Obama’s Two-Faced Foreign Policy

Exclusive: President Obama’s Syrian strategy is getting roundly denounced as incoherent, which while true is really a reflection of his failure to fully break with neocon-style interventionism even when he realizes the futility of the strategy, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The mystery of the Obama administration’s foreign policy has always been whether President Barack Obama has two separate strategies: one “above the table” waving his arms and talking tough like Official Washington’s arm-chair warriors do and another “below the table” where he behaves as a pragmatic realist, playing footsy with foreign adversaries.

From the start, Obama surrounded himself with many hawkish advisers such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Gen. David Petraeus, National Security Council aide Samantha Power, etc. and mostly read the scripts that they wrote for him. But then he tended to drag his feet or fold his arms when it came to acting on their warmongering ideas.

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Friday’s decision to tank the hapless $500 million training program for “moderate” Syrian rebels is a case in point. Obama joined in the hyperbolic rhetoric against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, lining up with the neocons and liberal interventionists demanding “Assad must go,” but Obama has remained unenthusiastic about their various wacky schemes for overthrowing Assad.

In 2012, Obama resisted plans from Petraeus, Clinton and other hawks to invest significantly in a program for training and arming rebels and to impose a no-fly zone over rebel-controlled territory inside Syria, which would require destroying Syria’s air defenses and much of its air force. In other words, it would have been a major act of war with the prospect of the kind of bloody chaos that a similar “responsibility to protect” strategy — pushed by Clinton and Power — unleashed on Libya in 2011 and that continues to the present.

Among other problems of the Petraeus-Clinton scheme for Syria such as being a gross violation of international law the plan would have amounted to support for international terrorism given the thorough terrorist infiltration of the Syrian rebel movement. And it almost certainly would not have achieved the goal of a moderate “regime change.” The far more likely outcome would have been even worse sectarian bloodshed and quite possibly a victory for Al Qaeda or a related terrorist band.

In one candid moment, Obama told  New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman that it was “a fantasy” to think that such a U.S.-backed “moderate” rebel force could do much good. Nevertheless, Obama eventually caved in to political/media pressure and agreed to a “covert” CIA training mission and later to the $500 million program which, the Pentagon says, put about “four or five” fighters into the field in Syria.

Besides the obvious failure to field a significant Pentagon-trained “moderate” force, there was the additional problem that the “moderate” CIA-trained rebels kept sharing their military skills and weapons with coalitions of Syrian rebels, such as the Army of Conquest dominated by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, and/or the Islamic State. Many U.S.-supplied weapons ended up in the hands of the Army of Conquest, which used U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles against the Syrian army around the city of Idlib.

Whether intentionally or not, the U.S. policy was advancing the prospects of a Sunni terrorist victory in Syria, which could lead to a bloodbath of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other “infidels” as well as driving millions more Syrian refugees into Turkey and Europe, thus spreading the destabilization of the Middle East into the middle of Europe.

So, by pulling the plug on the $500 million training program, Obama was finally facing up to reality that it would be a humanitarian and strategic disaster if Al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State defeated Assad’s Syrian army. At his press conference on Oct. 2, Obama even blurted out that most of the “half-baked ideas” for intervening in Syria were just “a bunch of mumbo jumbo.”

But Obama could not fully bring himself to repudiate the U.S. military interference, replacing the failed training program with another scheme that would simply give weapons and ammunition to some rebel leaders considered reliable in the battle against the Islamic State a compromise approach that even the hawkish New York Times editorial page deemed “hallucinatory.”

A Schizophrenic Approach

In essence, these inconsistencies between Obama’s words and deeds reflect the schizophrenic nature of Obama’s “above-the-table” and “below-the-table” split personality.

While the “above-the-table” Obama continues to rant against Assad and Russia’s decision to step up its support for his government, the “under-the-table” Obama appears to recognize that the Russian entrance into the war is not the catastrophe that Official Washington, including Obama and his advisers, have made it out to be. Indeed, despite the fiery rhetoric from Obama and his aides, there is a logical correlation between Obama’s core interests in Syria and those of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Obama has resisted the idea of committing hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops to another full-scale war in the Middle East, which might well be the inevitable result of a victorious Islamic State engaging in mass executions of “infidels” in Damascus or of Al Qaeda transforming Syria into a new more central location to plot terror attacks on the West.

The prospects for a terrorist victory are diminished if the Russian air support and Iranian ground assistance can help the Syrian military roll back the gains of the Islamic State and the Army of Conquest, which is dominated by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

So, the logical move for the “under-the-table” Obama would be to cooperate with Putin on a peace initiative that shelves the “Assad must go” rhetoric in favor of practical cooperation with Russia in arranging a political power-sharing government between Assad and the “moderate” Sunni politicians who have lived off U.S. largesse and thus are susceptible to American pressure.

Even more importantly, Obama could finally get serious about clamping down on Saudi, Qatari, Turkish and Israeli support for the extremist Syrian rebels, finally putting some teeth into the theory that support for terrorism is indistinguishable from acts of terrorism.

But the “above-the-table” Obama seems frightened by the domestic political repercussions if he were to make such rational moves, so he continues to rant about Assad as “a brutal, ruthless dictator” who “drops barrel bombs to massacre innocent children” as if these crude bombs are some uniquely diabolical weapons and as if Assad were targeting “innocent children” when there is no evidence of that. Such crude propaganda is then used to justify Obama repeating his dubious mantra: “Assad must go!”

Obama also fears neocon Sen. John McCain, the former Republican presidential nominee whom Obama defeated in 2008 but who is still invited onto all the U.S. news shows to berate the President for not escalating the Syrian, Ukrainian and other conflicts around the globe.

Plus, Obama sees himself surrounded by his own neocons like Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and liberal interventionists like Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. He must realize that such ideologues won’t shake their commitment to “regime change” in Syria.

Fear of ‘Softness’

Clearly, Obama is to blame for his administration’s appointees, whether it was the misguided “Team of Rivals” at the start of his presidency or the current mix of mostly non-entities and neocon-lites in his second term. But the low quality of these officials is also a comment on how thin the Democratic foreign-policy bench is after three-and-a-half decades of cowering before Republican and media accusations about the Democrats showing “un-American” softness.

Today’s Democrats are not able to formulate a foreign policy argument that separates enlightened American interests from imperialist adventures. They generally accept the neocon narratives about “bad guys” and then either acquiesce to another “regime change” operation, as Obama and others did in Libya in 2011, or they drag their heels to slow or obstruct the most dangerous schemes.

The vast majority of the Democratic foreign policy “experts” who have survived politically either have become “me-too” echoes of the Republican neocons (the likes of Hillary Clinton) or have adopted a militant “humanitarianism” favoring either coups or war in the name of “human rights” (the likes of Samantha Power).

You do have some establishment Democrats, such as Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, who probably know better but have grown accustomed to accommodating to neocon and liberal-hawk pressures. Biden and Kerry both overrode their better judgments to vote for the Iraq War in 2002 and they have echoed the neocon tough talk about Syria and Ukraine.

But Biden and Kerry probably represent the most realistic of the mainstream Democrats, the most in line with the “under-the-table” Obama. Biden opposed the pointless but bloody Afghan War “surge” in 2009; he also battled Secretary of State Clinton over her desires for military intervention in Libya and Syria. For his part, Kerry as Secretary of State executed Obama’s negotiation of a nuclear deal with Iran, an approach that Clinton had resisted.

Still, the foreign policy realism of Biden and Kerry is spotty at best. Both have run with the neocon/liberal-hawk pack in escalating tensions with Russia over Ukraine, and Kerry rushed to dangerous judgments blaming Assad for the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack outside Damascus and Russia for the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine.

Not even a progressive like Sen. Bernie Sanders articulates sensible alternatives to the neocon/liberal-hawk narratives, though he did vote against the Iraq War and generally has favored less aggressive actions overseas. Still, no one of prominence in the Democratic Party has charted a comprehensive strategy for a non-imperialist U.S. foreign policy, an incoherence that helps explain the contradictory aspects of Obama’s approach to the world.

Whereas the dominant ideology among the Republicans remains neoconservatism, the primary approach of the Democrats is “liberal interventionism,” but there really isn’t much difference between the two in practical terms. Indeed, arch-neocon Robert Kagan has said he is comfortable calling himself a “liberal interventionist.”

Loving ‘Stratcom’

Both neocons and liberal interventionists favor “regime change” strategies as a principal feature of U.S. foreign policy, whether through “color revolutions” or “responsibility to protect” military invasions. They also rely heavily on “strategic communications” or “Stratcom,” a blend of psy-ops, propaganda and P.R., to bring both the American people and the global public into line.

That’s why once a propaganda theme is developed such as blaming Assad for the sarin attack and Russia for the MH-17 shoot-down there are no revisions or corrections even when the evidence leads in a different direction. The false narrative must be maintained because it is useful as a Stratcom weapon to discredit and damage an adversary in the eyes of the public.

Even when Obama knows better, he sticks with the Stratcom, too, all the better to beat up “an enemy.” Obama may drop the false allegations from future speeches, but he won’t retract what he has said before. Note that he has said little or nothing about either the sarin case or the MH-17 incident after initially wielding them as propaganda clubs against Assad and Putin, respectively.

So, instead of telling the whole truth to the American people, Obama just replaces the old attack lines with new ones. Obama’s latest comments about the Russians in Syria sounded like premature gloating over the prospect of a Russian “quagmire” in Syria, staking out an early “I-told-you-so” position as if being proved right were more important than resolving the crisis.

But does Obama really want the Russian-backed offensive against Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State to fail and for the terrorists to win?

That outcome might make for a great talking point at the think tanks and on the op-ed pages, but a terrorist victory would be a humanitarian catastrophe for the people of Syria and a strategic disaster for the West, where Europe is already under strain from the flood of Syrian refugees.

One might think that a more mature and responsible approach would be for the United States and the European Union to do all they could to help the Russians succeed by cracking down on countries aiding Al Qaeda and the Islamic State and by facilitating serious peace talks between Assad and “moderate” Sunni politicians.

Perhaps the “under-the-table” Obama will move in that direction in the weeks ahead, but the “above-the-table” Obama seems more afraid of committing a social faux pas that will offend Official Washington. He seems to fear that criticism more than he cares about saving lives and bringing peace to Syria.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). 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.

61 comments for “Obama’s Two-Faced Foreign Policy

  1. Passer-by
    October 16, 2015 at 09:26

    Two faced policy is normal for many times and places with any press or media. Just because authorities think that population dont have to know all what is truly happening. Obama sucks, he is just a one driving gear in the gigant goverment machine

  2. denk
    October 15, 2015 at 00:06

    obama did kenya,
    his mom did indonesia, like mother, like son ?


  3. denk
    October 14, 2015 at 22:44

    obama the *peace laureate*, had the distinction of being the first potus coming to the white house with a *color rev* already under his belt ?
    the *son of kenya* had done kenya proud !

  4. denk
    October 14, 2015 at 21:29

    *Brzezinski’s goal is confrontation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the main world center for resistance to US-UK global domination.

    Anti-war activists are still fixated on Iran, but not Brzezinski is not – his target is China, TWENTY times bigger than Iran, with ICBMs ready to launch, followed by Russia, the world’s biggest nuclear power. Such confused activists need to focus on stopping the next war – the final global showdown with Pakistan, China, and Russia. That means rejecting Brzezinski’s puppet candidate Obama. *

    oops, u’ve been warned !!

  5. Richard Steven Hack
    October 14, 2015 at 13:38

    Unfortunately this article demonstrates that Mr. Parry still doesn’t “get it” when it comes to Obama. He continues to try to bend over backward and give Obama the benefit of the doubt. In short, he’s still, like many others, drinking the Obama “Kool-Aid”.

    These are the facts. Obama is a Chicago ward-heeler with an academic legal career and no practical experience in ANYTHING. He’s a light-weight with no convictions of his own whose entire concern is that he “looks good.” He was and is totally controlled by the people in Chicago who financed his entire political career, specifically the Crown and Pritzker families. He is completely incapable of going against what his masters demand.

    As I’ve said before, Obama is basically a narcissistic pre-Emancipation South plantation foreman. He sells out everyone else for his own benefit while simultaneously occasionally dragging his feet because deep down he really doesn’t like being a servant. But he has zero personal strength and is obsessed with his social appearance.

    Obama was given a thoroughly undeserved Nobel Peace Prize and that is his sole achievement in life. Nonetheless he has militarily destroyed four countries during his administration – Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen – and continued the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also prepared to go to war with Syria in 2013 on bogus intelligence about “chemical attacks” until he was outmaneuvered by Russia’s Putin. All of this was done in accordance with orders from his military-industrial complex and Israel-First masters in Chicago and elsewhere.

    His one main narcissistic concern has been to avoid being BLAMED for starting all these wars and to secure his Nobel Peace Prize “legacy”. But he can never bring himself to disobey his masters. This is the crux of his situation and the complete explanation for everything he’s done.

    Robert Parry needs to realize that Obama is not some guy with some noble vision or peaceful intentions. Obama is a narcissistic self-regarding lightweight who is basically an empty suit and a front man for the military-industrial complex, the financial sector and the Israel Lobby. He is deserving of no more consideration than a Kardashian.

  6. Greg
    October 13, 2015 at 16:02

    It never ceases to amaze me how it is NEVER brought up – except on sites like Consortium News, Common Dreams, Truth Dig, etc. – that the U.S.’ foreign policy of “interventionism” i.e. invading other countries, is patently ILLEGAL. Imagine for a moment if Russia suddenly began bombing some country (without an invitation from its leader, like Syria gave it) and sending ground troops there. The mainstream media would be ABLAZE with accusations of “illegal invasion by the evil Ruskies” and “rogue Hitler-wannabe Putin starting new Russian Empire,” etc, etc, etc. American forces would be there before you could blink to “defend XXX from the evil invaders.”

    Yet it has become completely status quo for the US to invade country after country, year after year, without any word from anyone about how ILLEGAL it is. Sovereign borders mean nada to the US, we go where the hell we want. Hell, we will even force another country’s president’s plane to land if we feel like it. Why is it that NOBODY – not the U.N., not any other country’s government, not the media, NO ONE – ever makes an issue of the fact that the US is violating international law every time it pops over the border of a sovereign country to start dropping bombs?

    The US has invaded more sovereign nations in the last 50 years than any other country on earth. We have started more wars, killed more people (sorry, I meant “collateral damage”), dropped more bombs, toppled more legitimate governments, than any other country ever has. And yet nobody discusses this. If another country did that, we would be up in arms about their evil, invading asses, but when the US does it, it’s okey-dokey and for good reason. And our talking heads and our politicians can still stand up in front of the American people and the cameras and say – with a straight face – that we are “exceptional” and the “greatest force for good and peace on earth.”

    Absolutely freaking mind-blowing.

  7. Mortimer
    October 11, 2015 at 15:38

    Resource Wars: An Interview with Michael Klare

    By Tamara Straus / AlterNet
    April 30, 2001


    Klare’s new book, Resource Wars, argues that resources — water, timber, minerals and especially oil — will be the main cause of strife in the post-Cold War era. Although domination of resources has always been central to government strategy, Klare believes this will become more true as the world population grows and resources become depleted.

    Gone will be the days of war waged for ideology. In its place will emerge a battle of economic interests with the earth’s natural resources as the ultimate trophy.

    This may sound overly simplistic, but resource competitions are already sparking tension and conflict in every corner of the globe. The motivation behind the Persian Gulf War — protection of U.S. oil interests in the Middle East — is the best known example.

    Yet it is not the only one. Klare shows that the U.S. government (and foreign governments as well) are currently shifting their foreign policy strategy away from technology and alliance politics to oil-field protection and defense of maritime trade routes in the Caspian Sea region, the South China Sea, the offshore oil fields of Africa and, of course, the Persian Gulf.

    Take the CIA. In 1997, it staged a simulated combat mission against “renegade forces” in southern Kazakhstan. The CENTRAZBAT 97 war game included the longest airborne operation in human history — flying troops some 7,700 miles from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Shymkent, Kazakhstan. Such a military exercise was economical in the eyes of the Clinton administration, as the Caspian Sea region is believed to house approximately 665 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or one-eighth of the world’s gas reserves.

    To secure access to oil in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Klare reports the U.S. government has been just as willing to make huge investments. Between 1990 and 1997, the U.S. provided these oil-rich countries over $42 billion in arms and ammunition — the largest and most costly transfer of military equipment in recent history.


    • Mortimer
      October 12, 2015 at 11:27

      Yesterday’s horrific bombing in Turkey opens doors to a much longer-wider-deeper conflict. The below provides new info on this long ago crafted plan for control of resources… . (stay tuned)

      Create salafist statelet in Syria for Qatar-Turkey pipeline to EU

      A 2014 Armed Forces Journal article[2] discussed how the Syrian civil war is driven by Qatar/Turkey/Saudi interests in running a Qatar gas pipeline through Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and unto the lucrative EU market. The pipeline would run through Aleppo region that is the proposed no-fly zone.[3]

      With Assad removed and replaced by a friendly salafist regime in Syria, the triad can thus tap into the EU market in face of current tensions with Russia over Ukraine, and continue to fund their war chest to support Islamist movements in the region.

      Indeed, it seems unlikely the autocratic regimes of Doha, Riyadh and an increasingly authoritarian Ankara are fighting for a democratic future in Syria, especially given the large number of foreign fighters and Islamic extremist groups in their Army of Conquest that is now headquartered in Idlib province. These “moderate rebels” are in fact conducting ethno-religious cleansing by killing or expelling Christians, Druze, and other minorities while establishing shaira law.

      This corroborates the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report of their desire to carve out a salafist statelet in Syria east of Assad-controlled territory in order to put pressure on his regime (In 2012 it was further east, but now that Assad has lost much territory it is just east of Latakia).[4]

      With its base in the Idlib governorate, the rebel coalition now has a direct supply line open from Turkey’s Hatay Province next to Idlib, further expanded by the new proposed Aleppo buffer zone. Hatay province, located on the coast north of Latakia, was originally part of Syria according to the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon, but Turkey showed interest in the area with its large Turkish-speaking community and in 1936 pushed for Hatay’s “reunification” with Turkey.[5] In 1939 Turkey annexed Hatay.

      Counter-terror expert Jacob Zenn assessed that the “rebels may have enough resources to establish a de-facto state in northwestern Syria led by JN [Jabhat-al-Nusra] and supported by several Central Asian militas.” The rebel coalition includes Chinese Uyghur-led terror group, Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), Uzbek-led Imam Bukhari Jamaat and Katibat Tawhid wal Jihad, as well as Chechen militias in the mix.

      Recent reports now reveal Turkey is populating this de facto statelet next to Hatay with Turkic settlements, especially Chinese Uyghur turks.

      Turkization of northwest Syria


  8. Abe
    October 11, 2015 at 15:07

    What the Russian air campaign has already graphically exposed is the whole rotten core myth of the new Jihad International.

    ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, Jabhat al-Nusra and assorted Salafi-jihadi goon squads have been kept up and running by a massive financial/logistical/weaponizing “effort” – which includes all sorts of key nodes, from arms factories in Bulgaria and Croatia to transportation routes via Turkey and Jordan.

    As for those Syrian “moderate rebels” – and most of them are not even Syrian, they’re mercenaries – every pebble in the ravaged Sykes-Picot desert sands knows they were trained by the CIA in Jordan. The desert pebbles are also aware that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh goons have been infiltrated into Syria from Turkey – once again, across Hatay province; and vast swathes of ‘the Sultan’s’ Army and police were into the game.

    As for who pays the bills for the lavish weaponizing, talk to the proverbial “pious wealthy donors” – incited by their clerics – in the GCC, the petrodollar arm of NATO. None of these goon squads could possibly thrive for so long without full, multidisciplinary “support” from the usual suspects.

    So the hysterical/apoplectic/paroxystic rage enveloping the ‘Empire of Chaos’ betrays the utter failure, once again, of the same old “policy” (remember Afghanistan) of using jihadis as geopolitical tools. Fake “Caliphate” or “rebels”, they are all NATO-GCC’s bitches.

    The NATO-Russia face off in Syria
    By Pepe Escobar

  9. Bruce
    October 11, 2015 at 13:52

    InDeed, SyriAssly curtail the state-sponsored terrorism therein by the Israeli, Saudi, Qatari, and Turkish Ba’athist Coalition of the Wahabbi! And,
    STOP the Doppelgang of PNAC Attackers in the Homeland!!

    • Andy O'Brien
      October 11, 2015 at 14:36

      Perhaps most replies lament Obama’s performance and the consequences. Many might agree or entertain that most Americans do not want their President waging or Congress approving any but absolutely necessary military action that would defend against demonstrable imminent threats. Such consensus seems not to matter.

      Peter Dale Scott and others’ conclusion that the events of 9/11 were coincident with a coup that has suspended the Constitution seems evidenced by every clue except admission by the leaders responsible.

      What’s to be done is a question for which meaningful solutions are AWOL We’ve become the nation of the Big Lie. The sub rosa substitution of “COG”, the regime of continuity of government scripted by the self anointed that threatens demise for the empire the Constituion incongruously spawned with help from the elites.

  10. Andy O'Brien
    October 11, 2015 at 13:38

    Bob Parry’s assessment of Mr. Obama’s table manners seems about right in its portrait of the publicly known history. Arguably, it may also be too kind and so begs not to be taken as the whole story let alone all that needs and should be said.

    A less kind metaphor to that of what’s above or below the table would be Obama Bifrons, as in two-faced, neither of which is true, honest or worthy of the trust his office “presumes” to control the lives of virtually everyone, and to play Russian nuclear roulette for real.

    However, Bob candidly, if gently, raised the issue of the evidence trail’s clues that Obama may care more about offending, or is it more “losing face”, in Washington official, than he cares about the wasted opportunityl to have saved lives currently being “wasted”, when he might already have bargained for a truce in Syria. It might be a step too far for some to call out the cavalier, perhaps, in legal terms, war criminal homicides, that he appears to take pride in as his “most important calling as “Commander in Chief”.

    Is Obama exceptionally vainglorious in his zest to protect no matter the phantom threat or the body count of his victims? Is he neither peace prize deserving nor glorious in his hiding behind the bastard child of the military industrial financial cabal.

    How does every(wo)man and journalist’s duty of candor, called upon when the exercise of power is malignant,not demand identifying/recognizing/calling out war crimes, those already acted on as well the nuclear threats that are “always on the table”, all contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the standards relied upon by the prosecutors at Nuremberg?

    Does our citizenry generally care that much of the world see us as exceptional war criminals?

    The Pope recently spoke of the need to reach out to refugees but was not very direct as to how refugees get reduced to that status or who in the world might be most responsible. The putative leader of one of the world’s largest religious organizations chose relative silence on the topic of current war crimes though he did make reference, if gently, to the manner in which Native Americans have experienced what amounts to genocidal practices.Yet upwards of 30% or so of the Congress to whom Francis was speaking are Catholics, few of whom have called for impeachment and many of whom have played an active role in the criminal conduct that has created the current refugee crisis.

    So, the degree of candor in Bob’s article is welcome; I’d vote for much more candor but who can say what the blowback to that might be?

  11. Mark Thomason
    October 11, 2015 at 12:12

    When Obama arrived, the neocons and liberal hawks were well established in DC as the Very Serious People. That was not just Bush. It included Clinton’s own wife, and the Bush 1 and Reagan people, and the Jackson Democrats before that.

    To break with the Very Serious People would have carried a high political price. Obama could not just ignore them, he’d have had to take them on for what they’d done before to stop what they wanted to keep doing.

    Obama took the low profile approach. He co-opted them, then undermined them. It left them in place as the Very Serious People and their narrative still dominates. His compromises left us too far into the problems he had promised to solve.

    What he did is therefore understandable, but it was a mistake. He avoided a fight he really could not avoid. By trying to sidestep the fight, he lost it, in the longer view.

    • dfnslblty
      October 11, 2015 at 14:11

      You began well – “low profile approach”;
      and end poorly – “sidestepped”.

      Potus is fully culpable.

      Indict & impeach!

  12. Steve
    October 11, 2015 at 11:44

    “Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the State.”

    – James Jesus Angleton
    Head of CIA Counter Intelligence 1954-1974

    I appreciate courageous journalists like Robert Parry, but I think this article “misses the mark” by accepting too many of the Empire’s “talking points.” To wit, I don’t think Obama is torn between “above the table” and “below the table” options. I think he is fully complicit and subservient to the Neo-Con agenda of destabilization via State-sponsored terrorism and “regime change.” He is a “Company Man” through and through, and functions as a kind of “Mister Rogers” for a relentlessly dumbed-down public.
    To pretend that he is “in charge” or even “means well” is to turn a blind eye to the Total Spectrum Deception of the Empire’s heartless agenda. The Russians called the bluff of this phony “war on terror” with their recent air assault on US sponsored terror groups. They were forced to act when they understood that this “endless war” was headed for their doorstep. Let’s not repeat the “talking points” of institutionalized deception, but rather point out in no uncertain terms the corruption and heartless hypocrisy of the National Security State.

    • Daniel
      October 11, 2015 at 19:49

      Hear, hear.

    • Daniel
      October 11, 2015 at 19:50

      My thoughts exactly

  13. Mortimer
    October 11, 2015 at 08:59

    Great speculative comments all — but missing The Point of the matter– it’s all about Oil and Gas.

    The below is an excerpt of William Engdahl’s conjecture clearing fact.

    In July 2011, the governments of Syria, Iran and Iraq signed an historic gas pipeline energy agreement which went largely unnoticed in the midst of the NATO-Saudi-Qatari war to remove Assad. The pipeline, envisioned to cost $10 billion and take three years to complete, would run from the Iranian Port Assalouyeh near the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, to Damascus in Syria via Iraq territory.

    The agreement would make Syria the center of assembly and production in conjunction with the reserves of Lebanon. This is a geopolitically strategic space that geographically opens for the first time, extending from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.[5] As Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar put it, “The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline – if it’s ever built – would solidify a predominantly Shi’ite axis through an economic, steel umbilical cord.”[6]

    Shortly after signing with Iran and Iraq, on August 16, 2011, Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Ministry of Oil announced the discovery of a gas well in the Area of Qarah in the Central Region of Syria near Homs. Gazprom, with Assad in power, would be a major investor or operator of the new gas fields in Syria. [7] Iran ultimately plans to extend the pipeline from Damascus to Lebanon’s Mediterranean port where it would be delivered to the huge EU market. Syria would buy Iranian gas along with a current Iraqi agreement to buy Iranian gas from Iran’s part of South Pars field.[8]

    Qatar, today the world’s largest exporter of LNG, largely to Asia, wants the same EU market that Iran and Syria eye. For that, they would build pipelines to the Mediterranean. Here is where getting rid of the pro-Iran Assad is essential. In 2009 Qatar approached Bashar al-Assad to propose construction of a gas pipeline from Qatar’s north Field through Syria on to Turkey and to the EU. Assad refused, citing Syria’s long friendly relations with Russia and Gazprom. That refusal combined with the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline agreement in 2011 ignited the full-scale Saudi and Qatari assault on Assad’s power, financing al Qaeda terrorists, recruits of Jihadist fanatics willing to kill Alawite and Shi’ite “infidels” for $100 a month and a Kalishnikov. The Washington neo-conservative warhawks in and around the Obama White House, along with their allies in the right-wing Netanyahu government, were cheering from the bleachers as Syria went up in flames after spring 2011.

    Today the US-backed wars in Ukraine and in Syria are but two fronts in the same strategic war to cripple Russia and China and to rupture any Eurasian counter-pole to a US-controlled New World Order. In each, control of energy pipelines, this time primarily of natural gas pipelines—from Russia to the EU via Ukraine and from Iran and Syria to the EU via Syria—is the strategic goal. The true aim of the US and Israel backed ISIS is to give the pretext for bombing Assad’s vital grain silos and oil refineries to cripple the economy in preparation for a “Ghaddafi-”style elimination of Russia and China and Iran-ally Bashar al-Assad.

    In a narrow sense, as Washington neo-conservatives see it, who controls Syria could control the Middle East. And from Syria, gateway to Asia, he will hold the key to Russia House, as well as that of China via the Silk Road.

    Religious wars have historically been the most savage of all wars and this one is no exception, especially when trillions of dollars in oil and gas revenues are at stake.

    Why is the secret Kerry-Abdullah deal on Syria reached on September 11 stupid? Because the brilliant tacticians in Washington and Riyadh and Doha and to an extent in Ankara are unable to look at the interconnectedness of all the dis-order and destruction they foment, to look beyond their visions of control of the oil and gas flows as the basis of their illegitimate power. They are planting the seeds of their own destruction in the end.
    # # # #

    F. William Engdahl, BFP contributing Author & Analyst
    William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics in the New World Order.
    He is a contributing author at BFP and may be contacted through his website at http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net where this article was originally published.

    See more at: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/10/24/the-secret-stupid-saudi-us-deal-on-syria/#sthash.DkrWBD7v.D0wz1JF1.dpuf

  14. Hillary
    October 11, 2015 at 08:38

    Just a thought….

    Without war many US states would have grave unemployment problems .

    Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of Americans would be unemployed. Many auxillary businesses would go to the wall & a US economy so dependant on the Military Industrial Complex (probably the the world’s major industry) would go bust.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 11, 2015 at 17:51

      Hillary, while you are right on most counts, I have been to machine shops which manufacturer parts for the defense contractors. These machinist wouldn’t have a problem tooling up to manufacture parts, for let’s say, farm equipment. Just like bomb loaders could be transitioned into ground support personnel at airports. Yes, at first there would be a shock to the system, but what a great shock it would be to convert to a peace time economy.

  15. October 11, 2015 at 05:07

    This brilliant article and some equally brilliant comments go a long way to illuminate the geopolitical scene. Only one thing is missing: What can be done to stop the imperial rampage across the globe?

    The US military budget of 620 billion US$ (including misnamed and secret funds rather one trillion US$) is matched by a 84 billion US$ (In reality some 100 billion US$) Russian military budget. The 7 – 10 times bigger US military budget will not result in an equally bigger military superiority because half of the money is wasted, payed for overprized weapons and services, or embezzled.

    Yet, if the financial efforts of the US taxpayers only result in a 3 – 4 times stronger military might it would be enough to squash Russia.

    The Russian air campaign is not a cakewalk. There will be losses and the Islamic terrorists will hide, build decoys, will strike unexpectedly, will deploy sophisticated anti aircraft missiles. Russia is the only nation besides the USA who can resort to comprehensive battlefield surveillance via drones, but drone reconnaissance was not decisive in recent US military conquests. This technology is overhyped, is prone to failures, the transmitted pictures can easily be misinterpreted.

    There will be technical defects and fighter jets may crash. Did all cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea reach their intended targets? They are in service since August. Western news agencies claim that four of them went down in Iran and one cannot say if this is just pure propaganda. Was a Russian jet indeed shot down by Turkey, as social media posts claim?
    Iranian General Hossein Hamedani was killed near Aleppo and the Syrian offensive in Idlib faces stiff resistance. Dozens of Syrian tanks have been destroyed and more than hundred soldiers died.

    A decapitation of the terrorist groups is not possible because there is no firm organizational structure on Syrian soil — the command rooms are in Turkey and Jordan. What Russia needs to do is to seal off the border to Turkey to enable a mopping-up operation of the Syrian and Iranian forces against the hundreds of marauding criminal gangs inside Syria.

    Even if the Syrian offensive in Idlib is successful, the war will go on. The Gulf states will pour more funds onto the terrorist gangs. Erdogan will seek comfort inside the NATO fold.

    The US Air Force Central Command started deploying search and rescue helicopters and airmen at Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakır Air Base in order to help with recovery operations in neighboring Iraq and Syria. A tent city within İncirlik air base has been undergoing reconstruction for modern prefabricated houses, which will host 2,250 US military personnel. The new area is named “Patriot Town,” and after construction is completed, the İncirlik base will be larger than any US base in Europe.

    The empire will not be tamed by outside pressure and it has the resources to keep its firm grip on the world for decades to come.

    Will a change come from inside? Guns are still in high demand, so what could be bad about shooting at other people? In average 90 US inhabitants per day are killed by guns — will the US culture of violence, cruelty, barbarism ever change?


    Cindy Sheehan was named in the comments. She keeps going despite having to care for her cancer sick sister. There are many admirable war resisters, social activists, dissidents, whistleblowers, conscientious objectors, but it is not yet a popular groundswell of activity against the imperial war adventures. It is maybe a groundswell of discontent, but as long as people remain glued to their TV, computer, and smartphones, the regime in Washington and Wall Street is not challenged and the machinations can go on unimpeded.

    Maybe Robert Parry can make a contribution to change US culture, but he and his fellow dissident journalists will have a long way to go.

  16. Joe Tedesky
    October 11, 2015 at 04:13

    While we American’s struggle to comprehend what is on Obama’s mine, would it be an over reach to believe the Russian’s already know? I would imagine an ex-KGB officer, would certainly have the experience to gain the knowledge required, to strategize his next move. Would Putin be wise to listen to a lame duck president? Would Putin be even wiser, to take serious any of the Warhawks who are presently running, for the U.S.Commander in Chief position? With all the war rhetoric coming from these presidential candidates, who wouldn’t want to deal with this president, who currently works out of the WH Oval Office? For the Russian’s, time must be of the essence. Obama may sound as though he is rolling over, but is there any sincerity too his words? Seeing how with the recent departure of the USS Teddy Roosevelt pulling up anchor, and departing from the Gulf, would Russia take this event seriously? Why would the U.S. for the first time since 2007 decide to abandon their presence in that area? Putin’s KGB background may be his country’s saving grace. You can bet your bottom dollar that with Iraq’s welcoming Russia’s air power, to wipe out ISIS strong holds, that this doesn’t sit well with the American Neocon’s. Putin’s real enemy isn’t Obama, as much as it is with the likes of John McCain and David Petraeus. To a Neocon, Syria is their Bay of Pigs, and that ain’t good. After all, we all know how that ended.

    • Peter Loeb
      October 11, 2015 at 05:16

      Robert Parry strains to make sense of previous analyses.
      He is “more to be pitied” as there is not much sense to be
      made from such a “mish mosh”. I tend to see and sense
      Barack O. as a cynical speechmaker quite out of his element.
      No one had to deal with such intricacies and competitions
      when Obama was a state senator. (In that position he
      did as he was told, dropped his expressions of support
      of Palestinian Rights when demanded by his heavily Jewish
      donors as well as his support for so-called universal
      health care.He also ditched any and all support for Palestinian
      Rights and connection with Pastor Wright, the militant minister
      whose approval was so important to Obama’s success—
      to constructing his “brand” if you will—in that state

      It seems that there is little reason to give Obama a pass
      as Robert Parry seeks to do above:

      “The mystery of the Obama administration’s foreign policy has always
      been whether President Barack Obama has two separate strategies:
      one “above the table” waving his arms and talking tough like Official
      Washington’s arm-chair warriors do – and another “below the table”
      where he behaves as a pragmatic realist, playing footsy with foreign

      The kindest that might be said is that Obama doesnt really know
      what he is doing.

      The most accurate analysis at present seems to be that put forth
      by Joe Tedesky above. Like it or not (in this author’s the “or not”
      description is more to the point) Obama will not be around much
      longer. Whether he arranges any lifting of sanctions for Iran or
      not he will not be in power to direct. He will be gone. At this point
      none of us KNOWS who the successor(s) will be.

      As Joe Tedesky points out:

      “While we American’s struggle to comprehend what is on Obama’s mind,
      would it be an over reach to believe the Russian’s already know? I would
      imagine an ex-KGB officer, would certainly have the experience to gain
      the knowledge required, to strategize his next move…” (Joe Tedesky)

      What that move or series of options may Putin and his advisor may
      currently be considering is not clear to most of us in the west.
      (There are, of course, specific reasons for this obscurity.)

      Meanwhile, Israel (probably with US support) continues its oppression,
      murder, threats of violence etc. in an area it rules as though
      it were an annexed ciolony. (See Rania Khalek in yesterday’s
      Electronic Intifada on “Death to Arabs” rallies.) Many of us in the
      west have become accustomed to this silence in the media.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 11, 2015 at 06:08

        Thanks Peter, for the support. Yes, while we Americans grapple with our President’s incoherent rhetoric over Russia’s Syrian air strikes, Palestinian’s are being trampled under Israeli boots. Funny, how when Assad cracks down on Syrian protesters, it’s time for the U.S. to enforce regime change. On the other hand, when Netanyahu orders the IDF to use live ammunition against young Palestian rock throwers, well that’s okay. We should get use to the double standards, but we should never get settled in by accepting Israel’s violence towards the Palestinian people. Oh, and speaking about American double standards, what about Yeman? Still, concern over what Obama thinks, although relevant, is just a matter of time until he retires to his presidential library. Then, and even now, Putin would do his country well, to concentrate on what is going on with all those crazy Neocon’s. Obama, maybe the president, but he isn’t the one running the show. My guess, is Putin already knows that, and he will act accordingly.

        • F. G. Sanford
          October 11, 2015 at 12:08

          So, is USS T. R. gettin outta Dodge? I guess one of our geniuses at the Pentagon realized that if you can shoot a cruise missile 900 miles from the Caspian Sea…then who needs a carrier? Sinking a sitting duck obsolete symbol of American gunboat diplomacy would definitely not be a public relations victory for Team America. That’s a scenario these bozos need to start worrying about.

          • Joe Tedesky
            October 11, 2015 at 13:18

            You are probably right, F.G.. With the sporadic accuracy of those darn missiles, what’s a little more collateral damage. (BTW, nice prouse)

            Also, maybe by moving the USS T.R. this could be a head fake, to fool Vlad. Although, to bad for the geniuses at the CIA, because this will only sharpen Putin’s game. Doing this in their mines, is much better than allying with Russia, because then McCain would be out of a job.

        • Zachary Smith
          October 11, 2015 at 22:59

          Funny, how when Assad cracks down on Syrian protesters, it’s time for the U.S. to enforce regime change. On the other hand, when Netanyahu orders the IDF to use live ammunition against young Palestian rock throwers, well that’s okay.

          Good point. You can bet your last dollar you won’t find either the NYT or WP making that same point. Speaking badly about Israel at one of those newspapers would be a silly way of becoming unemployed.

          In another of your posts you mentioned that BHO is a lame duck. With that in mind, what Mr. Parry wrote about how Obama seems frightened by the domestic political repercussions just doesn’t make any sense. BHO will never be running for office again. If he’s not taking charge now, that’s because he never was truly in charge. Either that, he’s a full-bore neocon mouthing pious phrases. Naturally there’s also the outside chance he fears something or other very badly.

          A blog post I can’t locate now finally clarified for me what the US has been doing with its flights over Syria. The author said that our Air Force has been playing “sheep dog” for ISIS, bombing them only if they try doing anything besides attacking Assad. That’s why so many of our aircraft return to base with their full load of ordnance. Add that to the way we’ve been sending ISIS hundreds of millions of dollars worth of supplies by way of the “moderates”, and ISIS had been getting a mighty easy ride.

          • Joe Tedesky
            October 12, 2015 at 01:10

            Zachary, I have always thought that we loss our government when JFK got assassinated, but now I contemplate that this coup may have happened much sooner. When Henry Wallace was replaced with Harry Truman, for FDR’s Vice President, is when this coup may have occurred. Truman never stopped any buck anywhere, when it came to the CIA. The best I can say for Ike, was he was in poor health, and the Dulles Brothers certainly took full advantage of that situation. We all know what happened to John Kennedy. Think about it. These senseless wars, have been continuing ever since the end of WWII. Cecil Rhodes, was well represented by Churchill, when he visited Harry Truman at his home in Missouri back in 1946, and invented the word ‘Iron Curtain’. We always talk about the actor Ronald Reagan, but what would you call Bill Clinton, G.W. Bush, and finally Barak Obama. I would include H.W. Bush, but I believe he has always been the golden boy of the deep state. Jimmy Carter, I believe was an experiment gone wrong, but then he had Brzezinski so all was not loss. They read from a script, and nothing more. I wouldn’t doubt, that Putin doesn’t even pay much attention to what these presidents say. Oh by the way, rumors have it the Russian’s may have killed McCain’s buddy Abu Bakr al-Baghdad head of ISIS. By all accounts Russia may wrap this Syrian/Iraq thing up by Christmas. Yet, be aware, this is the moment for the upmost caution. You should also know how I always enjoy reading your comments.

      • Dfnslblty
        October 11, 2015 at 14:02

        Agreed, too much weaseling to give potus reasoning capacities – other than babbling “yes” to its handlers.
        P.L. has it correct, and Ted too.

        Indict and impeach – top to bottom.

  17. October 11, 2015 at 02:20

    It seems the West has consigned democracy and humanity to the dustbin of the past.

  18. F. G. Sanford
    October 10, 2015 at 23:37

    Miles didn’t say much, but got his point across
    Tunisian Nights was Dizzy’s bag – lots of notes.
    Lotta notes, man – ten plates of whipped cream.
    Yeah, that cream is tasty though with dark brown sugar sauce.

    They remember Clifford too. Sweet, sweet melodies.
    He must’ve took from Dizzy though – lotta notes.
    You play what you’ve been listening to – can’t escape.
    Grinding right on in your dreams, they haunt your reveries.

    Cat was just a screamer, didn’t have so much to say.
    Sometimes miles turned his back.
    That white boy Maynard sure could tear it up.
    Cat didn’t need a microphone, as high as he could play.

    This fella got a nice clean sound, and crisp.
    Not like Dizzy’s Harmon mute stem out-
    Miles got to using that like Dizzy did.
    It’s all on who he listens to, and we can hear a wisp,

    Of nighttime in Tunisia, it’s too dark to find his way.
    If he could hear the changes maybe find another riff
    The desert wouldn’t seem so full of sand.
    Every footstep full of grains, and all those notes to play.

    Miles played toward the end with Sugar overseas.
    He only used a dozen notes. And turned his back.
    The audience was just so many grains of sand.
    You know he got that boy a hit, just easy as you please.

    Miles didn’t say much, but he always chose the tunes
    Sometimes he’d call Piano Man, that white boy sure could play.
    By telephone he’d listen as the changes sorted through
    Then in his dreams the desert’s song would always shift the dunes.

    You gotta find a melody, and give up that whipped cream.
    You got a nice clean sound, and crisp.
    Got to turn your back like Miles did and play.
    The desert’s full of vipers, bro, and in the dark they want to steal your dream.


    • Abe
      October 11, 2015 at 13:51

      The song “Dune Mosse”, originally appeared on Zucchero’s fourth studio album, Blue’s, in 1987.

      Miles Davis heard “Dune Mosse” on the radio while he was touring Europe in the summer of 1987 and asked Zucchero to record it again with him.

      Zucchero recorded the new version of “Dune Mosse” with Davis in 1989. Davis died in 1991.

      On May 14, 2004, Zucchero released the compilation album Zu & Co., featuring new versions of songs recorded with a selection of artists with whom Zucchero has performed during his career.

      The first track on Zu & Co. is “Dune Mosse” featuring Miles Davis.

      • Abe
        October 11, 2015 at 14:06

        On May 14, 2004, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting published an anonymous interview with a member of Jaysh Muhammad (Arabic: Jaish Muḥammad al-fātiḥ, translation: Army of Muhammad the Conquerer).

        Jaysh Muhammad was initially believed to consist of fighters who had infiltrated Iraq from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Later it was reported by the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), a combined joint/multi-agency intelligence task force, that
        Jaysh Muhammad membership appeared to be primarily of Iraqi citizens.

        Jaysh Muhammad was responsible for sophisticated attacks on Coalition forces during early 2004, assisted by former intelligence and security officers.

        The member stated that the majority of Jaysh Muhammad combatants were Iraqis who joined the Sunni movement to drive the coalition from Iraq. He said there were only a few foreign fighters in the group and that they had “lived with us [before the war] and did not come from abroad after the war.” He denied that the group, which he described as not Wahhabi, is linked to Al-Qaeda. He also claimed that the group received no funding from abroad, but that it is funded “from honorable and good people in this country.” He said that Jaysh Muhammad opposed the Iraqi Governing Council because it was not elected, and since so many of the Council members were exiles. “They do not understand Iraqis’ suffering and Arab traditions. [They] were distorted by the Western life they lived,” he said. He also claimed that his group is affiliated with an Islamic political party, but declined to identify which party, only to say that it is not the Iraqi Islamic Party. While he denied the group targeted Iraq police officers, he condoned the kidnapping of foreigners, saying that “kidnapping is an obligation.” He also said: “There is no real United Nations. It is an organization completely controlled by the United States and its resolutions always serve U.S. interests.”

  19. craigbhill
    October 10, 2015 at 20:41

    Robert Perry has bought into conventional lying politics hook, line, sinker. ISIS or ISIL has been funded by the Obama administration from its start. It replaces Bush’s relatively wimpy al-Qaeda, which is Arabic for “the Base”, the computer base of the files of Muslim operatives in the region cultivated continuously from the days of the American-British overthrow of the Iranian social democracy of 1951 for American-British ally-dictator, natch, the imperial Shah.

    Putin knows the lie that Obama is in Syria to back up the rebel forces and supposedly attack ISIS, which is actually the US’ proxy attacking Assad because the rebels are a mushy compendium of “meh”. ISIS is of course the new improved superevil boogeyman blowing up archeology, decapitating raping, etc, ALL with the knowledge the US uses those activities to keep the military-industrial complex overjoyed with defense dollars, and to play a form of Destruction Derby for and against various chess pieces in the region for their geopolitically naziesque fun. Gotta have an enemy, y’know! So Putin decided to use Western propaganda shoving the decapitations in our faces and attack ISIS as if the good guy doing the job the US seemingly is unable or won’t. The US, both parties, meantime wants Russia OUT of their chessboard despite the seemingly confusing fact they don’t want Russia to defeat ISIS. Meantime Russia is moving against American proxy ISIS in Iraq, causing Obama and his CIA-led gang of criminal activities no end of trying to figure out how to stop Russia from heroicaly attacking ISIS. They may have to bankrupt Russian by keeping their profits low on sales to Europe of oil and gas, by keeping the world price artificially low, which is Why it IS. They may have to cause the Ukrainian Nazis the US installed there to go on some kind of Eastern Ukrainian rampage, forcing Putin to transfer his weaponry onto them instead of ISIS. THAT is the level of treason going on throughout Washington Robert Perry refuses to discuss, if he sincerely believes it, favoring instead this mishmash of gossipy soap opera politics, all of which is the necessary whitewash keeping the progressive community in the mainstream politics of lies, which allows them to continue their evil war fraud ad nauseum, all the way, if necessary, to destroying Putin and Russia, while the American public applauds out of its usual misplaced belief that the US government is on our side in any which way, especially regarding foreign policy, when it is easily discernibly NOT.

    • Pavlusha
      October 10, 2015 at 22:24

      Could not agree with you more! Is there more analysis like this I can get my hands on?

  20. jo6pac
    October 10, 2015 at 20:26

    0 is a tool only looking to become as rich as bigdog and hillabillie. It’s whatever the .0001%/cia want. That’s easy, war until the collapse of Amerikas $$$$. Sad but the .0001% know what best for us citizens;)

    Invest in pitchforks.

  21. Vierotchka
    October 10, 2015 at 19:30

    Note that schizophrenia does not mean “split personality”, so calling Obama’s personality “schizophrenic” is totally inaccurate, and something of an insult to schizophrenics and their families.

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

    • WG
      October 11, 2015 at 11:04

      Yea schizophrenics are consistently delusional. Obama can only manage consistent disappointment. *snare drum* I’m here all week folks!

  22. Abe
    October 10, 2015 at 19:12

    For those wondering why Russia has intervened in Syria in the matter that it has, it should be plainly obvious. The US has no intention to stop in Syria. With Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya behind it, and Syria within its clutches, it is clear that Iran is next, and inevitably this global blitzkrieg will not stop until it reaches Moscow and Beijing.

    Even as the US adamantly denies the obvious – that is has intentionally created and is currently perpetuating Al Qaeda, the so-called “Islamic State,” and other terrorist groups in Syria, it is openly conspiring to use another army of terrorists against neighboring Iran, live before a US Senate hearing. Should the US succeed in Syria, it would not be the end of the conflict, but only the end of the beginning of a much wider world war.

    Syria: US Success Would Only Be the End of the Beginning
    By Tony Cartalucci

  23. JC
    October 10, 2015 at 18:21

    Looks like Chuck Hegel was the only sane one and decided to get while the gettin’ was as good as it was gonna get.

  24. October 10, 2015 at 18:02

    “as if Assad were targeting ‘innocent children’ when there is no evidence of that.” ?!?

    There is ample evidence of Assad targeting civilians, including innocent children.

    see https://www.bellingcat.com/category/news/mena/page/3/

    You must accept the fact that the work Eliot Higgins and his team at Bellingcat.com is indisputable, due to it’s open-source nature.

    • Joe L.
      October 10, 2015 at 18:56

      Julie R. Butler… Bellingcat is laughable. This supposed independent “blogger” goes out of his way to prove the US Government right – why is that? Sorry but I will believe Robert Parry or Seymour Hersh over the “blogger” Bellingcat any day of the week. Personally I believe more in Seymour Hersh’s account, a Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist, in his writings such as:

      “Whose Sarin?” by Seymour Hersh:

      “The Red Line and the Rat Line” by Seymour Hersh:

      Oh and just to point out the reason why “Bellingcat” goes out of his way to prove the US government right, instead of challenging the government as true journalism should do, here is an excerpt written by Consortium News some time ago on this very subject:

      “USAID has estimated its budget for “media strengthening programs in over 30 countries” at $40 million annually, including aiding “independent media organizations and bloggers in over a dozen countries.” USAID, working with billionaire George Soros’s Open Society, also funds the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which engages in “investigative journalism” that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption. The USAID-funded OCCRP also collaborates with Bellingcat, an online investigative website founded by blogger Eliot Higgins.”

      Just wait until Abe gets here, I am sure that he will have more than a few things to say about “Bellingcat”. The fact is that no one should trust a person trying to prove the US government right especially after the debacle and lies that led to the Iraq War which were perpetrated by the US government.

    • Abe
      October 10, 2015 at 19:06

      Oh yeah.

      Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat have been flogging multiple “indisputable” so-called “open-source” reports about MH-17.

      Never a man to admit when he’s been repeatedly proven wrong, as he was about the Ghouta attack in 2013 and Ukraine in 2014, Higgins will dutifully continue to supply “ample evidence of Assad targeting civilians”.

      Hilarity will ensue.

      • Peter Loeb
        October 15, 2015 at 07:28


        On February 22 the US voted UNANIOUSLY with all other
        Members of the UN Security Council against “regime change”
        which is in any case against international law.

        The specific resolution is S/Res/2139(2014)

        The words cited are in point # 14 (page 4 of the document):

        “14. Strongly condemns the increased terrorist attacks resulting in numerous
        casualties and destruction carried out by organizations and individuals associated
        with Al-Qaeda, its affiliates and other terrorist groups, urges the opposition
        groups to maintain their rejection of these organizations and individuals
        which are responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law
        in opposition held areas, calls upon the Syrian authorities and opposition
        groups to commit to combating and defeating organizations and individuals associated with Al-Qaeda, its affiliates and other terrorist groups, demands
        that all foreign fighters immediately withdraw from Syria, and reaffirms that
        terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever
        and by whomsoever committed;..”

        The above citation would include al-Nusra. It would also include any other
        rebels COVERTLY backed by the US and any and all other members of
        any coalition operating OUTSIDE the bounds, processes and procedures
        of established international law. (This is as we all know is the common
        procedure of the US and its friends (“allies”, sometimes mistakenly referred
        to as “the international community” by Washington. Of course, it is anything

        Clearly the above which presumes the sovereignty of the current regime
        of Syria (Bashir Assad) contradicts all bases of current Washington
        policies. It nowhere alludes to “Bashir Assad must go”!

        Washington consequently and quickly threw this unanimous agreement
        by “the international community”—an agreement which they had signed—
        down George Orwell’s “memory hole.” It was not mentioned in public
        discourse, almost never referred to by Washington and mainstream

        Within days, Washington once again claimed that “Bashir must go” as
        though they had never signed the UN Security Council agreement
        cited (in part) above.

        Washington thinks it represents “the international community” and
        evidently no one else. The UN was designed by Washington with a
        veto which they presumed would always be in Washington’s control.
        FDR insisted on adding China as a big power with a veto on the
        basis that the nationalist Chinese government (Chiang Kai-chek’s KMT)
        would always side with Washington against “them” aka the Russians.
        Churchill called this “a farce” and referred to China as a “faggot
        veto” (it was 1943).

        In working out the structure of the UN the UK supported Stalin’s demand
        for an “absolute” veto.

        Evidently Washington did not then consider the possibility that China
        would be victorious as a communist nation albeit following different
        principles than Russia’s Leninist ones.

        Despite its politically incorrect expression, Churchill was protecting
        the UK’s interests which were being erroded by its debt to
        Washington during WW Two. (Information from Gabrial Kolko’s

        Just being common sensical instead of legalistic, it clearly is
        absurd to expect a nation to distinguish a weak coalition which
        claims it is fighting the very existence of a nation which is a
        SOVERIGN Member of the United Nations. As Robert Parry
        and others at Consortium have pointed out, the fact that
        such so-caklled “moderates” even exist or ever existed beyond
        a CIA figleaf is open to serious question. The UN resolution
        refers ONLY to Al-Queda and its affiliates. And those who
        should be fighting them—the so-called “moderates” if they
        exist, do not seem to be doing.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Joe L.
      October 10, 2015 at 19:08

      Julie R. Butler… One other thing to consider when looking at these wars in the Middle East, or calls for “regime change”, are the words of US 4-star General Wesley Clark (who used to head NATO in Europe) who spoke in 2007 about a US plan from before 9/11 to overthrow the governments of 7 countries in 5 years – Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. How many of these governments have fallen at this point? But don’t take my word for it but watch it for yourself:


    • Stefan
      October 10, 2015 at 22:53

      Referring to Eliot Higgins, is by definition, a discredit.

      Higgins is a joke, and that is a gross understatement.

    • BobS
      October 11, 2015 at 09:29

      Julie, do yourself a favor – remove Bellingcat from your bookmarks and replace it with this: A HREF=”http://www.moonofalabama.org/”>Moon of Alabama

      • WG
        October 11, 2015 at 10:57

        I’d like to second the recommendation to read moonofalabama.org
        When things that you read there end up being proven true 6-12 months later you’ll become a believer.

    • rosemerry
      October 11, 2015 at 14:07

      It is gross hypocrisy for Obama to criticize Assad for what he delights in helping Israel to do ever since he was elected.

    • krisba
      October 11, 2015 at 15:13

      Who is Eliot Higgins?
      This article explains why I have no confidence what so ever in Eliot Higgins:

    • je suis rien
      October 11, 2015 at 16:45

      The lack of research evident on the bombing of the Hospital in Kunduz should tell you the worth of this Blogger. “Open source”. ?
      Disgusting self aggrandizing lies.

  25. Hank
    October 10, 2015 at 17:56

    The US military & entitlement funding have bankrupted the country. Given a choice between Hegemony and social programs I believe, put to a vote, the citizens would keep social security and medicare over an “offensive” military machine. If the neocons persist in the Full Spectrum Dominance, all inhabitants of the planet may pay the cost. The long drought in Syria helped initiate the unrest that has resulted in Europe being overrun with desperate refugees. The entire US middle east foreign policy makes no sense unless viewed in the full spectrum dominance scheme.

    • Daniel
      October 11, 2015 at 19:33

      Hear, hear.

  26. ltr
    October 10, 2015 at 16:01

    Terrific but saddening analysis.

    • Fernando de Sousa Falcão
      October 10, 2015 at 18:34

      I agree with ltr and I think that US cicitzens must think seriousely before voting for a new president.

      • JRGJRG
        October 10, 2015 at 20:00

        I am fearful that, while Bernie Sanders is very attractive as a candidate on domestic areas, he is too unsophisticated in the area of foreign policy to resist the neocons, and might get elected only to continue the same Bush-Carter-Obama policies. He should listen to his friend Noam Chomsky, perhaps, and get a refresher course. Or let’s hope he’s really backing the Saudis and proposing to punish Putin with sanctions for his “aggression” in the Ukraine in order to get past the radar of the neocons. The establishment forces would love to get another “man of the people” who can lead the masses, but who will continue their imperialist military-industrial policies. Yes, he voted against the Iraq war and other things, but there are other things he did that are not so peace-mongering, as Cindy Sheehan and Ralph Nader have pointed out.

        The last thing we need for president right now is another Obama, who has broken every single promise he made to his enthusiastic supporters in 2009.

        • Steve Naidamast
          October 12, 2015 at 13:45

          I am not sure if Noam Chomsky has a very high opinion of Sanders based on what I have read recently.

          I certainly don’t… So I agree with your assessments…

      • Eileen K.
        October 14, 2015 at 23:57

        You’re absolutely correct, Fernando … USSA citizens must, indeed, think seriously before voting for a new POTUS, The ones we’ve had … after JFK … haven’t shown sufficient leadership. The current one’s the worst so far; but, if Hillary ever wins the Presidency, she’ll even be worse. She certainly was the worst Secretary of State in recent years.
        JFK was America’s last statesman … and he was murdered on 22 Nov. 1963. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a statesman, unlike any American President from LBJ on.

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