It's amazing how effective a good marketing campaign can be.

Take, for example, your favorite variety of artificial cheese crackers. They now contain "10x more cheese!", which is true of course because they never contained cheese to begin with and zero multiplied by ten still equals zero. It's the same high-fructose corn syrup garbage, but sales are up, up up.

The same holds true when selling the American public unappetizing wars in far-away lands that they cannot find, not even on their smartphone apps. When the initial claptrap justifications for war lose their appeal, simply dress up the old claptrap in a dainty new outfit. We're not trying to be condescending — marketing and re-branding garbage is a true art form worthy of your admiration and respect.

This is why we tip our proverbial hat to Jimmy Carter, who has ingeniously repackaged tired Pentagon talking points used to rationalize our unconditional support for the "moderate rebels" fighting gloriously for "democracy" in Syria.

Using his dubious credentials as a man of peace and understanding, Carter writes in the New York Times that the new cease-fire agreement in Syria is in grave danger:
Over the weekend, the United States accidentally bombed Syrian government troops. On Monday, the Syrian military declared it would no longer respect the deal, resumed airstrikes on Aleppo, and even a humanitarian aid convoy was bombed.

...

The targeting of the humanitarian convoy, a war crime
, should serve as an added impetus for the United States and Russia to recommit to the cease-fire. The two parties were well aware of the difficulties as they spent a month negotiating the cease-fire's terms.

The agreement can be salvaged if all sides unite, for now, around a simple and undeniably important goal: Stop the killing. It may be more likely than it sounds.
To summarize Carter's brilliant observations: Peace in Syria cannot be achieved until everyone agrees to stop questioning the Pentagon's narrative. Yes, bombing Syrian troops under siege from ISIS for the last two years is a regrettable "accident"; let's not forget Assad's bloodthirsty air strikes against aid convoys, though.

Nevermind that despite allegations of Russian involvement (that's the narrative, Carter: Russia did it! Get with the program), the White House cannot confirm who is responsible for the attack. Nevermind that the U.N. won't even use the word "air strike" when describing the event.

In Carter's thoughtful, peace-loving opinion, the first step to ending the killing in Syria is to acknowledge that while the U.S. has caused a few minor "accidents", the real culprit here is Assad.

Which brings Carter to his next Pentagon talking point: Assad is a war criminal. He must go:
When talks resume in Geneva later this month, the primary focus should be stopping the killing. Discussions about the core questions of governance — when President Bashar al-Assad should step down, or what mechanisms might be used to replace him, for example — should be deferred.
This is re-branding garbage at its finest. According to Carter, political disputes should be "deferred" in order to prioritize the most pressing matter: Peace. But once that "peace" stuff is taken care of, it's obviously just a question of "when" Assad must go. Not "if". If is not acceptable. If is off the table.

See what Jimmy did here? It's brilliant. It's the same "Assad must go!" garble that the U.S. has been screaming for years — just rephrased in a nice, easily digestible "give peace a chance" op-ed, authored by none other than Jimmy Peace Prize Carter.

"Peace come first. But the U.S. should still get everything it wants, even though it is actively attempting to topple the legitimate government of a sovereign nation located on the other side of the world. Also, never question Pentagon press releases."

There you go. We just re-wrote Carter's op-ed in three sentences.

Give this guy another peace prize.