Nicholas Kristof: War Crimes Enabler

We all saw the little Syrian boy in besieged Aleppo, wiping blood from his forehead, covered in dust and clearly in shock. How could we help it? Practically every newspaper in the country printed his photo, along with a caption blaming the Syrian military and/or the Russians for his plight. The video is all over the Internet. By the way, little Omran Dagnish is still alive, and is fine physically. But there’s another little boy, a prepubescent child, who hasn’t been dignified with a name, who is also a victim of this war – and he’s dead, beheaded by US-backed Islamist rebels of the "al-Zenki" movement. And the rebels didn’t try to hide this atrocity: they filmed it and put it on the Internet.

These are the people who are defending Aleppo, the rebels we are being told are fighting for "freedom" against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and those dastardly Russians.

The video of Omran went "viral," while the video of the nameless beheaded boy didn’t. Why is that?

The US media isn’t very interested in publicizing the latter atrocity – because in the information war to provoke US intervention in Syria on behalf of head-chopping Islamists, some children are more equal than others.

And make no mistake: the propaganda campaign is now in full swing, being pushed by the same media outlets openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton – who is on record as calling for funding of Islamist groups in Syria and overthrowing Assad. If she is elected, we’re very likely to see a full-scale US intervention, with US forces openly and aggressively confronting not only Syrian government forces but also facing off with the Russians.

The New York Times, which makes no bones about its political sympathies in this presidential contest, has unleashed well-known "humanitarian" Nicholas Kristof in the effort to gin up sympathy for the "moderate" rebels and force Washington’s hand. He babbles on about the death of his dog and the sympathy he received when he wrote about it, and then writes: "If only, I thought, we valued kids in Aleppo as much as we did our terriers!"

Not that he’s trying to manipulate us or anything.

"For five years the world has been largely paralyzed as President Bashar al-Assad has massacred his people, nurturing in turn the rise of ISIS and what the U.S. government calls genocide by ISIS. That’s why I argued in my column a week ago that President Obama’s passivity on Syria was his worst mistake, a shadow over his legacy."

More than half of those killed in the Syrian civil war were massacred by the rebel forces, none of whose depredations are so much as mentioned by Kristof. And who, exactly, is "nurturing" ISIS – isn’t it the Saudi, Qatari, Kuwaiti, and other pro-head- chopper Muslim states in the Gulf? In the Kristofian lexicon, you’re "nurturing" ISIS if you fight them and prevent them from taking over your country. As for President Obama’s alleged "passivity," if only it were so! Under his regime, US taxpayer dollars financed and "nurtured" Islamist rebels who valorize Osama bin Laden and want to turn Syria into an Islamist theocracy. Kristof’s complaint is that he didn’t send them enough money, guns, and sharper knives to chop off the heads of yet more nameless boys.

Yes, this is "humanitarianism," Kristof-style.

While the political class demands that Obama "do something," ordinary Americans oppose yet another Middle East war. They showed that the last time the Washington-New York know-it-alls ginned up a wave of war hysteria over the alleged "poison gas" episode, in which Assad’s forces supposedly crossed the "red line" and used gas on "their own people." Except, as Seymour Hersh showed, they did no such thing: indeed, it was the rebels who used and are no doubt still using poison gas. In any case, when Obama announced we were going to intervene, the congressional phone lines lit up as tens of thousands called in to register their protest. One by one members of Congress previously committed to war or on the fence backed down – as did the President.

But the War Party doesn’t take "no" for an answer. No sirree, when the warlords of Washington deem it their "duty" to "liberate" some unfortunate country, they’ll not be denied by those peasants in flyover country. Kristof addresses these impudent peons in his column, one of whom had the temerity to suggest that "There is nothing in our constitution that says we are to be the savior of the world from all the crazies out there." Kristof’s answer is more manipulative rhetoric with no basis in reality:

"I agree that we can’t solve all the world’s problems, but it doesn’t follow that we shouldn’t try to solve any. Would it have been wrong during the Holocaust to try to bomb the gas chambers at Auschwitz? Was President Bill Clinton wrong to intervene in Kosovo to avert potential genocide there? For that matter, was President Obama wrong two years ago when he ordered airstrikes near Mount Sinjar on the Iraq-Syria border, apparently averting genocidal massacres of Yazidi there?"

Let’s take these "arguments" one by one:

1) Auschwitz – Is Kristof really saying that Assad is Hitler? If so, he has broken Godwin’s Law, and has therefore automatically lost the argument. What’s going on in Syria is in no way, shape, or form equivalent to what occurred at Auschwitz, as Kristof knows full well.

2) Kosovo — Yes, President Bill Clinton was wrong to intervene in Kosovo: by doing so he created a gangster state that is today the heroin capital of Europe and whose "President" has been credibly charged with trafficking in human organs. The remnants of Kosovo’s besieged Serbian population live in terror, and the country is rife with a virulent ultra-nationalist movement that threatens its neighbors and the peace of Europe.

3) Yazidis — The idea that the Yazidis were under the threat of "genocide" is comparable to the entirely imaginary "genocide" that was supposedly averted by US intervention in Libya – and both have resulted in making the situation worse. In fact, as I pointed out at the time, when US troops arrived on the scene of the supposed "genocide" that was occurring on Mount Sinjar, they were met with cries of "We want to stay!":

"Several thousand Yazidis remain on the mountain, a senior United States official said, but not the tens of thousands who originally were believed to be there. Some of the people who remain on Mount Sinjar indicated to American forces that they considered the mountain to be a place of refuge and a home, and did not want to leave, a second United States official said.”

Some "genocide"!

This is the Kristof Method: refer to past hoaxes in order to validate the latest hoax. The big problem for him and his comrades in the Weepy Liberals for Perpetual War camp is that, these days, we can fact-check your ass.

Syria was never a Jeffersonian republic where peace and prosperity reigned: it’s in a rough neighborhood. Yet it wasn’t until the Saudis and the rest of the Islamist states in the region began funding and arming Salafist and al Qaeda-like insurgents – and the US joined in with aid to head-chopping "moderates" – that the country exploded and sent out swarms of refugees who are now flooding Europe. Our Israeli allies have openly said they prefer the Islamists to Assad and his Iranian allies: they’ve been plotting and scheming to overthrow the Syrian Ba’athist regime for many years. And now the hypocritical "liberals" of Kristof’s ilk have taken up the interventionist war cry –in the name of "the children," no less!

As our "moderate" Islamists on the CIA payroll behead children, crucify Christians, and turn Syria into a killing field, "liberals" of the Kristofian persuasion, who preen in print over their own alleged moral superiority, are just as responsible as the Islamists who beheaded that child and held up his severed skull in triumph. In short: for all his self-righteous moral posturing, Kristof is an enabler of war crimes.

We have intervened quite enough in Syria, thank you. It’s time to defund those head-chopping Islamists, restore diplomatic relations with Assad’s government, and work with the Russians to drive out the Islamists and keep them out.

That’s the only path to peace in Syria.

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An Important Note: The "mainstream" media isn’t reporting the truth about what’s happening in Syria for a very good reason: they support the "moderate" Islamists who want to topple the Assad government. It’s that simple. Just as the Syrian government forces and the Russians are about to free Aleppo from the head-choppers’ grip, the Kirstof Brigade comes out for US intervention to stop the "genocide." And that’s just a coincidence, I’m sure.

There is no "good" side in Syria, and the US should simply stay out of it. That’s the common sense stance shared by most Americans – but not by our war-happy political class. They and their allies in the media will do anything to drag us into that bloody conflict – including "managing" the news so that one side comes out looking like the "good guys."

We here at Antiwar.com aren’t buying into that narrative. If you want the undiluted facts, this is the place to come to. But we can’t continue without your support – your financial support. The War Party has unlimited funding – they have the corporate media working on their behalf. We just have … you. We need your tax-deductible donation to push back against the "mainstream" media narrative and bring the truth to the American people. Please make your contribution today.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.

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Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].