White House: Attacking Syria a ‘Message to Iran’

War a Chance to Threaten Iran Some More

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough insisted today that “nobody doubts” the US allegations against Syria, apparently not having read literally any newspaper on the planet or spoken to anyone outside of the administration’s inner circle.

The comments were made on Meet the Press, where McDonough became one of the first officials to carry out a week-long media blitz intended to cow the American public into accepting the inevitability of an attack on Syria.

McDonough’s comments, apart from feigning indignity that the world isn’t taking America’s word for it on the narrative, centered on the idea that attacking Syria would “send a message” to Iran about its civilian nuclear program.

This is a part of the narrative pushed on and off all of last week, with the idea being that the US has threatened to attack Iran on flimsy pretexts for 30+ years now, and it’s starting to lose its bite, but if the US attacks Syria on an equally flimsy pretext it’ll make those threats against Iran seem more realistic.

Starting a whole additional war just to make the threats for the first war seem more credible seems awfully drastic, but officials seem so desperate to make the case that they’re going to throw anything and everything against the wall to see what sticks in selling the public on the conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.