White House spokesperson Jay Carney just claimed that “the whole world knows” that Syrian President Assad used chemical weapons. The following analysts have been scrutinizing such U.S. government claims:
MAX BLUMENTHAL, maxjblumenthal at gmail.com, @MaxBlumenthal
Currently in Jordan, including in Syrian refuge camps, Blumenthal recently wrote the piece “Shady PR operatives, pro-Israel ties, anti-Castro money: Inside the Syrian opposition’s D.C. spin machine.”
EMILY DISCHE-BECKER, emilydische at gmail.com, @edbbeirut
Dische-Becker is a Beirut-based freelance writer and editor who has worked for Harper’s Magazine, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, and Al-Akhbar English among other publications. She said today: “The heavyweights leading the push for military action in Syria appear to be looking only for information that supports their adventure. This pursuit often leads them to obscure sources of information: informal lobbyists. Last week we caught a glimpse of one: an analyst from the Institute for the Study of War called Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy whose insights both McCain and Kerry cited extensively to the Senate and House.
“What both Johns failed to mention: O’Bagy is also the political adviser for the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a group lobbying to increase U.S. intervention in Syria which arranged McCain’s visit to northern Syria in May 2013. O’Bagy even accompanied McCain on that trip.”
Dische-Becker just scrutinized many of O’Bagy’s claims in a piece for the new website Exit Left: “Motives behind the chemical strikes: the theory of a rebel advance.”
Dische-Becker also argues that the real issue in Syria is not one of secular vs. religious, but is much more about sectarianism.
MUSA AL-GHARBI, musaalgharbi at gmail.com, @Musa_alGharbi
Gharbi is a research fellow with the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts based at the University of Arizona. He just wrote the piece “‘Flooding the Zone’ with Bullshit on Syria.”
He also notes that while many are using humanitarian rhetoric to sell the public on the Syrian war, the New York Times recently reported that key U.S. government ally Israel has “increasingly argued that the best outcome for Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-old civil war, at least for the moment, is no outcome. … the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by” either side in the Syria civil war from the Israeli establishment’s point of view.