In Official Washington, the talk is all about expanded wars and how tough to be on Syrian refugees. But elsewhere there is some serious reflection on how the West went wrong in its approach toward the Middle East, as reflected in Dennis J Bernstein’s interview with Indian historian Vijay Prashad.
The full story of how the U.S. ended up allied with some Sunni extremists in Syria – while at war with others – is a convoluted tale dating back to President George W. Bush’s neocons venturing off into Vice President Cheney’s “dark side” to work with violent jihadists, writes British diplomat Alastair Crooke.
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 and Qatar — have been aiding and abetting extremists, reports Robert Parry.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states went through the motions of joining the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State and other Sunni terrorists, who received substantial help from the same Gulf states, but those U.S. “allies” have now slipped out of the conflict almost entirely, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: President Obama’s plan to dispatch up to 50 Special Forces troops into northern Syria may be a bid to appease Official Washington’s war hawks but it presents a serious risk of “mission creep” – if those soldiers and their trainees come under fire in the complicated proxy war, writes Daniel Lazare.
The “you’re a weakling” baiting of President Obama to get him to attack the Syrian government is unrelenting, stretching from the neocon Right to some elements of the liberal Left. And, there are doubts he is strong enough to rebuff the warmongers and pursue a path toward a negotiated peace, as Rick Sterling describes.