President Obama continues to resist the nation’s most aggressive war hawks even as the long-secret U.S. plan to overthrow Syria’s government last week reached a turning point in Aleppo amidst remarkable threats between the United States and Russia of military action against one another.
The Washington Post’s well-connected Associate Editor Karen DeYoung and nationial security columnist Josh Rogin were among those reporting (here in the Post’s print edition Oct. 9, for example) that Obama and some of the Defense Department’s top experts remain reluctant to agree to widespread calls for a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone in Syria or major upgrades of weapons systems for rebels.
Meanwhile, however, Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and a number of other allies and administration members are reported as backing exactly those actions. Their public reasons are ostensibly on humanitarian and pro-democracy reasons, but clearly also to vindicate America’s long-sought overthrown of the government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad planned and implemented for many years by the CIA and others in covert fashion, as now known.
During the presidential debate Oct. 9 in St. Louis, GOP nominee Donald Trump took a different view, arguing that Aleppo has already fallen and that it nearly pointless to attack Assad. His Democratic rival Hillary Clinton rejected the idea of using American troops in Syria but backed use of special forces in Syria, saying I hope that by the time I am president we will have pushed ISIS out of Iraq.”
The president is shown in a White House waiting backstage before making his last address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York Sept. 20.
Today’s column reporting these momentous developments is particularly timely because much of the American public has been distracted by the Donald Trump sex scandal video and Hurricane Matthew, the category 4 storm that hit Florida and the Carolinas after inflicting many fatalities in the Caribbean.
Most Western news media of Syria primarily reports on civilian casualties in eastern Aleppo from Russian and Syrian bombing. But other developments include the possibility that the current “proxy war” between U.S. and Russian allies could rapidly expand to a more direct war, including nuclear attacks.
Today, we focus primarily upon military threats (including a long appendix of the most recent news articles). Follow up columns will address longer-term issues, including recent revelations regarding propaganda strategies to build support for war-making. The Syrian civil war that began in 2011 has already caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and displaced millions, including the refugees destabilizing European nations and fostering fears that terrorists are part of the mass migrations from Syria.
We start with a recap of how the last week created the most serious war threats between the United States dcAs U.S.-backed rebels sustain huge losses, Vice Presidential nominees Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, Democrat and Republican respectively, renewed their call for U.S.-enforced no-fly-zone, as did Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain and a number of other war hawks from both parties.
Such a zone is an act of war and would be, at this point, without either congressional or international authorization.
Meanwhile, President Obama is resisting the hawks, who include power centers within the U.S. government.