Recently, I wrote an article entitled, “The Clandestine Reasons For ISIS Taking Over Iraq,” where I suggested that one possible reason out of several for NATO powers to direct ISIS fighters in their rampage across Iraq and subsequent seizure of large swaths of territory in that country was the ability to set the stage for a NATO bombing campaign in Iraq that would immediately lead to the same in Syria.
No sooner than this article was published did we see the first rumblings out of the Western mainstream media and government mouthpieces suggesting that a bombing campaign in Iraq and, indeed, Syria is an option that should be put on the table.
Thus, as US fighter jets patrol the skies of Iraq, Western audiences are hearing familiar rumblings of reasons to engage in the bombing of both Iraq and Syria. Take, for instance, the article by Patrick Cockburn published in The Independent on June 19, 2014 entitled “Iraq Crisis Exclusive: US Rules Out Military Action Until Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Stands Down,” where Cockburn argues the necessity of a series of airstrikes to be launched against both Iraq and Syria.
The general support for the Sunni revolt in northern and western Iraq will make it very difficult for any counter-offensive, which would be facing far more opponents than Isis originally fielded. Isis now controls almost all the Euphrates valley from Fallujah west of Baghdad through western Iraq and eastern Syria as far as the Turkish border. Any long-term campaign against Isis by the Iraqi government backed by US air power would require air strikes in Syria as well as Iraq. The two countries have effectively become a single battlefield.
Consider also, the writings of former State Department Director of Policy Planning under the Obama administration, Anne Marie Slaughter, who has been foaming at the mouth every bit as much as John McCain when it comes to the prospect of intervening militarily in Syria. In her most recent op-ed in the New York Times, “Don’t Fight In Iraq And Ignore Syria,” the appropriately-named Slaughter writes,
Deciding that the Syrian government, as bad as it is, was still better than the alternative of ISIS profoundly missed the point. As long as we allow the Syrian government to continue perpetrating the worst campaign of crimes against humanity since Rwanda, support for ISIS will continue. As long as we choose Prime Minister Maliki over the interests of his citizens, all his citizens, his government can never be safe.
President Obama should be asking the same question in Iraq and Syria. What course of action will be best, in the short and the long term, for the Iraqi and Syrian people? What course of action will be most likely to stop the violence and misery they experience on a daily basis? What course of action will give them the best chance of peace, prosperity and a decent government?
The answer to those questions may well involve the use of force on a limited but immediate basis, in both countries. Enough force to remind all parties that we can, from the air, see and retaliate against not only Al Qaeda members, whom our drones track for months, but also any individuals guilty of mass atrocities and crimes against humanity. Enough force to compel governments and rebels alike to the negotiating table. And enough force to create a breathing space in which decent leaders can begin to consolidate power.
Slaughter’s previous op-eds, of course, betray an underlying reason for her obsessive warmongering against Syria – the strategic desire to weaken Russia. In this, Slaughter reveals herself as an adherent to the Brzezinski doctrine as it is espoused in The Grand Chessboard. Even if Slaughter does not openly state her affinity for such a destructive and provocative foreign policy by name, her ideology is revealed by both her actions and her work.
Indeed, in her April, 2014 op-ed for Project Syndicate, entitled “Stopping Russia Starts In Syria,” Slaughter is nothing if not obvious about her offensive geopolitical targeting of the Russian Federation as well as that of China and Japan. She writes that
The solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria. It is time for US President Barack Obama to demonstrate that he can order the offensive use of force in circumstances other than secret drone attacks or covert operations. The result will change the strategic calculus not only in Damascus, but also in Moscow, not to mention Beijing and Tokyo.
Slaughter essentially argues that Putin is much too strong to inflict damaging geopolitical costs in Ukraine. She suggests that Putin is much weaker in Syria, however, and, therefore, it is Syria where the United States must strike. Slaughter states,
Regardless of Putin’s initial motivations, he is now operating in an environment in which he is quite certain of the parameters of play. He is weighing the value of further dismemberment of Ukraine, with some pieces either joining Russia or becoming Russian vassal states, against the pain of much stronger and more comprehensive economic sanctions. Western use of force, other than to send arms to a fairly hapless Ukrainian army, is not part of the equation.
That is a problem. In the case of Syria, the US, the world’s largest and most flexible military power, has chosen to negotiate with its hands tied behind its back for more than three years. This is no less of a mistake in the case of Russia, with a leader like Putin who measures himself and his fellow leaders in terms of crude machismo.
It is time to change Putin’s calculations, and Syria is the place to do it.
After repeating the tired, disproven, and borderline idiotic propaganda of Assad’s alleged “chemical weapons attacks,” “killing his own people,” and “barrel bombs,” Slaughter attempts to cover up what is nothing more than a geopolitical strategy as a humanitarian issue.
Slaughter laments the fact that “It is impossible to strike Syria legally so long as Russia sits on the United Nations Security Council, given its ability to veto any resolution authorizing the use of force.” However, she continues her article by stating that the United States should act anyway, unilaterally or multilaterally, by striking Syria and, at the very least, destroying its “fixed wing aircraft.”
The US, together with as many countries as will cooperate, could use force to eliminate Syria’s fixed-wing aircraft as a first step toward enforcing Resolution 2139. “Aerial bombardment” would still likely continue via helicopter, but such a strike would announce immediately that the game has changed. After the strike, the US, France, and Britain should ask for the Security Council’s approval of the action taken, as they did after NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999,” she states.
Slaughter continues by writing
Equally important, shots fired by the US in Syria will echo loudly in Russia. The great irony is that Putin is now seeking to do in Ukraine exactly what Assad has done so successfully: portray a legitimate political opposition as a gang of thugs and terrorists, while relying on provocations and lies to turn non-violent protest into violent attacks that then justify an armed response.
Slaughter, of course, is angry that the incessant and nonsensical propaganda of her former office, the US State Department, and other Western governments across the world have largely failed to manufacture a string of lies that would serve to effectively motivate Americans to gear up for war yet again.
So far, on this particular issue, American apathy has largely contributed to preventing a war.
Unfortunately, with slightly more clever propaganda narratives, that apathy will easily be converted over to the benefit of the world oligarchy.
Thus, while apathy may have prevented the desire for a fight the first time around, that same apathy may well serve to allow one the second.
 Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. Pp. 40-41
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