Who’s to Blame for Syria Mess? Putin!

Exclusive: Official Washington’s new “group think” is to blame Russia’s President Putin for the Syrian crisis, although it was the neocons and President George W. Bush who started the current Mideast mess by invading Iraq, the Saudis who funded Al Qaeda, and the Israelis who plotted “regime change,” says Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Sen. Lindsey Graham may have been wrong about pretty much everything related to the Middle East, but at least he has the honesty to tell Americans that the current trajectory of the wars in Syria and Iraq will require a U.S. re-invasion of the region and an open-ended military occupation of Syria, draining American wealth, killing countless Syrians and Iraqis, and dooming thousands, if not tens of thousands, of U.S. troops.

Graham’s grim prognostication of endless war may be a factor in his poll numbers below one percent, a sign that even tough-talking Republicans aren’t eager to relive the disastrous Iraq War. Regarding the mess in Syria, there are, of course, other options, such as cooperation with Russia and Iran to resist the gains of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda and a negotiated power-sharing arrangement in Damascus. But those practical ideas are still being ruled out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

Official Washington’s “group think” still holds that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “must go,” that U.S. diplomats should simply deliver a “regime change” ultimatum not engage in serious compromise, and that the U.S. government must obstruct assistance from Russia and Iran even if doing so risks collapsing Assad’s secular regime and opening the door to an Al Qaeda/Islamic State victory.

Of course, if that victory happens, there will be lots of finger-pointing splitting the blame between President Barack Obama for not being “tough” enough and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin who has become something of a blame-magnet for every geopolitical problem. On Friday, during a talk at Fort Meade in Maryland, Obama got out front on assigning fault to Putin.

Obama blamed Putin for not joining in imposing the U.S.-desired “regime change” on Syria. But Obama’s “Assad must go!” prescription carries its own risks as should be obvious from the U.S. experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine. Ousting some designated “bad guy” doesn’t necessarily lead to some “good guy” taking over.

More often, “regime change” produces bloody chaos in the target country with extremists filling the vacuum. The idea that these transitions can be handled with precision is an arrogant fiction that may be popular during conferences at Washington’s think tanks, but the scheming doesn’t work out so well on the ground.

And, in building the case against Assad, there’s been an element of “strategic communications” the new catch phrase for the U.S. government’s mix of psychological operations, propaganda and P.R. The point is to use and misuse information to manage the perceptions of the American people and the world’s public to advance Washington’s strategic goals.

So, although it’s surely true that Syrian security forces struck back fiercely at times in the brutal civil war, some of that reporting has been exaggerated, such as the now-discredited claims that Assad’s forces launched a sarin gas attack against Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21, 2013. The evidence now suggests that Islamic extremists carried out a “false flag” operation with the goal of tricking Obama into bombing the Syrian military, a deception that almost worked. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case.”]

Even earlier, independent examinations of how the Syrian crisis developed in 2011 reveal that Sunni extremists were part of the opposition mix from the start, killing Syrian police and soldiers. That violence, in turn, provoked government retaliation that further divided Syria and exploited resentments of the Sunni majority, which has long felt marginalized in a country where Alawites, Shiites, Christians and secularists are better represented in the Assad regime. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War.”]

An Obvious Solution

The obvious solution would be a power-sharing arrangement that gives Sunnis more of a say but doesn’t immediately require Assad, who is viewed as the protector of the minorities, to step down as a precondition. If Obama opted for that approach, many of Assad’s Sunni political opponents on the U.S. payroll could be told to accept such an arrangement or lose their funding. Many if not all would fall in line. But that requires Obama abandoning his “Assad must go!” mantra.

So, while Official Washington continues to talk tough against Assad and Putin, the military situation in Syria continues to deteriorate with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda’s affiliate, the Nusra Front, gaining ground, aided by financial and military support from U.S. regional “allies,” including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Sunni-led Persian Gulf states. Israel also has provided help to the Nusra Front, caring for its wounded troops along the Golan Heights and bombing pro-government forces inside Syria.

President Obama may feel that his negotiations with Iran to constrain its nuclear program when Israeli leaders and American neocons favored a bomb-bomb-bombing campaign have put him in a political bind where he must placate Israel and Saudi Arabia, including support for Israeli-Saudi desired “regime change” in Syria and tolerance of the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “On Syria, Incoherence Squared.”]

Privately, I’m told, Obama agreed to — and may have even encouraged — Putin’s increased support for the Assad regime, realizing it’s the only real hope of averting a Sunni-extremist victory. But publicly Obama senses that he can’t endorse this rational move. Thus, Obama, who has become practiced at speaking out of multiple sides of his mouth, joined in bashing Russia sharing that stage with the usual suspects, including The New York Times’ editorial page.

In a lead editorial on Saturday, entitled “Russia’s Risky Military Moves in Syria,” the Times excoriated Russia and Putin for trying to save Assad’s government. Though Assad won a multi-party election in the portions of Syria where balloting was possible in 2014, the Times deems him a “ruthless dictator” and seems to relish the fact that his “hold on his country is weakening.”

The Times then reprises the “group think” blaming the Syrian crisis on Putin. “Russia has long been a major enabler of Mr. Assad, protecting him from criticism and sanctions at the United Nations Security Council and providing weapons for his army,” the Times asserts. “But the latest assistance may be expanding Russian involvement in the conflict to a new and more dangerous level.”

Citing the reported arrival of a Russian military advance team, the Times wrote: “The Americans say Russia’s intentions are unclear. But they are so concerned that Secretary of State John Kerry called the foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, twice this month and warned of a possible ‘confrontation’ with the United States, if the buildup led to Russian offensive operations in support of Mr. Assad’s forces that might hit American trainers or allies.

“The United States is carrying out airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State, which is trying to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, as well as struggling to train and arm moderate opposition groups that could secure territory taken from the extremists.”

Double Standards, Squared

In other words, in the bizarre world of elite American opinion, Russia is engaging in “dangerous” acts when it assists an internationally recognized government fighting a terrorist menace, but it is entirely okay for the United States to engage in unilateral military actions inside Syrian territory without the government’s approval.

Amid this umbrage over Russia helping the Syrian government, it also might be noted that the U.S. government routinely provides military assistance to regimes all over the world, including military advisers to the embattled U.S.-created regime in Iraq and sophisticated weapons to nations that carry out attacks beyond their own borders, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Clearly, the Times believes that what is good for the U.S. goose is not tolerable for the Russian gander. Indeed, if Russia’s assistance to the Syrian government leads to a “confrontation” with U.S. forces or allies, it is Russia that is held to blame though its forces are there with the Syrian government’s permission while the U.S. forces and allies aren’t.

The Times also defends the bizarre effort by the U.S. State Department last week to organize an aerial blockade to prevent Russia from resupplying the Syrian army. The Times states:

“The United States has asked countries on the flight path between Russia and Syria to close their airspace to Russian flights, unless Moscow can prove they aren’t being used to militarily resupply the Assad regime. Bulgaria has done so, but Greece, another NATO ally, and Iraq, which is depending on America to save it from the Islamic State, so far have not. World leaders should use the United Nations General Assembly meeting this month to make clear the dangers a Russian buildup would pose for efforts to end the fighting.”

Given the tragic record of The New York Times and other mainstream U.S. media outlets promoting disastrous “regime change” schemes, including President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 and President Obama’s bombing campaign in Libya in 2011, you might think the editors would realize that the best-laid plans of America’s armchair warriors quite often go awry.

And, in this case, the calculation that removing Assad and installing some Washington-think-tank-approved political operative will somehow solve Syria’s problems might very well end up in the collapse of the largely secular government in Damascus and the bloody arrival of the Islamic State head-choppers and/or Al Qaeda’s band of terrorism plotters.

With the black flag of Islamic terrorism flying over the ancient city of Damascus, Sen. Graham’s grim prognostication of a U.S. military invasion of Syria followed by an open-ended U.S. occupation may prove prophetic, as the United States enters its final transformation from a citizens’ republic into an authoritarian imperial state.

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.

40 comments for “Who’s to Blame for Syria Mess? Putin!

  1. John the Ba'thist
    September 22, 2015 at 13:41

    “Power-sharing” will just result in an intractable, ungovernable situation in Syria, similar to that in Iraq. The best solution at this point is for the Syrians and Russians to totally defeat the proxy opposition forces. It would be best for the US to butt-out of Syria now, and for Iran to follow suite as soon as Syria’ s integrity is regained. Power concentration is needs and will continue to be needed for some time to come. The meddlers failed in Iraq and they should not be allowed to degrade and defeat Syria’s unity.

  2. Hank
    September 15, 2015 at 13:18

    If you are a moron who gets all his info from the government-controlled media(MSM) then you will definitely blame Putin. But if you do FAIR and OBJECTIVE research, it is plainly easy to see how Israel uses USA “leaders” to cause havoc for their “threatening” neighbors. Putin has been a voice of reason in all this but warmongers do not want reason, only more wars! Americans have to break through their denial that “their” government would stoop to deception and savagery to get its way, even though its been doing this since the revolutionary War!

  3. The Lion
    September 15, 2015 at 09:42

    All brought to you by the Neo cons, in the hope that they will bring the return of the Messiah, Seriously that is what it is all about! American Nut jobs thinking that they can cause the events laid out in the Bible to bring the end of days!

  4. Helge
    September 15, 2015 at 08:46

    Just read the following article in The Guardian:

    Russia proposed more than three years ago that Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, could step down as part of a peace deal, according to a senior negotiator involved in back-channel discussions at the time.

    Former Finnish president and Nobel peace prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari said western powers failed to seize on the proposal. Since it was made, in 2012, tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions uprooted, causing the world’s gravest refugee crisis since the second world war.


    If that is true then blaming Putin and the Kremlin on what is going on in Syria is beyond the cynical….

  5. DaveJoe
    September 15, 2015 at 07:37

    Reference is being made to the NYT. It is beyond me why any sane person would continue to read NYT or any other mainstream media papers- unless you are an activist trying to reach public or an media analyst. But the overwhelming majority do not fall in these categories

    • dahoit
      September 15, 2015 at 09:23

      I read them(NYTs,Wapo)to see what the enemy(Zion) is up to,that’s all.

  6. Msud Awan
    September 14, 2015 at 12:26

    “With the black flag of Islamic terrorism flying over the ancient city of Damascus, Sen. Graham’s grim prognostication of a U.S. military invasion of Syria followed by an open-ended U.S. occupation may prove prophetic, as the United States enters its final transformation from a citizens’ republic into an authoritarian imperial state.”

    Being a Muslim reader of this news outlet I am deeply offended by the above statement by Robert Parry painting all the Islamic Community with the same brush of terrorism. How could it be “Islamic” terrorism if it is been used for stretegic gains of Israel who is calmly sitting behind the scenes pulling the strings through her agents in Washington.

    • Mortimer
      September 14, 2015 at 12:34

      US Drones Attack Syria’s Military, “Disguised as an Airstrike against ISIS”

      By Stephen Lendman
      Global Research, September 14, 2015

      On September 11, a publication called Russian Spring reported US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks on Syrian military positions – “disguised as an airstrike on ISIS.”

      Syrian journalists learned details of what’s happening. Numerous civilians were killed. According to Syrian military sources, covert US drone strikes against its forces and positions happened before, part of Washington’s phony war on ISIS.

      On September 1, the Washington Post headlined “US launches secret drone campaign to hunt Islamic State leaders in Syria,” saying:

      CIA and US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) operatives “are flying drones over Syria” – conducting targeted air strikes. WaPo lied claiming it’s against “senior Islamic State operatives,” citing official US sources.

      Obama’s stepped up bombing complicit with Britain, France, Canada, Australia and >>Israel<< heads thing closer to full-scale naked aggression – to destroy Syrian sovereignty, eliminate an Israeli rival, and isolate Iran ahead of perhaps inventing a pretext to attack the Islamic Republic.

      War plans were made years ago, updated as needed. The Iran nuclear deal did nothing to change longstanding US hostility toward Tehran.

      Regime change remains official US policy – wanting Iranian sovereign independence destroyed like what’s ongoing in Syria. Maybe Washington has an Islamic State invasion in mind, perhaps aided by US air power.

      America targets all independent government worldwide for regime change – wanting subservient US-controlled vassal states replacing them, a nightmarish scenario for endless conflicts, mass slaughter and destruction and possible nuclear war threatening everyone, everywhere if launched.

      Previous articles explained Washington uses ISIS terrorists as US proxy foot soldiers. Obama’s Iraq and Syria bombing campaigns support them, targeting infrastructure, and apparently Syrian military positions.

      In September 2014, Sergey Lavrov said if US and other Western forces bomb Syria, “(t)here are reasons to suspect (the campaign may attack) government troops…on the quiet to weaken the positions of Bashar Assad’s army.”

      He commented shortly after Obama announced US plans to allegedly bomb ISIS in Syria – a ruse, part of Washington’s plan to oust Assad.

      On September 13, on Russia’s Channel 1 Sunday Times program, Lavrov said “Russia has information that the US knows the position of the IS, but does not bomb them.”

      Its actions don’t reflect its publicly stated objective. “Analyzing (them), one cannot but suspect…ulterior motives beyond the stated goal of fighting the Islamic State,” said Lavrov.

      “Some our colleagues among the coalition members told us they sometimes knew where certain ISIL regiments were stationed but the coalition’s command – which is, obviously, the US – did not give them the permission for an airstrike.” Washington “conspired towards goals that were not declared ones.”

      Its war on Syrian sovereignty continues despite Western nations saying “they clearly understand (ISIS) is the main threat in the Middle East and North Africa,” not Assad.

      If everyone realizes that, but many whisper it, fearing to say it out loud, it is necessary to implement that in action.

      Lavrov explained Russia will continue fulfilling its contractual obligations to Syria – supplying arms, munitions and training, as well as humanitarian aid. “These are no mysteries or secrets,” he explained. “Our military-technical cooperation seeks to” defeat ISIS.

      Washington uses mercenary terrorists and its military might to advance its imperium – by crushing fundamental freedoms wherever they exist, including at home, complicit with rogue partners.

      Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

      Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

    • dahoit
      September 15, 2015 at 09:21

      Good point.My response would be who is using who,and with our western leaders lack of obvious brain cells,it must be the so called jihadis using US.

  7. Mortimer
    September 14, 2015 at 10:04

    Peter Loeb

    >>>>>> “WHAT WE SAY, GOES…”—George H.W.. Bush

    The basis of current Washington policy is still the worn out
    shreds of George H.W. Bush’s statement of pure
    arrogance. Such statements were made in the glow of US military and economic hegemony after World WarTwo. <<<<<

    Chapter 1
    What “New World Order?”

    "Out of these troubled times, our…objective – a New World Order – can emerge… Today, that new world is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we have known…"

    – Former President George Bush September 11, 1990

    The phrase, “New World Order” has been widely used since first coined by George Bush in his 1990 speech before a joint session of Congress.

    Although quickly adopted as the catch phrase of the 1990s, few people actually agree on what “New World Order” really means. It has been used to describe such diverse contemporary issues as the post Cold War balance of power, economic interdependence, fragmentation and the rise of nationalism, and technology advancement and integration – basically any issue that appears new and different.

    The general feeling is that while elusive, this “New World Order” is likely significant. Since “New World Order” is most frequently used to describe aspects of the post Cold War international scenario, understanding the true meaning of that phrase is critical to projecting our future strategic environment and prospects for the new millennium.

    The attempt of this paper is to reveal that true meaning.

    New World Order Interpretations
    In relation to world politics, there are a few basic paradigm-driven interpretations of the New World Order.

    Joseph Nye, in his 1992 Foreign Affairs article, “What New World Order?” identifies two of those:
    “Realists, in the tradition of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, see international politics occurring among sovereign states balancing each others’ power. World order is the product of a stable distribution of power among the major states. Liberals, in the tradition of Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter, look at relations among peoples as well as states. They see order arising from broad values like democracy and human rights, as well as from international law and institutions such as the United Nations.” 1
    Another dichotomy of New World Order interpretations is presented by Lawrence Freedman in his Foreign Affairs article, “Order and Disorder in the New World.”
    “The first [interpretation] is that the slogan reflects a presumption that international institutions and, in particular, the United Nations, will be taking a more active and important role in global management… [T]he second interpretation…[is] that the phrase ‘New World Order’ is merely descriptive, requiring no more than acceptance that the current situation is unique and clearly different in critical respects” from the past.” 2
    The struggle to ascertain George Bush’s true meaning of New World Order is not unique to this author.

    Richard Falk, in his 1993 work, The Constitutional Foundations of World Peace, struggled with the realist and liberalist – or more aptly termed – globalist interpretations.
    “We could never be quite sure, especially in the months of crisis leading up to the war itself, whether George Bush was promising a new structure of international relations based on respect for international law and on centrality for the United Nations, or whether his use of the phrase ‘a New World Order’ was little more than a bid for public support and an invitation that governments join the North in one further war in and against the South.” 3
    So far there are three New World Order paradigms presented: realist based, focused on balance of power; globalist based, focused on global management and the United Nations (UN); and finally, idealist based, focused on nothing more than the identification of change.

    To make an accurate assessment of Bush’s precise meaning, more information is obviously needed.

    On January 16, 1991, he further clarified his position in a speech announcing the hostilities with Iraq by identifying the opportunity to build a New World Order,
    “where the rule of law… governs the conduct of nations,” and “in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the UN’s founders.” 4
    These specifics in describing Bush’s concept of New World Order clearly lean toward the globalist interpretation.

    Joseph Nye pointed out, that the,
    “1991 Persian Gulf War was, according to President Bush, about ‘more than one small country; it is a big idea; a New World Order…” 5
    Bush’s words, highlighted in the quote above, will be analyzed in detail to reveal the nature of his globalist “big idea” called New World Order.

    MORE – http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_nwo72.htm

  8. Peter Loeb
    September 14, 2015 at 05:57

    “WHAT WE SAY, GOES…”—George H.W.. Bush

    The basis of current Washington policy is still the worn out
    shreds of George H.W. Bush’s statement of pure
    arrogance. Such statements were made in the glow
    of US military and economic hegemony after World War

    Such presumption still exist in official Washington.
    And outside of official circles the aged Harry Truman
    axiom to oppose Russia in all cases which worked
    seemed to unify America after 1945.

    After the war experiences mentioned above (Vietnam,
    Afghanistan-Libya etc.) has caused doubt as another
    American “election” looms.

    What if Russia with hands in effect forced by
    Washington agreed with Syria and Iran on the construction
    of additional bases in these countries with a reach
    their opponents such as Israel, Europe etc. This they
    could logically claim following the US- Washington
    claim are for self defense. The UN should be
    informed of the need for such self-defense. Additional
    bases should be provided high tech and so-called
    “non-lethal” intelligence gathering abilities for
    potential fly-overs over Israel etc.

    As previously noted by this writer in comment, the
    US can (and does) bribe but no longers commands
    the military and economic predominance it claimed
    for itself. The US is not even the largest economy
    in the world.

    In a spirit of cooperation, Syria itself should provide
    the UN with complete statements documenting each
    and every flyover, transgression, provocation etc.

    After all, the Security Council unanimously—UNANIMOUSLY—
    encouraged support for Syria in its battle against “foreigners”
    maintaining that no “political” resolution would be possible
    until these “foreigners” were defeated. The US unilaterally
    made a statement endorsing “regime change” (eg “Assad
    must go” etc.) within days of joining every other member
    of the UN Security Council in support of Syria’s sovereignty
    and herculean efforts.

    Water has gone over the bridge since those days when the US
    proclaimed that “What we say, goes!” Many nations have
    serious economic problems not least the US. It is no longer
    a sure bet that US money will flow into the coffers of those
    to join any coalition willing to defy the very core
    of international law.. The issue of cost (of bribery),
    of death to Americans, of economic opportunity in the US etc.
    no longer exist except in the minds of Washington planners
    older eras.

    As one observed on a radio interview from a town hall of
    a conservative GOP Representative, “I don’t want to
    go to any more funerals!”.

    Perhaps neocons of some future Washington government will
    like FDR solve domestic economic problems by killing
    young Americans. (Not to mention thousands of people
    of far away “other” races). There will be work for “Rosie
    the Rivetter”, defense contractors will be buzzing again in
    their dreamed WW III, weaponry for mass slaughter will
    once again be shipped to foreign “clients” in a great
    “market” for instruments of death…(Marketteers are
    already contacting potential clients worldwide.)

    These are just some of the problems which critics
    from the left must confront today. There is no longer
    time to wait.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Peter Loeb
      September 15, 2015 at 06:17


      There are many issues addressed in the unanimous UN Security
      Council Resolution of 22 February, 20014.

      Many regard the actions or inactions of the Syrian Regime
      (Bashar Assad). The unanimojus resolution (including
      the US) is:

      S/Res/2139 (2o14)

      See especially point # 14.

      In this author’s opinion, Russia has every right to come to
      the aid of its own base, build more bases and support
      in every way its ally. It should prepare to use what are
      disingenuosly calls “non-lethal weapons” and high-tech
      and high-tech intelligence-gathering devices to monitor
      the other states involved such as Saudi Arabia,Turkey
      and (of course) Israel. It should certainly not be reluctant
      to use what the US and Israel call “preemptive strikes”.
      In its diplomatic demands it and its allies should certainly
      require —unconditionally–the complete dismantling of
      any and all bases once said to aimed at Iran (even
      this is in defiance of international law) but also reaching
      Russia itself.

      Or would Russia and its allies demand that the US
      immediately stop all weapons shipments to its
      ally Israel and demand that Israel submit to the
      overwhelming views of the UN General Assembly
      requirements that Israel join a Middle East Nuclear
      Free Zone, ratify and join the NPT…

      But then, as Israel says again and again, “…but you know
      you can’t ever trust them (Russians, Iranians…Israel’s
      enemies are interchangeable here”..

      Until the US joins with the Syrian Regime to expell and
      permanently defeat any and all “foreigners” (ISIS and
      any others) from its territory no resolution can be possible.
      (This point is not “radical” but is clearly expressed in the
      above-mentioned Security Council Resolution —point # 14—
      to which the US signed its name.)

      But we all know very well indeed, that such suggestions have
      been put down the Orwellian “memory hole” to be permanently
      excluded from all public discourse.

      And as we all know very well, no regime in power ever—EVER–
      voluntarily surrenders it. ( Would Likud voluntarily give up
      all power in Israel??)

      The analyses of academics are not always etherial and
      fairly useless, but they are in this case. Shelden Wollin
      is guaranteed difficult reading and typically in the end
      means little to nothing. Excellent academic work.

      I must express my appreciation for the intelligent comments
      on central issues. This in itself is a complement to Robert
      Parry’s analysis and I am flattered to have played a part
      in their serious consideration.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  9. Brewer
    September 14, 2015 at 03:42

    The ruler of the sorry remnants of U.S. Empire (Israel’s vassal-state) continues to make pronouncements as if they are meaningful.
    As if the neo-con Wars somehow made the World a better place.
    As if the greatest refugee crisis in History were not a direct result of Israel’s plan to degrade and render impotent all Middle East states that oppose its land-grabbing and ethnic cleansing.
    As if Vlad, Saddam, Muammar and Bashar were/are indeed the cartoon-character bad guys the propaganda promoted.
    As if the Emperor has a set of threads to wear.

  10. September 14, 2015 at 00:19

    Russ Wellen’s analysis of Russian(Soviet)-US relations — drawing primarily on the Wikileaks cables from 2002-2010 and articulated in the recently released (The) Wikileaks Files: The World According to US Empire — provides an essential overview of the evolution of said relations throughout this period and the 20 odd years prior. This is particularly so from the perspective of the Russians.

    The following extract underscores — and indeed helps us to appreciate — this all-important, and oft-neglected (by U.S. policy makers and the Western MSM) Russian “perspective”:

    “The Cold War was a chronicle of misunderstanding. The United States consistently overestimated the size of [the Soviet Union’s] nuclear-weapons arsenal. The SU concluded from U.S. policies and deployments that the US was seeking to launch a nuclear first strike. In the years since [from the end of the Cold War until now], as documented by the WikiLeaks cables from the US consulates and embassy in Moscow, the U.S. has refused to sufficiently acknowledge Russian concerns about U.S. nuclear weapons and missile defence. It acts as if Russia is being obtuse, as if it were obvious that the U.S. has no interest in an offensive attack on Russia with ballistic missies — nuclear or conventional — or in defending itself against Russia with a provocative missiles defence system. Russian can’t help but feel, at best, patronised — and at worst, threatened….

    …Instead of wasting time and resources lamenting the effects of cables on international relations and harassing WikiLeaks, the U.S. needs to overhaul its foreign policy. Continuing to view a state as Russia as a rival in a zero-sum game, as well as an energy resource and an emerging market, instead of as representing a people, only perpetuates conflict. The source of mistrust of the U.S. is much deeper than the revelations of the minutes of U.S. diplomats’ meeting with the diplomats of those states.”

    As valuable as this insight is, from Washington’s perspective at least Wellen does not attempt a detailed explanation of how we got to this point. Then again, such is the unfathomable rationale and unassailable arrogance of the Beltway elites that has prevailed since 2010 in its dealings with its former Cold War adversary — evidenced by the above article and many previous ones like it — Wellen may have decided to leave that analysis for another day. Either that or he may have concluded such an endeavour was a Sisyphean task, as thankless and frustrating as it is futile.

    Let’s hope though he — and other like minded folks — does get around to it at some point. The stakes are such that we need all the help we can get in understanding and ‘making sense’ of this “rationale” and exposing — then counteracting — the “arrogance” that underpins the manner in which this most crucial of geopolitical relationships is being managed.

    In fact, such is the sheer folly and extraordinary danger of this belligerence towards Russia — less a “chronicle of misunderstanding”, than [a chronicle] of aggressive malevolence and exceedingly dangerous brinkmanship — it recalls the manner in which the “Secret Elites” of the British Empire behaved towards Germany in the years leading up to the outbreak of The War to End all Wars. This narrative is spelt out in Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War*, by authors Gerry Docherty & Jim MacGregor, and lays to bed once and for all time who the real architects and instigators of the Great War were.

    The parallels between Britain and Germany then, and the U.S. and Russia now, are as inescapable as they are frightening.





    (*For an equally essential insight into the origins of the Great War that runs counter to the establishment historical record, John Cafferky’s Lord Milner’s Second War: The Rhodes-Milner Secret Society; The Origin of World War I; and the Start of the New World Order is eminently worth exploring.)


  11. Andoheb
    September 13, 2015 at 17:36

    I very much doubt the US will intervene in a major way because it could cost them heavy losses from ultra modern Russian and possibly Chinese weapons not to speak of Iran’s very strong Recolutionary Guards. The military balance is very different than when Bush invaded Iraq in 2003.

    • Gregory Kruse
      September 13, 2015 at 21:35

      I did see a picture of a very nice Russian landing craft on a Syrian beach lately.

  12. onno
    September 13, 2015 at 15:58

    To the point. The problem today is that the USA NEVER had a war at home and all US neocons and politicians in Washington see a war just like Hollywood sees it. In contrast the Russians suffered the most during WW II losing around 22 million people in defeating the Nazi’s and on May 9 every Russian celebrate and honors its veterans No other nation is remembering its heroes as much as the Russians do. As a result Russians are against wars but thanks to President Putin the Russian Army has been prepared for an attack from the West like from Napoleon and Hitler. President Putin learned his lessons from the West and the fact that the Americans cannot be trusted since they don’t honor or respect any signed agreement as was proven by the Gorbachev-Reagan agreement that NATO shouldn’t move eastward after East Germany became part of Germany.This was documented by Germany’s Foreign Minister Genscher.
    The German population has shown that they don’t want war because of Ukraine and the Green Party chairman said ‘ F… USA! That says it all plus the fact that Angela Merkel -after the NSA affair is accused of selling Germany to USA and like the EU has become US vassal. Since then more and more Europeans have pro-Putin and anti-USA.

    • VoxPax
      September 14, 2015 at 04:04

      The problem today is that the USA NEVER had a war at home and all US neocons and politicians in Washington see a war just like Hollywood sees it.
      Where have all the Indigenous People of North America gone to?

      • dahoit
        September 15, 2015 at 09:09

        Duh,the Civil War doesn’t count right?How about the Revolution and the War of 1812?
        The indigenous people are still here,and probably number more than were here when whitey came(at least in the US or Canada),but I’m sure you will dispute that.
        Why do you hate America itself?
        Yes the Zionist neocons and their quislings are evil,but common Americans have no say in such decisions,and bashing America just divides US.

        • Bianca
          September 15, 2015 at 15:17


          You raise a very, very good point. It would be a tragedy that Americans turn on each other as neocons tear up our financial system, control the President and Congress, and shamelessly push for disgusting and inhuman policies around the world.

          As for the comment earlier that US had never experienced war at home, I suspect the reader meant being invaded and occupied by a foreign power. That Americans FORTUNATELLY never had to deal with. As such calamities are hard to survive and even harder to come back as a nation. But, yes, Americans can relate to wars. Even though I do not think that Revolution was indeed a revolution but a rebellion against colonial power, its wars did unite various colonies and created a foundation of what it is today. It is a shame though, that that experience did not shape US future, that it is not George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson or George Mason that are at the core of our culture and foreign policy — but instead the inheritance of destructive civil war. The inability of elites to find solutions, to preserve the unity, is a condemnation of both. Ever since Woodrow Wilson’s founding of central banking, US has steadily been drawn into the global banking spider webs — with steady loss of its purpose, and even greater loss of leadership capabilities after the end of Cold War. The ending of Cold War could be seen as the greatest calamity to US. It is since that time that the successive changes in financial structures and economy, as well as ownership of media, brought neocons to power.

          What is lacking is the sense of accountability. We elect leaders and then literally do not expect them to fulfill their promises. It is all written off — giving neocons an enormous space to maneuver within Democratic as well as Republican establishments. In fact, neocons have rendered them indistinguishable. Would it be too much to ask that that presidents that lie, resign. That we cannot have various cliques forever inhabit State Department and other departments, and same talking heads talk at us, for decades?

          All of federal agencies should be asked to rotate their staffs, to insure that they will work within the system, not service power-brokers outside the system. We are not asking anyone to be accountable. Our State governments are just as culpable. They should protect their respective populations against the financial plunder, against federal contracts that are money laundering for the privileged, and for their right to engage in commerce, meaning that all neocon “sanctions”, or economic warfare is not honored, as it should not be. States have been thus negligent in developing their economic potential.

          I agree, unless we stop looking for divisive issue from the past to inform our future — we will be paralyzed, divided and powerless. Each era of history has given the country something to be proud off, as well as many sorrowful, cruel and unjust periods woven into the same cloth. The key is to remember the good, and learn from the bad. Today, neocons are ridiculing everything that was good, and celebrating everything that was twisted and unjust. We should not be willing idiots and help them unravel the very fabric of the society in front of our eyes.

          Thank you for bringing this up — it will be hard to keep unity, while both parties, media and scores of institutions are trying to convince population that this insanity of foreign policy that is ruining our economy — is all for the good.

  13. September 13, 2015 at 15:56

    This is the first article about Syria here, with which I nearly fully agree, and so I try it again to make a comment, after two earlier attempts to comment on other articles failed.

    Putin can indeed be blamed partly for the Syrian mess, because a more decisive support of the Government in the early stages of the uprising or bombing campaigns against Jabhat al-Nusra and IS in 2013 would have quelled the insurgency. Russia also should have moved against Turkey, but Putin didn’t want to jeopardize trade with Turkey. He proposed even a “Turkish Stream” natural gas pipeline, but negotiation about this project fortunately have collapsed, so Russia doesn’t have to take care about Turkish sensibilities.

    I don’t agree with the sentence: “So, although it’s surely true that Syrian security forces struck back fiercely at times in the brutal civil war…” This appears to be a concession to the popular presumption, established via million times repeated catchphrases (butcher Assad), that Syria is a brutal totalitarian dictatorship, where the Sunni majority is suppressed by an Alawite clique.

    The classification of the Syrian war as a “civil war” is debatable, it could as well be seen as an undeclared war of aggression by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, the USA).

    I also object to the sentence: “The obvious solution would be a power-sharing arrangement that gives Sunnis more of a say.”

    Sunni are represented sufficiently and pols in 2012 and 2013 showed, that the majority of Sunnis support Bashar al-Assad. Sunnis are represented in the government as well as in the security apparatus and account for between 60 and 65 percent of the regular army. Many high ranking officers are Sunni.

    Even a West Point analysis had to acknowledge that https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/syrias-sunnis-and-the-regimes-resilience.

    In Syria’s 30-strong cabinet only two ministers are Alawite. The prime minister is Sunni, as are the interior minister, the justice minister, the foreign minister, even the defense minister.

    Beside that, who should take part in a power sharing transitional government? Who of the external opposition figures has enough support of the Syrian population to justify an inclusion is a power sharing government?

    Please name the people in the external opposition who could be entrusted with reconciling the war-torn nation?

    • Bianca
      September 15, 2015 at 14:00

      Thank you for the analysis worthy to be called an analysis. Too much concessions are made by analysts and readers to the US-led intervention. The reason — I understand. Because to be really brutally honest and truthful, one would risk being called “an extremist”, so lame concessions are product of habit, a trick of mind.

      There is no entity, no individual and no political group that in Syria has any political influence, worse, most are either not known to Syrians or are known as opportunists ready to cash in. Syrian Sunni are the best educated, urban population, that has been well integrated into Syria’s governance, business, military and educational structures. They, just as much as Christians, Alawite and other minorities — support Assad. To make “regime change” would mean literally gutting the society of ALL OF ITS ELITES in all social structures, and turn the powerless population over to the competing clans of extremists and criminals.

      We have learned and practiced that technique In Libya, and it is working just as we intended. The objective is not a society that enjoys peace, but the opposite. The society that does not have a state, has no indigenous elite, and in constant fear for its daily existence. In the long run — it is expected that such societies will be so transformed, their consciousness and cognitive perceptions so restructured, that they will accept gladly to be governed from far away, or even to be subsumed into another state structures. But if the traces of national memories remain, and the rebelliousness continues, further destruction will follow. Gaza is the a very good model for subsistence in utter ruins, until the lack of basic infrastructure rend it unlivable. There are many models of population control — good example is Serbia today. The ruling elites under the thumb of foreign commissars from Brussels — talk openly of the need to “change the mentality”. Every opposition is branded “extremism”, while the commissars’ spokespeople storm troopers in various “non-governmental” agencies can scream any obscenity, any threat, be as extreme as they want — that is OK, as it is in the service of “reeducation” of the backwards masses that cannot understand why are their institutions and economy being purposefully destroyed. I am sure there are many such post-conflict “management” practices around the world, that there will be much to choose from in post-conflict Syria should US and allies get their way.

      BTW, I think that the role of Turkey has been twisted — as Turkey did not oblige us in the way we planned. This is why our “ally” is being subjected to disinformation campaign to cast it in the role of fellow co-aggressors. But Turkey is a member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and its policies are turned East. Turkey consults with China and Russia, as well as with Iran. The whole idea of portraying Turkey as having anything to do with the rise of ISIS — is downright ridiculous, as ISIS with its Wahhabi sponsored Salafism is a great threat to Turkey’s own Sunni Islam. But this is much to involved subject to give it justice. As for the Turkish Stream, nothing has changed, not really. What has changed is regional security. With the US threat of creating another Kosovo out of Iraqi Kurdistan on Turkey’s border, regional situation may change drastically. Also, the pipeline was not for Turkey’s needs. It has already Blue Stream in operation. It was meant to provide alternate route for Europe, and allow Europe to independently finance and build pipelines on its territory. Today, Europe does not cut either Russian or Turkish priority list. Germany has taken care of itself by expanding the capacity of the existing connection to Russia — Nord Stream. The others will have to fend for themselves. As Azerbaijan has moved out of Euro-Atlantic sphere of influence and joined SCO this summer, Europe and US have been left without options to get gas from Caspian region across Turkey. Europe has to keep quiet and absorb millions of refugees — and elites are happy. This means more cheap labor, and watering down of nationally-cohesive states. The new population will over time put more faith in Brussels for their own protection then in their governments. And that works like a charm — just what neocons have always wanted. No borders, no nationalities, no strong cultural or even family ties — globe open for plunder of defenseless individuals.

    • September 15, 2015 at 14:55

      Congratulations on having just kicked the legs out from under every western commentator on the subject. Extremely well done. I guess it is too much to ask for today’s journalists to do any research whatsoever. Especially when it is so easy to mouth platitudes about “Assad and his Allawite power structure”. How many members of Obama’s cabinet are Republicans? How many of David Cameron’s ministers are Labour?

    • Jen
      September 15, 2015 at 18:44

      Dear Wolf Mato: Your comment is quite a revelation to me. I had no idea that Syrian politics and government are less divided (with respect to religion) than they are in Lebanon where a power-sharing arrangement among Christians, Sunni Muslims and Shi’ite Muslims established in the 1940s has entrenched religious sectarianism and keeps Lebanese society divided along religious lines. Among other things, this enabled the rise of Hezbollah over the past 30 years: sectarianism did not serve the needs of Shi’ite Muslims and they virtually had to create their own parallel society with Hezbollah.

      A power-sharing arrangement of the kind that exists in Lebanon and (since 2003) in Iraq will only serve to weaken Syria and leave it open to foreign plunder as it has done in those other two countries.

      Thank you for your comment.

  14. jaycee
    September 13, 2015 at 15:10

    In the documentary film The Corporation, a psychological profile analysis was applied to corporate entities to highlight the negative tendencies of their business practices. A similar analysis applied to the US foreign policy establishment – from think tanks to Senators to editorial boards – will show a conceptual framework decidedly sociopathic, with occasional forays into outright psychopathic behaviour. These people need help. They should not be in positions of responsibility.

    Using a non-sociopathic framework, the regime-change policies in Iraq and Libya have been spectacular failures and humanitarian disasters affecting millions of people.. But through a sociopathic lens, they were successful and offer precedents to follow. The phrase “so-and-so must go” first entered the lexicon with Saddam. The policy in 2002 was to engineer regime change in Iraq, establish US military bases, and then apply the regime-change formula to other selected countries in the region. That policy is still in operation, although most people do not realize this.

  15. Christopher C. Currie
    September 13, 2015 at 13:45

    Over 50,000 US soldiers sacrificed their lives in Vietnam fighting to OPPOSE people who shared Ho Chi Minh’s morally depraved ideology of violent insurgency to achieve “regime change.” But ever since President Carter began sponsoring and equipping the Mujahedeen insurgency movement to oust the Russians from Afghanistan, Ho Chi Minh’s morally depraved ideology of using violent insurgency tactics to achieve “regime change” has been a MAJOR feature of US foreign policy! That Satanically inspired policy “came back to bite us” when the people we trained and equipped in Afghanistan decided that they didn’t like us either and plotted the 9/11 attack. And since then, Presidents GW Bush and Obama have been doing pretty much the same thing and achieving pretty much the same disastrously bloody results! For example, the Obama Administration engineered (or at least financially supported) “regime changes” in Honduras, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and the Ukraine, and NONE of those US-sponsored “regime changes” turned out well.

    A MORE GODLY SOLUTION: The US Government SHOULD be proposing a UN Peace Keeping Force solution for the Middle East. Unlike the power-grabbing “regime change” objectives our present foreign policy, the mission of UN Peace Keeping Forces is simply to calm things down, protect the innocent, and establish frameworks which lead to a lasting peace in the disputed areas. If that turns out to create a redefinition of the insidiously created borders of Iraq, then so be it.

    • Dato
      September 13, 2015 at 16:40

      > morally depraved ideology of using violent insurgency tactics to achieve “regime change”

      Please explain.

      It is A-OK for me to get rid of the oppressive mofos in charge, in particular when they are in hock with colonialists and have no intention of ceding power or getting pluralistic.

      Wasn’t that what The War for Independence was all about?

      The fact that there is a marked risk that the replacement regime may be on the same level of badness is another problem.

    • George
      September 13, 2015 at 16:56

      You mr currie know nothing of the Vietnam war or how and who runs the world your spouting Zionist propaganda , all wars are bankers wars with no objective other then profit an population control most of those rice farmers we blew up an poisoned were Buddhist and didn’t even own a TV .

      • Patriotned
        September 15, 2015 at 22:32


    • bubbletea
      September 15, 2015 at 00:38

      morally depraved ideology of violent insurgency to achieve “regime change.”

      you mean the guy who was likely to win the elections, had they not been
      cancelled with us support?

    • dahoit
      September 15, 2015 at 09:02

      Where do you guys come up with this stuff?Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese nationalist who kicked out foreign interlopers.End of story.

  16. RogerT
    September 13, 2015 at 13:04

    Mr Parry, you daily add to my intense frustration. Those warmongering maniacs who govern the actual axis of evil ie the USA, Israel and Britain need ousting – but how? Is the only hope that, in a nuclear confrontation, Washington, London and Tel Aviv are first to be demolished?

    • Patriotned
      September 15, 2015 at 22:35


  17. Bob Van Noy
    September 13, 2015 at 12:57

    “But publicly Obama senses that he can’t endorse this rational move. Thus, Obama, who has become practiced at speaking out of multiple sides of his mouth, joined in bashing Russia – sharing that stage with the usual suspects, including The New York Times’ editorial page.”

    This is the problem with President Obama, he comes across as indecisive, no profile in courage for him. This is dangerous stuff, when the New York Times outright lies about events that could lead to more war. This is so very similar to President Kennedy’s dilemma over Cuba, that probably cost him his life. Interestingly it probably cost Nikita Khrushchev his job and legacy.

    I no longer trust this President; but I do sense that President Obama and President Putin could come to a sensible solution.

    Thank you Robert Parry! Would you accept the Secretary Of State job under our new President Sanders?

    • Donald Forbes
      September 13, 2015 at 17:44

      That is the main problem with the Democrats is they all support American Imperialism and we have yet to hear from Sanders. What people don’t understand it is the support for the exploitation (raw materials and cheap labor) of underdeveloped countries that causes us so much blood and treasure.

    • follyofwar
      September 15, 2015 at 06:52

      President Obama stuck his foot in his mouth and painted himself into a corner years ago when he said “Assad must go.” Now he is afraid to do the right thing and repudiate that statement out of fear of showing weakness, even though he surely knows that saying that was a huge mistake. His pride and hubris are getting in the way of any settlement to the crisis. If this situation is not resolved before he leave office it will undoubtedly become worse, that is if there are still any Syrians left to fight.

    • Bianca
      September 15, 2015 at 12:49

      I agree wholeheartedly. As a person who was deeply involved in Obama’s 2008 campaign, I can say with a great deal of confidence based on good connections I had at the time, that Obama had to surrender his right to have a say in various domains of public policy. Before Denver convention, Democratic Party establishment made it clear that unless a deal was made, he was facing a challenge in Denver. The issue was manufactured, and related to primaries in Florida and Michigan — but it was a clear threat. Obama then, in meeting with Clinton, surrendered the foreign policy, and she became his Secretary of State. She had — in her arrogance — made sure all employees in State Department knew that she has the final word in US foreign policy. It was this crass, and this open. She had installed her henchmen, even though many of neocons since Bush era were still there. By now, State Department manages more covert military groups then our Department of Defense. CIA is a shell — most of the work is contracted out to private sector, and as to their allegiance — we cannot say for sure. It is quite possible that we have a shadow military establishment that is more complex then any fictional variety. In fact, I do not think Obama has much to say on many other issues — especially in the realm of financial management, and corporate influence over our coffers.

      In fact, it is possible that the only realm he was left with was health care. Just to show that he is the president, and actually leads an initiative.

      What Republicans are doing now is simple; it is called capitulation. Neocons and their money, control of the levers and mechanics of foreign policy, has left them with nothing more then to flex muscle in cutting various domestic spending. As this is losing its charms lately — they must join in the only game in Washington, foreign adventurism. And joining they are in style. Groveling louder in their audition in front of money bags.

      Neocons have in fact blended two ideologies of their historic favorites: Strauss and Trotsky. The first one providing the foundation, that is “what”, and the other, the methodology, that is “how”. It is the belief in the historic mandate for empire, and the belief that without imperial might , failure is inevitable. And Trotsky’s methodology of “permanent revolution” is a method for creating chaos, and ruling. It is a real and serious mistake of all writers, including some of the best — like Mr. Perry — to assume that neocon’s idea of intervention is to make the world a better place. Just the opposite — the objective is to create chaos, misery, migrations, destruction of institutions, cultures, and even family ties — in order to reformat the disoriented, and over time utterly exhausted masses into whatever shape we desire. And then, continue with periodic upheavals, to insure that no elite can take hold and challenge imperial rule. So, such elites are always vulnerable, and their only job is to govern on the behalf of empire. Any toe out of that line will bring about changes, peaceful if possible by controlling masses through media, or violent and “revolutionary” by paying always available pool of poor and uneducated youth — driven by faux nationalism, or faux religion, to do the job. None of this is a secret — yet, we continue pretending that we “mean well” and — somehow just fail. When on earth will we ever learn?

      • Bob Van Noy
        September 16, 2015 at 22:46

        Thanks to all for the thread. Thank you Bianca, that is an invaluable insight and helps make complete sense of our current catastrophe. Love this site. Also please read and evaluate the essay by Alfred McCoy at TomDispatch to get a sense of Kissinger vs. Brzezinski…

        • Bob Van Noy
          September 16, 2015 at 23:01

          We are learning, I’m optimistic.

  18. September 13, 2015 at 11:55

    Boycott and substitute everything possible made in the United States.

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