Behind Obama’s ‘Chaotic’ Foreign Policy

Exclusive: The chaos enveloping U.S. foreign policy stems from President Obama’s unwillingness to challenge Official Washington’s power centers which favor neoconservatism and “liberal interventionism” strategies that have often undercut real U.S. national security interests, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

President Barack Obama’s foreign policy has been disjointed and even incoherent because he has since taking office in 2009 pursued conflicting strategies, mixing his own penchant for less belligerent “realism” with Official Washington’s dominant tough-guy ideologies of neoconservatism and its close cousin, “liberal interventionism.”

What this has meant is that Obama often has acted at cross-purposes, inclined to cooperate with sometimes adversaries like Russia on pragmatic solutions to thorny foreign crises, such as Syria’s chemical weapons and Iran’s nuclear program, but other times stoking these and other crises by following neocon demands that he adopt aggressive tactics against Russia, Syria, Iran and other “enemies.”

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

So, we have Obama covertly arming Syrian rebels, many of whom were interchangeable with Islamic jihadists, but then sending the U.S. military back into Iraq to fight some of these same extremists who spilled back into Iraq, the country where they got their start after President George W. Bush’s neocon-inspired invasion.

We also have Obama spending years ratcheting up sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program despite Iran’s repeated offers to accept limits that would guarantee no military applications and now finding that he needs Iran’s help to broker political changes in Iraq.

And, we have Obama needing Russia’s assistance to resolve the crises with Syria, Iraq and Iran but letting his foreign policy team alienate Russian President Vladimir Putin by stoking a confrontation over a U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine, which has seen the U.S. State Department weaving a false narrative that blames Putin for instigating the conflict when he was clearly reacting to provocations from the West. [See’s “The Powerful Group Think on Ukraine.”]

But at the core of Obama’s muddled foreign policy is his unwillingness to challenge the prime sources of Middle Eastern instability, traditional U.S. “allies”: Israel and Saudi Arabia. Those two countries feed the violence across the region, Israel through its brutality toward the Palestinians providing a recruiting bonanza for Islamic extremists and Saudi Arabia via its covert funding for jihadists.

However, because Israel and Saudi Arabia get a pass on much of what they do and Israel in particular wields extraordinary influence over the U.S. political/media process Obama has typically tried to finesse the chaos that these “allies” wreak.

Here is also where the neocons and the “liberal interventionists” come into the picture. They demand that Obama react to “humanitarian” crises in disfavored countries, especially those on Israel’s “regime change” list, like Iran and Syria.

Official Washington put a big black hat on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and white hats on the rebels fighting to overthrow him despite the fact that the notion of “moderate” rebels was always a myth as even Obama has acknowledged and despite the gradual recognition that the Syrian rebels were actually dominated by al-Qaeda-connected extremists. [See’s “Syrian Rebels Embrace Al-Qaeda.”]

In an interview this month with New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, Obama responded to criticism that he should have done more to support rebels fighting to overthrown Assad by saying that the notion that arming the rebels would have made a difference has “always been a fantasy.

“This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards.”

Obama added that his administration continues to have trouble finding, training and arming enough secular Syrian rebels to make a difference: “There’s not as much capacity as you would hope.”

Bending to Pressure

Nevertheless, bending to the oust-Assad demands of neocons and “liberal interventionists,” Official Washington’s conventional wisdom remains that Obama must do more to force “regime change” in Syria even as Sunni radicals from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and the even more brutal Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have come to dominate the rebellion.

In August 2013 still trying to maintain the Syrian “good guy/bad guy” dichotomy, “Assad bad/rebels good” the neocons and their “liberal” cohorts came close to engineering a massive U.S. military intervention against the Syrian government over dubious charges that Assad’s regime had launched a major sarin gas attack on civilians outside Damascus on Aug. 21.

Brushing aside doubts about this scenario among U.S. intelligence analysts, Secretary of State John Kerry who has behaved like a hand puppet for the State Department’s war hawks since taking the job in early 2013 issued what sounded like a declaration of war against Syria in a speech on Aug. 30.

But Obama, working behind the scenes with Putin, pulled the plug on the planned U.S. air war and again with Putin’s help got Assad to surrender all his chemical weapons (though Assad continued denying a role in the sarin attack, which later evidence suggested might have been carried out by Islamic extremists as a provocation to draw the U.S. military into the conflict on their side).

But Putin’s intervention disrupting the neocons’ plans for “regime change” in Syria had other consequences. It turned Putin into Official Washington’s latest bête noire. He would soon find his more immediate interests targeted as neocons, such as National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, and State Department hardliners encouraged a political crisis in Ukraine on Russia’s western border.

Even as the likes of neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and neocon Sen. John McCain clearly pushed for the ouster of elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the Obama administration and the U.S. mainstream media blamed the crisis that followed Yanukovych’s Feb. 22 overthrow on Putin. [See’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

Rather than challenge this false anti-Putin narrative, Obama acquiesced to the “group think,” even joining the Putin-bashing over Ukraine. That, in turn, complicated the prospects for cooling down other international hotspots, such as Syria and Iran. I’m told that senior Russian officials feel so betrayed by Obama and so distrust him that they have little interest in cooperating with him in the future.

As Ukraine descended into civil war and as the U.S.-backed Kiev regime dispatched neo-Nazi militias to the east to serve as storm troopers killing ethnic Russians, the West looked on impassively. Despite the death toll rising into the thousands, Obama also averted his gaze. The black-hat/white-hat narrative (Putin in the black hat and the Kiev leaders in the white hats) had to be maintained. [See’s “Ignoring Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers.”]

Similarly, when Israel launched its latest “mowing the grass” slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza in July, Obama defended Israel’s actions even though it further fueled anti-Western anger across the Muslim world. The “responsibility to protect” crowd inside the administration the likes of U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power also fell silent. “R2P” apparently is a situational ethic depending on who’s doing the killing and who needs the protection.

‘R2P’ Double Standards

Ignored during the bloodshed in Ukraine and Gaza, the principle of “R2P” was suddenly back in vogue when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria expanded its offensive inside Iraq threatening Yazidis and other religious minorities. To avert a potential humanitarian disaster in Iraq, Obama ordered U.S. aerial attacks on ISIS forces, a bombing campaign that relieved the threatened Yazidis and helped Kurdish forces reclaim some strategic positions around Mosul.

In a bid to calm sectarian tensions in Iraq, Obama also pressed for the removal of Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his replacement by another Shiite leader, Haider al-Abadi. But that required the help of Shiite-rule Iran, which remains near the top of the Israeli/neocon “enemies list.”

Following this anti-Iran line, Kerry and the State Department have been dragging their heels on a final agreement that would constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program and then ease economic sanctions against Iran. Despite those sanctions and the frustrations over the nuclear talks, Iranian authorities helped Obama by convincing Maliki to step down.

Yet, Obama’s scattershot approach to foreign policy lacking any consistent theme has made his approach to the world chaotic and left many allies and adversaries confused. When Official Washington’s pols and pundits talk about Obama being “weak” on foreign policy, they mean that he hasn’t projected American military power enough, that he hasn’t been a consistent “tough guy,” that he hasn’t always done what they want done.

But another way to look at Obama’s “weakness” is that he has rarely stood firmly against the neocons and their “liberal interventionist” buddies. He has let himself be bullied into counterproductive military adventures, including the counterinsurgency “surge” in Afghanistan in 2009, which accomplished little, and the ill-fated “regime change” in Libya in 2011 which turned that country into a failed state that has destabilized northern Africa. (In both cases, Obama succumbed to pressure from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other hawks.)

Obama also covertly authorized the arming of “moderate” Syrian rebels, emptying CIA warehouses of “deniable” weapons (though he didn’t go as far as Clinton and other hawks wanted). The result of Syria’s civil war, however, was the strengthening of the extremists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria whose strategy of unapologetic barbarity was so extreme that they were repudiated by al-Qaeda. That brutality was demonstrated again with this week’s execution of U.S. journalist James Foley.

A Consistent Obama Policy

A more cohesive and pragmatic approach to the world and especially the Middle East would involve repudiating the selective R2P “morality” of the neocons and the “liberal interventionists” along with distancing U.S. foreign policy from the influences of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

A “realist” strategy would call for Obama to work more consistently with former adversaries, most notably with Russia and Iran but also Syria in a regional approach toward defeating Islamic terrorism. The realignment would require cracking down on covert Saudi funding for the jihadists and demanding that Israel finally reach an equitable settlement with the Palestinians.

The new strategy would mean seeking a practical (though far from perfect) political resolution of the Syrian conflict with President Assad continuing in power at least for the immediate future. The strategy would finalize an Iranian nuclear deal that would offer reasonable guarantees that the nuclear project will not produce a bomb and give Iran relief from punishing economic sanctions.

Another step would involve pressuring the Ukrainian government to reach a negotiated settlement with ethnic Russian rebels in the east and recognizing that Kiev needs positive relations with Russia as well as with the European Union. Resolution of that civil war also could help calm European financial markets and avert the possibility of a “triple-dip” European recession with blowback harm on the U.S. economy.

This “realism” would surely provoke howls of protests from neocon and R2P advocates because of the poor human rights records of Syria, Iran and other “adversaries” but it would reduce Official Washington’s hypocrisy which tolerates human rights abuses when inflicted by forces dispatched by Israel (to kill Palestinians), Ukraine (to kill ethnic Russians), or Saudi Arabia (to engage in acts of terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Chechnya and elsewhere).

If Obama would embrace his inner “realist,” there would be an internal consistency to his approach to the world and other countries would know what to expect, rather than have to deal with his ad hoc reactions to international crises. This more cooperative approach also would not stop Obama from criticizing the human rights abuses of any government or advocating for democratic reforms.

But this pragmatism for peace and the end of neocon absolutism might have the significant benefit of ending unnecessary wars and saving lives.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

27 comments for “Behind Obama’s ‘Chaotic’ Foreign Policy

  1. abinico warez
    August 24, 2014 at 18:32

    Washington power centers favor whatever their jewish masters tell them.

  2. Rabbitnexus
    August 24, 2014 at 00:05

    Good analysis on its surface but it doesn’t go deeply enough into the realities of the conflicts. Treating the seeming muddle of foreign policy as if it is the result of well intentioned mistakes on the part of the Whitehouse rather than the intended outcomes. It gives Obama a free pass on personal responsibility for things he always could have played differently at every turn. Saying he wanted to do the right thing when he self evidently did not, every time, doesn’t cut it. None of the players like Israel or Saudi Arabia would have done anything they have done, without the USA’s say so or even direct orders.

  3. John Puma
    August 23, 2014 at 05:25

    Obama goes from O’Reilly to Friedman?!?

    From proud, smug and aggressive ignorance to opaque, impenetrable, natural ignorance.

    OK, I concede, the rate of fall into the abyss has lessened by perhaps a hundred-thousandth of a per cent.

    While our meteor is consumed, theoretically and figuratively, in that still-accelerating fall, at least we can amuse ourselves by playing the popular parlor game: “which execrable, vile pin head will Obama validate next”

  4. JWalters
    August 22, 2014 at 20:14

    Robert Parry is moving the discussion in the right direction. But to keep himself from being tossed aside as a kook, he must move a careful step at a time (like Obama). It’s still not safe to jump all the way to the complete story. Character assassination and physical assassination are still commonly used by the war profiteering banksters who can pull so many strings. Their power is shown by the fact that the mainstream media and the whole national political structure is still cowed into silence and obeisance. Obama, like Parry, is resisting the pressures for major military action, but it’s a tough fight. (In contrast, Bush 43 happily joined in lying to the American public to justify invading Iraq.)

    The suppressed historical evidence is clear – war profiteering banksters established Israel to be another war zone, using religious supremacists as their boots on the ground, and deceiving humanitarian Jews in the process. The chaos we are seeing today was predicted decades ago.

  5. Hillary
    August 22, 2014 at 13:42

    “ Only a few commentators have noted this stark reality.”

    Mr. Robert Parry is exactly right.

    It may be quite an exaggeration to call it the Bernard Lewis Plan but “Operation Clean Break”- was , ostensibly to “Secure the Realm”—- for ISRAEL…and was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle , Douglas Feith ,Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol and others for Benjamin Netanyahu, the then Prime Minister of Israel to explain a new approach to solving Israel’s security problems in the Middle East.
    Basically it aimed to aggressively remake the strategic environments of Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran and that America’s taking out Saddam would solve Israel’s strategic problems and leave the Palestinians essentially helpless.

    Ultra Zionists Bernard Lewis and Nathan Sharansky the Soviet-born ultra-right wing Deputy Prime Minister of Israel were SOMEHOW given private “face time” with the biblical “holly man” in the White House G.W.Bush.
    Later G.W,Bush made a speech in the Rose Garden repeating verbatim passages from Sharansky’s book “ The case for Democracy“ was immediately communicated by phone congratulating Shanansky in Israel.

    They also argued that Israeli security would be served best by regime change in surrounding countries and that America’s taking out Saddam would solve Israel’s strategic problems and leave the Palestinians essentially helpless.”

    Netanyahu was perhaps the main mover in America’s official adoption of the 1996 “ Operation Clean Break”, which aimed to aggressively remake the strategic environments of Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.
    With Evangelicals and other Zionists it has become an article of faith in Washington that American and Israeli interests are identical.

    “Jewish interests” are NOT and should not be the same as those of Israel.

    • Hillary
      August 23, 2014 at 07:01

      Sorry — the last line in my comment should read —-
      “U.S. interests are NOT and should not ever be the same as those of Israel ”

  6. onno
    August 22, 2014 at 06:36

    This talking, no-decision making, weak president is an international catastrophe and as a result makes this globe a dangerous and explosive place to live in.

    His anti-Putin and anti-Russia policy is that of Brzeszinsky who always showed his anti- Russia policy since his days with another weak president Carter.

    It’s scary to watch how US presidents can be so easily influenced and now we have VP Biden son Hunter and John Kerry’s stepson Devon Archer directly involved in Ukraine through Burisma Holdings Ltd and oligarch/criminal Kolomoisky we finally understand why Kiev couldn’t accept the independence of the Donetsk/Lugansk Republic and why so many civilians are killed, more than 2100 so far. This is where the GAS is like Devon Archer said Burisma Ltd will be the future Exxon Mobile!
    And for this purpose the corrupt Kiev Neo-Nazi government is an excellent vehicle to control the GAS rich region of East Ukraine.
    In Obama’s election campaign in 2008 he promised to make Washington MORE Transparent, this was the first lie and 4 years later he lied again about Obamacare and the fact that everybody with a healthcare insurance can stay with it. It shows that a former lecturer out of Chicago with a good story/lies can become president of the USA and supposedly of the FREE World.
    For these reasons its good that Russia/China/India (BRICS) are challenging US hegemony on this planet and bombing/killing innocent civilians in Palestine and Ukraine will only increase the anti-American sentiments in the world.

  7. jer
    August 22, 2014 at 02:52

    Obama has turned out to be one fully untrustworthy character ; a spineless lawyer-politician-dice-throwing-gambler who, in exchange for his name getting written firmly in the U.S. history books, has totally sold out to the very evil dark forces, but the full blame for the huge mess excreted by the U.S. all over the world during his administration lies not on his shoulders but on the shoulders of Washington Inc which is a very very very evil multi-headed hydra that just cannot be tamed or neutralised. Sadly we have no choice but to live alongside this very EVIL hydra even if Obama has to obligingly make himself scarce after 2017….

  8. Andrew Nichols
    August 21, 2014 at 22:17

    ..And pigs will begin to fly before the Empire does anything sensible..

  9. Yaj
    August 21, 2014 at 20:59

    Just imagine the foreign (and domestic) policy of the administration of President Hillary Clinton.

  10. Walter Hecht
    August 21, 2014 at 18:57

    Obama must tread a fine line or face retaliation from hard-liners at the CIA.

  11. Abe
    August 21, 2014 at 18:48

    Brzezinski’s 2012 book, Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power articulates the thinking behind Obama’s policy toward the EU and his vaunted “pivot” to Asia:

    “…if America does not promote the emergence of a more unified West, dire consequences could follow. European historical resentments could reawaken, new conflicts of interest could arise, and shortsighted competitive partnerships could take shape. Russia could divisively exploit its energy assets and, emboldened by Western disunity, seek to absorb Ukraine quickly, reawakening its own imperial ambitions and contributing to greater international disarray. With Europe passive, individual European states, in search of greater commercial opportunities, could then seek accommodation with Russia. One can envisage a scenario in which a special relationship develops between Russia and Germany or Italy because of economic self-interest. The UK would then become closer to the United States in a negative reaction to a crumbling and politically contentious union. France and Britain would also draw closer together while viewing Germany askance, with Poland and the Baltic states desperately pleading for additional US security guarantees. The result would not be a new and more vital West, but rather a progressively splintering West with its vision shrinking.

    “Moreover, such a disunited West could not compete confidently with China for global systemic relevance. So far, China has not articulated an ideological dogma that claims its recent performance is globally applicable and the United States has been careful not to make ideology the central focus of its relations with key countries, recognizing that compromises on other issues are sometimes unavoidable (as for example, arms control with Russia). Wisely, both the United States and China have explicitly embraced the concept of “a constructive partnership” in global affairs, and the United States—while critical of China’s violations of human rights—has been careful not to stigmatize the Chinese socioeconomic system as a whole. But even in such a less antagonistic setting, a larger and renewed West would be in a much better position to compete peacefully—and without ideological fervor —with China as to which system is a better model for the developing world in its efforts to address the aspirations of its now politically awakened masses.

    “But if an anxious America and an overconfident China were to slide into increasing political hostility, it is more than likely that both countries would face off in a mutually destructive ideological conflict. America would argue that China’s success is based on tyranny and is damaging to America’s economic well-being. The Chinese would interpret that American message as an attempt to undermine and possibly even to fragment the Chinese system. At the same time, China increasingly would represent itself to the world as a rejection of Western supremacy, connecting it with the era of rapacious exploitation of the weak by the strong, appealing ideologically to those in the third world who already subscribe to a historical narrative highly hostile to the West in general and lately to America in particular. It follows that both America and China, out of intelligent self-interest, would be better served by mutual ideological self-restraint. Both should resist the temptation to universalize the distinctive features of their respective socioeconomic systems and to demonize each other.

    “In regard to the longer-term issue of Asian stability, the United States must play the role of balancer and conciliator. It should therefore avoid direct military involvement in Asia and it should seek to reconcile the long-standing animosities between key Far Eastern Asian players, most notably between China and Japan. In the new East, the cardinal principle guiding US policy has to be that the United States will engage on the mainland of Asia in response to hostile actions only if directed at states in which treaty-based American deployments are part of the long-standing international context.

    “In essence, America’s engagement in Asia as the balancer of regional stability should replicate the role played by Great Britain in intra-European politics during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The United States can and should be the key player in helping Asia avoid a struggle for regional domination, by mediating conflicts and offsetting power imbalances among potential rivals. In doing so, it should respect China’s special historical and geopolitical role in maintaining stability on the Far Eastern mainland. Engaging with China in a serious dialogue regarding regional stability would not only help reduce the possibility of American-Chinese conflicts but also diminish the probability of miscalculation between China and Japan, or China and India, and even at some point between China and Russia over the resources and status of the Central Asian states. Thus, America’s balancing engagement in Asia is ultimately in China’s interest as well.”

    • Abe
      August 21, 2014 at 19:15

      The neo-con response to all this realist geostrategizing by Brzezinski was clearly and succinctly articulated by Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, in a private diplomatic conversation:
      “Fuck the EU!”

  12. F. G. Sanford
    August 21, 2014 at 18:42

    For a parvenu surrounded by manipulators, deceivers, usurpers and flatterers, power becomes an antidote to weakness. Once that line is crossed, it is effectively relinquished to those most likely to abuse it. Survival becomes a cycle of codependency in which delegation serves to repurchase the authority already traded in exchange for security. Jarrett, Rice, Powers, Clinton, Nuland…all the “mommies” who never really cared, and Brennan, Kerry, Rhodes, Biden, Holder, Sunstein…all the “daddies” who couldn’t be trusted, have combined to create the perfect dysfunctional family failure. Everything in this article has been outlined already, but without the genteel sophistication Mr. Parry brings to the table. Let’s give credit where it’s due: Webster Tarpley deserves to gloat over the “I told you so” moment. Every one of these deficits and solutions appear one way or another in his commentary, most succinctly with the Brzezinski attributions. But the biggest “I told you so” moment belongs to the king of kid-glove demolition, Robert Fisk. The bombshell detonates at 2:20. but by all means, watch the whole thing.

    Robert Fisk: Obama will be worse than Bush

    Keep in mind, Hillary will be worse than both of them combined.

  13. Yar
    August 21, 2014 at 18:25

    Saving lives is not in the Obama’s short-list of actions…

  14. Abe
    August 21, 2014 at 16:42

    The West and the new chaos: A conversation with Zbigniew Brzezinski

  15. Ann
    August 21, 2014 at 16:13

    The Chinese menu of US hegemonic strategy offers three entrees:
    1) “neo-con” direct interventionism (bomb, bomb, bomb any and all resistance to US dominance)
    2) “liberal” direct interventionism (noble humanitarian “precision” bombing – R2P)
    3) “realist” indirect interventionism (arm local proxies with “defensive” weaponry whilst blaming “aggressive” rival hegemon)

    It’s worth noting that during the 2008 presidential campaign, “realist” Obama received “outside advice” from Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor under Jimmy Carter and champion of “Eurasian chessboard” Realpolitik. Zbig’s son Mark Brzezinski serve as foreign policy advisor to the campaign.

  16. posa
    August 21, 2014 at 16:07

    Robert, I think your analysis is muddy and a little off base.

    The Policy Goal that the Establishment (“Neocon” and “R2P/liberal”) supports is a) full spectrum military dominance and b) destruction of any “potential” rivals/ rival blocs to US global hegemony. This was embodied in the Bush National Security Strategy dubbed “The Big Enchilada” but dates back to his father’s administration in the early Nineties.

    The tactics for securing “The Big Enchilada”, ie global dominance IS “chaos” mixed with military aggression and various subversion tactics, including “Color Revolutions” and coups.

    The strategy and tactical components include:

    1- the decades-old Brzezinski “Arc of Crisis” alliance of the US and the West with Islamist jihadi forces from Afghanistan throughout the Middle East.

    2- The Bernard Lewis Plan and the implementation program known as “Operation Clean Break”- which, ostensibly, is to “Secure the Realm” for Israel by burning down the neighborhood, ie, support Islamist forces (including Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda and ISIS) to depose secular, sovereign nationalist regimes in Iraq, Lebanon, (Egypt), Libya, Jordan and Syria, moving on the the grand prize, which is Iran. Effective nation states would be reduced to impotent fractured micro-states terrorized by crazed Islamist war lords presiding over shattered rubble that once supported coherent sovereign powers. Decades of modern infrastructure and thriving urban were reduced to Carthaginian desolation.

    3- The Brzezinski Plan ( the 1997 version) is to break up Russia into three separate nations and to expand NATO into the Ukraine. This would be implemented through “Color Revolutions” and outright military/ terror operations in Georgia and especially Chechnya where both Brzezinski and Richard Perle have exercised a direct hand in operations designed to destabilized Russia.

    3a- An evolved corollary to the Brzezinski Plan is to establish a preemptive nuclear first strike capability in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

    4- The Asia Pivot is a program of similar ethnic and regional tensions, along with financial warfare, designed to force a Chinese governance implosion.

    So it really doesn’t matter whether Obama “blunders” or not. Who can really tell what a “blunder” is at this point? To the extent that chaos and destabilizations prevail, Obama is more or less “sticking to the script”.

    Of course, the road to the Big Enchilada and the Enchilada itself is insanity incarnate and will go down in world history (if history survives) for its breathless destruction of civilization and likely end game of thermonuclear confrontation. But this is the context for evaluating US foreign policy.

    Only a few commentators have noted this stark reality. (I believe Pepe Escobar is once such figure) Robert Parry would do well to adjust his conceptual framework to provide clarity to his analysis.

    REPEAT: the policy is CHAOS BY DESIGN.

    August 21, 2014 at 15:17

    Simply put…
    Behind Obama’s “Chaotic” Foreign Policy, is his lack of Experience, Courage and Wisdom…..period.

  18. jjr
    August 21, 2014 at 13:24

    Parry is right in his analysis of today’s events. However, he is not including the “big picture” of what the world is all about — the dominance of big capital and its domination and its unmerciful exploitation of the whole world.
    In the 1960s, the secret Report From Iron Mountain revealed the true objectives of the moneyed class whose policies are clearly being carried out today. Of course the report is being denied as a hoax, just like “conspiracy theories” are today — to stop further inquiry!
    The Report says it all — even though it plays down the word “capitalism” as the real evil in the world today.

  19. Joe Tedesky
    August 21, 2014 at 12:37

    If I had to make a opening statement concerning our current world affairs, I would have Robert Parry write it for me. Great coverage of the times we are living in.
    Heck, I would even use Mr Parry’s words for my closing remarks. Wonderful reporting.

  20. Larry
    August 21, 2014 at 10:06

    Yes, pull back the curtain on power-wielding in that part of the world, and what you see is Saudi Arabia and Israel carrying out the designs of the big business interests, especially oil and armaments interests, of the United States. American Big Business, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are the three legs of American Mideast policy, in a way the only policy that counts.

    You see Saudia Arabia undermining one-half of the Mideast and Israel concentrating on its half. Iran is their common enemy and which is shared by the United States. As Parry says, our enemies were never our enemies and our friends were never our friends, not those of the people of the United States. BIg Business also is not the friend of the people of the United States.

    An American president willing to challenge any of the authority of that three-legged stool? There won’t be one, unless perhaps all chaos breaks loose and the three vie against each other for survival’s sake. That cure could be worse than the disease, and that’s the problem. These three ostensible allies don’t like or trust each other, and for good reason.

  21. incontinent reader
    August 21, 2014 at 09:23

    Absolutely marvelous analysis and advice.

    • EBC
      August 22, 2014 at 05:52

      Excellent article. I would add that containment of the mischievous Qatari government should also be on the agenda.

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