Colombo Telegraph

Wag The Dog

By Mano Ratwatte

Mano Ratwatte

Every few Years, the US will find an oil Rich nation in the Middle-East to bomb and destabilize no matter what the reasons are(Iraq by Bush; Libya ruined by Obama). Media in the US will never talk about the suffering of innocent civilians in those invasions or destabilization efforts that are a direct result of those interventions. Instead, the heinous gas attack in Syria will cause the media to echo the words of the administration without asking the hard questions. Thus, it appears the new air strikes in Syria are another clear cut “WAG THE DOG” scenario; Trump crowed “mission accomplished” echoing the infamous words of George W Bush about the strikes.

Russians who along with Iran are helping Syria fight ISIS terrorism turned a blind eye-wink-wink about the strikes on April 13th, 2018; they were probably informed of the targets by US to avoid an escalation of the crisis into a bigger conflict; both sides have ground troops and Russia has significant military assets in Syria as well.

Bigger question is are these strikes a precursor to a much sought after war with Iran aided and abetted by other regional close allies of the USA. If there was real solid proof that Syria’s brutal dictator was behind the alleged gas attack why was it not presented to the UN Security Council? What was the haste? Is it illegal for a nation to attack a sovereign nation without sanction from the UNSC

In 1962, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy informed President John F. Kennedy that U.S. surveillance aircraft had discovered the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from American soil. It was the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. US produced facts, satellite imagery and other proof to the UN. US Secretary to the UN, Adlai Stevenson presented irrefutable proof of Russian weapons in Cuba and confronted the USSR; and notorious shoe thumping Nikita Khruschev blinked and withdrew the weapons to avoid a nuclear holocaust. US won that round.

In 2003 of course, the US produced false evidence to the UN via General Colin Powell to start that ill-fated adventure. “Mission Accomplished” that totally rendered the old checks-and-balances apart and the unintended consequence was making Shia Iran(90% Shia) the dominant strategic decision maker in the Shia majority Iraq (The Muslim population of Iraq is approximately 60%–65%Shi’a, 15%–20% Arab Sunni and 17%) Sunni Kurdish).

This time there was nothing in the way of evidence (real or fake) presented to the UN; nor was the issue debated rationally. Why was that? Why the eagerness to punish the bad boy Assad whose military really poses no threat to US, Israel nor Saudi Arabia? This was probably a way to send a message to Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah who also now have a strong presence in Syria helping the Shia minority government of Assad defeat ISIS terrorists.

What is the future in oil rich Middle-East when big powers get to test their weapons with impunity, so they can sell more to fearful oil rich potentates?

Donald Trump became the first US President to choose Saudi Arabia(KSA) as his first foreign destination upon taking office.  Immediate effect was the sale of nearly $US110 billion — that’s about $147 billion — worth of military equipment to  effective immediately.  The deal included tanks, combat ships and missile defence systems, as well as radar, communications and cybersecurity technology. The New York Times is also reporting that the deal includes the sale of precision-guided munitions, which the Obama administration had stopped because it was worried they would be used to bomb civilians in Yemen.  The United States is Saudi Arabia’s main military supplier and it has military stockpiles and bases there.

KSA is where the main Wahabi ideology that created ISIS and Al Qaeda types emanate.  Yet, recently Trump drooled about being able to sell billions of dollars of high dollar item weapons systems to them. He told the Crown Prince who visited USA with a high powered delegation, that he would love to sell more weapons to KSA. Arguably KSA’s main ideological enemy in Islam is Iran. Iran has shown a belligerent attitude towards KSA and Israel. Therefore, it benefits the US to sell weapons, and make massive profits.

Why has Trump,(and Obama before him as well) keep silent when Saudi Arabia (KSA) has been mentioned by humanitarian aid groups to be the main culprit behind the large number of civilian deaths? Will the US stop selling lethal weapons to Saudi Arabia? no. The proxy war between Iran and KSA there has been a horrific tragedy for ordinary Yemenis.

Yet most Americans just believe and accept whatever its media tells it to believe. Most of them have woeful knowledge of world geography or geo-political facts. The graphic sums up the way they look at other nations.

For instance, if today, the US media is to demonize Sri Lanka, and say Sri Lanka has chemical weapons and helps jihadi terrorists, automatically without even asking hard questions or pausing for a moment to check if this is factual, the vast majority will support bombing it because it will become a “bad guy”. This is the mentality because most of them cannot locate the contentious nations reported in the media on a map.

That is the sad reality despite America’s prowess and technologically superior non-pareil military might. It is very easy to tell the frightened people(ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks launched by Al Qaeda; 15 of those terrorists were Saudis and none were Iraqis, but 80% of the American public was made to believe Saddam and Iraq(eye-rack) was behind 9/11.

The call “we have enemies we need to strike because they are an imminent national security threat “ is an easy way to garner support for war; even if that so called enemy is armed only with obsolete weapons, which US can overwhelm in a blink of the eye ;like derelict Syrian weaponry that stands no chance.

Which is the next target for destabilization?  Trump will get much higher approval ratings and media will forget the controversial investigations and troubles. And people will say that criticizing the President of the USA is unpatriotic and un-American.

This attack smells and looks like a classic WAG THE DOG scenarios. It is imperative Sri Lanka leaders do their best to avoid falling into the “bad guys” category in the American lexicon. If it means giving bases to the US, then??? Leave it to the learned readers.

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