BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
When he started singing "Shut the F**k Up" upon his return to The Daily Show on Tuesday night, with pictures of Donald Rumsfeld, L. Paul Bremer, and William Kristol prominently displayed in the background, it was clear that it didn't take long for Jon Stewart to be back in mid-season form. Stewart, who spent the summer in Jordan directing his first feature film called Rosewater, composed his "Shut the F**k Up" one-line song/chant (which he repeated several times) for a segment titled "Uncle Jonny Stew's Good Time Syria Jamboree."
"Shut the F**k Up" was surgically focused on the pack of neoconservatives -- former George W. Bush Administration officials and apologists -- that have managed to insert themselves into the debate over how to respond to the situation in Syria.
As Buzzfeed reported, "After running through the similarities between the arguments made to justify striking in Syria and Iraq, Stewart compared our foreign policy to seventh-grade bullying; then he eviscerated cable networks for having "The Idiot Parade" — Donald Rumsfeld, Bill Kristol, and L. Paul Bremer — discussing the conflict on TV."
Watching the likes of former Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld, Bremer, the director of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in post-invasion Iraq, Kristol, founder and editor of the The Weekly Standard and a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel -- men who have absolutely no credibility -- and others of the George W. Bush era commenting during this national debate on how to deal with Syria makes one remember the misinformation and disinformation that was handed out on a daily basis, and the blood of thousands of U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that was spilled over a massive lie.
On Wednesday evening CNN's Anderson Cooper gave Paul Wolfowitz, the former Deputy Secretary of Defense in the Bush Administration, an unfettered platform. The smug Wolfowitz basically settled on two talking points: more military muscle should be used when dealing with Syria; and, the Obama Administration has been woefully inadequate in its response to the Syrian civil war.
Asking for opinions from a group of what Stewart characterized as "idiots" known on cable TV as "experts," is tantamount to asking Michael "Heck of a job Brownie" Brown advice on hurricane preparation.
Seeing this gang of gasbags, liars and war criminals on television opine about possible military action in Syria serves only to further convince one that President Obama is on the wrong course.
In response to a Facebook friend's advocacy, albeit reluctantly, of striking Syria, I recently wrote:
Like many others, I too have been wrestling over whether to intervene in Syria, At this time, I believe that the potential consequences -- no real end plan, the potential for numerous civilian casualties, Assad still in power, greater distrust on the Arab street -- far outweighs whatever might be achieved. And, at this point, the Obama Administration has been very unclear about what actually might result from so-called surgical strikes. Mr. Kerry's [recent] remarks were all too reminiscent of Colin Powell's "we know for sure" remarks at the U.N. in 2003, when arguing that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction and that the invasion of Iraq was justifiable.
It goes without saying that we all should be revolted by the use of chemical weapons by any government or insurgency, and by the resultant horrific number of casualties. However, before we get overly self-righteous, we should remember that Saddam Hussein's government used chemical weapons on the Iranians with the tacit support of the U.S.
I would counsel being very careful about what you ask for as the consequences may be far more unsettling than the government might be prepared for or even be willing to acknowledge.
Referring to the horde of neocons now polluting the debate over Syria, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow pointed out on her program Wednesday evening that although she was "heartened" by the public debate, "The Bush White House made a case for war that was not true... they lied our country into war," she said.
Maddow added: "If you're an architect or a conspirator or one of the primary actors in the Iraq War – in arguably the grandest and most craven foreign policy disaster in American history, your opinion is no longer required on matters of war and peace. Please enjoy painting portraits of dogs or something. Painting portraits of yourself in the bathroom, trying to get clean. Please enjoy the loving comfort of your family and loved ones, and your god. But we as a country never ever need to hear from you about war, ever again. You can go now."
(Photo: Iraqi state television)