Only Making Matters Worse in Syria

Exclusive: Washington’s foreign policy establishment is determined to escalate U.S. military attacks in Syria even though that won’t resolve the conflict and will only get more people killed, a dilemma addressed by Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare

Middle East policy has reached an inflexion point, a moment when Official Washington seems to be caught in the middle between escalation and retreat.

On one hand, the rhetoric has not been more militant since Hillary Clinton’s famous “we came, we saw, he died” moment in October 2011. With Barack Obama halfway out the door and Clinton all but crowned, Washington’s laptop bombardiers are rejoicing that the half-measures are over and judgment day nearly at hand.

Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria, Sept. 25, 2016. Power has been an advocate for escalating U.S. military involvement in Syria. (UN Photo)

Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria, Sept. 25, 2016. Power has been an advocate for escalating U.S. military involvement in Syria. (UN Photo)

Thus, The New York Times assures us that that the Middle East is “desperate for American leadership” while the Washington Post reports that “the Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the ground work for a more assertive American foreign policy.”

Leading think tanks are publishing “a flurry of reports” urging stepped-up intervention, including U.S.-backed “safe zones to protect moderate rebels from Syrian and Russian forces” and even “limited” cruise-missile strikes. But while differing on the details, all agree something must be done. The time to act is now.

As Vox puts it: “The hot new policy idea in Washington is the hottest old idea: direct US military intervention in Syria’s civil war.”

But reading between the lines, a very different picture emerges, a realization that the U.S. has painted itself into a corner and that there is little it can do after all.  Thus, the Times observes that while the Middle East is clamoring for U.S. leadership, it is not clamoring for Bush-style intervention but for some mythical “middle ground” in between him and Obama.

While reporting that pro-escalation sentiment is unanimous in Washington’s vast foreign-policy establishment – sometimes known as “the blob” – the Washington Post notes that “even pinprick cruise-missile strikes designed to hobble the Syrian air force or punish [President Bashar al-]Assad would risk a direct confrontation with Russian forces” and wonders whether a war-weary public will support any intervention at all.

“My concern is that we may be talking to each other and agreeing with each other,” it quotes one expert as saying, “but that these discussions are isolated from where the public may be right now.”

Official Washington in a Bubble

Thus, even the Establishment worries that it lives in a bubble. Washington wants war, it needs war, and yet it admits in practically the same breath that it can’t have it. So what will it do?

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

Then there are the mild liberals over at Vox, the hip and successful Washington website founded by journalistic wunderkind Ezra Klein. Voxers pride themselves on being sharp and practical yet in the end they are sealed off as well. The poster boy for this tendency is Zack Beauchamp, a young writer who stars in a recent Vox video entitled, “The crisis in Aleppo, explained in 4 minutes.”

As Beauchamp lectures away amid fancy graphics and cool background music, the video faithfully toes the Washington line, both the stirring gung-ho part and the downbeat refrain that inevitably follows. Thus, he describes the Syrian civil war as a “story of flip-flops,” with Assad seemingly on the ropes until Iran and Russia put him back on his feet, at which point the Saudis and Qataris put the rebels back on their feet so the game can continue.

But the real turning point, he says, occurred in September 2015 when Russia stepped in with airstrikes that allowed the government to besiege the Salafists in eastern Aleppo.

“A siege,” Beauchamp then explains, “involves trapping a group of people, civilians and fighters both, inside a certain territory and denying them supplies until they can no longer fight. Assad’s strategy has a vicious logic to it. When you deprive people of food and you bomb them over and over again, they’re likely to give in just to make the fighting stop.”

The upshot, he says, is “a humanitarian crisis … roughly 250,000 people trapped in the city … running dangerously low on supplies, access to clean water and medicine.” So what should the U.S. do in response? The video’s tone at this point turns pessimistic and then pitch black:

“The United States has the military power to break the siege of Aleppo,” Beauchamp says, “but doing so would be extremely dangerous. For one thing, it would need to coordinate with rebels on the ground, some of whom are extremists. For another, it means that the US would be operating in hostile air space with Russian planes.If the US were to engage with Russian planes, that could theoretically mean direct fire between two nuclear-armed superpowers, a risk that very few people in the United States are willing to take. And three, even if the US did temporarily break the siege, it would have to maintain a commitment to insure that things didn’t get worse. That could mean an open-ended war. And there’s no guarantee that this would make anything better, but, rather, it might just get more people killed over the long run.”

So U.S. options are zero: “Every diplomatic solution tried so far has failed, and failed miserably, and there’s simply no economic tool that can be used to end the fighting or ease the suffering of the people inside besieged territories. There’s no good answer. There’s nothing that anyone has that could simply solve the crisis. It’s a disaster and a disaster without any end in sight.”

Falsehoods and Obfuscations 

Beauchamp’s explanation – which is really not an explanation at all, merely an assertion – is studded with falsehoods and obfuscations. By describing Assad’s strategy as uniquely “vicious,” he ignores obvious parallels between the Russian air campaign in Aleppo and U.S. air assaults on Fallujah, Tikrit, and Ramadi, all in central Iraq and all largely destroyed in the course of “liberating” them from ISIS.

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the  YouTube video]

U.S.-backed Syrian “moderate” rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video]

By referring to the events in Syria as a civil war, he fails to acknowledge the degree to which it is actually a foreign invasion by the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other Persian Gulf states. By repeatedly referring to the Salafists as “rebels” – which suggests that they are Syrians rising up from within – he ignores the fact that large numbers – 36,500, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – are foreign-born.

While asserting that 250,000 people are trapped inside east Aleppo, he ignores reports that the real figure is far lower. The Guardian’s Martin Chulov, for example, estimated in March 2015 that only 40,000 people remained in rebel-held areas while Vice News reported last July that “most of Aleppo’s residents have fled the city. There are just a handful of civilians and rebel fighters holding on in the shattered ruins.”

Beauchamp also implies that it is the government that has “trapped” people in east Aleppo when reports in the London Independent and elsewhere indicate that Salafists are firing on anyone trying to take the government up on its offer of safe passage. While acknowledging that “some” fighters are “extremists,” he ignores the fact that the U.S. military has admitted that Al Nusra, the local branch of Al Qaeda, is firmly in charge.

When Salafists launched a short-lived offensive in east Aleppo last summer, for instance, The New York Times reported that they named it in honor of Ibrahim al-Yousef, a Muslim Brotherhood member who led a horrendous massacre of Alawite military cadets in 1979. It was indicative of how anti-Alawite sectarianism of the most bloodthirsty sort is the common denominator underlying all anti-government factions.

One could go on, but the point is clear. The foreign-policy establishment has not only cut itself off from the public but, with the help of sympathetic media outlets like Vox, has cut itself off from its own intellectual history. Incapable of examining the U.S. role in the Syrian debacle in an honest and straightforward way, it can only blunder about in the dark, staggering backward or forward as circumstances dictate. Now seems to be the moment when it is poised between the two.

So how will the United States respond now that Washington is preparing for a transition between Obama-style abstention and Hillary-style neo-conservatism? Here’s is one reporter’s modest attempt at reading the tea leaves:

Washington will continue to fume as the catastrophe deepens in both Syria and Iraq. As the drive to push ISIS (also known as ISIL, Islamic State, and Daesh) out of Mosul in northern Iraq degenerates into ethno-sectarian warfare among Turks, Sunni Arabs, Shi‘ites, and Kurds, the drive to take back Raqqa, ISIS’s capital in north-central Syria will similarly falter as fighting breaks out between pro-Turkish forces and Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG.

The fall of east Aleppo, which now seems to be a foregone conclusion, will drive the foreign-policy establishment to a fury. Obama may be able to hold the hawks off.  But by the time he leaves office, “the blob” will be in an uproar and demanding that something be done.

Map of Syria.

Map of Syria.

With that, Zack Beauchamp will star in another Vox video entitled, “U.S. military intervention in Syria, explained in 4 minutes.” In it, he’ll tell how Russian atrocities in Aleppo, plus backhanded Syrian government support for ISIS, leave the U.S. no choice but to launch a swarm of cruise missiles at Syrian military facilities.

When Russian soldiers are killed, he’ll try to shift blame to Vladimir Putin for stirring up trouble in the eastern Ukraine or the Baltics. He’ll note that dissent is limited to a few cranky websites and far-left groups, all of which can be safely ignored since they’re not part of the mainstream. Russia will then counter-attack, leading to … no one knows.

While anything can go wrong with this scenario, one thing is clear. The mood in Official Washington is the opposite of 2003 when all the “experts” agreed that an invasion of Iraq would be a walk in the park. Now they’re filled with trepidation. But they’re still trying to talk themselves into an escalation and may succeed. If the election goes as expected, the Clinton II presidency will be an interesting one.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

40 comments for “Only Making Matters Worse in Syria

  1. bluto
    November 1, 2016 at 18:20

    ‘The Blob’ is the Israel Lobby/Jewish Lobby/Neocons… Ben Rhodes made it up supposedly

  2. Andrew Nichols
    October 30, 2016 at 04:31

    Now they’re filled with trepidation. But they’re still trying to talk themselves into an escalation and may succeed. If the election goes as expected, the Clinton II presidency will be an interesting one.

    It’s all too late. I am convinced we are seeing a hidoeous example , the last example where art became life…On the Beach. I live in Brisbane and am resigned to the inevitability of the Empire going for nuclear broke to restore itself. I give it 6 months into HR Clintons reign for it all to go bang.

  3. Reconing
    October 29, 2016 at 16:12

    We all know what we are dealing with. That is a one hundred percent corrupt, inverted-totalitarian, police-state, that is the enforcement arm of a global cabal, that is controlled by a handful of wealthy crooks, that have and are concentrating all of the world’s wealth, power, resources, and opportunities in their hands for their benefit only by design, and to the detriment and death of every human being on the planet. They are doing this right out in the open in front of everyone. There is only one and one only answer to this heinous-cancerous-blight on humanity. That is the total violent eradication of all governments, beginning with the worst and most dangerous to humanity. This one. First, the police and the military will have to be killed and totally defeated and dismanteled, the ones that don’t quit or side with yhe people doing the eradication. Then a purge of all who were a part of this government in any way, as well as it’s allies, owners, earmarked employees a d every single ‘elected’, etc., etc., etc. The infrastructure must be destroyed simultaneously as this regime may bankrupt before it’s militarily destroyed, allowing for it’s military destruction to happen that much quicker. Fortunately studies and history have proven that violent revolution can be successful by a determined minority, against the most powerful enemy. Only3-5% of the population is necessary. It’s past time brothers and sisters. Organize into ‘committeea-of-correspondence, formulate policy, tactics, concensus. Amass resources. Learn, practice, study, ACT!

  4. Matt Krist Germany
    October 29, 2016 at 15:39

    Mr.Lawrow said “The only really big Problem we have in Syria is that the United States aren’ t ruled by the White house but by the CIA and the Military industrial complex!”So please my alldear americans , please change Politics during the next elections!Okay,nobody knows what happens if Donald becomes President.But you know exaktly what happens if Killary would be crowned.That should be enough.Most of the european Politic Persons are in great fear of Donald.Because thats(hopefully) the end of their career.No Merkel no more!The most wonderful Christmas-Present we could get!.No,the world could get!I can ‘t believe it yet.
    My brother just has travelled though Germany.He has seen hundreds, no probably more, US Tanks on Giantic parking aereas.thousands of Trains passed Austria eastwards.full with Military Equipment.Through Germany and Poland too.Destination:Russian border.Thats seems to be no manouvre but the preparation of WW3.In my Country nobody talks about that!It is not allowed.And many People DO NOT WANT TO KNOW! The german sin! The Target is Russia.Not Syria.Putin will care for his Country,his People, and the last really Christian church like a cat cares for her cubs. I hope them amerians know what happens when they press the cat in a Corner trying to take her cubs…..

  5. Abe
    October 29, 2016 at 14:08

    Fake “citizen investigative journalist” Eliot Higgins and fake “human rights activist” Rami Abdul Rahman of the one-man office Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) have been twin UK-based propaganda launderers during the conflict in Syria.

    The main job of Higgins has been to “confirm” the stories of Rahman and fake “activists” like the White Helmets.

    In reality, terrorist groups dominate the anti-government forces that have besieged Aleppo and other cities in Syria:

    “The ‘opposition’ in these areas has been the official al Qaeda franchise in Syria, Jabhat al Nusra, allied with the Saudi-backed Islamic Front (a merger of former Free Syrian Army groups Harakat Ahrar as-Sham, Suqur as-Sham, Liwa at-Tawhid, Jaysh al-Islam, Jabhat al-Kurdiyya, Liwa al-Haqq and Ahrar as-Sham), then later the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL), the Turkistan Islamic Party and the Army of Conquest. Virtually all of these groups are internationally proscribed terrorist organisations responsible for multiple atrocities in Syria. It is hardly surprising, then, that the Syrian Army regularly bombs the armed groups in these areas.

    “Contrary to the myth of the ‘moderate rebel’, the terrorist groups most often work together. For example, a top US-backed leader of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Abdel Jabbar el-Okaidi, is quite open about the fact that he works closely with ISIL-Daesh (see Eretz Zen 2014). The FSA has worked closely with the other main al Qaeda group, Jabhat al Nusra, from the beginning.

    “The source of the ‘civilian’ death claims comes almost exclusively from the Islamist groups themselves, or ‘activists’ embedded with them. Those claims are then magnified by the western media and by some human rights NGOs which are effectively ‘embedded’ with western governments’ foreign policies. Casualty numbers are typically provided by the British-based ‘Syrian Observatory on Human Rights’ (SOHR 2015), the British-based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SN4HR 2015), or the Istanbul-based Violation Documentation Center in Syria (VDC 2015; Masi 2015).”

    The Dirty War on Syria: Barrel Bombs, Partisan Sources and War Propaganda
    By Tim Anderson

  6. David Smith
    October 29, 2016 at 14:06

    The No Fly Zone against Syria is dead. Russia would not go ahead with TurkStream/ lifting sanctions against Turkey without a Turkish agreement that Incirclik would not be used(and an agreement that Turkey will never deny the Bosphorus to the Russian Navy). These two elements are essential to any United States plan to humiliate Russia, as Russia must resupply its Air Force and rotate its Navy through Bosphorus, and any No Fly Zone against Syria needs land-based Air. Even the Numbskull that will be the first female President Of The United States is on the record saying there will not be a No Fly Zone without the cooperation of Syria and Russia and there is zero chance of that. The United States Navy cannot operate on its own in the constricted waters of the Eastern Mediterranian, from whence any “stand-off weapons” would be launched. The jihad is finished in Eastern Syria and the populous East is what counts. The jidadis have controlled West Syria for years and it hasn’t helped gain victory. Still there will be a tough slog to clear East Syria unless Turkey cuts the supplies(does the Russia/Turkey rapproachment include a deal on this?). The question is what is the “Plan B” Kerry&co have snarkily alluded to? Perhaps 2017 will see Ukraine, which has been suspiciously quiet for two years, initiating renewed aggression in Donbass, or even Crimea.

  7. Abe
    October 29, 2016 at 13:08

    Making matters worse, Bellingcat is ramping up its propaganda on Syria.

    Whenever an article appears in Russian media, the fake “citizen investigative journalists” at Bellingcat insist that something sinister is afoot. Higgins and Bellingcat love to send accusatory letters to Russian news agencies and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Bellingcat’s latest article huffs and puffs in response to a RIA Novosti article about the 19 September 2016 attack on United Nations aid convoy Near Aleppo

    In fact, Bellingcat contradicts the very Reuters article it cites.

    The 5 October 2016 Reuters article discusses United Nations satellite image analysis of the September “attack on the U.N. and Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy at Urem Al-Kubra near the northern city of Aleppo that also destroyed 18 of 31 trucks, a warehouse and clinic.”

    After a research adviser at UNOSAT had intially told a news briefing that an “airstrike” had taken place, the United Nations clarified to Reuters that it was not a conclusive finding:

    “UNOSAT manager Einar Bjorgo, who took part in the briefing, contacted Reuters hours later to say it was not possible to be 100 percent. ‘There is significant damage, and we believe it may be air strikes, but it’s not conclusive,’ he said.

    “‘Our observations of the imagery show indications of it possibly being an air strike. But it’s a very damaged area and we cannot definitely conclude that it’s an air strike.’

    “The United Nations has referred officially only to an ‘attack’, which led to a brief suspension of its convoys in Syria. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies initially referred to ‘air strikes’ in a statement.”

    Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, has been under siege by terrorist forces since 2012.

    The Russian government and media are not obliged to address to the demands of Bellingcat, a NATO propaganda agency notorious for producing fake news.

  8. Enrique Ferro
    October 29, 2016 at 12:01

    The West’s position on Syria is disgusting!

  9. Frustrated1
    October 29, 2016 at 03:48

    The only way to stop this is for Russia and the Chinese to neutralize each and every neocon and the international oligarchs who fund them who are in control of US foreign policy before they start world war III. It would be easier than watching millions of US citizens die. Neutralize a hand of neocons, or let them kill millions. All neocons should be forced to register as agents of a foreign government.

  10. backwardsevolution
    October 29, 2016 at 02:24

    Some things are just simple. Get the hell out. I’m sure Russia is planning on getting out as soon as possible too. Stop arming and training the rebels, stop supplying them with food. They’ll just pack up and go home all on their own.

    Is there a court that can make the U.S. and its puppets pay for reparations? Syria is leveled from this foreign invasion (made to look like a civil war). I bet if the citizens of the Western countries involved in this slaughter had to fork over real money (and not by their country simply going into more debt) – real money – they’d put a stop to these wars.

    “The fall of east Aleppo, which now seems to be a foregone conclusion, will drive the foreign-policy establishment to a fury. Obama may be able to hold the hawks off. But by the time he leaves office, “the blob” will be in an uproar and demanding that something be done.”

    Dangerous, dangerous people. I’m sure they’re furious. To lose is like death to them, and anger breeds anger. These dangerous little men should be relieved of their duty immediately and put out to pasture. Send them to Syria with a hammer and level.

    Great article!

  11. backwardsevolution
    October 29, 2016 at 01:38

    And Trump is the childish one? He doesn’t think we should be fighting over there, he doesn’t think we should be enemies with Russia, but he is the fool?

    I can hear it now: “Yeah, but…..”

    And since we have smashed the Middle East to smithereens and killed thousands and thousands of Muslims, Trump thinks we ought to be careful about letting them come into the country, lest some of them might want to get even. What an idiot! Only a fool would think that way!

    Sounds like the greedy little boys and girls running this show, intervening and couping to their hearts’ content, as if the world was their playground to bully, are the real fools here. Their juvenile egos cannot stand the thought of backing down.

    • Joe Wallace
      October 29, 2016 at 18:37


      “Their juvenile egos cannot stand the thought of backing down.”

      Yep. Once you’ve taken a stand, you can’t deviate from it. Resolve is wisdom. Reminds me of a T-shirt featuring George W. Bush’s likeness, with the caption: “Like a rock. Only dumber.” Even advertising is being deployed to militarize the American public. Have you seen the ad that touts Budweiser as “the beer that doesn’t back down?” What the hell does that have to do with beer?

  12. Joe Tedesky
    October 29, 2016 at 00:34

    I took Mr Lazare’s usage of describing the Syrian war as the ‘Syrian Civil War’ as being a reference that Beauchamp would have used, or probably did use in his report, that Lazare was quoting from. The Syrian war was never really a civil war, as Syria was targeted for the Arab Spring project, and you all know the rest. If this Syrian war were being fought by one Syrian against another Syrian well then we more than likely wouldn’t be talking about the Syrian war, because there wouldn’t be no war in Syria to talk about.

    As we all ponder and speculate to what a Clinton Adminstration will do, I find it interesting that Russia, Turkey, and Israel just signed a energy deal between them. I’m not sure where this relationship will go, or what it may lead to, but where there is money to be made, it all can’t be for nothing. (See link for details) So, will Hillary face a new alignment of nations? Is a new alignment which may not include the indispensable nation, in the works ? Will Hillary find her geopolitical chessboard all messed up? This would make it easier for her to change direction and blame the new dynamics on Obama, but we’re talking about Hillary here…so what will she do?

    I can’t go without saying that besides Hillary having the Kagan’s, Power, Rice, and 51 anonymous state department Diplomates who love displaying our military might….she will also have the one I find to be the most scariest of them all, and that is Mike Morell…God help us!

  13. Abe
    October 28, 2016 at 23:23

    Making matters much worse in Aleppo city, the Jaish al-Fatah coalition led by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch) has launched assaults using Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIEDs) to break the the Syrian government forces’ defenses.

    The joint militant forces involved into the operation consists of Jabhat Fatahl al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham, Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki (whose fighters recorded themselves beheading a Palestinian boy on 19 July 2016), the Islamic Front and a number of less known militant groups and units, including the militarily impotent so-called Free Syrian Army.

    In total, over 20 “militant” groups are involved in the fighting in Aleppo.

    Zack Beauchamp’s show-and-tell mentions only four groups of so-called “rebels” in east Aleppo: The major force of Jahbat Fateh al-Sham (al-Nusra), Jahbat Ansar al-Din, Ansar al-Sharia, and the so-called Free Syrian Army.

    Zack’s graphic shows four circles of equal size, suggesting that they have equal status on the battlefield. In fact, extremist and terrorist groups affiliated with ISIS represent the majority of forces battling the Syrian government in east Aleppo.

    The very concerned Zack mentions the inconvenient fact that three of the four groups are “militant”. The circles turn red so we all can guess that maybe that’s not such a good thing.

    Unfortunately, he neglects to mention that Ansar al-Sharia took part in the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya. The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, Turkey, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States. The majority of its organisation in Libya defected to ISIS. Ansar al-Sharia in Syria is not a group but a joint operations room for ISIS friendly militant factions that operate in Aleppo, primarily al-Nusra.

    • Abe
      November 1, 2016 at 13:02

      To be fair to earnest Zack, he did say that there were some “extremists” – not “militants”.

      Saying “militants” would be a bit too extreme, emphasizing the fact that the “rebels on the ground” are very well armed and extremely dangerous.

      And for sure, saying “liver-eating head choppers” would be extremely dangerous to the Vox video share rate.

  14. Zachary Smith
    October 28, 2016 at 20:25

    Only Making Matters Worse in Syria

    I don’t really understand this title because it’s been my understanding that “making things worse in Syria” is the reason for the entire adventure there. Chaos In Syria = Very Happy Israel

    • Sam
      October 28, 2016 at 21:37

      The website Moon of Alabama reports today at that the “Top Five Clinton Donors Are Jewish” and in fact zionist extremists, citing a WaPo report and the Israeli Haaretz. So indeed we know what to expect from her in Syria. There is no just way that she could be acceptable to anyone with moral responsibility. This evidence is sufficient for prosecution for failing to register as a foreign agent.

    • Sam
      October 29, 2016 at 08:09

      The website reports today that Clinton regretted that the US had not fixed the Palestinian election of 2006, citing a recording made by an Israeli source. So of course it would fine to fix the US election for the same campaign bribes, and of course she and they would be the ones to benefit from the fix, done by US agencies under the same foreign management.

  15. October 28, 2016 at 20:19

    Russia cannot aim and shoot properly but the US and UK are turning the world into disaster, they are leading the world in to a global catastrophe. The continuous criticsim and provocation of Russia has really made things worse. The US and UK really want to start world war III and lead it into a nuclear war to create the extinction of humanity on earth for a little country’s civil war.

    The US, UK, Russia, UN and France are all as bad as each other – THIS MUST BE STOPPED NOW!

    The majority of British people who want the UK Government to act over Aleppo and support a no-fly zone or no-bomb zone aren’t using their heads. They are soo short-sided that they don’t see if a no-fly zone is setup NATO would have to shoot down Russian war planes. If that happens then world war III would start and would lead to a nuclear war. This means the west would be wasteland, what a waste it would be now that we have so much technology like CT-scan, MRI scan, cloud services, bendable mobiles because the whole of the West would become a wasteland and go back to the stone-age.

    What would be the point of coming all the way to the 21st century ? when human life would be extinct forever


    The western government always plays it down about Russian military technology but the Russians have their fingers on ready to release nuclear weapons on UK and US.


    If Russia fired nuclear weapons to the UK, it would take 30 minutes to reach and it would be hell on earth alive

    • backwardsevolution
      October 29, 2016 at 04:00

      jaffafa – “This is Syria’s war, the WEST MUST NOT GET INVOLVED.” Jaffafa, it is BECAUSE OF THE WEST that there’s a war. The U.S. wanted regime change, they wanted to take out Assad, just like they did with Gaddafi. They use all sorts of excuses, i.e. they’re trying to spread democracy, they’re being humanitarian, but these are all lies. As Daniel Lazare said:

      “…it is actually a foreign invasion by the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other Persian Gulf states.”

      The U.S. and its allies are arming, training and feeding ISIS and the other rebel groups, using the rebels to take out Assad. This is Libya all over again, except this time Russia stepped in and has foiled their plans. Without constant money being funneled into these rebel groups from the West and its allies, they’d have folded up their tents long ago and gone home. Assad is fighting for his life, for his country against most of the Western world. We are the aggressors; Assad is trying to defend his country.

      But you are right, the U.S. needs to stop what they are doing immediately, recognize that regime change is not going to happen. But will they?

      You might enjoy this great article re how to create coups, stir up trouble, and orchestrate regime change by using NGO’s (non-governmental organizations), agent provocateurs, etc. It’s eye-opening. “Hybrid Wars”, the new way of fighting:

  16. Pablo Diablo
    October 28, 2016 at 20:06

    Almost no one is talking about “why” we are in Syria. “Regime change” hasn’t worked out so well in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Honduras, Syria and what right do we have even using that to attack other countries. Could it be the usual feeding the voracious “war machine”? Could it be the need to create enemies faster than we kill them? Oh, could it be an effort to build a natural gas pipeline across Syria to cut Russia out of the European market?
    WAKE UP AMERICA. Hillary will be worse than W. Bush.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 29, 2016 at 03:40

      Pablo – I used to think this was over a natural gas pipeline from Qatar to Europe until someone else made some sense. This is what he said:

      “I have read this pipeline theory many times and it’s BS. Even if oil prices hadn’t tumbled (and will keep tumbling), a pipeline could easily have been built through Iraq rather than Syria. It might be a longer route but it could have picked up some Iraqi oil as well as from the Gulf states. Moreover, Syria wouldn’t have gone to war to stop a pipeline being built through its territory and Russia would not have prevented it either.”

      I looked at a map and, sure enough, I could see the guy’s point. It made sense. Pepe Escobar seems to think they want to carve up Syria just to stop the Shia arm of Islam from getting too powerful (stop Syria and Iran from joining hands, Iran being Israel’s mortal enemy). Israel favors having very weak neighbors too. They said it would be better to have neither side win (Sunni nor Shia), but to have chaos.

      “More quietly, Israelis have increasingly argued that the best outcome for Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-old civil war, at least for the moment, is no outcome. … This is a playoff situation [between Sunni and Shia] in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,” said Alon Pinkas, former Israeli consul general in New York. “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.”

      Another senior Israeli, then-Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, offered a slightly different preference, that the Assad government, with its alliance with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, would be overthrown even if that meant that Al Qaeda would prevail in Syria.

      “The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”

      But such frank assessments by Israel received little attention in the U.S. news media and Israel’s stake in the Syrian chaos was quickly forgotten.”

      They appear to have gone into Libya to get the oil. France, even before Gaddafi was murdered, tried to get 35% of Libyan oil in return for helping the new government overthrow Gaddafi. Easier to loot when there’s chaos; also harder to create a cartel and keep oil prices up when everyone isn’t on the same page.

      What do you think is the real motive?

      • Tannenhouser
        October 30, 2016 at 18:57

        I know I’m not Pablo, however…..
        Same deal as the Aqaba pipeline in Iraq. Saddam wanted to renegotiate NON negotiable terms. Assad would never agree to the terms of the deal, hence regime change. That and central banking of course. Maybe the fact that Libya, Iraq and Syria were/are closer to Democracy than Israel. Cant have savages showing them up now can we? I believe water and the Golan Heights have a huge part to play as well.

  17. Gary Hare
    October 28, 2016 at 19:44

    Cannot wait for Uncle Sam to implode. It is so easy to understand why people get “radicalised” when you have the likes of Power, Clinton, Carter and Nuland opening their mouths, so soon after Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz. War criminals all. Pity is I am Australian. We lead the cheer squad. Both major parties!

  18. Bill Bodden
    October 28, 2016 at 19:03

    The New York Times assures us that that the Middle East is “desperate for American leadership” and U.S. air assaults on Fallujah, Tikrit, and Ramadi, all in central Iraq and all largely destroyed in the course of “liberating” them from ISIS

    Why would people in the Middle East want “American leadership” when that “leadership” has recently brought destruction to Fallujah, Tikrit, and Ramadi and destabilized the Middle East since 2003? It is understandable why autocrats in the Middle East would want “American leadership” but not their more sensible subjects.

  19. Bill Bodden
    October 28, 2016 at 18:45

    “My concern is that we may be talking to each other and agreeing with each other,” it quotes one expert as saying, “but that these discussions are isolated from where the public may be right now.”

    The American people didn’t want to get involved in the Great War in 1916 and 1917, but Woodrow Wilson and the pro-war parties still got their war in 1917 at a time when the fighting might have ended with a truce. Instead, it was turned down by the British who believed the US would join the Allies and achieve victory. They got their victory at a cost of millions more people who died in vain between US entry and November 1918.

    • Joe Wallace
      October 29, 2016 at 18:04

      Bill Bodden:

      “My concern is that we may be talking to each other and agreeing with each other,” it quotes one expert as saying, “but that these discussions are isolated from where the public may be right now.”

      How on earth did an “expert” who considers the views of the American public make it into the inner circles of our foreign policy elites? Don’t they have procedures in place to ensure that the wishes of the electorate don’t contaminate the discussion?

  20. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    October 28, 2016 at 17:33

    “Washington’s foreign policy establishment is determined to escalate U.S. military attacks in Syria even though that won’t resolve the conflict and will only get more people killed”…….Where did people get the idea that resolving the conflict and stopping the killing is the goal of the Washington Establishment?! That alone, is a very big indication on the naivete of many people!! War is a big business in America and keeping it going is a major business strategy of Washington……..We need to stop fooling ourselves and start looking at reality…………Obama “cried” when 20 kids were killed in a school in the US, has anybody seen him shedding even one tear for the hundreds of thousands of children killed in SYRIA, IRAQ, or Palestine!!!!


    • Peter Loeb
      October 29, 2016 at 06:51


      “…By describing Assad’s strategy as uniquely “vicious,” he ignores obvious parallels
      between the Russian air campaign in Aleppo and U.S. air assaults on Fallujah, Tikrit,
      and Ramadi, all in central Iraq and all largely destroyed in the course of “liberating”
      them from ISIS…” Daniel Lazare, above

      The fabric of war as an American Way of Life is more complex and multi-layered
      than can be explored here.

      Lazare’s contribution is excellent. I urge as well:

      October 25,2016, Consortiumnews

      2. Robert Parry: “GOOD BOMBS, BAD BOMBS”


      The fabricated definition of the conflict in Syria as a ?”civil war” instead
      of “self defense” (which applies only to the US and Israel, evidently)
      is clever US/Western PR. Unfortunately, it has worked. Other commenters
      have that right but often fail to explore why it is not civil war.

      Are the Israeli/American attacks on Palestinians, “civil war”??

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA.

  21. evelync
    October 28, 2016 at 17:27

    This is all so very sad.
    I am soooooo tired of Washington armchair Attila the Huns directing campaigns of destruction.

    I and I think most of the American public now believe – after decades of costly interventions and non declared wars – that we American are stuck wth chest beating incompetents running our foreign policy. They knowwwww!
    But they don’t “know”. They simply serve what Eisenhower called the Military Industrial Complex and we just make excuses for doing terrible things.
    They will never admit that they are entirely unqualified to live other people’s lives.

    If we are incapable of sitting down and talking with Russia, Iran, Syria and all the other foreign nterested parties to establish a plan to demilitarize the Middle East, to commit to nuclear disarmament, commit to a major shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewables, then I think we are done for – downhill trajectory towards failure and bankruptcy and Climate Degredation.

    I was sorry to read that GE is trying to buy an oil field services company instead of shifting their resources to pursuing a business plan following such solar and wind.

    We’re heading for a cliff with our eyes wide open. And along the way, we are making sure to make the lives of indigenous people as miserable and violent as possible.

    We don’t know what the fuck we are doing. But we just lie and pontificate and kill people and bust the treasury.

    Thanks to Consortium News trying to cut through the bullshit.

    And thanks to military historian Andrew Bacevich for telling us that with each intervention we create a bigger mess:

  22. October 28, 2016 at 17:10

    The US Options in Syria are NOT “zero.”

    When Obama became President, he could have discontinued the GW Bush Administration’s morally depraved (Ho-Chi-MInh-like) clandestine operations in Syria designed to “destabilize the Assad Regime” (by fomenting hatreds between Syria’s various religious/ethnic groups, among other things) in hopes of achieving a “regime change” by means of a violent coup de tat. This was motivated by “US corporate interests” (oil pipeline plans in particular) and the US ‘neocon game plan” that was devised in the 1990s. But President Obama chose to continue GW Bush’s destabilization program which ended up triggering the present civil war in Syria. That in has kill nearly half a million men, women, and children in Syria, created over 10 million refugees (about a million of whom risked drowning while fleeing to Europe) and created an environment which enabled ISIS to become a successful land-grabbing military force in the Middle East. It also inspired even MORE terrorist attacks that have “killed Americans on American soil.”

    The most practical way to end the war in Syria is for the US Government to SUPPORT the Assad Regime and get it over with. The Assad Regime is after all the United-Nations-recognized government of Syria, and we are legally REQUIRED to support that regime by the United Nations Treaty which (according to the United States Constitution) is a “law of our land!”

    The conduct of our government in Syria has been ILLEGAL as well as MORALLY DEPRAVED!

    • Tannenhouser
      October 28, 2016 at 17:20

      It’s not a civil war man. US conduct is accurately described in your last sentance.

    • Dick100
      November 1, 2016 at 09:33


      1) Onama and the American regime started the war to overthrow the Syrian government and replace it with a client one.

      Your use of American regime propaganda phrases for the victim government, the Syrian government, speaks for itself.

      2) the Jihadist paramilitary groups were created, armed and trained by Washington, and their wages are paid and armed by them.

      3) to end the war all Obama has to do is make two phone calls closing down the operation.

      4) this is why there is no money, a fortune of the American taxpayers’ taxes has bee nspent on this.

  23. RamboDave
    October 28, 2016 at 17:09

    Avaaz has just renewed a petition to create a no fly zone for Syria, exactly what the Neocons have wanted all along.
    However, there is a counter petition to persuade them to cancel their petition. It has more than 1200 signers. Here is the link.

    • fledrmaus
      October 29, 2016 at 02:13

      Just signed :)

    • October 29, 2016 at 07:39

      Please do not sign the petition. Avaaz is an extremely cynical organisation. By signing the counter petition – which you can safely guarantee will not be given anywhere near the amount of corporate or social media exposure as the no-fly petition – you will be allowing Avaaz to claim that there are far more signatures supporting a no-fly zone than there are against it. This will be picked up by the corporate media as being a demonstration of the general public’s backing for a no-fly zone, without mentioning the support petition has been around far longer and much more widely publicised.

      Not realising it was an Avaaz petition (okay, I’m stupid), after reading a supportive article published by an alternative media site that should’ve known better, I signed. I have regretted it ever since.

      • exiled off mainstreet
        October 29, 2016 at 14:45

        I signed and I keep getting email promoting avaaz, which is a Soros front. A no-fly zone is not only a war crime but dangerous to our survival, since the Russians are involved. As far as Lazare’s article, it seems to be a fair report of the issue. The real problem it brings out more subtly is that the yankee imperium is backing jihadi thugs against the civilized element. This constitutes a crime against humanity and civilization. The harpy should be brought up on war crimes charges based on her role in Libya and Syria, which is related since it was Libyan weapons shipped to Syria which led to the Benghazi blowback and the Syrian war, which is an foreign backed invasion largely of non-Syrian thugs.

  24. Tannenhouser
    October 28, 2016 at 16:59

    I really wish we/they/us/you would stop referring to whats happening in Syria as a civil war. It’s not and claiming so only muddies already muddy water. Please stop. It’s hardly productive and only serves to push a narrative that is false. I will however read your entire post.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 29, 2016 at 01:59

      Tannenhouser – yes, I agree, but I think the author did say:

      “By referring to the events in Syria as a civil war, he fails to acknowledge the degree to which it is actually a foreign invasion by the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other Persian Gulf states. By repeatedly referring to the Salafists as “rebels” – which suggests that they are Syrians rising up from within – he ignores the fact that large numbers – 36,500, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – are foreign-born.”

      • Tannenhouser
        October 30, 2016 at 13:30

        noitulove. Yes he did. Meant to come back and correct. RL took over till now. Thanks.

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