Obama’s Fateful Indecision

Exclusive: With Israel and Saudi Arabia siding with the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda versus Iran and its allies, President Obama faces a critical decision whether to repudiate those old allies and cooperate with Iran or watch as Sunni terrorist groups possibly take control of a major country in the Mideast, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The foreign policy quandary facing President Barack Obama is that America’s traditional allies in the Middle East Israel and Saudi Arabia along with Official Washington’s powerful neocons have effectively sided with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State out of a belief that Iran represents a greater threat to Israeli and Saudi interests.

But what that means for U.S. interests is potentially catastrophic. If the Islamic State continues its penetration toward Damascus in league with Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and topples the Syrian government, the resulting slaughter of Christians, Shiites and other religious minorities as well as the risk of a major new terrorist base in the heart of the Middle East could force the United States into a hopeless new war that could drain the U.S. Treasury and drive the nation into a chaotic and dangerous decline.


To avoid this calamity, Obama would have to throw U.S. support fully behind the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, precipitate a break with Israel and Saudi Arabia, and withstand a chorus of condemnations from influential neocon pundits, Republican politicians and hawkish Democrats. Influenced by Israeli propaganda, all have pushed for ousting Assad in a “regime change.”

But the world has already had a grim peek at what an Islamic State/Al-Qaeda victory would look like. The Islamic State has reveled in its ability to provoke Western outrage through acts of shocking brutality, such as beheadings, incinerations, stonings, burning of ancient books and destruction of religious sites that the group deems offensive to its fundamentalist version of Islam.

Over the Easter holiday, there were reports of the Islamic State destroying a Christian Church in northeastern Syria and taking scores of Christians as prisoners. An Islamic State victory in Syria would likely mean atrocities on a massive scale. And, there are signs that Al-Qaeda might bring the Islamic State back into the fold if it achieves this success, which would let Al-Qaeda resume its plotting for its own outrages through terrorist attacks on European and U.S. targets.

Though Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State have been estranged in recent months, the groups were said to be collaborating in an assault on the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, south of Damascus.

The Associated Press reported that “Palestinian officials and Syrian activists say the Islamic State militants fighting in Yarmouk were working with rivals from the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front. The two groups have fought bloody battles against each other in other parts of Syria, but appear to be cooperating in the attack on Yarmouk.”

United Nations spokesman Chris Gunness told the AP, “The situation in the camp is beyond inhumane.”

In late March, the Saudis, working with Turkish intelligence, supported Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and other jihadist forces in capturing the Syrian city of Idlib, the New York Times reported.

Syria has become a frontline in the sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shiite Islam, with Saudi Arabia a longtime funder of the Sunni fundamentalist Wahhabism, which gave rise to Al-Qaeda under the direction of Saudi Osama bin Laden. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks were Saudi nationals, and elements of the Saudi royal family and other Persian Gulf sheikdoms have been identified as Al-Qaeda’s financiers. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Secret Saudi Ties to Terrorism.”]

The Israeli-Saudi Alliance

In seeking “regime change” in Syria, Saudi Arabia has been joined by Israel whose leaders have cited Syria as the “keystone” in the pro-Iranian Shiite “strategic arc” from Tehran through Damascus to Beirut. In making that point in September 2013, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad and the Shiites.

“We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

In June 2014, Oren expanded on this Israeli position. Then, speaking as a former ambassador, Oren said Israel would even prefer a victory by the Islamic State. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

On March 3, in the speech to a cheering U.S. Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also argued that the danger from Iran was much greater than from the Islamic State (or ISIS). Netanyahu dismissed ISIS as a relatively minor annoyance with its “butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube” when compared to Iran, which he accused of “gobbling up the nations” of the Middle East.

He claimed “Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow. We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”

Netanyahu’s rhetoric was clearly hyperbole Iran’s troops have not invaded any country for centuries; Iran did come to the aid of the Shiite-dominated government of Iraq in its fight with the Islamic State, but the “regime change” in Baghdad was implemented not by Iran but by President George W. Bush and the U.S. military; and it’s preposterous to say that Iran “dominates” Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa though Iran is allied with elements in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

But hyperbole or not, Netanyahu’s claims became marching orders for the American neocons, the Republican Party and much of the Democratic Party. Republicans and some Democrats denounced President Obama’s support for international negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program while some prominent neocons were granted space on the op-ed pages of the Washington Post and New York Times to advocate bombing Iran. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Publishes Call to Bomb Iran.”]

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia with U.S. logistical and intelligence help began bombing the Houthi rebels in Yemen who have been fighting a long civil war and had captured several major cities. The Houthis, who practice an offshoot of Shiite Islam called Zaydism, deny that they are proxies of Iran although some analysts say the Iranians have given some money and possibly some weapons to the Houthis.

However, by attacking the Houthis, the Saudis have helped Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula regain its footing, including creating an opportunity to free scores of Al-Qaeda militants in a prison break and expanding Al-Qaeda’s territory in the east.

Obama’s Choice

Increasingly, the choice facing Obama is whether to protect the old alliances with Israel and Saudi Arabia and risk victories by Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State or expand on the diplomatic opening from the framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program to side with Shiite forces as the primary bulwark against Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

For such a seismic shift in U.S. foreign policy, President Obama could use the help of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who assisted in brokering agreements in 2013 in which Assad surrendered Syria’s chemical weapons and in which Iranian leaders signed an interim agreement on their nuclear program that laid the groundwork for the April 2 framework deal.

In 2013, those moves by Putin infuriated Official Washington’s neoconservatives who were quick to identify Ukraine as a possible flashpoint between the United States and Russia. With Putin and Obama both distracted by other responsibilities, neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland teamed up with neocon National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman and neocon Sen. John McCain to help fund and coordinate the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych. The resulting civil war and Russian intervention in Crimea drove a deep wedge between Obama and Putin.

The mainstream U.S. news media got fully behind the demonization of Putin, making a rapprochement over Ukraine nearly impossible. Though German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to broker a settlement of the conflict in February known as Minsk-2 the right-wing government in charge in Kiev, reflecting Nuland’s hard-line position, sabotaged the deal by inserting a poison pill that effectively required the ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine to surrender before Kiev would conduct elections under its control. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s Poison Pill for Peace Talks.”]

The Kiev regime is also incorporating some of its neo-Nazi militias into the regular army while putting neo-Nazi extremists into key military advisory positions. Though the U.S. media has put on blinders so as not to notice the Swastikas and SS symbols festooning the Azov and other battalions, the reality has been that the neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists have been the fiercest fighters in killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Wretched US Journalism on Ukraine.”]

On Saturday, German Economic News reported that the Ukrainian army appointed right-wing extremist Dimitri Jarosch as an official adviser to the army leadership as the Kiev regime now bolstered by U.S. military equipment and training and receiving billions of dollars in Western aid prepares for renewed fighting with eastern Ukraine.

The problem with Obama has been that although he himself may be a “closet realist” willing to work with adversarial countries like Iran and Russia he has not consistently challenged the neocons and their junior partners, the liberal interventionists. The liberals are particularly susceptible to propaganda campaigns involving non-governmental organizations that claim to promote “human rights” or “democracy” but have their salaries paid by the congressionally financed and neocon-run National Endowment for Democracy or by self-interested billionaires like financier George Soros.

The effectiveness of these NGOs in using social media and other forums to demonize targeted governments, as happened in Ukraine during the winter of 2013-14, makes it hard for honest journalists and serious analysts to put these crises in perspective without endangering their careers and reputations. Over the past year, anyone who questioned the demonization of Putin was denounced as a “Putin apologist” or a “Putin bootlicker.” Thus, many people not wanting to face such slurs either went along with the propagandistic “group think” or kept quiet.

Obama is one person who knows better but hasn’t been willing to contest Official Washington’s narratives portraying Putin or Assad or the Iranians or the Houthis as the devils incarnate. Obama has generally gone with the flow, joining the condemnations, but then resisting at key moments and refusing to implement some of the most extreme neocon ideas such as bombing the Syrian army or shipping lethal weapons to Ukraine’s right-wing regime or forsaking negotiations and bombing Iran.

Pandering to Israel and Saudi Arabia

In other words, Obama has invested huge amounts of time and energy in trying to maintain positive relations with Netanyahu and the Saudi royals while not fully joining in their regional war against Iran and other Shiite-related governments and movements. Obama understands the enormous risk of allowing Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State to gain firm control of a major Middle Eastern country.

Of course, if that happens in, say, Syria, Obama would be blamed for not overthrowing the Assad regime earlier, as if there actually was a “moderate opposition” that could have withstood the pressure of the Sunni extremists. Though the neocons and liberal interventionists have pretended that this “moderate” force existed, it was always marginal when it came to applying real power.

Whether one likes it or not, the only real force that can stop an Al-Qaeda or Islamic State victory is the Syrian army and the Assad regime. But Obama chose to play the game of demanding that “Assad must go” to appease the neocons and liberal interventionists while recognizing that the notion of a “moderate” alternative was never realistic.

As Obama told the New York Times Thomas L. Friedman in August 2014, the idea that the U.S. arming the “moderate” rebels would have made a difference has “always been a fantasy.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Behind Obama’s Chaotic Foreign Policy.”]

But Obama may be running out of time in his halfway strategy of half-heartedly addressing the real danger that lies ahead if the Islamic State and/or Al-Qaeda ride the support of Saudi Arabia and Israel to a victory in Syria or Iraq or Yemen.

If the United States has to recommit a major military force in the Middle East, the war would have little hope of succeeding but it would drain American resources and eviscerate what’s left of the constitutional principles that founded the American Republic.

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.

19 comments for “Obama’s Fateful Indecision

  1. Jacee
    April 8, 2015 at 05:28

    Thank you for articulating the situation so honestly and clearly. All I can say is please, 40% of the population of Damascus are from ethnic minorities. The Assad Government is the only thing protecting them. If the Government falls and ISIL and Nusra take control, it will be a bloodbath of innocents on a massive scale. Please, somebody help them.

  2. John
    April 7, 2015 at 18:35

    Commenters should not make random diversionary remarks about matters as remote from the article as this inconclusive and contentious 9/11 banter. It should be dismissed as spam, and replies should not be recorded. Opinions on distant matters should be posted elsewhere; they are spam on this site.

    • Mark
      April 7, 2015 at 19:35

      When talking about who are the real enemies of the US in the ME all should be fair game if relevant – as those mentioned were. When talking about attacking Iran on similarly flimsy, even concocted evidence as that used to attack 2003 Iraq, much of which was supplied by Israel to benefit Israel, Israel is fair game again when the attack on Iran is being pushed by them, for their benefit at the expense of the USA.

    • Stefan
      April 7, 2015 at 20:03

      I do not share your premise that the 9/11 topic is remote, on the contrary, it is tightly woven into the fabric of the current crisis in the Middle East and US(neocon) foreign policy in the region today.

      9/11 is s the excuse and pretext for the narrative that there is an “axis of evil”, that Iran is in the center of it, and that US must wage the “war on terror” wherever and whenever it may appear, and US will ignore international law and do it unilaterally if need be – indefinitely – based on, to put it bluntly, lies and cover-ups.

      You cannot discuss US foreign policy concerning Iran and the whole of the middle east today, without also discussing the myth of 9/11 – I say a myth, because it is a fantastic story that is not supported by evidence and historical record.

      Until that myth is smashed into pieces, people will chase their tails in trying to analyse the folly of US foreign relations, because as long as the narrative is based on the myth of 9/11, the deceptive paradigm of a made up enemy will decide the foreign policy of the US.

      The search for a sane normality in US domestic politics and in foreign relations, can never be successful if the myth of 9/11 is not smashed into pieces, and given an honest analysis and put under the scrutiny that is long overdue.

  3. Randy
    April 7, 2015 at 12:49

    I’m still waiting for the explanation on what the 5 ISRAELI agents were doing filming the twin towers on 9/11, celebrating and dancing when the first plane hit.

    I guess they had their “mission accomplished” which is why they were so happy. They were deported and the whole thing hushed up, how ridicolous that Americans haven’t demanded answers on what really was happening, and on how they knew there would be something to film that day.

    If Israel knew it was happening, then our government knew it was happening. And you don’t celebrate something you had no hand in setting up yourself.

    • Stefan
      April 7, 2015 at 16:07

      Demand of your senator to read the 28 censored pages of the 9/11 Commission Report.

      There seems to be something very incriminating information there of the “foreign governments” (in plural) involved.

      Those few who read them, report a huge shock and the need completely re-evaluate who USA’s allies are in the middle-east. We already know about the alleged involvement of Saudi Arabia, but who are the others involved, that prompts a re-evaluation of allies?

      I think the most important thing an american citizen can do today, is not to try to figure out what exactly happened (that can be a priority later), but to DEMAND the entire congress read the 28 redacted pages. There is no reason at all why they should not read them.

      There is a reason they were censored by Bush, and it has nothing to do with national security, but I think, much to do with Israel’s involvement in 9/11.

  4. Gregory Kruse
    April 7, 2015 at 12:45

    Not to mention the “airplane” that was swallowed whole by the Pentagon through an 18-foot diameter hole in the wall, leaving no wing marks and no wings or other debris on the lawn. Even Captain Sullenberger wouldn’t be able to pull off a stunt like that, hitting the wall at ground level without so much as scraping the belly on the grass. One only has to watch airliners land on tarmac to know that there is something critically wrong about the official story. The trouble is that any alternative version is even harder to believe. I forget who said that the first thing is to rule out the impossible, and what’s left must be the truth. To me, the official story is impossible, but I still don’t know what the truth is. When Robert Parry discovers the truth about this story, I’m sure he will write about it.

  5. F. G. Sanford
    April 7, 2015 at 11:03

    We now live in a world in which ‘wars’ are won by simply manipulating the definition of ‘victory’. Put in historical perspective, the choice at hand represents the collision between the so-called ‘Madisonian’ and ‘Trumanite’ factions, with the administration’s false face intended to represent that faction which, in essence, no longer even exists. The ‘Trumanites’ are represented by the John Brennans and the Victoria Nulands, who in and of themselves are not capable of the complex ratiocinations required to engineer an imbroglio of the proportions now emerging. They merely take directions. Nuland’s “F**k the E.U.” summation of her ‘marching orders’ amounted to the simplification in her own small mind of the convoluted prevarications she exposed to the world in an unguarded moment. If we go back to the 1950’s and examine the first ‘collision’ of these ideologies, we find a young Senator Kennedy “speechifying” against the maintenance of French Colonialism as the match that would ignite the tinderbox of religious reactionary fanaticism roiling below the surface. That fanaticism now threatens to engulf the world in the flames of a third world war. We found him siding with the Nasserists AGAINST the medieval abomination of Saudi Arabia, and AGAINST the nuclearization of Israel, and AGAINST the interventions in Yemen and Africa. We can deify Dag Hammarkrsjold as a mystical diplomatic genius, but this only obscures the fact that he was murdered to subvert Kennedy’s foreign policy vision. We refuse to look behind the curtain and ask, “Who really are these people”? We refuse to ask, “Who recruited the Gehlen Organization, along with George DeMohrenschildt and his brother Dmitri”? And who forgot to mention that Ruth and Michael Paine were Forbes Family loyalists to the “Eastern Establishment”? By the same token, we refuse to ask, “Who were the nineteen hijackers”? Six of them are known to have been still alive after the tragedy. No manifest with their names has ever been produced. No video footage shows them boarding the planes. The nineteen names were released before Flight 93 even crashed. And the continuing suppression of the so-called “twenty eight pages”, though they probably contain cautiously evasive language, offers confirmation that no break from the current policy trajectory is in the offing. Wars begin with economic manipulation, as Kennedy presciently inferred in his criticism of World Bank and IMF initiatives. Today, the “austerity” which ultimately follows is the economic mechanism for wealth transfer and resource exploitation, and serves as the ultimate motive. The catastrophic failure of western economic hegemony illustrated by establishment of the AIIB and the flight of our allies like rats from a sinking ship does not portend a negotiated resolution. Kennedy was sixty years behind the “power curve” on this, and look where it got him. That kind of guts no longer exists on the ‘Madisonian’ side of our dual government, assuming that the ‘Madisonian’ side even still exists as anything but a front.

  6. W. R. Knight
    April 7, 2015 at 10:36

    In his book 1984, George Orwell wrote how shifting alliances was one of the chief ways of maintaining a continuous state of war which, in turn, is one of the chief ways of maintaining total control of the population.

    1984 should be mandatory reading for everybody.

  7. alexander horatio
    April 7, 2015 at 10:34

    Dear Mr Parry,
    Thank you for an insightful article on the “complexity”of the multiple conflicts in the middle east……
    In seeking to judge President Obama and his decision making processes……I invite you to view an interview given to Tom Friedman for the New York Times in the White House just several days ago.
    I do not have the link but you can go to the Times online to view it !
    He chats with Tom about the framework deal, his support for Israel, the Jewish people and the implications of his decision…….
    It is a good discussion……..But beyond the discussion you need to “look”….be “insightful”…as to what guides our president….and why I am “convinced”, now more than ever, that he may prove to be one of the greatest presidents, if not the greatest, in our nations history !
    The discussion takes place in one of the rooms in the white house…From the viewers frame of reference, the president sits to the right and Tom to the left….one can see from the pre- interview shots that this is a (modestly)choreographed or “staged “discussion…….there is lighting and a camera set up……..and who else is in the room.?…well maybe “behind the scenes” there is a camera man, a “key grip” and perhaps a secret service officer by the door…it is hard to say….but as the discussion proceeds….”.look” Mr Parry…be “insightful”…
    .and see who “else”is in the room……..
    .Above the mantle….there he is …..our founding father “George Washington”(looking pretty good after all these years I must say)…..and then to your left..behind Mr. Friedman..do you notice, Mr Parry,…the bust….why its…its ..
    .”Martin Luther King Jr.”.(not a bad likeness)….
    .and to the right behind our President..another bust… ..its none other than, ..yes…. you guessed it ..
    .”Abraham Lincoln.”….
    As the camera pans back. periodically, during the Q and A …..one is invited(if one so chooses) to see a” triangle” or pyramid” formed with President Washington at the top….Mr King Jr…to the left and President Lincoln to the right…….A “golden”(in my opinion) triangle of three very , very”special” men…whose decisions, actions, and iterations have formed the foundation of our “extraordinary” nation (or whats left of it ,after the “Neo-Con” Catastrophy !)….
    As I watch the discussion, one more time, I am drawn less to the speaking of Mr Friedman and our president…and more to the “iconic speeches” of the great men who inhabit the triangle,…President Washington his wise and exquisite “farewell address”…Mr King Jr. his unparalleled “I have a dream”.speech …and President Lincoln..his “nation defining , “emancipation proclamation”…….their words form the backdrop to the meeting below as well as the principles that( I believe) guide our president, as they guide me ,and should all Americans….. away from feckless war, suzerainty and penury …..to peace , freedom , and prosperity !
    That is the course “our” president has taken on” our” behalf, may we all stand behind him in spirit and in deed…to see this course to its end !

    • Gregory Kruse
      April 7, 2015 at 12:50

      Man, that is inspiring.

      • D505
        April 7, 2015 at 17:22

        I take Horatio’s commentary to be satire, given its contradictoriness and overall sarcastic tone, but I’m not sure how this helps commentary. It seems reasonable to expect Robert and other writers here hope for valuable thinking or questions, and this site does quite often offer substantial, cooperative commentary. Much of the commentary, as with today’s article, seems to function under the presumption that the System is still in place in terms of thoughtful politicians capable of doing their best in terms of values such as democracy and human rights, long fancied to be very important to America, versus economic programs and world dominance, including transnational economic dominance. So here Mr. Parry gives us an “if only” Mr. Obama would stop being indecisive and weak as usual, and take on the neocon alliance transnationally starting with neocons at home and their formidable MSM influence, then branch out to take on assisting countries such as Saudie Arabia, Qatar, Israel, etc.. Taking on this alliance, I submit, is beyond this president for a number of reasons, and beyond any president in today’s American politics.. Clearly, too, gambling that a wild kind of Libya like chaos is better than keeping Assad on, for example, or that ISIL and various extremists are better as enemy than Assad, is just that–gambling. These neocon people are just as human as the rest of us, and apparently a good deal worse in terms of analyses pointing at them as inclined to be narcissists and pyschopaths. And they are in control. We don’t know what to do about it, but getting more understanding of it is very helpful. Nonsense about Mr. Obama as the best president ever is not helpful. But it seems to me we need to stop the assumption that Obama and the Congress operate from the basis that “we must do what is best for the people and democracy.” No, they don’t begin with that, if they ever did. Instead their underlying reality is what serves No. 1, themselves, in surviving within the corrupted System we are now seeing more and more clearly. Am I exaggerating? Well, what if I’m not? What then? What is the extent of this corruption against those Americans still interested in pursuing “the American dream”? What chances are there to revive it? How might it be revived in a peaceful manner? What outstanding events have contributed to the steady growth of this corruption as with the assassination of John F Kennedy, the seizing of the fall of the Berlin Wall as opporunity to dominate the world instead of work for world peace, and 9/11? It seems to me we need more elucidation on these topics, given our tendency to dream that all would be all right if only the president would grow a pair.

    • April 8, 2015 at 02:22

      When thinking of what the figures in his triangle have to say, Horatio would have done well to specifically mention that President Washington warned against foreign entanglement.
      Even more to the point, I will point out that Dr. King (not mister) said, on April 4, 1967, “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.” Further in the same speech he said, “A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: ‘This is not just.’ . . . . A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’ ” And, “We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace. . . and justice throughout the developing world –– a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter –– but beautiful –– struggle for a new world. ”
      Now wouldn’t that make a nice backdrop? No it is not a backdrop. It is a challenge to our humanity and a call to action, not only for the president but for all of us.

  8. onno
    April 7, 2015 at 05:01

    Mr. Parry, it’s not Obama’s indecision but his total incompetence and inability to make decisions.

    Let’s not forget that Saudi Arabia is Uncle Sam’s best friend in the Middle East but at the same time they cheat and finance ANY anti-American movement like al Qaeda. The Saudi’s are also very active in the Balkan (Bosnia & Herzegovina) plus the Caucasus financing Mosques which are a major location for planing and training extremism.

    American politicians should start reading history books about the ancient history of the Middle East and his many Muslim religions which are reasons to murder each other for centuries. Or even in Europe the 30 year old religious war between the Lutherans/Calvinists and the Catholic church (1618-1648) 40 million people lost their lives. American Foreign Affairs politicians should realize when interfering in a religious war its going to be long and vicious and most of all it cannot be won by outsiders from the West.

    But like so many wars started by the USA it’s always the start of destabilization and when the troubles get worse the American army skip’s town like in Vietnam, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc. It seems to me that US Foreign Policy is still dominated by the Monroe doctrine of 1823 and Washington’s ambition to dominate this planet by ‘whatever-it-takes’. But with a weak, indecisive White House and Neocons in Washington the USA has become an explosive and disruptive entity in this world which may even result in WW III.

  9. Greg Maybury
    April 7, 2015 at 04:43

    Even for those of us who make every effort to keep up with the shifting alliances and precarious allegiances underpinning the chaos in the Greater Middle East, like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, it almost becomes necessary to believe six impossible things before breakfast in order to get one’s head around the complexities of the day. This piece provide us with some crucial insights into where those myriad alliances and allegiances – both state and non-state – are as we speak, and why they’ve taken the shape they have done.

    Of course it could all change tomorrow, by definition requiring us to believe six more “impossible things”. Such is the nature of the blowback from America’s catastrophic, shape-shifting foreign policy – especially since 9/11 – one that is increasing looking like it was conceived in Wonderland and is being implemented by those ‘in charge’. The question as to where or how it will all end seems less important than the question as to whether it will end at all.

  10. Ann Tattersall
    April 7, 2015 at 04:10

    as if there actually was a “moderate opposition” that could have withstood the pressure of the Sunni extremists.

    If you use the correct “as if there were a ‘moderate opposition,'” it would be unnecessary to use the word “actually.” The statement would be easier to understand.

    I appreciate this website for clarifying events and issues instead of obscuring them.

  11. Archipelagan
    April 7, 2015 at 01:56

    “Fifteen of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks were Saudi nationals, and elements of the Saudi royal family and other Persian Gulf sheikdoms have been identified as Al-Qaeda’s financiers. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Secret Saudi Ties to Terrorism.”]

    How sad. How can Robert Parry not know something so monumentally basic in unfolding world events resulting from 9/11 — than the inescapably obvious conclusion — that the twin towers and the little mentioned WTC-7 (a 40+ story building which was not hit by a plane,) all came down in their own footprints at near free fall speed. Think about that carefully. Consider the inviolable laws of simple physics. Only by removing key structural supports on all levels simultaneously can a building fall at near free fall speed. What happened and was recorded on video is not consistent with the 9/11 commission report. The world ever after will be divided between those who apply logic to suspect claims and those who embrace propaganda as unquestionable dogma.

    • John P
      April 7, 2015 at 09:21

      A few of the supposed hijackers have turned up alive, and claimed that some time before 911, they experienced identity theft. One actually was a pilot for Saudi airlines, another was a visiting student at an American university when his ID was taken. This has been reported by the BBC and other reliable new agencies.
      I feel sorry for Obama. You could see Carter wavering under great stress from the Zionist lobby during his Middle East peace bid, and Clinton brought up the peace process only in his last term. Last terms are a time that presidents seem to feel liberated to some degree from the Zionist / neocon pressure, a time when it can least hurt them.

    • Stefan
      April 7, 2015 at 11:04

      The official story – although absurd and nonsensical – has unfortunately become the official state religion.

      Even for excellent journalists like Mr Parry, questioning the official 9/11 story is tantamount to denying the God of the State Religion.

      One cannot do that with impunity, so I know many who do not dare to touch upon that or doubt the official story of fear for having their careers destroyed and their reputation smashed.

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