The CIA organized its very first coup in Syria in 1949 to overthrow a democratically elected president and install a military dictator. The U.S. has never given up trying to determine who rules Syria, comments Caitlin Johnstone
By Caitlin Johnstone
One interesting and completely undeniable fact that we don’t talk about nearly enough is how Syria has been a target for regime change by the US-centralized power establishment since long before the uprising in 2011.
Proponents of US military interventionism in Syria will avoid addressing this known fact like the plague. They’re more than happy to dispute claims about false flags and the White Helmets, but if you start asking them “Hey don’t you think it’s a little odd that the government we’re all freaking out about right now just so happens to be one that’s been a target for regime change by US defense and intelligence agencies since long before any of this started?” they get real squirmy all of a sudden.
It’s true though. Let’s go over five key items in the mountain of evidence for this, starting with the most recent and working our way backward:
The Roland Dumas Statement
Roland Dumas is the former Foreign Minister of France, and he stated that he was made aware of the violence in Syria in 2009, two years before it started.
“I’m going to tell you something,” Dumas said on French station LCP. “I
was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate. Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me.’’
‘’This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned,” Dumas added. Prepared, preconceived, and planned.
The 2006 William Roebuck Cable
A December 13, 2006 cable published by WikiLeaks reveals how five years prior to the beginning of the violence, the US government (USG) was seeking out weaknesses of the Assad government which could be exploited to undermine it. William Roebuck, an official at the US embassy in Damascus, said this in his summary of the cable:
“We believe Bashar’s weaknesses are in how he chooses to react to looming issues, both perceived and real, such as the conflict between economic reform steps (however limited) and entrenched, corrupt forces, the Kurdish question, and the potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists. This cable summarizes our assessment of these vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising.”
This excellent Truthout article from 2015 goes into further details about the cable’s examination of the ways Syria and its relationship with Iran could be undermined, and documents the recurring theme of the US government’s plan to provoke a rash overreaction from Assad against the various oppositional factions in Syria using psyops to foment paranoia about coup plots. The theme of Assad “overreacting” to demonstrations in 2011 has been loudly trumpeted by the western mass media ever since the violence erupted, which the US and its allies were involved in creating from the very beginning.
The General Wesley Clark Statement
General Wesley Clark made the following statement on Democracy Now in 2007 about a conversation he had with a general in 2001:
About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in.
He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.”
I said, “Well, you’re too busy.”
He said, “No, no.”
He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.”
This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?”
He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.”
So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?”
He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”
So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?”
And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs”?—?meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office?—?“today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”
Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
The 1986 CIA Memo
A CIA document declassified last year exposed a plot to overthrow the Syrian government by provoking sectarian tensions all the way back in 1986.
Here are a few juicy excerpts:
“Although we judge that fear of reprisals and organizational problems make a second Sunni challenge unlikely, an excessive government reaction to minor outbreaks of Sunni dissidence might trigger large-scale unrest. In most instances the regime would have the resources to crush a Sunni opposition movement, but we believe widespread violence among the populace could stimulate large numbers of Sunni officers and conscripts to desert or mutiny, setting the stage for civil war.”
Sound familiar? Here’s some more:
“We believe that a renewal of communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis could inspire Sunnis in the military to turn against the regime.”
“Sunni dissidence has been minimal since Assad crushed the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, but deep-seated tensions remain–keeping alive the potential for minor incidents to grow into major flareups of communal violence… Excessive government force in quelling such disturbances might be seen by Sunnis as evidence of a government vendetta against all Sunnis, precipitating even larger protests by other Sunni groups.”
“Mistaking the new protests as a resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the government would step up its use of force and launch violent attacks on a broad spectrum of Sunni community leaders as well as on those engaged in protests. Regime efforts to restore order would founder if government violence against protestors inspired broad-based communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis.”
“A general campaign of Alawi violence against Sunnis might push even moderate Sunnis to join the opposition. Remnants of the Muslim Brotherhood–some returning from exile in Iraq–could provide a core of leadership for the movement. Although the regime has the resources to crush such a venture, we believe brutal attacks on Sunni civilians might prompt large numbers of Sunni officers and conscripts to desert or stage mutinies in support of dissidents, and Iraq might supply them with sufficient weapons to launch a civil war.”
Oh and don’t forget this important little detail:
“In our view, US interests would be best served by a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates. Business moderates would see a strong need for Western aid and investment to build Syria’s private economy, thus opening the way for stronger ties to Western governments.”
The First Ever CIA Coup
A lot can change in seventy years, but it says a lot about Syria’s
strategic significance that the CIA has been attempting to stage coups there since the 1940s. In a 1969 interview CIA officer Miles Copeland confirmed statements he’d made in his memoirs that the Central Intelligence Agency had attempted to overthrow the Syrian government 20 years earlier. In 1956 there was the “anti-communist” intervention called Operation Straggle followed byOperation Wappen, and in 1957 there was a CIA/MI6 assassination plot.
So we know for an absolute fact that the defense and intelligence agencies of the US-centralized empire have been salivating over regime change in Syria literally for generations. And we’re meant to believe that this same government that has been targeted for hostile takeover by the western empire generation after generation due to its strategic importance and refusal to kowtow to imperialist interests just so happens to be the greatest threat to humanity right now? That Bashar al-Assad, who was never spoken of as a vicious dictator prior to 2009 and was even nominated for honorary knighthood by Tony Blair in 2002, just spontaneously developed a sick“addiction” to gassing children in the last few years?
We’re being lied to. We’re being lied to about a key strategic asset that the western empire is trying desperately to secure as it hurtles toward post-primacy in a rapidly shifting world. It’s so obvious. Keep pushing back on the lies and open as many eyes to what’s going on as you can before these bastards drag us into a conflict with Syria, Russia and their allies that there may be no coming back from.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. This article was re-published with permission.
Missing from the above history, is the main culprit: Israel. As part of their Yinon Plan to remake the Middle East to further Israel’s goal of fragmenting nation states into smaller and more manageable entities, Syria is a prime candidate for destruction. Add to that the addition of the Golan Heights to Israeli territory which it does not want to relinquish.
The great colonial states managed to make their independent democratic regimes in order to expand their colonies in the undeveloped countries, to do so they prevented the targeted peoples from democracy in the name of developing them.
Look at most of the colonized countries during the last century especially in the Arabia peninsula, North Africa and most of the African states?!And they are still preventing them by the new imperialist slogan: promoting the democracy.
Has anyone else noticed that Great Britain has gotten the USA in every war and dispute in our history and then run out for the USA to finish and clean up their messes…we need to. Stop aiding Europe and come home and fix our world…
“America’s Long History of Trying to Determine Who Rules Syria”?
I really think AMERICANS need to first figure out (((who))) it is, (((exactly))) that RULES AMERICA!
I agree could be anti USA and fake news.
Complicated issue – no further comment.
Typical anti USA article- fake news mostly.
Thanks for the great article! Really interesting and composed information! Greetings from Finland and keep up the good work!
Jeffrey Sachs (highly reputed prof. at Columbia University) on covert US intervention in Syria.
Unbelievable that they let someone tell some truths for once, and everyone was listening.
The covert CIA operation he spoke about: Timber Sycamore
Goal: Weaponize the opposition, create chaos, ultimately overthrow Assad.
Decided by Nobel peace prize laureat Obama.
Hefaistos – what an excellent five-minute video! Thank you so much for posting that.
In five minutes Professor Jeffrey Sachs succinctly describes the CIA’s covert operations in Syria, explains that the objective all along was the removal of Assad, and tells us what needs to happen. Excellent video! Now I’ll read about Timber Sycamore.
Good advice from Professor Sachs here:
“So what I would plead to President Trump is ‘get out’, like his instinct told him, by the way. That was his instinct, but then all the establishment (the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Pentagon, everybody) said, ‘No, no, that’s irresponsible’. But his instinct is right – get out.”
Another excellent article by Caitlin Johnstone. Re: the early CIA efforts to force regime change and make Syria a satellite country, see also Adam Curtis’ post at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/entries/d3921cac-2144-306a-9f6e-712c0c685010 It is rich in information, including a video of an interview with Copeland.
How ironic that Curtis was able to draw on the BBC archives of material published at an time when the BBC was doing a better job, or at least was more diverse. in its reporting, even though the British Government was devious then as it is today.
I’ve been reading everything I have time to on the insane interventionism by our puppet federal government since Obama’s red line. This is the best I’ve seen. It is both concise and comprehensive, not an easy task. The contents are substantiated by history and resources are linked. Great job Caitlin!
Great article. Before the US became the great imperialist, Europe had most them. It was the French and British who decided how the Middle East was to be carved up after the Ottoman Empire collapsed at the end of World War One. We began to act like the French and British after World War Two. Syria has always been a thorn in our side because of the independent spirit and their close association with the USSR and now Russia. Same folks in many ways. Couple that with their borders with Israel and their support of the Palestinian cause. We need to keep in mind that our terrorist list and our enemies list in the region mirrors that of Israel and Syria, and next to Iran, is at the top of Israel’s list.
With Russia’s intervention,and our decision to use the Kurds as a divisive weapon, we suddenly find ourselves facing the possibility of being outside looking in and the threat of alliances between the Turks, Iranians, Iraqis and Syrians.which will strengthen them together and separately.
Israel sees that as a threat and if Israel does, so do we. This makes us and Israel extremely dangerous to everyone in the region and beyond. Trump faces the possibility of being the President that lost the Region. I was a teenager when Truman was stuck with the brand that he lost China. seemed strange since China never moved..
Read this at link below:
Syria ‘chemical attack’ staged to provoke US airstrike, London pushed perpetrators – Russian MoD
Published time: 13 Apr, 2018 14:21Edited time: 13 Apr, 2018 15:51
“The Russian Defense Ministry also has evidence that Britain had a direct involvement in arranging this provocation in Eastern Ghouta,” the general added, referring to the neighborhood of which Douma is part. “We know for certain that between April 3 and April 6 the so-called White Helmets were seriously pressured from London to speed up the provocation that they were preparing.”…
[read more at link below]
According to Sputnik News, the Syrians just captured a bunch of Brits that were poised to engage in a ground invasion of Syria after the missiles started flying!
“According to a report by Al-Mayadeen news channel cited by Fars News, a number of British troops have been captured during the Syrian Arab Army’s operations in Eastern Ghouta.
They are believed to be a part of international military forces deployed in the region to launch a ground assault in Damascus in cooperation with the US. According to the report, the US and other NATO countries, Jordan and Israel planned to launch attacks from several fronts, but the plot failed as Syrian armed forces made a series of rapid advances in Eastern Ghouta in March. The plot allegedly involved massive airstrikes by US and Israeli planes that were supposed to pave the way for ground forces.
Since the plot failed due to rapid advances by the Syrian army, the US cancelled all operations planned for these foreign forces and ordered an immediate withdrawal from Eastern Ghouta through the eastern suburbs of Damascus, including Douma.”
So, this was apparently not going to be a mere “punitive” slap against Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons. It was to be the start of an invasion and ground war against Syria (and Russia). What next?!!
Sometimes a clear and forceful response is the best way to deter all out war. Strike a blow for peace by countering the bully in no equivocal way – may the return message impossible to misunderstand. Don’t be a Chamberlain.
Putin’s speech in March unveiling their new delivery systems for conventional or nuclear weapons, convinced the realists in the US War Department that a nuclear first strike on Russia was not feasible. On the other hand, this also made it clear that conventional US military power in the world is at it’s zenith right now, but it is also in decline. Time is on the side of Russia and China in this regard. This makes the option of an all out conventional war against Russia, and soon, seem attractive. Even if such a war did not result in the invasion and total defeat of Russia, it might weaken them enough to make them irrelevant.
What is happening today with regard to Syria represents the Empire testing if they can bait Russia into a protracted conventional war. Russia must make it clear that it is not going to permit this to go forward, and that the “foreplay” of limited missile strikes is going to be cut short by vigorous responses from their side. This is the time to make it clear that Russia refuses to be drawn into a protracted conventional war in Syria. She needs to deliver a strong and convincing slap to the world bully, just as soon as this unprovoked aggression is initiated by the US.
A must read Editorial at link below.
EDITORIAL | 13.04.2018 | Editorial
World Pushed to the Brink by Western Criminals and Lies
Lest we forget, the US, France and Britain are already acting illegally by their past four years of “low-level” bombing of Syria. A case can be made that the governments of these three NATO powers are already in breach of international law from their aerial bombing campaigns in Syria. Regardless of their hollow claims of fighting terrorism in that country, they stand accused of war crimes. The American destruction of the Syrian city of Raqqa last year with thousands of casualties is sufficient evidence of massive criminality….
[read more at link below]
Also can enail http://www.whitehouse.gov, harder to get through on WH comments line but we can kerp sending emails, bombard them with our outrage! back-evol, have you read The Saker this morning, great, inspiring article?
White House, 202-456-1111.
Friday the 13th, i just called the White House, got through, blasted the poor lady with my comment, said no excuse for US military buildup on unsubstantiated chemical attack not investigated, just happens days after John Bolton comes in, while our people are being hollowed out and nothing done, that White Helmets reporting this work with rebels supported by our government, etc. Anyway, i will no longer sound officially professional as a cowed citizen on any of these calls to government. We have a right to be angry! Note the convenient time that Paul Ryan steps down? This is a dangerous, orchestrated charade that we call “our government”. Trump is completely in the neocon zionist net now. We have to blast away in whatever ways we can to stop this madness!
Jessika – good for you! Let Trump know that what’s happening is insane.
Stephen Cohen, Russian expert, on with Tucker Carlson last night. Mr. Cohen said he’s more worried than he’s been for nearly 50 years. Four-minute video clip:
Sky News interview with Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, in English. https://twitter.com/EmbassyofRussia/status/984689864355581952
Thanks for posting this Mike. I admire Zakharova and enjoyed hearing from her in a setting apart from her official capacity.
Link for the above article:
“Amid his confirmation hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reports that Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said Thursday that “a couple hundred Russians” were killed in Syria by U.S. warplanes after Syrian fighters backed by Washington came under attack in February.
The episode reportedly took place on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, when Russian mercenaries mounted an attack using tanks and artillery in an apparent attempt to take an oil-rich area in the eastern Syria province of Deir Ezzour. Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces, organized by the U.S. to fight Islamic State, came under fire and American air power was called in.”
American air power was called in and killed a couple hundred Russians. The U.S. should not even be in Syria. Get out! The Russians have said that if it happens again, they will retaliate. Who wants to bet that it’s not going to happen again? I wouldn’t take that bet.
Caitlin – great article. This is a short six-minute BBC interview that’s well worth listening to.
The article (with enclosed video) is entitled “Former UK Ambassador to Syria: Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack Was STAGED By Islamic Jihadi Propagandists, No One Actually Died”.
This is the former U.K. Ambassador to Syria, and even he’s saying we had better take a step back here! He’s saying he doesn’t think that Assad did this at all, that it was staged. He presents excellent arguments.
Everybody, give it a listen.
Here is the link for the above article:
America is a dictatorship and they are jealous of democracies so they attack them with poison gas and use that as a justification for killing children, torturing innocents, and committing genocide.
Love you Caitlin, but it truly amazes me how you can write an entire column about plots for regime change in Syria and never once, not even once, mention Israel. Please zoom out your lens for a bigger perspective, OK?
Colleen, that happens a lot. Great analysis except they perceive there is a third rail and leave it alone although that plays on the truth a good bit. Mention of Wolfowitz in the article does leave he cat out of the bag.
“Held for the purpose of bringing Nazi war criminals to justice, the Nuremberg trials were a series of 13 trials carried out in Nuremberg, Germany, between 1945 and 1949.”
“The Allies eventually established the laws and procedures for the Nuremberg trials with the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), issued on August 8, 1945. Among other things, the charter defined three categories of crimes: crimes against peace (including planning, preparing, starting or waging wars of aggression or wars in violation of international agreements), war crimes (including violations of customs or laws of war, including improper treatment of civilians and prisoners of war) and crimes against humanity (including murder, enslavement or deportation of civilians or persecution on political, religious or racial grounds). It was determined that civilian officials as well as military officers could be accused of war crimes.”
“… most observers considered the trials a step forward for the establishment of international law. The findings at Nuremberg led directly to the United Nations Genocide Convention (1948) and Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), as well as the Geneva Convention on the Laws and Customs of War (1949). In addition, the International Military Tribunal supplied a useful precedent for the trials of Japanese war criminals in Tokyo (1946-48); the 1961 trial of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann (1906-62); and the establishment of tribunals for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia (1993) and in Rwanda (1994).”
So, the record shows that the United States immediately began violating the precedents set by the international court which it participated in creating almost immediately after the legal proceedings had been completed in 1949. That’s galaxy-class arrogance for you. Basically every high-ranking U.S. government official, including all of the recent presidents, should be serving long prison terms under the Nuremberg principles. Maybe we all missed the fine print that somewhere says the exceptional nation is given a dispensation from following the laws it writes and imposes on the rest of the world. I think the U.S. pretty much also wipes its posterior with the Genocide Convention and the Geneva Convention which the history books say were a direct outgrowth of Nuremberg. It is a totally lawless rogue state that simply takes or forces what it wants through wars of aggression or economic intimidation, violating every precept established at Nuremberg. It is given widespread deference entirely out of fear, not respect. It stands on the brink of ending civilisation if not all life itself on the planet merely out of pique, not moral or ethical principles.
Over at Counterpunch it’s sad to see Patrick Cockburn giving credence to the whole absurd idea that Assad used chlorine on innocent civilians. Patrick Cockburn doesn’t come right out and say he believes Assad utilized chem weapons — and towards the end of his piece he acknowledges the argument that Assad was winning and would have little incentive to use chlorine — but he really seems to give a lot of respect to the argument that Assad used chem weapons and he features this prominently.
From my quick reading of Patrick’s piece I don’t recall him mentioning one word about the White Helmets or the fact that they are in bed with ISIS/alQaeda/alNusra, and that it’s the White Helmets who created the whole scenario around Assad’s supposed chem attack.
The BS is so deep and pervasive, that many a noble mind cracks , and begins lapping it up.
Drew – I used to read many articles at Counterpunch. Now I’d be sickened to visit their site. As you say, it’s what they leave out of their articles (example, the White Helmets), the glaring one-sidedness.
Thank you Drew Hunkins.
I think the disinformation cabal is cracking up. Here is a section from an informative piece from OffGuardian:
“the Guardian’s correspondent there, said to be in Damascus, wrote under the pseudonym Katherine Marsh. She authored 36 Guardian articles on Syria between 21 March and 9 May 2011. One was entitled ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus becomes a heroine of the Syrian revolt’. This introduced to the public one Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari, and Marsh gives a wealth of factual information about this heroic blogger said to be writing from the same town as Marsh herself, Damascus. As later came to light, however, ‘Amina’ was in fact a fictional character generated from an IP address accessed by an American couple then based 3000 miles away in my town, Edinburgh! The husband was a literature student and the wife was doing postgraduate research on the Syrian economy.” OffGuardian by Tim Hayward, April 11, 2018
It becomes clearer all the time that the research route to the truth is through the writing cycle, back to the source. That is why the assassination cycle is finally getting resolved.
I think far too many journalists and pundits bend over backwards to avoid being condemned and ostracized as “Putin puppets,” “Putin apologists,” “useful idiots,” or “Putin’s tools” by the monolithic owners and managers of the mainstream corporate media. They are threatened with losing their reputation and high-paying jobs. Look how quickly Stephen F. Cohen, Seymour Hirsch, Oliver Stone and Ed Schultz (to name a few) were disappeared from American media when they tried to analyse any foreign policy involving Russia objectively. There are a whole passel of adjunct gum-flappers we never see any longer on MSNBC screens, just quietly put out to pasture in favor of Rachel “Let-me-tell-you-the-latest-outrage-by-Putin” Maddow. (How long will Tucker Carlson now keep his job after those brave performances for two nights in a row?) I think most of the absurd talking heads have acted mostly out of fear and the herd mentality. So many can’t be so obtuse, can they? Besides, it’s probably in their contracts that they will read verbatim the scripts they are given, regardless of facts in the real world.
I have also wondered how Tucker Carlson is getting away with saying what he’s saying on Fox news. He is the lone voice, and clearly going against the rest of the MSM script. When Phil Donahue started talking against the Iraq War, he was gone in a New York minute. It will be very interesting to see what happens to Tucker. He should be mindful of what happened to Michael Hastings.
Stephen Gowan’s book “Washington’s Long War on Syria” adds much context and history to what Ms. Johnstone says here. His blog is https://gowans.wordpress.com
It’s just been a relentless onslaught, yet secular Syria has mostly survived and is persevering. An understanding of why Syria is persevering (the vast majority of Syrians like a secular, inclusive Syria) is critical to understanding both the depth of Syrian perseverance and the group-hysteria of modern empire that is doing so.
A good recommendation Larry. This specific article is strong on background and context:
Thanks for those articles! (Cartilucci is great)
After the full nuclear exchange has obliterated the major cities of our world, we will never know who did what, and in what order to cause this nightmare. Any capacity to know the truth about all that will be obliterated in those few terrible hours when all communications will go down, and become irrelevant in the desperate scramble to survive. There will never be an accurate history of what happened. And in a relatively short time there will be no one left to read history of any kind – only a smouldering silence………………..
The truth about the American government is so bad, so horrific that the average bullshitted American just cannot see it. We are the Evil Empire in spades! Think of the enormous revolution in thought required of one who has been told we are the bright hope of mankind, to grasp the reality of who we really are. This mental incapacity to face the truth is the real problem that will probably ensure our doom as a species in the near future. At this very moment our insane “leaders” are planning military crimes that may quite likely trigger a nuclear war. And the people are sleeping as this crisis is unfolding, and the storm could come crashing down on our world at any moment now…….
It’s not the American government, it’s Western bankers. Consider (posted above, so pardon for repeating but it’s worth reading):
Good article. Thanks for posting it. If we knew the whole truth about World War II, it would blow our minds. From the article:
“‘Participation in the war against Hitler remains almost wholly sacrosanct, nearly in the realm of theology…. Whatever criticisms of twentieth-century American policy are put forth, U.S. participation in World War II remains almost entirely immune. According to our national mythology, that was a ‘good war,’ one of the few for which the benefits clearly outweighed the costs. Except for a few books published shortly after the war and quickly forgotten, this orthodoxy has been essentially unchallenged.’ […]
As Preparata observes in his introduction, one of the key reasons a more detailed and accurate analysis of the emergence of Nazism is generally eschewed is because it might reveal too much…”
Ask too many questions, you go to jail in Germany. Just for asking! That tells me right there that somebody is trying to stop people from getting too close to the real story.
Great link, thanks. Guido Preparata youtube interview on Conjuring Hitler, is also very good.
Very true, Mike, and well put. I see a longer timescale, but find it less encouraging.
Mike, come on man!
You’ve been drinking too much of your own KoolAid.
You are just sounding like Chicken Little now!
The World is not coming to an end.
And if it is, what are you doing about it?
And whose to say that you are not an “average bullshitted American”?
Who made you the judge of everybody?
Wiser heads will prevail… we hope.
Bravo Caitlin! Your articles are ones I look for and eagerly read. Your links are impeccable and your exposition is always clear. Thank you for this illuminating history. My god it sounds just like all our other attempts on the countries of the middle east! It makes me thoroughly ashamed of my government and also thoroughly terrified of what they may do in the near future. It obviously isn’t just Trump and Bolton who are insane,but apparently the entire Pentagon/CIA/NSA combination are.
It would be nice to think that the citizens of this country, who are mostly against war whether liberal or conservative, would rise up in arms and march on these instruments of the Dark State to which we are all in thrall, But I know that is a fantasy. We are going to let these evil crazy people destroy our country (along with the majority of others in the world) because we are all to cowed and too disorganized to do anything.
The link to the video of General Clark saying what you quote is stunning – one of those “aha” moments that clear away the fog and make us realize that we have all been gulled. We don’t see General Clark on the news any more – maybe we haven’t noticed how many people who used to be seen on TV news are no longer there. I’ve been making a list lately and it’s growing quite long. All are names of people we used to see, and who are still relevant to the news, but are no longer ever allowed to be on air to express an opinion.
Thanks again Caitlin. We can’t push “history aside” as someone remarked. History is what illuminates our present.
The insidious practice of targeting regimes which do not behave like vassals is inveterate. It also transcends successive executive, legislative and judiciary branch changes and the platforms of both political parties. It is thus a progeny of a power structure within the deep state which conducts foreign policy independent of official oversight. The fact that this has been longstanding suggests either indifference or tacit approval by those in office who purportedly represent the best interests of the people who elected them. Except they do not. This is neither transparency nor accountability for the long trail and fallout from such flagrantly reckless infringement and destabilization of the sovereignty of other states. We need not plumb far to unearth the roots of instability throughout a region where our established policy punishes one authoritarian but otherwise secular government because it will not be reigned in and rewards another which is theocratic, intolerant and oppressive because it is amenable to imperial direction.
Well said. I’m not sure it’s “indifference or tacit approval”, as much as it is use of the carrot and stick.
Agreed, however, no need for the euphhemisms, it is bribery, blackmail and coersion.
It is obvious that there are certain countries responsible for the carnage in Syria. People are dead, others are refugees, their homes destroyed by the war criminals past and present. Syria is a war crime of massive proportions and the unscrupulous villains are free. We need present day Nuremberg Trials. But, when the corrupt run the system, law and order becomes a joke. Hopefully, some day there will be a day of reckoning.
This criminal Mafia called America, and it’s allies refuses to appear in a real court of justice, and defies anyone to call them to account. Where is the police force to bring them in?? Be careful with these desperados, they have all sorts of weapons.
Totally agree Stephen J. I just wanted to get that down. Thanks.
The theft of Syria’s resources & land was always the goal of America, picking up the thieving hegemonic baton from England & France? The American Nation & it’s Deepstate Leadership know that the gig is nearly up? People around the World are realising that they are being played for suckers by these Western Govts? Syria is the last gasp attempt, from a dying, floundering, disfunctional Empire called America, to impose its hegemonic power? They know their unipolar moment is well & truly over & the World has moved on & America is being left behind, thanks to its own arrogance & hubris? Flailing around like a drunken sailor, not knowing what to do next, it’s now threatening to attack Russia & attack Syria based on fabricated evidence by its own CIA trained & supported Terrorist army proxies? Wake up America? Your never going to return to the economic prosperity of the 1950’s, that horse has well & truly bolted? Corporations are Global now, not local & they move were the Labour is cheap? That horse bolted to China & no amount of warmongering, soft power sanctions & tariffs will get it back? China is now the undisputed, no.1 economic power of the World & Russia under Putin, is back as a strong, counterbalance, superpower again? The sooner America wakes up to this reality & abandons this “exceptionalism” nonsense in some sort of warped Corporate logo banner, the sooner it can come back to the human race? And STOP interfering in other Countries affairs, such as Syria, stay in your own Country, no one one wants the US in their Country? Would you like someone invading the USA & imposing their will on your people? No you wouldn’t so stay in your own damn Country & sort out your own multiple problems such as the opiate crisis, lousy healthcare, crumbling infrastructure gun violence & unemployment & a corrupt political system to name a few, rather than trying to solve other Countries problems that you have no right to meddle in! Stop acting like the Worlds policeman, police your own Country, God knows it needs it?
Good points Kiwi.
Perhaps the US sheeple can be enlightened, but our oligarchy tyrants speak and hear only force and money.
Democracy™ is liberty and justice for gangsters, to whom we are told we owe everything.
Organize nations to help us defeat our tyrants and restore democracy, and we shall be eternally grateful.
You don’t like Americans telling others what to do..
But seem only too happy to tell Americans what to do.
New Zealand has its own drug crisis, lousy healthcare, crumbling infrastructure, gun violence & unemployment & a corrupt political system, along with shameful levels of youth suicide, spousal abuse, and income inequality.
Why don’t you start policing (sic) your own country.
As i said yesterday, I am a Kiwi. Lived in America for 45-years.
And tired off you spouting your venom towards about me and my fellow Americans.
Just quit please.
Kiwi’s comments are well intentioned and fair, by no means venom.
Criticism from outside is welcomed by those who care about the problems.
There is no point in suggesting that others restrict themselves to their nation’s problems
And all the more so, since the lion’s share of what is discussed here is very much the concern of the world outside the US.
Deflection at its best. This discussion is about the US bombing another country.
If you want to talk these other issues, then the US should instead fix the drug crisis it created in its own country, stop the shooting of its citizens by well armed police, put the poor in housing, stop spousal abuse that is arguably worse in the US than elsewhere.
On top of the trouble on its own soil, the US is attempting to act like it is the world’s policeman and shoot whoever they feel like with no consequences. A bit like their cops do on home soil. Don’t like someone, want their resources – shoot them. Ask the American indians how well that worked.
The US has used bully tactics and violence for over 200 years and are showing no signs of stopping.
Why would France be involved? Erdogan published a list of all Frances military bases inside Syria. Britian in cuz they act like puppy dogs, when the US says man your war planes, Britian, ok, where we going.
The Syrian territory of he Golan Heights is central to the Israeli/Syrian conflict. Israel occupied the Golan Heights in the 1967 war, fought off a Syrian effort to reclaim it in 1973, and illegally annexed it in 1981.
Israel has sought to take advantage of the war that has devastated Syria for nearly seven years by significantly expanding military forces in the Golan.
Despite Israeli claims to the contrary, the occupied Golan unambiguously belongs to Syria under international law:
And still more evidence regarding NATO that is funded by our Tax Dollars at link below.
More evidence at link below of the treachery of the war criminals in our midst.
Stephen J. Thanks that collection will become a classic, I’m sure…
History aside, this is all about oil and gas pipelines to Europe to undermine the Russian economy. In order to get the oil and gas to Europe the pipes have to go through Syria.
The “in Syria, it’s all about the pipelines” meme has become very well embedded, but I’m not sure it’s based in fact.
I think I remember Bobby Kennedy, Jr. giving it a big boost – on one of his days off from the anti-vaccination nonsense – but then seeing it debunked by Max Blumenthal with a lot more authority.
I don’t have the articles at hand, though, and my memory could be in error. If someone can demonstrate that, I’m glad to learn.
• I know the meme is out there among people with a generally correct view of U.S./Western imperialism. That doesn’t make this specific claim correct.
• I’m not disputing the overall strategic importance of pipelines, just their role in motivating intervention at this specific place and time (as opposed to, say, Israel and Saudi Arabia’s program to weaken secular Arab states and Iran).
David G. I am hard pressed to see how this Syrian conflict is not tied into the global debt that is now $237 trillion. Unless this debt crisis can somehow be solved, it is a mathematical certainty another bust is coming. When that happens your pensions will be gone, the value of your money goes the way of Zimbabwe, and the status quo is toast.
So you see debt reduction in a civil war far away? What irrelevancy. This is the work of a troll.
The US cannot be involuntarily forced into default or bankruptcy. It is the the monoploly issuer of its own non-convertible fiat currency. It cannot run out of tht which it creates at will.
Zimbabwe crashed because of a unique set of circumstances. Mugabe confiscated land from farmers and redistributed it to his cronies, effectively destroying 80% of the county’s mainly agricultural economy. Also the country’s currency was pegged to the USD. Currency pegs are like being on a gold standard. While proponents of curency pegs insist the practice provides economic stability, to keep the exchange rate constant the govt may have to raise taxes to pull excess currency out of the economy. If they don’t do that, the exchange rate can’t be maintained and hyperinflation can occur.
Greece is another trope. Greece gave up its monetary sovereignty when it joined the EU. It is a user of the Euro, not the issuer. It is just like how Connecticut is a user of the USD, but not the issuer. When you are not the issuer of the currency you use, you must tax to raise revenue. Not so when you are the issuer like the federal government.
And while we’re at it, how about Weimar Germany? They were forced to pay war reparations in gold. Their currency was “backed” by gold, so they had the same dilemma as Zimbabwe – drastically raise taxes to pull exceess currency out of circulation to keep the exchange rate constant, or face hyperinflation.
The only way the US government can go “bnkrupt” is if it chooses to. You should ask in whose interest it is to perpetuate this myth that the government is out of $. The USA always has bottomless pockets to pay for war, surveillance, and tax cuts for billionaires. But when it comes to public goods like infrastructure, social security, education, etc. it’s always how will we “pay for” it.
You raise some good points here but in the long run America can’t print Fiat currency, indefinitely as it has to obey fiscal & economic rules & financial laws of gravity? Volitare wrote that the sum value of fiat paper money always returns or reverts back to its true value- ZERO! And if your analysis was truly legitimate, why is America so concerned regarding protecting its Petrodollar, oil for US dollars financial system that its prepared to invade & destroy other Countries who attempt to withdraw from this tyrannical system? If what your stating was correct, their would be no need for America to prop up the Petrodollar system as they could just print this worthless, Fed printed paper indefinitely without limits or constraints?
ALL WARS ARE ABOUT RESOURCES (direct or, in the case of pipeline routes, indirect).
[Western] Bankers don’t give a crap about humanitarian issues. Industrialists same. Banking, the MONEY, is what runs everything.
The [email protected] KNOW that they’re running a big PONZI scheme, driving perpetual growth on a finite planet. If people can swallow this ridiculous premise then the lies can be piled on quite high.
Resources = power.
Get educated on how ugly this all is:
Explaining everything with a gesture at conflicts of unspecified financiers merely attacks all analysis, and obscures the many national, ideological, religious, and warmongering interests.
No one is blocking the supply of Mideast oil and gas, and war has no benefit to consumer nations.
There is no more overall industry profit with one set of profiteers or financiers than another.
Please note specific interests and why they would see more profit one way than another.
I don’t think you’re that dense, but…
It’s about control. Resources provide control/power.
Your “rebuttal” is no such thing. Try again.
David G. Here is one article that Robert Kennedy wrote about Syria. It seems to be very close to what Caitlin Johnstone is writing…
Expressing your views in regard to vaccination is both irrelevant and a turn-off for the many people who know a lot more about vaccination than you do.
Hasbara troll “WC” pops back up out of the hole with more “thunder” about how “this is all about” something, anything other than Israel’s interests in the Syrian “dirty war”.
Journalist Pepe Escobar coined the term Pipelineistan and has extensively analyzed the conflict Syria as an energy war.
Escobar has highlighted Syria’s role as an energy transit corridor, as well as discoveries of natural gas wealth ?in offshore Israel, Palestine, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.
Escobar reports that Russian efforts to deescalate the Syrian conflict in cooperation with regional powers Iran and Turkey reflect a “common commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Syria”.
The Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis aims to dismember Syria and severely damage Iran. Israel hopes for some additional land grabs, a pass on ethnic cleansing, elimination of its geo-strategic rivals, expanded control of regional energy wealth, and a “grand deal” on the Palestinian territory it illegally occupies.
Of course, this level of fact-based “big picture” analysis (frequently addressed by numerous contributors and commenters at CN) predictably escapes the attention of Hasbara troll “WC” and “friends”.
Abe. This was a better post than the empty hyperbole you usually throw at me. ;)
You have stated in the past – “The Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis project’s geo-strategic objectives obviously include control over Eurasian energy resources and transit corridors, and an increasingly desperate effort to preserve petro-dollar hegemony”.(which is basically what you said above). I have never disagreed with this. And unless Russia and their pals (with a wildcard perhaps being China) can thwart this objective, this is exactly what will happen.
However, this still leaves the $237 trillion global debt crisis unsolved. And the only way to make that elephant in the room go away under the current financial system is to inflate it away. That means a loaf of bread goes from $4 to $400.
This brings us back to your “big picture” view, which (for reasons unknown) is entirely focused on Israel and the middle east, vs what I see from a global perspective. This is why (as I have said to your irritation in the past) the middle east is simply a tactic toward a bigger objective. And until ya all figure out WHAT the “bigger objective” is you will never be able to get organized enough to control the narrative on HOW the “bigger objective” should be structured and WHO it will be structured to serve! Let me repeat that line for those who always crying in their beer and have difficulty understanding what to do. Until ya all figure out WHAT the “bigger objective” is you will never be able to get organized enough to control the narrative on HOW the “bigger objective” should be structured and WHO it will be structured to serve!
Hasbara troll “WC”s posts are simply a tactic to shift the topic of discussion as far away as possible from Israel.
“WC”s diversion du jour: the “$237 trillion global debt crisis”.
Mention the history underlying the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis “dirty war” in Syria, and “WC” (April 12, 2018 at 9:09 pm ) is “hard pressed to see” it as anything other than “simply a tactic toward a bigger objective”.
Mention the Israeli Army murders of unarmed Palestinian protesters, and “WC” (April 7, 2018 at 3:02 pm) is “hard pressed to see” it “as anything more than “just a tactic toward a bigger objective”.
The same Hasbara propaganda script, with slight variations, gets repeated over and over by “WC”
Better to blather about the “real World”, “End Game” and the “overall game plan” of shadowy “global elites”.
Hasbara troll “WC” is positively obsessed about anything and everything but… Israel.
Some people can’t resist to repeat that Israel is behind everything. They are not entirely wrong. But who is behind Israel? They call themselves the forefront of the west. Perhaps that is true. Who created them? Who supports them? Who weaponises them? Who pays them? Who rescues their asses time and time again? If Israel is not to the benefit of Jews, than who else benefits?
There seems to be no real conflict between pipelines themselves as some maintain, because these can be run wherever anyone pleases to get around the landscape, including over and under other pipelines. The more pipelines through Syria et al, the more income, happy neighbors, dependent states, and stabilizing trade relations. It is unlikely that Syria would say No to pipelines between nations not attacking it, so why attack it?
As to whether Syria would deny pipelines viewed by Russia as competition, Russia could not deny pipelines in Syria from KSA/UAE/UK/US/Turkey if Syria were not under attack by them, requiring military help from Russia.
Russia has several pipeline routes to Europe, and Iran has or plans such a pipeline through Syria despite relations with Russia, with which Qatar might well cooperate. The only issue would be GCC states wishing to send gas that way, so mending relations with Syria is the pipeline solution for GCC.
It is hard to see why anyone would start a civil war with jihadi bombers in a country that they wish to be stable enough to protect gas pipelines.
“You can’t understand the conflict without talking about natural gas
By Maj. Rob Taylor
Much of the media coverage suggests that the conflict in Syria is a civil war, in which the Alawite (Shia) Bashar al Assad regime is defending itself (and committing atrocities) against Sunni rebel factions (who are also committing atrocities). The real explanation is simpler: it is about money.
In 2009, Qatar proposed to run a natural gas pipeline through Syria and Turkey to Europe. Instead, Assad forged a pact with Iraq and Iran to run a pipeline eastward, allowing those Shia-dominated countries access to the European natural gas market while denying access to Sunni Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The latter states, it appears, are now attempting to remove Assad so they can control Syria and run their own pipeline through Turkey.”
There is little doubt that Qatar wants an NG pipeline, tapping the same NG field as Iran. Their hosting the US ME command base shows their intent. But civil war among entrenched factions in Syria is a poor strategy for Qatar, as it would need stability to host a pipeline. Perhaps Qatar could offer Syria more for the deal, to refuse any exclusive deal with Iran. But if Qatar is limited to LNG ships, that is no business of the US.
The interests of NG consumers like UK/France et al does not explain their involvement, except to gain more supplier competition, and the US could readily have avoided conflict. A Mediterranean pipeline Egypt-Greece/Italy looks no more difficult than some of the Russian routes, but perhaps not.
My point is that the US has no legitimate interest, and that the commercial interests of Europe can be better achieved by lawful and peaceful means. So the real motive is not US/EU profit.
The public record is clear that there have been two competing pipeline plans for years now. The one through Saudi Arabia was clearly favored by the Wahhabi nations. The one through Iran was favored by Shia, and possibly Russia.
Qatar’s al Jazeera Arabic promoted the war against Syria for years. They broadcast clerics calling on the world’s Sunni Muslims to go to Syria and topple the hated secular Syrian Arab Republic (run by an Alawite minority). I watched one show that featured a debate on Syria over whether the Wahhabi “rebels” should try to convert Shia or just butcher them all. The conclusion was that Shia are animals, not humans and so should just be butchered. But they did “generously” offer Christians the chance to leave Syria completely before butchering them, too.
But something did happen after MsB took control of KSA, and suddenly started blaming Qatar for terrorism, and seemed poised to topple Qatar.
So now, to conjecture. It could be that Qatar’s royals decided that piping NG through Iran was better than losing it all to KSA. On the other hand, Turkey sent troops to Qatar to help defend them, and Turkey probably doesn’t want Syria getting that pipeline.
My point would be that anything as big as a 7 year long war must require sign in by multiple interested parties. As always, cui bono?
1. The petroleum industry (look into Genie Energy).
2. The Military/Industrial Complex.
3. Supra-national Financial Interests (besides profiting off of most any transaction, they can’t like that Syria is almost alone in the world in having zero foreign debt, and no privately-owned Central Bank).
4. Zionists (recall that the Biblically-Promised Border is the Euphrates River… and the US and its SDF/Kurdish proxies now control all of Syria East/North of that river).
This is a civil war between Wahabbis (Sauds), many other groups (rebel terrorists) attempting to overthrow Assad. Syria is a secular nation, and christians and muslims stand with him against these fundamental crazies attempting to take the country. Trump has delivered billions in arms to Sauds, who keep the terrorists supplied. Ghouta was the last city to be taken from the rebels. It was proof the Syria and russians were capable to taking back the territory. The chemicals were destroyed by the UN…who really had chemicals…Sauds. Prince Bandar delivered them…google it…Trump was right to pull out, but Bolton and the neo cons who got us into Iraq…had Syria on the top list for regime change. SAMS a US aid agency is responsible for the lies and deceptions claming Assad did it. SAMS has been banned in many countries. SAMS even have an agency within their agency called “Regime Change”. Erdogan in Turkey is on the side of Syria…the US has the largest military bases in Turkey outside the US. Erdogan refuses to let them fly out, and stated, “The Crusaders are coming”. Evangelics worldwide believe in the End Times, and the End Times will come in their lifetime…like right now…which is why they support Trump…they considered Trump to be their “God on Earth”, because he is following through on his promise to them. They believe they must get to Israel, because the Rapture will happen there, and if your not In Israel YOU will not be taken up to heaven by the Rapture…this is sick and crazing crap we are dealing with, and people will die for politricks.
Thanks for this retrospective, Caitlin. The March 1949 coup was not long after the establishment of Israel in 1947 and Israel’s expulsion of the Palestinians, the Nakba.
Yes, Jessica. The links and connections run deep.
The author of the 1986 CIA planning document Caitlin cites is Graham Fuller. Fuller was a career intelligence/PsyOps operative. In 1986, he was Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at CIA, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.
Later, he “joined the CIA-founded and funded RAND Corporation where his research focused primarily on the Middle East and Central Asia and the politics of ethnicity and religion.”
You know, things like the Chechen Muslims and their decades-long war against Russia, and Sunni/Shia/Alawite sectarian strife in Syria.
Well, here’s where it gets really weird. Graham Fuller was the father-in-law of someone we’ve all seen before: Ruslan Tsarni.
This is “Uncle Ruslan,” who was all over out TV screens after the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing event were named. Uncle Ruslan ranted on to us that his nephews, Tamarlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev were “losers.”
Uncle Ruslan had lived in, and run an operation out of CIA Vice-Chairman Fuller’s house, which may have funded Chechen Terrorist Groups who had been fighting against Russia since the 1990s, and many of whom flowed into Syria to join the Jihadist “revolution” after 2011.
Oh what a tangled web, eh?
I think it interesting that Fuller’s web site doesn’t name his university. He was a classmate of mine, Harvard 1959. Typical CIA history, which he omits in his entry in the class’s fiftieth anniversary report. All it gives is his address in Vancouver. Ashamed, perhaps?
…and not long before they took over in Iran for 25 years…illegally…