Obama threatens to invade Syria

Johannes Stern

Israeli-US script: Divide Syria, divide the rest. (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya)

The cynicism with which Obama is seeking to justify the next US aggression in the Middle East is staggering.

Yesterday US and NATO officials discussed plans for a US military invasion of Syria to bring down Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, after US President Barack Obama announced that the US was contemplating a direct attack on Syria at a press conference Monday night.

A delegation led by Assistant Secretary for State for near East Affairs Beth Jones discussed US military plans with Turkey. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Defense Department and US intelligence officials met their Turkish counterparts “to share operational pictures, to talk about the effectiveness of what we’re doing now, and about what more we can do.”

Senior US officials said that contingency plans for US intervention in Syria include scenarios requiring tens of thousands of American troops.

UK media lines up behind campaign to extradite Assange and silence WikiLeaks

Julie Hyland

The British media has played a venal role throughout the ongoing efforts to witch-hunt and silence WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. But it has plumbed new depths following the decision by Ecuador to grant his request for political asylum.

The WikiLeaks founder sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 12, when it became apparent that UK authorities intended to extradite him to Sweden.

In his statement delivered from a window at the embassy on Sunday, Assange gave fresh evidence of Britain’s efforts to flout international law with its threat to derecognise the embassy and send police to arrest him. He described how he had heard police “storming” through internal fire escapes earlier in the week. He [also] denounced the incarceration and torture of alleged whistleblower, US Army private Bradley Manning, called for an end to the US-led persecution of WikiLeaks, the defence of free speech and resistance to state repression.

Like the British government, which has refused to comment on Assange’s statement, the media had nothing to say on the substance of his remarks. The well-paid hacks of Fleet Street are just as contemptuous towards democratic rights as their political masters. This applies with equal measure to those employed by newspapers that are overtly right-wing, such as the Daily Mail, or nominally liberal outlets like the Guardian.

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