President Obama did Americans a favor by bungling his recent attempt to please his powerful backers who have long wanted the United States to overthrow the Assad dynasty in Syria.
Global and domestic critics thwarted the U.S. military action, at least for the time being. Obama and his team were not able to win compelling U.S. and international support for a bombing attack on the basis that fatal gas deaths of civilians in Syria were caused beyond a reasonable doubt by the ruling government.
In fact, a new video by a Belgian teacher/journalist released after five months of captivity by the Free Syrian Army says he and a fellow hostage overheard statements by rebels indicating responsibility for the attack, in contrast to claims by the United States that the Syrian government is responsible.
In FSA’s Freed Belgian Hostage: FSA, NOT Syrian Govt, Behind Damascus Chemical Attack, Belgian teacher Pierre Piccinin, a part-time journalist who said he originally supported the Free Syrian Army, said the main rebel group is disintegrating into banditry and the kind of hostage-taking the victimized him and other Westerners.
Syria’s agreement to destroy its chemical weapons — the Russia-brokered compromise to a U.S. bombing attack on Syria — apparently provided a face-saving solution for Obama. Putin set the stage with an op-ed in the New York Times entitled, A Plea for Caution From Russia. But negotiations between the U.S. and Russia began Sept. 12 in Geneva on a tense note.
Following an orchestrated build-up for a bombing campaign, Obama had been poised to undergo a humiliating defeat of historic scale on the congressional war vote this week. It appeared that he was likely to suffer the worst adverse vote for a president on a major foreign policy issue since the Senate rejected President Wilson’s bid in 1920 to join the League of Nations.
If Obama had proceeded with bombing despite an adverse congressional vote? GOP members would have launched an impeachment effort, which some eager members have launched even now. Fighting impeachment claims would have dwarfed the bogus “Birther” attacks in terms of controversy. Obama would have had a distracting dog-fight for the rest of his term even if (as likely) impeachment efforts fell far short of a majority.
At this point, the high costs that the president was willing to pay for his projected bombing campaign require much more disclosure of the powers-behind-the-throne. They will resurface soon with another plan. The American public needs to be aware of the power they wield.
One indication is a major Guardian investigation Sept. 11 that revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) delivers to Israel raw intelligence regarding the electronic communications of ordinary Americans under no suspicion of wrongdoing.
Glenn Greenwald broke the story in NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel. The source was materials purloined by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who most recently worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a major contractor owned by the Carlyle Group. The subtext shows, as does the Syrian attack effort by Obama, the high priority top federal officials place on assisting Israel even if it secretly undercuts traditional privacy rights that ordinary American citizens might think they possess.
Obama’s planned war escalation in Syria cannot be understood without reference to the pressure he faced from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel, and their Western business partners. These Mideast governments are allied with business interests in the United States — and in United Kingdom and France, former colonial rulers of Saudi Arabia and Syria, respectively. These interests operate in a de facto alliance to promote revolution in Syria and wider war. The cost to U.S. taxpayers of Tomahawk missiles alone would constitute an enormous windfall for Raytheon, the primary manufacturer of the missiles. The massive spending would have occurred at the same time much of the nation experiences a stagnated economy of low-wage, dead-end jobs while interest rates are rocketing upward, setting off massive job losses in the housing industry.
But direct income to well-positioned war contractors is only a small part of the geo-political planning by power-brokers for the oil-rich Mideast, which carries great religious significance also, of course.
Arizona Sen. John McCain is the most visible face of this war lobby in the United States, along with his GOP sidekick, Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.
The key U.S. government player, however, is CIA Director John Brennan, whose career encompasses close bonding with Bush, Saudi, and Obama personnel — as well as the key financial and operational elements of the war lobby. Brennan became leader of a defense contractors association after he ended the first stage of his 25-year CIA career with high-ranking Bush administration posts. He later joined the Obama White House, serving in a top intelligence job where he could guide Obama directly on the policies preferred by the West’s major leaders.
In my new book Presidential Puppetry, I call Brennan a “string” between the power elite and the puppets: He helps the elite manipulate the action in ways difficult for the audience to see.
Brennan developed close relationships with members of the Saudi royal family during his years as CIA bureau chief in Saudi Arabia during the 1990s.
Royalty with more than a century of leadership along with deal-making on arms and oil with their fellow potentates in the United Kingdom and United States. When they want to argue for more United States war making, they would hardly want to be seen, with their colorful robes flowing, traipsing through the White House visitor gates.
It might create a spectacle for the American commoners, or a even protest. In a scene captured on YouTube this month, former CIA Director and Iraq “surge” architect David Petraeus — now head of a major Wall Street hedge fund and one of about 130 attendees at the secret annual Bilderberg Group conference, had to endure extreme abuse from ungrateful students as arrived at City University of New York to teach a class on the energy industry.