Hillary Clinton Seeks Neocon Shelter

Special Report: Stunned by falling poll numbers, Hillary Clinton is hoping that Democrats will rally to her neocon-oriented foreign policy and break with Bernie Sanders as insufficiently devoted to Israel. But will that hawkish strategy work this time, asks Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry 

In seeking to put Sen. Bernie Sanders on the defensive over his foreign policy positions, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is embracing a neoconservative stance on the Middle East and gambling that her more hawkish approach will win over Democratic voters.

Losing ground in Iowa and New Hampshire in recent polls, the Clinton campaign has counterattacked against Sanders, targeting his sometimes muddled comments on the Mideast crisis, but Clinton’s attack line suggests that Sanders isn’t adequately committed to the positions of Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his American neocon acolytes.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s strategy is to hit Sanders for seeking a gradual normalization of relations with Iran, while Clinton has opted for the neocon position of demonizing Iran and siding with Israel and its quiet alliance with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states that share Israel’s animosity toward Shiite-ruled Iran.

By attaching herself to this neocon approach of hyping every conceivable offense by Iran while largely excusing the human rights crimes of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Sunni-run states, Clinton is betting that most Democratic voters share the neocon-dominated “group think” of Official Washington: “Iran-our-enemy, Israel/Saudi Arabia-our-friends.”

She made similar calculations when she voted for and supported President George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq; when she sided with the neocons in pushing President Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan; and when she instigated “regime change” in Libya all policies that had dubious and dangerous outcomes. But she seems to still believe that she will benefit politically if she continues siding with the neocons and their “liberal interventionist” side-kicks.

On Thursday, the Clinton campaign put Sanders’s suggestion of eventual diplomatic relations with Iran in the context of his lack of ardor toward defending Israel.

“Normal relations with Iran right now?” said Jake Sullivan, the campaign’s senior policy adviser. “President Obama doesn’t support that idea. And it’s not at all clear why it is that Senator Sanders is suggesting it. Many of you know Iran has pledged the destruction of Israel.”

Actually, the Clinton campaign is mischaracterizing Sanders’s position as expressed in last Sunday’s debate. Sanders opposed immediate diplomatic relations with Tehran.

“Understanding that Iran’s behavior in so many ways is something that we disagree with; their support of terrorism, the anti-American rhetoric that we’re hearing from their leadership is something that is not acceptable,” Sanders said. “Can I tell you that we should open an embassy in Tehran tomorrow? No, I don’t think we should.”

Standing with the Establishment

But the Clinton campaign’s distortions aside, there is the question of whether or not the Democratic base has begun to reject Official Washington’s whatever-Israel-wants orthodoxy.

Hillary Clinton seems to be betting that rank-and-file Democrats remain enthralled to Israel and afraid to challenge the powerful neocon propaganda machine that controls the U.S. establishment’s foreign policy by dominating major op-ed pages, TV political chat shows and leading think tanks. The neocons also maintain close ties to the “liberal interventionists” who hold down key jobs in the Obama administration.

Clinton’s gamble assumes that progressives and foreign-policy “realists” have failed to develop their own infrastructure for examining and debunking many of the neocon/liberal-hawk propaganda themes and thus any politician who deviates too far from those “group thinks” risks getting marginalized.

In other words, Clinton is counting on the establishment structure holding through Election 2016 despite the populist anger that is evident from the surge of support for democratic socialist Bernie Sanders on the left and for billionaire nativist Donald Trump on the right.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a Democratic presidential debate sponsored by CNN.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a Democratic presidential debate sponsored by CNN.

In effect, this election is asking American voters if they want incremental changes to the current system represented by establishment candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush or if they want to shake the system up with insurgent candidates like Sanders and Trump.

Though most neocons are supporting Republican establishment candidates who have sworn allegiance to the Israeli/neocon cause, the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio, some prominent neocons have made clear that they would be happy with Hillary Clinton as president.

For instance, neocon superstar Robert Kagan told The New York Times in 2014 that he hoped that his neocon views which he now prefers to call “liberal interventionist” would prevail in a possible Hillary Clinton administration. After all, Secretary of State Clinton named Kagan to one of her State Department advisory boards and promoted his wife, neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who oversaw the provocative “regime change” in Ukraine in 2014.

According to the Times’ article, Clinton “remains the vessel into which many interventionists are pouring their hopes.”

Kagan is quoted as saying: “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy.   If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.”

Though Clinton recently has sought to portray herself as an Obama loyalist especially in South Carolina where she is counting on strong African-American support she actually has adopted far more hawkish positions than the President, both when she was a senator and as Obama’s first secretary of state.

‘Team of Rivals’ Debacle

Arguably, Obama’s most fateful decision of his presidency occurred shortly after the 2008 election when he opted for the trendy idea of a “team of rivals” to run his foreign policy. He left Bush family loyalist Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, retained a neocon-dominated senior officer corps led by the likes of Gen. David Petraeus, and picked hawkish Sen. Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State. Thus, Obama never took control of his own foreign policy.

The troika of Clinton-Gates-Petraeus challenged Obama over his desire to wind down the Afghan War, bureaucratically mouse-trapping him into an ill-advised “surge” that accomplished little other than getting another 1,750 U.S. soldiers killed along with many more Afghans. Nearly three-quarters of the 2,380 U.S. soldiers who died in Afghanistan were killed on Obama’s watch.

Ironically, it was Gates who shed the most light on Clinton’s neocon-oriented positions in his memoir, Duty, written after he left the Pentagon in 2011. While generally flattering Clinton for her like-minded positions, Gates also portrays Clinton as a pedestrian foreign policy thinker who is easily duped and leans toward military solutions.

Former CIA Director (and later Defense Secretary) Robert Gates.

Former CIA Director (and later Defense Secretary) Robert Gates.

Indeed, for thoughtful and/or progressive Democrats, the prospect of a President Hillary Clinton could represent a step back from some of President Barack Obama’s more innovative foreign policy strategies, particularly his readiness to cooperate with the Russians and Iranians to defuse Middle East tensions and his willingness to face down the Israel Lobby when it is pushing for heightened confrontations and war.

Based on her public record and Gates’s insider account, Clinton could be expected to favor a neoconservative approach to the Mideast, one more in line with the dominant thinking of Official Washington and the belligerent dictates of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Standing with Israeli Bigots

As a U.S. senator and as Secretary of State, Clinton rarely challenged the conventional wisdom on the Mideast or resisted the use of military force to solve problems. She famously voted for the Iraq War in 2002 falling for President George W. Bush’s bogus WMD case and remained a war supporter until her position became politically untenable during Campaign 2008.

Representing New York, Clinton avoided criticizing Israeli actions. In summer 2006, as Israeli warplanes pounded southern Lebanon, killing more than 1,000 Lebanese, Sen. Clinton shared a stage with Israel’s bigoted Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman who had said, “While it may be true and probably is that not all Muslims are terrorists, it also happens to be true that nearly all terrorists are Muslim.”

At a pro-Israel rally with Clinton in New York on July 17, 2006, Gillerman proudly defended Israel’s massive violence against targets in Lebanon. “Let us finish the job,” Gillerman told the crowd. “We will excise the cancer in Lebanon” and “cut off the fingers” of Hezbollah.

Responding to international concerns that Israel was using “disproportionate” force in bombing Lebanon and killing hundreds of civilians, Gillerman said, “You’re damn right we are.” [NYT, July 18, 2006]

Sen. Clinton did not protest Gillerman’s remarks, since doing so would presumably have offended an important pro-Israel constituency, which she has continued to cultivate.

In November 2006, when President Bush nominated Gates to be Defense Secretary, Clinton gullibly misread the significance of the move. She interpreted it as a signal that the Iraq War was being wound down when it actually presaged the opposite, that an escalation or “surge” was coming.

From her seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Clinton failed to penetrate the smokescreen around Gates’s selection. The reality was that Bush had ousted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in part, because he had sided with Generals John Abizaid and George Casey who favored shrinking the U.S. military footprint in Iraq. Gates was privately onboard for replacing those generals and expanding the U.S. footprint.

On with the Surge

After getting blindsided by Gates over what became a “surge” of 30,000 additional U.S. troops, Sen. Clinton sided with Democrats who objected to the escalation, but Gates quotes her in his memoir as later telling President Obama that she did so only for political reasons.

Gates recalled a meeting on Oct. 26, 2009, to discuss whether to authorize a similar “surge” in Afghanistan, a position favored by both Defense Secretary Gates and Secretary of State Clinton, who supported an even higher number of troops than Gates did. But the Afghan “surge” faced skepticism from Vice President Joe Biden and other White House staffers.

Gates wrote that he and Clinton “were the only outsiders in the session, considerably outnumbered by White House insiders. Obama said at the outset to Hillary and me, ‘It’s time to lay our cards on the table, Bob, what do you think?’ I repeated a number of the main points I had made in my memo to him [urging three brigades].

“Hillary agreed with my overall proposal but urged the president to consider approving the fourth brigade combat team if the allies wouldn’t come up with the troops.”

In Duty, Gates cited his collaboration with Clinton as crucial to his success in getting Obama to agree to the Afghan troop escalation and the expanded goal of counterinsurgency. Referring to Clinton, Gates wrote, “we would develop a very strong partnership, in part because it turned out we agreed on almost every important issue.”

President Barack Obama stands with Vice President Joe Biden in the Green Room of the White House prior to delivering a statement on the economy on Nov. 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama stands with Vice President Joe Biden in the Green Room of the White House prior to delivering a statement on the economy on Nov. 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The hawkish Gates-Clinton tandem helped counter the more dovish team including Vice President Biden, several members of the National Security Council staff and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, who tried to steer President Obama away from this deeper involvement.

Gates wrote, “I was confident that Hillary and I would be able to work closely together. Indeed, before too long, commentators were observing that in an administration where all power and decision making were gravitating to the White House, Clinton and I represented the only independent ‘power center,’ not least because, for very different reasons, we were both seen as ‘un-fireable.’”

Political Expediency

Gates also reported on what he regarded as a stunning admission by Clinton, writing: “The exchange that followed was remarkable. In strongly supporting the surge in Afghanistan, Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary [in 2008]. She went on to say, ‘The Iraq surge worked.’

“The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.” (Obama’s aides disputed Gates’s suggestion that the President indicated that his opposition to the Iraq “surge” was political, noting that he had always opposed the Iraq War. The Clinton team did not challenge Gates’s account.)

But the exchange, as recounted by Gates, indicates that Clinton not only let her political needs dictate her position on an important national security issue, but that she accepts as true the superficial conventional wisdom about the “successful surge” in Iraq.

While that is indeed Official Washington’s beloved interpretation in part because influential neocons believe the “surge” rehabilitated their standing after the WMD fiasco and the disastrous Iraq War the reality is that the Iraq “surge” never achieved its stated goal of buying time to reconcile the country’s sectarian divides, which remain bloody to this day and helped create the conditions for the emergence of the Islamic State, which began as “Al Qaeda in Iraq.”

The truth that Hillary Clinton apparently doesn’t recognize is that the “surge” was only “successful” in that it delayed the ultimate American defeat until President Bush and his neocon cohorts had vacated the White House and the blame for the failure could be shifted, at least partly, to President Obama.

Other than sparing “war president” Bush the humiliation of having to admit defeat, the dispatching of 30,000 additional U.S. troops in early 2007 did little more than get nearly 1,000 additional Americans killed almost one-quarter of the war’s total U.S. deaths along with what certainly was a much higher number of Iraqis.

For example, WikiLeaks’s “Collateral Murder.” video depicted one 2007 scene during the “surge” in which U.S. firepower mowed down a group of Iraqi men, including two Reuters news staffers, walking down a street in Baghdad. The attack helicopters then killed a Good Samaritan, when he stopped his van to take survivors to a hospital, and severely wounded two children in the van.

The Unsuccessful Surge

A more rigorous analysis of what happened in Iraq in 2007-08 apparently beyond Hillary Clinton’s abilities or inclination would trace the decline in Iraqi sectarian violence mostly to strategies that predated the “surge” and were implemented in 2006 by Generals Casey and Abizaid.

Among their initiatives, Casey and Abizaid deployed a highly classified operation to eliminate key Al Qaeda leaders, most notably the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in June 2006. Casey and Abizaid also exploited growing Sunni animosities toward Al Qaeda extremists by paying off Sunni militants to join the so-called “Awakening” in Anbar Province.

And, as the Sunni-Shiite sectarian killings reached horrendous levels in 2006, the U.S. military assisted in the de facto ethnic cleansing of mixed neighborhoods by helping Sunnis and Shiites move into separate enclaves, thus making the targeting of ethnic enemies more difficult. In other words, the flames of violence were likely to have abated whether Bush ordered the “surge” or not.

Radical Shiite leader Moktada al-Sadr also helped by issuing a unilateral cease-fire, reportedly at the urging of his patrons in Iran who were interested in cooling down regional tensions and speeding up the U.S. withdrawal. By 2008, another factor in the declining violence was the growing awareness among Iraqis that the U.S. military’s occupation indeed was coming to an end. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insisted on and got a firm timetable for American withdrawal from Bush.

Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica J. Wilkes)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica J. Wilkes)

Even author Bob Woodward, who had published best-sellers that praised Bush’s early war judgments, concluded that the “surge” was only one factor and possibly not even a major one in the declining violence.

In his book, The War Within, Woodward wrote, “In Washington, conventional wisdom translated these events into a simple view: The surge had worked. But the full story was more complicated. At least three other factors were as important as, or even more important than, the surge.”

Woodward, whose book drew heavily from Pentagon insiders, listed the Sunni rejection of Al Qaeda extremists in Anbar province and the surprise decision of al-Sadr to order a cease-fire as two important factors. A third factor, which Woodward argued may have been the most significant, was the use of new highly classified U.S. intelligence tactics that allowed for rapid targeting and killing of insurgent leaders.

However, in Washington, where the neocons remained very influential, the myth grew that Bush’s “surge” had brought the violence under control. Gen. Petraeus, who took command of Iraq after Bush yanked Casey and Abizaid, was elevated into hero status as the military genius who achieved “victory at last” in Iraq (as Newsweek declared).

Buying Fallacies

Even the inconvenient truths that the United States was unceremoniously ushered out of Iraq in 2011 and that Iraq’s Shiite-Sunni divide widened into a chasm that has since spread divisions into Syria and even into Europe did not dent the cherished conventional wisdom about the “successful surge.”

Yet, it is one thing for neocon pundits to promote such fallacies; it is another thing for the alleged Democratic front-runner for President in 2016 to believe this nonsense. And to say that she only opposed the “surge” out of a political calculation could border on disqualifying.

But the pattern fits with Clinton’s previous decisions. She belatedly broke with the Iraq War during Campaign 2008 only when she realized that her hawkish stance was damaging her political chances against Obama, who had opposed the U.S. invasion in 2003.

Yet, as Secretary of State, Clinton sought to purge officials seen as insufficiently hawkish. After Obama hesitantly approved the Afghan “surge” and reportedly immediately regretted his decision Clinton took aim at Eikenberry, a retired general who had served in Afghanistan before being named ambassador.

Pressing for his removal, “Hillary had come to the meeting loaded for bear,” Gates wrote. “She gave a number of specific examples of Eikenberry’s insubordination to herself and her deputy. She said, ‘He’s a huge problem.’

“She went after the NSS [national security staff] and the White House staff, expressing anger at their direct dealings with Eikenberry and offering a number of examples of what she termed their arrogance, their efforts to control the civilian side of the war effort, their refusal to accommodate requests for meetings.

“As she talked, she became more forceful. ‘I’ve had it,’ she said, ‘You want it [control of the civilian side of the war], I’ll turn it all over to you and wash my hands of it. I’ll not be held accountable for something I cannot manage because of White House and NSS interference.’”

However, when the protests failed to get Eikenberry and General Douglas Lute, a deputy national security adviser, fired, Gates concluded that they had the protection of President Obama and reflected his doubts about the Afghan War policy:

“It had become clear that Eikenberry and Lute, whatever their shortcomings, were under an umbrella of protection at the White House. With Hillary and me so adamant that the two should leave, that protection could come only from the president.”

The Libya Fiasco

In 2011, Secretary of State Clinton also was a hawk on military intervention in Libya to oust (and ultimately kill) Muammar Gaddafi. However, on Libya, Defense Secretary Gates sided with the doves, feeling that the U.S. military was already overextended in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and another intervention risked further alienating the Muslim world.

This time, Gates found himself lined up with Biden “urging caution,” while Clinton joined with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and NSC aides Ben Rhodes and Samantha Power in “urging aggressive U.S. action to prevent an anticipated massacre of the rebels as Qaddafi fought to remain in power,” Gates wrote. “In the final phase of the internal debate, Hillary threw her considerable clout behind Rice, Rhodes and Power.”

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

President Obama again ceded to Clinton’s advocacy for war and supported a Western bombing campaign that enabled the rebels, including Islamic extremists with ties to Al Qaeda, to seize control of Tripoli and hunt down Gaddafi, who was tortured and executed on Oct. 20, 2011.

Clinton expressed, delight when she received the news of Gaddafi’s murder. “We came. We saw. He died,” she chortled, paraphrasing Julius Caesar’s boast after a victory by Imperial Rome.

After Clinton’s “victory,” Libya became a major source for regional instability, including an assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel, an incident that Clinton has called the worst moment in her four years as Secretary of State. The Islamic State also gained a foothold inside Libya, chopping off the heads of Coptic Christians.

Gates retired from the Pentagon on July 1, 2011; Petraeus resigned as CIA director on Nov. 9, 2012, amid a sex-and-secrets scandal; and Clinton stepped down at the State Department on Feb. 1, 2013, after Obama’s reelection.

In 2013, with Clinton gone, Obama charted a more innovative foreign policy course, collaborating with Russian President Vladimir Putin to achieve diplomatic breakthroughs on Syria and Iran, rather than seeking military solutions. In both cases, Obama had to face down hawkish sentiments in his own administration and in Congress, as well as Israeli and Saudi opposition.

But the neocon empire struck back in 2014, with Assistant Secretary Nuland orchestrating a “regime change” in Ukraine on Russia’s border and with the neocon-dominated opinion circles of Official Washington placing the blame for the Ukraine crisis on President Putin’s “aggression.”

Faced with this new “group think” and still influenced by liberal interventionist advisers such as Susan Rice and Samantha Power Obama joined the chorus of hate-talk against Putin, ratcheting up tensions with Russia and agreeing to escalate covert U.S. support for Syrian rebels seeking the long-held neocon goal of “regime change” in Syria.

However, Obama continued to collaborate behind the scenes with Russia to achieve an agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program — to the dismay of the neocons who wanted instead to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran on their way to seeking another “regime change.”

Bashing Iran

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was a hawk on the Iranian nuclear issue. In 2009-2010, when Iran first indicated a willingness to compromise, she led the opposition to any negotiated settlement and pushed for punishing sanctions.

To clear the route for sanctions, Clinton helped sink agreements tentatively negotiated with Iran to ship most of its low-enriched uranium out of the country. In 2009, Iran was refining uranium only to the level of about 3-4 percent, as needed for energy production. Its negotiators offered to swap much of that for nuclear isotopes for medical research.

But the Obama administration and the West rebuffed the Iranian gesture because it would have left Iran with enough enriched uranium to theoretically refine much higher up to 90 percent for potential use in a single bomb, though Iran insisted it had no such intention and U.S. intelligence agencies agreed.

Then, in spring 2010, Iran accepted another version of the uranium swap proposed by the leaders of Brazil and Turkey, with the apparent backing of President Obama. But that arrangement came under fierce attack by Secretary Clinton and was derided by leading U.S. news outlets, including editorial writers at the New York Times who mocked Brazil and Turkey as being “played by Tehran.”

The ridicule of Brazil and Turkey as bumbling understudies on the world stage continued even after Brazil released Obama’s private letter to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva encouraging Brazil and Turkey to work out the deal. Despite the letter’s release, Obama didn’t publicly defend the swap and instead joined in scuttling the deal, another moment when Clinton and administration hardliners got their way.

That set the world on the course for tightened economic sanctions on Iran and heightened tensions that brought the region close to another war. As Israel threatened to attack, Iran expanded its nuclear capabilities by increasing enrichment to 20 percent to fill its research needs, moving closer to the level necessary for building a bomb.

Clinton’s Course

Ironically, the nuclear deal reached in late 2013 and solidified in 2015 essentially accepts Iran’s low-enrichment of uranium for peaceful purposes, pretty much where matters stood in 2009-2010. But the Israel Lobby quickly set to work, again, trying to torpedo the new Iran agreements by getting Congress to approve new sanctions on Iran.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

Clinton remained noncommittal for several weeks as momentum for the sanctions bill grew, but she finally declared her support for President Obama’s opposition to the new sanctions. In a Jan. 26, 2014 letter to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, she wrote:

“Now that serious negotiations are finally under way, we should do everything we can to test whether they can advance a permanent solution. As President Obama said, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed, while keeping all options on the table. The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that imposing new unilateral sanctions now ‘would undermine the prospects for a successful comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.’ I share that view.”

One key question for a Clinton presidential candidacy has been whether she would build on the diplomatic foundation that Obama has laid regarding Iran and Russia, or dismantle it and return to a neocon foreign policy focused on “regime change” and catering to the views of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In her campaign’s latest comments, Hillary Clinton has made clear that she has little interest in deviating further from the Israeli-neocon prescribed hostility toward Iran by letting her campaign accuse Sanders of softness on Tehran.

So, with her once-solid polls numbers softening, she has decided to appeal to hawkish Democrats and the muscular support of the Israel Lobby to help her fend off the Sanders surge.

Clinton is rolling the dice in the belief that most Democrats won’t think through the fallacious “group thinks” of Official Washington or will at least be scared and confused enough to steer away from Sanders. That way, Clinton believes she can still win the nomination.

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).

image_pdfimage_print

48 comments for “Hillary Clinton Seeks Neocon Shelter

  1. rosemerry
    January 22, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    With Hillary as the candidate and the voters really supporting the militarist/enemy-attacking/Israel pandering behavior, and finding the alternative is Bernie, who also follows the “Iran-terrorist” line and support of zionist acts, who even needs the Republicans at all? Dems have migrated Right, and the Repugs are off the scale!!!!!

    • Pat
      January 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      The rhetoric is not as important as the fact that he was an early supporter of the nuclear agreement with Iran. In other words, “actions speak louder than words.”

      As for his support of “Zionist acts,” this is repeated over and over like a mindless chant. He has not supported Israel 100 percent, and in fact split with a large majority in the Senate who approved of Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2014. He was the first to announce he was boycotting Netanyahu’s speech before Congress. He is the ONLY senator who does not take money from AIPAC. He does not belong to a temple and describes himself as non-religious. His wife is Catholic.

    • Abbybwood
      January 22, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      We should start a “Let Us Talk You Down From Hillary” hotline!!!

      Cause SOMEBODY needs to fill in this gap!

      I have met SO MANY women (especially) who are thisclose to dumping her for Sanders!

      They just need an INTERVENTION!!! :)

      And in all seriousness I realize Sanders is no prize, especially when it comes to refusing to sign the “Israel First” Congressional pledge. (God! I hope he didn’t sign it!!). But I think if he wants a “revolution” and we deliver it to him he had freakin’ better make a major part of the revolution be a rejection of Israeli apartheid and Turkey’s support of ISIS and a complete denunciation of Saudi Arabia’s sicko Wahhabist treatment of women and it’s (and Qatar’s) support of terrorism!!! I even saw today where the Saudi clerics have declared CHESS!!! to be a primal sin!!!

      ENOUGH!!!!

      The thought of Hillary Clinton being the Democrat nominee sickens me to my core.

      If Sanders wins in all the primaries and Wasserman tries to play the Super Delegate card to help her win I hope Sanders will see the fuse of his revolution get LIT!!!

      Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin deserve to all be in the same sinking boat together when the PEOPLE rise up to let them know they are sailing out to sea with a wild wind and no anchor!

      Good freaking riddance!!!!!!!

      • January 23, 2016 at 7:31 am

        Your comment on chess having been declared a primal sin is not correct. It is seen rather as a nuisance. But given the tenor of your remarks, that hardly matters, I suppose.

      • layla
        January 23, 2016 at 12:21 pm

        I agree! Its depressing to think about the poor choices. Washington corruption is too big for any leader to overcome, but I hope Sanders has the courage to try to change.

        • ahf
          January 23, 2016 at 8:12 pm

          Mahatma Gandhi First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
          We are finally getting to the “they fight you” phase.
          Keep the hope–Bernie!

    • Abe
      January 23, 2016 at 12:59 am

      “Our job is to train and provide military support for Muslim countries in the area who are prepared to take on ISIS. And one point I want to make here that is not made often, you have incredibly wealthy countries in that region, countries like Saudi Arabia, countries like Qatar, the largest, wealthiest country per capita in the world. They have got to start putting in some skin in the game, and not just ask the United States to do it.”
      — Bernie the Bomber

      Saudi Arabia and Qatar already have “skin in the game”: its names are al Qaeda, al Nusra and ISIS.

      Bernie is on par with Hillary in sheer mendacity (not stupidity, as is frequently and stupidly alleged).

      The Bernie-Hillary Dem drama is political porn, every bit as offensive as the GOP clown college.

      • Joe Tedesky
        January 23, 2016 at 1:56 am

        Abe, political porn is a great word for it. If Sanders wants to move away from Clinton he should use such things as his having radio talk show host Thom Hartman as a trail ballon to see where to safely take his foreign policy message. Apparently Clinton is making hay over Sanders weak Iranian involvement in Syria comment during the last debate sound rather treasonous. To who does supporting Iranian military aid against ISIS sound treasonous? Well to only Israel and Saudi Arabia, does Sanders sound like a traitor, but not so much to the American public who is tired and financially broke from all this war. Sanders should gather up the Jewish community such as J Street, Gideon Levy and other Jewish supporters who too want a peaceful solution to be found for settling the Middle East. Sanders would have a hard time supporting Russia beings he calls himself a Socialist. Sanders should call himself an FDR Democrat, invoke JFK, and go for it. Screw Rush and Beck, young Americans aren’t still fighting the Cold War, and their grandparents like their Social Security. BTW Sanders Middle East policy of urging the surrounding Arab nations on to fight ISIS, is Bill Mahers plan. Sanders should take his foreign policy debate talking pints off of Hartman. Hartman is a much deeper thinker than Maher.

        • Charles
          January 23, 2016 at 5:07 pm

          I agree with Bernie calling himself a FDR Democrat. People can identify with that name.

      • James Morris
        January 24, 2016 at 8:15 am

        If there is anyone that can touch Israel’s political influence in this country, it will have to be a Jew.

      • richard vajs
        January 26, 2016 at 9:20 am

        Abe – Did you get my drift? The twin evil forces robbing the American Treasury to maintain the excesses of Wall Street and to con America into arm an empirical military killing one billion Muslims to allow Zionist excesses are joined at the hip. Get rid of one – get rid of both.

    • Peter Loeb
      January 23, 2016 at 6:20 am

      A PREDICTION: SOMEONE WILL BE PRESIDENT!

      Rather than analyze various statements of US political
      candidates, it seems that it would be more helpful
      to 1. delve into the situation as it is 2. the situation
      as it will be. Both of these goals have been addressed
      in prodigious detail by Robert Parry in the past.

      The US under neocon leadership of some variety based
      solidly not on recent actions and campaign rhetoric of
      recent weeks but on the role of well-informed with
      Mr. Parry’s precision instead of has been Parry’s
      forte,

      Incidentally, the destruction of Israel would not in my
      opinion be a disaster at all but a major step forward.
      Since that is most unlikely to happen, there is not
      much point in discussing it. It is not really
      relevant to the major points I have raised above.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Peter Loeb
      January 23, 2016 at 6:28 am

      A PREDICTION: SOMEONE WILL BE PRESIDENT!

      Rather than analyze various statements of US political
      candidates, it seems that it would be more helpful
      to 1. delve into the situation as it is 2. the situation
      as it will be. Both of these goals have been addressed
      in prodigious detail by Robert Parry in the past.

      The US under neocon leadership of some variety based
      solidly not on recent actions and campaign rhetoric of
      recent weeks but on the role of well-informed knowledge with
      Mr. Parry’s precision instead has been Parry’s
      forte,

      Incidentally, the destruction of Israel would not in my
      opinion be a disaster at all but a major step forward.
      Since that is most unlikely to happen, there is not
      much point in discussing it. It is not really
      relevant to the major points I have raised above.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  2. Bob Van Noy
    January 22, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    As we read another prescient article by Mr. Parry, the Clinton campaign appears to be coming undone. I’m surprised at the tone deafness of the campaign management; but not surprised by their attacking style. Actually, l’m pleased that they are proving as vulnerable as they were during the last race against President Obama. I’m thinking that the Bush/Clinton era is almost over. If Bernie Sanders continues just as he is doing and if he is physically protected; he will do well against the Republicans.

    • Bill Bodden
      January 22, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      If Bernie Sanders continues just as he is doing and if he is physically protected; he will do well against the Republicans.

      But, if he becomes president he will need lots of support in Congress and will need to guard against the oligarchs of both parties ganging up to stab him in the back. Think Upchuck Schumer and other Israel-firsters in the senate, Pelosi and Hoyer in the House, and Debbie WTF Schulz in the DNC chair.

  3. Antonio Cafoncelli
    January 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Hillary Clinton will advocate for Assad removal of power and derail any constructive talks to cesate fire in Syria with Iran and Russia. She is a clear cut NEOCON, most likely a true follower of Daniel Pipes, Richard Pearl, Wolfowitz, and the most entrenched and fanatics neocons that ruined the foreign policy of this country and contributed steadily to destabilize Middle East. She may contribute to THIRD World war fostering a true collision among Saudis and Iran. We need to support vigorously Bernie Sanders to save our planet.

    • Abbybwood
      January 23, 2016 at 12:21 am

      Hillary Clinton is an “Israel Firster”. Period.

      She has disqualified herself on so many levels I have lost count.

      I wonder if she took the same pledge AIPAC demanded that Rep. Cynthia McKinney should take??

  4. alexander
    January 22, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for a very thorough synopsis,Mr Parry.

    The most critical issue which needs to be fleshed out , right now,is whether or not Mr Netanyahu’s Israel and his coterie of his neocon backers in the US, have a plan for peace ?

    Do they ?

    If they do…what is it ?….

    If they do…..where is it ?

    Shouldn’t every nation on this planet in a state of belligerence, that considers itself part of civilization, and part of the world community, have a moral obligation to present a proposal to the world on what it considers a just resolution to its own conflict ?

    If so, where is Israels?

    If Israel has no plan for peace, at all, doesn’t it undermine completely whatever integrity their may exist to its “war on terror” ?

    If all the nations, that Israel insists are terrorist states, have agreed in principle to all the internationally mandated resolutions for peace, and Israel has not…how can they be construed as the terrorists in the equation…. and not Israel ?

    The longer Israel goes without generating a viable peace plan of its own, the more wary, all its allies (the US included) will become in standing behind it.

    If Israel is the only actor insisting on perpetuating the war on terror, where everyone else has agreed to peace and the requirements for it……how can it be that Israel does not stand out as the aggressor in the equation?

    I am more than happy to stand behind an Israel that has a plan for peace and is actively pursuing it.

    An Israel without one, it seems, descends quickly into a state of brutal ,barbaric ,and sinister intentions.

    • Abbybwood
      January 23, 2016 at 12:34 am

      Israel only has one plan: The Greater Israel Project:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815

      And Hillary Clinton is its biggest cheerleader!

      Hillary Clinton (or any other Israel Firster….including Donald Trump) must NOT become president of the United States!

      Even though Sanders is Jewish, I think he can be swayed to realize that the hatred Netanyahu and Co. possess is a non-starter for PEACE on this planet!

      Sanders’ supporters are waaay more likely to demand not only a Single Payer health care plan, but PEACE ON EARTH! (“You say you want a revolution”…..??!)

      We were supposed to get “the Peace Dividend” back in the early 90’s, but it got swallowed up in the Neocon “Project for a New American Century” of militarism and U.S. Full Spectrum Global Hegemony and 9/11.

      Those of us who are SANE in this world (and especially Americans!) must now DEMAND that Peace Dividend WITH INTEREST!!!!

  5. Bill Bodden
    January 22, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Clinton’s attack line suggests that Sanders isn’t adequately committed to the positions of Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his American neocon acolytes.

    Americans who are paying attention to Israel’s deplorable treatment of Palestinians and contempt for the office of the president of the United States are not only becoming less “committed to the positions of Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his American neocon acolytes” but also more hostile.

  6. Drew Hunkins
    January 22, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    It’s crucial for folks to always remember that Hillary comes from but a different side of the same coin: one side is the neocon crazies; the other side is the softer, more ‘respectable’ and palatable liberal interventionist -R2Pers. This coin is always firmly ensconced in the deep warm pocket of the Washington-Zionist Terror Network.

  7. JWalters
    January 22, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    “Hillary Clinton seems to be betting that rank-and-file Democrats remain enthralled to Israel and afraid to challenge the powerful neocon propaganda machine that controls the U.S. establishment’s foreign policy by dominating major op-ed pages, TV political chat shows and leading think tanks.”

    Exactly right. But the crimes of Israel are bubbling into the public’s awareness faster and faster. Articles like this help a lot. Here’s a good article on the “coming divorce between US Jews and Israel”.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/little-jewboy-moment-highlights-coming-divorce-between-us-jews-and-israel/

    And more and more people are focusing on Hillary’s complicity in the crimes of Israel.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/clinton-attacks-sanders-for-wanting-to-put-iranian-troops-on-israels-doorstep/

  8. January 22, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I think the assumption of the villiage leaders is that Obama won Iowa because liberals wanted to vote for a black man, rather than that Iowans didn’t like her foreign policy.

    Bernie is not articulate, but he did vote against the Iraq war, and was one of the first Senators to stand up to Netenyahu when he tried to bully Obama into stopping the treaty with Iran. Bernie is objectively better than Clinton. Whether he articulates a foreign policy philosophy or not, his judgement is mostly good.

    • george Archers
      January 26, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Bernie Sanders– Knows that the Democrats are in serious trouble with having Obama/Clinton in office. Bernie is trying to be a moderate and hope–the democrats to not wipe out in the 2016 election.
      by the way–elections are a farce–8 year cycle like clock work-(Poor Jimmy got the ax for supporting Palestinian cause)-We are witnessing a clown circus act.

  9. Abe
    January 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Rape, murder. It’s just a shot away. It’s just a shot away.

    Seeking neocon shelter…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inFifHetke4

  10. Zachary Smith
    January 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Back in 2008 it was perfectly clear to me that a Democrat was going to become President, if for no other reason than the nature of the two throway Republican candidates who were chosen. Big Money had a choice of two reliable hacks – Hillary and BHO – who would serve them very well. It’s still my belief Obama was chosen instead of Hillary because she was such an obvious tool of Israel. Attacking Iran (and I don’t doubt for a second President Hillary would have done precisely that) wasn’t good for business. The Bankers and their kin risked giga-dollars from their systemic looting if an unpredictable war got started. So the brass ring went to Obama.

    Every single 2016 candidate excepting only Sanders and Trump is drooling for the chance to demonstrate their devotion to Holy Israel. Those two I view as loose cannons, and I can’t even guess what they’d actually do. On other fronts Trump would be a disaster beyond measure, but even the prospect of not dying in a nuclear war does have a bit of an upside. I worry that Sanders is every bit the liar BHO was back in 2008, but he’s still the least risky of them all. I’ll admit that isn’t saying much.

    • Abbybwood
      January 23, 2016 at 12:45 am

      The American people need to realize (and sooner rather than later) that we are NOT being told the TRUTH by CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, NBC or CBS about what is happening in Iran right now related to business:

      http://napavalleyregister.com/ap/international/iran-s-big-market-tempts-european-firms-despite-hazards/article_10a0c7f7-2b17-5687-8247-0641babddd03.html

      Believe me. There are MANY U.S. corporations in Tehran RIGHT NOW making deals for oil and plenty of other commodities.

      Iran is back in business and the world is there making deals.

      BET ON IT.

      Hillary and Co. are going to be left in the dust. And hopefully she will be busy with her criminal defense attorney before it’s all over trying to cop a plea!

      She (and her Neocon ILK) have DEFINITELY passed their “sell by” dates.

      Good freakin’ riddance to them all!!!!

    • John
      January 23, 2016 at 12:47 am

      Bernie has a long record that shows remarkable consistency of position. He is old enough that he is unlikely to be looking for a big payout, and has passed up many opportunities to be bought. He is unlikely to be a liar.

    • oswarz
      January 25, 2016 at 12:15 am

      No. Sanders has a long history of progressive action and support. BHO didn’t. So. Sanders is speaking truth as he has always done. You needn’t worry.

  11. Helen Marshall
    January 22, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Unfortunately, Rice, Power and Asst Secretary Victoria Nuland (who orchestrated the regime change in Ukraine) are still in their positions, so whatever innovative policy Obama wished to pursue, he did not get rid of the people who will not block it but bring us to the brink of war with Russia if not stopped.

    • Bart
      January 23, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      And having been promoted from press secretary to “Queen of Ukraine”, Ms Nuland’s next job could be Secretary of State under HRC.

  12. alicia
    January 22, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Let’s not forget the importance of ties to banks, including Goldman Sachs, in Hillary’s decision to implement regime change in Libya, which triggered the Libya debacle. Gaddafi’s sovereign wealth fund contained hundreds of billions of dollars, and Gaddafi would not participate in the Bank for International Settlements. Wall Street hedge funds were salivating. Hillary urged Obama to topple Gaddafi, despite Gaddafi’s clear turn toward the West. Now Libya is in chaos and, like Syria, represents a space for ISIS. Hillary is totally unfit to be in charge of our foreign policy.

    Some further reading here:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MD14Ak02.html

  13. Abe
    January 23, 2016 at 12:43 am

    CBS aired the 60 Minutes program “The Road to Syria” on January 10, 2016.

    60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker notably interviewed journalist Maria Lipman.

    60 Minutes described Lipman as “a political analyst in Moscow, one of the few independent voices willing to publically criticize President Putin”.

    “Masha” Lipman served as deputy editor of the Russian weekly news magazines Ezhenedel’ny zhurnal, from 2001 to 2003, and Itogi, from 1995 to 2001. She has worked as a translator, researcher, and contributor for the Washington Post’s Moscow bureau and has had a monthly op-ed column in the Washington Post since 2001.

    Lipman was the editor in chief of the Pro et Contra journal published by the Carnegie Moscow Center. She was also the expert of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Society and Regions Program.

    In 2013, Carnegie Moscow received a three-year $350,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to fund the publication of Pro et Contra.

    The relentless anti-Putin fever of Lipman’s “analysis”, and Carnegie Moscow’s wish to avoid banishment as a “foreign agent”, led to her being laid off by Carnegie in the summer of 2014.

    The “independent” Lipman’s shrieks about the resurgence of “Stalinism” in Russia have since intensified.

    Whitaker also took pains to repeat two well-worn propaganda canards about “barrel bombs” and “Russian bombs” in Syria.

    Both allegations originate from two UK-based disinformation outlets: Rami Abdulrahman and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (a two-bedroom home in Coventry), and Eliot Higgins, formerly of the Brown Moses blog and now the Bellingcat website (run from Higgins’ flat in Leicester).

    According to Whitaker, “human rights groups say have led to more than 500 civilian deaths”.

    This claim by 60 Minutes was a reference to recent Amnesty International allegations based on “reports” supplied by Abdulrahman, Higgins, and Western-backed opposition forces in Syria.

    • Abbybwood
      January 23, 2016 at 12:59 am

      How many countries has “Putin” invaded in the past 20 years compared to the United States?

      Which country in the world is noted to be the most imperialistic/murderous regime on Earth?

      I rest…..

  14. Joe Tedesky
    January 23, 2016 at 1:10 am

    I am providing a link which may prove of some interest to where Clinton vs Sanders may differ on foreign policy issues. MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnel had former Ambassador Christopher Hill debate Radio Talk Host Thom Hartman on where each presidential candidate maybe within their foreign policy sphere of concern. Remember these spokesmen are are just that, spokesmen. Although, Hartman a couple of times reminds the listeners that he is not necessarily speaking the views of candidate Sanders. These are Hartman’s views, but are they only Thom Hartman’s views? Watch the video and you decide. Oh, and pay attention to the left side bottom insert waiting for the Trump news conference to begin…this annoying insert says a lot to what cable news is really all about. I’m sure Hill and Hartman’s calm intelligent debate was a bore to many viewers, but none the less listen to Hartman, and then wonder to if this is Bernie speaking through his Friday lunch time friend Thom.

    http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/clinton-v-sanders-on-foreign-policy-606462019615

  15. January 23, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Though I understand what Mr Parry is getting at here, when Joe Biden can be described as ‘more dovish’ there is no hope for U.S. foreign policy, and therefore there is no hope for the security of the world.

    It must be remembered that Joe Biden stood in Maidan Square encouraging the overthrow of the legitimate government of Ukraine. As I wrote in April last year:

    “More prominent supporters of the Ukrainian coup leaders are Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State John Kerry. Both leading Democrats made very public visits to Maidan Square to engage in encouraging a revolution designed to lead to the overthrow the legal government of a foreign state. It might come as a shock too many, who receive all their news from the corporate media, but along with another visitor to Kiev, the Republican senator for Arizona John McCain, the three men could be accused of having had more personal interests for wanting regime change in Ukraine.

    According to The Wall Street Journal, Vice President Joe Biden’s son, has joined the board of a Ukrainian gas producer with a close friend, who just happens to be Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson.”

    The full article can be read here:

    https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/double-double-toil-and-trouble-the-cauldron-of-kiev/

  16. Call A Spade
    January 23, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Get out the swastika US because that is your path and you will need all the luck you can conjure. Your major emery is your government and yourselves.

  17. January 23, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    The three brances of govt are virtually irrevelant. The Shadow Govt. (trans national corporations, Covert Ops CIA, and the Pentagon, especially WHINSEC, formerly known as Army School of the Americas)pretty much run things. If bothered, they buy off, scare off or kill off any opposition.

    Bernie has shown no interest in taking on the Shadow Govt. and without their demise there is little chance that we will have a sane govt. providing for the people.

    The last guy to take them on was Ron Paul. I am far from a conservative but have worked with classical conservatives (not the chisiler’s stooges who call themselves conservatives). We don’t like liars, cheats, chisilers, thieves or murderers.

    For any doubters of a conspiracy in the murder of JFK there are plenty of well researched issues which prove a conspiracy. One only need know one. The team at Parkland hospital who attempted to save JFK. They broke their silence after many years. JFK was shot from more than one direction.

    The issue is to solve that murder (prime suspect is Allen Dulles), see what it exposes about the Shadow Govt and go on from there.

    Dust

  18. MrK
    January 23, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    By the way, The Surge was the idea of Frank Kagan, whose wife Kimberly wrote the history of The Surge. Kimberly Kagan founded the Institute for the Study of War. She teaches military history at West Point and Harvard. Her father in law Donald Kagan is a Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University, specializing in the Peloponnesian war between Greece and Iran/Persia.

    http://www.understandingwar.org/press-media/staff-bios/dr-kimberly-kagan
    http://www.understandingwar.org/press-media/webcast/surge-untold-story-video
    http://oyc.yale.edu/classics/clcv-205

    • dahoit
      January 24, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      The surge was just paying off the Sunnis to stop fighting,and get them ready to carve out the Caliphate at Iraq’s and Syria’s expense.
      We let the Shia get too uppity.Had to correct it.Divide and conquer,Yinon Plan.
      Psycho hose beast revenge on humanity.
      Balancing the books of blood.
      Expect more.
      The 13 year old girl had a knife a foot long!
      Never bring a knife to a gun fight?
      When is enough enough?Why is the worlds Western media silent on the reality of the Palestinians subjugation?
      And Kagan a superstar?A white dwarf,a death star,or just a blackhole.
      Goddamn traitors,all.

  19. cjonsson
    January 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Abbybwood, I agree with you too, on all points. Clinton’s strategy is to shoot from the hip at anything that might be threatening without thinking it through much at all. She is devil may care with other people’s lives. Hillary has no use for whistleblowers who try and alert the public about mistakes being made in our name. Those who dare reveal the truth are silenced and jailed permanently. Clinton doesn’t listen to others. She seems dangerous when she doesn’t get her way.
    Bernie listens and is a team player. War is not his first or only remedy. Bernie has wisdom coming from a level head and focused determination. Bernie is is trustworthy, in my opinion. I am on his team.

    • dahoit
      January 24, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      My wife said he sounds like Bennie on Top Cat.”Hey T.C.!”

  20. Herman Schmidt
    January 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    I admit to confusion regarding the Shiite-Sunni tension. One of my earliest impressions was that the disbanding of the Iraq army, which had achieved some measure of integration, had a disastrous effect on relations between the two groups and the other steps taken by Bremer and his successors served to favor US dealing with the Shiites and Sunnis as factions, rather than establishing steps to encourage collaboration between the two.

    As to the steps taken by the Generals Abizaid and Casey mentioned to reduce tensions, that is hard to accept. In Baghdad, for instance, ethnic cleansing by the Shiites was so extensive that what was once a Sunni majority city became a Shiite majority one.

    It’s all a little fuzzy ten years later, but I cannot remember any of our leaders even addressing the issue explicitly, other than accuse Shiite Iran of meddling in Iraq’s affairs. As to praising the Generals for operating a program to kill Sunni radicals, killing radicals and declaring victory generally has proved illusory. We tend to create more than we kill, witness ISIS.

    Did we botch efforts to promote more cooperation between Sunnis and Shiites or did we either discourage cooperation or simply didn’t think it was of sufficient high priority. I would tend to think it falls in the other fish to fry category and efforts to create a society on sound footing just wasn’t one of those fish.

    As to Hillary Clinton, her “political” filter in addressing national interest matters is a sickness afflicting too many politicians, she just happens to be one of the worst. Like Albright’s comment about dead Iraqi children, he statement about Ghadaffi’s death will be with her forever, deservedly so.

    • Bill Bodden
      January 25, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it. —60 Minutes (5/12/96)

      “We,” presumably, included Hillary who was co-president in the White House at that time.

  21. January 24, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Some excellent posts, quite informative. As I see it, one problem: focus.

    Billary is a tool of the shadow govt.-warfare state. Bernie is kidding himself if he thinks he can accomplish a thing by avoiding confronting the shadow govt. They control a huge part of the federal budget and have plenty of allies (those employed by that budget.)

    I’m a fiction writer so I’ll approach this in the form of a parable. Many years ago I went through the 27 volumes of the Warren Report (26 + 1) I came away with an impression.

    A horrible murder has happened. Blood all over the place etc. The cops come in, they and the forensic folks go into the bathroom and do a thorough job. A problem. The murder happened in the kitchen. That is the Warren Report.

    So, when folks bring up correct points on Bernie, Billary or any part of the three branches of govt. they’re talking about the bathroom. The Shadow Govt. is the kitchen!!

    Dust

  22. Dieter Heymann
    January 26, 2016 at 11:01 am

    The 2008 interview of candidate Obama with the Chicago Tribune and his later actions from the White House illustrate my contention that one cannot possibly predict what any of today’s candidates, GOP and DEM, will do on the world’s scene once they are in the White House and that includes Mr. Sanders.
    In 2008 candidate Obama during an interview with the Chicago Tribune averred that the war in Iraq was in the “stupid” category but the war in Afghanistan was not. Candidate Obama was against stupid wars but once in the White House he has committed at least one. In Libya where he has stupidly removed a fierce foe of ISIL who had not only the funds but also the armed forces to fight effectively against ISIL.
    If Mr. Sanders is elected he will be up against relentless demands for more military actions against extremists/terrorists anywhere which by their huge expenses will threaten his plans to reform our social network. No one can predict how well he will stand up to such demands as president and commander-in-chief.

Comments are closed.