Stalling Obama’s Overtures to Russia

Washington’s foreign policy mavens are thwarting President Obama’s moves to work with Russia to resolve the Syrian war and reduce other tensions, so the new Cold War can proceed under Hillary Clinton, says ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

By Alastair Crooke

“Yes, as we are all too aware, Hillary Clinton was officially anointed this week as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee for the upcoming election. She was chosen by the party to be its nominee long before the race ever began, and it used every means at its disposal, both in plain sight and behind closed doors, to ensure that nothing – least of all the will of the people – would prevent that from happening.”

So wrote an American commentator in respect to the U.S. Establishment’s determination that the political status quo shall be preserved, come what may. What has this to do with the Middle East? Well, in a similar vein, and again avoiding public debate, two establishment “heavy-hitters” have just pulled the plug on President Obama’s (and Kerry’s) crab-like, sideways scuffle towards winding down the “new” Cold War through, ostensibly, teasing out some sort of co-operation with Russia in Syria.

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Co-operation with Russia in Syria, the establishment fears, should not be allowed to become some pilot project for subsequent co-operation that could ease tensions with Russia in other areas – such as Ukraine and the Baltic Republics.

At the Aspen Security Forum last Friday, CIA Chief John Brennan said: “we need to have some sense that Assad is on the way out. There can be a transition; but it needs to be clear that he is not part of Syria’s future. Until that happens – until that begins; until there is acknowledgement of that transition – we are going to have Syrians dying: continuing to die.”

And last Monday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, speaking about the outcome of Kerry’s marathon discussions with President Putin in Moscow – that reportedly had tentatively agreed to set up a joint operational control room in Jordan, staffed by both Russian and American officers for the purpose of combating ISIS – commented:

“We had hoped that [Kerry’s talks in Moscow] would promote a political solution and transition to put an end to the civil war, which is the beginning of all this violence in Syria, and then combat extremists rather than moderate opposition, which has to be part of that transition,” Carter said at a Pentagon news conference with Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “So they’re a long way from doing that.”

When a reporter told Carter that he sounded unenthusiastic about the Kerry effort, Carter said, “No, I’m very enthusiastic about the idea of the Russians getting on side and doing the right thing. And I think that would be a good thing if they did. I think we’re a ways from getting that frame of mind in Russia. But that’s what Secretary Kerry is working toward.”

Saying ‘No’ to Kerry/Obama

This latter response led John Batchelor of The Nation to conclude: “What kind of ‘no’ does Kerry not understand?  That’s a complete slamming of the door in his face.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chats with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov outside a room in the Russian Foreign Ministry's Osobnyak Guesthouse in Moscow, Russia, on July 15, 2016. [State Department Photo]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chats with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov outside a room in the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Osobnyak Guesthouse in Moscow, Russia, on July 15, 2016. [State Department Photo]

Well, of course it was. But it was also an intentional slamming of the door in the face of Obama. The entire basis of Kerry’s (and Obama’s) understandings with Sergey Lavrov and President Putin hinged on the agreement to lay aside the issue of President Assad’s future, whilst focussing on combating (the now re-branded) al-Nusra and ISIS forces.

This has been the nature of discussions since the beginning of the year: nothing new here to suddenly fan Brennan and Carter’s embers into flame. To condition co-operation on the Russians “getting on side, and doing the right thing”: i.e. to demand that the U.S. calls all the shots (including in respect to President Assad’s ouster from power), of course torpedoes any understanding with Moscow that Kerry might be working towards.

On the other hand – and contrary to what John Batchelor suggests – perhaps Kerry precisely understands Carter’s and Brennan’s game: Kerry’s plan, it seems, has been all along to engage Moscow on the diplomatic track, and to keep the focus on ceasefires – thus buying time – whilst Carter and Brennan used the respite gained to give space for the re-arming and reenergising their insurgent forces fighting the Syrian government.

Kerry knew full well that the U.S. had pushed some 3,000 tons of weapons to the insurgent forces after the February ceasefire had begun. Kerry had tried to explain it subsequently to the Russians as an awkward administrative difficulty, ensuing from a terminating support program…

One respected commentator on Syria’s military events (blogger Moon of Alabama) has written: “the Russian General Staff has warned since April that al-Qaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al-Nusra aka Fateh al Sham) and the various attached Jihadi groups were planning a large scale attack on Aleppo. An al-Qaeda commander confirmed such long term planning in a pep-talk to his fighters before the current attack.”

“This shines a new light on the protracted talks Secretary of State Kerry has had for months with his Russian colleague. The U.S. tried to exempt al-Qaeda from Russian and Syrian attacks, even as UN Security Council Resolutions demanded that al-Qaeda and ISIS areas be eradicated. Then the U.S. tried to make an ‘offer’ to Russia to collectively fight al-Qaeda should Russia put its own and Syrian forces under U.S. control.

“We called this offer deceptive nonsense. All this, it now seems, was delaying talk to allow al-Qaeda to prepare for the now launched attack [i.e. on Syrian and allied forces acting to lift the insurgent siege on that part of Aleppo, which has been under jihadist control]”, notes Moon of Alabama.

Stalling Russia

In any event, Kerry’s long protracted negotiations with the Russians – whether or not motivated mainly from a desire to win respite for American proxies, in the wake of Russian military intervention – has served to lift pressure on Obama from those U.S. “hawks” pressing for direct U.S. attacks on the Syrian State, and its President – in order to weaken the state, or bring about its implosion.

Hillary Clinton speaking at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Hillary Clinton speaking at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

And here is the point: the Russians consciously went along with this American dual tactic (at some cost to their relations with allies), whilst continuously wearing down American (and European) objections to a major military operation, intended to relieve Aleppo from the jihadists — and to secure the city.

The reincorporation of Aleppo fully into the Syrian State will represent a major strategic shift. It seems that the government is succeeding – with substantial air support from Russia. Jihadists losses are heavy.

So what is this “hue and cry” from Brennan and Carter reviving the earlier “Assad must go” meme (together with a tear-jerking, “we are going to have Syrians dying … continuing to die, because he, Assad, hasn’t gone”), just at the moment when the demand for Assad’s removal has never seemed less credible – if it ever was?

That last question (what’s it all about), takes us back to the start-point: the determination by the Establishment (both Democratic and Republican) to preserve the status quo – “by all means at its disposal.” It clearly intends, too, by all means at its disposal, to maintain the foreign policy status quo, as well. Some of the Republican leaders endorse this proposition, even to the extent of being willing to put partisan politics aside, and support a Democratic candidate.

The outburst about Syria from the CIA and DOD leaders quoted above is in fact about more than just Syria. It is all part with the attempt to brand Trump as “Putin’s Puppet,” as the “Kremlin’s candidate,” and as a “de facto agent” (amongst other jibes).

Saving the New Cold War 

Some powerful figures clearly want any winding down of this “new” Cold War dead in its tracks. Trump’s questioning of the hostilities with Russia, of the purpose of NATO, and of the costs to the U.S. of it being a global hegemon have turned them cold.

Does he (Trump) not understand, (these “ancien regime” figures seem to say,) that rapprochement and entente with Putin now, could bring the whole structure tumbling down? It could collapse America’s entire foreign policy? Without a clear Russian “threat” (the “threat” being now a constant refrain in the U.S. Beltway), what meaning has NATO? And without NATO, why should Europe stay “on side, and [do] the right thing?” And if Damascus, Moscow and Tehran succeed in emerging with political credit and esteem from the Syria conflict, what price then for the U.S,-led “rules-based” global order?

Especially, if those who reject it, and who opt to stay out of the globalized order, find that they can so do – and emerge empowered and with their influence enhanced? If the political “rules-based order” does erode, what then will be the future for the inter-connected, and presently shaky, U.S.-led, global financial order and governance?

More Syrians are going to have to die, not because President Assad has not been ousted, but because the U.S. Establishment wants to keep the Syria war going until (they hope) Hillary takes office – and they will do whatever they can, precisely to make sure she does – and that the options to maintain America’s traditional foreign policy the way it is are not foreclosed to her on taking office.

The unsubstantiated attempt – coming from the top – to suggest that Putin’s aim is to undermine the West, and that Trump is to be Putin’s “tool” in this endeavour, is not some whimsical campaign gig — it is deadly serious. And it is very dangerous. There are few willing to say so, for fear of being labelled Putin’s “useful idiots,” too.

Russia will be making its own calculations, but it would not be a surprise, were we to hear that they are battening down the hatches, and readying for a more severe Cold War — or even a hot one.

Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, which advocates for engagement between political Islam and the West.

51 comments for “Stalling Obama’s Overtures to Russia

  1. Gene Conger
    August 9, 2016 at 15:06

    I agree with Dave above,

    Also, I wonder what Gen Patton would have done if someone in 3rd Army came to him with a list of of 51 names who were countering his orders?

  2. Ron Chandler
    August 9, 2016 at 06:27

    The so-called ”U.S-led “rules-based” global order” mentioned in this article, is no such thing. The only condition the US fosters is DISorder. In a better word, Tyranny.
    No matter which loon takes office in 2017, Washington’s insane little Satans will fail, becasue they fly against the millions of people in America and out of it, who will never accede to America’s demonic bastardry. America hates the world, and wants to conquer it. So did Nazi Germany. Germany was utterly destroyed. So will America be, unless it turns around.

  3. Agent76
    August 8, 2016 at 19:10

    Jul 19, 2016 Putin: We are not anti-American, but we oppose American neocon imperialism

    Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that there is “respect and love” between Russia and the US, with particular admiration for the American people, emphasizing that Russia does not engage in anti-Americanism, while being interviewed by Swiss channel RTS, in St Peterburg.

  4. Gene Conger
    August 8, 2016 at 13:18

    I am generally an Independent voter and I could care less about the Democrats or the Republicans. But I am Anti-Trotsky, Anti-Neocon, Anti-War and anti-ODOR and PRO-AMERICA. Any thing else is B.S.

    I called out ODOR because after WWI when Hitler came to power, he came up with “The World Order” – Not to be outdone, Bush later came up with ‘The New World Order”.

    Some Zionist wag substituted the word ODOR for Hitler’s New ORDER. Nice, now we can use the word for Bush’s New World ORDER?

    We can call the Order that is now overseas slaughtering all the women and kids in the Mideast The ODOR?

    Anytime we reference those agents it would be as “The ODOR”? Would that be fair?

    That is my suggestion, just keep reminding them of who they actually are.

  5. Jamie
    August 8, 2016 at 13:14

    More apologetics for dear-leader Obama. What Obama and the EU did in the Ukraine was a war-crime. Readers, please notice that there is no mention of the President placing Joe Biden’s son on the board of Ukraine’s largest gas company after the coup. Also note that there is no mention of how Obama had to fight congress on restrictions to train neo-Nazi groups in the Ukraine who were the muscle in the coup. In reality, the democratic party attacked Trump when he hinted at recognizing Crimea as separate from the illegal coup. This article doesn’t mention these basic facts and twists reality to make Obama appear as some saint ready to embrace Russia. In reality, Obama has done more than any president ever in terms of reigniting the cold war. Forward!

  6. Pixy
    August 8, 2016 at 09:19

    “Until that happens – until that begins; until there is acknowledgement of that transition – we are going to have Syrians dying: continuing to die.”
    What the guy is saying in fact, and quite openly, is “we will continue to kill Syrians untill they comply with our wish and allow us to rape their country as we please”. Is that it?
    Hitler is a rosy-cheeked baby compared to the latest breed of US “leaders”.

  7. Tom Welsh
    August 7, 2016 at 05:26

    “we need to have some sense that Assad is on the way out. There can be a transition; but it needs to be clear that he is not part of Syria’s future. Until that happens – until that begins; until there is acknowledgement of that transition – we are going to have Syrians dying: continuing to die.”

    Exactly as one would expect. That statement is utterly double-sided and two-faced. Superficially (the meaning that will be offered should anyone ask) it says that Syrians will continue to die until Assad goes because Assad is killing them.

    But in reality (for those in the know) it means that the US government will make sure that Syrians continue to die until Assad (who has been doing everything in his power to protect them) is sacrificed.

  8. August 6, 2016 at 22:40

    Nobody or state has successfully (= survived to tell the tale) said No! to the US, i.e., the Seven oily Sisters and their Anglo-American bankers and Paperclip Nazis, since WW2 except Vietnam. And it’s still in recovery. Since WW2 the US has not faced a world-class military power.

    The Russians have said Nyet! and they can now back that up with nukes that can reach North America. The survival of the petrodollar order is now at stake, and with history as a guide and QE glue amounting to US$180 billion per month barely keeping the western monetary disorder functioning, there’s no place for the global elite to retreat to without compromising their control. And they don’t do compromise. There will be blood.

    • Realist
      August 7, 2016 at 01:56

      “There will be blood.”–pogohere

      And, the few survivors of the first missile strikes will end up killing one another off trying to compete for the scarce remaining necessities of life in the desolate landscape of a radioactive nuclear winter. The life of another human being will be worth less than the food, water or ammunition they may possess and you need. The world of Mad Max will look like a picnic in comparison. Unless some few survive to crawl out of deep bunkers decades later, the end of humanity will be very ignoble. And, for what? Those petrodollars will only have value if they’re dry and can be used as kindling.

    • dahoit
      August 7, 2016 at 11:52

      Leaving out the obvious perps,Zionism,who are everywhere in this govt and media,is a transparent attempt at changing focus on our true enemy,Zionism.

  9. August 6, 2016 at 20:37

    Interesting article and very true.
    Trump has criticized the NATO monster, The establishment, and the war profiteers, and their media shills are foaming at the mouth that their “precious” war machine might be under scrutiny if he gets elected….
    [read more at link below]

    • dahoit
      August 7, 2016 at 11:50

      Did you notice Obomba saying Trump had better not reveal secrets once vetted by our criminal intelligence agencies?
      Only those with much to hide would say that.

  10. Secret Agent
    August 6, 2016 at 19:56

    I call bullshit. Obama is in charge and he is responsible for the Ukranian civil war, the Destruction of Libya and the slaughter in Syria. He has allied himself, and the American people with NAZIs and cannibals in pursuit of his nefarious goals, and his presidency has been one of the most dispicable episodes in American history. The final glory of his legacy is the revival of McCarthyism, but only because it will help elect Hillary who will keep Obamas crimes secret.

    It’s all been an act and it’s all been a fraud. Time to call Obama what he is; an imperialist, a warmonger, a liar and most of all, a loyal puppet of the American oligarchy, a tool of the NeoCcon war crazies, and the worst enemy Main Street ever had. Obama knows and is desperate to weasel out of his real legacy, and into a more comfortable “PR” legacy.

    Remember that little kid who was beheaded in a pickup truck by SalAfast crazies in Syria last week? That is, and should always be remembered as Obamas true legacy.

    • Sam F
      August 7, 2016 at 10:24

      Yes, you are right, there is no reason to let Obama off the hook for merely claiming good principles while acting upon the worst. He appears to actually have good intentions at times but this does not excuse almost invariably doing the wrong thing. He was too young and untested in his principles to be in high office, and his thinking and considered options were captured evermore by warmongers whom he has completely failed to control. That is no excuse.

      • John
        August 7, 2016 at 11:29

        His tenure at BIC gives lie to yhe delusions of goid intentions.

      • dahoit
        August 7, 2016 at 11:46

        What principles?I have seen absolutely none from him,other than Zionist bootlicking.

    • J'hon Doe II
      August 7, 2016 at 11:35

      Secret Agent– “Time to call Obama what he is; an imperialist, a warmonger, a liar and most of all, a loyal puppet of the American oligarchy, a tool of the NeoCcon war crazies, and the worst enemy Main Street ever had.”

      Obama, like Bush before him, is the Gimbal inside a Gyroscope – a wheel within the Wheel, as it were.

      The Big Wheel is Brzezinski and his associates, Rockefeller and the Trilateral Commission.

  11. Brian
    August 6, 2016 at 18:23

    Overjoyed that Obama is finally hooking up with the enemy of our enemy

    • dahoit
      August 7, 2016 at 11:44

      Oh,the ones(allegedly) that killed 3000 Americans on 9-11?Wow.
      Wake me up when he attacks the Zionists,our actual mortal enemy.

  12. Realist
    August 6, 2016 at 16:59

    Lemme get this straight. According to the New Cold Warriors the key to “Morning in Syria” with peace breaking out all over, the scent of roses in the air and unicorns grazing placidly in the city parks is only that Assad “go,” one way or another. Brennan and Carter practically guarantee it, and ruefully wring their hands at the terrible prospect of more endless bloodshed by innocents if Assad and his Russian enablers do not see the light of sweet reason on all this.

    So, what they’re saying is that, if ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, Daesh or one of the other set of “good guys” in this unfortunate fracas got lucky and launched a missile straight into Dr. Assad’s bedroom whilst he was enjoying conjugal bliss with his wife and got promptly dispatched to Alawite Paradise, the dogs of war would immediately be called off, free elections would be held throughout the realm the very next day, and “Frei Bier” would flow from the taps of every Kasbah in the Middle East (at least those not controlled by the mullahs).

    All the head choppers would immediately lay down their arms and return to their countries of origin, knowing that Allah’s will had been served, justice prevailed, everyone in Syria would now convert to Wahabist Islam, and their trophy wives, acquired as war booty, would now happily procreate dozens of young adherents to the faith of their fathers. (Next on the to-do list, the transformation of Germany and France into fervent Islamist states.)

    Who can find fault with any of that thinking, and who wouldn’t want such a heaven on earth? And, the solution having been so simple all the while! Why, Obomber would be awarded a second Nobel Peace Prize. Jeepers, they might just decide to award him one annually for being such a prescient diplomat. In your face, Vladimir, the Gangsta from Chi-town wins again! Who ya gonna call? Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Busters! All that Russian revanchism stopped in its tracks!

    If you liked Syria, you’re gonna luv Ukraine and the Happily-Ever-After-Ending the Neo-Consecrated have planned there. Dontcha just wanna bust with happiness when everything works out all right? John Kerry, you da the man! Hillary Clinton, you go girl! Poor Pooty Poot and his sock puppet Donald look soooo sad. But these are the kinda things that really make America gggrrreat, Donald.

    I understand that, once all this plays out, they’re gonna give Obomber a permanent stand-up comedy gig at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner… and the Donald will be forced to attend in perpetuity–kind of like the punishment Sisyphus was given for defying the gods. And, some of you think the Neo-cons/Neo-liberals don’t have a vision for this country!

    • Stephen Sivonda
      August 7, 2016 at 00:02

      Thank you for your comedic rendition of current events. Some levity is needed ….every day at least.

    • Erik
      August 7, 2016 at 08:41

      Thanks for clarifying these seeming contradictions. It is astonishing that the warmonger faction thinks that anyone would follow them with such a lack of rationale. They know that, as H.L. Mencken said (approx.) that “The average man avoids truth as diligently as he avoids arson, regicide, and piracy on the high seas, and for the same reasons: it is dangerous, no good can come of it, and it doesn’t pay.” So they can rely upon a combination of mass media repetition of nonsense and exclusion of criticism, and fearmongering via mass media. They also rely upon suppression of dialogue in the primary workplace venues of discourse, and threats to employment security.

      The warmongers could get nowhere without the control of mass media by economic concentrations. It is the rise of economic concentrations that has led to world wars and the generations of warmonger tyrants since WWII, and their dominance of media to proclaim their garbage rationales for war, their dominance of policy by the executive, and their destruction of freedom of thought and expression. The US has become an empty suit of armor, blundering around the globe, swinging its sword madly.

      Aristotle warned of the tyrant over democracy, causing foreign wars to create fear and to demand power as a false protector, and to accuse their opponents of disloyalty. Our Constitutional Convention failed to protect the tools of democracy, mass media and elections, from the economic concentrations that did not then exist. The US needs constitutional amendments to restrict funding of mass media and elections to limited registered individual contributions, and to improve checks and balances. We will not get that because we do not have those very tools of democracy. We can no longer restore democracy by peaceful means.

    • Richard Coleman
      August 8, 2016 at 18:31

      “All this will play out” with war. HRC’s no-fly zone in Syria will not, can not be honored by Russia without looking like the U.S.’s cocker spaniel. They won’t do it, U.S. planes will attack Russian planes, and there we’ll be: WAR. The only question is whether it can be kept non-nuclear. Anybody want to make any bets? And of course there’s always the Baltics and NATO, if Syria doesn’t explode……..

  13. Abe
    August 6, 2016 at 15:44

    “Thanks for the question. We have no comment… There’s an ongoing investigation.”

  14. Abe
    August 6, 2016 at 15:36

    Pentagon Offers ‘New Tactical Scheme’ for US-led Coalition Operations in Syria and Iraq

    Recent developments demonstrate that the US has been implementing its long-standing strategy of using various terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq in order to oppose the growing influence of Iran and Russia in the region.

    Washington sees ISIS and other jihadi groups as a counterbalance to the Iranian influence in Iraq and Syria. And only the Russian intervention in Syria is the only reason why the US-led international coalition has decided to intensify operations against ISIS. Furthermore, the so-called “new tactical scheme” offered by Carter allows ISIS to maintain its military and terror capabilities for further operations.

  15. exiled off mainstreet
    August 6, 2016 at 15:22

    It boggles the mind that they would go as far as in effect to threaten nuclear war on behalf of el qaeda. It is not only criminal it is fatally stupid.

    • Bill Bodden
      August 6, 2016 at 17:24

      The war on Iraq was a monumental blunder and catastrophe for millions of people. Nothing has been learned from that by our warmongers so it should come as no surprise if psychopaths are willing to play war with nuclear weapons.

      • John
        August 7, 2016 at 11:22

        You are incorrect when you say nothing has been learned.
        They have learned how profitable destabilization can be for their masters.

        • Bill Bodden
          August 7, 2016 at 11:43

          Unfortunately, John, you are correct on that point.

    • dahoit
      August 7, 2016 at 11:39

      AlCIAda are actors in the Zionist hegemony plan of Israeli expansion and the divide and conquer of the American people.
      It is they that drive American policy disasters,and AlCIAda,AlnUSrA and IsUS are all their proxies.

  16. Bill Bodden
    August 6, 2016 at 15:18

    Washington’s foreign policy mavens are thwarting President Obama’s moves to work with Russia to resolve the Syrian war and reduce other tensions, so the new Cold War can proceed under Hillary Clinton, says ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

    How the original Cold War began thanks to Harry Truman and his administration: Hiroshima: the Crime That Keeps on Paying, But Beware the Reckoning by Diana Johnstone –

    If we are lucky Cold War 2.0 will be just that – cold; otherwise, who knows what will happen?

  17. Ol' Hippy
    August 6, 2016 at 13:28

    The one question I have always and still have is; why does ‘Washington’ want to destroy al-Assad’s secular government in Syria? Is it for Israel and their sense of entitlement and al-Assad’s support of Hezbollah? Is it their intention to just destroy the Middle East and to hell with all the lives laid waste in the process? I know I’m not the only American that’s sick of all of this violence unleashed on those poor people. We basically didn’t have terrorist attacks before invading their lands and now….the hens are coming home to roost, so to speak. Is there even an endgame? Or is it just better for business to keep laying waste to countless people and destroying lives in the process of increasing profits? There isn’t even discussions in Congress anymore on the constant wars being fought and no input from ordinary folks such as myself. Sorry I ramble but I’m pissed off too much to even think sometimes because no one in Washington seems to give a shit for actual lives destroyed in these endless wars. Perhaps if Chelsea was sent over to fight; women can these days, we might not be so gung ho to wage wars over ‘there’ and get back to a process toward a peaceful world. We need a new plan to go forward because as far as I can tell this one sure the hell isn’t working.

    • Joe B
      August 6, 2016 at 13:54

      The admin wants to destroy “al-Assad’s secular government in Syria” both for Israeli campaign bribes and to satisfy the Brzinski anti-Russia faction, who overlap considerably and include many in UK. There is apparently overlap with the oil/pipeline interests.

      You are right, there is no overlap with the interests of the people of the US or the Mideast or the EU, which if considered would peace and prosperity for all.

      • dahoit
        August 7, 2016 at 11:36

        Oh,yeah,its the Brzinski(sic)faction.sheesh.How many is that, 2?Polish expatriates in American position of power?
        No its the zionist faction,and how someone won’t or can’t see that is an exercise in ignorance.

    • Stephen Sivonda
      August 6, 2016 at 23:55

      Ol’Hippy, I can sense your frustration with the whores in DC. The MSM has most of the Hoi-Poloi bambozzled and divided. Honest politicians are like rain drops in a desert. I’m an Old Curmudgeon and with this all volunteer Army scam there will never be any elites son or daughter enlisting in any of the services. Do you think for an instant if we still had the selective service that this bullshit endless war MIC /Wall St. as beneficiaries to keep us safe stuff would still be going on ? Our National Guards as reserves have had multiple deployments…many come back and are mentally scarred, hence the suicide rate of about 20 a day on returning vets. I think it’s appropriate to count those as casualties to the body counts since the big lie from Bush2’s admin to invade Iraq. and chasing Bin-Ladin in Afghanistan . Bin-Ladin…a patsy to cover for the Mossad and 9/11. To your last sentence….there is a plan and it’s working quite well for the Neocons in the State Dept and other depts. of the Govt.

  18. J'hon Doe II
    August 6, 2016 at 12:54

    EU on edge as Putin, Erdogan set to meet
    As Turkey’s coup strains ties with West, detente with Russia gathers pace

  19. jaycee
    August 6, 2016 at 11:59

    Who elected John Brennan anyway? He’s not invoking tears. His Aspen statement is clear: ““we need to have some sense that Assad is on the way out…until there is acknowledgement of that transition – we are going to have Syrians dying: continuing to die.” i.e. this is our demand, and the mercenary jihadists will continue to be armed and will continue the violence until our demand is met. Gangster politics.

    • Bill Bodden
      August 6, 2016 at 16:00

      Does John Brennan Know Morality?
      March 5, 2013

      Sen. Barbara Mikulski and other defenders of CIA Director-nominee John Brennan say they are reassured by his Jesuit education at Fordham that he must be well-grounded in moral philosophy. But two Fordham alumni, Scott McDonald and Ray McGovern, disagree in this open letter to Mikulski. –

      • Bill Bodden
        August 6, 2016 at 16:10

        The support given to Israel by successive administrations and Congresses is but one example that morality is not a factor in national politics. “Morality” for Washington politicians and columnists in the Mainstream Media is just a talking point for criticizing any one or nation falling afoul of the American Empire’s Establishment.

  20. F. G. Sanford
    August 6, 2016 at 11:06

    Mythology is replete with tales of “twins”. These stories may reflect ideas about cosmology or creation, codify the nature of good and evil, or illustrate the ambiguity of moral equivalence. The twins may be at odds, or locked in an eternal embrace, but each is defined in terms of the other, and they are in fact the product of the same womb. In rare examples, the twins may be born contemporaneously, but to sisters. It would seem that all cultures recognize the special role of twins in the metaphors which validate core cultural principles. Each is essential to preservation of the myth, and neither could exist without the other. Whether doppelgängers or lovers, they represent the same ideology. John Kerry and John Brennan may be viewed through the lens of this paradigm. Some tales involve twins born of the same mother but to different fathers. They set out on a quest to discover some truth. One father is immortal, and the other is not. Each twin dies once, and is brought back to life by the other. Because the twins do not know which of them had the immortal father, they protect each other forever. Brennan and Kerry are both products of the American “elite”. Kerry by birth, and Brennan by proxy. If the intelligence community is, for argument’s sake, viewed as a “twin” to the nominal government rather than a subservient sibling, it becomes much easier to understand why American weapons continue to mysteriously appear in the hands of what can only be described as mercenary forces. Some may claim that the intelligence community is the real impetus behind US foreign policy. If that is so, then who is the “mother” of the intelligence community? It is certainly not Hillary Clinton. She is merely one of the evil sisters who may figure in the peripheral mythology surrounding the twins. Trump validates her repudiation of her own evil, allowing the story to continue, seemingly forever. It would be foolish to assume that no Russian analyst has conveyed this interpretation to Vladimir Putin. He, by all accounts, is preparing for the worst, while American voters remain insouciantly oblivious. Don’t say nobody tried to warn you. The die is cast, and both “twins” pay homage to their sister, the Queen of Chaos.

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 6, 2016 at 15:34

      I just got done telling my wife how uneasy I am with all this talk about using nuclear weapons. Trump does give the impression that he is not stable enough to be trusted with the nuclear codes, but to feel safe and secure with Hillary at the controls is just plain naive, and utterly stupid in so many ways that there is not enough space here to describe just how dumb it is to put any faith in her. I just hope that Hillary realizes how dangerous a first strike capability belief is.

      I still meet far too many people who have never heard of Victoria Nuland, or can’t imagine why the U.S. would arm Al Qaeda, and these same people unless convinced otherwise believe Putin invaded Crimea. Our media’s in depth news coverage of geopolitical events is the worst, and our country makes the rest of the world suffer for it.

      • Stephen Sivonda
        August 6, 2016 at 23:10

        Joe…I hear you, ignorance rules here in the US. We can lay much of the blame on the biased MSM… but it seems most don’t even seem ,as you alluded to, interested in some truth. We have met the enemy, and it is us.

        • Joe Tedesky
          August 7, 2016 at 11:58

          I don’t think it’s people dealing with the truth, as much as it is people giving up in frustration.

  21. Joe Tedesky
    August 6, 2016 at 10:50

    “There are few willing to say so, for fear of being labelled Putin’s “useful idiots,” too.”

    I have feared that this would happen. A few times on this comment board I have said, how I wish that Trump would quit announcing some of his good ideas. Not because I don’t like his good ideas, but because the media will throw out the baby with the bath water, when it comes to America accepting them. This 2016 presidential election is turning out to be one of America’s worst presidential elections yet. Write down Trump’s good ideas along with Bernie’s democratic platform policies, and then watch how fast Hillary trashes this stuff, as soon as she sits down in the Oval Office.

    • Bill Bodden
      August 6, 2016 at 15:14

      … then watch how fast Hillary trashes this stuff, as soon as she sits down in the Oval Office.

      Joe, the trashing (direct or indirect) will very likely begin within a few hours or days of Clinton’s election – if she is elected. I keep getting recurring thoughts that the hackers who got into the DNC’s emails or some other hackers have a trove of documents to leak at a time of their choosing some time before November 8th.

      • Jeff Davis
        August 8, 2016 at 11:15

        If Hillary’s server was unprotected, then Russia, China, and Israel have every single State Dept communication sent during Hillary’s tenure. The US State Dept is a top tier intelligence target. Any rival intelligence service would have made the maximum effort to hack their communications, and to do so without leaving a trace. A number of Hillary’s email recipients are already confirmed — by Comey’s public report — as having been hacked. (These confirmed hacks were likely the work of less sophisticated non-state hackers, less skilled or less interested in covering their tracks.) These would have served as entry ports to the rest of the State Dept correspondence. So it is almost to be assumed that State Dept communications were comprehensively compromised. Comey came very close to saying that. Basically Hillary cc’d all State Dept emails to America’s “rivals” (I use the term “rivals” to avoid assisting with the ginning up of the new cold war by using terms like “enemies” or “adversaries” that presume belligerence).

        I find ridiculous all this talk about anyone being “shocked” at Russian attempts to influence the American political process. It’s the most natural thing in the world. Every state that can achieve some benefit from doing it, does it, and does it to the maximum effect possible. The US does it in spades. Israel does it to the US to the point — Neocons and AIPAC — of near complete subversion of the US govt. Bottom line: expect Hillary’s emails and critical State dept emails to be showing up in a timely manner between now and November. Trumps friendliness toward Putin/Russia versus Hillary’s belligerence means that Hillary’s defeat would have to be a major foreign policy goal for Putin, and consequently he will make a maximum effort to bring that about. Anything less would be national security malpractice/incompetence.

  22. Bart
    August 6, 2016 at 10:35

    Another NYT op-ed bashing Russia this morning. This time, instead of Masha Gessen, we get a heavy weight from the Economist, Arkady Ostrovsky.

    Nowhere in his rant does Ostrovsky use the words, NATO, Napoleon or Hitler. Instead we get hysteria, including news that “…Putin has long dreamed of a new Yalta-style agreement to let Russia and America divide Europe again.”

    • Zachary Smith
      August 6, 2016 at 16:07

      From the jerk’s NYT article:

      Just as the economic inadequacies of Soviet Communism were exposed by comparison with the wealth produced by Western capitalism, Mr. Putin’s authoritarianism cannot match the appeal of an economy based on the rule of law, openness and competition.

      The whole thing was stupid beyond words, but this part stood out as if it was in fluorescent orange type. And the Neocon Times published it!

  23. Joe B
    August 6, 2016 at 08:53

    Obama must see that he can make an agreement with Russia without the “U.S. Establishment” that seeks to “keep the Syria war going until (they hope) Hillary takes office.” If he is defied by warmonger elements he can purge them. But he apparently did nothing to the alleged 51 critics at State dept who demanded more US aggression in Syria.

    Having apparently also allowed those warmongers their apparent coup attempt in Turkey right afterward, there is little cause to suppose that he was not behind all of that. The Obama/Kerry talks with Russia appear to have merely demanded that they surrender their base and influence in Syria by dumping Assad, a foolish non-starter designed only to get Israeli campaign bribes for Hitlary.

    • dave
      August 6, 2016 at 22:05

      I agree.

      If Obama was really serious about working with the Russians, there’s no way he would tolerate people in his own administration undermining his policies. All of the “hawks”, “neo-cons” and “humanitarian interventionists” serve at his pleasure. He can fire them any time he wants but chooses no to.

      The whole exercise is likely a ruse to buy time for Al-Qaeda, sorry, “Jabhat al-Fatah al Sham”, or whatever they’re calling themselves now.

      Perhaps Obama considers it bad form for a Nobel peace laureate to openly advocate World War III, so he has his underlings do it instead.

      • kevin pigford
        August 10, 2016 at 23:08

        I don’t think Obama has a real choice in the matter. I think Obama is serious about working with Russians, however, he is at the behest of the establishment.

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