By Ray McGovern, October 18, 2019
Pepe Escobar has written a very good piece on Syria. Ray sent this kudo:
Kudos on your Syria exclusive to Consortium News: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/10/18/pepe-escobar-the-road-to-damascus-how-the-syria-war-was-won/ . A true chef-d’oeuvre!
I can just see tall, white, hubris-full patrician John Kerry — a regular reader of yours, I hope :)) — shaking his head at this point, and whining “Why didn’t anyone tell me!”
Speak for your self, John. Why did you never ask?
This particular animal species amounts to a noxious blend of “US-indispensable” arrogance and naiveté. It is not a vanishing species; it is still far from slithering out of the Swamp.
Here, for example, is Kerry, toward the end of his tenure at State, aping W in explaining how it is such “hard work” TO ALIGN FORCES in such a complicated situation. He was interviewed by Steve Clemons, then with The Atlantic, shortly after Ash Carter had the USAF bomb/kill a bunch of Syrian troops, ending the ceasefire in Syria that Kerry and Lavrov had just spent 11 “complicated” months trying to work out — and had succeeded in working out with the explicit blessings of Obama and Putin. (Note: Kerry doesn’t even mention the Pentagon “complication.”)
Sept. 29, 2016
“SECRETARY KERRY: — but Syria is as complicated as anything I’ve ever seen in public life, in the sense that there are probably about six wars or so going on at the same time – Kurd against Kurd, Kurd against Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sunni, Shia, everybody against ISIL, people against Assad, Nusrah. This is as mixed-up sectarian and civil war and strategic and proxies, so it’s very, very difficult to be able to align forces. So it’s —
“MR CLEMONS: So in the middle of that, why did you think you could get a ceasefire?”
I know only too well that it is impossible to include all salient factors even in a piece the length of yours. But, as I imagine you will agree, Israel was/is even more a factor than hubris and/or naiveté. Granted, it was six years ago, but even the NY Times ran a highly revealing lead story (on Sept. 6, 2013) on this aspect after NYT Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren asked senior Israeli officials what Israel’s preferred outcome in Syria was. The answer? “No Outcome.” ( See: https://raymcgovern.com/2019/09/06/obama-was-almost-mousetrapped-into-another-open-war-in-syria-will-trump-be-able-to-resist-similar-mounting-pressure/. )
So there IS a big loser if current trends continue, and this remains a huge chunk of the story.
All the same, your piece is a terrific contribution. Adelante! … or as we say in the Brazilian part of the Bronx, “You da man, man.”