The week in world politics: Fox says don't bomb Syria; who judges 'fake' news?

The war inside America launches yet another battle in Syria

Tucker Carlson is a daily political commentator politics on Rupert Murdoch’s pro-Trump Fox News. He’s firmly classified as right-wing, and for much of his career (2000-present) he’s worn a bow tie.

Yesterday, before Trump ordered missile hits on Syrian government buildings that the US, UK and French governments say are used to make and store chemical weapons, Tucker delivered a seven-minute long rant against attacking Syria.

He said it has not been proven that the gas attacks on a town near Damascus, which are said to have killed up to 100 Syrian civilians, were ordered by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Carlson noted that just days before the attack, President Donald Trump said American will be withdrawn from Syria within a month. He asked “How would [gassing civilians] benefit Assad?”

He said the talk-show pundits and politicians across the country were all telling “the same story they did last April” after a sarin attack that has never been proven to have been Assad’s work.

Then he quoted Trump tweets from the past several years arguing that the US should leave the Middle East nations to sort out their battle because, essentially, no Islamic groups with any following have signed on to America’s agenda.

Last night, after the missiles were allegedly pin-pointed on Syrian military targets, Carlson opened his show with a former colonel named Douglas MacGregor. He thought Trump’s America First thing would mean not attacking other countries. He reckoned that Trump “seems to be in the grip of the Globalists, the global nannies who want to run around and punish evil-doers for reasons that don’t make any sense to me since we have no real interest in Syria.”

So Tucker Carlson, Colonel MacGregor, one part of the fractured brain of Donald Trump, and tens of millions of their fellow America-Firsters all believe that the US should get out of wars unless there are big financial stakes to be claimed. This team are up against the establishment, the Deep State, the nannies—self-appointed global cops, really – who are cheered on by the vast majority of the US mainstream media and most of America’s power politicians, Democrats as well as Republicans.

Carlson then introduced Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University (also husband of Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the progressive magazine The Nation). Cohen said he was more worried that the US and Russia could get into a tit-for-tat war than he has been since the US-Soviet showdown over Cuba in 1962. He fears US and Russian armed forces will be killing each other in this war in Syria with troops, missiles, planes and ships any day now.

The escalating declarations of noble purpose and moral obligation from the global cops—whose candidate, Hillary Clinton was beaten by Trump in 2016—has for the moment convinced Trump that he should bomb Syrian territory where Russian military are going to be killed. Putin has said unequivocally that his military will match the Americans with all the weapons they have, and their border is just 1100km from Syria’s. The US and Russia between them have 92 percent of the 14,175 nuclear weapons in the world.

There is no effective leadership in the US to sort this out right now. Congress is too stifled by corporate interests and pit-bull partisanship, and too scared they’ll lose their seats in the November election to debate and decide anything seriously. And the President is ignorant, impulsive, unhinged and “advised” increasingly by nut-bar sycophants.

Some of the few voices of reason in the halls of power across the USA today are from career military guys like Defense Secretary Mad Dog Mattis. He first said let’s do nothing until we know more. When Trump, May and Macron launched their missiles, he said let’s not do it again. Military people are still, in a twisted way, public servants. Some of them spend time at work thinking about conflict and its consequences, and unlike the pollies, not all of them are owned and operated by big business.

It’s important to remember that there’s a massive force of reason and desire for peace amongst the 326 million American people, but neither the global cops nor the billionaire bullies speak for them.

In Canberra, Libs and Labor leaders line up to support the American line, whatever it is.

Let’s try socialising social media

Last week financial downturns hit all of the big social media corps, and now politicians and Mark Zuckerberg himself are calling for more regulation of Facebook—yet still the question is who will judge what news is “fake”?

An easier reform is to let us users to delete our stuff or opt out of being mined for advertisers in the first place.

Whatever they are, the reforms won’t come soon enough to stop the US Congressional election in November from being gamed, hacked, bought and sold like never before. People with money can, so they will.

So, from here on, how about we require innovators and entrepreneurs to talk things over with the citizenry before they throw new hardware or software into our lives, like hand-grenades in a marketplace?

You can be sure that while Messrs. Jobs/Wozniak, Gates, Zuckerberg, Page/Brin, Bezos and Co. never dreamed their inventions would allow awful people to take over the world. It also never occurred to them to discuss with Us the People what their unintended consequences might be.

How different would the world be if the engineers who brought us the internal combustion engine had brought in a range of non-engineers to discuss the implications of what they were about to unleash? Another engineer might have suggested the atmosphere will OD on carbon dioxide. People who lived in real communities might have suggested trains with branches like mighty oak trees could move us to and from our homes without covering half the planet with asphalt and vehicles with most seats unoccupied.

What if they’d invited a room full of random people to talk about it, every day for a year or forever, and now on their cellular devices as well?

With broad social input, social media might even have been designed for a purpose other than data mining to sell stuff.

Phillip Frazer sorts political scat at coorabellridge.com

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