Tag Archive for Bashar al-Assad

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Obama’s Half-Billion to Syria’s ‘Moderates’

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

President Obama’s plan to spend another half-billion dollars on Syria’s “moderate” rebels will add more fuel to the destructive violence just as the killing was finally dying down. It’s also hard to see how this investment will promote serious negotiations, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Why Take the Neocons Seriously?

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The Sunni extremist offensive into central Iraq appears to have stalled, but the political battle rages in Washington where neocons see an opening to pressure President Obama into recommitting the U.S. military in support of neocon goals in the Middle East, writes Robert Parry.

Neocons Double-Down on Iraq/Syria

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

America’s neocons won’t let go of their Middle East delusions, now trying to leverage the worsening crisis in Iraq into an excuse to return U.S. forces to that tragic country while also escalating military involvement in Syria, a compounding of misjudgments, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Obama’s Collapsing Syria Policy

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

Syria has long been on the neocons’ “regime change” list, so they eagerly supported a violent insurgency to topple the Assad regime even as it veered into extremism. Now, that policy is collapsing but President Obama won’t admit the failure, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

WPost Seeks US-Patrolled ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks on Syria at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 30, 2013. [State Department photo]

Exclusive: Neocons never blush at their own hypocrisies, demanding Russia respect international law and do nothing to protect eastern Ukrainians, while demanding President Obama ignore international law and create a rebel “safe zone” in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Seeking a Dead-End in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

By insisting that “Assad must go,” the West has locked itself in to a losing and dangerous game in Syria. Rather than negotiate a political settlement with President Assad, the alternative has been to back Saudi-funded jihadis with ties to al-Qaeda, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Obama Deflects Neocon Pressure on Syria

President Barack Obama holds a press conference with French President Francois Hollande at the White House on Feb. 11, 2014. (White House photo)

Exclusive: Despite the angry tone, the Syrian peace talks have made some slight progress, at least in that President Obama and the opposition have backed away from making President Assad’s removal a precondition for negotiations, but the neocons still want U.S. military action, reports Robert Parry.

Neocons Seek New Ultimatum on Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claims to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]

Exclusive: The Washington Post’s neocon editors are pushing for another U.S. military ultimatum against a Muslim country in the Mideast. Citing discredited “evidence” pinning the Aug. 21 Sarin attack on the Syrian government, the Post wants President Obama to re-issue a war threat, reports Robert Parry.

The Mistaken Guns of Last August

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

Exclusive: After hundreds of Syrians died from Sarin gas last summer, Secretary of State Kerry insisted the U.S. had solid intelligence on the locations of the Syrian government’s launch sites used in the attack, thus justifying a U.S. military retaliation which was only narrowly averted. Now, those U.S. government’s claims have collapsed, writes Robert Parry.

NYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis

Secretary of State John Kerry (center) testifies on the Syrian crisis before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sept. 3, 2013. At the left of the photo is Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. and on the right is Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. No senior U.S. intelligence official joined in the testimony. (U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: For months, the “slam-dunk” evidence “proving” Syrian government guilt in the Aug. 21 Sarin attack near Damascus was a “vector analysis” pushed by the New York Times showing where the rockets supposedly were launched. But the Times now grudgingly admits its analysis was flawed, reports Robert Parry.