Why Obama Prioritizes Ousting Assad Over Defeating Syria’s Jihadists

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Dr. Christina Lin, a leading young scholar on jihadist groups, opened her April 8th commentary at Asia Times:

In a blunder reeking of the fallout caused by supplying Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to 1980s mujahideen in Afghanistan, civilian airline passengers are now under threat from Syrian jihadists armed with portable surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS).

Reports say some American-backed jihadi groups are being equipped with US-made MANPADS. Indications are they’re obtaining these advanced weapons either directly or indirectly from the US or its Mideast allies in connection with a recent escalation in the fighting in Syria.

On April 2, fighting broke out between western-backed al-Qaeda affiliates and the Syrian army, ending the Syrian ceasefire. The groups that broke the ceasefire included al-Qaeda in Syria (al-Nusra), the Chinese Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), The Levant Brigade, the Freemen of Syria (Ahrar al-Sham), Division 13, and other jihadi groups. According to AP, the US-trained and armed Division 13 is now fighting alongside al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. The latter two are part of the Turkey/Saudi/Qatar-backed Army of Conquest.[1]

That report went on to document, essentially, that U.S. President Barack Obama is continuing his efforts to replace the only secular, non-sectarian government in the Middle East, that of the Ba’athist Party, which has always been the only non-religious political party in the Arabic world — everything else in Arabia has been fundamentalist-Sunni, to at least some extent (enough for even the least-fundamentalist of America’s Arab allies to cooperate with al-Nusra, which is Al Qaeda in Syria). Nusra has also received direct support from America and its allies, through Turkey, which is a member-nation of NATO and serves as the transit-route into Syria for the thousands of jihadists (all of whom are Sunni) flowing into Syria to bring down Bashar al-Assad. Those jihadists, in turn, are the forces on the ground in Syria that are trying to take over the country — bring down the secular Shiite Assad and replace his Ba’athist government (which is allied with Russia), by a Sunni Shariah-law government (allied with Saudi Arabia). (Think of it: after 9/11, the U.S. government is aiding Al Qaeda! The U.S. government is more against Russia than it’s against jihadists — though Russia never invaded the U.S., and communism is gone! Crazy but true.)

Dr. Lin quotes a Saudi official as saying (in Germany’s Spiegel), “We believe that introducing surface-to-air missiles in Syria is going to change the balance of power on the ground … just like surface-to-air missiles in Afghanistan were able to change the balance of power there.” He was referring to this in 1979, where Obama’s friend Zbigniew Brzezinski explained why the Americans and the Saudis were supplying SAMs to the mujahideen who became Al Qaeda, and he was also referring to this in 1998, where Brzezinski, when asked whether he thought that arming those fundamentalist Sunnis had been a mistake, said that it certainly was not. Obama is continuing in that (rabidly anti-Russian) vein. Brzezinski still was talking there as if Russia = USSR = “the enemy.” Obama acts from that same viewpoint — the viewpoint that will end either in WW III, or else in Russia’s capitulation to the U.S. aristocracy.

In their view, the end of communism, and the end of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Soviets’ Warsaw Pact (which was the Soviets’ counterpart to America’s NATO alliance), made and make no difference, and Syria should be ruled by jihadist groups instead of by its current government, because Syria’s current government is allied with Russia, and Russia always tries to kill jihadists, never allies with them (as the U.S. does). 

Obama overthrew the Russia-friendly government of Ukraine and replaced it with an anti-Russian government; he also led the NATO bombing campaign that overthrew the Russia-friendly leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi; and he has since been trying to do the same thing in Syria, to Assad.

Dr. Lin continues:

Now, if it turns out that al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria are indeed armed with MANPADS, it would amount to what former CIA director David Petraeus called “our worst nightmare.” The missile would do far more than improve terrorist groups’ military capabilities to conduct future attacks.

A 2005 RAND study also concluded that jihadis shooting down a civilian airliner would put a temporary freeze on worldwide air travel, causing a $15 billion loss to the world economy.[8] More than a decade after this study, the present-day economic loss would be substantially higher than $15 billion.

Dr. Lin’s calling this from Obama a “blunder” is based upon an assumption that Obama isn’t aware of the harms that he’s causing by what he’s doing; but, on the same day, a report, including shocking documentation from Jane’s (the specialist site about military matters), made clear that Obama is determined to overthrow Assad no matter what the consequences.

The anonymous “Moon of Alabama” blogger posted at Global Research on April 8th, “U.S. Delivers 3,000 Tons Of Weapons And Ammo To Al-Qaeda and Co. in Syria.”  Shown there is the “Simplified packing list for December 2015 arms” that were sent. The anonymous blogger explained:

One ship with nearly one thousand tons of weapons and ammo left Constanta in Romania on December 5. The weapons are from Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. It sailed to Agalar in Turkey which has a military pier and then to Aqaba in Jordan. Another ship with more than two-thousand tons of weapons and ammo left in late March, followed the same route and was last recorded on its way to Aqaba on April 4.

We already knew that the “rebels” in Syria received plenty of weapons during the official ceasefire. We also know that these “rebels” regularly deliver half of their weapon hauls from Turkey and Jordan to al-Qaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al-Nusra):

Hard-core Islamists in the Nusra Front have long outgunned the more secular, nationalist, Western-supported rebels. According to FSA officers, Nusra routinely harvests up to half the weapons supplied by the Friends of Syria, a collection of countries opposed to Assad, ..

U.S. and Turkey supported “rebels” took part in the recent attack on Tal al-Eis against Syrian government forces which was launched with three suicide bombs by al-Qaeda in Syria. This was an indisputable breaking of the ceasefire agreement between Russia and the U.S. It is very likely that some of the weapons and ammunition the U.S. delivered in December were used in this attack.

Consequently, Obama is clearly determined to supply weapons to the jihadists until they win. This is no “blunder” on his part. It’s a determination to beat Putin, no matter what. It has consequences not only for the U.S. and for Russia, but for the countries that America invades or whose governments America overthrows. Here are those consequences:

The “2016 Global Emotions Report” by Gallup, surveying over a thousand people in each one of 140 different nations, found that, by far, the people in Syria had “the lowest positive experiences worldwide,” the people there were far more miserable than in any other nation. The score was 36 (on a scale to 100). Second and third worst were tied at 51: Turkey because of the tightening dictatorship there as Turkey has become one of Obama’s key allies in toppling Assad; Nepal, on account of the earthquake. Then tied at 54, were three countries, the fourth, fifth, and sixth, most-miserable places to live: Georgia, which still hasn’t recovered from the U.S.-backed wars against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where the majority want to be part of Russia; Serbia, where the majority are opposed to the government’s move to enter NATO; and Iraq, which still hasn’t recovered from Bush’s 2003 invasion. Then tied at 55, are five countries, the seventh-through-eleventh-most-miserable nations: Yemen, where America’s ally the Sauds are dropping American bombs onto Shiite neighborhoods; Bosnia and Herzegovina, which still hasn’t recovered from the civil war and the U.S. bombing; Lithuania, which became impoverished by IMF-imposition of economic austerity, which has prevented economic recovery; Belarus, which will probably be the last country in the world to break away from Marxism; and, finally, the 11th-worst, Ukraine, which prior to the U.S. coup, was less miserable than 29 countries and had a score of 60, which was 5 points higher than today’s — Obama’s coup there has definitely immiserated the Ukrainian people (not to mention displaced millions and slaughtered thousands by the ethnic-cleansing campaign against residents of the former Donbass region of Ukraine).

To what extent would it be sincere, or even honest, then, for the U.S. President to say this?:

America’s willingness to apply force around the world is the ultimate safeguard against chaos, and America’s failure to act in the face of Syrian brutality or Russian provocations not only violates our conscience, but invites escalating aggression in the future. … In Ukraine, Russia’s recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. But this isn’t the Cold War. Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned Russian actions; Europe and the G7 joined us to impose sanctions; NATO reinforced our commitment to Eastern European allies; the IMF is helping to stabilize Ukraine’s economy; OSCE monitors brought the eyes of the world to unstable parts of Ukraine. And this mobilization of world opinion and international institutions served as a counterweight to Russian propaganda and Russian troops on the border and armed militias in ski masks.

Those “armed militias in ski masks,” incidentally, were U.S.-CIA-hired mercenaries. He had to know that; he simply lied.

In the U.S. Presidential contest this year, the big foreign-affairs issue that separates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump on one side, and all of the other candidates on the other, is whether to prioritize killing jihadists, above defeating Assad and any other ally of Russia. Both Sanders and Trump say that killing jihadists is definitely the top priority. Hillary Clinton and the other Republicans say that both priorities are equal and must be pursued with equal vigor, even though that will mean helping the jihadists whenever they’re causing damage to Russia or to Russia’s allies — such as to Assad in Syria. Judging Obama by his actions not his (lying) words, he’s on the side of Clinton and the other (the self-acknowledged) Republicans. The reality is that anyone (such as Clinton, Cruz, and Kasich) who says that both priorities are equal, is really in favor of placing the defeat of Russia as being a higher priority than killing jihadists — but for political reasons can’t afford to admit it publicly. Those candidates are actually the candidates who (like the Bushes and the Clintons) represent the Saud family, who financed Al Qaeda before 9/11, and who continued doing it after 9/11, and whose friends the other Arabic royal families, are financing the other jihadist organizations.

On the one side in this ongoing international war are Russia and its few allies, which include the Shiites, both the secular Assad in Syria, and the fundamentalist Khamenei in Iran; and, on the other side are the United States and its many allies, which include the fundamentalist Sunni royal families, which own Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, and Oman, but which also include the fundamentalist Sunni, Tayyip Erdogan, in Turkey, who is the Saud family’s agent in the U.S.-led NATO anti-Russian military club. And, of course, NATO and Japan are also on the American team. And so is Israel.

This is geopolitics, the contest for power between the two blocs of aristocracies — the U.S.-Saudi-led bloc on the one side, versus the much smaller Russia-led bloc on the other.

Here is how Brzezinski put it, on page 46 of his classic 1997 statement of the position of the U.S.-Saudi-led bloc, in his book The Grand Chessboard, where he was discussing specifically Ukraine, and also explaining why the West must support the fundamentalist Sunni, or jihadist, groups that threaten to break up and thus weaken or destroy Russia:

Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be resentful of the loss of their recent independence and would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south. …  However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.

Brzezinski was born a Polish nobleman, to a family who were dispossessed by Russians, and he never lost his hatred of Russians. In 1973, he and his friend David Rockefeller (like the Arabic royals a hereditary oil-billionaire) founded the Trilateral Commission, to coordinate America and Europe and Japan, so as to conquer Russia by breaking it up — classic divide-and-conquer aristocratic thinking. That’s what his Grand Chessboard is all about: conquest, for global dominance. To understand not only Obama but the Bushes, and the Clintons, that book is the classic. And the reason why the American aristocracy loathes both Sanders and Trump — different though those two candidates are — is that both candidates present the first possibility since the end of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact in 1991 to end the purely aristocratic war that has continued on since then (with the public financing it via their taxes, and providing the corpses for it in Libya, Ukraine, Syria, and a few other places) to conquer Russia.

Obama is an extraordinarily gifted politician, notwithstanding any deficiencies he has as a national leader, and so here was from his brief exchange (and there was no follow-up on this question) dealing with his biggest achievement and his biggest error as President, speaking with Chris Wallace of Fox News and telecast on April 10th:

WALLACE:  Worst mistake?

OBAMA: Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.

But, even without any follow-up question, that actually says a lot: it says that, though Obama didn’t even “plan for the day after” (a shocking admission, which really shows the abysmal caliber of the man), his bombing Libya till Muammar Gaddafi was killed “was the right thing to do.” (George W. Bush feels the same about his having gotten rid of another Russia-ally, Saddam Hussein.) And, of course, the unasked question there was: Why? Why was it “the right thing to do”? But, if his foreign policy is driven obsessively by the goal of taking down the leader of any nation who is friendly toward Russia, then it does make sense, after all — the same sense as what Obama also did to Yanukovych in Ukraine, and is still so persistently trying to do to Assad in Syria. (And Chris Wallace’s having not even noticed that he had, just then, elicited from Obama the most shocking statement in Obama’s entire Presidency, showed that that TV network of psychopaths was functioning true-to-form — the interviewer didn’t even care that the U.S. President had perpetrated a huge bombing campaign without even concerning himself about what the consequences would be — other than to get rid of a leader who was friendly to Russia, which Obama wouldn’t have admitted as his goal, even if it was true.)

And, as regards America’s future international relations, the continuance (or not) of this psychopathic goal, is the top issue in the current U.S. Presidential campaign. Whereas the American public don’t even think much about it, America’s billionaires certainly do, which is why they’re pouring billions into the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and the other candidates who want to continue that goal (taking control of Russia), but with even more intensity than Obama has been doing.

Properly understood, history isn’t only about the past; it is, far more importantly, about the future. That’s why the aristocracy don’t finance the careers of truthful historians: the public are supposed to believe the myths, which have been shaped by the aristocracy in the past. Truthful history would endanger the aristocracy. And that’s why the public aren’t supposed to know such things as, “Why Obama Prioritizes Ousting Assad Over Defeating Syria’s Jihadists,” nor even to know that he does. But, he does; and here has been provided an explanation as to why he does (and understanding why, will pose an even greater threat to the aristocracy — which is why few media will publish this).

The con isn’t supposed to be known; or, if it’s known, it’s not supposed to be noticed.

OBAMA: Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.

And that’s also the reason “Why Obama Prioritizes Ousting Assad Over Defeating Syria’s Jihadists.” He says: doing it in Libya was his “worst mistake.” But he cares so little, that he’s trying to do it again, in Syria. He’s true-to-form, for a psychopath.

And this answers the question, as well as it can be answered. It’s not a matter of corpses, and bloodshed, and immiserated nations, to him; it’s “The Grand Chessboard.” He simply wants to be the person at the mountaintop, even if it’s a mountain of corpses. Or, maybe, especially if it’s a mountain of corpses. This has been the way of aristocracies for thousands of years, and he’s a natural at it. Just a natural. Especially since the CIA has been aiming since at least 1957 to overthrow the Ba’ath Party as Syria’s leadership, and to replace them with a partitioned Syria, whose key oil-and-gas pipeline route would be controlled by a fundamentalist-Sunni ally of the Sauds.

After all, the Grand Chessboard may be just a game, but it can be a very profitable one, for the right people.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.