New ‘Group Think’ for War with Syria/Russia

Exclusive: Official Washington has a new “group think” that is even more dangerous than the one that led to the Iraq War. This one calls for U.S. escalation of conflicts against Syria and nuclear-armed Russia, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Not since the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq has Official Washington’s political/punditry class clamored more single-mindedly – and openly – for the U.S. government to commit a gross violation of international law, now urging a major military assault on the government of Syria while also escalating tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.

And, like the frenzied war fever of 2002-2003, today’s lawless consensus is operating on a mix of selective, dubious and false information – while excluding from the public debate voices that might dare challenge the prevailing “group think.” It’s as if nothing was learned from the previous disaster in Iraq.

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Most notably, there are two key facts about Syria that Americans are not being told: one, U.S. regional “allies” have been funding and arming radical jihadist groups, including Al Qaeda terrorists, there almost since the conflict began in 2011 and, two, the claim about “moderate” Syrian rebels is a fraud; the “moderates” have served essentially as a P.R. cut-out for the U.S. and its “allies” to supply Al Qaeda and its allies with sophisticated weapons while pretending not to.

For Americans who may find those two points hard to believe, they should remember that the United States and Saudi Arabia went in 50/50 with billions of dollars to finance the jihadist mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 1980s, viewing these religious fanatics as a useful “tip of the spear” to kill Soviet troops who were defending the leftist secular regime then governing in Kabul.

That exercise in U.S.-Saudi realpolitik gave birth to the modern jihadist movement, bringing together a network of foreign jihadists, led by Saudi Arabia’s Osama bin Laden (which morphed into Al Qaeda), with Afghan/Pakistani extremists who evolved into the Taliban.

Though U.S. officials eventually came to fear this Frankenstein monster that they had helped create, Saudi intelligence continued to work with Al Qaeda and its affiliates, using them as a kind of international paramilitary force to punish Saudi enemies, particularly Shiite-dominated governments, from Iran to Syria to now Iraq.

The Saudis also began collaborating with Israel, which shared Riyadh’s view that Iran and the “Shiite crescent” represented a strategic threat. Between Saudi money and Israeli political clout, the two countries could fend off occasional fits of U.S. anger, even to the point of getting the U.S. government to hide a 29-page chapter about Saudi financing for the 9/11 hijackers from the congressional 9/11 report for a dozen years.

For the past five years, the principal target of this powerful coalition has been Syria, with President Obama occasionally joining in – as he did in authorizing “covert” CIA and Pentagon programs to arm “moderate” rebels – and occasionally bowing out – as he did in resisting pressure to bomb the Syrian military after a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.

In summer 2014, when Al Qaeda’s spin-off, the Islamic State, began beheading Western hostages, Obama authorized bombing inside Syria but only against the Islamic State, which also had overrun large sections of Iraq and threatened the Shiite-dominated regime in Baghdad. (Obama’s bombing inside Syria was not authorized by the Syrian government so it was illegal under international law but Syria didn’t press the point as long as the U.S. coalition was attacking forces regarded as terrorists.)

New U.S. Hysteria

This more complex reality is completely missing in the new round of political/press hysteria in the United States. The neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks only talk about stopping the “barbarism” of the Syrian government and its Russian allies as they try to finally wipe out Al Qaeda’s jihadists and their “moderate” allies holed up in eastern Aleppo.

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

Many of these calls for a U.S. military intervention against the Syrian government (and the Russians) are coming from the same advocates for war who created the misguided consensus for invading Iraq in 2002-2003, voices such as Sen. John McCain, Washington Post editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt, and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. And, much like the Iraq example, these esteemed opinion-leaders pile up their propaganda arguments in a one-sided fashion designed to silence the few voices that dare raise doubts.

This new “group think” has prevented Americans from looking at the Syrian situation with more nuance and objectivity. Indeed, if you mix in some of the other facts, the on-the-ground reality could be seen as the U.S. and its “allies” stoking the fire in Syria for five years and, now, as the Syrian military and Russian air power take drastic measures to finally get the blaze under some control, the U.S. government may bomb the firefighters and destroy their equipment.

Beyond the illegality of that action, how the U.S. military intervention is supposed to fix things in Syria is never discussed. By strengthening Al Qaeda and its “moderate” front men, the prospects for a longer and bloodier conflict are increased, not decreased.

The long-held neocon dream of a Syrian “regime change” – even if it could be accomplished – would only open the gates of Damascus to a victory by Al Qaeda and/or its spinoff, the Islamic State. How that would make life better for the Syrian people is another never addressed question. There is simply the pretense that somehow, magically, the “moderate” rebels would prevail, though they are only an auxiliary to Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise.

The “group think” also doesn’t permit in the inconvenient truth that the recent collapse of the U.S.-Russia limited cease-fire was driven by the fact that the “moderate” rebels are so intertwined with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front – which recently underwent a cosmetic name change to the Levant (or Syria) Conquest Front – that the rebels can’t or won’t separate themselves.

The New York Times, The Washington Post and other mainstream news outlets have sought to bury this reality because it doesn’t fit the preferred narrative of the U.S. fulfilling its commitments under the partial cease-fire agreement and blaming its collapse entirely on the Russians and their dastardly behavior.

One outlier in this propaganda barrage, ironically, has been Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, which published a serious article on this key topic on Sept. 29. It said, “Some of Syria’s largest rebel factions are doubling down on their alliance with an al Qaeda-linked group, despite a U.S. warning to split from the extremists or risk being targeted in airstrikes.

“The rebel gambit is complicating American counterterrorism efforts in the country at a time the U.S. is contemplating cooperation with Russia to fight extremist groups. It comes after a U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire collapsed last week and the Syrian regime and its Russian allies immediately unleashed a devastating offensive against rebel-held parts of Aleppo city that brought harsh international condemnation. …

“The two powers have been considering jointly targeting Islamic State and the Syria Conquest Front — formerly known as the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front — a group that is deeply intermingled with armed opposition groups of all stripes across Syria’s battlefields. The U.S. has also threatened to attack any rebels providing front-line support to the group. …

“Some rebel groups already aligned with Syria Conquest Front responded by renewing their alliance. But others, such as Nour al-Din al-Zinki, a former Central Intelligence Agency-backed group and one of the largest factions in Aleppo, said in recent days that they were joining a broader alliance that is dominated by the Front. A second, smaller rebel group also joined that alliance, which is known as Jaish al-Fateh and includes another major Islamist rebel force, Ahrar al-Sham. …

“In a call with Mr. Kerry on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Syrian rebels ‘refused to follow the U.S.-Russian agreement…but instead merged with [Nusra Front].’”

Misleading the American People

So, isn’t that point relevant to understanding what is occurring in eastern Aleppo, an area essentially under the control of Al Qaeda terrorists? As horrible as war is, there is more than a whiff of hypocrisy when politicians and pundits, who cheered the U.S. Marines’ destruction of Fallujah during the Iraq occupation and who support driving the Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Mosul, wax indignantly in outrage when the Syrian military seeks to remove Al Qaeda terrorists from one of its own cities.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as "shock and awe."

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

There is also the issue of why writers who helped mislead the American people and the world into the catastrophe of the Iraq War were never held accountable and are now in position to whip up more war fever over Syria, Ukraine and Russia. Far from being held accountable, the propagandists who justified the criminal invasion of Iraq have been rewarded with plum assignments and golden careers.

For instance, Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, who repeatedly wrote as flat fact that Iraq was hiding WMDs, is still today the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, urging a new U.S. war on Syria. The Times’ Friedman, who was infamously wrong about the Iraq War and pretty much everything else, is still considered a premier American columnist who is courted to make high-profile public appearances.

Now, Friedman wants to escalate tensions with nuclear-armed Russia, apparently with the sloppily thought-through mission of imposing another “regime change,” this time in Moscow. As unnerving as a nuclear showdown with Russia should be, Friedman starts his Wednesday column by fabricating a news item about a leak that supposedly revealed that Putin “owns $30 billion in property, hotels and factories across Russia and Europe, all disguised by front organizations and accounting charades.”

After going on for several paragraphs with his fake “news,” Friedman admits that “I made it up.” Ha-ha, so clever! Then, however, he cites what he claims is real news about Russia, including the dubious prosecutorial “report” blaming the Russians for the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down on July 17, 2014. That “report” – actually a series of videos – had serious evidentiary gaps, logical problems and obvious bias, since it was driven largely by Ukraine’s notorious SBU intelligence service which the United Nations has accused of covering up torture.

But to Friedman, the allegations blaming Russia for the shoot-down were unassailable. He writes, “a Dutch-led investigation adduced irrefutable video evidence that Putin’s government not only trucked in the missile system used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane flying over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 civilians onboard, but also returned it to Russia the same night and then engaged in an elaborate cover-up.”

It might be noted that some of that “irrefutable video evidence” came in the form of computer-generated images of an alleged Russian Buk missile battery traveling down darkened Ukrainian roads, very persuasive scenes, much like Secretary of State Colin Powell showing computer-generated images of Iraq’s “mobile chemical weapons labs” in 2003, labs that didn’t exist.

It also might be remembered that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was also accused of mounting “an elaborate cover-up” of his WMD stockpiles, that also didn’t exist. The point being that slick presentations, which rely mostly on assertions and allude to untested evidence, aren’t always accurate. Skepticism is not only a sign of journalistic professionalism but is necessary to avoid horrible misjudgments, especially on questions of war and peace.

Blaming Russia for Everything

But Friedman just plunges ahead, also asserting that on Sept. 19, Russia bombed a U.N. relief convoy heading for Aleppo. In this case, Friedman cites U.S. intelligence officials who say that “almost certainly” Russia did it, although I had been told that some CIA analysts feared the attack was launched by Al Qaeda’s chief Syrian ally, Ahrar al-Sham, using a U.S.-made TOW missile. The United Nations also withdrew its initial assertion that the attack was an airstrike (although Friedman leaves that fact out, too).

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

This is not to say that the Russians are innocent in these terrible incidents. Further evidence might convincingly prove that they are guilty – and, if they are, accountability should be assessed as appropriate. Horrible errors happen in war, such as the U.S. airstrike that killed some 62 Syrian soldiers in eastern Syria on Sept. 17 as they were fighting off an attack by Islamic State militants.

The problem with propagandists like Friedman is that they ignore the illegal actions of the United States, including mounting military attacks on countries without United Nations’ authority or without the justification of self-defense, in other words, outside the realm of international law. It’s also illegal to supply weapons to terrorists, as has been occurring in Syria both directly by Saudi Arabia and other U.S. “allies” and indirectly by U.S. covert operations giving arms to “moderates” who then turn them over to Al Qaeda.

While putting on blinders regarding U.S. violations of international law and their human consequences, such as the Syrian refugee flow, the sanctimonious Friedman bizarrely blames Putin for this human suffering, too.

Friedman cites a scholar named Robert Litwak in claiming that “Putin’s departure from standard great-power competition — encouraging a flood of refugees and attacking the legitimacy of our political system — ‘is leading to shifts in global politics that could have revolutionary consequences, even if Putin is not motivated by revolutionary ideology.’”

Friedman’s solution to this highly questionable if not imaginary problem is to increase the pain on Putin and Russia, saying “it’s now clear that we have underestimated the pressure needed to produce effective engagement, and we’re going to have to step it up. This is not just about the politics of Syria and Ukraine anymore. It’s now also about America, Europe, basic civilized norms and the integrity of our democratic institutions.”

While it’s always tempting to dismiss Friedman as a nitwit, the sad reality is that he is an influential nitwit who helps shape “elite” American public opinion. He is now contributing to a new “group think” that is even more dangerous than the one he helped construct in 2002-2003 regarding the Iraq War.

Today, this new “group think,” which — like the Iraq one — is based on a false or selective reading of the facts, could lead to a nuclear war that could end life on the planet.

[For more on this topic, see’s “Do We Really Want Nuclear War with Russia?” and “Obama Warned to Defuse Tensions with Russia.”]

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

82 comments for “New ‘Group Think’ for War with Syria/Russia

  1. Bill Rood
    October 11, 2016 at 16:09

    One of the most dangerous aspects of the current situation is that the US Empire has now entered a period of rapid decline brought on by hubris and corruption in the military procurement system. It is in retreat all over the world, from the Philippines through the Middle East and even into Europe, where many people are talking about getting out of NATO. The Empire has been wounded and embarrassed, while the Washington regime is largely in denial. Wounded animals can be far more dangerous than healthy ones. We nee cautious, prudent and level-headed leaders in all the major powers. Unfortunately, neither Republicans nor Democrats have nominated such a leader. It’s absolutely imperative that voters respond by voting for a 3rd party candidate, as both Jill Stein and Gary Johnson display far more of these traits than the Republocrat candidates. This really should be a two-way election between Libertarians and Greens.

    Please read up on the only two candidates likely to avoid catastrophe: or I’m confident you will choose wisely, and that whichever candidate wins, we will not be at war with Russia in 2017.

  2. posa
    October 11, 2016 at 13:10

    Big picture: Yes, the US and Russia are hurtling towards a massive confrontation, similar in some ways to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    However, Parry continually misses the larger strategic picture of US foreign policy (unrivaled Global Hegemony) … and instead dwells on propaganda and dissembling as if either is to be taken seriously

  3. Mikhailovich
    October 11, 2016 at 03:15

    Satan is the chief manager and “group thinking” is his team. Bloodthirsty maniacs are “freedom fighters”. Love and family values in their coordinates are equal to Sodom orgies.

  4. GermanFranconian
    October 8, 2016 at 04:57

    A “group thinking” of psychopaths and their vasalls and puppets. A unholy entity..
    Such a deception and manipulation of the world never was before. Disgusting!

  5. October 6, 2016 at 18:35

    There is no need to me to give a discussion-like comment. I even have nothing to discuss here becaus the article as well as other publications on Consortium News covering US/Russia issue are very informative, intelligent and accurate. I’m just an ordinary Russian guy who wanna say you my modest “thank you” for your honest and very professional work.

    • Alexandr
      October 7, 2016 at 05:30

      Two Russians have met on the US website, huh. ??????, ?????!

    • Alexandr
      October 7, 2016 at 05:33

      Two Russians have met on the US website, huh!

  6. Zachary Smith
    October 6, 2016 at 16:30

    The sites I read are piling on Thomas Friedman, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer neocon jackass.

    The article is supplemented by an opinion piece by Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, who writes in his signature bully boy style, “Isn’t it time we give Putin a dose of his own medicine?”

    While acknowledging that a military confrontation with Russia poses the direct threat of nuclear war, he declares, “But we also cannot just keep turning the other cheek” in regard to “Putin’s behavior in Syria and Ukraine.” He denounces Russia for “mercilessly bombing civilians in Aleppo” and twice charges Russian President Vladimir Putin with violating “basic civilized norms.”

    Even from a columnist who has established the gold standard for cynicism and deceit, Friedman’s invocation of “basic civilized norms” leaves one somewhat slack-jawed.

    There is not a single war of aggression launched by US imperialism for which he has failed to serve as a fanatical cheerleader. The same man who today laments the Russian bombing of east Aleppo in 1999 wrote in response to the US bombing of Serbia: “It should be lights out in Belgrade: every power grid, water pipe, bridge, road and war-related factory has to be targeted… [W]e will set your country back by pulverizing you.”

    Less than four years later he played the same role in relation to Iraq, declaring before the 2003 invasion that he had no problem with “a war for oil,” and writing afterwards that the US had attacked Iraq “for one simple reason: because we could…”

    Such are the civilized norms observed by the man from the Times .

    One highly partisan Syrian site reports there are at least 12 US servicemen embedded with the Good Terrorists in Aleppo.

    Their being taken captive would be a massive humiliation for a president whose own legacy is now assuredly one of failure and deep degradation. The Syrian Army –MI are monitoring the communications between the American rodents and their commanders in Turkey. Their situation is untenable. The Americans are slowly starving and are giving hints they might have to surrender to the SAA.

    Interesting claim.

  7. AWONC
    October 6, 2016 at 14:53

    “Horrible errors happen in war, such as the U.S. airstrike that killed some 62 Syrian soldiers in eastern Syria on Sept. 17 as they were fighting off an attack by Islamic State militants.”

    You’re giving the U.S. govt. too much benefit of the doubt Mr. Parry: the airstrike was intentional and coordinated with ISIS in order to torpedo the ceasefire.

  8. Coleen Rowley
    October 6, 2016 at 14:24

    Good sociologist explanation:–Ca8R1keU.facebook But it leaves out that the Military Industrial Complex simply and explicitly set about to conquer the post “Vietnam Syndrome” and to make the costs of war invisible to Americans. By ending the Draft, creating the ever-expanding national debt card–nearing $20 million but out of sight and out of mind (meanwhile each US family would otherwise owe almost $100,000 if the wars had to be paid for and certainly would balk at paying even 1/100th of that amount and finally almost no American casualties (except for suicides) gained via reliance on drone and aerial bombing. Along with non-stop, clever war propaganda that appeals to liberal pride as so well described by Parry.

    • Coleen Rowley
      October 6, 2016 at 15:16

      Oops! I meant US national debt nearing $20 TRILLION (not million).

  9. Zachary Smith
    October 6, 2016 at 14:07

    “Therefore, any missile or air strikes on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat to Russian servicemen.”

    “Russian air defense system crews are unlikely to have time to determine in a ‘straight line’ the exact flight paths of missiles and then who the warheads belong to. And all the illusions of amateurs about the existence of ‘invisible’ jets will face a disappointing reality”

    That’s a statement by Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson General Igor Konashenkov.

    Notice the reference to “invisible” airplanes. I’d imagine it wold be an extraordinary shock to the US if an F-22 attack aircraft got shot down. The official story is that these things are invincible.

    The link is to a site I don’t consider to be always reliable, but still….

    • Alexandr
      October 7, 2016 at 05:24

      Zachary, that is absolutely correct translation of what Konashenkov said. I am not sure whether that briefing available on RT in English, however I could try to translate it for You, guys. In any case, you have provided the most interesting and important part. That is the video in Russian hXXps:// He, Konashenkov, also said (sorry for my English): In addition, I remind to American strategists that coverage of Russian military base in Syria, in Tartus and Khmeimim, is secured by anti-aircraft systems S-400 and S-300, the operational range of which might become a surprise for any unidentified flying objects.”

      Damn, cannot figure out how to make text bold.

      Upd. Oh, sorry, that link you provided already with subs. Anyway, I can confirm it authenticity, as Russian.

  10. RLW
    October 6, 2016 at 08:11

    No mention of dueling pipeline plans for supply of natural gas to Europe as the reason why the U.S. wants to overthrow Syria now. It is U.S.-Saudi Arabia-Qatar vs. Russia-Iran-Syria. Both pipeline plans go through Syria. If the U.S. “wins” and overthrows Syria, then Saudi Arabia and Qatar can build their pipeline.

    “However, there is another angle to the conflict in Syria — A disagreement over routing of natural gas pipelines from a huge natural gas reservoir in the Persian Gulf. The South Pars / North Dome Field is situated between Qatar and Iran, is split between the two countries, and is thought to be the world’s biggest conventional hydrocarbon accumulation. Because the field is split between two diametrically opposed factions in the Middle East (Shia in Iran, Sunni in Qatar), there are two diametrically opposed routes for bringing that natural gas to market in Europe.
    Both those routes go through Syria, and therefore the battle is over which faction is to be in control of supplying the largest single concentration of natural gas in the world to Europe.”

    “Qatar, today the world’s largest exporter of LNG, largely to Asia, wants the same EU market that Iran and Syria eye. For that, they would build pipelines to the Mediterranean. Here is where getting rid of the pro-Iran Assad is essential. In 2009 Qatar approached Bashar al-Assad to propose construction of a gas pipeline from Qatar’s north Field through Syria on to Turkey and to the EU. Assad refused, citing Syria’s long friendly relations with Russia and Gazprom. That refusal combined with the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline agreement in 2011 ignited the full-scale Saudi and Qatari assault on Assad’s power, financing al Qaeda terrorists, recruits of Jihadist fanatics…”

    • bobzz
      October 6, 2016 at 15:37

      Yes, what I want to know is why we are so desperate to establish this pipeline through Syria to please the Gulf States or to eliminate Assad to please Israel? Do our intrepid leaders (using the blood of our young innocents who have no idea they are fighting for the elites) acknowledge we so close to collapse that once again it will take war to bail us out (which is to put us further in the hole even if survived)? Or a war which may indeed be the war to end all others.

      And “war is coming”, thanks for the link to the Cohen interview.

  11. Mahatma
    October 6, 2016 at 07:44

    It also should be noted that the US has encircled China with 60% of its total naval power and hundreds of nuclear weapons and is installing THAAD missals in South Korea (to counter North Korea – yah, right). Out of pure self preservation China and Russia are working closely on security. To me, the US considers China/Russia to be operating as a base pair and must be confronted together.

  12. Geoffrey de Galles
    October 6, 2016 at 06:55

    On yesterday/today’s thrice-weekly foreign affairs discussion program, Peter Lavelle’s “CrossTalk”, @, Ray McGovern espouses the viewpoint that the US’s fundamental agenda in the Syria conflict is — and has long been — subservient to Israel’s primary interest: viz., to instigate and perpetuate chaos among its Arab neighbors in the Middle East. Well said, but there exists yet another aspect to the US’s strategy: viz., to sabotage Russia’s and Iran’s respective economic interests. Were Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait enabled to export oil & gas to Europe and North America through pipelines from the Gulf direct to the Eastern Mediterranean traversing Iraq and Syria, then Russia and, prospectively, its near-neighbor and ally Iran would suffer a serious setback in the marketability to the west of their own oil & gas reserves. And to be factored into this is the US’s — and, by extension, the EU’s — huge reluctance a couple of years back to approve a Black Sea pipeline from Russia to enter Europe in Bulgaria (an EU member-state). Now, very recently, that Russian pipeline project has been revived and diverted to Turkey; and, therefrom, it is planned to enter Greece and the rest of Europe via Thrace. So, according to the US + EU mind-set, it is vital to their common interests to see Assad toppled; to thereby subvert Syria’s sovereignty; to eject Russia from its [only] naval base in Syria in the process; and to get that Gulf > Mediterranean pipeline constructed — this regardless of the likelihood that for generations to come it would likely be seriously vulnerable to sabotage by dissatisfied factions in Syria. Nota bene, Israel located immediately to the south of Syria, would no doubt also be a huge beneficiary in terms of abundant Gulf oil and gas were the US able to remove Assad and establish some kind of hegemony over Syria..

  13. October 6, 2016 at 04:06

    I was born in Russia, adopted and raised in the US, and it sickens me to think of my motherland and my adopted fatherland nuking each other over lies lies and more dirty lies! And greed. Greed, for the love of money is indeed the root of all evil. And provoking an EMP attack that would send the US back to the dark ages, or worse attacks that would lead to a nuclear holocaust is just pure evil on the parts of those influencing and executing these outrageous policies. Not to mention the hell we’ve already put people in the middle east through already, are now, and are ramping up to unleash even more! It’s no wonder they risk their lives to travel in a dingy to Europe. You would too if over the course of a decade you saw your neighborhood, your city, your country ripped apart by a war you never asked for. To have your opportunities dry up along with any sense of normalcy. Imagine if that happened here, in America. Your home was utterly destroyed, along with thousands of your neighbors. No infrastructure left, food scarce, jobs almost nonexistent. No future. And for what? Lies and greed for power and money and resources you never were going to see anyway. Think about that, America. If our leaders ruthlessly provoke a nuclear confrontation that hits the fan, you all are going to wish you could get on a boat to anywhere real quick! You think Iraq or Syria looks bad? It’s going to look like paradise after this place recedes into a nuclear ice age. God help us all.

  14. October 5, 2016 at 23:45

    Unfortunately the Deep State and its MSM mouthpieces are exactly as Mr. Parry describes. He is cited in my recent study “How American Media Serves as a Transmission Belt for Wars of Choice”

    In terms of the ominous ending, I didn’t think we’d get here quite so soon, with the orgy of artrocity porn over Aleppo an ill omen:

    << . . . as is often the case when an entrenched oligarchy is facing a loss of power and privilege, it doesn’t give up without a fight. At any time, with little notice, the duopoly could resort to adventurism, a roll of the dice to preserve the existing order. The notion that some U.S. policymakers might decide upon, or at least risk, a major conflict in order to prevent the emergence of new arrangements has been suggested by alternative writers, such as Paul Craig Roberts, Philip Giraldi, Joe Lauria and Robert Parry of, Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute, Gilbert Doctorow, Alex Jones’s, Justin Raimondo of, Patrick Martin and Timothy Gatto of Rob Kall’s, Joachim Hagopian, Michael Snyder, and others.

    << Most people may be inclined to dismiss the idea of “kickstarting World War III” as alarmism, if not conspiracy-mongering. Maybe that is the case. On the other hand, such speculation isn’t entirely baseless in light of the willingness of some American politicians, including some who aspire to the Oval Office (and one who might actually get there) to impose a no-fly zone or “safe area” in Syria, and threaten to shoot down Russian aircraft to do it; give lethal aid to Ukrainian forces, along with putting American and other NATO advisers’ and trainers’ “boots on the ground”; or directly challenge Beijing’s claim of sovereignty over rocks in the South China Sea through U.S. and allied air and naval transit despite Chinese warnings of a military response. If such a confrontation were to get out of control, either by design or accident, the resulting conflict could assume unexpectedly catastrophic proportions. Instead of saving the Deep State, a world war (one that is presumed to go nuclear) could hasten its extinction, along with that of much else besides.

    <<But if the worst were to occur in the near future, there’s one thing we could be sure of, however briefly: the official U.S. and western media would tell Americans that is wasn’t “our” fault, it was “theirs.” And most people would believe them, even if they have only the vaguest idea who “they” are. '

  15. akech
    October 5, 2016 at 22:07

    The “Masters of the Universe” are focused, like laser beams, on dismantling Syria and they will not let go until their objectives are met.
    After toppling Saddam Hussein using the Iraqi Shiites, there was a power shift favoring the Iraqi Shiite majority. It looks like the US deliberately created ISIS in order to overthrow Assad and hand over Syria to Sunni Muslims according to this conversation on PBS. Listen carefully on what Joshua Landis is saying here:

  16. Zachary Smith
    October 5, 2016 at 19:51

    First a word about my link author.

    “The Saker” is a pseudonym for a top level American military analyst who lives in Florida, the author of the leading blog covering the Ukraine crisis, The Vineyard of the Saker, which gets an astounding 50,000 page views per day.

    Now to some scary parts of his essay.

    “The tensions between Russia and the USA have reached an unprecedented level. I fully agree with the participants of this CrossTalk show – the situation is even worse and more dangerous than during the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

    “The only remaining logical steps left for the USA in Syria is to accept Russia’s terms or leave. The problem is that I am not at all convinced that the Neocons, who run the White House, Congress and the US corporate media, are “rational” at all. This is why the Russians employed so many delaying tactics and why they have acted with such utmost caution: they are dealing with professional incompetent ideologues who simply do not play by the unwritten but clear rules of civilized international relations. This is what makes the current crisis so much worse than even the Cuban Missile Crisis: one superpower has clearly gone insane.”

    I really do hope this fellow is wrong.

    • lizzie
      October 6, 2016 at 19:02

      I can assure that The Saker hopes he is wrong, as well. But one cannot deny that the symptoms are definitely there, from the administrative branch (which includes all “intelligence” and military and diplomatic agencies). When they invent outright lies, pure fiction, and then directly and publicly threaten the lives of others (murder) based on those lies, what other conclusion are we to draw?

      BTW, Mr. Parry, there is really no doubt that the U.S.A.F. knew exactly who they were attacking when they attacked and killed between 60 and 80 Syrian Arab Army troops, wounding an additional 100 or so. It has been said that at least 7 Russians also died in that attack, and if that is so we are still waiting for a response from VVP. Never consider him “weak” because his responses are not reactionary. He has a Kung Fu Brain. And he is most definitely not crazy, which is probably the reason that we are not all crispened already.

  17. war is coming
    October 5, 2016 at 18:55

    Very good interview(40 minutes)with S Cohen yesterday.

    Tales of the New Cold War: Options on the Syria Table. Stephen F. Cohen, NYU, Princeton University,

    • backwardsevolution
      October 6, 2016 at 03:26

      war is coming – That was such a good interview. Thanks for posting it.

  18. elmerfudzie
    October 5, 2016 at 18:53

    Looks as tho, the ENTIRE Russian capitol, Moscow, is in the throws of a evacuation drill (forty million people going into bunkers?) See the exercise particulars at Ugh? why?

  19. Jim Hannan
    October 5, 2016 at 18:16

    It sounded to me that Mike Pence was calling for war on Syria last night at the debate.

  20. Abe
    October 5, 2016 at 17:18

    The use of propaganda launderers allows government factions to pursue their own foreign policy agendas independently of the rest of the government.

    It is apparent that fake “citizen investigators” like Bellingcat are employed as deception conduits by the more aggressive factions in Western governments, which seek to sabotage peace efforts in Ukraine, Syria and other parts of the world.

    NGOs: Grassroots Empowerment or Tool of Information Warfare?

    • backwardsevolution
      October 6, 2016 at 01:53

      Abe – good video on NGO’s. Thanks.

  21. jaycee
    October 5, 2016 at 16:35

    UN Security Council Resolution 2249, from last November, specifically endorses military action against designated terrorist groups and directs that their “safe havens” in Syria be “eradicated”. This is exactly what the Syrian army and its international partners are doing in east Aleppo. For their efforts, the US, its allies, the mainstream media, and humanitarian organizations have engaged in a freak out, threatened war crime prosecution, threatened war, and have claimed the UN has lost its relevancy. What a world.

  22. F. G. Sanford
    October 5, 2016 at 16:29

    It’s that pesky timeline that has me scratching my head. We were supporting the Mujahedeen, which then morphed into al Qaida jihadis, then there was this…hiatus…then it turns out that we’re supporting those same jihadis through “cutout” rebels of the moderate kind. So…during that hiatus, were we still supporting them? I mean, if you stop and think about it, there are implications.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 6, 2016 at 00:16

      Let’s hypothesis that you and I want to grab a lot of power the old way, which means we just crab it. Oh, before I forget to tell you I’m entrusted with the custody of my crazy batshit cousin for a while, and we can use him when we feel we need him. My insane cousin is…well a terrorist. You and I pretty much sit back and enjoy our financial gains from what my terrorist cousin instigates abroad, until we need to go chase after my nut so violent cousin to show to the world what exceptional heroes we really are. Try not to dream of the major amount of money that we will make from all the weapons industry sales due to my terrorist cousins violence, and focus on our conquering the world through the use of my pain in the ass terrorist cousins aggressions. The plan is always the same. My cousin goes after our enemies, oh and sometimes us, remember appearances do matter. So now are you starting to see how it works with my lovable little killer cousin? There’s no end to my cousin’s flexibility. He’s everybody’s enemy, and you and I own him. Lastly dear cohort in seeking worldly power, rest your concerns about the length of our time we will require my terrorist cousins skills, because once we control all the world’s assets we will kill my terrorist cousins…we’re cool, right?

      Dulles would be so jealous of his followers for coming up with such a patsy oriented devilish strategy, that the jelly would be dripping from his whole being, but I’m sure he would be jamming to do one better. I’ll bet he would stay up at night scheming to author his own plan to one up on these small time immature mouthy minions, like the threatening little Mike Morell, that Dulles would probably put an end to the world to do it. I’m sure Allen would be proud to offer to buy Zbigniew’s drink and congratulate him for his marvelous forward thinking…anything for a job well done.

      F.G. You brought up Operation Canned Goods the other day, but yet that type of war crime describes a Allen Dulles convert tryst to a tee. Dulles to me, was good at doing one thing while at the same time doing a whole other thing, and convince you to what you thought you saw. Deception is wrapped up in the carefully crafted propaganda narrative, and the public follows this false story line believing their patriotism will win the day.

      It would be safe to assume by now, that the terrorist do work for us. Either directly or indirectly they work for us.

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 6, 2016 at 01:04

        Just wanted to share this with all of you. It’s a quote from the Saker…

        Saker also pointed out;

        “For centuries Russian soldiers have knelt and asked for God’s blessing, before going into battle and this is, I believe, what Shoigu did today. He knows that 2015 will be the year of the big war between Russia and the Empire (even if, due to the presence of nuclear weapons on both sides, this war will remain 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% military)”

        Just think we here on this comment board are in that 80% group. Thanks Robert Parry for what you and your writers do, and a special thanks for this commend board.

  23. Michael Beer
    October 5, 2016 at 16:16

    I am all for criticizing US war mongering yet Perry’s story shows a shocking “selective reading of the facts” to omit the current reality that Russia and Assad are repeatedly dropping barrel bombs, incendiary munitions, thermobaric bombs, cluster bombs and bunker busters on hospitals, bakeries and civilians. A selectivity that only focuses on the US as the bad actor, may well lead to escalating deaths, conflict and nuclear Armageddon. I am reminded of the German siege on Leningrad, Russia razing of Chechnya, and the US on Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. These bombings in Alleppo are war crimes.

    • Gregory Kruse
      October 5, 2016 at 16:45

      The only thing you mentioned that the US and SA are not dropping on civilians is barrel bombs, and by mentioning them you reveal that you take the propaganda as truth.

    • Abe
      October 5, 2016 at 17:11

      Your recitation of alleged war crimes omits the current reality that they are allegations by US-backed forces (Al-Qaeda and ISIS), predictably “confirmed” by pro-NATO war propagandists Eliot Higgins and the fake “citizen investigative journalists” at Bellingcat.

      Higgins’ “confirmation” of the 2013 Ghouta gas attack was debunked. In fact, the Ghouta attack was perpetrated by the same Al-Nusra forces the US currently is struggling to defend.

      Higgins and Bellingcat’s “confirmation” of other allegations against Syria and Russia have been debunked. But they were never meant to be proven. The propaganda was and is meant to be inserted into the “news cycle” for political leverage.

      Syria (since 2011), including Aleppo (since 2012) has been under siege by terrorist armies backed by multiple US allies, including Israel and NATO member state Turkey.

      US proxies are nearing defeat in Aleppo, forcing the US to risk direct armed conflict with Syria and Russia.

      That’s the current reality, Michael. And that’s why the propaganda, indeed a shockingly selective reading of the facts, has lurched into overdrive.

      Thought you’d appreciate the reminder.

    • Monte George
      October 5, 2016 at 17:55

      Sounds like you’ve overdosed on reports from Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the White Helmets. These sources routinely report, for example, the bombing of hospitals where no hospitals existed. Assad is bombing fighters (predominantly foreign mercenaries, funded and supplied by USA and it’s allies) who use civilians as human shields. These terrorists lock civilians in cages on the roofs of building to discourage attacks. When they enter a town, they expel the Christians, and execute Shia, Alawites, Yazidi, etc., and even kill Sunni who don’t pass the test of being true believers in the Wahhabi brand of Islam. Assad’s attacks do not target civilians, although collateral damage is inevitable, as in any combat (E.g., the US bombings in Idlib were massively indiscriminate, as are the ongoing actions in Iraq).

      Mr. Perry is not at all selective. Syrian forces are waging a just war to preserve the legitimate, secular, democratically elected government of a nation which protects the rights of all of the many different religions and sects in Syria, against a brutal, vicious proxy army of the USA and it’s allies – a proxy army which seeks to establish a brutal totalitarian regime of Sharia Law in the Levant and beyond. The world owes a big round of applause to Putin, Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran for their heroic efforts to defeat this creeping menace. Uncle Sam should go home and sit this one out.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 5, 2016 at 20:23

      Michael Beer you do such an excellent impersonation of John McCain, that you should take it on the road. If Assasd were to replace barrel bombs, and use TOW missiles like Israel uses on Gaza, would that make you like Assasd any more? Please take note that we not only support the head choppers in Syria, we now bomb Syrian sovereign troops for those ugly head choppers. Ask yourself what grace does America have to break international law? While you contemplate head choppers think of our Middle Eastern Brother in Arms Saudi Arabia, and then let’s talk about a government that abuses it people. Lastly, there could be war crimes happening here for sure, but ain’t Assasd committing them.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 6, 2016 at 00:08

      Michael Beer – you might want to listen to this excellent 24-minute video from a British journalist, Vanessa Beeley, who just returned from Aleppo (she has written extensively on the war in Syria). She paints a very different picture than you. She speaks about the White Helmets (an arm of Al Qaeda), who controls the hospitals in eastern Aleppo, and what’s really going on. This is from someone with boots on the ground and is looking for the truth.

      The interviewer incorrectly refers to John Kerry as John Kirby at the beginning, but just ignore this.

      • backwardsevolution
        October 6, 2016 at 02:09

        Sorry, I’m wrong. The interviewer was indeed talking about John Kirby at the beginning, the man credited with saying that Russians would be going home in body bags.

  24. Joe Tedesky
    October 5, 2016 at 16:07

    I hope Assasd doesn’t someday regret not forbidding the U.S. from bombing inside his sovereign nation of Syria. Wouldn’t it be so like the U.S. to have some John Yoo type lawyer argue a case that by Assasd allowing us to bomb inside Syria set some kind of precedent, or something. Also if I remember correctly, it isn’t as though Assasd granted his permission, as much as he didn’t stand in the way….am I right on this?

    What with all the propaganda that is being spun inside the U.S. the American people are being blinded the same way the Nazi era German folk were blinded by Hitler’s war criminals. Will Americans someday shed tears, as the German people did to learn what the real truth was? I meet people all the time who have no idea what is going on, and when I tell them I swear they don’t believe me. Who are you going to believe me, or Anderson Cooper?

    Russia should gather all of their allies together and demand that the U.S. leave Syria or else. I will say this much about Putin, that at least he tried. The only problem with this approach which Putin has attempted to use, is the U.S. takes his cooperative actions as a sign of weakness. This is the most regrettable road the U.S. can take, but it’s all for the love of Israel is what this whole Middle Eastern thing is all about. If we pull through this quagmire one day all in one piece, then the first thing we should do as Americans, is forbid our politicians from taking money from foreign sources. Americans will learn the hard way to pay better attention to what their government does.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 5, 2016 at 23:40

      Joe Tedesky – yes, forbid politicians from taking money from foreign sources AND domestic ones too. No money should be exchanged – at all!

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 6, 2016 at 01:18

        Yes I agree don’t send the money to the politicians send it to me instead.

  25. bill
    October 5, 2016 at 15:43

    Invaluable information here for those wanting to break out of the media bubble or who have begun at last to suspect its truthfulness…. Assad is merely defending his people shut up in E Aleppo by terrorists who have been armed via the US through a number of satellite states which have their own reasons for wanting to destroy Syria. Only Russia,Iran and probably ( if not now then soon China) operate in Syria under international law.Every other country is operating there illegally.and in breach of the UN Charter. It seems unlikely that a SAA garrison was struck by accident in Deir Essor in attacks made by 3 nations and which lasted 60 mins being constantly called off by the Russians. Both Deir Essor and Aleppo are key points on the massive Chinese Silk Road Project which now has a rail link as far as Tehran from where the NW axis heads owing to geography through these vital towns on through to Ankara and then via Ukraine to Moscow. China will deploy in Syria soon….

  26. October 5, 2016 at 15:30

    I believe this is going to end badly. (No pun intended). Total evil appears to have taken control, Are there any sane and moral voices left in positions of power? The evidence says NO. Therefore, once the nuclear missiles start flying it will be “Goodbye Earth.”

    Goodbye earth your time has come
    The final war has blotted out the sun
    Man made “weapons of mass destruction”
    Have brought about your extinction

    This beautiful earth garden that God created
    Has been violated and desecrated
    God’s word was ignored that, “Thou shall not kill”
    The time will come to face His will

    There is punishment for evil, that’s for sure
    The verdict is in and the earth will be no more
    So shed your tears for the human race
    That worshipped the uncaring, corrupt, marketplace

    Satanic “leaders” brought death and destruction
    And many of you obeyed their instructions
    You are the authors of your own demise
    It was your “leaders” that sent hellfire from the skies

    So weep and gnash your teeth in despair
    It was you that poisoned God’s clean air
    You slaughtered your young and called it “choice”
    You denied helpless innocents their God given voice

    You killed your elderly and called the crime “assisted death”
    Who will be next on the list that’s left?
    Evil has come under the banner of “brotherhood”
    “Woe to those who call evil good”

    Now you bemoan the world’s pollution
    It was you that brought the “final solution”
    Perhaps if you get on your knees and pray
    You might be able to ask God to delay

    Sneer and mock and laugh if you will
    The day will come to pay the bill
    And if you finally realize and are shocked
    Just remember these words, “God will not be mocked”

    His final judgement is coming one day soon
    He created the earth, the sun and the moon
    He was the creator of the earth’s beautiful birth
    And he will return to judge and say, “Goodbye Earth”

    Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

    • John Doe II
      October 5, 2016 at 16:34

      Romans 8:2 — Hebrews 11:1

      Lurking shadows amid whispers,
      Impressions, Suggestions
      Quiet Desires/Impulses,
      unrecognized Traits passed in Genes,
      those un-proposed scenes of Passion
      providing Birth to unknown entities —
      Gifts of Creation
      —– Imagination
      which choices Influence Direction
      towards Flesh or Spirit Being
      Light or Darkness in the World,
      and the Earth became Dark
      during the Passion of Christ
      WHO’S Death Is Life.

      • John Doe II
        October 6, 2016 at 16:50

        Romans 8:2 – Amplified Bible (AMP)

        2 For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death.


        1 Hebrews 11:1 – Amplified Bible (AMP)

        Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

  27. Andy Jones
    October 5, 2016 at 15:28

    Nuclear war will be less fun than they seem to think.

  28. Drew Hunkins
    October 5, 2016 at 15:07

    The group think is incredible. It has a grip on liberal peace loving types as well. These latter folks simply can’t think straight when the first syllable of Putin’s name is uttered. They assure you in a tone dripping with condescension that Putin’s intent on taking over all of Asia and “gobbling up countries.” They assure you that the only reason Moscow currently isn’t out running its diabolical course is that it doesn’t have the muscle or resources for it yet, but just wait, you’ll see!

  29. Truthster
    October 5, 2016 at 14:58

    And what about the one major political figure that has opposed this dangerous trend which could lead to WWIII?
    Donald Trump.
    He who must not be mentioned among “the 5%.”

    • Drew Hunkins
      October 5, 2016 at 16:13

      Trump’s a xenophobic dumpster fire, however, he does get two things right:

      1.) He refuses to demonize Putin. This is an extremely wonderful position that he hews to. Along with this, he questions the necessity of these prolonged wars Washington’s militarists and Zionists are intent on conducting throughout the Middle East.

      2.) He’s against the TPPs baloney. These are little more than investor rights agreements, and Trump rightfully denounces them at every opportunity.

      He gets much else dead wrong, for example his insistence on trickle-down Any Randian nonsense (see his arguments for cutting taxes on “small” businesses and the uber wealthy), but the aforementioned two positions are where Trump hits solid base hits.

      • Zachary Smith
        October 6, 2016 at 21:07

        “Trump’s a xenophobic dumpster fire”

        That one gave me a good chuckle. The best I’d been able to do was to describe Trump as a “Bad Joke” and Hillary as a “Bad Nightmare”.

  30. ltr
    October 5, 2016 at 14:56

    What has become a ceaseless clamor for war with Syria and Russia if Russia is in the way or with Russia for any reason just to teach Russia a lesson, is moral and strategic madness.

  31. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    October 5, 2016 at 14:53

    My fellow Muslims EVERYWHERE in the Muslim World also need to wake up, stop being passive, get rid of their very corrupt rulers who are either manipulated by outside powers or part of the Global Cabal itself. Islam does NOT need Reformation but Muslims do in their behavior and actions. We, Muslims, need to stop talking about Islam and start LIVING it. Islam is NOT a Beard or a Hijab. Islam is a CHARACTER WITH SUBSTANCE above everything else. The rule is very simple. “Mutual Respect” on equal basis is the foundation of dealing with others but one has to have SELF-RESPECT first.

    Capitalism without conscience is doomed to killing itself and cause much destruction to the world. Humanity needs “conscience” and so far corruption is winning at least temporarily……..

  32. Regina Schulte
    October 5, 2016 at 14:43

    So, starting over, as if we’ve learned nothing from our wars. Forget the lesson that in war, “there
    are no winners.” For a war on the scale of the one we’re sliding into, there may be no survivors, either.

    But, hey! wars benefit our economy, keep our employment data higher than it would otherwise be,
    and nuclear war will reduce/eliminate the need for social security and national health care. AND, it
    will allow our military to scratch their itch–that is, to engage in the games they were trained to play.
    What’s not for those at the top to like?

    • Bart in Virginia
      October 5, 2016 at 16:30

      Based on what happened following the Chernobyl melt-down, it was the animals and plants that survived. Then we can begin all over again.

  33. John Doe II
    October 5, 2016 at 14:42

    New ‘Group Think’ for War with Syria/Russia

    please consider this powerful six minute video from the past and the prescient correctness of it in light of the ‘new group think’ —

  34. Rob Roy
    October 5, 2016 at 14:31

    Another “necessary reading” article by Robert Parry keeping us up to date and aware of the USA nefarious and disastrous intentions. Thank you. Hillary has made clear in emails that Iran, then Russia are next on her hit list.
    (…ahem, I thought Syria was predominantly Sunni, not Shia…)

  35. Tom Welsh
    October 5, 2016 at 14:21

    “While it’s always tempting to dismiss Friedman as a nitwit, the sad reality is that he is an influential nitwit who helps shape “elite” American public opinion”.

    While I find Mr Parry’s work extremely helpful and reliable, and I very much appreciate his enormous integrity and courage in standing up and telling the truth as he sees it, I often fear that he nevertheless allows the enivronment of opinion in Washington to influence him. Thus the assumption that Friedman is some kind of “idiot”, whereas I see him as a shrewd operator with no morals or conscience. I don’t think he is a nitwit at all; on the contrary, he has an extremely sharp eye for what will advance his own interests, and he simply doesn’t care about anyone else’s interests.

    Likewise, I can’t believe that such a collection of highly intelligent people as the US federal government could possibly make as many continuous blunders as people like Mr Parry seem to believe. The only possible explanation is malice, most likely motivated by greed and hunger for power – couple with utter lack of concern for the deaths and suffering of others. These are simply very horrible people indeed.

    • Tom Welsh
      October 5, 2016 at 14:23

      I see that I misspelled “environment” as “enivronment”. Apologies – it is, sadly, all too easy to make such transpositions when typing rapidly.

      Actually, I see some unconscious humour in the typo. It’s rather similar to the French “enivrement” meaning “intoxication” (in the sense of “drunkenness”). And the environment in which Mr Parry operates is certainly one of power-drunkenness.

    • Zachary Smith
      October 5, 2016 at 14:53

      Thus the assumption that Friedman is some kind of “idiot”, whereas I see him as a shrewd operator with no morals or conscience. I don’t think he is a nitwit at all; on the contrary, he has an extremely sharp eye for what will advance his own interests, and he simply doesn’t care about anyone else’s interests.

      Applying one of Zachary’s Rules here, Just Because You’re Not Peddling Sex Doesn’t Mean You’re Not A Whore.

      A fellow who wasn’t named in this list of warmongering jerks was Mark Toner. When confronted with the video evidence of our Good Terrorists beheading a 12-year-old boy, here was his response.

      …and one incident here and there would not necessarily make you a terrorist group.

      That’s really how these psychopaths view the world. Burning alive a Jordanian pilot or an Iraqi family, or beheading the occasional kid or journalist; if it doesn’t happen too often and is done in a good cause, it’s No Problem for the US neocons.

      That’s what we’ve got right now with Wonderful Nobel Obama, and it’ll get just a wee bit worse after Hillary’s Coronation.

    • evelync
      October 5, 2016 at 15:42

      I’m not sure, Tom Welch, that you are correct – that Tom Friedman is not an “idiot”.
      I think he has earned his “nitwit” credentials.

      The reason I say that is because in late 2002, early 2003 when Friedman was on tv trying to sell the Iraq War he admitted that his wife disagreed with him on whether or not this country should invade Iraq. She was against it. She is obviously the brains in that family.

      Perhaps at a subconscious level, Tom Friedman “knows” which side his bread is buttered on and willingly panders to neocon thinking, thus proving his lack of intellectual integrity. But if he was simply a shrewd operator, I don’t think he would have let it slip that his wife disagreed with him. I think he’s simply an idiot.

      I don’t have the stomach to read Friedman because of his convoluted reasoning, but I think based on having read his poorly thought through pieces years ago, that he firmly believes he is knowledgeable on foreign policy matters in the Middle East. Not so.

      I disagree that the “deciders” in Washington are intelligent, if you mean the neocons that constantly press for violence and aggression. Yes, there’s malice there for sure. There’ s also great stupidity and hubris. I guess Richard Wagner summed it all up in his masterpiece the Ring Cycle, culminating in the immolation at the end of Gotterdamerung. Brunnehilda’s leap into the fire to to represent the end of mankind?

      Robert Parry’s courageous warnings will hopefully get coverage far and wide and maybe for once wiser heads will prevail. But it isnt looking good with the current heavy drum beat driving the insanity.

      • Zachary Smith
        October 5, 2016 at 16:48

        The available evidence is that the man is quite clever. Totally unscrupulous of course, but clever. First bit of evidence from the 2013 Rolling Stone:

        Surprise Winner in Thomas Friedman Porn-Title Contest

        Second is from 2012:

        Tom Friedman.


        Friedman possesses all of the qualities that make a pundit truly wankerific. He fetishizes a false “centrism” which is basically whatever Tom Friedman likes, imagining the Friedman agenda is both incredibly popular in the country and lacking any support from our current politicians, when in fact the opposite is usually true. Washington worships at the altar of the agenda of false centrism, and people often hate it. Problems abroad, even ones which really have nothing to do with us, should be solved by war, and problems at home should be solved by increasing the suffering of poor and middle class people. Even though one political party is pretty much implementing, or trying to implement, 99.999999% of the Friedman agenda, what we really need is a third party catering precisely to this silent majority of Friedmanites.

        Truly great wankers possess a kind of glib narcissism, the belief that everything is about them while simultaneously disavowing any responsibility for anything. The important thing about an issue is whether it proves Tom Friedman fucking right, but if it doesn’t we can just move on to the next big thing that will prove Tom Friedman fucking right. If you advocate for wars that go a bit bad, well, it’s not your fault. If only Tom Friedman had been in charge everything would have been great.

        Such wankers are impervious to criticism because they’re always doing battle with straw critics. They never remember what they said last week, and assume you won’t either.

        Both are entertaining reads. Moral of the story – don’t underestimate Israel’s Propagandists. Most of them are quite good at what they do.

        • evelync
          October 5, 2016 at 20:16

          If you are correct that he is fully aware of how full of it his writing is and is purposefully trying to confuse readers so they fall into a trap of bewilderment leading to complacency, then yes he’s morally bankrupt.

          I like Matt Taibbi and think he is very civic minded.

          You wrote:

          “Truly great wankers possess a kind of glib narcissism, the belief that everything is about them while simultaneously disavowing any responsibility for anything. The important thing about an issue is whether it proves Tom Friedman fucking right, but if it doesn’t we can just move on to the next big thing that will prove Tom Friedman fucking right. If you advocate for wars that go a bit bad, well, it’s not your fault. If only Tom Friedman had been in charge everything would have been great.”

          Yeah, I agree you may have him spot on.

          I read the article Taibbi linked to – the yogurt one.
          Friedman is delusional.
          And it’s a poor reflection on the NYT that they publish his gibberish.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 5, 2016 at 23:15

      Tom Welsh – I’m in total agreement with you. These people are not “nitwits,” although I can see why Mr. Parry would want to phrase it that way. He knows, but he’s trying to be professional. Start going around and calling people liars, especially people like Mr. Friedman, and be prepared for a lawsuit. Better to call them “nitwits” and have the rest of us call them out for what they are: sly, cunning, manipulators, liars. All of these people should be behind bars for purposely misleading the public.

      I took a look at Mr. Friedman’s Wiki page. A cursory glance is all you need to see what makes him tick. Jewish, loves Israel, a firm believer in globalization, no borders for immigration, etc. A quote from the page:

      “During the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Friedman wrote the following in The New York Times on April 23, 1999: “Like it or not, we are at war with the Serbian nation (the Serbs certainly think so), and the stakes have to be very clear: Every week you ravage Kosovo is another decade we will set your country back by pulverizing you. You want 1950? We can do 1950. You want 1389? We can do 1389 too.”

      Another warmonger. Look out, Assad!

    • Vaska
      October 7, 2016 at 11:07

      Spot on.

  36. James lake
    October 5, 2016 at 14:20

    What is startling i read the New York times article which was bad; but it is the comments that show the startling ignorance of the American people.

    The guardian in the UK try to pander to the neo con/ liberal interventionist agenda, but the readers comments show that they are far more aware of the facts in the ground than Americans.

    Very sad indeed.

    Murdoch knows he can’t get away with beating the drums for another war, even the bbc have said as much.

    • Tom Welsh
      October 5, 2016 at 14:52

      As Sigmund Freud remarked in his last book, “Civilization and its Discontents”, published (I think) in 1930, human beings can be made to cooperate and even treat one another decently; but only when they are given an external, alien enemy on whom to vent their aggression. Hence the perennial tendency for governments to provide such an enemy and encourage citizens to project all their negative emotions on it.

      For a typical example of what happens when, for any reason, an external enemy is temporarily lacking, see (for instance) “Circus Factions: Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium” by Alan Cameron. Starting as supporters of rival horses in the circus, the Blues and Greens eventually started a full-scale civil war that turned Byzantium into a bloodbath. There was no apparent motive for this, apart from the innate human need to have an enemy.

      • b.grand
        October 6, 2016 at 03:04

        Yup. Just look at those stupid Football Hooligans.

  37. Mary
    October 5, 2016 at 14:09

    The ring of truth… As always, Mr. Parry, thank you.

  38. Frank McEvoy
    October 5, 2016 at 14:05

    I still believe NATO should have invited Russia to join when the Soviet Union collapsed. Making Russia the “new” enemy served up hot is stupid and worthless.

    • Vaska
      October 7, 2016 at 11:03

      Gorbachev was keen on it and asked for Russia to join NATO. Washington refused. This was fully in line with the 200-year Anglo-American anti-Russia policy, presented as anti-communism during the post-WWII decades. What we’re seeing today is simply an aggravated neocon continuation of the same, made worse by the neo-Nazi elements in certain NATO states (the Baltics) and Washington’s and Berlin’s new best friends in Kiev.

    • Duglarri
      October 11, 2016 at 00:50

      “Can’t have two big dogs in the same club”. That was the observation of an American officer when asked why Russia wasn’t allowed to join NATO under Yeltsin.

      The world would certainly be different if they had.

  39. October 5, 2016 at 14:04

    An excellent article. I believe: “Unless we get control of these monsters in our midst, and put them on trial for war crimes, I believe we are truly doomed. If these evil war criminals have no respect for the rule of law, and human life in other countries, then they are crazy enough to set off a final confrontation that will bring ARMAGEDDON to all countries in the world.” Read more at link below:

  40. Cord
    October 5, 2016 at 13:37

    Bravo, Robert Parry! You state the danger we face in unequivocally clear terms. It’s offensive that the puerile, spoiled Thomas Friedman is published anywhere outside of a fraternity newletter.

  41. TheFecklessLeft
    October 5, 2016 at 13:34

    Friedman is probably one of those people that has become so indoctrinated that no amount of knowledge or awareness could make him think any differently. Wow how far the NYT has fallen in such a short time. Not that they weren’t an instrument of US gov propaganda over the last twenty or so years, it’s just that it’s become so bare now. They certainly wear their affiliation on their sleeve now.

    • Tom
      October 5, 2016 at 21:45

      The late great editorial page editor of the NYT in the 1970s, John B. Oakes, is turning in his grave. The rightist Sulzbergers won long ago.

  42. Tom Welsh
    October 5, 2016 at 13:25

    “It’s as if nothing was learned from the previous disaster in Iraq”.

    Au contraire, a great deal was learned from the previous disaster in Iraq. For instance:

    1. The US government can vastly increase its power under colour of the “war on terror”.
    2. US citizens, for the most part, will gladly give up their “natural, God-given” rights if threatened with potential danger some day maybe.
    3. An enormous amount of money can be made by people who are astute and unscrupulous enough to help the government break the law.
    4. If you have enough military and financial power, you can really forget about laws of all kinds and just do whatever you want.

    • Tom
      October 7, 2016 at 07:31

      Basic lesson is “Fascism is great for you.”

    • Michael
      October 7, 2016 at 07:55

      Well said!

    • William
      October 11, 2016 at 18:00

      Tom, you are right, and since both parties agree whole heartedly (the only d_____ thing they do agree on) on cheering and marching to the neo-con war hawks, the American public has no where to turn even if the American public had a clue as to what is being done in their name. The Jews are in control of U.S. policy. How long — years or centuries — no one knows. But nothing lasts forever.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        October 12, 2016 at 17:09

        A bunch of poor people controlling U.S policy? Even though Woodrow Wilson was anti-Semitic? What a case of a persecution complex and psychological projection.

    • Jeff Davis
      October 12, 2016 at 12:29

      Frikkin A, right on target. The ugly truth in all its glory. The NY Times should boot Friedman and hire you. Oh wait, I forgot, the NY Times isn’t interested in the truth. Nevermind.

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