Tag: Bashar al-Assad

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Why Syria’s Options Are So Bad

A scene of destruction after an aerial bombing in Azaz, Syria, Aug. 16, 2012. (U.S. government photo)

The incoherence of Western policy toward Syria goes back decades to Cold War covert schemes that thwarted a democratic turn — and to more recent neocon insistence on “regime change,” not negotiations. Those choices have now left the West with…

Is Assad Part of a Solution?

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before a poster of his late father, Hafez Assad.

A favorite talking point of Official Washington is that Syrian President Assad is “a magnet for terrorism” who thus must be removed, but that’s a line not stuck on other leaders who are attacked by terrorists. A more sober assessment would see…

Turkey Provokes Russia with Shoot-down

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Exclusive: Turkey appears to have deliberately shot down a Russian warplane as a provocation designed to escalate tensions between NATO and Russia, a ploy that seems to have sucked in President Obama as he tries to look tough against Russia to appease his…

Rethinking ‘Assad Must Go’ Slogan

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell.

Official Washington’s “Assad must go!” slogan is threatening to destroy hopes for a political settlement of the horrific Syrian conflict and for an end to the chaos cascading from it finally prompting some U.S. officials to rethink the “group think,” as…

Can Obama Level with the People?

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials on Jan. 27, 2015, at the start of Obama’s State Visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Another terrorist outrage this one in Paris is spreading fear and fury across Europe. Which makes this a key moment for President Obama to finally level with the American people about how U.S. “allies” — such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey…

The Question Marks over Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Turkish President Erdogan’s electoral victory opens new risks and some hopes for the region’s future, depending on whether an empowered Erdogan ratchets up his autocratic approach or chooses to ease up on his military adventurism and repression of the Kurds, as…

Syria at a Crossroads

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Obama administration is finally making sounds about a reasonable peace deal for Syria accepting the principle that the Syrians should choose their own leaders but words are cheap and a Saudi official makes clear that “regime change” remains the…

A Glimmer of Hope for Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Exclusive: With new negotiations starting in Vienna and with Iran now allowed to participate there is finally a glimmer of hope that the Syrian slaughter might end. But that will require concessions from all sides and President Obama standing up…

Bowing to Silly US Propaganda

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

The U.S. government and mainstream media are so lost in their own propaganda that U.S. foreign policy lurches around the globe like a dangerous half-blind giant. False narratives are so powerful that even Sen. Bernie Sanders bends to the delusions, a danger to…

Rebuffing Peace Chances in Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Paris on Jan. 12, 2014, for diplomatic meetings on the Middle East. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s neocon-dominated “group think” on Syria is that everything is the fault of President Assad and Russian President Putin, but the actual history shows many missed opportunities for peace because of the U.S. obsession with dictating “regime change”…