Eric Zuesse, summary translation from the German:
German Economic News: You recently issued a highly acclaimed essay in the London Review of Books in which you demonstrate that the US military was against the US invasion of Syria, but Obama didn’t listen to their advice. Why?
Hersh: I don’t know, I have no explanation. The fact is that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had gone to Obama and told him: If Assad falls, chaos will break out. General Dempsey said that we must support Assad against the Islamists. Even the Federal Intelligence Service (BND [Germany’s intelligence agency]) supplied information to the Americans indicating that Assad is firmly supported by the Syrian people. I can’t read the thoughts of the President, but it was clear at the outset that there was no so-called “moderate opposition” [such as Obama constantly referred to]. There were radical Islamists against Assad, but the vast majority of the Syrians were terrified of those fighters as being dangerous crazies. Syrians were fleeing from the Islamists, toward Damascus as refuge, because they felt protected by the Syrian Army. …
The Americans failed on one thing above all: not recognizing that Syria, like Iraq and Libya, was a secular ally of the West. Instead, we overran these countries, overthrew their governments, and helped the rise of our worst enemies – ISIS or Daesh and all the other extreme Sunnis.
German Economic News: Why didn’t Obama recognize what he was doing?
Seymour Hersh: I don’t know. …
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.