Glenn Greenwald has a good post up about the propaganda of "The Khorasan Group" that's been going on in the beltway media to help convince America that we need to bomb the sh*t out of Syria. it's the same old song we've heard with different politicians in office.
This morning Andrea Mitchell did her bit to fan the flames of war after a report from Richard Engle near the Turkish border, by asking a Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman why we aren't just bombing the hell out of Syria everywhere.
Kirby: The immediacy of the threat and how it's being felt by local citizens right there absolutey and it also speaks to the brashness of this particular enemy ISIL, that they are willing to still continue to fight out there in the open like that.
Mitchell: But to Richard's question, why aren't we just bombing the hell out of them right there?
Kirby: Well we are hitting targets up in the north there..
Mitchell: We are not hitting people so much as we're hitting a tank here,,,we're hitting APC's, we're not hitting troops or forces..
Kirby: Well, it's a little bit of both Andrea,
"If we hit them they will go," seems to be the beltway mantra now. Andrea was upset that the fighting going on in Syria was being watched by civilians just like in the civil war and she wanted air strikes to kill people.
Digby writes about Obama's "Bad Dudes" doctrine:
Greenwald thinks the US has been flogging the "imminent" Khoresan threat in order to get people riled up to support this bombing campaign. But I think it may be a bit more complicated.
Setting aside the propaganda purpose, which I agree is a big part of this, resting this Syrian operation on that "imminent" legal doctrine is a bit precarious. This is a bombing campaign not an assassination. And it wouldn't have been a problem if the government hadn't spent weeks touting the fact that ISIS was so uniquely evil that it was even expelled from al Qaeda, (who were, by contrast, not such "bad dudes" after all.) If ISIS had still been painted as an offshoot of al Qaeda they could have just cited the 2001 AUMF and said they were chasing those familiar al-Qaeda bad dudes. And citing the Iraq war AUMF is also a stretch for bombing Syria. So, it seems logical that they might have wanted to gin up the threat of Khoresan --- which they clearly tie to al Qaeda --- as an alternative to cover their legal options.
This doesn't explain why they felt the need to call the threat "imminent" but the inconsistent statements among administration officials suggests that this was more a case of one hand not knowing what the other hand was justifying. The fog of quasi-war and all that ...
None of us can know what really went on and we probably won't know for some time until enough people write their memoirs and tell us. But we have been lied to so many times about this terrorist threat that we have a right --- a responsibility --- to look at these situations with skepticism and demand something more than a glib dismissal like this:
We can have this debate about whether it was valid to hit them or not, or whether it was too soon or too late…We hit them. And I don’t think we need to throw up a dossier here to prove that these are bad dudes.