Obama’s Foreign-Policy Self-Enslavement

Exclusive: President Obama may have seen his refusal to bomb Syria in 2013 as his “liberation day” from Official Washington’s expectations, but he promptly put himself back into captivity, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

In late August 2013, with Barack Obama on the verge of launching retaliatory airstrikes against the Syrian military for its alleged role in a lethal sarin gas attack, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper informed the President that U.S. intelligence doubted that Bashar al-Assad’s government was actually responsible, causing Obama to pull back from the attack.

That new detail was disclosed in Jeffrey Goldberg’s opus for The Atlantic on Obama’s foreign policy, but Goldberg – in an extraordinary display of cognitive dissonance – then wrote the rest of his lengthy article as if he had forgotten his own reporting. He made his story conform to the powerful Washington “group think” that Assad had carried out the attack and thus had crossed Obama’s “red line” against using chemical weapons.

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

But the disclosure of Clapper’s warning that U.S. intelligence lacked “slam dunk” evidence implicating Assad’s forces confirmed reporting at Consortiumnews and a few other independent news outlets in 2013 – and also underscored how President Obama then joined in lying to maintain the anti-Assad propaganda themes.

Not only did the White House issue a “Government Assessment” on Aug. 30, 2013, trying to pin the blame for the attack on Assad’s regime – and not only did Obama dispatch Secretary of State John Kerry to make the dubious anti-Assad case to the country – but Obama himself asserted Assad’s guilt in his Sept. 24, 2013 address to the United Nations General Assembly.

“It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack,” Obama said. Yet, the President knew that many of his own intelligence analysts doubted that the Assad regime carried out the attack.

In other words, if Obama’s statement is taken literally, he was asserting that much of the U.S. intelligence community was either dishonest or crazy. But, more likely, Obama was just reading the words of a speech prepared by State Department propagandists who understood the need to knock down the growing suspicion that the attack was a provocation committed by Islamist extremists trying to trick the United States to join the war on their side.

Obama must have recognized that his words were deceptive but he didn’t have the integrity or the courage to strike them from the speech. He just went along like a willing puppet of the foreign-policy establishment mouthing falsehoods prepared for him rather than acting decisively as America’s Commander in Chief to protect his own and his nation’s credibility.

Obama’s U.N. speech puts into a different context the narrative that Goldberg presented in The Atlantic article. There, Obama seems to relish his refusal to go along with what he “calls, derisively, ‘the Washington playbook,’” which dictates a military response to foreign challenges like the Syria sarin case.

Goldberg wrote that Aug. 31, 2013, when Obama backed away from the widely anticipated Syrian bombing campaign, “was his liberation day.” But several weeks later, Obama went before the United Nations and denounced as irrational anyone who raised exactly the doubts that had been central to his decision not to bomb.

So, what is one to make of Obama’s passive-aggressive resistance to the military imperative mandated by the “Washington playbook” while succumbing to its propagandistic tactics to justify war? Even as he resisted the demands to bomb, he could not challenge the Washington establishment enough to explain to the American people that U.S. intelligence analysts were uncertain about Assad’s guilt.

Instead, Obama allowed his subordinates to pile on the calumnies against Assad – with Secretary of State John Kerry doing so in belligerent speeches and the White House releasing a “Government Assessment” fingering Assad’s forces – while Obama let those distortions go unchallenged and, indeed, reinforced them in his U.N. speech.

Telling the American People

By contrast, Obama could have taken his case to the American people. He could have given a speech saying that war is too serious and solemn an act for a president to go off half-cocked. He could have said he would not launch military strikes if the U.S. intelligence community wasn’t sure who was guilty.

The American people would have surely understood that point of view – and they would have been empowered by being brought in on what the U.S. government knew and didn’t know. Yes, it would have undermined the propaganda campaign then underway to demonize Assad, but if you believe in democracy and the concept of an informed electorate, wouldn’t that have been a good thing?

What I was told at the time — and what the Clapper disclosure in The Atlantic confirms — is that in the days after the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin attack, Obama knew quite well that there were serious questions about who had fired the one home-made, sarin-laden rocket that U.N. inspectors recovered in the Zamalka neighborhood outside Damascus.

However, in the weeks and months after the sarin attack, those of us who criticized the flimsiness of the U.S. “Government Assessment” – I called it a “dodgy dossier” on the day it was released – were derided as “Assad apologists.” Meanwhile, the mainstream media and leading “human rights” groups sought to enforce a “group think” justifying the launching of an American-led “humanitarian” war in Syria.

In that behavior, the mainstream American news media revealed that it had learned nothing from the Iraq War disaster when virtually all the leading publications and nearly all the esteemed commentators agreed en masse that Saddam Hussein was hiding WMD stockpiles and that a U.S. invasion was justified. A decade later, these “journalists” showed no more skepticism when the neocons were pushing another “regime change” in Syria.

Yet, there were plenty of reasons to have doubts. There was the Obama administration’s refusal to release any of its supposed proof to support its conclusions and the curious absence of Director of National Intelligence Clapper from the public presentation of the administration’s casus belli.

I reported at the time that the reason for keeping the DNI on the sidelines was that he otherwise might have been asked if there was a consensus in the intelligence community supporting the administration’s certitude that Assad’s regime was responsible. At that point, Clapper would have had to acknowledge the disagreement from rank-and-file analysts (or face the likelihood that they would speak out).

All of that should have been obvious to any professional journalist if he or she had asked a few probing questions or noted how odd it was that Clapper would not play the role that CIA Director George Tenet did in 2003 when Tenet sat behind Secretary of State Colin Powell to lend credibility to Powell’s mendacious U.N. speech regarding Iraq’s WMD.

It also made no sense for Assad’s forces to use sarin outside Damascus just as U.N. inspectors were arriving to investigate cases of chemical weapons that Assad was blaming on the rebels. Obviously, the attention of the inspectors would be diverted to this sarin attack and American hardliners would use the incident to press Obama to launch a military strike on Assad.

Overseas Skepticism

To get any such skepticism from mainstream publications, you had to look abroad. For instance, Robert Fisk, a veteran reporter for London’s Independent newspaper, found a lack of consensus about whodunit among U.N. officials and other international observers in Damascus despite the career risks that they faced by deviating from the conventional wisdom regarding Assad’s guilt.

“In a country indeed a world where propaganda is more influential than truth, discovering the origin of the chemicals that suffocated so many Syrians a month ago is an investigation fraught with journalistic perils,” Fisk wrote. “Nevertheless, it also has to be said that grave doubts are being expressed by the UN and other international organisations in Damascus that the sarin gas missiles were fired by Assad’s army.

“While these international employees cannot be identified, some of them were in Damascus on 21 August and asked a series of questions to which no one has yet supplied an answer. Why, for example, would Syria wait until the UN inspectors were ensconced in Damascus on 18 August before using sarin gas little more than two days later and only four miles from the hotel in which the UN had just checked in?

“Having thus presented the UN with evidence of the use of sarin which the inspectors quickly acquired at the scene, the Assad regime, if guilty, would surely have realised that a military attack would be staged by Western nations. … As one Western NGO put it ‘if Assad really wanted to use sarin gas, why for God’s sake, did he wait for two years and then when the UN was actually on the ground to investigate?’”

Later, American aeronautical experts calculated that the one U.N.-recovered sarin-laden rocket could only travel about two kilometers, not the nine kilometers that the Assad-did-it crowd was claiming would trace the flight path back to a Syrian military base.

And, then, in 2014, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh cited intelligence sources blaming the attack on jihadist rebels possibly collaborating with Turkish intelligence. But Hersh published his article in the London Review of Books because American mainstream publications wouldn’t deviate from the Assad-did-it “group think.”

We also now know that if Obama had been baited into another war, the U.S. onslaught might have collapsed Assad’s military and led to a victory by the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, creating an even worse humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and across the region.

Yet, despite knowing what he knew and understanding many of the risks, Obama went before the United Nations on Sept. 24, 2013, and declared that no reasonable person could doubt Assad’s guilt – a lie that has now been confirmed by The Atlantic article’s recounting of Clapper’s doubt.

Obama’s falsehood – expressed to the world community on such a weighty issue of war or peace – fits with the pattern of deceptions of President George W. Bush’s administration on Iraq and his own administration’s obsessive use of propaganda (or “strategic communications”) on a wide range of topics, including Libya, Ukraine and Russia.

However, in this pathetic narrative, Obama comes across less as a willful liar than a weak executive who won’t assert control over his own foreign policy or even cross out words in a prepared speech that he knows are false. Instead of taking command, he drags his heels on going to war in Syria, gets badgered by his own subordinates and by the neocon-dominated foreign-policy establishment, before finally saying no. Then, Obama doesn’t even dare let the American people in on why he made the decision that he did.

The Sullen Teen

I sometimes picture Obama’s conduct of foreign policy by envisioning the President as a sullen teen-ager on a family vacation, sitting in the back seat of the car complaining that he’d rather be hanging out with his friends. This unhappy teen lets others do the driving but occasionally throws enough of a temper tantrum to make continuation of the trip impossible.

But Obama’s passive-aggressive behavior didn’t even change after his “liberation day” on Aug. 31, 2013. He continued to let his subordinates set the direction of his foreign policy. For instance, he agreed to covert weapons deliveries to Syrian rebels, who were operating in tandem with Islamist extremists, including Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, to appease the neocons and the liberal hawks, though that strategy worsened the Syrian bloodshed and drove millions of refugees into Turkey and Europe.

When neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland helped orchestrate the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected president in February 2014 and sparked a new and costly Cold War with Russia, Obama again went along.

Obama even joined in demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin though Putin played key roles in two of Obama’s most important foreign policy successes, getting Assad to surrender his chemical weapons arsenal (as a way to defuse that crisis) and persuading Iran to accept tight limits on its nuclear program (arguably Obama’s signature diplomatic accomplishment).

Yet, rather than hold back Nuland and her cohorts as they pulled off a “regime change” on Russia’s border, Obama let this dangerous policy go forward, amid propagandistic charges of “Russian aggression” and personal insults directed at Putin. A White House spokesman even mocked Putin’s tendency to sit with his legs spread.

Last year, when Islamic State terrorists blew up a Russian charter plane over the Sinai killing 224 people, mostly Russian citizens, Obama couldn’t resist citing the deaths to chide Putin for having intervened militarily in Syria in support of the government.

At a Dec. 1, 2015 news conference in Paris, Obama expressed his lack of sympathy as part of a bizarre comment in which he faulted Putin for somehow not turning around the Syrian conflict during the previous month while Obama and his allies have been floundering in their “war” against the Islamic State and its parent, Al Qaeda, for years, if not decades.

“The Russians now have been there for several weeks, over a month, and I think fair-minded reporters who looked at the situation would say that the situation hasn’t changed significantly,” Obama said. “In the interim, Russia has lost a commercial passenger jet.  You’ve seen another jet shot down. There have been losses in terms of Russian personnel.  And I think Mr. Putin understands that, with Afghanistan fresh in the memory, for him to simply get bogged down in a inconclusive and paralyzing civil conflict is not the outcome that he’s looking for.”

It is hard to imagine any other time when a Western leader behaved so callously in the face of a terrorist atrocity. But mocking Putin is always good politics in Official Washington, no matter what the circumstances.

However, Obama’s prognosticating skills about a costly Russian failure left a lot to be desired. In early 2016, with Russian air support, the Syrian army notched victory after victory against the Syrian rebels, including Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State. The successes led to a fragile cease-fire and a delicate reopening of peace talks as well as to Putin’s surprise announcement that he was withdrawing the bulk of the Russian military force.

Rather than the pointless “quagmire” that Obama smugly foresaw, Putin seemed to have achieved a successful strategic maneuver at relatively modest cost, a marked contrast to Obama’s meandering approach to the Syrian crisis in which he has fed the violence by having the CIA deliver weapons while also blocking his advisers’ more extreme war plans.

Yet, by failing to level with the American people about the relevant facts and his strategic reasoning, Obama continues to come across as a confused and conflicted chief executive. Though he may have seen his refusal to bomb Syria on Aug. 31, 2013, as his “liberation day,” Obama put himself back into captivity over the past two-plus years, shackled at the feet of the neocons and liberal hawks who still dominate Washington’s foreign-policy establishment.

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).

27 comments for “Obama’s Foreign-Policy Self-Enslavement

  1. Fran Macadam
    March 27, 2016 at 14:23

    Thanks, Robert, for the good analysis.

  2. Bill Rood
    March 27, 2016 at 00:00

    Rather than accept that the “Government Assessment” of Aug. 30, 2013, and Obama’s Sept. 24 address to the United Nations General Assembly were lies, I think it far more likely that Kerry lied to Goldberg. It seemed obvious to me at the time that the entire administration, including both the White House and State Department, was pushing hard to start a bombing campaign until the UK Parliament voted “no,” the White House noticed that the American people overwhelmingly protested to Congress, and the military advised against it. The latter may have been influenced by the mysterious disappearance of a cruise missile in flight over the Mediterranean headed for Syria.

    It’s quite clear from events starting in 2014 that US intervention in Syria would have been a catastrophe of epic proportions. Obama doesn’t want his legacy indicating he really, really wanted to make that mistake, and Kerry has generously gone along with that.

  3. Winston Smith
    March 26, 2016 at 15:59

    It has to be realised every Democrat president since Carter has been head-hunted by Zbigniew Brisinski’s Trilateral Commission. It started with Carter. This made Obama beholden to all the Liberal Imperialists , as they are known, and Humanitarian Intenveners who had backed him.

    They decided to go ahead with the Neo-Coms; scheme to overthrow the Syrian government, on which a fortune had been spent and paramilitaries trained since 2001.

    The evidence is that the Sarin was a False Flag Attack, and therefore an Inside Job and not by dubious allies to “trick” America into war, thus allowing the abandonment of Plausible Deniability and an open attack.

    But as someone has said he probably remembers JFK, RFK and senator Wellstone and has a family. ,

  4. Medusa
    March 26, 2016 at 13:10

    He is a pathetic figure — more delusional psychopath than liberated president.

  5. stinky rafsanjani
    March 26, 2016 at 02:51

    there’s a little bit more to consider. assad’s forces did not fire the rocket.
    the sarin was not from “regime” stockpiles. so…..

    where did it come from? saudi arabia? israel? or most likely turkey….but
    wait! turkey is a member of nato, and that would mean……no, let’s not
    go down that road.

    who fired it? not those crazy islamists from isil/isis/daesh/etc! no, i do
    believe that zone was firmly in the control of the “moderate” rebels trained
    and supported by……….no. another bad road.

    which leaves…………assad did it!….but only because we can’t blame putin!

  6. Raymond Quiachon
    March 25, 2016 at 23:45

    We know that the changing of the guards in the Hill is just that! Just a new Puppet(s). So why are you writing about a person who has to obey the Shadow Government? Why not be brutally candidly divulge we along with other allies created ISIS and that Israel with their Omnipotent God, Rothschild are behind it all. Take the fact Belgium made a deal with the Saudis to establish a Mosque in exchange for cheap oil and allow a migration excessive numbers of Muslims into their country and thus breeding the largest community of Muslims and todays cell. Don’t forget the Arabs knew were NATO resides. I have been reading your articles and lately I am getting tired and disappointed.

  7. ltr
    March 25, 2016 at 19:31

    An especially fine and necessary essay, fearfully sad though it may be.

  8. Herbert Davis, Jr.
    March 25, 2016 at 13:03

    He probably remembers JFK, RFK and Wellsone and thinks about how good it will be if can just get to be the ex-president with the golden rainbow!

    • ltr
      March 25, 2016 at 19:33

      A vile sickening comment. A sickening horrid shameful rotten comment that should be removed. Sickening.

      This horrid comment needs to be removed.

      Please remove this horrid comment.

  9. George Collins
    March 25, 2016 at 12:52

    As has been already suggested, to confess that there was scant to no evidence that Assad ordered the Sarin attack on his own people would beg the inquiry “then who did it?” Moreover, there were reports about Prince Bandar Bush’s having been the generous source of some Sarin to “Syrian rebels”, coulda been someone’s mercenaries, and also a Christian nun, Mother Agnes, made a good deal of news by contesting many other aspects of the propaganda against Assad, including whose kids were gassed, where did they come from, and so on..

    Can we separate the malevolent, by no standard merely mischievous, but war criminal propaganda against Putin and Russia in other contexts, notably Ukraine, from the cavalier lies about Assad, lies that implicity damned Syria’s allies, in particular Russia?

    And has the nuclear chicken some say has been risked and upgraded from merely necklacing Russia with Nukes to in recent months, tacit approval of Turkey’s shoot down of a Russian plane, murder of its co-pilot, the provocations in Ukraine where Hillary’s pal Victoria boasts we or she spent $5 billion to create lethal havoc, lies about Crimea, followed by imposition of sanctions against Mother Russia…does it not all shout that Obama is willing to see his family and rest of us go down, perhaps in a Hillarious nuclear winter, as his ultimate legacy?

  10. Joe Tedesky
    March 25, 2016 at 09:14

    With these new found findings, I will hold off criticism of Obama, and just say, I’m glad he did what he did. Let’s face it, between cabinet positions to many highly influential think tanks, the American government has been taken over by outside forces. Taken over, by the Israeli’s, Saudi’s, and who knows who else. Neocon’s are just another name for Likud. Saudi royals come and go as they please. To these outsiders all Obama is, is someone who was dumped into his position by some screwy American voting procedure. Yes, it would be nice if the American President could truly level with the American public, but then again who knows what dangers lurk around the White House for our commander in chief. One assassinated president in my lifetime is enough, I don’t need to watch another one go down. No Syria Redline attack, getting an Iranian Nuclear Agreement signing isn’t bad, for a president who apparently is working on his own. Now if only Russia hadn’t had to become sanctioned over Ukraine that would have been even better, but so goes the news.

    • Bob Van Noy
      March 25, 2016 at 13:33

      For what it is worth I’m with you Joe, I’m very interested in President Obama’s trip to Cuba and South America, and while he is accepting their criticism, clearly they are happy to receive him. Do they know something we don’t? At any rate, he is capable of building a bridge to the past in South America, and we’re going to need that to reconcile our past there…

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 25, 2016 at 17:11

        Bob you and I often end up on the same side of an issue, and for the most part we agree. The problem I have is, I wish I knew how to read between the lines, and somehow see the real reason for why the U.S. does what it does. Take for instance how it took almost fifty years until finally the truth would come out for why the so called War on Drugs was waged. In fact John Ehrlichman admitted back in 1994 that the War on Drugs was undertaken to go after Leftist and Blacks, and finally in 2016 we are hearing about it. If you had believed this back in 1968 you would have been put in a corner, and made to wear a tin foiled hat. Just like now we know that JFK was back channeling with Nikita Khrushchev, but we didn’t know that at that time. What I’m saying is how do we know in realtime what our leaders are up to, when it often takes at least forty to fifty years before we even get a glimpse of what went on behind that deceitful curtain. If you read Goldberg’s article about Obama, you will see how Obama looks pretty damn lonely dealing up against all those knuckleheads he has to contend with, but who real knows what going on.

        • Bob Van Noy
          March 25, 2016 at 18:25

          After reading “The Devil’s Chessboard”, I realized that Alan Dulles’ great ability was “Fiction”. As you know I have a thing about JFK and Cuba having been assembled on the invasion force as a very young man. After studying all of this for years, I’m very aware of how far the unabated fiction has spread. Couple that with the total success of Bernays advertising and propaganda and you have our totally fictional contemporary government and outrageous market economy…
          President Obama is the most compelling individual around right now.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 25, 2016 at 19:54

            Hey Bob, like you many of us through some kind of personal experiences have become very interested in what in the hell makes our world tick. I think it safe to say that most of the commenters on this site, are well invested into searching out the real news, if that’s possible. One commenter who I haven’t seen comment for sometime is F.G. Sanford. Here is a quote of his from December 2014, and as usual F.G. made his point in a truly humorous way.

            “Let’s face it – the most courageous act any supposed ‘liberal’ has attempted in the last twenty years was when Sandy Berger stuffed National Archives records down his pants to protect his cronies. Once again, America’s fascination with what’s in the pants was more important than the issues”

            You must admit F.G. nailed it to how our news gets shredded down to nothing but tabloid bs, and that’s the truth of it. Just look at these screwball presidential candidates argue about their wives, for whatever reason that is all worth. Meanwhile the same people who support these guys, critize Obama for not flying off to terrorized Brussels while he visited with a country who we have had sanctioned for some grueling 56 years. So while most of America will never read the Goldberg Obama interview, it only stands to reason, since Goldberg didn’t say anything about what’s inside Obama’s pants. So, Trump is on to something when he talks about the size of his hands. Seriously, we are all electing a world leader here, so we must know about what’s in their pants. It’s that simple.

      • incontinent reader
        March 26, 2016 at 18:51

        I am less sanguine about Obama’s trip to S. America or his handlers’ intentions.

        Re: Cuba, IMHO, the U.S. wants to get its foot in the door before Russia and China begin to invest heavily in the island, and it would probably like to bring back some of the hoods who corrupted the place before Castro kicked them out- the Chicago gang- Pritzkers, et al, may be part of the elite today, but where did they originally come from and reside in the winter?- and as for Argentina- well, a left-leaning government fighting for its sovereignty, including against a hedge fund predator (the Singer group- and I don’t mean sewing machines) was recently voted out of office, in part due to our behind the scenes ‘orange’ whatchyama call it’, again to preempt closer relations between Argentina and Russia and Argentina’s eventual membership in BRICS (and might I point out that Russia has made serious diplomatic overtures and laid the groundwork over the past few years for a strategic relationship with Argentina, including to develop Argentina’s energy reserves, and build commercial nuclear plants- and it has provided diplomatic support for Argentina’s claim over the Falklands), and don’t forget that destabilizing Venezuela and Brazil for ‘regime change’ is also part of the DC agenda.

        So maybe there’s also a Trojan horse among Obama’s gifts.

        One final point- for all of the ‘lovey dovey’ stuff in Havana, Obama was also doing a bit of lecturing – you know, ‘human rights’ or whatever it has morphed into, and I don’t think it was just for the benefit of those aging Cuban (CIA trained) expats in Miami.

        Frankly, increasing Russian and Chinese investment in Latin America will raise the standard of living of the people there, and maybe at some point encourage us to compete with better products and technology and do so on a non-coercive basis. If so, we’ll all benefit.

        • stinky rafsanjani
          March 27, 2016 at 05:58

          a ‘human rights’ lecture from the general manager of
          guantanamo? my head hurts.

  11. Skip Edwards
    March 25, 2016 at 08:35

    “We also now know that if Obama had been baited into another war, the U.S. onslaught might have collapsed Assad’s military and led to a victory by the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, creating an even worse humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and across the region.”

    I would like to think outside of the box and offer this rationale: if Obama could be tricked into using false intelligence to attack Assad, Bush could be excused in history, or The Hague, for attacking Iraq for same reasons. In Obama’s case it didn’t work. But Obama still did not have the courage to come clean with the American people, just as he chose not to investigate many of the Bush Administration war crimes, and in fact, commits same to this day. Think “Shadow Government;” and understand that only by shining a light on a Shadow can it be eliminated.

  12. Skip Edwards
    March 25, 2016 at 08:17

    “Obama must have recognized that his words were deceptive but he didn’t have the integrity or the courage to strike them from the speech. He just went along like a willing puppet of the foreign-policy establishment mouthing falsehoods prepared for him rather than acting decisively as America’s Commander in Chief to protect his own and his nation’s credibility.”

    The above words pretty much sum up Obama’s presidency.

  13. Brad Owen
    March 25, 2016 at 04:32

    Mr. Parry; you’re describing what seems to me, to be a “Mr. Smith goes to Washington and meets The Deep State” scenario. In our democratic Republic, the steering wheel is in the hands of the President, and the Navigation Map is in the hands of Congress, but some shadowy “back-seat driver” is steering the “Vehicle-of-State” with some unknown steering mechanism. This isn’t a conspiracy “Theory”. It’s a criminal conspiracy to violate the Constitution and commit crimes-against-humanity by launching unauthorized wars of aggression, and the “Sheriff” we hired to rid “The Town” of a dangerous criminal gang is hiding out in his office, afraid of this criminal gang. Maybe the “Town Folk” will have to “Posse up” to get the job done. I don’t know what this exactly means, but I bet it won’t be easy, or pretty. Beef up and militarize the U.S, Marshal Service, and start delivering Warrants to some high and mighty people??? Revive The Untouchables and have them deputize some seriously strong Army Units for backup???

    • bfearn
      March 25, 2016 at 14:24

      “democratic Republic”???

      • Brad Owen
        March 26, 2016 at 08:53

        That is what is supposed to be. We’re obviously taken over by neo-feudalist coup, by-way-of Deep State machinations.

  14. Willem
    March 25, 2016 at 03:04

    It was not Obama’s decision not to bomb Syria in 2013, but the decision of the American Congress. See, for example, here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/syria-crisis-obama-turns-decision-on-military-action-over-to-congress-8792910.html

    To me, this Atlantic paper is more of the same, trying to make Obama a greater leader than he actually is…

  15. alexander
    March 24, 2016 at 18:58

    Dear Mr Parry,

    If the POTUS had presented the American people with the dubious nature as to the “source” of the Sarin attacks in Syria….that it may “not” have, in fact, been the Syrian government…..he may have been forced to launch a thorough investigation as to who the true culprits were ?

    Since this may well have led back to Israel or Israeli hired mercenaries posing as Syrian rebels,or some other such “false flagging” allies ..it would not have presented Mr Obama with a reasonable “political out” if that were found to be the case.

    So he had to carry water for the fraud, plain and simple.

    Heavy is the burden of the President.

    No, Mr Parry ?

    • William
      March 26, 2016 at 19:11

      I wish to back the cogent remarks of Alexander. Obama is a tool and pawn of the money people who bought him. What college graduate with Obama’s lack of experience and lack of any significant academic publishing record could have/would have been selected to teach constitutional law at one of the premier U.S. universities? It seems clear that interested parties with unlimited cash and great influence brought sufficient pressure and intimidation to have Obama selected for his professorial position. Money and influence put Obama into academia without the credentials normally expected and required. Am I right or wrong? Astonishingly, none of the major investigative reporters working for major newspapers made any effort to look into this question.
      Obama is not necessarily a bad person, but he is extremely weak because he owns his position to powerful interests, and he knows it.
      He is just another bought politician, and any putative fair discussion of him and his policies are meaningless. “Consortium News” cannot write the truth. They would be attacked and put out of business within weeks. So much for our vaunted press.
      The fact is that there is no fair, independent press in American! Free press and fair press have disappeared like the dinosaurs, which is why the American people are so abysmally ignorant.
      Mainstream articles, including those of “Consortium News,” are without value. You do what you can, but you are severely limited in your ability to question the status quo, and of course you are forbidden, prohibited, from telling the truth about Israel’s control over the American press and over American policy in the Middle East.

      • Rob Roy
        March 27, 2016 at 21:46

        Wow. Speaking of truth…….Consortium has told the truth about Israel many times. Where have you been? There are several excellent alternative reporting outlets that are independent (of pressure to write like the MSM). There’s this source, Consortium, Electronic Intifada, Global Research Newsletter, Mondoweiss, Truthout, Truthdig, and more. On television, there’s LINK TV and FSTV neither of which are beholden to anyone. LINK TV is especially noteworthy for offering excellent documentaries daily. I seriously think you should retract your last comments.
        Otherwise I agree with you about Obama. He had the wind at his back when he went into office but rapidly blew away all that good will and hope. He had the house and senate but threw away the opportunity to become a great president. A shame.

  16. Stygg
    March 24, 2016 at 18:23

    “However, in this pathetic narrative, Obama comes across less as a willful liar than a weak executive…”

    Um, these are not mutually exclusive. Willfully lying most certainly does make him seem every bit the willful liar… because that’s what he is. His ‘strength’ as an executive is a separate, more arguable question, but sorry, there is nothing about this that makes him any less a willful liar.

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