Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Heading for Ground War in Syria and Iraq

Heading for Ground War in Syria and Iraq

by Stephen Lendman

Believe nothing Obama says. His policies are polar opposite duplicitous rhetoric. Big Lies repeat one after another.

His word isn't his bond. His pledge to avoid more Middle East ground war is meaningless. All signs suggest it's coming. More on this below.

William Blum knows how US imperial works as well as anyone. He documented it over six decades.

He explained how Washington toppled dozens of governments. Crushed countless popular movements. 

Slaughtered millions of people in the process. Created unspeakable human misery.

US policies are "worse than you imagine," he says. "If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy (throughout) the past century, (here's) what crawls out:"

"invasions, bombings, (subversion), overthrowing governments, suppressing (popular) movements for social change, assassinating political leaders, perverting elections, manipulating labor unions, manufacturing 'news,' death squads, torture, (chemical), biological (and nuclear) warfare, (radiological contamination), drug trafficking, mercenaries," police state repression, and war on humanity writ large.

"It’s not a pretty picture," says Blum. "It is enough to give imperialism a bad name."

Hegemons make more enemies than friends. Longstanding US policy is consistent. 

It bullies, intimidates, threatens, or otherwise pressures other nations to comply with its will. Obey or else is policy.

Rogue states operate this way. America is by far the worst. None in world history match it. It's ruthlessness is unequaled.

Rule of law principles don't matter. Or democratic values. Bullies demand things their way. What they say goes. 

Brute force is explicit. Permanent war is longstanding US policies. Bombs away can happen any time. Ground troops often invade.

Around 1,600 special forces infest Iraq. Perhaps many more covertly. They're not good will ambassadors. Or just advisors as administration officials say.

They're trained killers. Their mission is combat. They're often used in this role. Expect greater involvement ahead in Iraq and Syria. Supplemented by other ground forces.

On September 18, Daniel Ellsberg addressed National Press Club members and guests. He bashed Obama's air war against Iraq and Syria.

Most wars require ground forces. He compared Obama's approach to Lyndon Johnson's Gulf of Tonkin strategy. To Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq policy. 

He's manipulating things incrementally toward invasion and full-scale war. Ellsberg believes failure is near-certain. 

He believes whistleblowers are urgently needed "to inform Congress (about) what this country is being asked to get into."

They should remain anonymous to avoid prosecution and imprisonment.

"We need the Pentagon's real internal analysis of the cost and consequences" of what he sees coming.

He believes no one in authority there or at Langley believe Iraq and Syria objectives can be accomplished with air power alone.

Criticizing Obama publicly risks being fired. Few are bold enough to try. Former Marine Corp Commandant General James Conway pulled no punches, saying:

His strategy "doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell" of succeeding. Current Pentagon commanders likely feel the same way. 

Maybe someone near retirement will say so. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey came close.

He said he’ll recommend deploying US combat troops if ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State (IS) can’t be defeated other ways.

"My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward," he said diplomatically. “I believe that will prove true."

"But if it fails to be true, and if there are threats to the United States, then I, of course, would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of US military ground forces."

Obama "told me…to come back to him on a case-by-case basis."
In other words, Obama’s "no (US) boots on the ground" is another of his many Big Lies.

If Dempsey and other military commanders recommend them, expect invasion followed by full-scale war.

Expect potentially thousands of US troops deployed. Expect protracted fighting. Expect more mass slaughter and destruction. 

Expect civilians suffering most. Expect failure like in all other US post-WW II wars.

In his 1972 book "Papers on the War," Ellsberg said about US combat troops heading for Vietnam:

"The President desires that premature publicity be avoided by all possible precautions." 

"The actions themselves should be taken as rapidly as practicable but in ways that should minimize any appearance of sudden changes in policy." 

"The President desires that these movements and changes in combat mission should be understood as being gradual and wholly consistent with existing policy."

Separately, he told the Assistant Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy:

"This is dangerous. You can't keep that secret. There are reporters over there. They'll know what the Marines are doing and we’ll be shown to be concealing it." 

"You know, we’re actually changing the nature of the war. We're going to be taking over the war from the South Vietnamese. I don't think you can keep that secret very long.”

Three months later, 100,000 US troops undertook combat operations. Ahead of time, nothing about administration plans leaked out.

Ellsberg regretted not having acted sooner. Releasing what's now known as the Pentagon Papers. 

Explaining administration lies. Telling Americans what they deserved to know. 

He urges insiders today to act like he did. As soon as possible. Explain Obama's plan for protracted war. 

With boots on the ground. With quagmire implications.  At a time most Americans want current conflicts ended.

When they're being lied to about existential threats. Only those Washington invents to advance its imperium.  

In violation of international, constitutional and US statute laws. At the expense of world peace and security. 

With vital homeland needs going begging. At a time of protracted Main Street Depression. 

When millions of people desperately need help. When increasing amounts of US resources go for militarism and permanent wars. 

When world peace hangs in the balance. US-created flashpoints in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and perhaps elsewhere threaten it.

It's time war-making madness ended. Conditions are incendiary. We're "on the edge" of embroiling the entire region, Ellsberg believes. Perhaps beyond. Perhaps all Eurasia on route to global conflict.

Enraging Muslims worldwide more than ever. Without congressional debate. With virtually no chance for success. 

Other than enriching war-profiteers. And duping most Americans short-term before reality checking awakens them. When it's too late to matter.

The time to prevent imperial wars is before they start. Public pressure has more clout than most people imagine. 

It's absent when most needed. It lets America's criminal class get away with genocidal high crimes against peace. 

Over and over again. Based on Big Lies. Damn ones. Outrageous ones. Reason enough to disbelieve everything government officials say.

Especially Obama. He's a serial liar. A world-class con man. A menace to humanity. A threat to its survival.

No matter how many times Americans are fooled, they're easy marks to be duped again. They're suckers for propaganda duplicity. 

It's fed them ad nauseam.  They believe it like gospel. Mostly from television. It made America a nation of morons. 

Easily manipulated to support what harms their own well-being. Too distracted by bread and circuses to react responsibly. Paying dearly for inaction.

With 28 months left in office, Obama is heading America into the abyss. Neocons infest Washington. They influence policy decisions hugely. So do generals wanting more stars.

Senators John McCain (R. AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R. SC) are two of Washington's worst. They ludicrously claim defeating the Islamic State depends on removing Assad. Their Wall Street Journal op-ed said so.

Never mind international, constitutional and US statute laws. Or what Syrians want and deserve. Or that Americans want current wars ended.

They want more. Lots more. Without end. With US boots on the ground. Perhaps another generation of America's youth destroyed in the process.

"The administration still has no effective policy to remove Bashar Assad from power and end the conflict in Syria," they said.

US installed puppet regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere did nothing to stop conflicts. They rage out-of-control.

They have for years. Expect years more ahead. Perhaps another generation or longer. More on this below.

McCain and Graham combine ignorance with arrogance and lawlessness. The Islamic State and likeminded groups are US creations.

They shamelessly blamed America's crimes on Assad. He's fighting to save Syrian sovereignty. He has overwhelming popular support.

Claiming he "knowingly allowed the group to grow and operate with impunity inside the country" is rubbish.

They're imported from dozens of countries. US special forces and CIA operatives train them in Jordan and Turkey. Some in Georgia.

They're taught gruesome ways to kill. Atrocities perhaps they hadn't thought of. Including beheadings. 

Barbarism of the worst kind. US specialties in wars. Ones without mercy and then some. 

McCain and Graham's notion of liberating Syria is plundering it. Stealing its resources. Exploiting its people. 

Turning workers into wage slaves. Balkanizing it for easier control. Eliminating an Israeli rival. Isolating Iran. 

Targeting the Islamic Republic the same way. Perhaps destroying the entire region in the process.

Hegemons know one thing only: wars without end. Without rules. Without mercy. 

With others in mind. An endless progression of ruthlessness. Lawlessness. Barbarity writ large.

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta foresees endless war. In his first interview on his new book "Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, he said:

"I think we're looking at kind of a 30-year war." Extending beyond current theaters. Obama erred, he said. He "lost his way."

By not maintaining more US troops in Iraq, he believes. A residual force able to confront internal opposition.

By rejecting advice from top aides. Including himself. By failing to sufficiently arm anti-Assad forces sooner. With heavier weapons.

By not acting (based on Big Lies claiming) Assad used chemical weapons.

Panetta barely stopped short of urging troops on the ground in Syria. He questioned Washington's credibility. 

Especially with Obama in charge. Its determination "to stick this out." 

Obama has "to jump in the ring and fight it out for the next two years," said Panetta.

Like other past and current Washington officials, he believes US imperial priorities matter most. Means justify ends.

Might justifies right. Millions of corpses are a small price to pay. So is ravaging and destroying one country after another.

Hegemons operate lawlessly. Unapologetically. Their own objectives alone matter. 

Achieving them any way possible. Regardless of harm to others. No matter the consequences.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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