President Donald Trump and the Pentagon once again launched strikes against Syria to send a “message” to President Bashar al-Assad after an alleged chemical attack. This is all the Trump administration planned, and a review of media coverage of the strikes reveals a press hungry for more war.
In this week’s episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola address the madness around Syria and this latest round of military strikes.
“What I’ve learned is our news media loves war more than they hate Donald Trump,” Khalek said. “Most of their coverage is anti-Trump, but as soon it comes to Syria, Trump has to go to war in Syria and maybe go to war in Russia. In fact, if he wants to prove to us he is not a tool of the Kremlin, then he has to go to war in Syria.”
On the insanity, she further comments on the Jaysh al-Islam militants in Douma, where the alleged chemical attack took place.
“We have seen a pattern, where whenever insurgent groups are on the verge of defeat they try to do their best to provoke outside intervention.”
Khalek and Gosztola use the week’s episode to offer a context for recent events in Syria that is virtually ignored by most U.S. media outlets. They simply do not cover the war as two-sided, with descriptions of the brutality of militias against Syrians appearing alongside allegations of war crimes against the Syrian government.
Several Democrats appeared to be livid when Trump launched strikes without coming to them for permission, even though they were openly supportive of launching missiles at Damascus to send a message.
It is unclear what the legal basis was for the strikes. Presuming it was the 2001 Authorized Use for Military Force (AUMF), this outdated document was abused by President Barack Obama’s administration. The Trump administration twisted it to apply to U.S. military support for a war in Yemen. At no point, especially when Democrats had a majority, did the Democratic Party make this an important issue to resolve so war-making powers of the Executive Branch were restrained.
Gosztola argued it is the Democrats who bear the most responsibility because “they decided not to put any constraints on Obama when he was president so we’re in this mess.”
Later in the show, Gosztola and Khalek set their sights on a few media pundits and skewer their commentary on Syria.
[*Note: The episode was recorded in the morning on April 13, before Trump launched strikes. Nonetheless, most of the episode contains points and arguments the show’s hosts would have made if the episode was recorded in the immediate aftermath.]