Nice to see Salon
print (some of ) the truth about Putin's moves in Syria...
Very simply, we have one secular nation helping to defend what remains of another, by invitation, against a radical Islamist insurgency that, were it to succeed, would condemn those Syrians who cannot escape to a tyranny of disorder rooted in sectarian religious animosities. And we have the great power heretofore dominant in the region hoping that the insurgency prevails. Its policy across the region, indeed, appears to rest on leveraging these very animosities.
It was a big week for Washington, too. First it pulled the plug on its $500 million program to train a “moderate opposition” in Syria—admittedly a tough one given that Islamists with guns in their hands tend to be immoderate. Instantly it then begins to send weapons to the militias it failed to train, the CIA having “lightly vetted” them—as it did for a time in 2013, until that proved a self-defeating mistake.
The fiction that moderates lurk somewhere continues. Out of the blue, they are now called “the Syrian Arab Coalition,” a moniker that reeks of the corridors in Langley, Virginia, if you ask me.
I would have been more impressed if writer Patrick L. Smith had taken a closer look at the members of this coalition, as I did a couple of posts down.
Still, Smith has done an excellent job. He was particularly bold in addressing the question of motive. Why
are the neocons so hell-bent on spreading "mere anarchy" throughout the non-Sunni Islamic world?
The second explanation as to why Washington holds to a patently destructive course in the Middle East is more sinister than our practice of modeling foreign policy on the plot of a John Wayne movie. The argument here is that turning the Middle East into a violent anarchy of ethnic and religious rivalries renders the nations wherein these occur weak and incapable of serious political action—in effect, no longer nations. The chaos before us is exactly Washington’s intended outcome.
I do not know where I stand on this theory. It is not new but is now emerging into the light, and there is considerable documentation in support of it. Thomas Harrington, a cultural studies professor (Trinity College) and a frequent political commentator, cites policy papers going back to the 1980s. These include this document from 1996, which argues (among much else) the strategic use of deposing Saddam Hussein and destabilizing Syria; Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, intellectual poseurs during the Bush II administration, are among the co-authors.
“The U.S. strategic goal in Syria is not, as your faithful mainstream media servants … might have you believe, to save the Syrian people from the ravages of the longstanding Assad dictatorship,” Harrington wrote in a comment CounterPunch published Monday, “but rather to heighten the level of internecine conflict in that country to the point where it will not be able to serve as a bulwark against Israeli regional hegemony for at least a generation.”
It has been obvious for some time that the neocons engineered the Syrian civil war for one purpose: To place jihadis in charge of Damascus -- the area known as "al-Sham" (the final S
in ISIS). After that happens, the larger Syrian state will probably disintegrate into a series of perpetually warring fiefdoms.
Almost needless to say, our pundits will blame the shattering of Syria on "the Arab character" rather than outside manipulators. Almost needless to say, the neocons will never try to impose the Disunity Principle on Saudi Arabia.
"The chaos before us is exactly Washington’s intended outcome." The mainstream media will never give voice to this forbidden thought, not even to denigrate it. Congratulations to Salon for saying the unspeakable.
The Silence of the Left.
Why is it so hard to get lefties to pay attention to this administration's neocon policies? Why aren't those policies considered the
key issue in the current Democratic contest?
For example: Here is Brad Friedman
on Pacifica Radio, chatting with Digby and Eric Boehlert about the Democratic debate. They offer a great analysis of the race -- the best I've heard, frankly. But two really, really big issues go unmentioned: Syria and Ukraine. If we can't force Hillary, Sanders and the rest to address those problems honestly, we should at least ask our liberal-minded commentators to recognize the supreme importance of these two conflicts. What could be more
important than the issue of peace and war?
I would be remiss if I did not direct your attention to John Helmer's masterful analysis
. To my eyes, the Dutch report resembles the Human Rights Watch report on the 2013 chemical attacks in Syria. In both cases, a close reading reveals that the conclusions are not justified by the evidence.
What's really strange is the way this report has been interpreted by our ever-so-unbiased media. We've already cited, in a previous post, one egregious example involving NPR. We now learn that the Guardian
has been stretching the evidence as if it were Silly Putty.
Fortunately, the Guardian offered a retraction -- something one should never expect from NPR.