Tuesday August 4, 2015
In 2012, just a year after President Obama decided that "Assad must go," then-State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the Syrian military's use of unguided explosives in its fight against the US-sponsored insurgency. These weapons, deemed "barrel bombs," were, according to Nuland, "vicious things indiscriminately launched ... at targets without any concern about civilians."
Claims that "barrel bombs" were a form of terror deployed uniquely by the Syrian government primarily against citizens soon dominated media and western government coverage of the conflict. President Assad was a special kind of madman who, when given the opportunity, would particularly target his own citizens with "barrel bombs." Just as Gaddafi was about to commit genocide against his own citizens in Benghazi, Assad was barrel-bombing his own people and must be stopped, we were told.
The media and US government adoption of the term "barrel bomb" was in reality convenient war propaganda. Do the civilian victims of any military attack -- be they victims of Assad's bombs or US drones -- really care whether they are incinerated by a bomb with a Raytheon logo instead of a more crudely manufactured device? Are they any less or more dead?