"Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he (Obama) was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons. Then, with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous. Obama’s change of mind had its origins at Porton Down, the defence laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff. The British report heightened doubts inside the Pentagon; the joint chiefs were already preparing to warn Obama that his plans for a far-reaching bomb and missile attack on Syria’s infrastructure could lead to a wider war in the Middle East. As a consequence the American officers delivered a last-minute caution to the president, which, in their view, eventually led to his cancelling the attack." Hersh
As we have written all along on SST, the Obama Administration tried to lie us into war in Syria just as the Bush Administration lied us into Iraq. Obama is a man completely seduced by power. pl
Sadly you are right. Obama has gone over to the dark side.
It is important to remember when trying to cope with Narcissists that the first thing to do is understand which audience they are currently trying to impress and how they propose to do so.
It is clear that Obama seeks a world audience. It is also clear that his sole means of impressing them is a demonstration of his military power.
As have the leaders of EU, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia.
There appears to be three ideologies at play in Washington DC today; Neo-Conservative, Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Realist. Also, in the mix are war profiteers who are always pushing to keep the contract money flowing. When all agree, the American Empire goes to war.
If only two groups are for intervention, the outcome is half-assed support for the Syrian Jihadists but no air support. The gas attack on civilians was intended to get NATO involved. But, Russia deployed ships off of Syria’s coast. If Russia passed the word that American bombers raiding Syria over its ships or its port would be shot down, this would have been a Russian “Nyet” that prompted the President to hesitate along with the last minute caution from the American officers. The UK Parliament and American people’s rejection of the war has stopped the Syrian intervention for now,
Ukraine has dropped to the sixteenth page of the Washington Post with a report that federalization was rejected by Kiev. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) prevented a military intervention while Russia annexed Crimea. We will see if the need to subvert Russia is so powerful politically that the western provinces of Ukraine are integrated into NATO and if the Russian majority provinces are destabilized. If so, this will result in an inevitable Russian invasion of Ukraine and the possibility of a nuclear war.
How very convenient that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is supervising the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal, is Ahmet Üzümcü, a Turkish career diplomat.
Thank god for the Brits. Their strong, practical culture may one day save us all.
I think it goes a bit too far to say Obama has gone to the dark side. He listened to reason in the end, didn’t he? Obama is troubled by venal interests in his own administration.
The most interesting story will be more information concerning the source of the Sarin. Hersh has some intriguing ideas.
Perhaps he was there all along.
I remember reading some years ago in a thread where Clifford Kiracofe raised doubts about whether someone as modestly talented as Obama could have made it to the Presidency on his own . . . or whether he was backed, sponsored, groomed and assisted from step to step for years.
I hope our Canadian fellow commenters will forgive my attempt to use “curling” as a source of metaphors. Who launched Obama onto the ice and who has kept sweeping ahead of Obama to guide him into the Presidency? Whose curling stone is Obama?
There were people who considered Obama a dark-sider from before the 2008 nomination process. I must admit to not having known enough to be one of those people.
People on Capitol Hill say that as they got ready to vote on war with Syria – Gen. Dempsey made clear that was what was at issue in hearings – calls against involvement outnumbered calls in favor by vast numbers. They were relieved not to have to vote. After all, these were pretty much the same people who had given Netanyahu joint-session standing ovations a few years earlier.
During the run-up to what would have been our Syrian War, Obama had people giving him good and bad information and ideas. I’m not sure he knows how to sort them out. I think he is reluctant to start a war, but he has people around him who are eager for it and they are able to freelance more than they would if Obama ran a reasonably tight Executive Branch. I think that in this as in most matters presidential, Obama is in over his head.
Maybe this isn’t so off topic, given the metaphor of the “dark side”. Certainly, its relevant to the emerging big picture and the role and status of America in the world. It’s an article called “America’s Jewish Mainstream Goes Rogue”, posted on April 02, 2014.
Here’s a quote: “The key point is that these figures are mounting an assault not on J Street or liberal Zionism but on liberalism itself. They drip with sarcasm at the very suggestion that all men are created equal.”
If Obama genuinely wanted a war then his decision to go to Congress, the Congress that had at that point voted to repeal Obamacare for the 40th time, was the act of an out of touch lunatic. It may be so, but it doesn’t really gel for me. Rather Obama seems like someone who got yanked one way by the people trying to topple Syria, then got yanked back by the the defense people who showed him that the Turks were playing the US for suckers, and everything he’s been doing have just been desperate improvisations depending on how he’s being pulled. While the capacity to change direction when new information comes to light is never a bad thing; it’d probably better if Obama had the ability to pick people who give you the right information in the first place.
Also from the article:
“Erdoğan had sought the meeting to demonstrate to Obama that the red line had been crossed, and had brought Fidan along to state the case. When Erdoğan tried to draw Fidan into the conversation, and Fidan began speaking, Obama cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ Erdoğan tried to bring Fidan in a second time, and Obama again cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ At that point, an exasperated Erdoğan said, ‘But your red line has been crossed!’ and, the expert told me, ‘Donilon said Erdoğan “fucking waved his finger at the president inside the White House”.’ Obama then pointed at Fidan and said: ‘We know what you’re doing with the radicals in Syria.’”
If some of the people on this board are correct about Obama being a narcissist, it does not bode well for those pushing Syrian intervention. My understanding is that narcissists do not generally forgive people who publicly humiliate them the way the climb down over Syria did to Obama, and certainly would not forgive a lecture like that in their own house.
Sy Hersh will be on DemocracyNow this morning in about a half hour (8am Eastern). Can be streamed on their web site or watched there or on Youtube afterward. I doubt we’ll see inteviews with him on any of the mainstream media.
I just discovered the article and was about to paste it here for you all. Colonel Lang beat me to it, as it is very important and revealing.
” … Obama is in over his head.”
It’s pretty clear to me now that foreign policy experience is a prerequisite for a competent showing as president, and not the ‘how do I serve Israel best’ kind accrued by some. Our system is simply not consistently ensuring that the president gets accurate and timely information, analysis, and policy recommendations in spite of the staggering amount of money ostensibly spent to ensure that he does. An ignorant man like Pres. Obama (in foreign policy, history, military affairs, etc … all of us are ignorant about most things) just has circles run around him by his underlings.
His first mistake was not insuring a purge of neocons from the executive branch. The second was letting their Democratic-Party-flavored brethren the neolibs join them in government. I don’t think he really cared that much because for many in our political class having loyalties other than to America simply isn’t that big a deal.
The article is picking up some traction in the Turkish press. I am sure RTE and his staff already started the spin operation, and in the aftermath of the local elections, their hubris will be reaching unimaginable heights.
It seems like RTE has been railroaded for carrying the bucket, but I will not be surprised if he did a little bit railroading himself now. And of course, mess it all up with his smug Minister of Foreign affairs and the “Lack of Intelligence” chief.
No, they have drunk the Cool-Aide as well.
Thanks for the reference. At the end of last month, Philip Weiss published a note from a British Jew on his ‘Mondoweiss’ site. Three excerpts:
‘How do you describe the feeling that your life has been a lie? I think that the reason Jews are so reluctant to acknowledge what is clearly in front of them, is that shifting from “Israel is never wrong” to “we have created a monster” is such a terrifying realisation, self delusion is the easier path…
‘My concern is not a reduction in support for Israel, but a vitriolic backlash from the American people, towards Israel, the Jews, the Adelsons of this world, AIPAC, etc. Support for Israel won’t go from 51% to 49%, it will fall off a cliff, with massive implications…
‘I apologise for what seems like a rambling, paranoid, overly personal article, but as I said, shifting positions on Israel is so hard and scary, there needs to be a bridge. Create the safe place today that says; Israel is moments away from International condemnation, an irreversible decline in its standing with the American public and pariah status, for Israel, Israelis and Jews.’
(See http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/rapidly-shifting-opinion.html )
But I suspect that, like me, the author of the note is not really that familiar with the United States, and it may well be that he misreads American opinion.
On how traumatic it can be for Jews everywhere to face up to the reality of what Israel has become, however, I think he is both right and illuminating.
Ever since I saw first the Hersh article at Moon of Alabama yesterday I have been searching at Google News to see which media outlets are reporting on it. I have tried various combinations of the keywords: Hersh, Obama, Syria, Erdogan, and sarin. So far not one of the main stream media online newspapers has posted any story related to this (also searched these keywords at Google and that showed all the blogs and other minor news sources that carried the story). If there was ever any doubt about there being media gatekeepers that quash important stories and that there is no longer a “free press” (if there ever was one), this example should make that clear.
I checked the NY Times and WaPo websites for mentions of the Hersh story. Nothing on the main page!
These two national “newspapers of record” were eager to trumpet the lies. But now, when the truth comes out, they suddenly get cold feet. Both should be thoroughly shamed and embarrassed.
If ever there was proof that leading media organs are thoroughly embedded with the government, this is it. They are little more than abject servants and propagandists.
Thank goodness for alternative site like this one!
My own research indicates that Obama was groomed by several people, mainly Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker and fellow billionaire George Soros. One big question is, how did he get such a plum speaking spot at the 2004 DNC convention when he was still a completely unknown Illinois state senator?
After hunting though my research notes I found these relevant articles:
George Soros Interview: A Very Good Crisis http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,25211027-5018057,00.html
[NOTE: this excerpt is from my own archives, as the original article is no longer available at The Australian]
Soros held a fundraiser for Obama at his New York home and donated the maximum legal amount in June – June 2004, that is, before Obama had even been elected to the US Senate. Two years later he urged Obama to run for president, and when he did become a candidate Soros organised a meeting with other financiers in Soros’s own Wall Street office. The result is that after being a political outcast under the Bush administration and having little influence under Bill Clinton, Soros is confident that “at least I will get a hearing” in Washington. And he will use it to advocate radical regulatory and financial reform to rein in financiers like himself.
Here is Donna Brazile at Slate basically admitting the Obama plan was born early on… note that this article was written in Nov 2004, so Obama had already captured the hearts of many with his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention.
Why Americans Hate Democrats—A Dialogue, Tapping into the “Obama” factor. http://www.slate.com/id/2109328/
This is a new moment to identify and recruit better messengers. Perhaps it’s time to tap into the “Obama” factor: Scour statehouses for young, energetic, inspiring, and emerging leaders with the ability to connect the head and heart.
More on Soros from 4/16/07 Money Chooses Sides http://nymag.com/news/politics/30634/
Penny Pritzker was an early wealthy sugar mama for Obama… On Penny Pritzker’s connections http://www.muckety.com/Penny-S-Pritzker/5970.muckety
Pritzker was rewarded for her efforts when she was nominated to be Commerce Chief.
DC, I think you have it right. Thank goodness for science and the British and thank goodness Obama (and it must be noted his generals) listened to them and changed course. This couldn’t BE more different than the Bush Administration’s approach to science-based information that challenged their road map.
I think we can be cynical about politicians and policy without lumping them all together…there are differences and those should be assessed.
it’s all the Col’s fault- really, no shxt. haha
Sibel Edmonds has a piece up, that says that the intercepted Turkish phone call about a false flag bombing of Aleppo is a fabrication from several, highly edited phone calls, and that it shows signs of it’s assembly and a lack of characteristic features. http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/04/02/the-eyeopener-report-sibel-edmonds-examines-the-turkish-false-flag-leak/
She thinks that it is likely to be the work of the Guhlen organization, meant to discredit the government ahead of elections. In the past week I have learned that I have much to learn about modern Turkey.
Otherwise, Hersh’s piece seems spot on, and of immense value. We owe Porton Down a debt of gratitude on this one. I had not thought that Turkey would be so deeply, or directly, involved in a false flag CW operation. This would seem to require a reexamination of US relations with Turkey.
As to Obama, I think he has performed admirably relative to Syria, despite poor information and advice on several sides. No one would have blinked, if he had launched some Tomohawks at Damascus, or had started to provide arms to the rebels directly. In fact, it was a shock that he delayed action, and sent the matter to Congress, which permitted reconsideration, and the opportunity for diplomacy and the Russians to provide an out. Would Hillary have handled this better? I doubt it, even though I think she was an above-average SoS. How would McCain have done, or Palin? Those were our choices, and here, I think we have the best set of hands.
Obama’s career is exceptional in the weakness of his opponents. Bill Clinton had a very colorful metaphor for it.
“…the best set of hands.” and no doubt we are all living in the best of all possible worlds.
The link to the Hersh story on LRB did make it memeorandum.com, IMO a decent news aggregator site. It lasted for about 6 hours, but seems to be gone now.
Sibel Edmonds has an incredible wealth of information on her website and her blog that puts all this in perspective. I strongly urge anyone to comb them, like I did, to start with this article and go back to 9/11, and beyond and back. If anyone thinks her Turkish connection revelations are unique, that is exclusive to Turkey, they are wrong. Israel and Saudi Arabia is in the same mode, as being discussed here so many times, starting with lobbying and spying, and going all the way back and forward to false flag operations, media involvement, perception management and downright corruption in all levels of government against the laws and rightful interests of United States, and peoples of all three countries for the benefit of fat cats and self serving elites. Meanwhile, we have starving Syrian refugees in the streets of Istanbul begging for money and a Al Kaida foot soldiers on the way to Europe shooting dead 3 people with AK 47s on the interstate, not too far from here and barely making the news. AKP and Erdogan are albatross hanging over BO’s neck, but the only question left now is who will the cool-aid drinking crowd would throw under the bus first. And not who first, or one or the other.
I was in Washington area over the weekend for a Celebration of the Life of a deceased friend [Skidmore College Class of 62]! A number of her college classmates present.
As is my wont I touched based with others there an even more resident in the DC area. In discussions most ignored FP but have already started to focus on fall elections and import of SCOTUS McCutcheon ruling.
I believe the rest of the world will have to hold its breath to see what happens this fall in USA!
I too am a Turkish speaker and I heard the tape where a false flag operation is being discussed in highest levels of the Turkish government. I may even be more sensitive to nuances and inflections about speech then her now that I lived here for a while, and I totally agree that this piece may be a cut and paste operation, something is not right about it. However, even taken out of context, full sentences uttered, create their own context, which nevertheless point to something very odious being discussed. All the more, their willingness to involve Turkey in a war in Syria and pressure US to do the same, for ultimately financial benefit that coincides with a certain circle’s, is an unholy alliance of the thieves. And what happens when it is revealed? Thieves throw other thieves under the bus to save their own skin. Wait, watch and see.
Do not despair, 3 or 4 Turkish investigative reporters are piecing this story together and I try to help, oen way which I do is directing them to this site and I had a couple of thank yous so far. Hersh story checks out by me, quite a while back I reported thousands of trucks going over the border unchecked, and somebody here mocked me about the numbers. Sarin gas manufacturing equipment was intercepted here and news disappeared next day. Anyone from border regions will tell you here that Syria Turkish border is a free pass region. Take the recent false flag tape that came out, add some more free source info and Hersh has a story. Add more Sibel Edmonds revelations for background and a picture starts to emerge. And it is ugly. I expect much more to come out soon, and dramatic developments regarding Syria, Turkey, and projects some people have cooked up decades ago.
Thanks, Kunuri, your perspective is interesting. Edmonds’ bio states that she spent part of her childhood in Turkey. In her video, she specifically mentions that there are no mentions relating to the US, EU or NATO, and that those would be omnipresent in a typical exchange. She thinks this relates to Erdogan and AKP wanting to win the election, and willing to go to any lengths to improve their chances.
Frankly, I’m shocked at their willingness to be so deeply involved in Syria. I had the impression that Turkey prided itself on having good relations with all of its neighbors. The uprising makes Turkey’s Kurds more restive. The new crop of jihadis may be more militant and fundamentalist than the AKP prefers. There’s enormous refugee and relief pressure. Should Assad fall, I’m not entirely sure how this improves things for the AKP or for Turkey.
Edmonds also remarks on the obvious penetration of the Guhel organization deep into the police and executive branches. Turkey’s government may be riven with factions, working at cross purposes to each other and to the national interest. It’s fascinating to this outsider, but very opaque.
Jon said: “I had not thought that Turkey would be so deeply, or directly, involved in a false flag CW operation.”
Let us recall for a moment what was done here (according to the report): HUNDREDS of innocent civilians (men, women and children) were DELIBERATELY MURDERED (thousands injured) in a ‘false flag’ gas attack for the SOLE purpose of getting the US into a war with Syria which looked likely to escalate to a regional war or possibly even a world war.
One would think this is a MAJOR story.
Now plenty of people would have better search skills than I have but when I hit Google news and also the ABC news search site I couldn’t find a SINGLE LINK to this story.
There were links to the usual suspects: Antiwar.com, firedoglake, PressTV etc – but the mainstream corporate media including the Australian public broadcaster (ABC): NOTHING.
I’ve been a long time reader and supporter of Chomsky but this performance by the MSM is AWESOME.
PS. To be fair http://whoghouta.blogspot.com.au/ hasn’t commented on the Hersh report yet either so perhaps I should give the MSM a little longer to digest the story?
I think Obama’s initial response was in line with that of most American Presidents (e.g., invade Granada, invade Iraq, invade Panama, etc.). People generally behave per the norms of the society they are in; and Democrats, and a black Democrat in particular are vulnerable to the charge of being weak, of being unwilling to use force.
To Obama’s credit, he listened to the evidence and to the generals, and maybe to his better self, and did not go to war. I don’t think he went to the dark side; he escaped the perpetual dark side that is American foreign policy.
This is on the Daily Beast this morning. It’s not as dismissive as some of the other criticism I’ve read.
You’re aware that Voltaire was joking over Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz?
Fair point. Our host has reminded us at times that Obama has ended up not quite choosing the war-option that neocons and neowils wanted. But it certainly has seemed to me at times that he really really wanted to.
My feeling of darkside-ness on his part is more based on his domestic policies and choices which were entirely his choice. And his cynical lying behavior as detailed on Naked Capitalism and elsewhere.
Hersh shopped around his December story to the WaPo and The New Yorker and presumably others – no takers. Possibly they are all terrified of The Awful Truth or maybe they had some issues with his sourcing. He seems to rely very heavily on one particular fellow. Sometimes Hersh is right. Sometimes he isn’t. I’m not dismissing all this out of hand but I wouldn’t take this one to the bank.
Hersh has been frozen out of the major media by the apparat, as have I been. pl
The single most significant claim made by Hersh in support of the contention that the Obama regime was attempting knowingly to disseminate disinformation relates to the British facility at Porton Down.
Note that it was not denied by them.
British defence scientists were ignored when Blair and Sir John Scarlett disseminated the bogus intelligence which facilitated the invasion of Iraq.
I think it eminently likely that, faced by a JIC who appeared quite ready once again to collude in the dissemination of disinformation to justify a potentially disastrous war, the scientists refused to play ball.
Curious about Sy Hersh. Once again his “Breaking news” is nearly a year old. Seems to be his specialty- getting credit for others’ work.
The Libya-Stevens-Turkey pipeline via NATO has been WIDELY discussed and VERIFIED by dozens of sites all across the internet for close to 2 yrs now.
Suddenly, this RIIA /CIA agent comes in and “exposes” what the heavily derided “conspiracy theorists” proved back in 2011 already in the weeks immediately following Benghazi.
Since the info has become so commonly accepted, guess its time for the MSM to send in their man to collect a Pulizer (again for others’ work).
Should we say Puketzer
Yes but YOU actually have insider, new breaking data and impressive creds. Hersh takes stuff a year or more old and passes it off as new discovery.
World of difference between the two of you. You are real. He is another MSM fraud