Neocons Revive Syria ‘Regime Change’ Plan

Exclusive: President Obama plans to violate international law by launching airstrikes inside Syria without that government’s consent, even though Syria might well give it. Is Obama playing into neocon hands by providing a new argument for “regime change” in Damascus, asks Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Official Washington’s ever-influential neoconservatives and their “liberal interventionist” allies see President Barack Obama’s decision to extend U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists into Syria as a new chance to achieve the long-treasured neocon goal of “regime change” in Damascus.

On the surface, Obama’s extraordinary plan to ignore Syrian sovereignty and attack across the border has been viewed as a unilateral U.S. action to strike at the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but it could easily evolve into a renewed effort to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s government, ironically one of ISIS’s principal goals.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

ISIS began as part of the Sunni resistance to George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq which had elevated Iraq’s Shiite majority to power. Then known as “al-Qaeda in Iraq,” the terrorist group stoked a sectarian war by slaughtering Shiites and bombing their mosques.

Changing its name to ISIS, the group shifted to Syria where it joined with U.S.-backed rebels seeking to overthrow Assad’s regime which was dominated by Alawites, a branch of Shiite Islam. Then, this summer, ISIS returned to Iraq where it routed Iraqi government forces in a series of battles and conducted public executions, including beheading two U.S. journalists.

In his national address Wednesday, Obama said he will order U.S. air attacks across Syria’s border without any coordination with the Syrian government, a proposition that Damascus has denounced as a violation of its sovereignty. Thus, the argument will surely soon be heard in Washington that Assad’s government must be removed as a military prerequisite so the attacks on ISIS can proceed. Otherwise, there could be a threat to U.S. aircraft from Syria’s air defenses.

That would get the neocons back on their original track of forcing “regime change” in countries seen as hostile to Israel. The first target was Iraq with Syria and Iran to follow. The goal was to deprive Israel’s close-in enemies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of crucial support. The neocon vision got knocked off track when Bush’s Iraq War derailed and the American people balked at the idea of extending the conflict to Syria and Iran.

But the neocons never gave up on their vision. They simply kept at it, clinging to key positions inside Official Washington and recruiting “liberal interventionists” to the “regime change” cause. The neocons remained focused on Syria and Iran with hopes of getting U.S. bombing campaigns going against both countries. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Dangerous Neocon-R2P Alliance.”]

The neocons’ new hope has now arrived with the public outrage over ISIS’s atrocities. Yet, while pushing to get this new war going, the neocons have downplayed their “regime change” agenda, getting Obama to agree only to extend his anti-ISIS bombing campaign from Iraq into Syria. But “regime change” in Damascus has remained a top neocon priority.

In a New York Times op-ed on Aug. 29, neocon Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham avoided the “r-c” phrase couching their words about Syria’s civil war in the vague language of resolving the conflict, but clearly meaning that Assad must go.

The hawkish pair wrote that thwarting ISIS “requires an end to the [civil] conflict in Syria, and a political transition there, because the regime of President Bashar al-Assad will never be a reliable partner against ISIS; in fact, it has abetted the rise of ISIS, just as it facilitated the terrorism of ISIS’ predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq.”

Though the McCain-Graham depiction of Assad’s relationship to ISIS and al-Qaeda is a distortion at best in fact, Assad’s army has been the most effective force in pushing back against the Sunni terrorist groups that have come to dominate the Western-backed rebel movement the op-ed’s underlying point is obvious: an initial step in the U.S. military operation against ISIS must be “regime change” in Damascus.

Neocon Sleight-of-Hand

The neocons are also back to their old sleight-of-hand conflating the terrorists fighting the Assad government with the Assad government. In the op-ed, McCain and Graham cite Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson supposedly calling “Syria ‘a matter of homeland security’” when he actually said in the linked speech from last February:

“We are very focused on foreign fighters heading to Syria. Based on our work and the work of our international partners, we know individuals from the U.S., Canada and Europe are traveling to Syria to fight in the conflict. At the same time, extremists are actively trying to recruit Westerners, indoctrinate them, and see them return to their home countries with an extremist mission.”

In other words, “Syria” was not the problem cited by Johnson but rather the “foreign fighters heading to Syria” and the possibility that they might “return to their home countries with an extremist mission.” The distinction is important, but McCain and Graham want to blur the threat to confuse Americans into seeing “Syria” as the problem, not the extremists.

A similar approach was taken by Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, one of the Obama administration’s top liberal war hawks. On Sept. 4, she sought to conflate recent allegations that Assad may not have surrendered all his chemical weapons with the possibility that any remaining weapons might fall into the hands of ISIS terrorists.

“Certainly if there are chemical weapons left in Syria, there will be a risk” that they could end up in the hands of ISIS, Power said. “And we can only imagine what a group like that would do if in possession of such a weapon.”

If any of these rhetorical tactics are ringing a bell, it’s because they are reminiscent of how the neocons frightened the American people into supporting the Iraq War in 2002-03. Back then, Bush administration officials blended unsubstantiated claims about Iraq’s WMDs with the prospect of them being shared with al-Qaeda.

In both cases Iraq then and Syria now the existence of those dangerous chemical weapons was in serious doubt and, even if they did exist, the two governments of Saddam Hussein then and Bashar al-Assad now were hostile to the Sunni fundamentalists in al-Qaeda and now its spinoff, ISIS.

Yet, this effort to confuse the American public by manipulating their lack of knowledge about the power relationships in the Middle East might work once more, by putting “black hats” on both Assad and ISIS and blurring the fact that they are bitter enemies.

In the weeks ahead, Assad also will surely be portrayed as obstructing the U.S. attacks on ISIS. He likely will be blamed for a lack of cooperation with the airstrikes even though it was the Obama administration that refused to coordinate with Assad’s government.

ISIL or ISIS?

Among anti-neocon “realists” inside the U.S. intelligence community, the concern about how these airstrikes into Syria might lead to dangerous mission creep is so great that I’m told that some senior analysts are even suspicious of President Obama’s repeated use of the acronym “ISIL” for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant instead of the more common “ISIS,” referring only to Iraq and Syria.

The concern is that “the Levant” suggests a larger area including all “Mediterranean lands east of Italy,” that theoretically could include everything from Turkey to Palestine and Jordan to parts of Egypt. One source said inclusion of the phrase “ISIL,” instead of “ISIS,” in any “use of force” resolution could be significant by creating a possibility of a much wider war.

In his speech to the nation on Wednesday, Obama continued to use the acronym “ISIL” but his references to U.S. military operations were limited to Iraq and Syria.

The most controversial part of Obama’s speech was his open declaration to conduct cross-border attacks into Syria in clear violation of international law. He also vowed to increase military support for rebels fighting to overthrow the Assad government.

Obama declared that “we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition” and he requested additional resources from Congress. He added: “We must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all,” a further suggestion that “regime change” is again in play.

Exactly what Obama thinks he can get from the Syrian opposition is a mystery, since he himself stated in an interview just last month that the notion that arming the supposedly “moderate” rebels would have made a difference in Syria has “always been a fantasy.”

He told the New York Times’ Thomas L. Friedman: “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.”

Nevertheless, Obama has now trotted out that old “fantasy” in connection with his plan to extend the war against ISIS into Syria. Obama also knows that many of the previous Syrian “moderates” who received U.S. weapons later unveiled themselves to be Islamists who repudiated the U.S.-backed opposition and allied themselves with al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Syrian Rebels Embrace Al-Qaeda.”]

What’s Up?

Given that record and Obama’s knowledge of it what is one to make of the deceptive formulation that he presented to the American people on Wednesday night?

One explanation could be that Obama plans a more direct albeit secretive U.S. role in removing Assad and putting a new regime into power in Damascus. Or Obama might be simply pandering to the neocons and liberal hawks who would have gone berserk if he had acknowledged the obvious, that the smart play is to work quietly with Assad to defeat ISIS and al-Nusra Front.

The other smart play might be for Obama to resume his behind-the-scenes cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin who helped engineer Syria’s agreement to surrender its chemical weapons arsenal last year and who could presumably broker a quiet agreement between Obama and Assad to allow the U.S. airstrikes now.

Though the U.S. neocons and “liberal interventionists” exploited the Ukraine crisis to drive a wedge between the two leaders, Obama might want to reconsider that estrangement and accept the help of Russia as well as Iran in achieving a goal that they all agree on: defeating ISIS and other Sunni terrorist groups. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

Yet, in Wednesday’s speech, Obama seemed to go out of his way to insult Putin by decrying “Russian aggression” in Ukraine where the U.S. government has accused Moscow of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty by crossing the border into eastern Ukraine and aiding ethnic Russian rebels.Obama claimed that Washington’s own intervention in Ukraine was “in support of the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny.”

Yet the realities in Kiev, whose government is backed by the U.S., and in Damascus, whose government is despised by Washington, have eerie parallels. In Syria, Assad, a longtime dictator, won a recent election that was truncated by civil strife. In Ukraine, the current government was established by a February coup d’etat that overthrew an elected president and is now headed by a president elected by only a portion of the population, excluding much of the rebellious east.

Yet, in one country Ukraine the United States says outside intervention even by a neighbor to protect a population under military assault is illegal “aggression,” while in the other country Syria it is entirely okay for the United States to send its military halfway around the world, cross Syria’s borders to carry out bombing raids while also arming militants to overthrow the internationally recognized government.

Typically, neither Obama nor the U.S. mainstream press made note of the hypocrisy. But the bigger question now is will the neocons hijack Obama’s bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria to achieve one of their most beloved goals, regime change in Damascus.

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 barnesandnoble.com). 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.

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17 comments for “Neocons Revive Syria ‘Regime Change’ Plan

  1. Abe
    September 11, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Obama is not and has never been “playing into neocon hands.”

    Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama provides cover for and is a direct instrument of U.S. hegemonic ‘regime change’ plans, call them what you may: ‘neocon,’ ‘liberal,’ or ‘realist.’ Death, destruction, misery and, of course, profit are the results.

    The Russians obstructed the Syria ‘regime change’ plan in 2013 but now they’re a bit distracted in Ukraine.

    • September 15, 2014 at 4:43 am

      Irene Caesar’s Essay: “CIA, SIS and ISIS Beheading Fraud, or Obama The King of Photoshop”:

      PART ONE: FIVE EYES (CIA, SIS AND ISIS) BEHEADING FRAUD OR THE BOLLYWOOD CRAZE OF JAMES BOND
      PART TWO: ZIO-NAZI PRIVATE “SITE INTELLIGENCE GROUP” IS “ISIS”. PINOCCHIO COULD NOT DO IT BETTER
      PART THREE: OBAMA IS THE KING OF PHOTOSHOP

      http://irenecaesar.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/sis-and-isis-beheading-fraud/

    • Richard Steven Hack
      September 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Absolutely correct. I’m amazed at how many people think Obama is STILL some sort of “peace President” despite his quite obvious attempt to get a war with Syria started last year.

      And now he’s using the ISIS threat that HE CREATED via his Syrian policies to justify invading Syria yet again.

      People need to wake up: Obama IS a war-monger even more dangerous than George Dubya.

  2. September 11, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Especially when it comes to the Neocons Robert Parry’s extraordinary insights and analysis are indispensable, and his dedication to truth-telling deserves tremendous praise and thanks. I would only add to what he has written so thoughtfully that the Neocon goal doesn’t end with Syria…Syria in fact is a precursor to taking on Iran.

    Mark Bruzonsky – MarkBruzonsky.com

  3. September 11, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Obama couldn’t get the popular support for attacking Syria last year. So what to do? Cue ISIS. Working the magic that “chemical weapons” couldn’t, ISIS is the excuse for escalating the war we are already waging on Syria—a war that will produce the same result American interventions have produced time and again in the region. Can you say Iraq, Libya, and jihadis all over? Jihadis rampaging throughout the Middle East? That’s not a mistake. It’s the plan. The Americans might find ISIS a little too uppity, but the US and its allies (especially Saudi Arabia and Israel) prefer ISIS-type jihadism to stable, coherent states that can resist their hegemony and are allied with ultimate targets Iran and Russia.

    See detailed analysis at: America, ISIS, and Syria: We have to bomb the jihadis in order to save them

  4. Joe Tedesky
    September 11, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I am not a lawyer, but President Obama would be wise to avoid violating Syrian sovereignty along with him enforcing any regime change. I would not put it pass any of the presidents foes to attempt to hold impeachment hearings against his ISIS war actions. Would his adversaries offer him up to an international crime court? The American news industry would go into a total all time crazy blitzrieg coverage of an event on this level. Pundits would get paid double, and more to keep the conversation going all day and night. Book sales, pro & con, would go through the roof. Limbaugh, could say I told you so. Liberals would be pointing towards Bush & Cheney, while Ann Coulter would be flipping them back the ‘bird’. Lawyers would sell books that would not resolve anything, let a lone settle any argument.

    As I started out saying, I am no lawyer, but am I making a valid point? You, tell me.

  5. F. G. Sanford
    September 12, 2014 at 9:02 am

    @ Joe T. – you may not be a lawyer, but you’re at least as smart as some of them. I’m sure you’re smarter than Michelle Bachmann, and this is what she had to say: “I can’t vote for what the president proposed because there was nothing new last night in the president’s speech. He wants to continue the same failed strategy, but he wants to make it even worse by giving even more money to the so-called vetted moderates who aren’t moderate at all.” Can you believe it? Even Michelle Bachmann “gets it”. It would be a stretch to believe that the original authorization to wage war against those affiliated with 9/11 covers this action, but that’s the stretch the administration is banking on. The War Powers Act of 1973 gives him 60 days to get approval. That would seem to run out in early October, making him impeachment bait in time for the November elections. The real kicker is that Al Qaida disavowed affiliation with ISIS, so that would also call into doubt the original authorization. But, to make matters REALLY bad, declaring war against ISIS, or the Islamic Caliphate, makes this officially a war against Islam, a de facto “Holy War”. We’re siding with “moderate” Sunni jihadis against radical Sunni jihadis who are fighting secular Muslims and Alawaites who are allied with Shia radicals. Make sense? I thought so. Then, they’ve embraced the term “ISIL”. The L stands for levant, which comes from the Roman Empire. Points of the compass were defined in terms of their relationship to the “Maestri” or masters of the Empire in Rome. The sun rises (leva, or levare) in the east, so we’ve essentially declared war on everything east of Italy. The vomitorium is open for business, so let the orgy begin!

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Thanks F.G., one of my best friends is a lawyer, but I still like him. Listening to someone like McCain takes me back to the 2004 presidential race. Remember when it was the democrats fearing financial ruin for our grandchildren. Even the Buckley’s were disappointed with Bush’s spending. Lo and behold comes 2009 and now the republicans are using the same talking points the democrats used in 2004. Now, would people like that have the nerve to accuse President Obama of over reach? No, not those guys and gals they love war, but this wouldn’t be their war…would it? We are talking about getting back the White House. I would not put anything pass these DC politicos. They live for this type of thing. Obama would be wise to call off this whole thing. Shouldn’t Oswald have wondered why he was taking curtain rods to work on November 22, 1963. Curtain rods???

      Below is something from their own propaganda rag;

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/us/as-obama-makes-case-congress-is-divided-on-campaign-against-militants.html

  6. Abe
    September 12, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Will the Real ‘Al Baghdadi’ of ISIS Please Stand Up?
    By William Engdahl
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/09/08/will-the-real-al-baghdadi-of-isis-please-stand-up/

    Reuters and the UK Guardian as well as Germany’s Der Spiegel all reported in 2013 that the US had a massive secret training program in Jordan to train fighters against the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria. At the time US sources made the dubious claim that they were being “careful” to screen out any Al Qaeda terrorists. One can imagine a US CIA recruiter asking a Sunni Jihadist: “Sir, are you or have you ever been linked with any terror organization on the US State Department list?” No Sir!, I only Kill in the name of Allah; I am no terrorist… “Ok, come in…”

    According to those 2013 reports, as of March 2013 the plans of the US trainers were to provide training for a total 1,200 members of the “Free Syrian Army” in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan. According to Jordanian security service sources, “British and French instructors were also participating in the US-led effort.” The aim of that project was reportedly to build around a dozen units totaling some 10,000 fighters. This is the origin of this “come out of the blue” ISIS that we are supposed to believe suddenly popped up full-blown with brilliant military victories in Iraq and Syria early in 2014. It would also explain why, despite repeated pleas from then Iraqi Shi’ite Prime Minister Maliki for US military support to contain the growing threat from “Al-Baghdadi” and ISIS, the Obama Administration repeatedly refused any support.

    According to statements from an Iraqi Shi’ite source inside the Maliki government, at least one of the training camps of the ISIS was located near to the US major airbase at Incirlik near Adana, Turkey, where large numbers of American personnel and equipment are located. After their training at the Incirlik US facilities, thousands of “ISIS” Jihadists were sent to Iraq by way of Syria to join the effort to establish the Islamic caliphate or IS.

    Qatar has been in the forefront of financing Jihadist terror and Muslim Brotherhood movements to the extent that Saudi Arabia a year ago forced a split within the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to try to isolate Qatar. Qatar is also a de facto US military base, with Doha the operational headquarters of the US Pentagon Southern Command. According to reports, Qatar, encouraged by the United States, is openly supporting, financing and arming the terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, including ISIS.

    Whether IS head Al Baghdadi, whose very name is also suspicious and means only “The One from Baghdad,” is a Mossad agent or not, it is increasingly clear that ISIS or IS, is not the force it claims to be, but an operation of US and certain EU and likely Israeli intelligence, to weaken Iran’s influence in the region and reshape the geopolitical map with the aim of a major energy power shift in gas and oil pipelines.

    One of ISIS’ key military leaders, the Jihadist credited with being the “military mastermind” of the recent ISIS victories is Tarkhan Batirashvili. If his name doesn’t sound very Arabic, it’s because it’s not. Tarkhan Batrashvili is a Russian, actually an ethnic Chechen from near the Chechen border to Georgia. But to give himself a more Arabic flair, he also goes by the name Emir (what else?) Umar al Shishani. According to a November, 2013 report in The Wall Street Journal, Emir Umar or Batrashvili as you prefer, has made the wars in Syria and Iraq “into a geopolitical struggle between the US and Russia.” With Russian gas pipelines in Ukraine in grave danger of NATO takeover and US pressuring the EU to block both South Stream and North Stream, a US-backed Jihad that drives Russia out of both Iraq and Syria would be a devastating blow to Russian autonomy.

  7. Abe
    September 12, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Will NATO liberate Jihadistan?
    By Pepe Escobar
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-03-050914.html

    When the show seemed set for NATO to save Ukraine and Western civilization – at least rhetorically – from that evil empire remixed (Russia), the Caliph intervened with yet another “off with their heads” special.

    And then, out of the blue, the Caliph proclaimed to the whole world his next target is none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Was he channeling another Western darling, the recently ostracized Bandar Bush?

    If it were a thesis, everything could be settled as follows: the Caliph becomes a contractor to NATO; the Caliph beheads Putin; the Caliph quickly liberates Chechnya (not the usual, deeply embarrassing NATO quagmire in Afghanistan); the Caliph, on a roll, attacks the BRICS countries; the Caliph becomes NATO’s shadow secretary-general; and Obama finally stops complaining that his calls to Putin always end up on voicemail.

    Ah, if only geopolitics was as simple as a Marvel Comics blockbuster.

    Instead, the Caliph should know – even as he is largely a Made in the West product, with substantial input from GCC petrodollar cash – that NATO never promised him a rose garden.

    So, predictably, the ungrateful Obama/Cameron duo – oh yes, because the “special relationship” is all that matters in NATO, the others are mere extras – have vowed to go after him with a broad, well not that broad “coalition of the willing”, with the usual suspects bombing Iraqi Kurdistan, parts of Sunni Iraq and even Syria. After all, “Assad must go,” rather “Assad brutality,” in Cameron’s formulation, is the real culprit for the Caliph’s actions.

    And all in the name of the enduring freedom forever-style GWOT (“Global War on Terror”).

  8. Abe
    September 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Pentagon Planning Points to Possible Anti-Syria US Military Campaign
    By Stephen Gowans
    http://gowans.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/pentagon-planning-points-to-possible-anti-syria-us-military-campaign/

    There are reasons to suspect that a US-led military intervention in Syria would not stop at ISIS targets.

    First, regime change in Damascus is a long-standing US policy, antedating the Arab Spring. Cables released by Wikileaks showed that US funding to the Syrian opposition began flowing under the Bush administration in 2005, if not before, long before uprisings erupted against the Assad government. Largely forgotten is that the Bush administration dubbed Syria a member of a “junior varsity axis of evil,” and toyed with the idea of making Assad’s Syria the next target of a US military intervention after Iraq. The idea that Washington seeks Assad’s ouster as part of a program of democracy-promotion cannot be seriously accepted, especially not in light of unwavering US support for crowned dictatorships in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia which brutally suppressed Arab Spring uprisings there. Washington’s steadfast support of Egypt’s military dictatorship, which crushed peaceful protests against a military coup that ousted the elected president, also reveals that Washington’s publicly stated reason for seeking regime change in Syria—that Assad is a dictator who violently suppressed peaceful protestors and who must therefore be removed in an act of solidarity with the plural-democracy-loving Syrian people—is a complete sham.

    Second, the provision of $500 million in funding to “Syrian boots on the ground” would likely amount to increased support for one group of Islamists seeking the overthrow of secular society in Syria by another. Fighters strengthened by an infusion of US aid would not stop after destroying ISIS, if indeed, they didn’t simply ally with them, or more likely, if ISIS members simply transferred allegiance to the US-backed Islamist militant groups.

    Third, in recent days, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, has begun making noise about the Assad government allegedly “harboring undeclared chemical weapons.” Playing on ISIS-related fear-mongering, Power pointed to the risk that “there are chemical weapons left in Syria,” and that “we can only imagine what [ISIS] would do if in possession of such a weapon.” Little may develop from this, but it is suspiciously close to the pretext used by Washington to invade Iraq in 2003.

  9. Mark Thomason
    September 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    No doubt there are plenty of people in the permanent Establishment of US foreign policy who would try to leverage any sign of Syrian resistance into the attack on Syria they always wanted.

    However, I think Obama is just trying to square the circle. He wants to attack the enemies of Assad without being on the side of Assad. He’s trying for that strange beast, a three-sided war.

    It is an important distinction: 1) Obama likely would still oppose an attack on Assad, and those who oppose such a war can still focus on that; 2) Obama’s plan is a foolish fantasy, and those who address all of this must realize he is in fantasyland, that it just can’t happen that way; 3) this IS going to create that opening to expand the war, and it IS necessary to line up strongly against that, including with Obama, fool that he is in this.

  10. Abe
    September 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    The Obama administration is doubling-down on the same moronic policy
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/09/war-3.html

    This is – of course – another example of the “facts being fixed around the policy”, just as in Iraq. In Iraq, we wanted regime change, so we made up the “weapons of mass destruction” and “Saddam backed Al Qaeda” myths.

    Similarly, Washington wants regime change in Syria, so it’s making up a myth of the “moderate Syrian rebel” who hates Assad and ISIS. But they “don’t have a clue” as to such a mythical unicorn actually exists (spoiler alert: it doesn’t).

    The New York Times reported over a year ago that virtually all of the rebel fighters in Syria are hardline Islamic terrorists. Things have gotten much worse since then … as the few remaining moderates have been lured away by ISIS’ arms, cash and influence.

    Saudi Arabia – one of the main sources of Islamic terrorism, and one of ISIS’ main backers – is also going to train “moderate” Syrian rebels.

    Of course, arming the “moderate” Syrian rebels is what created ISIS – and was the source of their weapons – in the first place. And our prior policy of arming “moderate Syrian rebels is what allowed ISIS to take over much of Iraq.

    The U.S. and our closest allies in the region – like Jordan – have also been training Islamic jihadists in Syria for years.

  11. John
    September 12, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    The admin seems to gain nothing from a secret alliance, so it must intend to attack Damascus. Watch where the Malaysian Airlines flight paths are redirected. And expect to be told that a US plane was downed by Russian weapons that only Syria could have had, as proven by social media and fuzzy photos of harvesters in a field. If there are reverses, Russia will promptly invade with its invisible battalions.

    But I think that Israel is being set up to claim a heroic invasion of Syria after the
    gas weapons were removed. The whole project is clearly a solicitation of Israeli money in the midterm elections. They won’t get that unless they leave more powerful opponents to Assad in a permanent civil war, or assist Israel in invading Syria claiming to repel IS but with the intent of deposing Assad.

    The photo of Obama with the NSC is priceless. They never conclude that US security is not threatened, or that anything but bombing will solve any problem. Let us have a National Humanitarian Council and we shall have progress. But we shall not have progress without eliminating money from elections and the press, and with it the right wing Israeli influence.

  12. September 13, 2014 at 3:58 am

    The writer was right in every aspect of his topic except his belief that “ISIS began as part of the Sunni resistance to George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq which had elevated Iraq’s Shiite majority to power. “. Rather ISIS was actually a Negroponti creation to defame the Iraqi resistance against US occupation.

  13. Joe
    September 14, 2014 at 7:36 am

    These beheadings are false-flag provocations by the US allies in Syria to rationalize a military response to “IS”. Does anyone believe that they would do the one act in their power most likely to support a military response? Does anyone believe that IS continues beheadings of US/UK people even after announcement of counterattacks? Does anyone believe that a Scotsman was coincidentally executed just as the US/UK right wing feared a withdrawal from their coalition? Why are all the alleged beheadings by the same executioner, with a British accent? There are now reports that the “victims” were “sold” by US-backed militias for the purpose. A killing in anger is plausible, but these are all long-held captives, and videos would not be made by IS because the effects would be entirely negative. Who benefits? The US/UK right wing obviously set up these false-flag operations just as in Ukraine, to sell intervention decisions among moderates. It is the right wing that needs enemies. With friends like the right wing, who needs enemies?

    Now expect Israel to invade Syria with US support to pose as the defender instead of the instigator. The democrats get the payoff from Israel for their midterm campaigns, Russia loses its base there, Obama looks decisive. All faked and all for the extreme right wing.

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