Originally appeared at Zerohedge.com
Following the propagandist double-speak gushing forth from the Obama administration over when a “boot on the ground” in Syria is a “boot on the ground,” the following photographs via Agence France-Presse confirm US special operation forces in a rural village 40 miles from Raqqa. As The Guardian reports, the Pentagon press secretary, resisted commenting on the photographs and would only describe the US special operations forces’ mission in generic terms, despite the fact that these troops are at the frontline of fighting when President Obama assured America that forces are consistently behind the forward lines.
In April, State Department spokesman John Kirby attempted to change the narrative in a stumbling preposterous way denying President Obama had ever said “no boots on the ground” in Syria…
And here’s the relevant transcript:
“Kirby: there was never this – there was never this, “No boots on the ground.” I don’t know where this keeps coming from.
Question: But yes there – well, yes, yes, there was.
Kirby: There was no – there was – no there wasn’t. There was –
Question: More than –
Kirby: We’re not going to be involved in a large-scale combat mission on the ground. That is what the President has long said.”
To anyone who has been following this, Kirby’s argument is patently absurd. The President told the BBC less than twenty-four hours previously that there would be “no boots on the ground” – and then his administration announced that 250 more booted US soldiers would be treading Syrian ground. Not only that, but prior to the summer of last year, the President assured the American people there’d be no “boots on the ground” a total of sixteen times.
As George Orwell dramatised in Nineteen Eighty-Four, and also in this memorable essay, the degeneration of language into an instrument of concealment is one of the hallmarks of the modern age. In the novel, there is a vast apparatus concerned solely with erasing the past in order to justify the actions of the present: the Obama administration doesn’t have the power to do that, and yet thinks it can achieve the same ends by simply denying what everyone knows to be true, as shown by Kirby’s surreal exchange with reporters.
And now, as The Guardian reports, we have proof that not only was Kirby lying about the president’s words, but the boots on the ground are far closer to the frontlines than Obama had ever admitted to the American public…
Elite US military forces have been photographed for the first time in Syria as they join largely Kurdish forces on an advance toward, Raqqa, the Islamic State terror group’s capital.
Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, resisted commenting on the photographs and would only describe the US special operations forces’ mission in generic terms… More lies….
Barack Obama announced last month that he would increase US special operations forces in Syria to 300, for what the Pentagon has consistently described as merely an advisory mission. AFP described the troops as “near the frontline” north of Raqqa, despite the Pentagon’s frequent claims that the forces are consistently behind the forward lines.
Cook denied any mission creep had occurred, saying the “advise-and-assist role has not changed”, and that the elite forces, the only ones thus far acknowledged in Syria, conduct “meetings” with indigenous forces “that are taking the fight to Isil”, another term for Isis.
“They are not on the forward line. They are providing advice and assistance,” Cook said.
So once again – do we believe a photographer’s images and knowledge of the region or an Obama administration spokesman?