Slouching Down a March of Folly

The threats from Turkey and Saudi Arabia to mount a full-scale invasion of Syria create the potential for a modern-day “march of folly” into World War III by drawing NATO and the U.S. into a direct military confrontation with Russia and Iran, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

By Paul R. Pillar

The centenary in 2014 of the outbreak of World War I elicited comparisons between the circumstances of the European crisis that touched off that horrendous conflict and conditions that surround current international conflicts. Many such comparisons focused on how confrontations involving an increasingly assertive China might spin out of control.

Graham Allison, for example, wrote of how a possible confrontation in the East China Sea involving Japan could carry such a danger. A rising China throwing its increasing weight around the Far East does indeed offer some of the most plausible scenarios for escalation of local crises into much bigger war. But so does the multifaceted civil war in Syria, as underscored by some of the most recent developments in the northwest of that country.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The prospect of the Syrian conflict remaining unsettled for years and thus providing many opportunities for it to grow into something bigger is the starting point for spinning out escalatory scenarios. But some more specific attributes of that conflict have greater and more disturbing similarities to the 1914 crisis.

One is the multiplicity of players, from outside as well as inside Syria and the region, who perceive themselves as having a stake in the conflict. That perception is fuel for possible escalation. Atop a recent article describing the diverse players participating in fighting in Syria’s Aleppo province, the Washington Post used a headline about a “mini world war” there.

Related to the perceptions about stakes is the tendency to view the war in Syria as part of a larger conflict between large coalitions. This view amplifies the perceived stakes ever further and also brings into play a sense of obligation to friends and allies. The line-ups relevant to the Syria conflict actually are messier and more complicated than that, but they often have come to be treated as if the line-ups were as well defined as the Entente and the Central Powers at the start of World War I.

The outlook involved is readily apparent in the tendency in the United States to see anything that Russia or Iran is doing in Syria as by definition contrary to U.S. interests, whether it actually is or not.

The most disturbing correspondence with the situation in Europe a century ago is the active role played by second-order powers that have become obsessed with the local outcome in Syria, are driven partly by internal political neuroses, and are positioned to drag more deeply into the conflict major powers from which they demand support. This description applies to two second-order powers in particular.

One is Saudi Arabia. Its policies are being made by the latest claimants to leadership in an archaic family-run enterprise that is trying to throw its own regional weight around and feels obliged to assert forcefully the Sunni cause in sectarian conflicts. The overthrow of Bashar Assad has become an idée fixe for the Saudi regime, at the cost of exacerbation of the conflict in Syria and ignoring or exacerbating the problems of Sunni extremism there.

Recently the Saudis have talked about upping the external involvement in the conflict even more, with an insistence that the United States lead the way in doing so.

The other player that has become a major problem in Syria is Turkey. A few years ago Turkey looked like more of a solution than a problem in the Middle East. But that has changed.

A formerly promising effort to deal constructively with Turkey’s perpetual Kurdish issue has died, and the current top Turkish obsession is to oppose the activities of armed Syrian Kurds, although most of what those fighters have been doing in the Syrian war is favorable as far as U.S. interests are concerned.

The megalomania and domestic political frustrations of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have led to greater Turkish risk-taking, as demonstrated by the shooting down of a Russian warplane that had incidentally strayed for only seconds into Turkish airspace. The potential for Turkey dragging the United States into bigger trouble is made all the greater by its status as a party to the North Atlantic Treaty. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently stated, “The only thing we expect from our U.S. ally is to support Turkey with no ifs or buts.”

Assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne lit the match that led to the great conflagration that was World War I. Terrorism also could play a role in escalation of the Syrian mess, and not only because of the major part that ISIS plays in that mess. Instructive in that regard is a recent bombing against a military convoy in Ankara that killed 28 people. Turkish authorities insist that the Syrian Kurdish militia that has been fighting in northwest Syria was responsible, although that militia strongly denies any involvement and a completely separate Kurdish group in Turkey has claimed responsibility.

We on the outside are left to guess, but this affair sounds a lot like the Turkish government manipulating attributions of responsibility to try to support its campaign to oppose the Syrian Kurds.

The Turkish-Russian line of conflict, which underlay multiple Russo-Turkish wars across several centuries, could be at the center of escalation and expansion of the Syrian conflict. If so, there would be shades again of World War I, in which the Russian and Ottoman Empires were on opposite sides.

If the Syrian conflict were to escalate and expand greatly, it would not be because any one player intended that to happen. What happened in 1914 was not intended either.

The tragic possibilities would involve lesser steps leading to unforeseen larger results. Nor would catastrophic escalation require us now to foresee and spell out in advance a particular scenario for that happening.

Allison wrote in his piece two years ago, “Claims that war is ‘inconceivable’ are not statements about what is possible in the world, but rather, about what our limited minds can conceive.” Perhaps relevant in this regard is that the leader of one of the major players involved, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, has shown himself to be a better short-term tactician than a long-term strategist.

A repeat of 1914 and the outbreak of another Great War is very unlikely. But it is a risk. Even small risks need to be taken account of in policy-making if the risked contingency would be extremely harmful. Remember Dick Cheney’s “One Percent Doctrine”? The outbreak of another Great War would be many times more harmful than somebody’s unconventional weapons program.

Taking account of this or any other risk should not be the sole consideration as far as policy decisions are concerned. This is one factor among many.

In the case of Syria, this risk is an additional reason among other reasons, including avoiding lesser harms and curtailing the human suffering from the war, to work to deescalate and defuse rather than to escalate and expand. It is a reason to give high priority to efforts to secure cease-fires and to realize that tamping down this still-local war is more important than prosecuting the war to obtain a particular local result.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

12 comments for “Slouching Down a March of Folly

  1. Abbybwood
    February 23, 2016 at 02:52

    How Turkey supports the jihadists:

    “Russia questioned the future of Turkey when it delivered to the Security Council an intelligence report concerning Turkey’s activities in support of jihadists.

    The document includes about ten revelations which implicate the activities of the MIT.

    The problem is that each of the operations listed refers back to operations in which the same actors worked with the United States or their allies against Russia.

    This information adds to that which is already available concerning the personal connections between President Erdoğan and the Al-Qaïda banker, and the information about Erdoğan’s son and the illegal use of the oil stolen by Daesh.

  2. Abe
    February 22, 2016 at 18:52

    “We on the outside are left to guess, but this affair sounds a lot like the Turkish government manipulating attributions of responsibility to try to support its campaign to oppose the Syrian Kurds.”

    Not waiting for “one of the agency’s top analysts” to guess, independent analysts and investigative journalists like Ulson Gunnar fully understand the game at play:

    Turkey has developed a transparently cynical strategy of staging blasts throughout its territory and behind to stoke fears, justify condemnation and retaliation and demonize not only it own enemies, but those of its partners in NATO and particularly, those of the United States.

    Syria’s YPG was the obvious target of this blast and the barrage of accusations and threats that quickly followed because it is the YPG together with Syrian and Russian forces that now threaten to finally foil the US-NATO-GCC proxy by closing the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor, and specifically, the pivotal city of Azaz, located in Syria right along the Syrian-Turkish border.

    For years Azaz has served as a nexus for foreign-backed militant operations not only in northern Syria, but as a logistical hub supplying terrorist operations all throughout the country. Its seizure by either Syria’s Kurdish YPG or the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) would effectively hobble US-NATO-GCC’s proxy war, at least in the north.

    Tripping in a Tangled Web of Treachery

    Over the past week, Turkey has been shelling Syrian territory, concentrating its firepower on a southwest road leading to the city of Azaz. Kurdish YPG forces have been advancing up the road, lined on both sides by small farmers and accompanying civilian houses in a bid to liberate the city long-held by both IS (Islamic State) and Al Qaeda affiliates including Jabhat al Nusra (a US State Department listed foreign terrorist organization).

    Despite the bombardment, the fate of US-NATO-GCC backed terrorists held up there is inevitably doomed. Just after the blast and amid threats by Ankara to retaliate not only against the YPG, but he Syrian government itself, some 500 terrorists described as “Islamists” by the London Guardian crossed over the Turkish border and headed to Azaz as reinforcements.

    Keen readers will notice the term “Islamist” is often used as a somewhat more ambiguous label to avoid accurately describing the fighters as either Al Qaeda affiliates or IS itself. Together with continued artillery fire from Turkey, what the world now sees is NATO openly fighting a combined arms battle against Syria alongside Al Qaeda shock troops.

    Ankara Blast: Catastrophe of Convenience
    By Ulson Gunnar

    • J'hon Doe II
      February 24, 2016 at 18:44

      The Elephant in the Room

      The Mearsheimer-Walt paper is by no means the first attempt by Establishment representatives to criticize the Israel Lobby. In 2002, for example, Michael Lind, a former editor of The National Interest, wrote in Prospect magazine about the “disproportionate influence of the Israel lobby,” claiming that its efforts were “distort[ing] U.S. foreign policy.” Two years later, Anatol Lieven, a former journalist with the London Times and at the time a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, criticised the Lobby in his book America Right or Wrong: an anatomy of American nationalism (2004).

      Other critics of note have included George W. Ball, an Undersecretary of State during the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, who attacked the Lobby in his book The Passionate Attachment (1992), arguing that it had “distorted America’s policies and imposed an enormous burden on the nation’s economy.” No friend of the Lobby, Ball once likened members of Congress to “trained poodles,” beholden to Israel’s interests, who would “jump dutifully through hoops held by Israel’s lobby” (quoted in Findley, p.19). Ball’s other credential was as one of the founding members of the Bilderberg group; in fact, he attended every Bilderberg meeting but one from 1954 until his death in 1994 (Bill 52-53).

      It was through Bilderberg that Ball had first developed his association with another occasional enemy of the Israel Lobby, mega-plutocrat David Rockefeller. Self-confessed believer in a “more integrated global political and economic structure: one world,” it was perhaps inevitable that Rockefeller would come to grief with the more limited and parochial objectives of the Israel Lobby; though it would also suit his interests to divert blame for dubious policy choices to such a grouping.

      Thus in Rockefeller’s 2002 Memoirs, we find him agreeing with “expert” opinion that the “end of détente” could be traced to the Jackson-Vanik Amendment of 1972, which demanded the Soviets lift all restrictions on Jewish emigration in exchange for Most Favoured Nation trading status (Rockefeller 236). That Amendment was in Rockefeller’s view a “shortsighted congressional action” (Rockefeller 236). Rockefeller’s autobiography is also filled with details of his many meetings with Arab leaders, but relatively few visits to Israel are mentioned. In fact, as “one of relatively few Americans” with access to Arab leaders during the early 1970s—due to his role as President of Chase Manhattan—David Rockefeller boasts he became a “diplomatic go-between,” passing messages between the White House and the Arab world (Rockefeller 272).

      This role soon got him into trouble with the Israel Lobby. A New York Times report claimed that on December 9, 1969, David Rockefeller and a group of oil executives had allegedly prevailed upon Nixon to adopt a “pro-Arab” position. Rockefeller rejects this characterization, claiming they merely pushed Nixon for a “more balanced U.S. policy” in the Middle East. Secretary of State William Rogers later called on Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders in return for a binding peace with the Arabs. But, laments Rockefeller, Israel “rejected it out of hand”; in fact, Israel announced it would open the Arab part of Jerusalem to settlement (Rockefeller 276-78).

      A bitter Rockefeller suspected they had been “set-up” by Nixon to be the “scapegoats” if the public turned against Nixon’s policy (Rockefeller 278). But worse was to follow when the Chase bank was “swamped” with letters and prominent visitors from New York’s Jewish community complaining about Rockefeller’s “alleged anti-Israeli bias.” A boycott was organized by “several Jewish businessmen” and a “number of important accounts were withdrawn.” In January 1970, David Rockefeller issued a public statement clarifying his position, announcing his new found belief the U.S. “must to do everything it can” to support Israel (Rockefeller 279).

      There was more to Rockefeller’s reversal than meets the eye. Among those complainants Rockefeller met with was Democrat Congressman Ed Koch, who waged a public campaign against the plutocrat, seeking confirmation that he had advised Nixon to adopt a policy “favorable to the Arabs.” Koch claims David Rockefeller admitted to making the offending statement, though he insisted it was done in the interest of the U.S., not because of the oil. Informing the plutocrat that his brother, Nelson Rockefeller, had just come out in unequivocal support of Israel, Koch declared his intention to make a public statement about their meeting (Koch). It has been alleged that Nelson’s support for Israel was not heartfelt, but was due to the Israeli Mossad blackmailing him for consorting with South American fascists and trading with the enemy during World War II (Loftus & Arons 166-171). In the game of public relations Rockefeller had been checkmated.

      But as, in Koch’s words, “one of the ten most powerful people in the world,” David Rockefeller’s set-back was temporary. He has challenged the Israel Lobby’s consensus more than most. An example is his 1999 visit to Israel and the Gaza Strip as part of a CFR delegation, where he met with then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Rockefeller’s account artfully denigrates Israel: he complains of being detained at the border crossing into Gaza by Israeli soldiers for “more than hour”; describes Arafat as a “charming man”; and Gaza as a “ghetto” and “one of the most forlorn places” he had ever visited. As for his Israeli hosts, Barak was a “self-confident, assertive man” who explains why Arafat’s demands will be rejected; but whose replacement by the “hardliner” Ariel Sharon threatens “an even wider war” (Rockefeller 409-410).


  3. Charron
    February 22, 2016 at 17:21

    The thing is that if the United States had not pledged to support Turkey if Turkey was attacked, the Turks would not be so belligerent. That is to say the existence of an American pledge to defend Turkey, Turkey would not be so likely to initiation attack against Russia. So having NATO increases the potential danger to the U.S., rather than being an Alliance that increases our security.

    • Exactly so...
      February 22, 2016 at 17:42

      For the same reason I am concerned about the NATO membership of Eastern European extreme Russophobic nations like Poland and their neighboring Baltic republics. These animosities go back hundreds of years and even second and third generation immigrants to America still grind these same axes. I grew up on the streets of Chicago back in the 40’s, 50’s & 60’s where knee-jerk hatred of Russia was expected of essentially all white ethnic groups. Obama, being from Chicago, knows this and exploits it for support in his irrational pique against Putin and Russia.

      • J'HON DOE II
        February 24, 2016 at 17:52

        That’s Powerful Testimony, Exactly so. —
        are we ethnically or systematically taught
        linguistic/ethnic/religious separation???

        In the case of Russophobic nations like Poland
        and their neighboring Baltic republics,
        should we assume robust racial animus??

        The self-assuming Saudi’s oil wealth
        flown on majestic gift’d carpet rides
        over black oil sandscapes and caravans

        W/Sir Lawrence of Arabia a media-eye’d
        deception/dip/so/facto rewrite of history
        of Aramco and the agent Jack Phillby.

        Chapter 2
        The Sorcerer of Oil
        From the book The
        Secret War Against The Jews
        by John Loftus & Mark AArons

    • Abe
      February 22, 2016 at 17:43

      There is absolutely no reason to think that Turkey’s actions (including support for ISIS and Al-Qaeda) have taken place with anything other than the full faith and trust and highest level support of NATO.

      Turkey has the second largest standing armed force in NATO, after the US Armed Forces, with an estimated strength of 495,000 deployable forces, according to a 2011 NATO estimate.

      Turkey is one of five NATO member states which are part of the nuclear sharing policy of the alliance, together with Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. A total of 90 B61 nuclear bombs are hosted at the Incirlik Air Base, 40 of which are allocated for use by the Turkish Air Force in case of a nuclear conflict, but their use requires the approval of NATO.

      Turkey is an integral part of the US-NATO-Israel-GCC regime change alliance seeking to redraw the map of the Middle East.

      The overhaul, dismantlement, and reassembly of the nation-states of the Middle East have been packaged as a solution to the hostilities in the Middle East, but this is categorically misleading, false, and fictitious. The advocates of a “New Middle East” and redrawn boundaries in the region avoid and fail to candidly depict the roots of the problems and conflicts in the contemporary Middle East. What the media does not acknowledge is the fact that almost all major conflicts afflicting the Middle East are the consequence of overlapping Anglo-American-Israeli agendas.

      Many of the problems affecting the contemporary Middle East are the result of the deliberate aggravation of pre-existing regional tensions. Sectarian division, ethnic tension and internal violence have been traditionally exploited by the United States and Britain in various parts of the globe including Africa, Latin America, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Iraq is just one of many examples of the Anglo-American strategy of “divide and conquer.” Other examples are Rwanda, Yugoslavia, the Caucasus, and Afghanistan.

      Amongst the problems in the contemporary Middle East is the lack of genuine democracy which U.S. and British foreign policy has actually been deliberately obstructing. Western-style “Democracy” has been a requirement only for those Middle Eastern states which do not conform to Washington’s political demands. Invariably, it constitutes a pretext for confrontation. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan are examples of undemocratic states that the United States has no problems with because they are firmly alligned within the Anglo-American orbit or sphere.

      Additionally, the United States has deliberately blocked or displaced genuine democratic movements in the Middle East from Iran in 1953 (where a U.S./U.K. sponsored coup was staged against the democratic government of Prime Minister Mossadegh) to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, the Arab Sheikdoms, and Jordan where the Anglo-American alliance supports military control, absolutists, and dictators in one form or another. The latest example of this is Palestine.

      The Turkish Protest at NATO’s Military College in Rome

      Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters’ map of the “New Middle East” has sparked angry reactions in Turkey. According to Turkish press releases on September 15, 2006 the map of the “New Middle East” was displayed in NATO’s Military College in Rome, Italy. It was additionally reported that Turkish officers were immediately outraged by the presentation of a portioned and segmented Turkey. The map received some form of approval from the U.S. National War Academy before it was unveiled in front of NATO officers in Rome.

      The Turkish Chief of Staff, General Buyukanit, contacted the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, and protested the event and the exhibition of the redrawn map of the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Furthermore the Pentagon has gone out of its way to assure Turkey that the map does not reflect official U.S. policy and objectives in the region, but this seems to be conflicting with Anglo-American actions in the Middle East

      Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”
      By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

  4. Abe
    February 22, 2016 at 16:12

    Pillar, “one of the agency’s top analysts,” employs the standard CIA strategy of gazing at a conflict through the wrong end of the binoculars with one eye closed.

    Pillar’s “analysis” includes no mention of the fact that Turkey is a NATO-member state and the CIA has trained and equipped Al-Qaeda forces throughout the region.

    Pillar’s “analysis” includes no mention of the extensive US-NATO-Israel-GCC regime change campaign throughout the Middle East and North Africa region since 2011.

    Pillar insists that the risk of a catastrophic broader war is “reason to give high priority to efforts to secure cease-fires and to realize that tamping down this still-local war is more important than prosecuting the war to obtain a particular local result”.

    In reality (not the subject of Pillar’s “analysis”), now that the wheels are coming off the US-NATO-Israel-GCC regime change project in Syria, the US and its allies have adopted a temporary “tamping down” strategy in preparation for their next “ratcheting up” effort.

    Here’s a little non-CIA analysis from F. William Engdahl:

    First it’s useful to look a bit more closely into the UN-sponsored Geneva III “peace talks” which began the first week of February. The talks, despite Russian and Syrian efforts, have been a farce from the onset. The key UN point-person guiding the Geneva sabotage agenda is UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman.

    Feltman-Bandar Plan

    Feltman is a US State Department dirty tricks specialist who was Ambassador to Lebanon at the time of the 2005 Harari assassination. Before that Feltman served in Iraq in the aftermath of the US military invasion. Even earlier, he was posted to Yugoslavia, in the early 1980’s to play a role in Washington’s dismemberment of that country. His résumé suggests that he is a Washington specialist in their very-loved and very-often-practiced art of national dismemberment. Destruction of the Bashar al Assad regime is his current obsession. Not exactly a neutral peace mediator.

    Indeed, in 2008, Feltman authored a secret plan with former Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, nicknamed “Bandar Bush” by George W. Bush for his intimate ties to the Bush family. That Feltman-Bandar Plan was revealed in internal documents hacked in 2011 from the thousands of files of STRATFOR, the murky US “strategic intelligence” consultancy to the Department of Defense and military industry.

    That Feltman Plan, financed by a reported $2 billion from Bandar’s Saudi piggy bank, describes in detail what has ensued since Washington, under then-Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, launched war in Syria in March 2011, after destroying Qaddafi’s Libya. The Feltman-Bandar plan “strategically” depended on the exploitation of peoples’ legitimate desire for freedom, dignity and getting rid of corruption by turning these wishes into a revolt against Assad.

    The Feltman-Bandar plan called for dividing Syria into different ethnic groups–Alawite, Sunni, Shi’ite, Kurd, Christian, and dividing the country into three areas: big cities, small cities and villages. Then the USA and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and selected allies would begin covert training and recruiting of five levels or networks of actors, controlled by the CIA and Saudi intelligence, which Bandar later headed, to execute the destruction or national dismemberment of Syria. The plan outlined the five networks they would manipulate:

    1- The “Fuel”: educated and unemployed youths who are to be linked in a decentralized way.

    2- The “Thugs”: outlaws and criminals from remote areas, preferably non-Syrians.

    3- The “Ethnic-Sectarians”: young people with limited education representing ethnic communities that support or oppose the president. They must be under the age of 22.

    4- The “Media”: some leaders of civil society institutions which have European funding not American, to conceal US role.

    5- The “Capital”: traders, company owners, banks and commercial centers in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs only.

    The aim of that 2008 Feltman-Bandar “plan” according to knowledgeable sources was to bring Syria back to the “stone age.” It called for each sect the Saudis and CIA recruited “to commit horrible bloody massacres against violators. These crimes must be filmed and posted to the media as soon as possible.” If we view the countless photos of Syrian cities, villages and towns today, that is pretty much what has been accomplished in now almost five years of war.

    And now, as UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman cannot be expected, like the proverbial leopard, to have changed his spots. In fact the UN Under-Secretary-General at the Geneva III talks can be expected to skillfuly sabotage any positive outcome in terms of an enduring ceasefire in Syria that might prepare the way for peaceful national elections free of Saudi or Turkish or Qatari malfeasance.

    Mr President, Sir, Are You About to Blow Up the Middle East?
    By F. William Engdahl

    • Abe
      February 22, 2016 at 17:12

      Jeffrey D. Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affair, is a key operative of the Zionist power configuration says Middle East expert James Petras.

      According to Petras, “The Zionist Power Configuration controls the Mid-East policies of both Democratic and Republican Party and their Presidential nominees through their Congressional and political party power bases. The US President, in turn, is leveraged, in order to secure key policy appointments for Zionists in the State Department, Treasury and Pentagon. Their leverage in the foreign policy establishment allows Zionist officials to put pressure on allies and clients in the United Nation and European Union to support policies, such as Israel’s boycott and punishment of the elected Hamas government in Gaza and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.”

      As the UN Under-Secretary, Feltman advises the Secretary-General on matters affecting global peace and security, and provides guidance to his envoys and political missions in the field.

      In this important role as Under-Secretary-General, Feltman also serves on the Secretary-General’s Policy Committee, the highest decision-making body within the U.N. Secretariat, and chairs the Executive Committee on Peace and Security, a high-level body for interagency and interdepartmental coordination.

      According to professor Petras, before joining the United Nations, Feltman served as “AIPAC front man in the State Department”.

      As US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (2009-2012), Feltman was the key official in charge of Middle East affairs, especially Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

      During his term as United States Ambassador to Lebanon (2004-2008), Feltman “played a crucial role in support of Israel ’s bombing of Lebanon in 2006” called Hezbollah a “terrorist organization” and “dictated policy to the US client ruler Fouad Siniora”, said Petras.

      Feltman served twice at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. He served as Special Assistant “with uber-Zionist US Ambassador Martin Indyk backing Israel’s position in the phony ‘Peace Process'” (2000–2001), said Petras. Before that, Feltman was “stationed in Gaza where he collaborated with the occupying Israeli Defense Forces” (1995-1998).

      Israel’s Willing Executioners: AIPAC Invades Washington
      James Petras and Robin Eastman Abaya

      James Petras is the author of numerous articles and books including The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East (2014), The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack (2011), War Crimes in Gaza and the Zionist Fifth Column in America (2010), Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power (2008), Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militants (2007), and The Power of Israel in the United States (2006).

      • Peter Loeb
        February 23, 2016 at 07:01

        Many hanks and appreciation for the two comments
        by “abe”.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

        • Kiza
          February 25, 2016 at 16:15

          More informative than the waffle article.

Comments are closed.