WPost Wants a Bigger War in Syria

The neocon Washington Post wants an even bigger U.S. military intervention in Syria, ignoring the tenets of international law and assuming that more bombing will somehow make things better, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

Among the latest in the Washington Post editorial page’s unrelenting drumbeat of criticism on Syria — which often does not make clear exactly what the United States should be doing there, except that whatever it does should involve more military force than it is using now — is a signed column by deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl, who says President Obama ought to emulate Vladimir Putin.

Diehl says that events in Syria since Russia directly intervened militarily have demonstrated that Mr. Obama was wrong in refraining from a comparable intervention. “Putin has proved,” writes Diehl, ”that the concept Obama rejected — that a limited use of force could change the political outcome, without large costs — was right all along.”

Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post.

Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post.

Some of the biggest problems in Diehl’s argument are ones that he and his colleagues have displayed all along in beating their drum. Among these is an incredibly rigid and oversimplified view of what is at stake in Syria.

The apparent assumption is that the only thing that should matter to the United States is whether pro-regime or anti-regime players are forcefully gaining an advantage over the other. This complex and multidimensional civil war is treated as primitively as a schoolyard contest in toughness.

“The United States is far stronger than Putin’s Russia,” Diehl writes. “U.S. fecklessness is a choice.”

Diehl’s assumption of a zero-sum game is as absolute as the most Manichean views of U.S.-Soviet competition ever were during the Cold War. Putin intervened in Syria, says Diehl, “and it has made Barack Obama the loser.” The result is “a victory for Russia, Iran and the Assad regime, at the expense of the United States and its Arab, Israeli and Turkish friends.”

Such a statement masks not only the non-zero-sum nature of interests that cross the divide that Diehl postulates but also the significant differences in interests among the players on each side of that divide.

The incorrect zero-summing extends from the military to the diplomatic. Because the United States has not thrown its military weight around, argues Diehl, the recent cease-fire agreement “offered Putin everything he sought in Syria.” Diehl bemoans that we are “satisfying Putin’s longstanding demand that the West join him in fighting ‘terrorists’ rather than Assad.”

And so we should be against fighting terrorists, just because Putin is in favor of it? That seems to be the argument. Certainly serious questions should be raised about how effective U.S. military force can be against the Islamist extremist part of the Syrian situation (and some of the results of military operations the United States already is conducting against ISIS in Syria underscore those questions).

Real Terrorists

But there really are terrorists in Syria, with or without the quotation marks, and a more plausible case can be made that they ought to be more of a concern for the United States than engaging in a shoving match with Putin that is an extension of Assad’s fight against his domestic opponents.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Nothing in Diehl’s column considers exactly where U.S. interests do and do not lie in Syria. They do not lie with any particular political coloration of a future regime in Damascus. They do not rest on overthrowing the Assads; somehow U.S. interests have survived even though the Assads, father and son, have been in power for 46 years.

Violent extremism of the sort that also can appear in the West has more to do with U.S. interests, and on that subject there is more convergence with Russian interests in Syria than there is conflict with them.

As for Diehl’s main argument that Russia has demonstrated a successful use of military force that the United States should have used but fecklessly did not, there are two fundamental problems with that argument.

One is that it overlooks a large asymmetry between what Russia set out to do with its military intervention and what the United States would be doing if it tried to follow Diehl’s advice. The Russian military’s mission was to shore up a well-established incumbent regime — the one that’s been in power for 46 years. If the United States were to try something similar on the other side, it would be “shoring up” (not really an applicable term) a fractionated, unproven, quarrelsome, extremist-infested hodge-podge of opposition groups.

Whenever the ineffectiveness of the Syrian opposition gets mentioned, pro-interventionists such as Diehl resort to the counterfactual assertion (with all of the logical flaws that such argumentation entails) that if only the Obama administration had acted more forcefully earlier, an effective and moderate Syrian opposition would have prevailed.

But interventionists never can point to evidence in the political archeology indicating this would have been the case. The moderate, effective opposition fighter is the Syrian version of Piltdown Man, a presumed creature who never really existed, at least not in the numbers and with the organization that would have made a difference.

The other fundamental problem in the Putin-proved-what-could-be-done argument is that by defining the policy problem in terms of who gets to rule in Damascus and who wins a U.S.-Russian shoving match, this overlooks the more important variable of the scope and intensity of the war.

Making Matters Worse

Diehl does mention President Obama’s observation that “U.S. intervention would only worsen the war, encourage extremism and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis,” but then Diehl blows off the observation by saying, “All those bad things happened in the absence of American action.”

Such a dismissal seems to assume that bad things can’t get even worse, and that a larger U.S. military intervention is more likely to make them better than worse. No evidence is offered to suggest that those assumptions are true; much recent history in the region suggests that they are false.

It is the war itself, not the absence of any particular political outcome, that makes Syria a concern for U.S. interests. It is the war itself, not the continuation of the Assad regime, that gave ISIS the opportunity to gain a foothold in Syria, and it is the war itself that has been causing much human suffering.

There is no discernible route to an alternative political outcome that would please most of the Syrian opposition (if the opposition could ever agree on such) and displease the Russians without going through much more war, more chaos, more extremism, and more suffering.

This would be true whether or not Bashar al-Assad were to depart the scene tomorrow, and it would be true whether or not the United States weighed in heavily with military force.

The conspicuous and current examples of Iraq and Libya are not merely hang-ups of feckless U.S. leaders. They are glaring lessons in the implications of regime change that are highly applicable to Syria.

In Libya little effort was made after helping to overthrow the previous leader, and the country has been a violent mess. In Iraq the United States made enormous effort, including the expenditure of thousands of American lives, and still left a mess, including a lack of political accommodation among contending Iraqi forces and the continuation of a civil war that was still going at a substantial clip when Barack Obama took office in 2009.

Mr. Obama can be faulted for ever subscribing to the “Assad must go” slogan. He should not be faulted for not trying to imitate Putin in Syria.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of Why America Misunderstands the World. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

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20 comments for “WPost Wants a Bigger War in Syria

  1. J Vodic
    September 22, 2016 at 14:47

    Can someone PLEASE EXPLAIN to me WHY Assad and Commpany will NOT make that SPECIFIC assertion immediately? In the Security Council. On media platforms. In every way. ” You are not invited into our country Mr Obama. And your soldier’s presence is an Act Of War. Leave immediately or we and our allies will start shooting them all as the invaders that they are “.

    • Who Cares
      September 22, 2016 at 17:41

      Because that is not how it will be reported in the media.
      Further the US has had a lot of experience using factual grievances by the party they are attacking as both propaganda of why the US is justified in attacking and as casus belli.
      So the moment that Syrian airspace is closed for any military plane (excepting ones from Syria, Russia & Iran) the US will denounce it as aiding IS(IS/IL) and use it as a justification to bomb the Syrian army (plus attempt to assassinate Assad using the air force/drones). Which will escalate to a full scale invasion once the inevitable downing of one of the aircraft involved occurs.

      Back to the article.
      Diehl is right though about the U.S. losing, the reason why just being the wrong one.
      Syria is the first place where opposition not incompetence is blocking the US. And so far every time the US made a threat the opposition has called it a bluff. And that is bad. It is like the school bully threatening violence only to be ignored then not follow up on the threat. Have that repeat a few times and no one will listen to the bully. Note that analogies are never perfect but that is what it looks like from the outside.
      The US is essentially saying do this or else; The opposition going we chose a 3rd option; The US not following up on that due to not expecting others to not follow the script it demands they follow and thus not knowing what to do.
      From the outside that makes the US look powerless and that is problematic if the only thing in the diplomatic arsenal you have left is threats of do this or else.

    • Evangelista
      September 22, 2016 at 20:36

      J Vodic,

      You ask why Assad, and Syria, will not threaten to respond to the Official U.S.’s acts of war against Syria with acts of defensive warfare.

      The answer is the same as that for why Russia will not overtly aid the besieged eastern Ukrainians:

      In both cases the responsive actions would be exactly what the U.S., Israel, for whose interests the U.S. is acting in the middle east, and the European states, whose governments are also clients to Israel, and acting in Israeli interest, are pushing for and trying to instigate.

      Any hostile responsive actions against any State will be ascribed acts of war and will ‘excuse’ responsive retaliations by the ‘attacked’ (retaliated against aggressor(s)), who have massive armament and so would “respond to aggression” massively.

      Review Hitler’s small push-push-pushing to expand his Reich before the Polish push triggered treaty-required declaration of war. The game is a ‘brinksmanship’ game that aggressors with powerful armies and armaments play to obtain ‘justifications’ for attacks they want to make. You can review the history of the United States toward America’s indigenous peoples, too, whose practices of pushing to instigate a violent reaction to the push, then attacking with an army (against civilians, the indigenous having no armies) “won the West” (and were copied by the Third Reich, and the British, in South Africa, before them).

      The statesmanship of Putin and Lavrov (and Assad) is their resisting the instigations while pushing back in ways that are ‘non-responsive’, meaning they do not confront the aggressors directly (e.g., peace initiatives in Ukraine that turn the table, so that the western aggressors have to become violators to continue aggressing, and helping the legal sovereign state against “terrorists”, the “coalition”‘s Da’esh proxy-army, in Syria).

      The statecraft involved requires delicacy in maneuvering and great self-control and ability to stay calm in face of overt provocation. It is Putin’s and Lavrov’s particular skills in these areas that is responsible for their successes. It is wearing the aggressors down, and frustrating them to increasingly stupid, and so self-defeating, reactions, as we are seeing.

      • J'hon Doe II
        September 22, 2016 at 22:17

        You’ve spoken with astute accuracy, Evangelista.

        Have you any thoughts as to how the U S aggressors can be “brought to heel” – without a total pullout and “restructuring” of Arab policy?

      • J'hon Doe II
        September 22, 2016 at 23:21

        DOLLARISM

        The number one weapon of 20th century imperialism is zionist dollarism, and one of the main bases for this weapon is Zionist Israel. The ever-scheming European imperialists wisely placed Israel where she could geographically divide the Arab world, infiltrate and sow the seed of dissension among African leaders and also divide the Africans against the Asians.

        Zionist Israel’s occupation of Arab Palestine has forced the Arab world to waste billions of precious dollars on armaments, making it impossible for these newly independent Arab nations to concentrate on strengthening the economies of their countries and elevate the living standard of their people.

        And the continued low standard of living in the Arab world has been skillfully used by the Zionist propagandists to make it appear to the Africans that the Arab leaders are not intellectually or technically qualified to lift the living standard of their people … thus, indirectly “enducing” Africans to turn away from the Arabs and towards the Israelis for teachers and technical assistance.

        “They cripple the bird’s wing, and then condemn it for not flying as fast as they.”

        The imperialists always make themselves look good, but it is only because they are competing against economically crippled newly independent countries whose economies are actually crippled by the Zionist-capitalist conspiracy. They can’t stand against fair competition, thus they dread Gamal Abdul Nasser’s call for African-Arab Unity under Socialism.

        MESSIAH?

        If the “religious” claim of the Zionists is true that they were to be led to the promised land by their messiah, and Israel’s present occupation of Arab Palestine is the fulfillment of that prophesy: where is their messiah whom their prophets said would get the credit for leading them there? It was Ralph Bunche who “negotiated” the Zionists into possession of Occupied Palestine! Is Ralph Bunche the messiah of Zionism? If Ralph Bunche is not their messiah, and their messsiah has not yet come, then what are they doing in Palestine ahead of their messiah?

        Did the Zionists have the legal or moral right to invade Arab Palestine, uproot its Arab citizens from their homes and seize all Arab property for themselves just based on the “religious” claim that their forefathers lived there thousands of years ago? Only a thousand years ago the Moors lived in Spain. Would this give the Moors of today the legal and moral right to invade the Iberian Peninsula, drive out its Spanish citizens, and then set up a new Moroccan nation … where Spain used to be, as the European zionists have done to our Arab brothers and sisters in Palestine?…

        In short the Zionist argument to justify Israel’s present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent or legal basis in history … not even in their own religion. Where is their Messiah?

        http://www.malcolm-x.org

      • Bart Gruzalski
        September 23, 2016 at 17:23

        Evangelista,

        A brilliant reply. Let me summarize, where possible, in your own words.

        You were answering the question: why Assad, and Syria, not threaten to respond to the Official U.S.’s acts of war against Syria with acts of defensive warfare.

        You began the answer by pointing out that the answer is the same as that for why Russia will not overtly aid the besieged eastern Ukrainians.

        “In both cases the responsive actions would be exactly what the U.S., Israel, for whose interests the U.S. is acting in the middle east, and the European states, whose governments are also clients to Israel, and acting in Israeli interest, are pushing for and trying to instigate.”

        This is part of the logic of “nonviolence”—instigate the opponent by not responding to his/her attacks or other provocations. That draws out their anger, their hatred, their violence, let’s others see it and so undermines the legitimacy of these acts of “defense” and let’s the defenders also see if for themselves. In the old days this worked: people had enough “humanity” that when they saw themselves hitting people with steel covered clubs, people who were doing nothing but, for example, trying to enter a salt works and eventually getting injured, sometimes killed. This is from a scene in the movie Gandhi which is accurate to the actual scene in India at the Salt Works (I’m not making this up, and the movie is offering a pictorial representation of that bloody scene–my authority are hundreds of writers on Gandhi).

        The nonviolence of the marchers in the face of the beaters situation changed the dynamics of the situation. The “defenders” of the salt works lost all humanity within themselves, felt terrible shame (their equivalent of PTS), stopped doing it and so were replaced by the next row of “defenders” as the marchers went down with broken bones, concussions, or even dying.

        You continue: “Any hostile responsive actions against any State will be ascribed “acts of war and will ‘excuse’ responsive retaliations by the ‘attacked’ (retaliated against aggressor(s)), who have massive armament and so would “respond to aggression” massively.[The Salt Works defenders retaliate against the nonviolent “attack” by the use of their massive armaments of a supply of laths {long and heavy poles tipped with metal} and so repond to the non-violent marchers with massive retaliation.]

        Back to you: “Review Hitler’s small push-push-pushing to expand his Reich before the Polish push triggered treaty-required declaration of war. The game is a ‘brinksmanship’ game that aggressors with powerful armies and armaments play to obtain ‘justifications’ for attacks they want to make. You can review the history of the United States toward America’s indigenous peoples, too, whose practices of pushing to instigate a violent reaction to the push, then attacking with an army (against civilians, the indigenous having no armies) “won the West” (and were copied by the Third Reich, and the British, in South Africa, before them).

        “The statesmanship of Putin and Lavrov (and Assad) is their resisting the instigations while pushing back in ways that are ‘non-responsive’, meaning they do not confront the aggressors directly (e.g., peace initiatives in Ukraine that turn the table, so that the western aggressors have to become violators to continue aggressing, and helping the legal sovereign state against “terrorists”, the “coalition”‘s Da’esh proxy-army, in Syria).

        “The statecraft involved requires delicacy in maneuvering and great self-control and ability to stay calm in face of overt provocation. It is Putin’s and Lavrov’s particular skills in these areas that is responsible for their successes. It is wearing the aggressors down, and frustrating them to increasingly stupid, and so self-defeating, reactions, as we are seeing.”

        Exactly what Gandhi did except you put it in contemporary lingo and your “minimal and non-violent” actions have the same effect on the USA—create a situation in which the USA will reveal its true aggressive agenda and be willing to violate human rights and kill people with an invented rationale that sounds plausible to some. It’s too bad we can’t meet because I’d love to carry this further but we need to do it anonymously on this page. Customs are customs.

  2. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    September 22, 2016 at 13:38

    O.K. We have been talking about the “neocons” and their newspapers, Think Tanks, Books, Articles, and other propaganda stuff………WHAT IS THE SOLUTION given the following:

    – The rich and elite in America are either with the neocons or simply do not care.

    – The Middle Class Americans are mostly busy being comfortable and watching games and movies.

    – Poor Americans including the many homeless are just trying to survive in a jungle called America.

    Again, what is the solution?!

    Here is my 2 cents:

    “New ROME” made it very clear that it will do to itself what “Old ROME” did to itself before……The main problem with America is that it killed its own “Intellectuals” who can bring new ideas and spread them……..now we are left with what you see………

  3. jaycee
    September 22, 2016 at 13:34

    The ceasefire unravelled in one short week and the negotiating parties end up further apart and more bellicose towards each other than before. This is a very bad turn of events, and the ultimate repercussions may play out far from Syria itself. The US and Russia made differing claims of what the ceasefire was primarily to achieve: to the Americans it was the flow of humanitarian aid, to the Russians it was the separation of the “moderates” from the jihadists. The latter appears to be the point of rejection by the American military and intelligence bloc, who were outspoken in their disagreement and applied pressure so the actual text of the ceasefire would remain under wraps. That is where the week ended last Friday, with a Security Council meeting arranged to discuss Syria and the terms of the ceasefire cancelled because the US refused to allow the text to be shared. A day later, the provocative coalition attack on Syrian soldiers was followed by a bitter undiplomatic tirade by UN ambassador Powers. Meanwhile, the aid convoys were not moving as they could not get security assurances and the blame for this passed back and forth in a series of public finger-pointing media appearances. The negotiated terms of delivery of aid would be found in the text of the ceasefire agreement, which would allow for the intransigent parties to be properly identified and held responsible, but the text could not be released. A push for sharing the agreement with the Security Council was to have been pressed this week – which would have also revealed the terms of separating the so-called moderates from the terrorists – but this process was dead in the water as soon as reports of the aid convoy attack were heard.

    Neither Russia or Syria had any motive for an attack on an aid convoy other than, and this seems to be the POV of more than a few, they are uniquely evil and revel in destruction. The “rebels” had every reason to create a presentation of a presumed attack. Coverage in the corporate media obscures the fact the UN no longer refers to an “airstrike”, and that the head of the Syrian Red Crescent has told Russian media that he believes it was a staged event. The rush to judgment has been engaged instead, first with anonymous administration officials but now, more ominously, by America’s senior military official Joseph Dunford. So in one week the US and Russia came together diplomatically, then split apart in bitter acrimony and the divide is now wider than before. This is probably the end of the Obama administration’s engagement with Syria, and the newly elected president will inherit this disaster in precisely this fraught condition, with immense pressure from the hawkish factions to project military power.

  4. William Beeby
    September 22, 2016 at 13:32

    If you read an article in Global Research.Cameron called ” I Am a Syrian living in Syria ” you must just find the truth of this debacle which we in the West should be ashamed of just like Iraq , Afghanistan and Libya .

  5. Steve Naidamast
    September 22, 2016 at 13:18

    Unfortunately for the US, whether it’s lunatic leaders and their mainstream press lackeys want a bigger war in Syria or not, it no longer looks like that is going to happen… unless, of course, if US leadership is clinically insane.

    Recent developments in the region show that China is now entering the conflict with economic and military assistance along with Iran and Russia. India is also making inroads to Damascus on the economic front. The result is that the US would be facing a very angry set of partners where two of them have more than enough military acumen to deal US Forces a substantial defeat.

    In addition, US Special Forces in the region have now been reported to be so demoralized that they no longer care if their missions are completed or not in terms of training new rebel recruits.

    Increasingly the US is being viewed as nothing more than a bag of wind, militarily, let alone politically…

  6. J'hon Doe II
    September 22, 2016 at 11:01

    FYI —

    http://www.globalresearch.ca

    Syria: Attack on Aid Convoy Kills Twenty, Destroys Aid, And Obliterates US War Crimes in Support of ISIS-Daesh Terror Group?
    By Felicity Arbuthnot,
    September 21, 2016
    In the words of Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova: “We are reaching a really terrifying conclusion for the whole world: That the White House is defending the Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that”,Obama is Protecting the Terrorists, America to the Rescue of ISIS-ISIL-Daesh. Testimonies of Syrian Soldiers Who Witnessed the US Airstrikes

    ::

    Thirty Foreign Intelligence Officers of US-led Coalition Including Israelis Killed in Russia Missile Attack in Aleppo

    Here’s How the US, Israel, al-Qaeda and ISIS Work Together in Syria

    UN Removes Charges Against Russia and Syria Regarding Air Strike On Humanitarian Convoy in Syria

    Video Footage of Syria Aid Convoy Released: Who Was Behind the Attack? Convoy Accompanied by Al Nusra Terrorists’ Off-Road Vehicle

    Voices from Syria: Contradictory Reports Regarding Attack on Aid Convoy

    Syria: Attack on Aid Convoy Kills Twenty, Destroys Aid, And Obliterates US War Crimes in Support of ISIS-Daesh Terror Group?

    Collapse of Syrian Truce: US Air Strikes in Support of the Islamic State (ISIS-ISIL-Daesh) Terror Group

    War Propaganda and the ‘Aleppo Media Centre’, Funded By French Foreign Office, EU and US

    Voices from Syria: “This Country is being Violated by Terrorists who Destroy History, and People”

    Video: Contradictory Reports regarding “Humanitarian Convoy” Destroyed on Road near Aleppo

    Russia Condemns Obama’s Decision to Conduct Illegal Air Strikes against Syrian Forces, Washington’s Objective was to Protect ISIS Terrorists

    http://www.globalresearch.ca

  7. John
    September 22, 2016 at 10:04

    Remember Wesley Clark’s 7 countries in 5 years. The great neocon machine of which Deihl is a spokesperson . Ever wonder why the “terrorist” never do anything to help the Palestinians or plot attacks on the Zionist….The primary goal is an unstable middle east where Zionist Israel rises to the top…..Unfortunately this will not end well for the innocent Jews in Israel. The only thing that will save the lives of the innocent in Israel is a colour revolution….Civil unrest until justice is discovered……We need to find ways to support the innocent in Israel who are against the Jewish Zionist neocons in the USA and Israel…..Mr. Parry, I challenge you to start that fire !

  8. David Smith
    September 22, 2016 at 09:01

    Neither Deihl, nor Pillar, mention that Russia has been invited by the Sovereign Government of Syria to assist in its self-defence. Neither Deihl, nor Pillar, mention that United States military action in Syria is an Act of War against a sovereign nation. With that extreme level of self- inflicted blindness it is obviously to much to ask that Deihl, or Pillar, will acknowledge that the jihadi invaders of Syria are created, funded, and controlled by The United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, et all, that glorious “Coalition”. Serial liars tend to become brainwashed by their own lies, actually believing them, becoming oblivious to the fact that to everyone listening, the liar is obviously lying.

  9. John
    September 22, 2016 at 02:25

    I would have thought the fundamental problem with military intervention comparable with Russia’s was that the Russians were invited in support of an ally whereas the Yank’s, er, Coalition operations in the sovereign nation are illegal under international law.

  10. Evangelista
    September 21, 2016 at 20:49

    “Mr. Obama can be faulted for ever subscribing to the “Assad must go” slogan. He should not be faulted for not trying to imitate Putin in Syria.”

    I would say that Obama should be faulted for not imitating Putin in Syria: The first thing Putid did in Syria was offer aid to an existing government, request permission of the sovereign state of Syria to enter into the conflict, and engage to aid the nation to recover equilibrium in the wake of foreign invasion (whether the invaders instigated the war in the nation, or ‘took advantage’ of a ‘naturally occurring civil uprising), in keeping with United Nations protocols and International Law.

    Not having imitated Putin, the United States has been, since its initial engagement in Syria, and is today, engaging in illegal aggressive war against an established government in a sovereign nation. Doing this, the United States is engaging in exactly the behavior the Third Reich engaged in when it interfered in one nation after another in Europe, and what its leaders were charged for under the then new International Law in the Nuremberg proceedings.

    I think it would be a very nice change to have the United States become an honest, decent, non-aggressive and law-abiding nation, like Russia is today under Vladimir Putin.

    Obviously there is no chance of this coming to pass on the watch of Obama, whose record is a gangsters, he having sent drone “torpedoes” to murder persons he and his ‘lieutenants’ perceived to be ‘rivals’, or “t’reats to dey’s toifs”. And Hillary has been one of the “lieutenants”, so she would not…

    Perhaps Mr. Trump, if elected, may rise to join Mr. Putin on the right side of the law…

    • Bart Gruzalski
      September 23, 2016 at 16:22

      Evangelista,

      I agree with most of your comment and so will simply quote much of it:

      “I would say that Obama should be faulted for not imitating Putin in Syria: The first thing Putin did in Syria was offer aid to an existing government, request permission of the sovereign state of Syria to enter into the conflict, and engage to aid the nation to recover equilibrium in the wake of foreign invasion (whether the invaders instigated the war in the nation, or ‘took advantage’ of a ‘naturally occurring civil uprising), in keeping with United Nations protocols and International Law.

      Not having imitated Putin, the United States has been… and is today, engaging in illegal aggressive war against an established government in a sovereign nation. Doing this, the United States is engaging in exactly the behavior the Third Reich engaged in when it interfered in one nation after another in Europe, and what its leaders were charged for under the then new International Law in the Nuremberg proceedings.

      I think it would be a very nice change to have the United States become an honest, decent, non-aggressive and law-abiding nation [that’s asking for the moon, but I think that’s what Trump is promising], like Russia is today under Vladimir Putin.

      Obviously there is no chance of this coming to pass on the watch of Obama, whose record is a gangster’s, he having sent drone “torpedoes” to murder persons he and his ‘lieutenants’ perceived to be ‘rivals’, or “t’reats to dey’s toifs”. And Hillary has been one of the “lieutenants”, so she would not….”

      Mr. Trump, if he follows the logic of “America First,” will rise to join Mr. Putin on the right side of the law.

      P.S. You seem to have become a substitute for my Consortium friend, Joe Tedesky (maybe spelt wrong). I will continue to pay special attention to your comments, Evangelista.

  11. Cal
    September 21, 2016 at 17:19

    Jackson Diehl is a “spokesman” for Netanyahu and his column is simply Israeli government propaganda.
    The WP has more than a few of the Fifth Column.

    • Bill Bodden
      September 22, 2016 at 14:29

      Agreed

  12. Zachary Smith
    September 21, 2016 at 16:39

    Jackson Diehl has carved out a profitable and secure niche as a shill for the neocons. That’s why the Jeff Bezos Post keeps him in his job. Diehl was a big booster of the Iraq War. Promoting endless Wars For Israel is a good living, and the man is going to milk this gig for all it’s worth.

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