Sunday, December 20, 2015

Can Obama stop this insane war before Hillary or Rubio takes over?

A short while ago, I came to Hillary Clinton's defense, exposing a widely-believed fib about her legal work during the Watergate era. It is my sad duty to report that this woman -- someone who has been on the receiving end of an incessant stream of falsehoods and fabrications -- has uttered one of the most appalling lies ever spewed during a Democratic debate.

Fortunately, a few voices in the mainstream media are calling her out on her horseshit.

Here is what she said about Syria:
I think it's fair to say, Assad has killed, by last count, about 250,000 Syrians. The reason we are in the mess we're in, that ISIS has the territory it has, is because of Assad. I advocated arming the moderate opposition back in the day when I was still secretary of state, because I worried we would end up exactly where we are now. And so, when we look at these complex problems, I wish it could be either/or. I wish we could say yes, let's go destroy ISIS and let's let Assad continue to destroy Syria, which creates more terrorists, more extremists by the minute. No. We now finally are where we need to be.
Good god, where to start?

Let's start with that 250,000 number. It's a reduction from the 300,000 deaths that John Kerry spoke of not long ago, in a similarly deceptive moment. As I wrote at the time:
If you trace the claim that Assad caused "the vast majority" of Syrian civil war deaths, you'll find that the source is always some neocon group like WINEP. The atrocities against civilians are pretty much all committed by ISIS and al Qaeda. If Assad is killing lots and lots of ISIS and Al Qaeda warriors, I can only say "Bravo!": That's what he damned well ought to be doing, and we should be helping him do it. (Here's a fun research project: How many combatant deaths did Abraham Lincoln preside over during our civil war?)
Perhaps I should answer my own question: If Hillary Clinton can say that Bashar Assad killed 250,000 Syrians, then -- by the same logic -- we can also state that Abraham Lincoln killed 640,000 Americans.

Fortunately, Hillary's Big Lie has not gone unnoticed, although the debunking has not been as forceful as it ought to be. AP:
The United Nations has estimated a death toll of 220,000 since 2011; other estimates are higher, and Clinton's figure is roughly in line with them. But the death toll is attributable to all parties, not just to Assad.
Let us now look at the rest of Hillary's vomit-bag of an answer.
The reason we are in the mess we're in, that ISIS has the territory it has, is because of Assad.

Bashar Assad is a secular, non-sectarian leader who was overwhelmingly elected in a vote that all outside observers considered fair. He has championed the rights of Christians and other religious minorities in his country. He is more popular in Syria than Hillary Clinton -- and Barack Obama and Donald Trump and Marco Rubio -- are in America.

Assad is not the reason we are in this mess. We are in this mess because Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey funded and/or supported the jihadists groups trying to topple Assad. They could not have done so without our approval. The countries arrayed against Assad have engaged in a massive conspiracy to rid the Middle East of one of its few secular leaders. They have done so for a number of reasons, including the following:

1. Israel wants Syria in disarray, in order to keep and expand the Syrian territory that they have been holding for so many years. Even more important is Israel's overall goal of exterminating or relocating the Palestinian population. Assad and his father have not always been the best of friends to the Palestinians, but Syria does have a history of helping them in times of crisis.

2. Saudi Arabia and the other great Sunni powers want to destroy both secularism and the great Shi'ite powers.

3. Turkey is controlled by the Erdogan crime family, which profits from the oil ISIS has stolen from Syria and Iraq. The Syrian civil war may be viewed as a simple heist, with ISIS and Nusra functioning as our mooks.

4. Assad stands in the way of a Gulf State pipeline that would completely undercut the Russians, who, at present, supply European Union nations with roughly one-third of their oil and natural gas.

5. The Syrian Central Bank is independent, and the Syrian government controls its own currency. Syria has no substantive ties to the International Monetary Fund, which is the mechanism by which "the west" controls smaller states.

That's why "the west" and the great Sunni powers created a proxy army against Bashar Assad. Assad did not create ISIS: Hillary Clinton did.

At least, we can fairly state that she helped give birth this monster. We received confirmation of this fact from a very revealing DIA memo.
That may all have changed now when a declassified secret US government document obtained by the public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the "leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a strategic opportunity to “isolate the Syrian regime.”
The newly declassified DIA document from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their regional allies.

Noting that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” the document states that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition,” while Russia, China and Iran “support the [Assad] regime.”

The 7-page DIA document states that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the precursor to the ‘Islamic State in Iraq,’ (ISI) which became the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,’ “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”

The formerly secret Pentagon report notes that the “rise of the insurgency in Syria” has increasingly taken a “sectarian direction,” attracting diverse support from Sunni “religious and tribal powers” across the region.
Also see here:
The DIA report, formerly classified “SECRET//NOFORN” and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others.
And who headed the State Department at this time? Hillary Clinton.
The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.

While a number of analysts and journalists have documented long ago the role of western intelligence agencies in the formation and training of the armed opposition in Syria, this is the highest level internal U.S. intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see ISIS as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The document matter-of-factly states just that scenario.
Moreover, we know from other leaked documents that the plan to overthrow Assad can be traced back to 2006 (and probably earlier).
The United States and its allies in the Middle East, including Turkey and Israel, have been frequently accused of contributing to the ongoing destabilization of Syria in the wake of the uprising and subsequent civil war which began in 2011. But according to cables from the WikiLeaks archive, discussed in the Syria chapter of Assange’s book, plans to deliberately destabilize the region go back at least five years further.

“In that chapter is a cable from US Ambassador William Roebuck, who was stationed in Damascus, which apparently discusses a plan for the overthrow of the Assad government in Syria,” RT reported.
Hillary Clinton won't tell you how the Syrian rebellion actually began. I will.
In his appearance on the RT program “Going Underground,” Assange elaborated on the cable’s contents:
… That plan was to use a number of different factors to create paranoia within the Syrian government; to push it to overreact, to make it fear there’s a coup …
Assange continued, explaining that the U.S. government sought to make the Syrian government appear weak by causing Assad to overreact to the threat of Islamic extremists crossing into his country.

The cable also details plans to foster sectarian strife in the region and make Iran appear like a larger threat to Assad than it really was, Assange continued:
In particular, to take rumors that are known to be false … or exaggerations and promote them – that Iran is trying to convert poor Sunnis, and to work with Saudi and Egypt to foster that perception in order to make it harder for Iran to have influence, and also harder for the government to have influence in the population.
WikiLeaks cables reveal that these plans came from the Israeli government, and show that the U.S. government intended to work with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Egypt to encourage the breakdown of the Assad regime as a way of also weakening Iran and Hezbollah.

“[I]f Syria sufficiently destabilized, it might be in a position where it can keep the Golan Heights forever, or even advance that territory,” Assange said.
And yet The Atlantic, in its live blogging of the debate, had the following words to say about Hillary Clinton's Big Lying on Syria:
9:27 pm: Assad has killed 250,000 Syrians, says Hillary. He’s the reason for the mess we’re in. “When we look at these complex problems, I wish it could be either/or,” she says. Her mastery of the intricacies of the conflict is on clear display tonight, as Sanders repeatedly falls back on general principles. —Yoni Appelbaum
Yoni is Sanskrit for "cunt."

(No doubt some of my readers will shriek at me for getting a giggle out of that name. Could some feminist please explain to me why it is acceptable to make an off-color joke based on Dick Cheney's first name -- which I have done more than once -- but not Yoni Applebaum's first name?)

Can we expect any better from the Republicans? No, we cannot. Trump says some of the right things, but he is beset by three problems: First, he's an idiot; second, he's a racist; third, his main foreign policy adviser is John Bolton.

Rand Paul also says some of the right things, but he is a candidate only in the most technical sense of the term.

In the last GOP debate, Chris Christie repeated the lie that Assad has killed 250,000 people. More than that...
Well, Wolf, I'll tell you what reckless is. What reckless is is calling Assad a reformer. What reckless is allowing Russia to come into Crimea and Ukraine. What reckless is is inviting Russia into Syria to team with Iran. That is reckless. And the reckless people are the folks in the White House right now. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the reckless people.
He's implying that Obama and Hillary called Assad a reformer, even though they actually have said no such thing. (This is one of those inane memes which right-wingers love to repeat. They live in an alternate media universe where it is considered bad taste to ask for things like citations, quotations or other forms of evidence.) I would argue that the President ought to have used the R word, since even Wikipedia has done so.

The Russian annexation of Crimea was at the behest of the Crimeans, who made their decision peacefully and democratically. Why on earth would they want any part of the neo-Nazi regime we installed in Ukraine?

Christie went on to champion a no-fly zone in Syria -- an idea embraced by nearly all other Republicans. Such a move will have but one outcome: It will insure victory for the jihadis, who have no air force, and who are now being bombed by the Russians and the Syrian government.

The worst lie of all -- a lie even worse than the whoppers uttered by Hillary Clinton -- came from Marco Rubio:
Marco Rubio claims Assad created ISIS.

This is an old canard, and one that even nominally lefty outlets like Vox like to push, but it has little to do with reality. In an effort to shore up his neocon credentials, Rubio has doubled down on regime change in Syria while other GOP candidates like Paul and Cruz - as well as Bernie Sanders - have run away from this position. To do this Rubio has pushed the conspiracy theory that the reason ISIS grew in Syria is because the U.S. didn't back the rebels opposed to Assad when in fact the CIA, according to documents revealed by Edward Snowden, spent $1 billion a year arming, funding and assisting the opposition.
So here we are. The Democratic frontrunner is rather good on domestic issues and utterly hideous on any foreign policy matter that might concern her neocon masters. Her left-wing opponent offers no real alternative: I honestly think that Bernie Sanders has not done the necessary reading. He clearly would prefer to talk about other topics.

The Republicans are -- as ever -- even more abominable. They are despicable, foolish, absurd, ignorant, corrupt and disgusting.

Is there any hope? Yes, but it's as thin as onionskin. Perhaps Barack Obama, whose record has been pretty miserable heretofore, can find a path to peace. Perhaps he can find some way to end the Syrian conflict before handing power over to either Hillary Clinton or one of the Republican loons.

Don't snicker: The Saker (a writer who is rarely considered a starry-eyed optimist) thinks that recent developments have been encouraging.

Maybe he's right. Maybe our lame duck president will finally give some thought to history's judgment.


Alessandro Machi said...

During the debate I recall Sanders saying that Assad being run out of office and battling ISIS did not have to happen at the same time, whereas Hillary Clinton vehemently pontificated that both have to happen simultaneously.
if Assad was elected democratically, then of course he should be allowed in the next election. Unfortunately most of Hillary Clinton's minions are to busy cheering her on to warn her of her wrong path when it comes to Syria.

Alessandro Machi said...

So basically, Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Syria are the big four non secular governments in the Middle East and we celebrate each time one of these countries leader's are overthrown? This is twilight zone time, no?

Alessandro Machi said...

If Israel is playing a hand in all of this, why did they want four secular governments toppled, leaving only the religious countries that don't like them with their leaders still intact? This is very confusing.

Joseph Cannon said...

Alessandro, I think Israel's motives are best explained by Michael Oren. I like Oren: He's blabby. Very helpful. His is the blabbiness of arrogance, the blabbiness of the Bond villain who can't resist explaining his master plan.

Alessandro Machi said...

So basically, Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Syria were the big four SECULAR governments in the Middle East and we celebrate each time one of these countries leader's are overthrown? This is twilight zone time, no? I used non-secular up above when it should have been secular.

Anonymous said...

Isis is bad that doesn't mean Assad is better. I want him out five seconds after Isis is gone

fred said...

Seymour Hersh says the US military under General Martin Dempsey, Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, correctly assessed the Syrian situation early on. They understood there were no moderates and that were Assad to fall then a jihadist government would be the outcome. So they provided intel to Syria through back channels and foreign governments in order to help them and they also had a sensible view on Russia's presence in Syria. Dempsey's replacement, General Joseph Dunford, takes the opposite tack and is committed to the failed confrontation policies of the US government. It's a fascinating account by Hersh.

James said...

According to the Oded Yinon plan for a Greater Israel, Israel wants to destabilize and topple any secular Arab governments in its vicinity and to leave in their place sectarian states made up of warring factions; classic divide and conquer strategy. By doing this, they surmise that no organized opposition to Israeli regional - and eventually after WWIII, global - hegemony.

This was the real reason for the illegal invasion of Iraq, whereas the invasion of Afghanistan was most likely about setting up military bases to be used in the eventual war on Iran. Furthermore, this policy also led to the so-called "Arab Spring", which we have been told was purely organic and the result of Arab dissatisfaction with their governments. The reality is that Zionists engineered the horror in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and now Syria, where they've encountered their first legitimate setback in the form of a Syrian/Russian/Iranian/Hezbollah coalition of resistance.

Zionism is a cancer on this planet and it needs to be brought to heel.

jo6pac said...

Obomber stopping the war now that's funny. He'll do anything he is told so he can have his lieberry and big speaking fees.

Joseph Cannon said...

fred, I read the new Hersh piece last night. Or rather, I listened to a text-to-speech version while nodding off. Couldn't believe my ears. It's as though the Joint Chiefs of Staff are avid Cannonfire readers!

I certainly did not expect to have comrades at the DIA, but...what the hell. It's nice to know that SOMEONE with some power thinks like me...

Joseph Cannon said...

James: While no-one ever accused me of being an apologist for Zionism, I believe that the true enemy is neoconservatism, which is a wider and stranger movement. What happened to Ukraine has nothing to do with Zionism but much to do with neoconservatism.

Gareth said...

Hersh's piece is already being portrayed by the MSM as a wild conspiracy theory. Every time these whores throw out the C word it's like giving the stamp of authenticity.

James said...

Joseph, if I drew you a Venn diagram showing the ideological overlaps between Zionism and neoconservatism, I'd just need to draw one circle. Neoconservatism and neoliberalism are both just Zionism rebranded for occupied countries, like the United States. If both liberals and conservatives realized that their politicians were uniformly following Zionism there would be blowback. By calling Zionism on the right "neoconservatism" and Zionism on the left "neoliberalism" they think - apparently correctly - that they can fool people.

Joseph Cannon said...

C'mon, James. Scoop Jackson was motivated by Zionism? The CIA's "Team B" assessment of the USSR's military -- THAT was Zionism?

I don't even think that Leo Strauss can be said to be a confirmed Zionist. As I understand it, he began as a Zionist but turned away from it later in life.

For that matter, we can say that the father of modern Zionism, Theodore Herzl -- for whom I retain some measure of admiration, or at least sympathy (believe it or not!) -- could hardly be called a neoconservative, for the simple reason that neoconservatism did not exist then. And I would not say that Jabotinsky was a neocon.

The two strains did converge in the early 1970s, with Norman Podhoretz and Bill Kristol and people like that. But even if you stir together ink and water, they are still two different substances.