Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
Here's the RSS feed or subscribe to our FFF Email Update to receive Hornberger’s Blog daily.

Dropping Hypocrisy Bombs on Syria


ALMOST SOLD OUT! COME TO CHARLESTON! The Ron Paul Institute and The Future of Freedom Foundation are co-hosting a conference on U.S. foreign policy in Charleston, SC, on Sunday, April 29, from 1-5 pm. Speakers: Ron Paul, Dan McAdams, Richard Ebeling, and Jacob Hornberger, with special guest Congressman Mark Sanford. Details here.


Whatever bombs Donald Trump decides to use against Syria, one thing is for certain: the U.S. government has already dropped enough hypocrisy bombs on that country to last a lifetime.

Trump, Congress, and the U.S. national-security establishment (e.g., the Pentagon and the CIA) are shedding big crocodile tears over the plight of the Syrian people, especially those who recently died or suffered from a purported gas attack supposedly committed by the Syrian government against Syrian revolutionaries.

The truth is that U.S. officials couldn’t give a hoot for people in Syria.

How do we know this? Lots of reasons.

For one thing, keep in mind that it was the U.S. government that encouraged the Syrian people to violently revolt against their dictatorial regime. Did U.S. officials do that because they wanted the Syrian people to live in a free and prosperous society? Of course not. A violent domestic revolution against a foreign dictator is one of the methods by which the U.S. government achieves regime change in countries that have independent dictatorial regimes — that is, ones that are independent of U.S. government control. The fact that the Syrian dictatorship is aligned with Russia, rather than the United States, has inevitably made it a target of a U.S. regime-change operation.

Regime change has been a core mission of the U.S. government ever since the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II. The goal is to remove recalcitrant (i.e., independent) foreign dictators from power and replace them with pro-U.S. dictators. In that way, the U.S. government can wield control over everyone in the world by exercising power through their domestically installed dictators.

The U.S. government uses different ways to achieve regime change. One way is through assassination, which is really nothing more than legalized murder. That’s the method that the CIA-Mafia partnership employed against Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro for decades, notwithstanding the fact that Cuban never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so.

A second method is a military invasion. That was the method the Pentagon wanted to use against Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was also the method it used to effect regime change in countries like Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

A third method is an internal military coup, one in which the domestic military ousts its ruler from power, takes control, and then takes its marching orders from U.S. officials. That’s what happened in Chile in 1973, where U.S. officials had set into motion a process whereby Chile’s democratically elected president was ousted from power and replaced by a brutal military dictator. The same occurred in Guatemala in 1954. And Iran in 1953. And, more recently, in Egypt.

A fourth method is by encouraging the local populace to revolt and install a pro-U.S. dictator into power. That’s what sanctions and embargoes are all about. U.S. officials inflict maximum economic harm on the citizenry in the hope that they will revolt and replace their dictatorial regime with a pro-U.S. regime. That was the goal of the sanctions against Iraq, which killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. It’s the same with sanctions against Iran and Russia. And the economic embargo against Cuba.

With the revolution method of regime change, U.S. officials know that large numbers of people are going to die. That’s what happens when people violently revolt against any government. Every government, including the U.S. government, uses maximum violence to suppress violent revolts. U.S. officials point out that Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people. So did Abraham Lincoln, who killed hundreds of thousands of his people, and not for revolting but simply for seceding.

In a U.S.-instigated revolution, the revolutionaries are just pawns. Sure, crocodile tears are shed for them when they are being killed but all that’s just for appearance sake. When it comes to regime change, the sacrifice of pawns is considered necessary and “worth it.”

U.S. officials say that the Syria regime is a brutal dictatorship and, therefore, needs to be removed from power. Really? What about Egypt’s military dictatorship? It’s every bit as brutal as the Syrian dictatorship, perhaps more. Yet, what is the attitude of U.S. officials toward that dictatorship? They love it. They continue to fortify it with massive amounts of guns, tanks, and weaponry to use against its own people. They train it. They partner with it. They help it to maintain its tyrannical hold on power.

It was no different with the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. U.S. officials loved that one too. That’s why they were so committed to installing it into power. Sure, Pinochet and his goons kidnapped, raped, incarcerated, tortured, abused, or killed tens of thousands of innocent people. But so what? What mattered was that Pinochet was our dictator. He did what U.S. officials told him to do. In return, U.S. officials let him do whatever he wanted to his own people.

It was the same with the 1953 coup in Iran, which was the U.S. national-security establishment’s first regime-change operation. CIA officials ousted the democratically elected prime minister of the country, Mohammad Mossadegh, and replaced him with the brutal Shah. The CIA then proceeded to train the Shah’s forces in the arts of torture and oppression, ensuring that the Iranian people would suffer under one of the most brutal dictatorships in history for the next 26 years.

In 1979, the Iranian people couldn’t take the tyranny any more. In a violent revolution, they ousted their U.S.-installed tyrant from power. Unfortunately, they were unable to restore the democratic system that the U.S. government had destroyed 26 years before and instead ended up with another dictatorship, this one an independent, anti-U.S. theocratic dictatorship.

U.S. officials have never forgiven the Iranian people for doing that to their U.S.-installed dictator. That’s what all the anti-Iran animosity is all about. That’s what the sanctions against Iran are all about — squeezing the Iranian populace economically so that they will oust their dictatorship in a violent revolution and replace it with another brutal pro-U.S. dictatorship, like that of the Shah.

Indeed, it was what the U.S. partnership with Saddam Hussein, the brutal dictator of Iraq, was all about. U.S. officials partnered with Saddam (who they were later turn on and call a “new Hitler”) in Iraq’s war of aggression against Iran.

Oh, and I’ll bet you’ll never guess what the U.S. furnished Saddam to use against Iranians! Gas! Yes, the same type of gas that the Syrians are accused of employing against Syrian rebels.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at this two part series I wrote back in 2003 and 2014:

Where Did Iraq Get Its Weapons of Mass Destruction?” by Jacob G. Hornberger

Where Did Iraq Get Its Weapons of Mass Destruction? Part 2” by Jacob G. Hornberger

While we are on the subject of hypocrisy and chemical warfare, It’s probably worth remembering that the U.S. government employed napalm and Agent Orange as part of its unconstitutional war against North Vietnam, a country that never attacked the United States. Why are some chemicals considered better than others? Aren’t victims just as dead?

Indeed, let’s not forget that the U.S. used nuclear bombs to target the entire populations of two Japanese cities in World War II. And that Trump has threatened to carpet-bomb North Korea with nuclear bombs. Is there really any difference in principle between chemical weapons and nuclear bombs? We also shouldn’t forget the germ warfare that U.S. officials employed against the North Korean populace during the Korean War. Isn’t germ warfare as bad as chemical warfare?

U.S. officials condemn Russia for coming to the assistance of the Syrian dictatorship, forgetting two things in the process:

One, the U.S. government comes to the assistance of its dictatorships (e.g., Egypt and Saudi Arabia, especially with the latter’s vicious war in Yemen).

Two, the U.S. government, operating through the CIA, also partnered with the Assad regime in the rendition and torture of Canadian citizen Mahar Arar. Americans are still not permitted to know the details of how that secretive rendition-torture partnership came into existence but one thing is for certain: Russia is not the only regime that has partnered with the Syrian dictatorship.

Even if the Syrian regime did initiate that gas attack — and that is still far from being established – why is that that the business of the U.S. government? Indeed, why is Syria’s civil war, a war that U.S. officials helped to instigate, any business of the U.S. government? Why is ISIS the business of the U.S. government? Why are Iraq, Libya, and Yemen? Who appointed the U.S. government, including the Pentagon and the CIA, as the world’s policeman, interloper, invader, shooter, meddler, intervener, assassin, and bomber?

Finally, the fact that Trump intends to initiate war against Syria in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution, which expressly requires a congressional declaration of war — and that Congress will undoubtedly do nothing about it — is perhaps the biggest hypocrisy bomb of all.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.