Obama Will Launch a Huge Propaganda Blitz – and May Attack Syria Even If He Loses the Vote in Congress

Barack Obama meets Combatant Commanders in the Cabinet RoomGrassroots pressure has forced President Obama to seek approval from Congress for an attack on Syria. But Obama is hell-bent on ordering a missile assault on that country, and he has two very important aces in the hole.

The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a wide range of U.S. media. And as a fallback, the president is reserving the option of attacking Syria no matter what Congress does.

Until Obama’s surprise announcement Saturday that he will formally ask Congress for authorization of military action against Syria, the impassioned pitches from top U.S. officials in late August seemed to be closing arguments before cruise missiles would hit Syrian targets. But the pre-bombing hyper spin has just gotten started.

The official appeals for making war on yet another country will be ferocious. Virtually all the stops will be pulled out; all kinds of media will be targeted; every kind of convoluted argument will be employed.

Hell hath no fury like war-makers scorned. Simmering rage will be palpable from political elites who do not want to see Congress set an unprecedented precedent: thwarting the will of a president who wants Pentagon firepower unleashed on another country.

President Obama and top Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will twist every arm they can to get a “yes” vote for attacking Syria. Meanwhile, most mainline media pundits, numbingly addicted to war, will often chastise and denigrate foes of authorization.

But we have a real chance to prevent a U.S. attack. One cogent argument after another, from intelligence veterans and policy analysts and weapons experts, has debunked the messaging for war on Syria. And some members of Congress — not nearly enough, but some — have begun to speak up with cogent opposition.

One of NPR’s inside-the-box hosts of “All Things Considered” on August 30 asked Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) about the Obama administration’s claim that missile strikes on Syria would be “a limited action” and not “war.” Congresswoman Lofgren replied: “I think that anyone who argues that shooting missiles and dropping bombs on another country is not an act of war has got some further education warranted. If somebody shot cruise missiles at Washington for only one day, we would still consider it an act of war, wouldn’t we?”

Not many members of Congress have Lofgren’s clarity, and many of their votes on authorization are up for grabs. Each of us can help affect the outcome by demanding that our senators and representative oppose the war resolution. We should make our voices heard in all sorts of public venues.

The president’s move for a congressional vote should cause a major escalation of anti-war activism. A straw in the wind: during just a few hours after Obama’s announcement on Saturday afternoon, nearly 10,000 people took the initiative viaRootsAction.org to email members of Congress with a “No Attack on Syria” message.

National opinion polling and momentum inside Congress indicate that we can defeat Obama’s war resolution. It’ll be a tremendous fight, but we can prevail.

But even if Obama loses the vote in Congress, there’s a very real danger that he will proceed with ordering an attack on Syria.

Burying the lead almost a dozen paragraphs into a September 1 news story, the New York Times mentioned in passing: “White House officials indicated that Mr. Obama might still authorize force even if Congress rejected it.”

A careful reading of Obama’s Rose Garden announcement on Saturday verifies that he never quite said he will abide by the decision of Congress if it refuses to approve an attack on Syria. Instead, the president filled his statement with hedging phrases, detouring around any such commitment with words like these:

*  “I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. … And I’m prepared to give that order. But … I’m also mindful that I’m the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.”

*  “I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”

*  “Over the last several days, we’ve heard from members of Congress who want their voices to be heard. I absolutely agree. So this morning, I spoke with all four congressional leaders, and they’ve agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as soon as Congress comes back into session.” 

*  “And all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote.” 

*  “I’m ready to act in the face of this outrage. Today I’m asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation.”

At the grassroots, people across the United States will be working very hard to prevent congressional approval of an attack on Syria. That activism is imperative. But we should also understand that Obama has not committed himself to abide by the decision that Congress makes.


Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information on the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org.


Norman Solomon

Co-Founder at RootsAction
Norman Solomon is the author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of RootsAction.org.

13 Comments on "Obama Will Launch a Huge Propaganda Blitz – and May Attack Syria Even If He Loses the Vote in Congress"

  1. bsackamano | Sep 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm |

    America, never meant to be a mob rule democracy, always was intended to be a Republic in which the Bill Of Rights and the Constitution restrained mob rule by guaranteeing the LIMITS of the politicians, judges and executives economic greed and lust for power. This ended with the 13,14 and 15th amendments to the Constitution, AKA Southern “reconstruction”, the establishment of foreign international bankers rule with the “Federal” (PRIVATE ROTHSCHILD) Reserve and the establishment of the CFR/Intelligence community ruling elites. America, the Empire, is being lead to the chopping block which will be WW3 and the final enthroned Zionists and their Masonic/Jesuit(Pope) lackeys as masters of the remaining world population. Since 1815 the Rothschilds and associates have run the world.

    • your first sentence is what im commenting on, and the prez is even wrong about that, im almost 100% sure that Holland is the oldest constitutional republic, going back to the 1500’s. and yes, absolutely, we are a constitutional republic that uses a democratic process to elect leaders, that is the only form of democracy in the U.S.

      • bsackamano | Sep 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm |

        Nope, please do some research rather than swallow the koolaid you have been fed since a child.

        • marshall | Sep 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm |

          ummmmmmmm….I agreed with you. Anyway, thanks for the reply, made me laugh.

    • Arnie Stimpleton | Sep 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm |

      It once was a constitutional republic and has evolved into a democratic republic. 17th amendment, 1913.

  2. hear hear!

  3. BuzzCoastin | Sep 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm |

    > Obama Will Launch a Huge Propaganda Blitz

    Obama is a huge propaganda blitz
    a Black Prez of the most racist kuntery in the whirled
    a Nobel Peace Prize killer
    the perfect Manchurian Candidate owned by the Bushies

    • > Obama is a huge propaganda blitz

      Best description of what Obama really is that I’ve heard.

    • Exactly. He was a stroke of evil genius. With him, the bastards (ruling class) were essentially able to get most blacks and most “liberals” (grrrrr) to shut the fuck up and love big brother.
      I agree, he was and is quite the propaganda coup. Fuck him and the Empire.

      • BuzzCoastin | Sep 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm |

        the other night I was at a party in Hawaii
        most of the people were under 40
        we were discussing Obummer
        and not one saw through the hype
        and one was seriously offended
        by the use of the N word concerning Obummer

        but if you’ve ever seen Blazing Saddles
        you know how the psyop goes
        that scene where the Black sheriff (Black Bart)
        rides into a lily white town says it all

        [the Johnsons load their guns and point them at Bart. Bart then points his own pistol at his head]

        Bart: [low voice] Hold it! Next man makes a move, the nigger gets it!

        Olson Johnson: Hold it, men. He’s not bluffing.

        Dr. Sam Johnson: Listen to him, men. He’s just crazy enough to do it!

        Bart: [low voice] Drop it! Or I swear I’ll blow this nigger’s head all over this town!

  4. Haystack | Sep 3, 2013 at 5:16 am |

    Here’s a thought: People have been focusing on geopolitical objectives (e.g. oil) as ulterior motives for attacking Syria, but what about the showdown over raising the debt ceiling, which has an Oct 1 deadline?

    Certain republicans in Congress want to issue ridiculous demands–like the repeal of Obamacare–before they’ll vote to fund the government going forward. However, a protracted international crisis would serve to take the spotlight off their histrionics. Moreover, it might not go over well to shutdown the government at the same time as we’re engaging in a new military venture.

    Keeping the focus on Syria through September might be a (jaded) way of sidestepping a political showdown at home.

  5. melvin lafleur | Sep 4, 2013 at 12:36 am |

    the real enemy is congress and the president has got them where he wants them.

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