)



Murtaza Hussain and Glenn Greenwald, "The Khorasan Group: Anatomy of a Fake Terror Threat to Justify Bombing Syria," The Intercept, Sept. 28

Interview with Murtaza Hussain: “How the U.S. Concocted a Terror Threat to Justify Syria Strikes, and the Corporate Media Went Along,” Democracy Now!, Sept. 29

Ken Silverstein, "The CIA’s Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories with Agency Before Publication," The Intercept, Sept. 4

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