Syria, Russell Brand, and Miley Cyrus: Strange daze indeed

Damascus by night, via Wikimedia under Creative Commons

Damascus by night, via Wikimedia under Creative Commons

Is it just me, or have we been here before? Say, back in 2003, during the buildup to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq? And is something amiss when one of the most reliable voices of reason amid the current World War III scenario is Russell Brand? Or when a (possibly former) entertainment icon for early adolescent girls steals the show by doing a faux softcore stage performance on cable television?

After a week-long mounting media storm here in America, and also in Britain, and also in many other countries, here’s what we’re now faced with:

From CNN this morning:

The United States has concluded Syria carried out chemical weapons attacks against its people, President Barack Obama said Wednesday, a claim that comes amid a looming diplomatic showdown over whether to strike against Bashar al-Assad’s military.

From Reuters yesterday:

President Barack Obama vowed on Wednesday that the Syrian government would face “international consequences” for last week’s deadly chemical attack, but made clear any military response would be limited to avoid dragging the United States into another war in the Middle East.

From The Washington Post this morning:

As the United States and its allies weigh limited military strikes against Syria, their lawyers have been exploring a range of legal frameworks for any operation, including propositions that members of the international community have the right to use force to protect civilians or to deter a rogue nation from using chemical weapons.

However, the Post also reports that

the Obama administration’s efforts to build a legal case are encountering skepticism from U.N. officials and other experts, including former Republican and Democratic State Department lawyers, who argue that the use of force against the Syrian regime, absent a U.N. Security Council resolution, would be illegal.

On the other hand, the Associated Press (via Yahoo! News) reports that

Britain’s leaders said Thursday it would be legal under humanitarian doctrine to launch a military strike against Syria even without authorization from the United Nations Security Council.

Meanwhile, Reuters (via Yahoo! News Canada) reports that

Russia is sending two warships to the east Mediterranean, Interfax news agency said on Thursday, but Moscow denied this meant it was beefing up its naval force there as Western powers prepare for military action against Syria.

And of course the Syrian government itself has weighed in, as reported this morning by the Toronto Star:

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Thursday that his country “will defend itself against any aggression,” signalling defiance to mounting Western warnings of a possible punitive strike over a suspected poison gas attack blamed on his regime.

Furthermore, and in case all of the above isn’t already ominous enough, Syria’s foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, has amplified the government’s vow to defend itself with some darkly suggestive rhetoric, according to The Telegraph:

Syria would demonstrate military capabilities that would “surprise” the world, added the minister, and any US-led campaign would make no difference to the regime’s determination. “We have the means to defend ourselves and we will surprise everyone,” said Mr Muallem. “We will defend ourselves using all means available. I don’t want to say more than that.”

And in case anybody wonders about the position or intentions of Russia, mentioned above, The Telegraph helpfully clarifies:

Russia, meanwhile, accused the West of behaving like a “monkey with a grenade” as the Kremlin began evacuating its citizens from Syria.

Again, I ask: haven’t we been here before?

One person who think so is Russell Brand (!), who further cements his status as Somebody Worth Listening To in this brief clip from British television, recorded last month, as he recalls the debacle of the non-existent WMDs in Iraq and says this has left him unable to believe government propaganda when it comes to things like, say, attacking Syria:



If you, like me, live in America, and if you find all of this as troubling as I do, then don’t forget that you can easily distract, comfort, and numb yourself by paying attention to any number of other things. Such as — to name one decidedly non-random example — the sad spectacle of Miley Cyrus. In “How America Reacted: Miley Cyrus vs. Syria,” investigative journalist Ben Swann observes,

The world is now positioning itself for what could possibly be the beginning of the next world war. France, Great Britain and the USA are now aligning against China, Syria, Russia and Iran.

And yet when Mr. Swann used Google Trends to analyze the respective popularity of the Miley Cyrus “story” vs. the Syria story, he found that Internet searches for Ms. Cyrus in the wake of her universally degrading “performance” at the VMA Awards went explosively higher and searches for Syria actually went down right as this new WWIII scenario was beginning to unfold.

We’re living in strange days, people.

About Matt Cardin


Posted on August 29, 2013, in Government & Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. … Iraq 2003 becomes Syria 2013
    Same scam, same goals, same network of genetic liars.

  2. Canadian Prime Minister’s words today,

    Harper admitted that lack of international action in light of the apparent use of chemical weapons would set an “extremely dangerous precedent,” but added his government has been reluctant to the idea of a western strike.
    “Our government has been a very reluctant convert to the idea that there needs to be some western military action regarding the Syrian situation,” he told reporters at an event in Toronto on Thursday.
    “At the present time the government of Canada has no plans, we have no plans of our own to have a Canadian military mission.”
    Harper said the conflict in Syria is “overwhelmingly sectarian in nature” and doesn’t appear to have any “ideal or obvious outcomes” for a solution at present.
    He added, however, that Canada stood behind other western powers weighing the possibility of a mission involving Syria.
    “We do support our allies who are contemplating forceful action to deal with this.”

  3. I commented on Stephen Harper’s facebook.. not something that I normally do.. but this is one of the few times Harper has actually said something that I agree with.. I said that chemical and biological weapons have been used since medieval times and that there was no justification to be using carpet bombing that drops unexploded parts which turn into mines that harm civilians, predominantly kids, how is that not a weapon of mass destruction? yet the U.S. uses those all the time. a chemical weapon should not be in nearly the same class as biological or nuclear weapons

  4. Chemical weapons. Really who cares. That doesn’t mean we should be throwing ourselves into a war with no clear winner as sectarian as Syria’s. It’s not an excuse to get involved.

  5. I meant cluster bombs. I’m going to go correct myself lol. Cluster bombs. Those are depraved .

  6. During the 1999 NATO war against Yugoslavia U.S. and Britain dropped 1,400 cluster bombs in Kosovo. Within the first year after the end of the war more than 100 civilians died from unexploded British and American bombs. Unexploded cluster bomblets caused more civilian deaths than landmines.

    ^ an example

    Taking effect on August 1, 2010, the “Convention on Cluster Munitions”[81] bans the stockpiling, use and transfer of virtually all existing cluster bombs and provides for the clearing up of unexploded munitions. It had been signed by 108 countries, of which 38 had ratified it by the affected date, but many of the world’s major military powers including the United States, Russia and China are not signatories to the treaty

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