Angry family members and villagers shout anti-American slogans as they carry the coffin of a victim of a U.S. military helicopter attack in an area of farms and brick factories about five miles inside the Syrian border, Oct. 27, 2008. (Photo/Hussein Malla)
On the Syrian response to the neothug massacre, AP writes:
Syria threatened Wednesday to cut off security cooperation along the Iraqi border if there are more American raids on Syrian territory, and the U.S. . . .
Earlier, the Syrian government demanded that Washington apologize for Sunday’s cross-border helicopter strike by American special forces that killed eight people. U.S. military officials said the raid killed a top al-Qaida in Iraq operative who was about to conduct an attack in Iraq. 
(Ah. Al-Qaida in Iraq. Brilliant and original.)
To a shrewd journalist (editor, ultimately), this is where the identity of the victims or the verity of the U.S. and Syrian claims are examined; perhaps the attack and the response are put into the context of U.S. and international norms (laws, conventions), or how serious an offense it was.
But this is AP.
The Syrian reply to the neocop-out arrives about 63½ paragraphs down; in the meantime, some run-o-the-mill editorializing against Syria:
Though Syria has long been viewed by the U.S. as a destabilizing country in the Middle East, attacks on its territory are rare and Damascus has been trying in recent months to change its image and end years of global seclusion.
No. Damascus has been trying to avoid victimhood, Baghdad-style. The only ones “seclu[ding]” them are the neocons, their UN veto, fellow UN and NATO mafiosi, and any UNSC member they can coerce.
Syria also has agreed to establish diplomatic ties with Lebanon - a country it used to dominate - for the first time in their history.
OK. And what country dominates Iraq and Afghanistan? Which one dominates Palestine? Whose U.S. “dollars” are looted to subsidize all three dominations?
CHIRP CHIRP… CHIRP
Now comes the Syrian rebuttal to the “al-Qaida in Iraq” claim (after another reading from the Gospel according to State, of course):
There has been no formal acknowledgment of the raid from the United States. But U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said the target was Badran Turki al-Mazidih, a top al-Qaida in Iraq figure who operated a network of smuggling fighters across the border. The Iraqi national also goes by the name Abu Ghadiyah.
Mekdad rejected the U.S. reports and insisted all those killed were Syrians.
“The allegation that this person was killed is a false claim. Therefore, a search for him by world intelligence agencies, including Syria’s, should continue,” he said.
The fact that the Syrians are visibly indignant (as they should be, and as the neothugs surely predicted) gives the vultures at MSM Inc. a great foreground to the customary Good U.S. Empire v. Evil Arabs backdrop:
With tensions between the U.S. and Syria on the rise, the U.S. Embassy advised Americans to avoid Thursday’s demonstrations and review their personal security. Past protests have occasionally turned violent.
In 1998, small groups trashed the U.S. ambassador’s residence and entered the American and British cultural centers in Damascus to protest U.S.-British airstrikes on Iraq. In 2006, thousands protesting newspaper caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad burned the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus.
It would have been nice if those Syrians murdered in the SOCOM-wannabe mission were ”advised” of the danger they were doomed to face.
It wasn’t Syria that apparently committed mass murder against innocent non-combatants; so why are only Syrian actions being put under the microscope? AP is simply inverting reality here.
Also sorely missing in all this “coverage” is a perspective relative to legal standards. (If Syria did the aggression against U.S. or Israeli targets, AP might have given a half-page worth of legal context to justify any reaction.) What if Syria wanted to sue the U.S. government or try Bush & Co. for aggression? How many countries would join them? Who would protest? Would AP trot out the legal points then?
Sure, long as they can be used to defend the empire.
International law, the UN, and other allegedly well-intentioned international entities are simply tools for states against peoples and other states. Individuals, villages, towns, states, and economies get demolished with every UN and NATO intervention. Since its inception — with the help of empire-apologizing corporate media — the UN has facilitated exactly what it was formed to prevent: aggressive war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and empire. Sure, the same international laws and agreements the neocons supposedly cite against their preferred enemies may be leveled against the neocons — one of these decades. But that is not likely before the empire falls under its own weight, and the empire is many decades too old — many enterprises too big — as it is.
Ideally, the neothug empire should be reined in on constitutional grounds.
The U.S. Constitution carries supreme authority over the actions of U.S. officials, and precedes any international agreement not in the spirit of the Constitution. When observed, it can not be used, as it currently is, to justify economy-crippling UN sanctions against defenseless people or states (Palestine, Iran, and the like). Foreign aid is unconstitutional; so are undeclared wars and preemptive wars, and cross-border merc raids into non-warring countries, ordered by who-knows-whom. According to the Constitution of the United States of America, the United States never should have joined the United Nations or NATO — global shakedown rackets, both. And the arbitrary “allocation” of taxpayer money for the nationalization of banking and financial institutions and other MIC racketeers? That’s unconstitutional too.
But you wouldn’t know any of this by watching “the most trusted name in news,” or by reading the “newspaper of record” or the “world’s largest and most trusted source of news and information.”
Imagine how ethical the U.S. government could eventually be if the largest and most influential news media diligently reported the actions of government on ethical grounds: the proper role of government, according to the most authoritative legal and moral standards. Imagine the natural breakup of the government-sanctioned monopolies in health care, medicine, education, home mortgages, and “defense.” No more MIC, no more empire, and true peace and prosperity.
It is possible with an informed public. What do ya say, MSM?
CHIRP CHIRP… CHIRP
(”We are not suicidal.”)
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 news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081029/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_syria_us. All blockquotes, ibidem.