The following is excerpted from an op ed that appeared in the London Times, September 4th, 2014 entitled:
“Strengthening the NATO Alliance”: “We will not waver in our determination to confront the Islamic State. If terrorists think we will weaken in the face of their threats they could not be more wrong.” (Barack Obama and David Cameron).
Obama and Cameron called on the Atlantic Alliance as well as the governments of the 28 NATO member states, to support the airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Not only alternative media and various progressive media outlets, have reported covert financial and military support to so called “moderate” rebels but the corporate media have reported, covert support since as far back as 2011. Reuters published a detailed two page newspaper report captioned (what follows are of course excerpted highlights): “How Syria policy stalled under the “analyst in chief”. “The bombing campaign which can last for years is a major course correction for a president, with a famously cautious foreign policy. Obama’s handling of Syria, the early about face the repetitive debates, the turnaround in September-is emblematic, say current and former top US officials, of his highly centralized, deliberative and often reactive foreign policy”. “ It became clear from the people very close to the president that he had deep, deep reservations about intervening in Syria”, this from Julianne Smith, who was deputy national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. Smith’s claim about Obama having “deep, deep”, reservations about Syria, only shows the particular posturing of Obama at that time, yet Obama knew all along even before he became President, that “official’, American foreign policy pertinent to the Middle East entailed in their words “We’re going to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran”, the words in the preceding are a statement of an “official stance”, taken by many of the elite in the upper echelons of the US government apparatus. Reuters reported in the same news report that: “They say Obama and his inner circle made three fundamental mistakes. The withdrawal of all American troops from neighboring Iraq and the lack of a major effort to arm Syria’s “moderate” rebels, they say, gave Islamic State leeway to spread. Internal debates focused on the costs of US intervention in Syria, while downplaying the risks of not intervening. And the White House underestimated the damage to US credibility caused by Obama’s making public threats to Assad and then failing to enforce them”. Leon Panetta former defense secretary and CIA director was quoted in the Reuters report from his memoir, “Worthy Battles”: “It was clear to me and many others, that withdrawing all our forces would endanger the fragile stability then barely holding Iraq together”. Here Panetta and others clearly and publicly stated that, their desire was to engage in a protracted American led, military campaign in Iraq and Syria, and that Obama’s troop withdrawal was a “fundamental mistake”.
Even more damning than the preceding is the fact that US “top-officials”, in the Obama cabinet publicly admitted to “covert”, operations in Syria trapping themselves in a web of subterfuge and double-speak. To give substance to my claims here is the Reuters excerpt validating them: “By the fall of 2012, “covertly”arming Syria”s rebels had been accepted by Obama’s top three national security Cabinet members-Clinton, Panetta, and CIA chief David Petraeus-as the best way to slow radicalism in Syria”. Other just as devastating as the preceding admissions, and outright lies are revealed: “In August 2011, Obama issued a 620-word statement on Syria that his aides hoped would put him on the right side of history. “It is time for the Syrian people to determine their own destiny”, Obama said. “Ford (the same Robert Ford shown earlier with Okaidi), ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014, said he supported the statement, but now regrets it because Washington didn’t back up the words with action”. When Assad refused to relinquish power it became clear that the administration and its allies lacked a plan or the political will to forcibly remove him. American and European credibility in the region suffered. Taking the removal of Assad into their own hands, Turkey and other Arab states overtly backed-or turned a blind eye to the entrance of jihadist groups into Syria. Three senior advisors outside the White House- Clinton, Panetta and Petraeus-proposed that the CIA train and equip the “relatively moderate Syrian rebels” operating as the Free Syrian the Free Syrian Army was warning- and US officials confirmed “independently”, that militant groups were luring away fighters with cash. The more ‘Western- Army (out of whose ranks many absconded to ISIS). At about that time Ford said, friendly “rebels had few funds to counter with. Here again devastating evidence of America and her proxies, funding and supporting “militant armed groups”, as a means of toppling the Asad regime, and that from a corporate media outlet like Reuters. It gets even worse as I will prove in the following from the mouth of a retired-US highly decorated general and frequent FOX contributor.
The story is from Democracy Now and was posted on 2nd March 2007. Amy Goodman conducted the interview I will include some of the questions and answers here which will prove some of my assertions made in this book.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you see a replay in what happened in the lead-up to the war with Iraq — the allegations of the weapons of mass destruction, the media leaping onto the bandwagon?
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, in a way. But, you know, history doesn’t repeat itself exactly twice. What I did warn about when I testified in front of Congress in 2002, I said if you want to worry about a state, it shouldn’t be Iraq, it should be Iran. But this government, our administration, wanted to worry about Iraq, not Iran.
I knew why, because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”
“So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office (Donald Rumsfeld was then Secretary of Defense), “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”
AMY GOODMAN: So, go through the countries again.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, starting with Iraq, then Syria and Lebanon, then Libya, then Somalia and Sudan, and back to Iran. So when you look at Iran, you say, “Is it a replay?” It’s not exactly a replay. But here’s the truth: that Iran, from the beginning, has seen that the presence of the United States in Iraq was a threat — a blessing, because we took out Saddam Hussein and the Baathists. They couldn’t handle them. We took care of it for them. But also a threat, because they knew that they were next on the hit list. And so, of course, they got engaged. They lost a million people during the war with Iraq, and they’ve got a long and unprotectable, unsecurable border. So it was in their vital interest to be deeply involved inside Iraq. They tolerated our attacks on the Baathists. They were happy we captured Saddam Hussein.
But they’re building up their own network of influence, and to cement it, they occasionally give some military assistance and training and advice, either directly or indirectly, to both the insurgents and to the militias. And in that sense, it’s not exactly parallel, because there has been, I believe, continuous Iranian engagement, some of it legitimate, some of it illegitimate. I mean, you can hardly fault Iran because they’re offering to do eye operations for Iraqis who need medical attention. That’s not an offense that you can go to war over, perhaps. But it is an effort to gain influence.
And the administration has stubbornly refused to talk with Iran about their perception, in part because they don’t want to pay the price with their domestic — our US domestic political base, the rightwing base, but also because they don’t want to legitimate a government that they’ve been trying to overthrow. If you were Iran, you’d probably believe that you were mostly already at war with the United States anyway, since we’ve asserted that their government needs regime change, and we’ve asked congress to appropriate $75 million to do it, and we are supporting terrorist groups, apparently, who are infiltrating and blowing up things inside Iraq — Iran. And if we’re not doing it, let’s put it this way: we’re probably cognizant of it and encouraging it. So it’s not surprising that we’re moving to a point of confrontation and crisis with Iran.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to get your response to Seymour Hersh’s piece in The New Yorker to two key points this week, reporting the Pentagon’s established a special planning group within the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to plan a bombing attack on Iran, that this is coming as the Bush administration and Saudi Arabia are pumping money for covert operations into many areas of the Middle East, including Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, in an effort to strengthen Saudi-supported Sunni Islam groups and weaken Iranian-backed Shias — some of the covert money has been given to jihadist groups in Lebanon with ties to al-Qaeda — fighting the Shias by funding with Prince Bandar and then with US money not approved by Congress, funding the Sunnis connected to al-Qaeda.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, I don’t have any direct information to confirm it or deny it. It’s certainly plausible. The Saudis have taken a more active role. You know, the Saudis have –
AMY GOODMAN: You were just in Saudi Arabia.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Hmm?
AMY GOODMAN: You just came back from Saudi Arabia.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Yeah. Well, the Saudis have basically recognized that they have an enormous stake in the outcome in Iraq, and they don’t particularly trust the judgment of the United States in this area. We haven’t exactly proved our competence in Iraq. So they’re trying to take matters into their own hands.
The real danger is, and one of the reasons this is so complicated is because — let’s say we did follow the desires of some people who say, “Just pull out, and pull out now.” Well, yeah. We could mechanically do that. It would be ugly, and it might take three or four months, but you could line up the battalions on the road one by one, and you could put the gunners in the Humvees and load and cock their weapons and shoot their way out of Iraq. You’d have a few roadside bombs. But if you line everybody up there won’t be any roadside bombs. Maybe some sniping. You can fly helicopters over, do your air cover. You’d probably get safely out of there. But when you leave, the Saudis have got to find someone to fight the Shias. Who are they going to find? Al-Qaeda, because the groups of Sunnis who would be extremists and willing to fight would probably be the groups connected to al-Qaeda. So one of the weird inconsistencies in this is that were we to get out early, we’d be intensifying the threat against us of a super powerful Sunni extremist group, which was now legitimated by overt Saudi funding in an effort to hang onto a toehold inside Iraq and block Iranian expansionism.
AMY GOODMAN: And interestingly, today, John Negroponte has just become the number two man, resigning his post as National Intelligence Director to go to the State Department, Seymour Hersh says, because of his discomfort that the administration’s covert actions in the Middle East so closely echo the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, and Negroponte was involved with that.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, I’m sure there are a lot of reasons why John would go back to the State Department. John’s a good — he’s a good man. But, you know, the question is, in government is, can you — are you bigger than your job? Because if you’re not bigger than your job, you get trapped by the pressures of events and processes into going along with actions that you know you shouldn’t. And I don’t know. I don’t know why he left the National Intelligence Director’s position. He started in the State Department. Maybe he’s got a fondness to return and finish off his career in State.
AMY GOODMAN: 1953 was also a seminal date for today, and that was when Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt, went to Iran and led a coup against Mohammed Mossadegh under Eisenhower.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: People make mistakes. And one of the mistakes that the United States consistently made was that it could intervene and somehow adjust people’s governments, especially in the Middle East. I don’t know why we felt that — you can understand Latin America, because Latin America was always an area in which people would come to the United States, say, “You’ve got to help us down there. These are banditos, and they don’t know anything. And, you know, they don’t have a government. Just intervene and save our property.” And the United States did it a lot in the ’20s. Of course, Eisenhower was part of that culture. He had seen it.
But in the Middle East, we had never been there. We established a relationship during World War II, of course, to keep the Germans out of Iran. And so, the Soviets and the Brits put an Allied mission together. At the end of World War II, the Soviets didn’t want to withdraw, and Truman called their bluff in the United Nations. And Eisenhower knew all of this. And Iran somehow became incorporated into the American defense perimeter. And so, his view would have been, we couldn’t allow a communist to take over.
AMY GOODMAN: But wasn’t it more about British Petroleum?
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Oh, it’s always — there are always interests. The truth is, about the Middle East is, had there been no oil there, it would be like Africa. Nobody is threatening to intervene in Africa. The problem is the opposite. We keep asking for people to intervene and stop it. There’s no question that the presence of petroleum throughout the region has sparked great power involvement. Whether that was the specific motivation for the coup or not, I can’t tell you. But there was definitely — there’s always been this attitude that somehow we could intervene and use force in the region. I mean that was true with — I mean, imagine us arming and creating the Mujahideen to keep the Soviets out of Afghanistan. Why would we think we could do that? But we did. And, you know, my lesson on it is, whenever you use force, there are unintended consequences, so you should use force as a last resort. Whether it’s overt or covert, you pay enormous consequences for using force.
John Negroponte was mentioned in the interview excerpted above who is John Negroponte?
Negroponte is a 1980’s US ambassador to Honduras, who has been accussed by many writers and progressive/alternative media of being a “death squad specialist” . A revealing article by Patrick Henningsen, Global Research , November 02,2014, Negroponte above center is described as a death squad specialist. In the 1980’s Negroponte according to Henningsen was Washington’s man in Latin America who controlled the CIA-backed Contra rebels. “Through cocaine and narcotics trafficking, these paramilitary gangs were also able to fund their conquest to destabilize and terrorize Nicaraguans. So, it was no surprise when Negroponte showed up as US Ambassador in Baghdad, Iraq in 2004, that Islamic death squads began appearing in Iraq featuring some of the most brutal sectarian violence to date. The article went even further and accussed , Robert S. Ford US ambassador to Syria, of being the instrument of the US in facilitating the attacks of the “peaceful protesters”, against the Syrian regime: “Soon after Ford’s arrival, western-backed Flash Mobs and targeted violence against Syrian police and military – erupted in parts of Syria.The war in Syria at present is not limited to Syria, it will encompass the broader Middle East Central Asian region extending from North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with China, will be engulfed in the turmoil of an extended war. A war on Syria could evolve towards a US-NATO military campaign directed against Iran, in which Turkey and Israel would be directly involved. John Negroponte mentioned previously is a name not often heard, in the corporate media, yet he remains a highly divisive figure, if the various media are to be believed, Negroponte is a dangerous individual, who should be imprisoned not running around the world organizing ‘death squads”, I will examine Negroponte even further here, since any reportage on Syria, even one of minimal depth will at some point involve, an analysis of Negroponte in the context, of the architects of the present war in Syria. As I have shown earlier in this book, war in Syria and the wider Middle East was already “in the pipeline”, since the 1990’s the present US engineered war in Syria, then is part of said agenda and it’s architects are the “top people”, in the US military and intelligence apparatus respectively.