Saturday, June 18, 2016

No Change in Obama's Syria Policy?

No Change in Obama’s Syria Policy?

by Stephen Lendman

According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama’s Syria policy remains unchanged with few months remaining before he steps down - despite dozens of hawkish State Department staffers urging US airstrikes on Assad’s government.

It would represent a major policy shift if initiated. John Kerry and Hillary Clinton urge greater use of force, the former secretary especially hawkish, responsible for orchestrating war on Syria, wanting no letup in efforts to oust Assad.

In Washington, Saudi Arabian foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir urged “more robust intervention,” saying “(i)f the Bashar regime feels that it can continue in a stalemate, much less prevail, there will be no incentive to take the necessary steps to bring about a transition.”

He urged airstrikes on government forces, no-fly zone prohibition against Russian and Syrian aerial operations on terrorists mischaracterized as moderates, and supplying them with surface-to-air missiles.

He and US administration hawks believe war is peace. Endless conflicts serve their interests. According to the Journal, “(s)ome Western diplomats” share their sentiments - while admitting Russia’s veto assures no Security Council authorization for escalated war.

Kerry indicated he’ll respond to hawkish State Department staffers after returning from overseas, calling their view on Syria “important.”

At the same time, State Department spokesman admiral John Kirby said “(t)here aren’t any US plans to target (Assad). That’s not part of the calculus. None of the other options are better than the one we have been pursuing.”

Former State Department advisor for “transition” in Syria Frederic Hof backed hawkish agency staffers, saying Obama’s Syria policy is “morally vacuous and politically bankrupt,” disgracefully calling Assad “a mass murderer.” 

At the same time, he deplorably claimed administration dissenters “uph(eld) American credibility and honor,” adding “(t)hey (did) us all a huge favor.”

“Their superiors should press (Obama) to change his policy. If he refuses…stand up and publicly defend the indefensible or resign.”

With half a year left in his tenure, Obama is unlikely to initiate a major policy shift - leaving it to his successor to decide what’s next in Syria.

Continued push for regime change is likely under Trump, full-scale war to achieve it if Clinton succeeds Obama, the madness of risking direct confrontation with Russia in the process.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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