01 August, 2021

Barack Room Ballads

A few punters cry war, but the lines are blurred on this one

Barack Room Ballads

In 2003, the United States marched into battle with Iraq to the beat of war drums in the media, where some journalists willingly trotted out as fact erroneous claims from the George W. Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

Fast forward to 2013, and some of those drumbeaters are at it again.

William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, wants US President Barack Obama to take military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the suspicion the regime used chemical weapons in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21. British weekly The Economist features Assad on its most recent cover with this advice for Obama: “Hit him hard”. The president himself favours punitive military action against Assad, whom his administration holds responsible for the chemical attack. But the evidence is not, to borrow a basketball term, a slam dunk. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said that UN inspectors who visited the site of the chemical weapons attack would not be able...

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