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Dec 28 2015

Regime Change: It’s OK If You’re a Democrat

The Obama administration is hell bent to oust Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Determined to repeat the mistakes of Iraq and Libya, and caving to congressional war hawks, the CIA began arming rebels opposed to Assad. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty, apparently the CIA program was hijacked by Turkey and the weapons were diverted to extremists of al Nusra and the Islam State. Silently the Pentagon and the DIA had opposed the White House and CIA plan on the grounds that ousting Assad without a viable alternative would leave a leadership vacuum in Damascus and a take over by jihadists.

A new report by the Pulitzer-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh says the Joint Chiefs of Staff has indirectly supported Bashar al-Assad in an effort to help him defeat jihadist groups. Hersh reports the Joint Chiefs sent intelligence via Russia, Germany and Israel on the understanding it would be transmitted to help Assad push back Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Hersh also claims the military even undermined a U.S. effort to arm Syrian rebels in a bid to prove it was serious about helping Assad fight their common enemies. Hersh says the Joint Chiefs’ maneuvering was rooted in several concerns, including the U.S. arming of unvetted Syrian rebels with jihadist ties, a belief the administration was overly focused on confronting Assad’s ally in Moscow, and anger the White House was unwilling to challenge Turkey and Saudi Arabia over their support of extremist groups in Syria. Hersh joins us to detail his claims and respond to his critics.

If you haven’t heard about the Pentagon rebellion, it’s not a surprise, as Michael Hughes points out in his article at Huffington Post:

The American mainstream press has both neglected and disparaged Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh recently for reporting on how, for more than two years, senior U.S. military leaders subverted President Obama’s strategy to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, with some attacking Hersh for having the temerity to rely on unnamed sources. The so-called liberal media has exhibited a tendency to defend the Obama administration mantra that Assad “must go,” and Hersh’s account runs counter to this well-established gospel.

Vox, a purported liberal news site, assaulted Hersh for basing his report on an anonymous senior advisor to the Joint Chiefs, claiming that the journalist made “bizarre” claims in the past, “giving us little reason to trust him.” Further, not a single major news agency picked up Hersh’s allegations, the nature of which typically would be handled as a front-page bombshell. [..]

Point being, Hersh’s shocking report on Syria is worthy of investigation as opposed to ridicule, especially when other senior government officials — on the record, mind you — lend credence to his reportage. Not to mention that Hersh cited intelligence reports and other named officials to support the gist of his story.

Former White House National Security advisor Gwenyth Todd, for one, told Sputnik last week that even ex-Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel opposed Obama’s Syria strategy. [..]

The most “bizarre” aspect of this situation is the deafening silence in response to Hersh’s report emanating from the likes of the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and Wall Street Journal, among other outlets that range across the entire length of the political spectrum. Such neglect leaves unchecked an Obama administration strategy that will continue to strengthen jihadist groups in Syria while undermining any workable solution to the conflict.

This is the same mainstream media that denounced the invasion of Iraq only after it became clear what a disaster it was to remove Sadaam Hussein. But since the election of Barack Obama, the media and so-called liberals have no problem supporting illegal invasions and proxy wars so long as it is Democrat making the decision.

The entire report by Seymour Hersch, Military to Military is at the London Review of Books.