Obama Will Launch a Huge Propaganda Blitz – and May Attack Syria Even If He Loses the Vote in Congress

Norman Solomon, September 01, 2013

Grassroots pressure has forced President Obama to seek approval from Congress for an attack on Syria. But Obama is hell-bent on ordering a missile assault on that country, and he has two very important aces in the hole.

The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a wide range of U.S. media. And as a fallback, the president is reserving the option of attacking Syria no matter what Congress does.

Until Obama’s surprise announcement Saturday that he will formally ask Congress for authorization of military action against Syria, the impassioned pitches from top U.S. officials in late August seemed to be closing arguments before cruise missiles would hit Syrian targets. But the pre-bombing hyper spin has just gotten started.

The official appeals for making war on yet another country will be ferocious. Virtually all the stops will be pulled out; all kinds of media will be targeted; every kind of convoluted argument will be employed.

Hell hath no fury like war-makers scorned. Simmering rage will be palpable from political elites who do not want to see Congress set an unprecedented precedent: thwarting the will of a president who wants Pentagon firepower unleashed on another country.

President Obama and top Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will twist every arm they can to get a "yes" vote for attacking Syria. Meanwhile, most mainline media pundits, numbingly addicted to war, will often chastise and denigrate foes of authorization.

But we have a real chance to prevent a U.S. attack. One cogent argument after another, from intelligence veterans and policy analysts and weapons experts, has debunked the messaging for war on Syria. And some members of Congress – not nearly enough, but some – have begun to speak up with cogent opposition.

One of NPR’s inside-the-box hosts of "All Things Considered" on August 30 asked Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) about the Obama administration’s claim that missile strikes on Syria would be "a limited action" and not "war." Congresswoman Lofgren replied: "I think that anyone who argues that shooting missiles and dropping bombs on another country is not an act of war has got some further education warranted. If somebody shot cruise missiles at Washington for only one day, we would still consider it an act of war, wouldn’t we?"

Not many members of Congress have Lofgren’s clarity, and many of their votes on authorization are up for grabs. Each of us can help affect the outcome by demanding that our senators and representative oppose the war resolution. We should make our voices heard in all sorts of public venues.

The president’s move for a congressional vote should cause a major escalation of anti-war activism. A straw in the wind: during just a few hours after Obama’s announcement on Saturday afternoon, nearly 10,000 people took the initiative via RootsAction.org to email members of Congress with a "No Attack on Syria" message.

National opinion polling and momentum inside Congress indicate that we can defeat Obama’s war resolution. It’ll be a tremendous fight, but we can prevail.

But even if Obama loses the vote in Congress, there’s a very real danger that he will proceed with ordering an attack on Syria.

Burying the lead almost a dozen paragraphs into a September 1 news story, the New York Times mentioned in passing: "White House officials indicated that Mr. Obama might still authorize force even if Congress rejected it."

A careful reading of Obama’s Rose Garden announcement on Saturday verifies that he never quite said he will abide by the decision of Congress if it refuses to approve an attack on Syria. Instead, the president filled his statement with hedging phrases, detouring around any such commitment with words like these:

  • "I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. … And I’m prepared to give that order. But … I’m also mindful that I’m the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy."
  • "I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress."
  • "Over the last several days, we’ve heard from members of Congress who want their voices to be heard. I absolutely agree. So this morning, I spoke with all four congressional leaders, and they’ve agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as soon as Congress comes back into session."
  • "And all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote."
  • "I’m ready to act in the face of this outrage. Today I’m asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation."

At the grassroots, people across the United States will be working very hard to prevent congressional approval of an attack on Syria. That activism is imperative. But we should also understand that Obama has not committed himself to abide by the decision that Congress makes.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books includeWar Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. Information on the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org.




17 Responses to “Obama Will Launch a Huge Propaganda Blitz – and May Attack Syria Even If He Loses the Vote in Congress”

  1. [...] Print This | Share This | Send a letter to the editor | Letters | Antiwar Forum [...]

  2. ohousands of Syrians will be murdered to satisfy Obama's ego.

  3. Israel is massing troops on the Lebanese border. If (when) the US attacks Syria, Israel will attack Lebanon to trigger a response. The US will then be sucked into attacking Lebanon as well. Then Israel will attack Iran hoping to prompt a response that suckers the US into attacking Iran. So begins World War III.

  4. Perhaps, against all odds, Congress will vote against their puppeteers and for the people, as did Britain's Parliament.

    But realistically, what is the near certain outcome of a Congressional vote in the US?

    If asked, Congress will likely support all and any attacks on Syria (just as they have been supporting the (im)plausibly deniable "covert" attacks on Syria.
    They will do it backed by the MSM, with official news sources, and "analysts" from select “think tanks“.
    They will do it by authorizing the president to use force "against threats", thus keeping the ball in the executive court.
    They will do it just as they have supported all recent military actions and martial laws.
    They will do it to please their militarist sponsors and those who profit from militarism.
    They will do it with the flimsy excuse that the "US" must not lose face.
    They will do it with a claim that by murdering from afar, no US personnel will be harmed.
    They will do it downplaying any danger of escalation and ignoring any possibility that Syria or its allies might down a plane, or sink a ship, or attack Israel and involve Iran, the wider Mideast and beyond, or that some similar incident may be done as a false flag by Syria's enemies.
    They will do it with the lie that "punishment" will prevent future massacres, though instead it will insure motive for new false flag massacres, and add feigned credibility to evermore commitment for meting out future (un)limited "punishments". 

    If there is to be punishment for crimes of war and the corruption war entails,
    it needs to begin here,
    and Congress must start by voting against what they have in past always voted for.

  5. Again I have to point out that we've clearly been making war on Syria for some time by any reasonable standard, and that in this case, as is the case with Libya, Obama has already done more than enough to be impeached.

  6. I hope this war is being stalled for a reason that will stick (they got chastised over the UK defeat and knowing they'd likely go it entirely alone, they got scared of a war with Russia, the military and intelligence signaled that they would oppose this war, the knew they wouldn't even be able to fake their false flag adequately – something like that).

    But if they still want war, of course they'll be massive propaganda and not just on the MSM you might already be plenty skeptical of. Propaganda will also infiltrate social media and discussion boards. Obviously not everyone who thinks we should go to war is a sockpuppet, some are sincere in that belief and many are just confused by MSM propaganda itself, but they'll definitely make use of sockpuppets. So if you ever think you're arguing with someone who isn't even addressing your arguments – maybe they are a sockpuppet.

  7. [...] Obama Will Launch a Huge Propaganda Blitz – and May Attack Syria Even If He Loses the Vote in Cong… [...]

  8. Norman Solomon and his buddies in "P"DA ("Progressive" Democrats of America) championed Obama twice for pres. They did not so much as try to field a candidate against him in either primary.
    Obama was THE candidate of the progressives times two.
    Is Solomon now trying to preserve his cred?
    Is he trying to expand his mailing list to help future candidates of "P"DA – with due regard for the technicalities of the the 501c3 reg., aka govt. bribery.

  9. More People "over there" will die, and Oslammer will roll around on the floor having a Bushgasm.

  10. Obama clearly does not revere life.

  11. The president and his secretary maybe are not lying this time . when they say Syrians have used chemical weapons . I believe this is a fact and I believe its true . But do we know which Syrians used chemical weapons ? The president did not say . Last week was a very confusing week for me .First Israel was going to attack the rebels becuase they don't want chemica weapons to fall into the hands of their enemies , next the United States was going to attack Assad becuase he should be controling his people and finally Russia was going to attack Saudi Arabia becuase they believe the Saudis supplied the Sarin gas . I think Obama made a very wise decision by delaying his strike on Syria .I just hope Israel and Russia

  12. Again I have to point out that we've clearly been making war on Syria for some time by any reasonable standard, and that in this case, as is the case with Libya, Obama has already done more than enough to be impeached.

  13. [...] Street style effort to avoid another dangerous and avoidable involvement? Norman Solomon writing in antiwar.com warns. “The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a [...]

  14. There will probably be bombing on Syria to satisfy the Cabal, the New World Corporate Rule(NWO), however there will be no impeaching obama now or anytime during his administration. Why? For the same reasons Clinton, Bush Jr, were never impeached, the American political regime will not be subject to losing face and ground with there political agenda. In political arenas they are very careful what they say about each other, because no one knows who will be in charge next. What a system, What say you Serf's!!!!!

  15. [...] Street style effort to avoid another dangerous and avoidable involvement? Norman Solomon writing in antiwar.com warns. “The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a [...]

  16. [...] On the other hand, the Administration has been telegraphing they’ll attack Syria with or without Congressional approval. [...]

  17. [...] Street style effort to avoid another dangerous and avoidable involvement? Norman Solomon writing in antiwar.com warns. “The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a [...]