Obama’s Fateful Syrian Choice

Exclusive: President Obama faces a choice that could define his legacy and the future of the American Republic: He can either work with Russia’s President Putin to stabilize Syria or he can opt for a confrontation that could lead to an open-ended war with grave risks of escalation, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

There is an obvious course that President Barack Obama could follow if he wants to lessen the crises stemming from the Syrian war and other U.S. “regime change” strategies of the past several decades, but it would require him to admit that recent interventions (including his own) have represented a strategic disaster.

Obama also would have to alter some longstanding alliances including those with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel and correct some of the false narratives that have been established during his administration, such as storylines accusing the Syrian government of using sarin gas on Aug. 21, 2013, and blaming the Russians for everything that’s gone wrong in Ukraine.

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

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

In retracting false allegations and releasing current U.S. intelligence assessments on those issues, the President would have to repudiate the trendy concept of “strategic communications,” an approach that mixes psychological operations, propaganda and P.R. into a “soft power” concoction to use against countries identified as U.S. foes.

“Stratcom” also serves to manage the perceptions of the American people, an assault on the fundamental democratic precept of an informed electorate. Instead of honestly informing the citizenry, the government systematically manipulates us. Obama would have to learn to trust the people with the truth.

Whether Obama recognizes how imperative it is that he make these course corrections, whether he has the political courage to take on entrenched foreign-policy lobbies (especially after the bruising battle over the Iran nuclear agreement), and whether he can overcome his own elitism toward the public are the big questions and there are plenty of reasons to doubt that Obama will do what’s necessary. But his failure to act decisively could have devastating consequences for the United States and the world.

In a way, this late-in-his-presidency course correction should be obvious (or at least it would be if there weren’t so many layers of “strategic communications” to peel away). It would include embracing Russia’s willingness to help stabilize the political-military situation in Syria, rather than the Obama administration fuming about it and trying to obstruct it.

For instance, Obama could join with Russia in stabilizing Syria by making it clear to putative U.S. “allies” in the Mideast that they will face American wrath if they don’t do all that’s possible to cut off the terrorists of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda from money, weapons and recruits. That would mean facing down Turkey over its covert support for the Sunni extremists as well as confronting Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf sheikdoms over secret funding and arming of these jihadists.

If Obama made it clear that the United States would take stern action such as inflicting severe financial punishments against any country caught helping these terrorist groups, he could begin shutting down the jihadists’ support pipelines. He could also coordinate with the Russians and Iranians in cracking down on the Islamic State and Al Qaeda strongholds inside Syria.

On the political front, Obama could inform Syria’s Sunni “moderates” who have been living off American largesse that they must sit down with President Bashar al-Assad’s representatives and work out a power-sharing arrangement and make plans for democratic elections after a reasonable level of stability has been restored. Obama would have to ditch his mantra: “Assad must go!”

Given the severity of the crisis as the refugee chaos now spreads into Europe Obama doesn’t have the luxury anymore of pandering to the neocons and liberal interventionists. Instead of talking tough, he needs to act realistically.

Putin’s Clarity

In a sense, Russian President Vladimir Putin has clarified the situation for President Obama. With Russia stepping up its military support for Assad’s regime with the goal of defeating the Islamic State’s head-choppers and Al Qaeda’s terrorism plotters, Obama’s options have narrowed. He can either cooperate with the Russians in a joint campaign against the terrorists or he can risk World War III by taking direct action against Russian forces in pursuit of “regime change” in Damascus.

Though some of Official Washington’s neocons and liberal war hawks are eager for the latter insisting that Putin must be taught a lesson about Russia’s subservience to American power Obama’s sense of caution would be inclined toward the former.

The underlying problem, however, is that Official Washington’s foreign policy “elite” has lost any sense of reality. Almost across the board, these “important people” lined up behind President George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, arguably the worst blunder in the history of U.S. foreign policy.

But virtually no one was held accountable. Indeed, the neocons and their liberal interventionist sidekicks strengthened their grip on the major think tanks, the op-ed pages and the political parties. Instead of dialing back on the “regime change” model, they dialed up more “regime change” schemes.

Although historically the U.S. government like many other imperial powers has engaged in coups and other meddling to oust troublesome foreign leaders, the current chapter on “regime change” strategies can be dated back to the late 1970s and early 1980s with what most American pundits rate a success: the destruction of a secular regime in Afghanistan that was allied with the Soviet Union.

Starting modestly with President Jimmy Carter’s administration and expanding rapidly under President Ronald Reagan, the CIA mounted its most ambitious “covert” operation ever funding, recruiting and arming Islamic extremists to wage a brutal, even barbaric, war in Afghanistan.

Ultimately, the operation “succeeded” by forcing a humiliating withdrawal of Soviet troops and driving the Moscow-backed leader Najibullah from power, but the cost turned out to be extraordinary, creating conditions that gave rise to both the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

In 1996, the Taliban took Kabul, captured Najibullah (whose tortured and castrated body was hung from a light pole), and imposed a fundamentalist form of Islam that denied basic rights to women. The Taliban also gave refuge to Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda band enabling them to plot terror attacks against the West, including the 9/11 assaults on New York and Washington.

In response, President George W. Bush ordered an invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in late 2001 followed by another invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 (though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11). Those “regime changes” began a cascade of chaos that reached into the Obama administration and to the present.

As Iraq came under the control of its Shiite majority allied with Shiite-ruled Iran, disenfranchised Sunnis organized into increasingly vicious rebel movements, such as “Al Qaeda in Iraq.” To avert a U.S. military defeat, Bush undertook a scheme of buying off Sunni leaders with vast sums of cash to get them to stop killing U.S. soldiers called the “Sunni Awakening” while Bush negotiated a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The payoffs succeeded in buying Bush a “decent interval” for a U.S. pullout that would not look like an outright American defeat, but the huge payments also created a war chest for some of these Sunni leaders to reorganize militarily after the Shiite-led regime of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to make significant economic and political concessions.

Obama’s Misjudgment

Obama had opposed the Iraq War, but he made the fateful choice after winning the 2008 election to retain many of Bush’s national security advisers, such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General David Petraeus, and to hire hawkish Democrats, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Council aide Samantha Power.

Obama’s pro-war advisers guided him into a pointless “surge” in Afghanistan in 2009 and a “regime change” war in Libya in 2011 as well as a propaganda campaign to justify another “regime change” in Syria, where U.S. Sunni-led regional “allies” Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf sheikdoms took the lead in a war to oust President Assad, an Alawite, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Syria was allied with Iran and Russia.

At the same time, the Sunni rebel group, “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” expanded its operations into Syria and rebranded itself the Islamic State before splitting off from Al Qaeda’s central command. Al Qaeda turned to a mix of foreign and Syrian jihadists called Nusra Front, which along with the Islamic State became the most powerful terrorist organization fighting to oust Assad.

When Assad’s military struck back against the rebels, the West especially its mainstream media and “humanitarian war” advocates took the side of the rebels who were deemed “moderates” although Islamic extremists dominated almost from the start.

Though Obama joined in the chorus “Assad must go,” the President recognized that the notion of recruiting, training and arming a “moderate” rebel force was what he called a “fantasy,” but he played along with the demands from the hawks, including Secretary of State Clinton, to “do something.”

That clamor rose to a fever pitch in late August 2013 after a mysterious sarin gas attack killed hundreds of Syrian civilians in a Damascus suburb. The State Department, then led by Secretary of State John Kerry, rushed to a judgment blaming the atrocity on Assad’s forces and threatening U.S. military retaliation for crossing Obama’s “red line” against using chemical weapons.

But the U.S. intelligence community had doubts about the actual perpetrators with significant evidence pointing to a “false flag” provocation carried out by Islamic extremists. At the last minute, President Obama called off the planned airstrikes and worked out a deal with President Putin to get Assad to surrender Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal even as Assad continued to deny a role in the sarin attack.

Still, the U.S. conventional wisdom held fast that Assad had crossed Obama’s “red line” and amid more bellicose talk in Washington Obama authorized more schemes for training “moderate” rebels. These sporadic efforts by the CIA to create a “moderate” rebel force failed miserably, with some of the early trainees sharing their weapons and skills with Nusra and the Islamic State, which in 2014 carried its fight back into Iraq, seizing major cities, such as Mosul and Ramadi, and threatening Baghdad.

As the Islamic State racked up stunning victories in Iraq and Syria along with releasing shocking videos showing the decapitation of civilian hostages the neocons and liberal war hawks put on another push for a U.S. military intervention to achieve “regime change” in Syria. But Obama agreed to only attack Islamic State terrorists and to spend $500 million to train another force of “moderate” Syrian rebels.

Like previous efforts, the new training mission proved an embarrassing failure, producing only about 50 fighters who then were quickly killed or captured by Al Qaeda’s Nusra and other jihadist groups, leaving only “four or five” trainees from the program, according to Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, head of the U.S. Central Command which has responsibility for the Middle East.

The Current Crisis

The failure of the training program combined with the destabilizing flow of Mideast refugees into Europe from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other countries affected by the regional chaos due to “regime changes”  has brought new calls across Official Washington for, you guessed it, a U.S.-imposed “regime change” in Syria. The argument goes that “Assad must go” before a solution can be found.

But the greater likelihood is that if the U.S. and its NATO allies join in destroying Assad’s military, the result would be Sunni jihadist forces filling the vacuum with the black flag of terrorism fluttering over the ancient city of Damascus.

That could mean the Islamic State chopping off the heads of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other “heretics” while Al Qaeda has a new headquarters for plotting terror strikes on the West. Millions of Syrians, now protected by Assad’s government, would join the exodus to Europe.

Then, the option for Obama or his successor would be to mount a major invasion and occupation of Syria, a costly and bloody enterprise that would mean the final transformation of the American Republic into an imperial state of permanent war.

Instead, Obama now has the option to cooperate with Putin to stabilize the Syrian regime and pressure erstwhile U.S. “allies” to cut off Al Qaeda and the Islamic State from money, guns and recruits. Though that might seem like clearly the best of the bad remaining options, it faces extraordinary obstacles from Official Washington.

Already there are howls of protests from the neocons and liberal interventionists who won’t give up their agenda of more “regime change” and their belief that American military power can dictate the outcome of every foreign conflict.

So, whether Obama can muster the courage to face down these bellicose voices and start leveling with the American people about the nuanced realities of the world is the big question ahead.

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.

64 comments for “Obama’s Fateful Syrian Choice

  1. Bob Van Noy
    September 21, 2015 at 12:50

    Thank you F.G. Sanford and Joe Tedesky for the exchange about JFK above. Curiously, my interface, allows no reply… You are both right on according to my reading as well, and I only post to support your commentary. If this back room collusion, was not the beginning of our current grief; it certainly represented a turning point…

  2. Piotr Berman
    September 20, 2015 at 15:46

    Concerning Germany, it seems that the leadership is totally out of their depth and they change their positions twice a week. The best that can be said is that they are well aware of perils in following friendly advice of American establishment, but that does not translate into a coherent policy yet.

  3. September 20, 2015 at 04:44

    Robert Parry needs to stop treating Obama like some kind of poorly advised / deceived saint in all this. He is up to his Globalist insider neck in it – just like Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton. See his connections to Brzezinski, Soros, Rockefeller and Kissinger.

    The only reason that Obama was against the Iraq invasion was because Brzezinski was against it. Brzezinski hates the Russians (he’s from Polish nobility and the Soviets stole his family’s land).

    Brzezinski said at the time that he was against Bush’s invasion of Iraq because he thought that Bush should have been invading/attacking Russia instead!

    Brzezinski was Obama’s official Foreign Policy adviser during his first term. See Brzezinski’s 1996 book “The Grand Chessboard” for what happened in Ukraine and where the idea came from.

    Brzezinski, Rockefeller and Soros are all part of the same Globalist / CFR / Trilateral cartel and it is they who tell Obama want to do.

    Now you should also check out the history of Obama’s mother. She married Colonel Soetoro who worked for both Suharto’s US backed government and Mobil oil. Suharto was installed as President of Indonesia in a CIA backed Coup in 1965.

    Now why would a supposedly communist activist get married to a CIA backed Establishment capitalist who worked for Mobil oil and who was the enemy of the communist guerrilla army that was fighting Suharto’s regime? A: Because she wasn’t actually a communist.

    Ann Dunham (Obama’s mother) was officially working as an anthropologist in Indonesia for the Ford Foundation. The Ford Foundation has longstanding, direct and close ties to the CIA going back to the 1950’s. They often act as an “NGO” front for CIA operations.

    This was how Obama came to spend his early childhood in Indonesia. Incidentally Obama attended the same school as Timothy Geithner in Jakarta, the same Tim Geithner who would later become his first Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner is a CFR member and previously worked for Kissinger Associates.

    The citations to the evidence to support the above assertions are in the following previous articles:-

    Brzezinski’s fingerprints are all over recent events with the US training Nazis in Ukraine and the Iran Nuclear Deal http://ian56.blogspot.com/2015/04/brzezinski-is-clearly-still-pulling.html

    Did Obama’s mother work for the CIA? Was Obama recruited by the CIA in his early 20’s? http://ian56.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-has-john-brennan-got-on-obama.html

    Barack Obama : A Gigantic Fraud upon the American People
    The above goes into Obama’s connections to people overtly and deeply associated with the Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, the CFR, Kissinger Associates and to highly corrupt businessmen in Chicago. People like Brzezinski, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and Chicago slum landlord Tony Rezko.

  4. ken
    September 19, 2015 at 13:37

    There have also been signs that the German Govt which has shown such uplifting sympathy and basic goodness towards Syrian refugees is shifting away from supporting the USA towards backing Putins peace proposals in Syria which all sensible and sane folk must surely support.?This was happening even before the huge influx of Syrian refugees into Germany of recent weeks where they will each tell their own stories which no amount of propaganda in the Washington Post or NYT or in die Welt will EVER be able to dent or again pervert as hearing how and why a man and his family has fled his home and his country must make an indelible impression,so it seems likely that Merkel,perhaps followed by Hollande, will now move even faster and more determinedly away from Obama ,for whom Parry in his lovable way continues to apologise.Indeed the duo excluded him and sidekick Cameron from Kiev 2 which they have since witnessed corrode under the influence of predatory US capitalism and must now recognise the realities of the Ukraine where Parry had once told us Obama was caught by surprise by the Kagan/Nuland Neocons with whom he lunches and plays golf….. This opens an extra dimension to what will follow.Interestingly some 82% of Syrians in repeated polls taken from across the whole nation blame the USA for ISIS which is surely a reasonable judgment.History if there is one will blame Obama for Libya and for Syria.If he is afraid of assassination and wasnt in fact always groomed for the Presidency he should long ago have dismissed the entire Presidential security detail and employed his own security service,possibly from the Rangers,which indeed RFK was planning at the time of the assssination, and would that he had long removed folk like Greer( who stopped the limo) and Kellerman ( the maitre d of the autopsy)from any “service” near his brother…..This isnt really the place for a debate about 9/11 but can the evidence really be discussed in the form of a multiple choice questionaire when essentially had there been a “collapse” of any kind the massive impact of over 100 floors falling ( twice )must have completely smashed what is called the slurry wall or the protective basin upon which the whole WT complex was built ,keeping the Hudson out of Manhatten and Manhatten accordingly flooded…if there was a flood ,it was dust and paper….

  5. Richard Steven Hack
    September 19, 2015 at 12:53

    As I’ve said many times, the US will never go along with Russia in stabilizing Syria. That is because the overwhelming priority of the US military-industrial complex (allied with the usual suspects – NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the GCC) is to degrade Syria so it can not be an effective actor in an Israel-Iran war and can not prevent Israel from attacking Hizballah in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon via Syrian territory so it can not be an effective actor either.

    Then the goal is for Israel to attack Iran and the US to do the heavy lifting in that war for Israel, so Israel gets a “cheap war”.

    Israel can’t afford to have Syria and Hizballah join in on Iran’s side as that would force most Israelis into bomb shelters for most of every day, wrecking the economy and pissing off the electorate enough to run the ruling coalition out.

    Israel needs Syria and Hizballah mostly off the table before it attacks Iran. That is what the 2006 Lebanon war was all about. Israel failed in that effort because it committed too few ground troops and failed to realize the extent of Hizballah’s preparation for an Israeli invasion. Israel can only threaten Hizballah by flanking it through the Bekaa Valley, which requires crossing Syrian territory and engaging Syrian military. But if the Syrian military were already “occupied” and degraded, Israel would have less to worry about them and could concentrate on Hizballah.

    Obama’s Iran deal is irrelevant to this plan. He’s only done that for his “legacy” as he knows the next administration will undo it.

    The plan remains not so much to overthrow Assad per se as to degrade Syria’s military capability to protect Israel and enable Israel to attack Hizballah.

    The ultimate goal remains war with Iran. Israel will never rest until this goal is achieved.

  6. onno
    September 19, 2015 at 11:30

    Again a great analysis by Robert Parry and great comments by the forum to help people understand the facts and the complexity of the Syrian crisis. I only wish that those Washington neocons responsible for US foreign policies would read these comments and realize how much in fact USA has become isolated from the world but even worse from REALITY. Russians and Muslims think differently than Americans and have a different culture not dominated by Dollars but by peace, families and children

  7. zaz
    September 19, 2015 at 09:34

    Iran, Russia, The USA, EU are all aliens in Syria. The best they can do is to pack their stuff and leave as soon as possible.

    You people still don’t understand that brute force will mean only more civilians killed (but who really cares), the Russians are just more brute force supplied to Assad who will continue to bomb every inch of the territories he lost control of. And then? Is this something any different?

  8. Bob Van Noy
    September 19, 2015 at 08:14

    So true Peter Loeb, proxies are never dependable; and they tend to fade away, but they certainly are dangerous.

    • dahoit
      September 19, 2015 at 14:21

      And expendable,one might add.(proxies)As the Saudis,Turks and the gulf state flunkies will find out.Lying with rabid wolves brings more than fleas,they will kill you.
      As far as the alphabet soupers go,in relations with their sponsors, who is using whom?

  9. Peter Loeb
    September 19, 2015 at 05:12


    “…’I weep for you,’ the Walrus said,
    ‘I deeply sympathize.’
    With sobs and tears he sorted out
    Those of the largest size,
    Holding his pocket-handkerchief
    Before his streaming eyes.

    ‘O Oysters’ said the Carpenter,
    ‘You’ve had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?’
    But answer came there none—
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They’d eaten every one.”

    The arrogant bully traditionally says: :You can’t trust
    them!” You can’t negotiate with the USSR/Russians.
    And on and on. From World War II to Vietnam to…
    etc, etc,

    To put it more simply, Obama and whoever follows him
    after the next US “election” has no options. None in reality.
    Who is to blame? Certainly Obama himself but just as
    much the neocons with whom he has surrounded himself ,
    politicians (eg Congress) of both parties, the PR machine.
    And, of course, he is the party leader of one political party and
    simultaneously beholden to much of the other.

    For those of us with Robert Parry and others dissent we must
    honest face what the future realities are and will continue to be
    whoever wins the “election” in the US in 2016. I cannot see any
    candidate for election in the US who I could support in good
    conscience. But that is a personal decision, perhaps not part
    of any analysius based on non-existent “options”.

    There are to “choices” he can or will make.

    As Lewis Carroll pointed out in a previous empire, “they’d
    eaten every one.”

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Peter Loeb
      September 19, 2015 at 05:50


      It should be noted (in case anyone has forgotten) that it has
      been Israel’s goal that Syria should be attacked and defeated
      in an all-out bloody war supported by Israel but not
      carried out by Israel. The US was a prime candidate from an
      Israeli perspective. While reneging in total, the US did
      engage other nations (Saudi Arabia, Turkey etc.).

      Israel has not learned the lesson the US should long ago
      have learned (neocons excepted) that when militant groups
      are supported and encouraged they do not always obey
      their sponsors. There are too many examples to cite here.

      Al-Queda is not as easily subject to the will of Israel not even
      with US support. They (and other similar groups) lack a
      legislative and executive which are bought and sold by
      so-called “Jewish money” (not “Jewish votes” as has often
      been pointed out—taken as a whole there are few “Jewish
      votes” in the US. There is plenty of “Jewish money”!)

      It should be noted that whatever US policy may be under—
      whichever US Chief Executive— defense contractors’ business
      will improve immensely. “Security” means profit and “jobs”
      in the manufacture of lethal death machines.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  10. September 19, 2015 at 03:28

    A brilliant text as always. Three annotations:

    Obama will not make any moves that would amount to an appeasement with Russia because he doesn’t want to end like JFK. He will maybe make some historic remarks in the last speech before leaving office reminiscing of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell speech in 1960, where Eisenhower warned:

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

    And where Eisenhower pleaded for disarmament and peace:

    “Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war — as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years — I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.”

    Obama is probably already studying this speech to assess how much of it he can incorporate in his own farewell address.

    Concerning actual policy changes, Obama is just a figurehead, which was made clear to him from the first day after his election victory. He probably knew it even before.

    The withdrawing of Patriot missiles from Turkey suggests that there could be some kind of arrangement between Russia and the USA. Obama reportedly was furious that ordering Bulgaria and Greece to deny Russian cargo planes overflight happened without his knowledge. How much CIA and Pentagon operations may be go on without him knowing? The secret funds are bottomless.

    This is called “deep state” or “permanent government.”

    Beside this obvious constraints, what can one expect from a person who is used to sign weekly “kill lists” of undesirable individuals and who ordered the persecution of whistleblowers left and right?

    The refugee crisis in Europe is a bonus for the USA, because it weakens and destabilizes an economic competitor (mainly Germany). The imperium has no friends, only vassals and allies (which will be thrown under the bus without hesitation whenever it is convenient).

    • Bob Van Noy
      September 19, 2015 at 08:08

      I agree Wolf Mato, I think that the US is almost exactly in the same place as when President Kennedy was assassinated. Dangerous times indeed, but also perfect timing for a Real breakthrough. We can only hope? The refugee crisis in Europe is for All of us to be concerned about, as a human problem… Thanks.

  11. September 19, 2015 at 02:13

    As usual, this is another excellent article by Robert Parry. We hope the President hears the voice of wisdom rather than listening to warmongers such as Senator John McCain and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the lawyers for Israel.

    Less the people of Middle East are treated with dignity, offering them their own fundamental rights, the United States will remain the greatest subverting force in the world.

    The American government has a strong voice in the world, but must not speak for itself. It must speak for those that our government made voiceless. This will not occur unless we, as citizens, are true to ourselves, writing to the President and legislators from our heart about what we believe in.

    • Bob Van Noy
      September 19, 2015 at 08:00

      Totally agree Akbar Montaser, great clear thinking. Thanks.

  12. Joe Tedesky
    September 19, 2015 at 01:17

    These are not the best of times for Netanyahu. First he loses on the Iran nuclear arms deal, and then secondly he sees Russia sending Syria the SA22 surface to air missile system. Syria’s acquiring the Russian SA22’s will be a huge additional asset for Syria to prevent any more Israeli planes from reaching their targets inside Syria. Reuters is reporting Netanyahu is flying to Russia to meet with Putin. It is said that Netanyahu wants to express Israel’s concern over Hezbollah. It will be interesting to see if Putin lends his shoulder for Bibi to cry on.

    Webster Tarpley, along with some others, is claiming that the ‘refugee’ overload in Europe is the work of General Allen and Erdogan. This plan instigated to over burden Europeans with Muslims, was designed too create a blowback against Assad. My question is, will European blowback be more aimed at America, and it’s Middle Eastern allies? Could not this scheme be plagued with ill thought out conclusions? Would Europeans not put two and two together to discover who really is behind the curtain? My other question is, if Russian involvement proves to be more effective against ISIS/Daesh to a noticeable degree, how will European’s view this type of outcome?

    I believe the Obama’s are in over their heads. I was disappointed too see First Lady Michelle Obama quietly quit promoting healthy food. Her fading away with this good advice, seems to many to be the well lobbied influence of companies such as Mosanto. When it comes to Barack we should be careful not to supply him with excuses. Some of what we see, such as Neocon vs Obama, could be nothing more than clever stage craft. Then again, can you spell JFK?

    • September 19, 2015 at 04:46

      We, in Europe, are well aware of the parties comprising the disparate assortment of odd bedfellows behind the curtain. Odd, and extremely dangerous, as they do not share the same motives for this unholy alliance of limited convenience.

      Take three of the main Middle East players for example. It is quite clear the present leaders of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel do not share the same objectives. It is also abundantly clear all are hovering ever closer the brink of social unrest at home. A fact that appears only to spur them into embarking on even riskier enterprises abroad. All tend to be on the extreme right wing politically and none are nearly as secure, or popular in their own conuntries, as they would like to have us believe. A cool, and independent analysis, would probably find Assad far more popular at home than the others, despite his iron rule.

      The U.S. leadership should start to remember we are all judged by the company we keep and try to imagine how they would judge someone climbing into bed with a bunch of tinpot dictators despised by people they repress, imprison, torture and kill for something as harmless as expressing an opinion not in line with the government´s.

      That the intellect and dishonesty of U.S. politicians has been allowed sink so low by its voters, only demonstrates how dangerous and divorced from reality the international corporate media has become. The politicians may be responsible for inventing the lies, but the media is responsible for spreading them. Rupert Murdoch has a lot to answer for. I trust his lord Satan is preparing an extremely warm welcome.

      • Bob Van Noy
        September 19, 2015 at 07:56

        Thanks Bryan, good to have that perspective…

      • Joe Tedesky
        September 19, 2015 at 13:05

        Bryan, I don’t know how Europeans can deal with all of the unrest they have been forced to go through. While Europe struggles with real life tragedy, Americans are talking about how ‘the Donald’ did during the three hour Republican debate. In America if you don’t work hard at getting the proper news, you are left to the corporate main stream media, and this leaves a lot to be desired for getting the news right.

        Israel has restricted the Palestinians from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Although, never fear Netanyahu has a remedy for any rock throwing Palestian… Shoot them with live ammunition. Isn’t the U.S. favoring the overthrow of Assad for his being brutal? Will John McCain speak out against Netanyahu’s brutally, as he did over Assad? Erdogan can attack the Kurds, while the Saudi’s whack heads off over the silliest so called offenses, but Assad must go.

        Oh and about any refugees being greeted here in America, well FOX news is already ramming up the fear over there being terrorist amongst these homeless humans. I don’t fear the refugee, as much as I fear them being used, or blamed for any false flag which may occur.

  13. James O'Neill
    September 18, 2015 at 21:21

    I agree with Jay and Stuart Davies. For all his often very fine analyses Mr Parry also has his blind spots about the realities of US foreign policy. Chaos in the Middle East is precisely the object. There is ample evidence for this, including the Yinon plan and Seymour Hersh’s excellent analysis in 2007. Another common blind spot is the persistent repetition of 9/11 being carried out by a bunch of Muslim fanatics guided by OBL from his cave in Afghanistan. There is now a huge volume of scientific and other analysis that shatters that BS and as long as a belief in the mythology guides foreign policy analysis it is always going to be flawed.

    • Abbybwood
      September 19, 2015 at 00:18

      I was thinking the same thing.

      He had me reading until he wrote the myth about OBL and 9/11 from a cave in Afghanistan.

      I listened to an interview today with Rebeka Roth regarding her latest book on 9/11, “Methodical Deception”.

      This is not some wing-nut conspiracy theorist. She was a flight attendant for 30 years and while researching Middle Eastern names for a novel she decided to check out the names of the 19 hijackers and that was when she started discovering information that made no sense to her. (Like many of the hijackers still being alive and the Saudi government suing the FBI for listing their names. Seems their passports and identities had been stolen).

      She started listening to the “phone calls” from the flight attendants and there were major clues to her immediately that the entire story was B.S.

      She now has a terabyte of FOIA information related to 9/11.

      The thing that blew me away was the DEA information about the Israeli Mossad “art students” who actually were LIVING on the 91st floor of the WTC and they actually got permission to take out the windows and make a balcony outside the WTC and they had a helicopter fly by and take pictures of them!

      Something like 160 Mossad agents who were caught spying on 9/11 were quietly deported and this includes those found with a van full of explosives near the George Washington Bridge. It goes on and on and on and on.

      This is very serious. I hope Robert Parry (and Consortium readers) takes a minute to listen to this interview:


  14. ltr
    September 18, 2015 at 20:35

    Another superb essay.

  15. Jay
    September 18, 2015 at 20:14

    For Russia and the US to cooperate in Syria and Iraq (and this means Russian helicopter commandos killing Sunni extremists), someone would have to tell John Kerry to shut up about Crimea and Ukraine.

    And Israel doesn’t like the idea of a strengthen Assad regime in Syria.

    Cue rumors about Assad refusing to build an oil pipeline from Iran/Iraq to the Mediterranean being the big reason for this furthering of the Iraq war by Obama, Turkey and the Saudis.

  16. Bob Van Noy
    September 18, 2015 at 19:42

    Robert Parry has been very understanding of this President and I respect his judgement as a long-time reader of his reports.

    The Obama administration seems schizophrenic in its foreign policy: the reapproachment of Cuba, the negotiations with Iran; and then the odd diplomacy of Ukraine and Syria.

    On an earlier post reader replied that the President was co-opted into selecting Hillary as Secretary of State along with her foreign policy; It certainly is conceivable and it would account for the difference in policy. JFK was persuaded to take on LBJ as his vice president by the party and Ronald Reagan similarly was offered George HW Bush. If taking on Hillary was indeed what happened; it was a huge mistake as were the other two examples.

    Should President Obama find the courage to separate himself from the neocons, that would be amazing and dangerous.

  17. Stuart Davies
    September 18, 2015 at 18:15

    As astute as many of your points are, Mr. Parry, I have to say I think you badly misread some of the key elements of this situation. We already know from numerous sources – including government documents released as a result of a lawsuit – that “ISIS” is a creation of the CIA and affiliated intelligence agencies. There is no doubt that the Sarin attack was a false flag operation, but it is laughable to attempt to fob the blame off on Turkey, Israel, or the Saudis. They have all been involved in this situation, but they are hardly independent actors – everything they do is orchestrated by the same interests that control the NATO block command structure and intelligence agencies.

    Anyway, glad to see someone pointing out the obvious, which goes unremarked and unreported in the corporate media – that Putin is not going to be distracted, deterred or thwarted by the feint on his Western flank, and has made it clear that he has drawn a line in Syria that cannot be crossed by the Western elites without running the grave risk of things spiraling out of control.

    • Stygg
      September 19, 2015 at 15:53

      Which lawsuit/government documents are those? I think it is quite evident that ISIS is not what the media presents it as, but I’ve never seen those.

      • F. G. Sanford
        September 20, 2015 at 15:54

        This refers to a DIA intelligence assessment of ISIS in Syria from 2012 which was only slightly redacted and released as a result of a FOIA lawsuit. Lieutenant General Michael Flynn has been extensively interviewed regarding this document; several interviews are available on YouTube. He refers to the creation of, or the allowing of ISIS to be created as, “a conscious decision” on the part of the administration. This is a truly damning indictment of US foreign policy, but like most of the travesties that have occurred since 2001, it goes right over the heads of brain dead, sleepwalking Americans.

  18. Mortimer
    September 18, 2015 at 17:22

    Robert Parry:
    ‘That could mean the Islamic State chopping off the heads of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other “heretics” while Al Qaeda has a new headquarters for plotting terror strikes on the West. Millions of Syrians, now protected by Assad’s government, would join the exodus to Europe.’
    Syria: A dying nation
    By Manish Rai

    Now, more than four years after it began, the full-blown civil war that developed in Syria has killed over 250,000 people, half of them civilians. In addition, the UN estimates nearly 8 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes.

    When the additional 4 million Syrians who have fled into neighboring countries are taken into account, it follows that a humanitarian disaster has overtaken more than half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million. In addition to taking a very high toll on humanity, the Syrian conflict has devastated every component from which a country stands on its own: Its population, civil society, infrastructure, cultural heritage and economy.

    Prior to the conflict, Syria was a middle-income country with an economy based on agriculture, industry, oil, trade and tourism with good health care and education. But now everything has changed after four years of civil war with all these things ceasing to exist. This calamity of war affects all aspects of people’s well-being since it was often accompanied by the loss of income and livelihoods with families struggling to meet their basic needs. Let’s see how this war has affected different sectors of the country.

    Economy: The economic fabric has lost nearly 80% of its productive capacity since the beginning of the civil war. Even if the conflict ceased now and GDP grew at an average rate of 5% each year, it is estimated that it would take the Syrian economy 30 years to return to the economic level of 2010. The Syrian economy has experienced massive de-industrialisation, dilapidation and degradation as a result of business closure and bankruptcy, capital flight, looting and destruction. Previously, the eastern Mediterranean’s leading oil and natural gas producer, Syria has seen its production fall to a fraction of pre-conflict levels. Syria is no longer able to export oil, and as a result, government revenues from the energy sector have fallen significantly. Agricultural activities continue at a reduced level increasing the reliance on imported foodstuffs, particularly grain. Many businesses now rely on expensive foreign imports for their stock. The continuously depreciating currency has meant that US dollars are highly sought after, with some traders and businesses refusing to accept Syrian pounds. Because of all this the worst impact is that 48.8% of the workforce is unemployed. Also, more than half of the Syrian population are living in poverty, with some 4.4 million (or more than a fifth of the population) living in abject poverty.

    Infrastructure: Has been damaged as a result of the conflict and direct targeting by armed groups, with widespread damage to electricity and water infrastructure, oil refineries, education facilities and agricultural infrastructure. Syrian children have already missed out on almost years of schooling. It is estimated by the World Health Organization that 37% of Syrian hospitals have been destroyed, and a further 20% severely damaged during the civil war. Civilians are forced to go to primitive field hospitals, often run in people’s homes and by local volunteers with only the most basic of medicines and training. Electricity and water service in much of the country is sporadic as a result of fighting between government, opposition forces and the Islamic State. Further, the exploration and development of the country’s oil and natural gas resources have been delayed indefinitely. Nevertheless, even if the fighting were to subside, it would take years for the Syrian domestic energy system to return to pre-conflict operating status. Syria’s domestic pipeline network used to be well-developed. Now, it has been severely damaged by fighting and sabotage since war broke out.

    Cultural/Social Fabric: Numerous archaeological sites of great importance in Syria are being systematically targeted and destroyed by the Islamic State. Museums in Syria are also a cause for concern, and there have been many incidences of looting of valuable cultural property. A large number of museums have also had their infrastructure damaged as a result of being caught in the middle of armed conflict. Syrian cultural property has disappeared from the country to end up on the black market and/or in private collections. The ongoing uncontrolled violence has led to a broad disintegration of Syrian society and created different worlds. Things have changed and there are qualitative variables that left deep scars in the conscience of the people. Once a vibrant and peace loving society, Syria is now full of hatred and distrust. People of different ethnic groups now can’t expect to live beside each other.

    It’s evident that Syria has lost decades of gains, and that all its development indicators are pointing towards an abyss. Nor can any realistic force be expected to change this trend. Even in the event of a political and developmental miracle, the maximum that can be achieved is a return to two decades or more in development indicators. But Syria’s past spirit no longer. Only time will tell who will win or lose this war. However, one thing is certain: Syria as a country has already lost the struggle for its survival. Perhaps in the future, coming generations will know through stories that a country once called Syria existed on the planet.


    Manish Rai is a columnist for Middle-East and Af-Pak region and Editor of geo-political news agency ViewsAround can be reached at [email protected]

  19. Lisa
    September 18, 2015 at 16:23

    “That would mean facing down Turkey over its covert support for the Sunni extremists as well as confronting Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf sheikdoms over secret funding and arming of these jihadists.”. And of course Israel.

    Bah ha ha ha…sorry, funniest thing I have heard all day.

    That would be the biggest US foreign policy change since Nixon went to China…not going to happen.

    You have to remember Obama is also a neo-con, just a type #2 version. Those ones put Russia and China as number one enemies to be attacked/rolled back/put in their place/etc Those #2 neo-cons put the ME as a lower priority, unlike the original Type #1 ones where the ME is the very first priority.

    The vacillations in US policy is simply the side affects of the internal poltical battles between the two groups. The Type #2 just don’t want resources bled away form their China Sea and NATO build ups.

    • Motimer
      September 18, 2015 at 18:17

      The vacillations in US policy is simply the side affects of the internal poltical battles between the two groups. The Type #2 just don’t want resources bled away form their China Sea and NATO build ups. / Lisa.
      Type 2’s Brzezinski and Samuel P. Huntington are immovable objects tightly tethered to designed objectives.
      Z. Brzezinski is attached at the hip to Alfred Mahans’ quest for ownership of the “Earth Island” – that strip of land that stretches from Europe to Asia.
      S.P. Huntington’s vision is of a triumphant US war against China as expressed in his book, “The Clash of Civilizations”

      These are two under radar Giant Liberal Neocons –

      Brzezinski = Trilateral Commission

      Huntington = “The Crisis of Democracy” where, as a -“Liberal” – he wrote a strong paper Against egalitarianism during the dawning of the civil rights movement. — He wrote that he was sincerely alarmed by “too much democracy.”

      His thinking and writing was greatly praised, his insights/innovations influenced the national gov’t, which Implemented much of his vision.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Lisa, if i may — your classification Type 1 & Type 2 is perfect.

    • Abbybwood
      September 19, 2015 at 00:04

      Obama already has a soiree planned at The White House with Bibi for November 9th to do a kiss and make-up I guess.

      I hope Code Pink gives Netanyahu a nice, warm welcome.

  20. Drew Hunkins
    September 18, 2015 at 15:04

    Obama’s best move is to break from the neo-cons (and liberal know-everythings like the Brookings Inst. types) as soon as possible.

    The longer the Putin/Russian demonization train rolls along the tougher it’ll be to sever ties with the aggressive wing of the Washington foreign policy establishment. The “respectable” mainstream media (not just the buffoons at Fox) have been for almost half a decade heaping contumely on Moscow.

    Of course Obama’s a major player in the imperialist paradigm that underlies Washington so it’s never a foregone conclusion that Obama will ever even seriously contemplate divorcing his administration from the Kagans, Powers, Zion-Cons, Nulands, etc.

  21. Bill Bodden
    September 18, 2015 at 13:59

    “If Obama ….” If.

  22. Stygg
    September 18, 2015 at 13:43

    I appreciate your piece, Mr. Parry, but I think it’s pretty clear at this point that Obama is a cipher, an empty suit. He’s just the frontman carrying out his orders. And I don’t say that to absolve him of blame, as he’s obviously one of them and going along willingly. It’s just that he doesn’t appear to have any more actual say over this decision than you or I do.

    • Zachary Smith
      September 18, 2015 at 14:09

      “He’s just the frontman carrying out his orders.”

      Precisely what I was going to say. I’ve no idea at all what BHO really believes about the major world issues, and that ignorance doesn’t concern me much because I suspect it doesn’t matter at all. His job is to do what he’s told, and so far that’s what he has done.

      Yes, the man is permitted to make speeches and interviews complaining about what he’s being forced to do, but in the end he follows orders.

      An example of some really pitiful complaining:

      But the White House says it is not to blame. The finger, it says, should be pointed not at Mr. Obama but at those who pressed him to attempt training Syrian rebels in the first place — a group that, in addition to congressional Republicans, happened to include former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.


      The mean bullies who advise him twist his arm to make him follow orders.

      Pardon my tin-foil-hat moment, but I’m coming to believe that’s got an element of truth.

      As for why he does the crazy stuff, THAT I don’t know. Probably he really is a true believer in the neocon crap. But possibly the unending Secret Service screwups serve to remind the poor man that explanations for a personal tragedy would be a trivial matter. And the fellow “they” stuck in the VP spot is truly an energetic neocon.

      • September 20, 2015 at 04:29

        @ Zachary Smith. Very true.

        No wonder so many Americans are lost up their own ass, when supposedly enlightened ones cannot simply see the bloody big picture. Typical American vanity and self-importance. Exceptional arrogance and ignorance, dressed up with fine words and seeming intelligence for​ ​finer points.

        Illegal occupation and mass murder, genocide, backed by an American government hijacked by a bankrupt neoconservative ideology, clear as day to the rest of the world.

        Read James Carden’s take on the second GOP Presidential debate for more:


        • elmerfudzie
          September 20, 2015 at 12:16

          Debbie M. Frankly, I was thinking along the same lines…After the murder of JFK the only real game in town for the US economy gradually evolved into gross military expenditure(s). Thus, America is now situated on a bloated and top heavy economy that emphasizes the projection of militaristic force solely for the war profiteers and their corporate associates; this strategy applies to both domestic (police state) and foreign engagements, or should I say, entanglements. The strategy is a very old and simple one, divide and conquer based on whatever devise seems expedient for that moment, ethnic, religious, patriotic frictions or differences. Make a lot of quick money and proceed to the next artificially created hot spot…it’s all so utterly painful and tiresome. Thank God there’s Sunday Mass, there’s little else to believe in anymore…It never ceases to amaze me how the murder of one can impact, so thoroughly, on the lives and destiny of so many…

          • Joe Tedesky
            September 20, 2015 at 13:32

            Earlier than the JFK Assassination there was the corporate elite’s plan to overthrow FDR. Thanks, to Major General Smedeley Butler’s better sense this coup was derailed. Then came WWII in the forties, and what more could the banker industrialist want. With an aged bad heart Eisenhower was no match for the Dulles brothers. In Kruschchev’s first announcement to the world’s media about the shoot down of Gary Powers, the Soviet leader actually gave Eisenhower a way out. Kruschev told Eisenhower to look into what his people were up to. Eisenhower took the noble route of taking the blame, and yes the Dulles brothers stayed in power. Eisenhower may have warned us about the Military Industrial Complex, but it was like Kennedy was the only one listening.
            Vietnam became what Korea was suppose to be. All of the corporations who partook in that war did very, very well. Why, more isn’t done in America to correct JFK’s assassination is a terrible thing. Until America comes to realize that JFK’s assassination, along with MLK and RFK’s demise, was a corporate military coup d’état. Once Americans come to realize this then it will become much clearer to what 9/11 was all about. To a Neocon this world hegemony plan is only a third of the way over, and now they are about to implement the hardest part. This means taking out Assad, and then onward to Iran. When the time comes the P5+1 agreement will just be another treaty to lie our way out of. After Iran, then that would mean regime change in Russia. This TPP treaty, along with the ‘pivot to Asia’ plan will be another one of those goals that are so important to the Neocon’s power play. To a Neocon, it is all or nothing. We Americans would do well to make sure the outcome is nothing.

          • F. G. Sanford
            September 20, 2015 at 14:20

            The biggest risk Kruschev took was to conduct diplomacy as though Kennedy was actually in charge. He got lucky that one time, and it worked out. But Kennedy paid with his life, and Kruschev lost his job.

          • F. G. Sanford
            September 20, 2015 at 14:32

            …and, I forgot to mention – a similar scenario may be unfolding as we speak.

          • Joe Tedesky
            September 20, 2015 at 16:21

            I think you are right F.G.

          • Joe Tedesky
            September 21, 2015 at 01:56

            If any interest to read a 1970 article written by Gary Powers, mentioning Lee Harvey Oswald, go this this link;


          • F. G. Sanford
            September 21, 2015 at 08:32

            Joe, the “deep state” pulled the same stunt on Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Read “Lost in Enemy Airspace”, Vanity Fair June 2008. The pilot was sent on a suicide mission over USSR to screw Kennedy – they apparently thought he couldn’t survive. The guy navigated back by tuning in to AM radio stations – probably the most brilliant navigation feat in aviation history.

          • Joe Tedesky
            September 21, 2015 at 12:00

            After reading this story you referenced me too, it just adds more fuel to the fire for which the Dulles brothers and Curtis LeMay ignited in their day. You would think that during such a time as the Cuban Missile Crisis was, that someone would have asked to if we should continue these U2 flights. Knowing how the Dulles and LeMay processed their thinking, it would not be a surprise to learn that war was their endgame all along. Thanks F.G. for the reference. I learn something new everyday…thanks, again!

  23. dan
    September 18, 2015 at 12:56

    I appreciate your analysis of current events … but it is known that the repugs, and dimbos are not really masters of their politics. everyone who visits this site knows the u.s. is a plutarchy.
    trump, and sanders are not options … they are a distraction. the captains of finance have already chosen the candidates that will receive the coverage in the upcoming campaign.
    what are their politics, is there an alternative?
    sanders, trump, the pauls are just distractions meant to give people hope that there is a third option which just does not have the support needed. they are co-opted, a smoke-screen.
    are there any other candidates?

    • Minnesota Mary
      September 18, 2015 at 19:18

      “Are there any other candidates?”

      Well, William Kristol wants to see a third party ticket with Dick Cheney and Tom Cotton if Trump wins the GOP nomination.

      • Abbybwood
        September 19, 2015 at 00:01

        You are joking, right?


    • September 18, 2015 at 22:08

      The only worthy competitor to Bernie is None of the Above.

    • Fel
      September 19, 2015 at 15:39

      Bernie is a serious candidate. This can no longer be doubted in good faith. Now, whether he survives, either metaphorically or literally, the onslaught coming his way, remains to be seen.

  24. F. G. Sanford
    September 18, 2015 at 12:51

    Grasshopper, you seem bewildered. What troubles you, my son?
    Sensei, I have meditated long in search of truth. I do not understand. Why Assad must go?
    Grasshopper, Assad must go, because…he must. This is the sacred wisdom.
    But Sensei, there may be existential consequences for which I am not prepared.
    Grasshopper, you must reject fear of confrontation. You are ready, my son.
    Sensei, what if head-choppers fill the vacuum?
    Grasshopper, you must put your faith in your training…and Strategic Communications.
    Sensei, can further military chaos in Ukraine upset the balance of my opponent?
    Grasshopper, I would put more faith in domestic social unrest. It is up to you.
    Sensei, can Samantha Power convince the world our cause is just?
    Grasshopper, with Strategic Communications, anything is possible…there is no defense.
    …and targeted economic destabilization is also very effective.
    Sensei, is it true that man who catch fly with chopsticks a formidable opponent?
    Grasshopper, I would consider shirtless man on horseback no match for such an adversary. Now go, and embrace your destiny without fear of truth or consequences.
    Sensei Brennan-san, thank you for your patience and guidance. I will do my best to implement the sacred wisdom.

    Barry! Wake Up! It’s time for your nutritious low calorie school breakfast. Hurry Up! Mr. Brennan is waiting, and you have an appointment with that kid who built the clock! This minute, Barry, wake up!

    • Mortimer
      September 18, 2015 at 17:09

      Can you see Key and Peele doing the skit ??

    • Bill
      September 18, 2015 at 21:56

      Very entertaining!

      • asepratepiece
        September 18, 2015 at 22:25

        I know! Times ten! So impressive! I laughed…..

  25. zman
    September 18, 2015 at 11:48

    Thanks to Robert Parry for the overview of the Syrian Fiasco. His points are well taken, especially the difficulty Obama would face in Congress. In my view, he really has no choice, if a much wider war is to avoided. As Robert pointed out though, the CorpGov pushback will be immense. The drive for ever more profits and resource control, especially those aimed at Russia, will be our undoing unless cooler, intelligent heads prevail. Russia will not be bullied and forced to kneel. These Corporate paid idiots need to realize this. Putin has put his military in a position that cannot be ignored. Israeli, as well as other ‘allied’ flights, attacking Assad in the guise of attacking ISIS, is over. They will not risk a shooting war with Russia, but they might try to instigate same with the US. We cannot allow this to happen. A change of direction is the only viable way out…but can it be done with the incessant interference of ‘allies’? I dare say not, only a re-alignment of policy requiring strong leadership to get it done will suffice. Unfortunately, Obama has spent/wasted any political capital he had with the American people on continued Wall Street/Neocon/PNAC goals. I think the best we can hope for is status quo, until after the elections, as always. Then, we have to rely on who enters the WH next. NONE of the Repugs or Dumbos will ever change direction, they have been bought and paid for, for life. That leaves Trump or Sanders. Both long shots. Then, they have to stay alive long enough to effect change. Even if that does occur, they will have to battle the Corporations and their employees(CONgress) for the heart and soul of America. Although I am not optimistic, I am hopeful…maybe peace really can break out.

    • Mike
      September 18, 2015 at 13:47

      why does Parry always give Obama a pass?

      • George
        September 18, 2015 at 22:54

        Yeah, Parry’s whitewashing of this sorry excuse for a president is getting old.

        • September 20, 2015 at 06:39

          He could tell us, here, why he hammers on the term ‘neocon’, because I suspect it’s more than simply his understanding of the meaning of the term. It also happens to hive off Democrats from all the ascerbic stuff he says here about particular neocons. If anyone here’s read any of Robert’s books, and he (or…) wishes to share with us which contains Robert’s views on the meaning of the term and perhaps his estimation of the Democratic Party, I’ll buy the book. Which isn’t to say that I don’t think it would be worth buying anyway. Robert Parry is very knowledgeable, even if his questionable, indirect, defence of the indefensible Democratic Party detracts from his otherwise powerful commentary.

          I always thought that neoconservatives were modern conservatives, merely an updated version. It gets confusing, because there probably are those. But I came across an explanation for neoconservatism in a book I recently read by Donald Gutstein (“Harperism”). In it, He explains that neoconservatives are changelings. They began with Leo Strauss, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany. He believed that ruling classes needed to alway be at war in order to stay strong. He believed that if a country didn’t have an external enemy, then it’s ruling class needed to create one. He believed that ruling classes didn’t need interference from the people and so needed to employ deception to eliminate that interference. And he believed that his new movement, rather than operating openly, should take over the existing Conservative movement.

          Call them fascists. Call them neoconservatives. Call them neoliberals, unless you can’t because it interferes with a narrative you’ve invested much credibility in. A lot of this is interesting, but still falls into the category of ‘details’. Obama may not have been a student of Strauss, and I don’t know offhand how many of Robert’s neocons are, but it doesn’t matter. The program they are all following, and in some case also enabling (Obama), is the same. Call them all neoliberals, fascists or neoconservatives. But don’t mislead us. The Democratic Party isn’t going to save us from the Republican Party. And, oh yes, JFK was not a shining white knight from Camelot. He was a terrorist. And so is Obama. How do you oversee the world’s greatest (arguable, but certainly ‘great’) terrorist operation (Noam Chomsky about Obama’s drone assassination program) and somehow escape being branded a ‘terrorist’?

      • Piotr Berman
        September 20, 2015 at 15:30

        I did not find a positive word about Obama in this article. You can object to polite wording of the criticism, which is intended as friendly advise. There is a real potential for modest political change in USA, and some rational reform in foreign policy. The potential stems from disastrous policies and ideologies pushed by Republicans in the domestic arena, while no Presidential candidate with a chance to win said something really rational on foreign policy. But Sanders seem to steer away from the topic and may be open to a change in course. It is imperative to provide sane advice in sane voice.

      • Ted Tripp
        September 26, 2015 at 07:54

        Mr Parry probably “gives Obama a pass” is because he is President, and frankly, our only hope for rationality.

    • September 20, 2015 at 03:30

      Good comment Zman. We’ll see how it eventually plays out. Putin is at least offering some leadership and push back. He knows exactly what all the players are about.

      Meantime, US is arming Saudi, the other Gulf Arab states and Israel to the teeth. The Saudi slaughter in Yemen will only inflame tensions even more. The recent mosque bombings are an indication of escalating tensions in Saudi Arabia. Who benefits ? The usual suspects.

      • Phil Lane
        September 20, 2015 at 16:05

        Right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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