Thursday, September 12, 2013

No US war in Syria!

What are we to make of John Kerry seeking advice from Henry Kissinger on US war against Syria before he heads off to Geneva to negotiate with Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov (and to add ignominy to insult, on the anniversary of the coup in Chile.)? Kerry’s antiwar credentials may be entirely inflated & self-aggrandizing but he did testify once (in 1971) before congress against the Vietnam War while Kissinger was orchestrating it as national security adviser to Nixon. But that isn’t even the half of it! After meeting with Kissinger, Kerry consulted with one of those secretive government groups called the Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Some media describe the board as bipartisan (which only means they swing both ways, serving either party); some say it’s a who’s who of experts in diplomatic, military, & economic affairs providing independent, informed advice on US foreign policy. (The question of course would always be, “independent of whom?”)

In fact, if you look at the senior members of the board (John Negroponte, Thomas McLarty, Strobe Talbott, Thomas Pickering, John Podesta) you’ll see the who’s who guys each have human rights crimes rap sheets a mile long & have all served both Democratic & Republican presidents. Other members of the board are elite rookies being groomed for what is euphemistically called “public service”--so they’re still working on their resumes & rap sheets.

There’s damage control going on here since Russia took advantage of an offhand remark by Kerry that Syria could avoid US intervention by giving up chemical weapons.  Russia outfoxed the US in turning Kerry’s gaffe into a proposal to Assad. Although the meeting with Kissinger is not just the diplomatic equivalent of being taken to the woodshed to advise Kerry how to keep from recklessly flapping his jaw & putting US war plans in jeopardy.

Kissinger is also making media rounds this week to promote US military intervention against Syria. US diplomacy must be in serious trouble if they have to drag out the stinking corpse responsible for the mass murder of millions & human rights crimes (including torture, mass rape, carpet bombing, coups) from Latin America to South Asia.

Kissinger thinks Obama blundered when he tried to turn the decision about intervention over to the US Congress & warned there could be dire international consequences for such a rebuff of presidential power--by which he means a restraint on US intervention.

The NY Times weighed in on all this today citing unnamed sources who consider Obama’s turn to Congress as “outsourcing” & the Russian diplomatic overture as “dubious.” They quote figures like Richard Haass, the head of the Council on Foreign Relations (another of those secretive bodies) describing Obama as ad hoc, improvised, unsteady, undisciplined, feckless, indecisive.

Well there’s another explanation for the involvement of Kissinger & these secretive boards. This country is run by an elite--not in the simple-minded way of mere puppetry or the Wizard of Oz but with the necessary complexity to mask oligarchy & feign democratic rule. This oligarchy doesn’t leave the military-industrial complex, a massive system of war, treachery, deceit up to the vagaries & fecklessness of individuals. They rule with an iron fist & reward their minions like Kissinger & their secret boards handsomely.

The diplomatic missteps & confusions apparent around Syrian policy more likely reflect disunity within the oligarchy about what the hell to do. That’s why they dragged the loathsome Kissinger out of the shadows. The Pentagon is talking a three-day aerial siege; others recognize the need for a lengthy siege to facilitate US control in the Middle East. Kissinger’s proposal, repeated in several venues, is the complete breakup of Syria into ethnic & religious factions: Kurds, Druzes, Alawites, Sunnis, & several Christian groups: a disaster for Syrians but a political bonanza for the US. Tha'll take more than three days.

All out to demand “No US war in Syria!”

(Photo by Getty Images posted only to facilitate its abuse)

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