German Economic News: You recently issued a highly acclaimed essay in the London Review of Books in which you demonstrate that the US military was against the US invasion of Syria, but Obama didn’t listen to their advice. Why?
Hersh: I don’t know, I have no explanation. The fact is that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had gone to Obama and told him: If Assad falls, chaos will break out. General Dempsey said that we must support Assad against the Islamists. Even the Federal Intelligence Service (BND [Germany’s intelligence agency]) supplied information to the Americans indicating that Assad is firmly supported by the Syrian people. I can’t read the thoughts of the President, but it was clear at the outset that there was no so-called “moderate opposition” [such as Obama constantly referred to]. There were radical Islamists against Assad, but the vast majority of the Syrians were terrified of those fighters as being dangerous crazies. Syrians were fleeing from the Islamists, toward Damascus as refuge, because they felt protected by the Syrian Army. …
The Americans failed on one thing above all: not recognizing that Syria, like Iraq and Libya, was a secular ally of the West. Instead, we overran these countries, overthrew their governments, and helped the rise of our worst enemies — ISIS or Daesh and all the other extreme Sunnis. German Economic News: Why didn’t Obama recognize what he was doing?
Seymour Hersh: I don’t know...
These are strange times for a liberal pacifist who came of age during the era of Vietnam protests. I can't find many Democrats who are willing to tell the truth about Syria. Even the socialist running for president refuses to speak with any degree of honesty or courage. Instead, the most candid statements are coming from people within the Defense Department.
I never thought that I would live to see the day...
Quote from the article quote…"The Americans failed on one thing above all: not recognizing that Syria, like Iraq and Libya, was a secular ally of the West. Instead, we overran these countries, overthrew their governments, and helped the rise of our worst enemies — ISIS or Daesh and all the other extreme Sunnis". end quote.
Apparently, there is a frustrating yet imaginary line between not overthrowing secular governments because they are secular yet do not have free elections. So Iraq, Libya and Egypt are all guilty of not having free elections while being secular countries, yet overthrowing them led to religious factions warring for control of each of these countries.
Syria is secular and apparently has free elections, yet we want to force the leader Assad to step down when the logical approach would be to demand an election to verify the stability of Assad in an unstable climate. Obama's conclusion about Assad needing to be uprooted through violence seems illogical.
This must be about oil or gas passage rights, isn't it always?